"Why should I let you into my heaven?"

A_Thinker

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Again, this is talking about “Initial Salvation.”
Aren't you at all concerned about "adding" to scripture ?

Not once in scripture is salvation characterized the way that you do. No "initial" salvation, no "intermediate" salvation, no "final" salvation.

It's just salvation, the gift of God, wherein God ...

... rebirths you
... makes you into a new creation
... writes His laws upon your heart
... places His Holy Spirit within you
... places the seal of Holy Spirit upon you
... adopts you into His family
... promises to complete the work He has begun in you

What exactly is it that you propose undoes all of this effort by God ?
 
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Address the texts head on, and do not divert to some extraneous subject.

Ephesians 2:8-9;

It is best to address all of the context to get a fuller understanding of what is being said.

Ephesians 2:2-3 talks about how we were once in times past we were sinners (fulfilling the desires of the flesh). In other words, sin is a part of our old life and not our new life. Also, Ephesians 2:1 also says that we have been quickened. So Ephesians 2 is primarily talking about "Initial Salvation." For being quickened is a one time event. To be quickened means to be born again spiritually (Which can happen when we first seek forgiveness with the Lord). In fact, Ephesians 3:17 says, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love," (Which is a general call to all that a person needs to accept Christ, i.e. "Initial Salvation").

Ephesians 2:4 is talking about God's love from since the time of when the salvation of Christ appeared to all; For "God is rich in mercy" in the fact that He died upon the cross (paying the penalty for our sins - God's grace and mercy), and as a result: He is able to forgive us of our sins (mercy) when we first come to Him by seeking His forgiveness and or by seeking salvation from our sins by believing in Jesus as our Savior (Whereby we would want to follow Him and turn from sin). "His great love that he has loved us" was from eternity's past until now and forever. This love can be found in the Son and in accepting Him as our Savior.

Ephesians 2:5 says, "Even when we were dead in our sins," as a part of our old life, God quickens us together with Christ when we come to him in faith (For Ephesians 2:8, says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith;"). For by grace are we saved. This is how our faith begins and this is the foundation of our faith. In fact, if we were to sin again, we do not do a good work to get clean, or forgiven, but we go to God's grace (See 1 John 1:9, and 1 John 2:1). Hence, why we are not saved by "Works Alone." We are initially and ultimately saved by God's grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9: So it is by God's grace, who is a person named Jesus Christ and what He has done for us, by which we are saved by the vehicle of faith. We are saved by His mercy when we first come to Him and we are saved by His mercy if we were to stumble (on occasion) in the fact that we seek forgiveness with Him by faith. This is not something that is of ourselves that we can take credit for here. This is God's grace. It can cleanse us. Both when we first come to Him and if we ever were to stumble on occasion. It is a gift of God. Jesus. He is that gift. For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son (John 3:16). For by Jesus we can seek out His forgiveness and be reconciled by what He has done for us with His death and resurrection.

This Jesus who is grace and the gift is what saves us ultimately and it is not of our works alone. For if salvation was by works alone, then a man could boast. So salvation is not by Works Alone so that any man should boast.

Ephesians 2:10:

Works of faith (and not "Works Alone Salvationism" that does not include God's grace) is what takes place after we accept the Lord as our Savior for salvation. We are Christ's workmanship. We are His masterpiece. We are created anew by being born again spiritually after we sought out forgiveness of our sins with the Lord Jesus. We are given a new heart with new desires. Also, Jesus lives in us and does the good work, as well (See John 15:5). This is how we are able to be created unto good works. With a regenerated new born again spirit and with Jesus living in us, we can do good works which God has ordained (pre-arranged before this world was formed) that we should walk in these good works. The word "should" is used here. Saying of the necessity and importance of these good works that are to follow one's faith in the Lord for salvation.

