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"He who practices righteousness is righteous" (1 John 3:7)

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by BCsenior, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. setst777

    setst777 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Definitely! Look at all the Old Testament Saints who believed in God - the God fearing - before Christ appeared to bring salvation. See Hebrews 11.

    Although not regenerated, by faith in God, the Spirit and Word of God are always active in the world to teach and help those who listen to God.

    They trusted Him enough to walk with God, even though having many faults because of the flesh. But God accepted them because of their faith.

    Regeneration only occurred after Christ Jesus appeared to bring salvation (Titus 3:4-6)

    Titus 3:4-7 (WEB) 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love toward mankind appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 that being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    That is why the believers could not receive the Spirit until Jesus was glorified.

    John 7:37-39 (WEB) 37 Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink!” 38 “He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn’t yet glorified.
     
  2. setst777

    setst777 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Scriptures are clear, you only received the Spirit by faith to give life, no matter how much you detest it.

    Regeneration only occurred after Christ Jesus appeared to bring salvation (Titus 3:4-6)

    Titus 3:4-7 (WEB) 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love toward mankind appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 that being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    That is why the believers could not receive the Spirit until Jesus was glorified.

    John 7:37-39 (WEB) 37 Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink!” 38 “He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water.”
    39 But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn’t yet glorified.
     
  3. setst777

    setst777 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Regeneration only occurred after Christ Jesus appeared to bring salvation (Titus 3:4-6)

    Titus 3:4-7 (WEB) 4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love toward mankind appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 that being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    That is why the believers could not receive the Spirit until Jesus was glorified.

    John 7:37-39 (WEB) 37 Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink!” 38 “He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn’t yet glorified.
     
  4. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So the OT saints were not regenerated after all. Shame, that. I was looking forward to getting to know them.
     
  5. setst777

    setst777 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There in the Heavenly Paradise now.

    If you remain faithful to the end, you will meet the Old Testament Saints.

    Hebrews 9:15 (NIV)
    15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
     
  6. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Yes and that included 10 tribes of the House of Israel that the Jews considered to be gentile. Anyone not Jewish was considered gentile.
     
  7. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    I've not denied that salvation happens within time, only that it happens progressively such that the saved individual is not really saved by grace but must ultimately earn their salvation - a thing the Bible rules out completely - by living righteously. This works-salvation stuff makes the inevitability of good works coming out of salvation necessary to salvation. I've already explained in this thread what I mean and why this conflation of terms is in error.

    This is bald-faced works-salvation, explicitly and repeatedly denied by Scripture:

    Ephesians 2:8-9
    8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
    9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

    2 Timothy 1:9
    9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

    Titus 3:5-7
    5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
    6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
    7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    1 Peter 1:3-10 (NASB)
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
    4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
    5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation
    ready to be revealed in the last time.
    6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
    7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
    8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
    9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
    10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries,


    It's been my experience that those who champion a works-salvation perspective always play fast-and-loose with Scripture, carefully editing out and ignoring the immediate context, in particular, of the prooftexts from Scripture that they use to make their case. Above is a good example.

    How does Peter describe the salvation of the believers to whom he is writing?

    Verse 3: "...who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again..." Upon whom is the onus for salvation here? The believer? No. It is God who has caused the believer to be born again. And it is God's mercy that is the key thing in the believer's salvation, not their good works.

    Verse 4: "...an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away..." Does Peter write here of the spiritual inheritance of salvation as a tenuous reality for the believer, resting entirely upon their success in living right? Not at all. He emphasizes the indestructible and permanent nature of their inheritance, instead. But why remark on this if, by their sin, believers can eradicate that imperishable inheritance? It's hardly "imperishable," in a practical sense, if it may be lost by their failure to live righteously. Peter's words become a sort of taunt, if the enduring and pure inheritance he describes may be readily lost by a believer's inevitable migration into sin.

    Verse 5: "who are protected by the power of God through faith for salvation..." Peter rather confounds the works-salvation idea by plainly stating here that the believer is protected by the power of God. In regard to what? Peter answers: "for salvation." The believer isn't left to rely upon his own frail power in maintenance of his salvation but is protected by the inexhaustible power of God, guarded by it, for salvation.

