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What Christians must do to keep their salvation

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by extraordinary, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    If you continue to abuse me like this, I will not respond to you.

    Would you please learn manners on this forum?

    Oz
     
  2. mercy1061

    mercy1061 Newbie

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    "Circumcision on the 8th day" an everlasting covenant, like the rainbow in the cloud. Pharisee Shaul circumcises Timothy.

    Gen 17
    7 “I am establishing my covenant between me and you, along with your descendants after you, generation after generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be God for you and for your descendants after you. 8 I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you are now foreigners, all the land of Kena‘an, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God.”
    9 God said to Avraham, “As for you, you are to keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation. 10 Here is my covenant, which you are to keep, between me and you, along with your descendants after you: every male among you is to be circumcised. 11 You are to be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; this will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 Generation after generation, every male among you who is eight days old is to be circumcised, including slaves born within your household and those bought from a foreigner not descended from you. 13 The slave born in your house and the person bought with your money must be circumcised; thus my covenant will be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who will not let himself be circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin — that person will be cut off from his people, because he has broken my covenant.”
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
  3. Ignatius21

    Ignatius21 Can somebody please pass the incense?

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    Hi Oz! :wave:

    I certainly don't endorse aggressive or insulting manners on the forum.

    But the point raised, namely, the matter of Christ (or generally the sacrificial substitute of the Day of Atonement) dying for Israel...now realized as for the Church...is something I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on.

    Christ's Bride isn't you, or me, or Billy Graham...his bride is the Church.

    We are all members of the Body, which is the Church.

    The spotless bride that will be presented to the Father, is the Church.

    I can't produce quotes offhand, but my readings of the Fathers (Athanasius, Basil, others) certainly gave me the impression that they understood it basically this way:

    1. Salvation is primarily the overcoming of death and as such is expressed primarily in the resurrection--Christ's resurrection is the justification, or vindication, of the Church. All the righteous will be justified in him.

    2. The Church--not as an institution, but as an organic divine/human entity--is really the mystical Body of Christ. The Church is that very same body that is resurrected and seated at the right hand of God the Father.

    So basically, we could say it is the Church that is saved, and we individuals participate in that salvation in and through the Church.

    The evangelical notion, basically, that the Church is the voluntary association of individually saved believers, is something I simply cannot find, either in Scripture or in the writings of any fathers I've read. For that matter I really couldn't find that notion in the writings of Calvin.

    All that said, Christ died once and for all, to destroy death and expiate the sins of Israel--the Church. All who are joined to his Body participate in that. Each time a person sins, he or she must make confession for those sins to God, with the confidence that he will be forgiven because Christ is the mediator who has secured salvation for his people.
     