Conclusion:

Ephesians 2 is primarily focuses on our initial or ultimate salvation (See Ephesians 2:11-18), and not on our Sanctification or the works that must follow. Verse 10 is merely a quick point of what needs to happen after we are saved by God's grace (Jesus). Nothing in Ephesians 2 is clearly mentioned about Sanctification (or living holy) as a part of our salvation because it's focus is fighting against Works Alone Salvationism. This was because Paul fought against the heresy of which I call, “Circumcision Salvationism” (Please see: Galatians 2:3, Galatians 5:2, and then see Acts of the Apostles 15:1, Acts of the Apostles 15:5, and Acts of the Apostles 15:24). However, we know by other verses in the Bible that Sanctification is a part of our salvation (See 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). Even Jesus said if you will enter into life, keep the commandments (Matthew 19:17). Hebrews 5:9 says that Christ is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. So Scripture has to be read as a whole and we cannot isolate verses so as to justify a wrong belief (Especially when that belief is immoral). For if we tell a child that they are saved by having a belief alone in Jesus and it is in nothing they do and we never see them again, they could turn out to be the next George Sodini (and their blood will be on our hands).

To learn more about George Sodini, check out this link here:

O.S.A.S. – THE WATCHMAN'S CRY
 
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A_Thinker

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Aren't you at all concerned about "adding" to scripture ?

It’s called reading the verses in context and not adding to Scripture.
Do you deny that Paul said that we have been quickened in Ephesians 2:1?
Do you deny that we received grace as a gift (i.e. a one time past event)?
These things are an initial one time thing that happens to us.
Do you keep receiving the gift over and over and over and over again?
Do you keep being quickened over and over and over and over again?
So Ephesians 2:8-9 is referring to how we have been SAVED. Past tense.
It does not say that you are forever saved by God’s grace no matter what you do all because you have a belief alone on Jesus. You have to compare Scripture with Scripture and your not doing that.
You are not looking at the other verses I presented.

Not once in scripture is salvation characterized the way that you do. No "initial" salvation, no "intermediate" salvation, no "final" salvation.

So you don’t think there will be a point where believers are finally saved by being taken up by God to be with Him in His Kingdom?

You said:
It's just salvation, the gift of God, wherein God ...

... rebirths you
... makes you into a new creation
... writes His laws upon your heart
... places His Holy Spirit within you
... places the seal of Holy Spirit upon you
... adopts you into His family
... promises to complete the work He has begun in you

What exactly is it that you propose undoes all of this effort by God ?

Grace is the milk of the Word.
The meat of the Word is to discern between good and evil (Hebrews 5:14), and that takes time to be able to do that with walking with God and reading His Word. You don’t have a Matrix instant transfer download to perfectly know all of the commands in the New Testament and to know how to apply them properly to your life.

The gospel is believing that Christ died for our sins, he was buried, and he was risen three days later for our salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

But you fail to understand that the gospel calls us (like a telephone ringing in your room).

2 Thessalonians 2:14 tells us the gospel calls us.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 gives us the definition of this call. It says God has chosen to salvation through Sanctification of the Spirit and a belief of the truth. So Sanctification of the Spirit (living holy by the Spirit) is a part of salvation because that is what 2 Thessalonians 2:13 is saying. You have to look at the whole counsel of God’s Word and not just those words you want to focus a laser beam upon, my friend.
 
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Certainly, that was the appearance ...

Now who is adding?

You said:
The language of Matthew 10:6 is quite metaphorical (and refers to the group, and not any individual) ...

Sorry, it’s not metaphor. Twelve is literal here in Matthew 10:5.
 
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Address the texts head on, and do not divert to some extraneous subject. Romans 4:5,

Romans Four & Works of Earning Money vs. Works of Responsibility in Owning a Free Gift:

To him that works his reward is not of grace but it is of debt as if it was some kind of obligation like at a job whereby he works so as to earn money.

"Now to a laborer, his wages are not counted as a favor or a gift, but as an obligation (something owed to him)." (Romans 4:4) (AMPC).​

Verse 4 explains verse 5 that says,

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5).

So we have to understand the term “works not.”

Works Alone or trading dollars for hours like at a job involving salvation is wrong. Works Alone Salvationism (without God’s grace) is wrong because one has no grace or rest ever. This would purely be a works based system of salvation with no grace or mercy (like with Christ) if one messes up. A person’s good deeds have to outweigh their bad deeds.

But this is not the same thing as "Works of Responsibility in Owning a Free Gift."

I believe God's grace is a free gift as Scripture says (Ephesians 2:8). Gifts are received, and then we do works of responsibility to take care of those gifts.

Let me give you an example:

If Rick received a car as a free gift from his dad, does that mean he can run red lights, drive drunk, and hit pedestrians? No. If he were to do that, he would not have his gift for very long. Now, was his car any less a free gift because he had to do works of responsibility in possessing his free gift? No. Did Rick have to work at a job and get a loan to buy this car? No. It was a free gift from his dad.