    Verse 7: "so that the proof of your faith..." Does Peter mean "proof" in the sense of "evidence"? No. "Proof" in this passage means "testing," not evidence. Peter isn't saying that believers must give evidence of their faith, they must prove they're saved, but that their faith will be "put to the test" by "various trials." Peter, here, presupposes that those to whom he wrote had faith, not that it was in doubt whether or not they did and so needed to prove, or show, that they did. He wasn't suggesting that they might have lost their salvation and needed to give evidence that they hadn't.

    Verse 9: "obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls..."

    "For by grace you have been saved by faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works..." Peter notes here that it is by faith, not by works, that those to whom he was writing had obtained the "salvation of your souls." In this he agrees entirely with the apostle Paul, ruling out salvation by works in doing so.

    Romans 5:18-21 to Romans 6:1-6 (NASB)
    18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
    19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
    20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
    21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


    1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
    2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
    3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
    4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
    5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
    6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;


    These two passages have been artificially separated from each other. Originally, there was no chapter break, dividing Paul's thought, but a single continuous line of reasoning. One cannot properly understand, then, the first part of chapter 6 of Romans apart from the immediate context of the end of Romans 5.

    Particularly when the two passages are taken together, a works-salvation view cannot be sustained from them.

    Verse 18 (chapter 5): "...through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men." As Paul does repeatedly throughout his various NT letters, he emphasizes in this verse the fact that the righteousness within which all believers stand before God - and in which they MUST stand, if they are to be accepted by Him - is not their own righteousness but the righteousness of Christ, extended to them via the "one act of righteousness," the atoning work of Christ on the cross, out of which resulted the "justification of life to all men." All believers obtain a right-standing before God, they are declared righteous (ie. justified) by Him, ONLY because of the atonement of Christ for their sin at Calvary. His sacrifice - and NOTHING ELSE - makes a person perfectly righteous (verse 19). And it is only such righteousness God will accept; it this righteousness that satisfies His standard and relieves us of the impossibility of meeting it with our own imperfect, finite righteousness. Under this circumstance that Paul describes, works-salvation is clearly ruled out.

    Verse 20: "...where sin increased, grace abounded all the more..." Here's a remark that the works-salvation folk don't like to talk about. If God's grace abounds more in response to our sin, rather than His condemnation (Romans 8:1), what fear is there of losing one's salvation? God's grace is far, far greater than all my sin, as the hymn says, and is not withdrawn by God when I sin but expanded to cover my sin! This is so because of the perfection of Christ's atoning work on the cross, his shed blood cleansing us from all sin. We can't exhaust the supply of grace we have been given in and through the eternal and infinite Jesus Christ our Saviour. But this quite fractures the idea that our righteousness is vital to our keeping our salvation. It is divine grace and the perfect righteousness of Christ upon which my salvation rests (verse 21), not me and my flawed good works.

    In light of all of these things, Paul wrote in a sort of surprised manner at the beginning of chapter 6, wondering why on earth the Roman Christians were caught up in sin. All that was theirs in Christ, the grace given to them in Jesus, and the perfect justification, meant that they were now free from the power of sin.

    He doesn't threaten the sinning Romans with the loss of their salvation, however, but instead wonders aloud at the incongruity of their sin with the truth of their union with Christ, with their identity in him. Paul's concern wasn't that the Roman believers would sin themselves out of their salvation but that they were acting out of character with who they were as people spiritually united with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection, and living unnecessarily under the power of "the old man."

    Verses 1, 2: "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
    May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?


    Paul doesn't say anything here about losing salvation. He says nothing about earning it, either. Shouldn't he, though, if works-salvation is true? Shouldn't he be warning the Roman Christians that they had sinned themselves out of God's family and had better return to sin-free living immediately?

    Instead, Paul writes to the Romans as those who are "dead to sin and alive unto God through Jesus." His concern isn't that the Romans have sinned themselves out of the kingdom but that their sin requires divine grace to increase. Paul goes on to confirm the spiritual identity of the sinning Roman believers, explaining who they are in Christ, not how to get back into the family of God. He writes of accomplished spiritual fact, not of salvation the Romans have lost and must now retrieve, or that they must by their own efforts make a reality.