  4. mercy1061

    mercy1061 Newbie

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    Jer 7
    This word came to Yirmeyahu from Adonai: 2 “Stand at the gate of the house of Adonai and proclaim this word: ‘Listen to the word of Adonai, all you from Y’hudah who enter these gates to worship Adonai! 3 Here is what Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Isra’el, says: “Improve your ways and actions, and I will let you stay in this place. 4 Don’t rely on that deceitful slogan, ‘The temple of Adonai, the temple of Adonai — these [buildings] are the temple of Adonai.’ 5 No, but if you really improve your ways and actions; if you really administer justice between people; 6 if you stop oppressing foreigners, orphans and widows; if you stop shedding innocent blood in this place; and if you stop following other gods, to your own harm; 7 then I will let you stay in this place, in the land I gave to your ancestors forever and ever. 8 Look! You are relying on deceitful words that can’t do you any good. 9 First you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, offer to Ba‘al and go after other gods that you haven’t known. 10 Then you come and stand before me in this house that bears my name and say, ‘We are saved’ — so that you can go on doing these abominations! 11 Do you regard this house, which bears my name, as a cave for bandits? I can see for myself what’s going on,” says Adonai. 12 “Go to the place in Shiloh that used to be mine, that used to bear my name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Isra’el. 13 I spoke to you again and again, but you wouldn’t listen. I called you, but you wouldn’t answer. Now,” says Adonai, “because you have done all these things, 14 I will do to the house that bears my name, on which you rely, and to the place I gave you and your ancestors, what I did to Shiloh; 15 and I will drive you out of my presence, just as I drove out all your kinsmen, all the descendants of Efrayim.”’
    16 “So you, [Yirmeyahu,] don’t pray for this people! Don’t cry, pray or intercede on their behalf with me; because I won’t listen to you. 17 Don’t you see what they are doing in the cities of Y’hudah and in the streets of Yerushalayim? 18 The children gather the wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and, just to provoke me, they pour out drink offerings to other gods! 19 Are they really provoking me,” asks Adonai, “or are they provoking themselves, to their own ruin?”
    20 Therefore, here is what Adonai Elohim says: “My anger and fury will be poured out on this place, on men, animals, trees in the fields and produce growing from the ground; and it will burn without being quenched.”
    21 Thus says Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Isra’el: “You may as well eat the meat of your burnt offerings along with that of your sacrifices. 22 For I didn’t speak to your ancestors or give them orders concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. 23 Rather, what I did order them was this: ‘Pay attention to what I say. Then I will be your God, and you will be my people. In everything, live according to the way that I order you, so that things will go well for you.’ 24 But they neither listened nor paid attention, but lived according to their own plans, in the stubbornness of their evil hearts, thus going backward and not forward. 25 You have done this from the day your ancestors came out of Egypt until today. Even though I sent you all my servants the prophets, sending them time after time, 26 they would not listen or pay attention to me, but stiffened their necks; they did worse than their ancestors. 27 So tell them all this; but they won’t listen to you; likewise, call to them; but they won’t answer you. 28 Therefore, say to them,
    ‘This is the nation that has not listened
    to the voice of Adonai their God.
    They won’t take correction; faithfulness has perished;
    it has vanished from their mouths.

    29 Cut off your hair, and throw it away,
    take up a lament on the bare hills,
    for Adonai has rejected and abandoned
    the generation that rouses his anger.’

    30 “For the people of Y’hudah have done what is evil from my perspective,” says Adonai; “they have set up their detestable things in the house which bears my name, to defile it. 31 They have built the high places of Tofet in the Ben-Hinnom Valley, to burn their sons and daughters in the fire, something I never ordered; in fact, such a thing never even entered my mind! 32 Therefore, the days are coming,” says Adonai, “when it will no longer be called either Tofet or the Ben-Hinnom Valley, but the Valley of Slaughter — they will put the dead in Tofet, because there will be no space left [anywhere else]. 33 The corpses of this people will become food for the birds in the air and the wild animals; no one will frighten them away. 34 Then in the cities of Y’hudah and the streets of Yerushalayim I will silence the sounds of joy and gladness and the voices of bridegroom and bride; because the land will be reduced to ruins.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
  5. extraordinary

    extraordinary Newbie trainee

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    Okay, you did not do a great job of answering my questions.

    Ditto for this man-made-up baptism ceremony of yours.
    Why isn't all of this wonderful stuff in Scripture?
    It just says to get yourself baptized in water.
    I read a very impressive explanation about ...
    ... it is really not about being buried with Christ, etc.

    We iz really only interested in what Scripture says, not what man makes up.

    Possibly, some of "the doctrines of men" might be worthwhile,
    ... but for me they are totally untrustworthy.
    E.G. what the apostles said verbally and not written down.

    There are many warnings in the NT about being deceived.
    Satan and man can do (and have done) a wonderful job together of accomplishing that.
    Incredible job over 1700 years!
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
  6. extraordinary

    extraordinary Newbie trainee

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    Okay, this is overcoming the world ... congratulations!

    Butski, we are talking about overcoming EVERYTHING ... like Jesus did:

    Revelation 3:
    20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
    If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,

    I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
    21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne,
    as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
    22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

    No BAC will be an overcomer unless he/she does 3:20,
    which is having a close personal relationship with Jesus!


    Then, you need to take a look at ALL that Jesus overcame.
    Can you do that?
    .
     
