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How can people still deny that faith is the only requirement for salvation?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Neostarwcc, Apr 3, 2020.

  1. Neostarwcc

    Neostarwcc Eternal life is a free gift. Amen. Supporter

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    What puzzles me on these forums are the multitude of threads that deny that faith is the only requirement for salvation. They say that faith in the gospel is "too easy" and that there should be a more difficult way out. Often times they're stuck in their works and cannot see the grace of Jesus and what he did for humanity on the cross. In fact, there isn't a single verse in the Bible that says that anything other than faith is a requirement for salvation! I challenge you to find one single verse that refutes the claim that protestants have been making for over 500 years now. That's right, you can't. Because that IS the requirement for salvation. Don't believe me? Read the Bible! It doesn't say works, it doesn't say fulfilling the law (Which is an impossibility. Because to fulfill the law you would have had to have kept it perfectly from birth till death), it doesn't say not sinning will save you (In fact it says that if you say that you've never sinned or don't believe that your sins have been wiped out you're a liar (1 John 1:8, Acts 3:19). It...doesn't say a darned other thing than faith in Christ and the work that he did on the cross for YOU, for us, and for the whole world can save us from our sins.

    In fact, the Bible says that to God? Our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). So you who are trying to EARN your salvation on your own, are in for a surprise when you have to appear before Christ and have to give an account for your lives.

    As always it doesn't matter who you are, where you're from, or what you did. If you accept Christ as your savior and believe in the gospel than you are saved, sealed, and are completely forgiven past,present, and future. Your sins are completely wiped out (Isaiah 43:25, 1 John 3:5, Romans 8:1, Hebrews 10:1-18).

    However, the Bible does have a few things to say about what a true faith is. Like Hebrews Chapter 11 for example, and James's famous statement that a true faith would have works and obedience to God. Basically, faith means reliance on God . It means knowing that despite evidence of the contrary, we all have a heavenly home in Jesus. It's looking forward to that hope. It's obeying Christ and God without question. It's leaving your old life behind and going with the new life that Christ has for you.

    When I went to Christ for instance, I went all in. I completely left my old life of sin behind and I went to Christ for a completely new life. A life that he was more than glad to give me. A true faith is a commitment to Christ now and forever and there isn't a day that doesn't go by that I don't look forward to going home to be with Christ. Regardless of people calling me crazy, regardless of "evidence" of the contrary, regardless of "evidence" of evolution and the Big bang...etc. I KNOW for 100% certainty that when I die, I will be with Christ and that I have Eternal Life NOW. Yes, I will die a physical death, but my spirit will live on and my physical body will later be resurrected. Perfect and without sin, forever.


    Now I know what a lot of you who think I'm wrong are going to say. What about those who fall away? The Bible is quite crystal clear that you have to have a lifelong faith in order to be home with God. Quite true, but the Bible also says that those who have true faith would also endure to the end due to us being sealed with an unbreakable seal by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit KEEPS us in the faith. Peter talks about this topic in 1 Peter 1:4-5 & 1 Peter 1:23-24. Paul talks about it in 2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13-14, Titus 3:5-7. And even Christ himself talks about it in John 1:13, John 6:37-40, John 10:28-30 & in a few other places.

    Point being, you have to have the Holy Spirit to be saved. Once you have the Holy Spirit you are saved FOREVER. It is a sealed and done deal and nobody and I mean NOBODY can change that decision. Not even yourself. If you had "faith" and then later decided "I don't have faith anymore" than you never had true saving faith and you never had the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn't leave a person. Especially when Christ said that he would be with you for forever (John 14:16). True saving faith would be like the faith that I had when I personally came to Christ. Christ saw it, he heard me, he gave me the Holy Spirit that very night and it was a done and sealed deal. THAT is salvation.