    Here, then, are two of the passages you've offered as ground for a works-salvation perspective, neither of which at all support such a view. I don't have the time to do the same with each of the other Scripture references you've offered, but they all fail in more or less the same way to support a works-salvation doctrine.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
  8. John Mullally

    John Mullally Active Member

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    Peter does not address if those taking up the offer in Acts 2:38 were in the spirit or in the flesh at the time they chose to repent.

    Even though Jesus says Hell was not made for man (Matt 25:41), many are going there. So God does not strictly control everyone's destiny.
     
  9. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 1 John 2:19

    CINO = not saved.

    You can't lose your salvation, your either saved (now always and forever) or you were never saved to begin with...

    Someone may have heard the Gospel and thought themselves to be saved, but never really understood it, never had a heartfelt belief, weren't saved and wasn't on the foundation laid by God and were unable to stand in the day of testing.

    All the above because they were never saved and in Christ...
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
  10. BCsenior

    BCsenior Still an evangelist

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    Actually, most scholars believe the foist tree were NOT saved.
    Only the 4th seed fell on good soil which produced fruit, etc.
     
  11. BCsenior

    BCsenior Still an evangelist

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    I seem to have a high view of the power of free will in everyone's life.
     
  12. BCsenior

    BCsenior Still an evangelist

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    Please try to see what "believes" in verses such as John 3:16
    actually means. From many NT verses, we should see that ...
    True saving belief includes enduring (until death) belief, trust, obedience, etc.
     
  13. BCsenior

    BCsenior Still an evangelist

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    Level 1 -- strictly intellectual
    Level 2 -- deeply heart-felt unto being born-again
    Level 3 -- possessing the spiritual power gift of faith (1 Cor 12)
    (This faith is far beyond what the normal BAC has!)
     
  14. GOD Shines Forth!

    GOD Shines Forth! Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Can you defend that statement from Paul's letters (barring that, any others)? I’m trying to look it up using Google but so far all I’ve run across are links to British Israelism and Mormonism (not suggesting you are either of these).

    James opens his letter thus...

    "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings."
     
  15. BCsenior

    BCsenior Still an evangelist

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    I can give you about 10 NT verses/passages stating that ...
    one must endure (in faith, etc.) to the end (of life) to be saved.

    Iz dis what you call works-salvation ... dis "enduring"?
    Sure, the Holy Spirit is helping BACs to do this,
    but said BACs must co-operate and do it.
    Or, does the Triune Godhead FORCE US to endure until the end.

    Over and out from Starship #8037529629036.
     
  16. BCsenior

    BCsenior Still an evangelist

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    Surely, no one here believes that God controls everyone's destiny!
    Because we most definitely have free will.
    Because God didn't create no robots here, hear?
    Because God doesn't want to be worshipped by robots.
    etc.
     
  17. Hammster

    Hammster Check your resentment. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    There’s nothing in any of this that says the unregenerate love God.
     
  18. Hammster

    Hammster Check your resentment. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    God is in control of everything.
     
  19. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    I bump into that a lot as many Christians can't understand the simple Gospel of the Kingdom Jesus taught dividing the world of man from the Kingdom, refusing to set aside the ways of man. That was God's truth, not man's. They want to have it both ways preaching goodness to one another while practicing division among man and pursuing self interest, so yes, they were never truly saved. BUT it is easy to have the world drag us back down to it's level. That is the only reason for the church, to support each other and keep us free of the ways of the world we live in. Even religion seeks to keep us in the world just as the rabbis kept the people seeking a worldly messiah. I suppose it is tougher for those of the Kingdom but if we never lose sight of it, I suppose no matter how far we fall we are redeemable.
     
  20. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure the truth of man would seek to defend itself. Many people in Jesus' day, especially the oppressed were attracted to Jesus' Gospel of the Kingdom because it directly addressed them, yet Jesus said He spoke in parables so as to keep them thinking worldly and of course His demise was brought about by those seeking a worldly messiah. Most never find the Kingdom agreed but like the seeds in the parable they heard it but fell away from pursuing understanding. They did not seek God but went back to seeking self interest.
     
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