  7. extraordinary

    extraordinary Newbie trainee

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    Of course, God did it ... not the Israelites!
    Ditto with your Mark 9:29!
    .
     
  8. extraordinary

    extraordinary Newbie trainee

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    I have recently been blessed to discover that my beliefs against OSAS
    have been a great mainstay of the EOC for many centuries!
    They are much deeper in some doctrines than today's evangelicals.
    Praise the Lord.
    .
     
  9. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    Ignatius,

    Are you saying that individual salvation of people is contrary to an understanding of the bride of Christ? I'm thinking on Scriptures such as:

    • 'But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name' (John 1:12 NASB). At the time I became a Christian, there was no group that became the body of Christ. I was the only one around when someone shared the Gospel with me and I responded in faith and received salvation.
    • What did Jesus tell Nicodemus? 'Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God"' (John 3:3 NASB). He didn't tell Nicodemus, 'Unless you join the group, called the bride of Christ, you cannot see the kingdom of God'. Thus, individual salvation leads instantaneously to becoming a member of the bride of Christ. Individuals are 'born again' to make up the group, the bride/body of Christ.
    • As for salvation, I don't accept your concept that 'Salvation is primarily the overcoming of death and as such is expressed primarily in the resurrection--Christ's resurrection is the justification, or vindication, of the Church. All the righteous will be justified in him'.
    My understanding is that salvation involves being born again (John 3:3) and happens by God's grace through a person's faith in Christ alone (Rom 3:23-24; Gal 2:16; Eph 2:8-9). At that moment I am justified. When God justifies a person through faith, that faith is an instrument to receive justification and it is not by works. It leads to a changed human being.

    As for the nature of the church, the Scriptures use a range of metaphors: family (Mt 12:49-50), bride (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:32), branches on a vine (Jn 15:5), a harvest (Mt 13:1-30), a building (1 Cor 3:9), a new temple of living stones (1 Pt 2:5), holy priesthood (1 Pt 2:5), body of Christ (1 Cor 12:12-27; Eph 1:22-23), etc.

    You stated:
    The evangelical notion, basically, that the Church is the voluntary association of individually saved believers, is something I simply cannot find, either in Scripture or in the writings of any fathers I've read. For that matter I really couldn't find that notion in the writings of Calvin.
    Does your church not involve people choosing to come together to worship? Or is it a forced requirement? Therefore, what's your objection to 'voluntary association' if people make a choice to come together to praise and worship as saved believers?

    This I find:
    What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up (I Cor 14:26 NIV).
    But this is an experience that is far removed from the churches I've been associated with. Does it happen regularly (every Sunday?) at your church gathering?

    I have no problems acknowledging individual people making up a group, whether that is the church as the body of Christ, individuals joining a group for political purposes (like a political party), or individual IT geeks being part of an IT club.

    I find it harmonious that I can identify as a born-again, justified Christian believer and am also a member of the church universal, the body/bride of Christ.

    Oz
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  10. Bro in Christ

    Bro in Christ Newbie

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    there are three different words in greek for vain and all three are in 1 cor 15:2,10,17
     
  11. Ignatius21

    Ignatius21 Can somebody please pass the incense?

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    Not at all. Certainly individuals are saved. I'm saying though, that the priority in understanding salvation is corporate rather than individual. The formula is pretty straightforward. Christ is "saved" and even "justified" and "glorified" because of the resurrection. His glorious body even now is seated at the right hand of the Father...this is a present and eternal reality. He is never without his body...there is no salvation of a human person without the body. Therefore, however we parse the words, we are not *fully* saved until after the last judgement when our bodies are raised, reunited with our spirits, and raised to glory in the new heavens and new earth.

    This body of Christ is, mystically (which basically means "a reality that is beyond our comprehension, but is nonetheless real"), the Church. Where does the Spirit of God dwell? In the Body of Christ. Where is the Body of Christ? At the right hand of the Father. But it's also here, and now, on Earth, present to us as the Church. The Church is made up of all who are saved. But even if not one person ever accepted the gospel, the Church would still be the Church, and would still be saved, because it is the Body of Christ.