    Yes, It's easy. Yes, it sounds unlikely, stupid, whatever. But it's what God did when he died for us almost 2,000 years ago. After all, it's in the Bible so it has to be true right? Otherwise, you're calling God a liar and if you say salvation isn't by grace through faith, than you're calling God a liar and the Holy Spirit is not in you. Not to mention, who are we to tell God how to save humanity? Why aren't we kneeling at his feet as we should be THANKING him for his path of salvation? Thanking him for his free gift of eternal life that we NEVER could have earned on our own? Why aren't we thanking him for choosing us from before the foundation of the world? Us who are filthy miserable sinners and certainly didn't deserve ANY kind of mercy? I don't know about you guys, but the moment I die and I see Christ and God the Father for the first time? I'm doing just that! Can I get an amen?
     
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  2. klutedavid

    klutedavid Well-Known Member

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    I would say first of all that we are saved by grace. Then through the gift of faith.

    That belief in the death and resurrection of our Lord and savior; Jesus Christ. For the forgiveness of our sins.

    That is the most important and the first doctrine of Christianity. (1 Corinthians 15)

    There should never be any debate regarding the foundation of our faith!
     
  3. Aussie Pete

    Aussie Pete Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree absolutely. However, what some people are observing (and criticising) is the faithless "Christianism" that is commonplace today. "Invite Jesus into your heart"? He won't come! Unless you have admitted that you are a helpless sinner and you see that Lord Jesus died in your place. Until you believe in Him (Greek is stronger, more "into" Him) and not just about Him. Until you receive Him. Then He will cause you to receive a new, live spirit where He is able to dwell.
     
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  4. timewerx

    timewerx the village i--o--t--

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    Here even stronger:

    John 14:12
    Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

    So yeah, believing in Jesus is good enough!!:oldthumbsup::oldthumbsup:
     
  5. Amittai

    Amittai monitor evaluator

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    Subsequent works will have to be the expression of faith by being all out for the maturing of others. This is what Jesus, James and Paul have continually said and in the OT it is described as defending the widows and orphans. Servants who were unfaithful towards each other in the parables didn't see till afterwards because only God sees before and after at the same time. Personally I was told in many churches that the maturing in potentising each other didn't matter and this was demonstrated and modelled continually, with the result that I became stunted and, 50 years later, found the whole thing nauseous.

    These things take attention to detail and sacrificial effort in Holy Spirit power for caring. They do not happen out of casualness and lackadaisicality. They require a wide knowledge of the deep meaning of Holy Scripture, continually sharing it and praying for others' fruitfulness in their many ministries.

    The opening to this wouldn't happen without what Jesus did for our prior works.

    We can infer a high degree of assurance if we talk honestly to God and seeking the mentoring of sober-minded individuals about wanting what He wants. This is different from crowing or complacency.

    These will then be the fruits OF the gifts.

    HTH
     
  6. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    Jas 2:24 - You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
     
  7. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    There are several reasons.

    1. We all grew up being told that if we do something right or good, then we get something in return. We presume that God works the same way.

    2. There are a lot of verses in Scripture that speak of what all of us SHOULD do--because it's right or because God commands it.

    We think, therefore, that these verses are saying "If this, then that" when what's really being said is "Righteous people do X."

    Yet, the basic concept of people who believe in "works righteousness" amounts to saying that God did not purpose to save us by sending his Son to do what we were unable to do for ourselves. Instead, it's that he sent his Son to do something, after which he says "You people have been made ELIGIBLE to have your strivings count with me. Here's your chance."

    Is that really the message of the Gospel, all things considered? No.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
  8. BBAS 64

    BBAS 64 Contributor Supporter

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    Good Day,

    It is the works you see, they are a direct purposeful effect of the faith which you can not see (cause).

    I think Clement of Rome sums it up quite nicely!

