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Why are we saved by faith?

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by anon77777, May 3, 2021.

  1. d taylor

    d taylor Well-Known Member

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    A person can not be saved by works as their works would have to be perfect, to be enough, to be accepted by a uncreated(self-existent) perfect God.
     
  2. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    No, our only virtue comes from God working in us. Salvation certainly doesn't depend on us being good enough to deserve saving.

    "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

    It's not about works. Works are a result of salvation, not a cause of being saved.
     
  3. anon77777

    anon77777 New Member

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    @renniks No offense, I've read it all before, the semantics and sin-account make sense on paper, but I just don't see how all this maps on to reality; onto real, human life. How is believing in Jesus going to change my life in some way that I can't if I were a stoic theist?

    I look at the Christians, and I compare them with the stoics like Epictetus, Cicero, Aurelius, et al, and I don't see any major differences in either their ethics nor their lifestyle. People of both schools of thought demonstrate an understanding and embodiment of transcendent value, of sacrifice, and of virtue.

    The reason I don't believe Christianity is true is because the doctrine is not reasonable. God is inherently rational. John says "in the beginning was the Logos and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God.". That makes sense to me, but I don't see any reason why God would have to become flesh in order to forgive us for our sins. If God really does embody the values of forgiveness that Jesus preached (and I believe he does) then why can't he just forgive us? Why does he have to become flesh and die and we have to "believe" it in order for it to take effect? It just seems absurd.

    I appreciate you taking the time to explain it but I just don't get it
     
  4. ColoRaydo

    ColoRaydo Member

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    It sounds like you’ll only accept Jesus as long as you understand everything perfectly. Unfortunately, biblical scholars (Christian and non-Christian) who have dedicated their entire lives to the study of the Bible haven’t been able to agree 100% on everything in over 2,000 years.

    It’s human nature to prefer to believe that good works bring salvation. That way we can rely on ourselves rather than God. We can also feel better about ourselves by comparing our works to others (“Well, I may have lusted but at least I didn’t rob a bank.”)

    But where’s the cutoff? If perfection is 4.0 and even if we agree that human perfection is impossible, what’s good enough? 3.9? 3.5? 3.0? What if it’s 3.0 and you achieved 2.9999? Couldn’t you ask for a waiver? Works don’t work and that’s what separates Christianity from the other religions. It’s all or nothing and accepting Jesus’ sacrifice in our place is the only way we get to “claim” perfection.

    If you’re looking at human behavior, there are some great Christians and lousy atheists, but at the same time there are very lousy Christians and very virtuous atheists. But in either case, that would be measuring faith in oneself rather than faith in Jesus.

    When I came to the turning point of accepting Christ I had finally asked myself, “Who are you (me) to demand that God explain the reasoning behind his plan to me?” Instead, I surrendered my ego and pride in my own “goodness”, what little of it there was.
     
  5. d taylor

    d taylor Well-Known Member

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    In the beginning, when Adam/Eve sinned , God chose Blood as the payment for sin. Now God could have chosen anything for the payment for sin (i guess) but God chose blood.

    It can be seen when Adam/Eve tried to clothe themselves, for the covering of sin. They tried without the shedding of blood, using fig leaves they tried to make themselves.

    But God rejected their bloodless attempt, and what is seen is the first shedding of blood. When God made clothing for them, using animal skins.
    Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

    So God chose blood as the payment for sin and that the way it is.
     
  6. disciple Clint

    disciple Clint Well-Known Member

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    Well because we could never be perfect or sinless so we could never earn salvation on our own merit. Jesus offers us the gift of salvation based on His righteousness not ours. All we need to do is believe the Gospel.
     
  7. Danthemailman

    Danthemailman Well-Known Member

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    Faith saves because when we place our faith (belief, trust, reliance) in Jesus Christ for salvation, then we are accounted as righteous before God. Romans 4:5 - But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works.

    Those who are saved are saved from the penalty of sin and from perishing and will receive eternal life. Grace is unmerited in which God shows us mercy, kindness, and patience instead of the judgment that we deserve for sinning against Him. God's grace cannot be earned by our actions. Grace is based on the character of God and not on our sincerity, performance, or attempts to keep the law. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace. Ephesians 2:8 - For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

    Through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus is talking about His death, burial and resurrection. Through His redemption (the act of saving us from our sins/gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt. 2 Corinthians 5:21 - For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
     
  8. d taylor

    d taylor Well-Known Member

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    I will add one more point to this.
    Sin is not an issue whether a person receives God's free gift of Eternal Life. All sin was taken away by The Messiah, sin will not even be the issue when unbelievers are judged at the great white throne judgment.