    Thus, it is the Body that is saved, and we individually are saved in and through the Body. We aren't saved by signing up on someone's roll, and having someone in a robe pour water on us. But we are saved into the Church. It is within the Church that salvation "happens" from beginning to end.

    As I understand, from the many histories I've read of theology, and the many endless hours of lectures I listened to from people like R.C. Sproul, this language of "instrumental" causes, "efficient" causes, etc. is philosophical language borrowed from Aristotelian categories. Which is fine, but that philosophical grid was never really leveraged much in Eastern thought. Historically speaking, the rise of scholasticism in the West, followed by the Renaissance, the birth of humanism (eventually the enlightenment) followed from a sort of resurrection of Aristotle. The theology of Aquinas was something of a fusion of Christian thought with Aristotle's logic.

    You will find very little parallel in Orthodox discussions of theology. This is why there's no direct and exact parallel to the Protestant understanding of justification. It's a different mindset, a different grid.

    In principle I don't disagree with any of what you're saying...surely we are born again, we are justified, we are changed, we are enlightened. However, following Scripture and the Father's understanding of it, I cannot separate baptism from rebirth, or for that matter from justification. Nor can I separate it from faith. It's all one package. In the patristic sources I've read, in the ancient prayers and liturgies, and in the many commentaries and histories, it's well established that "regenerated" and "born again" and "enlightened" and yes, even "Justified" are all synonymous with "baptized."

    This is why, for Orthodoxy, there is absolutely no contradiction between having faith in Christ alone, and believing in sacramental grace. Grace, for us, IS the presence of God that changes and conforms us to his renewed image. The Christian life is sacramental, and every act we do that is in cooperation with the Holy Spirit is sacramental. To trust in Christ alone, is to trust in His body, and we are brought into deeper union with his body through encountering sacramental grace--chiefly present to us in the Eucharist, which IS his body. In receiving his body into ourselves, we ourselves are transformed into his body.

    Trippy, huh? :liturgy:

    In Protestant categories, owing to its rejection of Roman Catholicism but its retention of Rome's overall scholastic and rational grid, to trust in Christ "alone" usually means "we don't need any church or any sacraments." Such a distinction and opposition, in Orthodoxy, is nonsensical. DOES-NOT-COMPUTE.

    Participation isn't forced (well, historically it often was, which is unfortunate, but then state-enforced conformity to religion happened just about anywhere there was a state Church, so everyone's "guilty" in that regard). Yes, it's voluntary. But in our view, the Church exists in all its fullness whether or not people gather together. The Body of Christ is the Body of Christ, it depends upon nothing and nobody. We are saved into that Body, as I said earlier. We believe that Christ left his earthly Body under the guidance of the apostles in communion with one another, and this same communion has continued to the present day, represented chiefly in the office of the bishop (but fully including the laity...the priesthood of Christ is shared among all who are in the Church).

    Thus, what I meant was, if a group of people come together, read bibles, agree upon a set of doctrines, buy a building, appoint someone to be in charge, and then come together to worship the way they think the Bible says they should--this does not make them The Church. The Church already exists, and they can either come into it, or exist alongside it. Hundreds and thousands of such groups that all disagree and break communion with each other, cannot represent the same communion that was held among the apostles.

    Well...we sign hymns, we offer prayers, we instruct from the Scriptures, and we do everything for the building up of the Church. So I guess that means yes :) Every Sunday we celebrate the Divine Liturgy...meaning "the work done for God." Worship is the work of the people.

    In these examples, the IT Geek Group doesn't exist apart from the collection of the individuals who came together to create it. It doesn't exist...then individuals come together...then it exists by virtue of their participation in it.

    The Church, on the other hand, is a reality that already exists. Individuals come into that Church, as members of the Body. They gather for worship in local congregations...each (per Ignatius of Antioch, whose basic simple AD 120 theology is still the bedrock of Orthodox ecclesiology) congregation worships in communion with one another, in communion with their bishop, who together with the people offers the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the Body of Christ...wherever it is celebrated, the whole Church in all its mystical but real fullness is present.