Here is another example:

If Billy-Bob prayed for a wife for many years and he eventually receive a wife from the Lord and consider her as a gift, then that does not mean Billy-Bob can cheat on her and or not love her and expect for her to stay with him. It is the same with God. Disloyalty to GOD means we do not really love GOD and we just love ourselves more than Him. GOD calls us to obedience to His Word. This was the problem that goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. But men today want to say that we can break God's commands and they will not die. This was the same lie that the enemy was trying to sell Eve on. The serpent told her that she would not die if she ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Which was a violation of God's command).

Anyways, in conclusion: We know that working like at a job (trading dollars for hours) is not the same as doing "Works of responsibility in owning a free gift." Paul is not talking about responsibility in possessing Jesus Christ (Who is our gift). Paul is talking about trying to earn your salvation by a system of "Works Salvationism Alone" that did not include God's grace at all. But men today confuse the issue to justify sin under God’s grace (Which is what Jude 1:4 warns against).

Paul says a person can deny God by being reprobate unto every good work (Titus 1:16).
So we do see a different kind of work that is necessary or required.
For obviously a person cannot deny God and be saved;
And yet we know a person can deny God by being reprobate unto every good work.
We also know the unprofitable servant was cast into outer darkness, as well (See: Matthew 25:30).
 
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Romans 3:21, 28.

Paul is referring to the Old Law or the 613 Law of Moses in these verses.
Paul says in Romans 3:1, “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?”
The Jew were the keepers of the Law of Moses. Circumcision was a part of the Law of Moses and not the commands given to us by Jesus and His followers. Please see Acts of the Apostles 15:1, Acts of the Apostles 15:5, Acts of the Apostles 15:24, and then see Galatians 2:3, and Galatians 5:2. Paul condemned going back to the Old Law and he was not against the teachings of Christ (See: 1 Timothy 6:3-4).
 
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Clare73

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It is best to address all of the context to get a fuller understanding of what is being said.

Ephesians 2:2-3 talks about how we were once in times past we were sinners (fulfilling the desires of the flesh). In other words, sin is a part of our old life and not our new life. Also, Ephesians 2:1 also says that we have been quickened. So Ephesians 2 is primarily talking about "Initial Salvation." For being quickened is a one time event. To be quickened means to be born again spiritually (Which can happen when we first seek forgiveness with the Lord). In fact, Ephesians 3:17 says, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love," (Which is a general call to all that a person needs to accept Christ, i.e. "Initial Salvation").

Ephesians 2:4 is talking about God's love from since the time of when the salvation of Christ appeared to all; For "God is rich in mercy" in the fact that He died upon the cross (paying the penalty for our sins - God's grace and mercy), and as a result: He is able to forgive us of our sins (mercy) when we first come to Him by seeking His forgiveness and or by seeking salvation from our sins by believing in Jesus as our Savior (Whereby we would want to follow Him and turn from sin). "His great love that he has loved us" was from eternity's past until now and forever. This love can be found in the Son and in accepting Him as our Savior.

Ephesians 2:5 says, "Even when we were dead in our sins," as a part of our old life, God quickens us together with Christ when we come to him in faith (For Ephesians 2:8, says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith;"). For by grace are we saved. This is how our faith begins and this is the foundation of our faith. In fact, if we were to sin again, we do not do a good work to get clean, or forgiven, but we go to God's grace (See 1 John 1:9, and 1 John 2:1). Hence, why we are not saved by "Works Alone." We are initially and ultimately saved by God's grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9: So it is by God's grace, who is a person named Jesus Christ and what He has done for us, by which we are saved by the vehicle of faith. We are saved by His mercy when we first come to Him and we are saved by His mercy if we were to stumble (on occasion) in the fact that we seek forgiveness with Him by faith. This is not something that is of ourselves that we can take credit for here. This is God's grace. It can cleanse us. Both when we first come to Him and if we ever were to stumble on occasion. It is a gift of God. Jesus. He is that gift. For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son (John 3:16). For by Jesus we can seek out His forgiveness and be reconciled by what He has done for us with His death and resurrection.
This Jesus who is grace and the gift is what saves us ultimately and it is not of our works alone. For if salvation was by works alone, then a man could boast. So salvation is not by Works Alone so that any man should boast.
How did we get from here, your post #95:
"Paul did not teach Belief Alone-ism for salvation:"

to your quote above?
Did you have a "senior moment"?