    Again it all comes down to, has a person accepted God's free gift of Eternal Life. By trusting in The promised Messiah for the free gift of Eternal Life.

    Do you have Eternal Life and there is only one way to receive Eternal Life.

    that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

    “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God
    He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

    but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

    The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”

    Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.

    And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word.

    Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

    “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

    You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

    And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

    Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life.

    Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

    She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
     
  9. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps what you are missing is that this is relational. Beliving Jesus is who he says he is, leads to a relationship with him.
    It's not about us understanding God fully, as if that were possible.
     
  10. plain jayne

    plain jayne Active Member

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    What is salvation? It's being rescued by God from the consequences of our sin and our sin nature. You can do "good works" all day long and STILL have your sin nature. There are not enough charities to give to or poor people to feed to EARN you way to God.

    For every poor family that you take a meal to, how many sins have you committed? Ever lied? Hated someone? Used porn? Disobeyed and disrespected authority or a parent? Ever wanted another person's spouse? Ever OVERLOOKED a poor family's needs because you just didn't feel like it that day? Ever used God's name in vain?

    There are NOT enough good deeds to wipe out our sins. Our sins are innumerable.

    It's like being right-handed or left-handed. It's in our nature to be self-centered, hateful, unholy, and impure.

    Why do we have to believe? It's a covenant with God through Jesus Christ.

    What if you went to a wedding and the bride refuse to repeat her vows and answered the major questions "I do NOT" and refused to sign the marriage license. They would not be married.

    Jesus died on the cross to create the covenant for believers. Believers put their faith and trust in Christ to enter the covenant with him.
     
  11. plain jayne

    plain jayne Active Member

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    Also.....

    Non-believers can and do perform good deeds or works. Lots of tremendously good things. For the same reasons as I cited above - they cannot "undo" the sin nature.

    Here is an example for non-believers and believers alike:

    What if a very rich man, Christian or not, give $1,000,000 to a city for a new children's safe center for abandoned children. That's a great thing. It will help so many and make a life change for so many.

    People all across the city call him "special" and so "good".

    What they don't know is that his marriage is suffering terribly because he is a porn addict and sex addict. He has had multiple affairs and pays for prostitutes.

    No one knows this but he and his wife. And no one knows but him that he gave the money as a tax write off.

    He could spent TEN million on the cities children and that does not erase his sin.
     
  12. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    Before we attempt to answer this question it’s really important that we understand the meaning of the Greek word that was actually written by the authors of the scriptures to fully understand the message they were trying to convey.

    The words faith, believe, and believer are all actually 3 different forms of the same Greek word pistis. Faith or pistis being the noun, believe or pisteuo being the verb, and believer or pistos being the adjective. The Greek words pisteuo (believe) pistos (believer) pistis (faith) all imply a certain level of faithfulness, trustworthiness, fidelity, and loyalty in their definition. These have to do with an individual’s motivation for salvation. Notice in the definition below there’s a number 1 in front of the first 3 descriptions for the word pisteuo, that’s because all three of these descriptions are included in the primary definition.


    believe


    G4100


    Lemma:


    πιστεύω


    Transliteration:


    pisteúō


    Pronounce:


    pist-yoo'-o


    Part of Speech:


    Verb


    Language:


    greek


    Description:


    1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in a) of the thing believed


    1) to credit, have confidence b) in a moral or religious reference


    1) used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul


    2) to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith


    3) mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith


    2) to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity a) to be intrusted with a thing


    believers


    G4103


    Lemma:


    πιστός


    Transliteration:


    pistós


    Pronounce:


    pis-tos'


    Part of Speech:


    Adjective


    Language:


    greek


    Description:


    1) trusty, faithful a) of persons who show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties b) one who kept his plighted faith, worthy of trust c) that can be relied on


    2) easily persuaded a) believing, confiding, trusting b) in the NT one who trusts in God's promises


    1) one who is convinced that Jesus has been raised from the dead


    2) one who has become convinced that Jesus is the Messiah and author of salvation


    faith


    G4102


    Lemma:


    πίστις


    Transliteration:


    pístis


    Pronounce:


    pis'-tis


    Part of Speech:


    Noun Feminine


    Language:


    greek


    Description:


    1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it a) relating to God


    1) the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ b) relating to Christ


    1) a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God c) the religious beliefs of Christians d) belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same


    2) fidelity, faithfulness a) the character of one who can be relied on


    This does not mean that our works in any way play a role in our salvation but the motivation behind those works is what counts. Is our desire self serving or God serving. Does is stem from a selfish desire like self righteousness and recognition or does it stem from love for others and love for God. Those who believe in Christ and desire to do good works out of love for God and others will be saved despite their imperfections but those who do good works as a means to earn self righteousness will not be saved regardless of whether they believe in Christ or not because the scriptures say that those who seek to justify themselves thru their works have denied the necessity of Christ’s sacrifice.