    Clement, a first century Roman bishop:

    "And we who through his will have been called in Christ Jesus are justified, not by ourselves, or through our wisdom or understanding or godliness, or the works that we have done in holiness of heart, but by faith, by which all men from the beginning have been justified by Almighty God, to whom be glory world without end. Amen. What, then, shall we do, brethren? Shall we cease from well-doing, and abandon charity? May the Master never allow that this should happen to us! but let us rather with diligence and zeal hasten to fulfil every good work. For the Maker and Lord of all things rejoiceth in his works. By his supreme power he founded the heavens, and by his incomprehensible understanding he ordered them. The earth he separated from the water that surrounded it, and fixed it on the firm foundation of his own will. The animals which inhabit therein he commanded to be by his ordinance. Having made beforehand the sea and the animals that are therein, he shut them in by his own power. Man, the most excellent of all animals, infinite in faculty, he moulded with his holy and faultless hands, in the impress of his likeness. For thus saith God: Let us make man in our own image, and after our own likeness. And God made man. Male and female made he them. When, therefore, he had finished all things, he praised and blessed them, and said, Be fruitful, and multiply. Let us see, therefore, how all the just have been adorned with good works. Yea, the Lord himself rejoiced when he had adorned himself with his works. Having, therefore, this example, let us come in without shrinking to his will; let us work with all our strength the work of righteousness." (First Clement 32-33)

    In Him,

    Bill
     
  9. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    Clement is reiterating what Paul said to the Ephesians at Ephesians chapter 2. They had been justified by faith alone to the exclusion of any works done previously. Paul went to lengths in Ephesians 2 to describe their conduct to illustrate to them that their prior works did not merit their reward. The Confession of Dositheus has the same:

    " For thus Scripture would be opposed to itself, since it promises the believer salvation through works, yet supposes God to be its sole author, by His sole illuminating grace, which He bestows without preceding works..."

    In reading the entirety of 1 Clement:

    "Let us clothe ourselves in concord, being lowlyminded and temperate, holding ourselves aloof from all back biting and evil speaking, being justified by works and not by word."

    From Jesus, to Paul, to James, to Clement, to Dositheus, the teachings of Christianity have been consistent.
     
  10. BBAS 64

    BBAS 64 Contributor Supporter

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    Good Day,

    Love Clement.. the 1762 Synod that produced the the Confession was so wrong on a number of issues, not really good scholarship by them IMHO... I know you disagree and that is ok.


    In Him,

    Bill
     
  11. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    Well, I can believe them or I can believe you. Which way should I go here?
     
  12. BBAS 64

    BBAS 64 Contributor Supporter

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    Good Day, HT

    Well that is certainly a question that only you can answer, which ever way you go you could be in error.

    I know I am the pot calling the kettle black.. to Err is human.

    IN Him,

    Bill
     
  13. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    While this oft-quoted verse looks definitive at first glance, when St. James's words are taken IN CONTEXT, the meaning is almost the opposite of what many people suppose.

    The whole Epistle, and this part of it, is saying that to claim to have Faith doesn't prove anything in itself. The person who has a genuine Faith will necessarily, unavoidably, live as a person of Faith, being moved by the fact of his conversion.

    That means to follow Christ's instructions, which of course include being charitable, unpretentious, fair-minded, loving, and so on. None of us can truly have saving Faith and yet disregard the Master's instructions.

    That's what James was talking about.

    Those who truly do have Faith, as opposed to simply giving claiming it, cannot avoid trying to live like they do...and the rest of society can observe the change in them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
  14. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    That is simply not what it means. To reach that conclusion you would already have to have reached the conclusion to start with. He asks rhetorically:

    Jas 2:14 - What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

    The answer to the question is no. But faith without works is still faith. And faith without works cannot save. Even the "dead faith" he mentions is still faith but cannot save.
     
  15. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    Do you think that there is a difference in behavior between someone who has faith and someone who does not? If so, then this difference is what faith looks like. What we believe is expressed through our actions, which is why James 2:17-18 says that faith without works is dead and that he would show his faith by his works, so doing good works in obedience to God is what faith looks like.

