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Question on doctrine

DeaconDean

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I was watching two Church of Christ "bishops" on tv, from Hickory N.C. and they taught:

John Crips said:
–Acts 10:34-35 - There are ‘works of righteousness’ we must do in order to be acceptable to God.

There are works of righteoueness we must do, and we cannot deny this very plain teaching here in Acts chapter 10, verses 34 through 35.

Works of righteousness that God has commanded us to do it is that faith, that saves. It is the faith plus the works because faith on its own is dead.

This was a direct quote of a Church of Christ "bishop."

Do you really believe that faith plus works saves and makes us acceptable unto God?

God Bless

Till all are one.
 

- DRA -

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I was watching two Church of Christ "bishops" on tv, from Hickory N.C. and they taught:

Originally Posted by John Crips:

–Acts 10:34-35 - There are ‘works of righteousness’ we must do in order to be acceptable to God.

There are works of righteoueness we must do, and we cannot deny this very plain teaching here in Acts chapter 10, verses 34 through 35.

Works of righteousness that God has commanded us to do it is that faith, that saves. It is the faith plus the works because faith on its own is dead.


This was a direct quote of a Church of Christ "bishop."

Do you really believe that faith plus works saves and makes us acceptable unto God?

God Bless

Till all are one.

Let's see if Acts 2:38,41 doesn't help answer your question ...
In that context, after preaching Jesus and declaring Him to be both Lord and Christ (verse 37), the apostle Peter, under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit, told the Jews to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins (i.e., to have their sins taken away) in verse 38. Three thousand obeyed according to verse 41. Therefore, who had their sins remitted or taken away, the 3,000 who obeyed what they were told to do, or those that didn't?

If the 3,000 who obeyed received the blessings promised (remission of sins = salvation), then we understand the works that must be coupled with faith. If we think those that didn't obey were the ones that received the blessing, we probably should give some thought to how we would harmonize this understanding with passages such as Hebrews 5:9 and 1 Peter 1:22a.

According to James 2:21, Abraham was justified by "works" - His obedience to the commands given by God concerning the offering of Isaac in Genesis 22. It's how faith is supposed to "work" - we do what God says and receive the blessing(s) promised. Unless, of course, there is a sound scriptural basis for concluding that we don't have to do what God says but receive the blessings anyhow. If such is true, I surely have not found the scriptural basis for it.
 
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Subdood

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Do you really believe that faith plus works saves and makes us acceptable unto God?
Of course not, Dean.

I did not hear what these "bishops" actually said, but I wouldn't read too much into the statement you quoted nor would I necessarily or perhaps prejudicially interpret their statement to mean what you claim it means.

John said to those [Pharisees] who were coming to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." (Luke 3:7ff)

Lk 7:10 - And the crowds were questioning him, saying, "Then what shall we do?" --- just as the crowds questioned Peter, having been pierced to the heart and deeply convicted by his Spirit-filled sermon saying, "Brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37).

Too much emphasis is placed on "works" w/r to salvation. The real emphasis should be placed on God's work in salvation, which He does for those who obey Him, "When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him." (Col 2:13ff)

And the term "works" itself is misused - there is no way we can do for ourselves what God alone does for us [ala the above]. Any attempt to do what He alone can do is what "salvation by works" is referring to.

Jesus said, "...every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit." (Mt 7:17)

James comes right to the point and says, "What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?" (Jas 2:14).

Make no mistake however; that we are wholly incapable of "saving ourselves" by any "works" of our own (so as to be deemed somehow worthy of salvation based on our own merit, something over which we could boast of ourselves) is unequivocally obvious (Romans 3:9-18).

But this does not mean we sit idly by, waiting for the Lord to perchance someday save us. "Saving faith" comes from hearing His word (Romans 10: 14) and hearing His word is what prompts those who would be saved to WANT TO ACT. "Then what shall we do?" and "Brethren, what shall we do?"

When God revealed Himself to the Hebrews in Egypt, with all manner of signs and with a great deliverance out of the hands of Pharoah so as to lead them into the "promised land," there were many who objected, grumbled, even rebelled. And God became angry with them and did not allow them into His promised land. "For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief." (Hebrews 3: 16ff)

Where one places no personal value on what He promises, there is no motivation to obey (Heb 11:6). Obedience is a prerequisite for faith. Where there is no heart to obey, there can be no faith.

But a heart to obey, that desires to repent will always ask "What must I do?" Such an attitude should never be confused with "works salvation." Even such a heart is God-given and never man-made.

"Brethren, what shall we do?" Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself." And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!" So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls."


Ignore for a moment the "when" of salvation w/r to baptism, i.e. before asking "what shall we do," or before repenting, before receiving forgiveness of sins, or before receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, I don't know on what basis those who did not "receive his word," who would not be baptized, would claim salvation or membership/fellowship among the "added" - particularly if their very first act as a Christian is to refuse to obey, to refuse to be baptized (Mk 16:16, Mt 28:18-20). I'm sure many who didn't still "believed," but belief alone, if not coupled with a desire, a motivation to obey has never saved (Jas 2:19, Mt 8:29, Lk 4:41, John 12:42f).