    So when you view the word pisteuo as only pertaining to the definition of the English word believe verses like John 15:1-10 don’t make any sense because it completely eliminates any inner conviction or desire to actually serve God as being a necessity for receiving salvation. If a person has this inner conviction and desire to serve God then he will bear fruit and so long as he keeps this inner conviction he will abide in Christ. Simply acknowledging that Christ existed without any desire to serve God will save no one. This is why the definition of the English word believe does not fit the context of the scriptures and appears to contradict other verses.
     
  13. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    Faith is trust. To trust in God (above yourself, above your local pastor, above politicians, above doctrine D2.1, above bishops, above friends, loved ones, other various wisdom ideas, and so on...).

    Considering how relationship thrive/work, you can see how trust (closeness, relationship) would be so crucial, in a lasting relationship -- to trust/love the person you are relating with.

    So, that may help show why faith is entirely needed, and can't ever be substituted by other things.

    Now, a faith (full trust) that is real results in choices/actions/being/relationship that are unlike such without faith. A given action done in faith is unlike a similar seeming action (seeming similar on the surface) done without faith.

    Faith results in actions (good works, aka Ephesians 2:10). Actually probably John chapter 15 does a better job explaining than any summary I might be able to recite.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  14. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    Salvation is release from the justice of God on one's sin, which is eternal death.

    It is by faith because we are unable to earn it, we are unable to do what is required.
    Faith is the means because it is based in trust and affiliation.

    It is those who want God in his person and ways that will be saved from his judgment on sin.
     
  15. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Pilgrim

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    We don't have perfect works that commend us to God. We are corrupt and depraved, with every intention of the thoughts of our hearts continually bent on evil (Genesis 6:5). For "there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins" (Ecclesiastes 7:20). "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds" (Jeremiah 17:9-10). Your own works condemn you before God.

    God, in his mercy, ordained the way of salvation through faith in his Son.
     
  16. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    Although your definitions (1 & 2) sound reasonable, I don't agree with them. I believe what the Bible says about salvation which is:
    1. Release from the penalty of sin, which is ultimately lake of fire judgment. Since God is holy, and His holiness is the ultimate holiness, then sinning against Him incurs the ultimate justice, eternal death. And we all did it. So Christ has released us (redemption) so that we can live in a vital relationship with God in this world, and moreso after the resurrection.
    2. Release from the power of sin, which is an ongoing experience while we live in this life. It doesn't mean we can become "sinlessly perfect" because we always make mistakes, and we are forgetful. But this release is mainly a conversion from being haters of God to being lovers of God.
    3. Eventually, the resurrection will take us out of the experience of sin (that is, the sinful nature), so that we will no longer have the presence of sin to bear on us. In some sense, we will be sinless at that time, since Jesus said we'll be "like the angels of heaven."

    So to answer the question, why are we saved by faith rather than our works: we have to start with the apostle Paul's doctrinal statement "by the works of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight." If the reason we do right is to gain (or earn) salvation from eternal death, then that right thing we do is a self-righteous act, and that makes it not acceptable to God. This is testified also in Hebrews 11:4, which compares Cain and Abel. It says that Abel's sacrifice was accepted by God because of his faith, which Cain lacked.

    Another way to look at is: if I think that my righteousness will gain me a place in paradise, then my trust is really in myself and my ability to produce righteousness that I think God ought to accept. My faith would really be in myself, and not in God.

    But if my faith is in God, then I accept Jesus' statement that "there is none good, except God alone." And then I trust that God will work His good works in me and through me. This is the kind of faith that the apostles are talking about in the New Testament epistles.

    And my faith must also be in Jesus Christ, because the word of God says I must obey that faith. Jesus said, "you believe in God, believe also in Me." So if God says I must believe in Jesus (and His ultimate substitutionary sacrifice for my sins), then I will do so, if I really believe in the God who wrote the Bible through His apostles and prophets. Just as the apostle John warns in 1 John 5:10 "The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son."