Because it never pays to twist the word of God, for you will only meet yourself coming back.
Your twisting of the text has made it self-contradictory and non-sensical.
Are you not getting this?

For I still have something to boast of if I made any contribution at all to my salvation.
Ephesians 2:10:

Works of faith (and not "Works Alone Salvationism" that does not include God's grace) is what takes place after we accept the Lord as our Savior for salvation. We are Christ's workmanship. We are His masterpiece. We are created anew by being born again spiritually after we sought out forgiveness of our sins with the Lord Jesus. We are given a new heart with new desires. Also, Jesus lives in us and does the good work, as well (See John 15:5). This is how we are able to be created unto good works. With a regenerated new born again spirit and with Jesus living in us, we can do good works which God has ordained (pre-arranged before this world was formed) that we should walk in these good works. The word "should" is used here. Saying of the necessity and importance of these good works that are to follow one's faith in the Lord for salvation.

Conclusion:

Ephesians 2 is primarily focuses on our initial or ultimate salvation (See Ephesians 2:11-18), and not on our Sanctification or the works that must follow. Verse 10 is merely a quick point of what needs to happen after we are saved by God's grace (Jesus). Nothing in Ephesians 2 is clearly mentioned about Sanctification (or living holy) as a part of our salvation because it's focus is fighting against Works Alone Salvationism. This was because Paul fought against the heresy of which I call, “Circumcision Salvationism” (Please see: Galatians 2:3, Galatians 5:2, and then see Acts of the Apostles 15:1, Acts of the Apostles 15:5, and Acts of the Apostles 15:24). However, we know by other verses in the Bible that Sanctification is a part of our salvation (See 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). Even Jesus said if you will enter into life, keep the commandments (Matthew 19:17). Hebrews 5:9 says that Christ is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. So Scripture has to be read as a whole and we cannot isolate verses so as to justify a wrong belief (Especially when that belief is immoral). For if we tell a child that they are saved by having a belief alone in Jesus and it is in nothing they do and we never see them again, they could turn out to be the next George Sodini (and their blood will be on our hands).

To learn more about George Sodini, check out this link here:

O.S.A.S. – THE WATCHMAN'S CRY
 
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A_Thinker

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Do you deny that Paul said that we have been quickened in Ephesians 2:1?
Being quickened is being given LIFE.
Do you deny that we received grace as a gift (i.e. a one time past event)?
Have I denied that we receive grace as a gift ?

Do you not depend upon God's continued grace for life ?
Do you keep receiving the gift over and over and over and over again?
Do you not receive gifts over and over again from God ?
Do you keep being quickened over and over and over and over again?
Is your life not sustained by God ?
So Ephesians 2:8-9 is referring to how we have been SAVED. Past tense.

It does not say that you are forever saved by God’s grace no matter what you do all because you have a belief alone on Jesus.
We have been SAVED. Past tense.

Are the gifts and callings of God revocable ?

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 gives us the definition of this call. It says God has chosen to salvation through Sanctification of the Spirit and a belief of the truth. So Sanctification of the Spirit (living holy by the Spirit) is a part of salvation because that is what 2 Thessalonians 2:13 is saying. You have to look at the whole counsel of God’s Word and not just those words you want to focus a laser beam upon, my friend.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, for that God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

2 Thessalonians 2:13 says that God chose His saints from the beginning unto salvation.

Seems your laser beam focus missed that ...
 
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Because of the blood of Jesus that was applied to my account and cancelled my sins.

1 John 1:7 is included in the blood of Jesus cleansing us from all sin (Which is walking in the light).
 
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How did we get from here, your post #95:
"Paul did not teach Belief Alone-ism for salvation:"

to your quote above?
Did you have a "senior moment"?

Because it never pays to twist the word of God, for you will only meet yourself coming back.

The verses I posted prove the following statement is true:

Paul did not teach Belief Alone-ism for salvation.”​

The verses I posted is the proof that I am not twisting the Word of God by any means. Note: For our readers here, they can refer back to these verses in my post #95 (So they can check the truth out for themselves). Anyways, I believe you skated past explaining these verses because they do not support your view of Soteriology (Which I believe is contrary to Scripture).