    If our obedience to God were for God's good, then it would be about earning favor with God for which He would be obligated to repay us, however, our obedience is for our own good (Deuteronomy 6:24, 10:12-13), so it is instead about putting our faith in God to guide us in how to rightly live, which is why Jesus said in Matthew 23:23 that faith is one of the weightier matters of the Mosaic Law. Every example of someone walking in faith in the Bible is also an example of obedience to God's will, such as with the examples listed in Hebrews 11, whereas disobedience to God's law is referred to as breaking faith, such as in Numbers 5:6. This is also why Habakkuk 2:4 says that the righteous shall live by faith, which does not involve living in disobedience to God. So only those who have faith in God to guide us in how to rightly live will obey His law and will be justified by that same faith, which is why Paul said in Romans 2:13 that only doers of the law will be justified, but did not say that we earn our justification by obeying the law.

    In Psalms 119:29, David wanted God to be gracious to him by teaching him to obey His law, and in Titus 2:11-14, our salvation is described as being trained by grace to do what is godly, righteous, and good, and to renounce doing what is ungodly, which is what God's law was giving to instruct how to do, so God training us to obey His law is itself the content our free gift of salvation. Our salvation is from sin and sin is disobedience to God's law (1 John 3:4), so being trained by grace to live in obedience to God's law through faith is what being saved from living in disobedience to God's law looks like. Furthermore, Titus 2:14 describes what Jesus accomplished on the cross by saying that he gave himself to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own possession who are zealous for doing good works, so if we have faith in what Jesus accomplished on the cross and understand what it means for how we should live our lives, then we will become zealous for doing good works in obedience to God's law (Acts 21:20) and will not return to the lawlessness that he gave himself to redeem us from.

    "To fulfill the law" means "to cause God's will as made known in His law to be obeyed as it should be” (NAS Greek Lexicon pleroo 2c3). After Jesus said he came to fulfill the law in Matthew 5, he proceeded to fulfill it six times throughout the rest of the chapter by teaching how to correctly obey it or by completing our understanding of it. In Galatians 5:14, loving our neighbor fulfills the entire law, so it refers to something that countless people have done, not to something unique that only Jesus did. In Galatians 6:2, bearing one another's burdens fulfills the Law of Christ, so you should interpret that in the same way as you interpret fulfilling the Law of Moses. We don't need to live sinless lives in order to love our neighbor or to bear one another's burdens. In Deuteronomy 30:11-14, it says that God's law is not too difficult to obey, so the reason why we do not earn our salvation by obeying the law is not because it is too difficult for us to obey, but because it was never given for that purpose.

    What was being talked about in Isaiah 64:6 has nothing to do with earning our salvation. It was not God speaking, but rather it was the people complaining about how they thought God viewed their actions because He was not coming down and making His presence known. All throughout the Bible God wanted His people to repent and to return to obedience to His law, so he does not then turn around and hold the people who do that in contempt by viewing our actions as filthy rags, but rather the righteous deeds of the saints are like fine white linen (Revelation 19:8).

    Jesus began his ministry with the Gospel message to repent from our sins for the Kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 4:17-23) and the Mosaic Law is how his audience knew what sin is, so repenting from our disobedience to it is an integral part of the Gospel of the Kingdom, which he prophesied would be proclaimed to the nations (Matthew 24:12-14). Obedience to God's law is what accepting Christ as our Savior from living in disobedience to God's law looks like.
     
  16. Jok

    Jok Active Member

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    Yes, some confessions and later creeds have caused so much confusion! Such as creeds that tell you that without water baptism you can’t be saved.
     
  17. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

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    Please explain what do you think “salvation” means?
     
  18. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    OK. And that clearly accords with what I explained. If you SAY (note that use of words, as with the other verse you posted) you have faith--but you don't produce any works--you clearly do not have saving faith.

    The so-called faith that the "someone" mentioned in that verse alleges to have cannot save him. That's because it's a bogus "faith." It's not actual faith.

    This is the theme of James' epistle.

    And what's more, we all can point to examples of such supposed faith. Many threads on CF deal with the kind of person who says he's a Christian, but thinks he's "home free" so far as any lifestyle change...since he's made a verbal commitment to Christ or to the church, but it's only talk.

    He calls that a "dead" faith precisely because it's only a formality, a mere allegation. Of course that's dead. It's inoperable. As a result it cannot save as a genuine Faith can.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
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