    So the faith we have in Christ becomes the means by which God heals us spiritually, as Jesus states in John 3:14-15 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life." If you recall the story in the book of Numbers Jesus is referring to, it's about people getting bitten by snakes, and God had Moses to build a brass snake on a pole, so that if someone was bitten, they would go look at the snake and be healed. In effect, they believed what God said about the brass snake, which prompted them to obey the message.

    Likewise, Peter writes in 1 Pet. 2:24 "and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed." This alludes to Jesus' statement above, in the sense that if I look to Jesus who sacrificed Himself, then God will heal me spiritually, which will change my way of life in favor of the gospel message.

    All this begs the question, am I willing to accept what God says about Himself and His Son in the Bible, and am I willing to obey Him in regard to this belief system?
     
  17. kvolm

    kvolm New Member

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    There is a teaching of Jesus recorded in Mark 4:1-20 which explains that the "kingdom" of God is a mystery and some will see but not perceive, some will hear and not understand. Faith, belief, understanding is all given by God to every person in God's timing and in God's way. While other people can come alongside you to explain in the best way that we know how, true insight and understanding will come to you from God as you continue to pursue him directly in prayer and the continued study of Scripture. Understanding God is neither fully linear nor fully logical according to our standards and we must come to a place of being willing to accept this - hence the term "faith".
     
  18. timf

    timf Regular Member

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    To answer the question of why salvation is of faith we need to consider what was lost when Adam sinned. There was a spiritual component that “died” with sin.

    Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

    Young’s literal further translates “--dying thou dost die.'

    We might consider that Adam died spiritually that day and the process of physical death also began.

    Those in Old Testament times were required to follow the law. They were told that if they died in righteousness, they had the opportunity to be resurrected unto life eternal (Ezek 18:31). However, if they died in their sins, they would not receive eternal life but rather judgment (Ezek 18:26).

    Faith was integral to the salvation offered to those in Israel because one had to trust in the promises of God that he would reward the righteous. We have an example with the Pharisees of those who trusted in themselves rather than God and thought that they had achieved their own righteousness (Luke 18:9).

    When salvation through grace was revealed through Paul (1 Tim 1:16), faith became the sole mechanism for salvation. One reason for this mechanism is that it is something that anyone can do, even children and the mentally disabled. This trust establishes a connection that allows the Holy Spirit to place us “in Christ” from whom we receive eternal life. That which died in Adam is restored and becomes that connection that allows us to now receive eternal life.

    If salvation was based on achievement, we would be proud and boastful (Eph 2:8-9). God is truth and we have to come to him in truth. The truth is that there is nothing in us worthy enough to come to God by our own achievement. Truth brings humility and it is in humility that we can receive grace (James 4:6).

    God created us with free will knowing that we would use that free will for selfish purposes and turn our back on him. It is his love that extends grace to anyone who chooses to follow truth and surrender to him and trust in the work of Jesus on the cross. By having the sin of the whole world placed on him, Jesus purchased the right to judge all those who have sinned (Rom 12:19). It was also how he became the Lord of both the living and the dead (Rom 14:9).

    Christian Pioneer
     
  19. SANTOSO

    SANTOSO Well-Known Member

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    Dear one,
    God so loved you, not because of your works, because His own purpose and grace, which He gave you in Christ before the ages began, as we have heard in 2 Timothy 1:9

    Dear one, I understand that you are concerned why we are saved by faith rather than by our works.

    This is what we have heard:
    We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. -Isaiah 64:6

    So dear one, you can consider the work of our lives aren’t righteous or even clean; our iniquities separated us from God.

    Also, this is what we have heard:

    Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, -Psalms 49:7
    for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, -Psalms 49:8

    So dear one, unrighteous lives can’t ransom or redeem people from their sins.

    That is why we have heard this :

    For our sake He ( God the Father ) made him ( Christ ) to be sin ( sin offering ) who knew no sin, so that in him ( Christ ) we might become the righteousness of God. -2 Corinthians 5:21

    That is how great is God’s purpose and grace that He gave us in Christ Jesus.

    So when Jesus who knew no sin gave Himself up at the cross, He offered Himself as sin offering to redeem from our sins so that we can be made right before God.

    This is what has been said about our Lord Jesus Christ by God :

    Therefore I ( God ) will divide him ( Christ ) a portion with the many, and he ( Christ ) shall divide the spoil with the strong,
    because he ( Christ ) poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors;
    yet he ( Christ )bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. -Isaiah 53:12

    That is how great is the loving kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    dear one,
    are you still concerned about those who believe in Christ?
    This is what we have heard :

    Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. -John 3:36

    If you see the parentheses, you understand the sentence after the parentheses is used to explain what is said before the parentheses.