For example: James makes it clear that we are justified by works and not by faith alone (James 2:24).

You said:
Your twisting of the text has made it self-contradictory and non-sensical.
Are you not getting this?

No, the Belief Alone-ism Soteriology is contradictory to Scripture.
Many in the Belief Alone camp when cornered will try to defend that they are for holy living, but I have found that when push comes to shove, I have also gotten these same individuals to admit that the believer can sin and still be saved, too. Maybe you don’t believe that. I don’t know. It has just been my experience in talking with believers on this issue over the past 10 years. I mean stop and think a moment: If Belief Alone-ism is true, then one can live like the devil and still be saved is the ultimate conclusion. But nowhere will you find Jesus and His followers ever teaching such a thing. They taught us to live holy lives otherwise we are not going to make it. See Hebrews 12:14-15.

You said:
For I still have something to boast of if I made any contribution at all to my salvation.

Well, good thing I believe Jesus does the good work through me and it is not me alone doing the good work (John 15:5). But yes, I have to freely cooperate with the Lord Jesus. But Jesus gets the credit ultimately. I praise Jesus for any good He does in my life and I don’t pat myself on the back. For there is none good but God. Only God who is good dwells in the clay vessels or temples or bodies of believers. He is the One who does the good work (Philippians 2:13). So there is no boasting involved in my belief. But we do have to be fruitful. For what do you make of Matthew 25:21, and Matthew 25:30? What do you make of Luke 10:25-28? Did not Paul himself agree with the words of Jesus? (See: 1 Timothy 6:3-4).

Also, you fail to understand that Paul was referring to the Old Law and Law Alone Salvationism via by Circumcision Salvationism. Again, see Acts of the Apostles 15:1, Acts of the Apostles 15:5, Acts of the Apostles 15:24, Galatians 2:3, and Galatians 5:2. Your ignoring these verses does not undo what they say. For if you keep these verses in mind when reading Paul, his words in Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 4:3-5, and Titus 3:5 will become more clearer to you.
 
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How did we get from here, your post #95:
"Paul did not teach Belief Alone-ism for salvation:"

to your quote above?
Did you have a "senior moment"?

Because it never pays to twist the word of God, for you will only meet yourself coming back.
Your twisting of the text has made it self-contradictory and non-sensical.
Are you not getting this?

For I still have something to boast of if I made any contribution at all to my salvation.

How can I really boast in myself if I believe I am initially and foundationally saved by God’s grace?

How can I really boast in myself if I believe God does the good work in me by my surrendering my life to Him?

I cannot take credit for things like that. That would be like Rick who was rescued by Bob who pulled him off the side of the cliff with a rope with Rick boasting in how he saved himself alone because he held on to the rope. But if it was not for Bob throwing down the rope and pulling him up off the cliff, Rick would have not been saved.

In other words, I cannot be saved without God’s grace, and I cannot do anything good without God doing the good work through me.
 
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Being quickened is being given LIFE.

Have I denied that we receive grace as a gift ?

Do you not depend upon God's continued grace for life ?

Do you not receive gifts over and over again from God ?

We have been SAVED. Past tense.

Before you appeared to be against my use of the term “Initial Salvation.”
Yet, here you are proving that by saying,

We have been SAVED. Past tense.”

So you appear to be in agreement with me that there is a past tense of salvation (i.e. Initial Salvation).
Or do you believe that you were always saved and you never accepted Jesus at any initial point in your life? Are you a Universalist who believes every human being in existence is saved by Jesus?
By what you said so far, I don’t get that impression. But before you said the Bible does not teach Initial Salvation. So it appears you are contradicting yourself, my friend.

You said:
Is your life not sustained by God ?

A person’s life sustained by God does not mean they are saved.
Unbeliever’s lives are sustained by God but that does not mean they are saved.
Also, God does not force salvation upon people, either.
For we are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

You said:
Are the gifts and callings of God revocable ?

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Context. It’s important to understand that Romans 9-11 is written to the unsaved Jewish nation.
So the offer of the gift of salvation to Jesus Christ given to the Jewish person is irrevocable.
It does not mean that the gift cannot be forfeited due to the person being irresponsible with that gift. In fact, we know by 1 Timothy 1:19 that a person can shipwreck their faith. So if a person shipwrecks their faith, they obviously no longer have access to the saving grace of God (Which is a gift). It’s the same with James. Faith without works is dead. Can a dead faith save anyone? Can a dead faith access the saving grace of God? I don’t believe so.