Those modern ecumenicals who claim baptism is a "work," unless they be referring to the hearts and mentality of those who approach it as those "brood of vipers" who came to John as they did with similar hearts today, promote what I believe is an unfortunate, and pernicious doctrinal error (if scriptural baptism is a "work" then so is the "sinner's prayer" a "work"). But if some deem Acts 2 to be a "work", then so be it. But I'm not ashamed of the gospel nor Him graciously allowing me to hear His word, believe in it, respond to it (repent, confess), and to participate in His death, burial, and resurrection... Moreover, I pray daily for a willing heart to obey Him, and opportunity to bear fruit on His behalf and for His glory and His glory alone. Romans 6: 1-6, Gal 2:20, Col 2:12, etc..
 
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DeaconDean

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I will not debate your doctrine of "Baptism" because I reject the notion that sin can be remitted (taken away) by the literal act of being baptized.

If that is what you believe, fine, God Bless you.

But I don't.

The reasons I ask these questions is because of the 20 plus years I've been a Christian, these men, there were two of them, who teach doctrines I've never heard of.

And the above was one of them. Faith plus works, makes you acceptable unto God, and saved.

Another is the doctrine they have been teaching here lately declaring that except at the time of salvation, the Holy Spirit does not work in this world any more.

Now DRA, if you believe that Jesus sacrifice on the cross and His shedding of His blood does not remove sin, and that baptism is the means in which that happenns, fine. That is your belief. Its just not mine.

Thanks for your answers.

God Bless

Till all are one.
 
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- DRA -

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Originally Posted by: - DRA -

Let's see if Acts 2:38,41 doesn't help answer your question ...
In that context, after preaching Jesus and declaring Him to be both Lord and Christ (verse 37), the apostle Peter, under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit, told the Jews to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins (i.e., to have their sins taken away) in verse 38. Three thousand obeyed according to verse 41. Therefore, who had their sins remitted or taken away, the 3,000 who obeyed what they were told to do, or those that didn't?

If the 3,000 who obeyed received the blessings promised (remission of sins = salvation), then we understand the works that must be coupled with faith. If we think those that didn't obey were the ones that received the blessing, we probably should give some thought to how we would harmonize this understanding with passages such as Hebrews 5:9 and 1 Peter 1:22a.

According to James 2:21, Abraham was justified by "works" - His obedience to the commands given by God concerning the offering of Isaac in Genesis 22. It's how faith is supposed to "work" - we do what God says and receive the blessing(s) promised. Unless, of course, there is a sound scriptural basis for concluding that we don't have to do what God says but receive the blessings anyhow. If such is true, I surely have not found the scriptural basis for it.


Now DRA, if you believe that Jesus sacrifice on the cross and His shedding of His blood does not remove sin, and that baptism is the means in which that happenns, fine. That is your belief. Its just not mine.

Like you, I indeed believe that Jesus shed His blood "for the remission of sins" per Matthew 26:28. I honestly and sincerely believe the shedding of His blood removes our sins. However, I also believe that we must do as God instructs to have our sins taken away. That brings us to Acts 2:38. "For the remission of sins" is identical in both English and the Koine Greek with the same phrase in Matthew 26:28. Per 2 Timothy 3:16a - "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" - therefore, I accept and believe both passages. According to my understanding of the context of Acts 2:38, I "believe" the 3,000 who obeyed what they were told to do were the ones saved from their sins. Perhaps you can explain why you "believe" we don't have to do what God says to be saved from our sins, but we can be saved anyway. :confused:

Also, I indeed believe what occurs in baptism according to God's word really and truly happens. Romans 6:3-11 explains it in detail. And, Colossians 2:12 explains it occurs by faith in the working of God. I have suspected for a long time those without faith don't see the working of God as God unites the sinner with His Son's death, burial, and resurrection in baptism - instead, all the faithless "see" is the water. Therefore, they aren't able to make the connection between the water and Jesus' shed blood on the cross.

Can we agree that saying, "Lord, Lord" isn't the same as actually doing the Father's will per Matthew 7:21? Or, is your belief that "Lord, Lord," is sufficient?
 
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Judson

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A few things are being mashed together and should be kept distinct here.

first, to say that faith AND works is what makes us acceptable to God is not the gospel that we protestants believe. Eph 2:8-10 is clear on this:

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Here we can see that salvation, grace, and faith are all gifts that have been given to us, we did not work to obtain them. The works (v.10) flow out of our being already created IN Christ Jesus (ie. born again). To say that we are saved by grace plus works is no gospel. It is the erroneous teaching of the church of Rome.

Second, it is important to note that while protestants reject the idea that we are justified by faith and works, it is essential for the Christian to ensure that he is doing good works. These works are not merits that are earning points leading toward his salvation, but they are EVIDENCES of regeneration that has ALREADY happened in his heart. This is what Peter means when he calls us to "be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure" (2 Pet. 1:10).

blessings,
 
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