    So those who are considered to believe in the Son — they are those who obey the Son ; Yes, they obey what they are taught in union with Christ, as we have heard in Ephesians 4:21.

    So those who don’t obey are not considered to have believed in Christ; they shall not have eternal life but the wrath of God remain on them. Why ? Because they have not truly repented, and God makes them His enemy, as we have heard in Psalms 7:12-13.

    So dear one, consider what God has testified through His apostle - that has been said :

    If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that He has borne concerning his Son . -1 John 5:9

    Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning His Son. -1 John 5:10

    And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son . -1 John 5:11

    Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. -1 John 5:12

    So dear one, who has the Son ?
    This is what we have heard:

    Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. -1 John 4:15

    So those who confessed the Jesus Christ as Son of God are those who are considered who has the Son. Yes, those who have the Son have everlasting life according to the word.

    So dear one, don’t turn away from Him who called you in the grace of Christ.
     
  20. TedT

    TedT Member since Job 38:7

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    Please consider to what purpose GOD created us...

    I contend that:
    GOD wanted to create a Church, a congregation of people in full loving, holy communion with HIM in heaven BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO BE THERE WITH HIM IN THAT REALITY! They must have truly wanted love, holiness and heaven as HE defines it.

    How did HE find all the people in HIS creation who would like to live that way, after HE taught them all about it and all about the alternatives? HE asked them to make a true free will decision to accept HIM as their GOD and to accept HIS purpose of marriage for their creation.

    How did HE ensure they really wanted all that and were not just pushed into it by HIS being all GODlike and all? Looking the same as anyone else, HE offered no proof at all that HE was divine and that HE could take us to heaven or help us learn to be pure, holy and loving but asked us to accept this on faith, ie the hope that it was all true (Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the certainty of things not seen.) because we liked what we heard so well and wanted it so much, we didn't need proof to accept it. Faith = hope, of the unseen, the unproven, hope in our eternal life in heaven with GOD in full loving, holy communion, ie fulfilling HIS reason for our creation.

    By not proving HIMself overwhelmingly but hiding HIS glory, GOD allows us each to choose where we most want to put our faith by which we actually define our own reality, the world view we live in, which also defines both God and our relationship with Him from our point of view. "This is what I believe" means "This is the way I hope the reality of the universe is." 2 Corinthians 5:7 We live by faith, not by sight (ie proof).

    FOR anyone who would choose to accept HIM as their GOD and to accept HIS purpose for their creation, HE promised them ELECTION to heaven, backed by the gospel promise that if they should ever choose to become evil in HIS sight losing their free will and their faith, HE would do whatever was necessary to bring them to redemption, back to HIM and back to their original true free will decision of faith in HIM.

    For those elect who did chose to become evil in HIS sight, HE gave PREDESTINATED lives, perfectly designed to fulfill HIS promise salvation and to bring them to holiness.

    Since this all happened before earth's creation, and since earth is where these people work out the redemptive purposes of their predestined lives, this is not the place where we try to find GOD but the place where we work out our already pre-made decisions and faith about HIM and return to HIM.

    Of course this allowed some to reject HIM and so put themselves outside of HIS mercy, grace and love for eternity because their free will to repent and accept HIM was destroyed by three things:
    1. their enslavement to sin by choosing evil
    2. When their choice to reject GOD as a false GOD was proven wrong (by HIS creation of the physical universe) it meant their "free " will was now coerced by the knowledge of HIS deity so they could never choose to accept HIM as GOD by free will, which was a necessity for salvation and the heavenly marriage and
    3. they could now never again have the opportunity to choose HIM by faith because what is proven is no longer faith: Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is hope.
    Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? This faith / hope saves if it is not based upon proof (ie what is seen).

    4. Due to all HIS warnings about the legal and natural consequences of rejecting HIS claims, they knew that if HE were ever to prove that HE was our creator GOD that they would be damned, but they refused to change their minds because they thought He was a liar and a false god with no power over them and they were free from HIS manipulating lies. So sure were they that they were right that HE was a liar and false god they even rejected the method of the sinful elect to escape hell by first professing faith to become elect and only then to rebel against HIM.

    Thus they are condemned by their refusal to accept YHWH as their GOD, putting themselves outside of all HIS promises and self creating themselves as demons and devils eternally unable to fulfill HIS purpose in their creation, fit only to be discarded.

    This method of using faith to find all those who wanted to be in HIS church is also the method on earth of using faith to find HIS now sinful church and bring them back to HIM.

    Peace, Ted
     
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