You said:
2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, for that God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

2 Thessalonians 2:13 says that God chose His saints from the beginning unto salvation.

Seems your laser beam focus missed that ...

Nope. Not at all. You are reading something into the verse that does not exist. Or do you believe that you were saved before you were saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus? God choosing us from the beginning unto salvation does not mean we are saved beyond our free will choice. 1 Peter 1:1-2 makes it clear that God elects us based on His foreknowledge. So if God sees that we will accept Jesus as our Savior in the future before we are even born, then God will elect us and set us a part and make things favorable in our life in order for us to accept Jesus and to follow Him. It does not mean we are saved by some kind of Unconditional Election (if that is what you are implying). God from the beginning chooses a life of Sanctification for every believer. God wants to see all believers to live a holy life by the Spirit. This is tied in with salvation (See: Romans 8:13, and Romans 8:1 KJB).
 
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How did we get from here, your post #95:
"Paul did not teach Belief Alone-ism for salvation:"

to your quote above?
Did you have a "senior moment"?

Because it never pays to twist the word of God, for you will only meet yourself coming back.
Your twisting of the text has made it self-contradictory and non-sensical.
Are you not getting this?

For I still have something to boast of if I made any contribution at all to my salvation.

Stop and think for a moment. If a person truly thought they were initially saved by being circumcised under the Law of Moses, would it not make sense that Paul would speak in the way that he did many times in his letters in regards to the Law and works?

Again, see Acts of the Apostles 15:1, Acts of the Apostles 15:5, Acts of the Apostles 15:24, Galatians 2:3, and Galatians 5:2.

For if a person thought they had to be circumcised in order to be initially saved, they would be making the Law or a work the basis (or foundation) of their salvation instead of God’s grace through faith in Christ. This was the heresy that I believe Paul was fighting against. The breadcrumbs and clues in his writings makes this evident.
 
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A_Thinker

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So you appear to be in agreement with me that there is a past tense of salvation (i.e. Initial Salvation).
Without elaboration, the descriptive term "Initial" is different from the descriptive term "Past". I am sure that you really agree that this is true.
A person’s life sustained by God does not mean they are saved.
Never said that. The point ... is that LIFE, in any form, ... is sustained by God.

It certainly is not sustained by any imagined sinlessness you may believe that you have ...
 
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How did we get from here, your post #95:
"Paul did not teach Belief Alone-ism for salvation:"

to your quote above?
Did you have a "senior moment"?

Because it never pays to twist the word of God, for you will only meet yourself coming back.
Your twisting of the text has made it self-contradictory and non-sensical.
Are you not getting this?

For I still have something to boast of if I made any contribution at all to my salvation.

For we know that there were a certain sect of Jews who wanted Christians to be saved by first being circumcised and or by keeping the whole of the Law of Moses.

  1. Acts of the Apostles 15:1 says, “And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.”


  2. Acts of the Apostles 15:5 says, But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”


  3. Acts of the Apostles 15:24 says, “Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:”

This is why Paul spoke against Law and works in the way that he did in the book of Romans, Galatians, and Corinthians. He was fighting against the heresy of "Circumcision Salvationism."


  1. Galatians 2:3 says, “But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:”


  2. Galatians 5:2 says, “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.”


  3. Galatians 5:6 says, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”


  4. Galatians 6:15 (NLT) says, “It doesn't matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.”


  5. 1 Corinthians 7:18-19 says, 18 For instance, a man who was circumcised before he became a believer should not try to reverse it. And the man who was uncircumcised when he became a believer should not be circumcised now. (NLT) 19 “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.” (NASB)


  6. Romans 2:28-29 says, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”


  7. Romans 3:1 says, “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?”


  8. Romans 4:9-12 says, ”9 “Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.”


  9. Acts of the Apostles 21:21 says, “And they are informed of you, that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.”
 
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Without elaboration, the descriptive term "Initial" is different from the descriptive term "Past". I am sure that you really agree that this is true.

So you don’t believe that Christians are initially saved?
You don’t believe Christians have a final salvation in being taken home to be with the Lord in His kingdom?