    Millions of little congregations don't add up to the One Church. Rather, the One Church is fully and truly present everywhere the Eucharist is celebrated.

    The same cannot be said of IT Geeks ;)

    It's certainly harmonious, and it cannot be separated.
     
  12. extraordinary

    extraordinary Newbie trainee

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    Pleased that you are still alive and well.
    Hope to see you in the upcomig thread.
    .
     
  13. nobdysfool

    nobdysfool The original! Accept no substitutes!

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    You know what, extraordinary? You keep on trying to squeeze it out, and I'll just trust God to keep me, guide me, and bring me safely home.
     
  14. bcbsr

    bcbsr Newbie

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    What "work" must I do to lose my salvation?

    If salvation can be lost by works, then the gospel you preach is salvation by works.

    The many verses that correlate salvation with works are simply diagnostic. They are not conditions for salvation , but rather descriptions of a saved person. How else would you explain these verses:

    "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God." 1John 3:9

    "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us." 1John 2:19
     
  15. bcbsr

    bcbsr Newbie

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    Mr "extraodinary" apparently is confusing requirements for salvation with indications that a person is saved. Perhaps this is more event if he posed his question in this way "What work must a Christian do to maintain or lose their salvation?" Such reveals his extraordinary ignorance that salvation is not by works according to the gospel.

    "Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness." Rom 4:4,5

    "he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done" Titus 3:5

    "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." Eph 2:8,9

    "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" Acts 16:30,31
     
  16. extraordinary

    extraordinary Newbie trainee

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    Sorry, but you are confusing what the Bible calls "works salvation"
    with the Bible's insistence upon man's CO-OPERATION with God during
    his salvation process (i.e. his sanctification-unto-holiness process).
    .
     
  17. Light of the East

    Light of the East Orthodox Inquirer Supporter

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    Just reading this thread and came across this.

    What exactly did Jesus mean by "it is finished?"

    The Scriptures help us understand when we see what happened at that exact moment. The veil of the Temple which covered the Holiest of All was torn in two, exposing the Holiest of All. This was the place where Yom Kippur (Lev. 16) was celebrated every year by the high priest to renew the covenant with Israel. Once the Holiest of All was exposed, it was defiled by being seen by human eyes and was no longer fit for Yom Kippur.

    What was finished?

    The Old Covenant.

    Protestants keep trying to say that this saying of our Lord means that the work of salvation is finished and all you need is faith alone and you are guaranteed heaven.

    That is not at all what it means.
     
  18. Light of the East

    Light of the East Orthodox Inquirer Supporter

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    What I said was not intended as abuse. I get rather frustrated with those who don't read the Scriptures in context, so I was simply trying to make the point that the high priest performing Yom Kippur was not dealing with personal sins.

    I just wanted to be sure that this point was seen and understood.
     
  19. Light of the East

    Light of the East Orthodox Inquirer Supporter

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    It is an everlasting covenant between God and Israel. However, since Christ came, that Covenant is over, being fulfilled in Christ and replaced by the New Covenant.

    Hence, baptism is now the covenant cutting ritual of the New Covenant.
     
  20. Light of the East

    Light of the East Orthodox Inquirer Supporter

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    Show me where the Bible says that you must use the Bible alone for all that you believe.

    You don't understand what it means to have Sacred Tradition (as opposed to the traditions of men). There was no canon of Scripture for the first 400 years of the Christian faith. That which was taught to the Apostles was handed down by oral transmission and faithfully guarded from generation to generation. This is why in the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, you find the same basic doctrines of the Sacraments as was believed in the first century.

    Furthermore, the Church began as a "mustard seed" not as a full grown tree. Many of the understandings of what Christ taught the Apostles had to come to a full ripening, just as the seed becomes a tree.

    And, as I said in the beginning, just because it was not written down (where did Christ instruct us to make a book of His doings anyway?) does not mean that it did not exist in the Church as an understanding of proper worship.
     
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