From my perspective, if I refer to my past salvation, I am referring to my initial salvation when I first accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and I believed the gospel message for salvation. How exactly do you define past salvation?

You said:
Never said that. The point ... is that LIFE, in any form, ... is sustained by God.

So then what is your point by bringing this up?

You said:
It certainly is not sustained by any imagined sinlessness you may believe that you have ...

Well, we are not really allowed to talk about Sinless Perfection in this section of the forums.
What I can talk about is overcoming sin that leads to spiritual death, though.
So you don’t believe God is able to keep His people from falling or stumbling?
Did you ever read Jude 1:24 before?
 
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A_Thinker

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So you don’t believe that Christians are initially saved?
You don’t believe Christians have a final salvation in being taken home to be with the Lord in His kingdom?

From my perspective, if I refer to my past salvation, I am referring to my initial salvation when I first accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and I believed the gospel message for salvation. How exactly do you define past salvation?
Salvation is, essentially, life eternal with God.

The scriptures likens it's start to "birth", a concept with which we are familiar.

The scriptures go on to describe a period of growth in the christian life ... which some label sanctification. The scriptures also describe us, now, ... as the children of God (1 John 3:1). God declares through the scriptures, that as His children, we will experience episodes of chastening, for what loving Father doesn't chasten His children ?

Scripture doesn't fully describe our final state ... other than to say "that we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."

So the scriptures clearly describe a growth process, from birth to adulthood. We are always the children of God, whether newborn, toddling along, in our teen years, or beyond. In our analogous physical lives, we have little control over our growth, rather ... it just happens according to the plan of God, regardless of the expectation that we will mature as we grow.

So, for the typical believer, ... we are God's child in our past, we are God's child now, ... and we will be God's child in the future.
The point ... is that LIFE, in any form, ... is sustained by God.
So then what is your point by bringing this up?
Salvation is eternal life, a gift given by God, sustained and maintained by God. Yet your argument is that there is something which we, the giftees, need to do to sustain our eternal life with God. This, despite scriptural assurances that God will never disown us ... and that nothing can snatch us out of His hand.
So you don’t believe God is able to keep His people from falling or stumbling?
If God can keep us from stumbling or falling, then surely He can keep us securely in Hand.

As God kept Abraham, despite his sin, ... and David, despite his sin, and Peter, despite his sin (denying Christ, hypocritically shunning the Gentile believers, and just basically, being mouthy and pushy). As God kept our forefathers in the faith, even so He can keep us.
 
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Salvation is, essentially, life eternal with God.

The scriptures likens it's start to "birth", a concept with which we are familiar.

The scriptures go on to describe a period of growth in the christian life ... which some label sanctification. The scriptures also describe us, now, ... as the children of God (1 John 3:1). God declares through the scriptures, that as His children, we will experience episodes of chastening, for what loving Father doesn't chasten His children ?

Scripture doesn't fully describe our final state ... other than to say "that we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."

So the scriptures clearly describe a growth process, from birth to adulthood. We are always the children of God, whether newborn, toddling along, in our teen years, or beyond. In our analogous physical lives, we have little control over our growth, rather ... it just happens according to the plan of God, regardless of the expectation that we will mature as we grow.

So, for the typical believer, ... we are God's child in our past, we are God's child now, ... and we will be God's child in the future.

When I read the Scriptures, I see 4 different aspects of salvation described.

#1. Provisional Atonement (not "Limited Atonement").
(A 100% Work of God alone that can only be applied personally to an individual's life via by being saved by God's grace and Sanctification).
This is Jesus paying the price for the sins of the entire world so as to offer mankind the free gift of salvation (if they so choose to accept it); Note: Christ's resurrection (to give us a new body not tainted by sin one day), and the ascension to the Father (after Christ telling Mary not to touch Him), and his entering the holy temple by his blood (to be our Heavenly High Priest) is also included in the Provisional Atonement, too. (For Provisional Atonement verses, see: John 1:29, 1 John 2:2, 1 Timothy 2:6, 2 Corinthians 5:19, Romans 5:6-8.) (Note: The best way to describe the Provisional Atonement is like a man who paid the price to pay off your debts by his handing you a check to be debt free; But it is up to you to receive the check, deposit it into your checking account, and pay off those you are in debt to; It's a gift, but like all good gifts in life, you have to receive the gift and use it properly to be of any benefit). Jesus provided an atonement, but it is up to us to receive it to personally apply to our lives by having a proper faith. Men will remain as sinners if they reject the Provisional Atonement of Jesus Christ. Jesus provided a provisional atonement (salvation) in dealing with sin as a way of escape for mankind to be saved through accepting Him (Who is the gift).

#2. God's Grace Through Faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior
(Initial Salvation, and or Foundational Salvation).
(The 1st synergistic work of GOD done in a believer).
Being saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus as ones Savior is the entrance gate to salvation, and it is the foundation of our salvation (by faith) upon which we stand. Being saved by God's grace is believing the gospel (Which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes it - Romans 1:16). According to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: The gospel is you believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins, He was buried, and He had risen again three days later for your salvation (Note: Do not let anyone sell you on another gospel besides this one). Depending on a person’s access or exposure to the Word: Being saved by God's grace will also generally include receiving Jesus as your Savior (John 1:12), and calling upon the name of the Lord (i.e. confessing with your mouth the words: “Lord Jesus” or similar equivalent - Romans 10:9) as a part of seeking forgiveness of your sins with Him by way of prayer (Romans 10:13) (Luke 15:18-21) (Luke 18:9-14). This process of salvation is without the deeds of the Law or works because it is based upon God’s mercy and grace and His redemptive work. As a result: One is born again spiritually (Note: Born again by the Spirit, and born again by water (i.e. the Scriptures - Romans 10:17, 1 Peter 1:23)). A person is foundationally or ultimately saved by God’s grace because if they happen to sin on rare occasion in their Christian walk, they do not do a good work to absolve that sin, but they confess of their sins to Jesus in order to be forgiven of that sin (1 John 1:9) (1 John 2:1) (Hebrews 4:16) (For verses on being saved by God's grace, see: Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 4:1-6, Titus 3:4-7, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Luke 18:9-14, Romans 5:1-2).

#3. Sanctification of the Spirit to Live a Holy Life
(The Next Step or Phase in the Salvation Process).
(The 2nd synergistic work of God done in a believer).
Sanctification of the Spirit to Live a Holy Life is the next step or phase in Salvation for a believer who lives out their faith; This is the work of God moving in a believer's life so as to help them to live holy, and to do good works and to put away the lusts of the flesh. These good works are the works of God done through the believer, and so all boasting or praise is given to the Lord. Therefore, there is no boasting in one's own work because they are ultimately the works of God done through the believer. A believer today who obeys the Lord looks to the commands of Jesus and His followers within the New Testament primarily. For believers today are not under the 613 Laws of Moses as a whole package deal (even though certain laws have carried over into the New Testament). Basically all ceremonial laws and judicial laws in the Old Testament no longer apply. For example: Believers do not have to keep the Saturday Sabbath, circumcision, dietary laws, animal sacrifices, holy days, etc.; However, believers must keep God's Moral Laws like: Do not murder, do not steal, do not covet, do not lie, do commit adultery, etc.; Two of the greatest commands that we should focus on daily is to love God and love our neighbor which is more fully described in Mark 12:29-31. We need to worship or adore the Lord our God, preach the gospel, help the poor, love the brethren, love our enemies, and live holy lives, etc. (For Sanctification verses, see: James 2:24, James 2:17-18, Titus 1:16, Hebrews 5:9, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Hebrews 12:14, Romans 8:1 (KJV), 1 Corinthians 16:22, Romans 8:13, etc.).

#4. Glorification (The Future Salvation of the Truly Faithful Believer).
(A 100% Work of God alone that can only be applied personally to an individual's life via by being saved by God's grace and by properly applying the Sanctification of the Spirit to Live a Holy Life).
Glorification is when God takes the believer home to be with Him in His kingdom and He gives Him a new resurrected body that is not tainted by sin. This process of salvation (in being taken home) is a by product automatically for those believers who properly apply God's grace through faith in Christ, and Sanctification to their lives (For Glorification verses, see: 1 Peter 5:4, 1 Peter 1:4, 1 Corinthians 15:51-57, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Romans 13:11, Philippians 3:20-21, Hebrews 9:28).


Conclusion:

God's grace, and then Sanctification is what we as believers need to be focused on. For if we are saved by His grace, and sanctified (which is only made possible by the Provisional Atonement), then we will be glorified.
 
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