Bible Discussion Thread

 
  • F Major - 6 months ago
    Does Christ choose who goes to heaven? His elect?
  • Bro dan - In Reply - 6 months ago
    F Major,

    The bible states we certainly each get to choose. It's called freewill, that He gave each of us. So yes, God gives each person the chance to believe and accept Salvation! Jesus commanded the Gospel of the Kingdom to be preached throughout the world. When we hear The Gospel of Jesus Christ we get to choose! We can each choose to accept it - or reject it.

    If we reject, nothing else is required for us to do, but to live our life in continual sin. If we believe and accept, then we must repent. We must then take all of the actions as commanded by Jesus/God.

    Many people today that call themselves Christians, want their salvation without repenting! Matthew 4:17"From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Luke 5:32"I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

    We must REPENT (stop sinning) if we want to be saved, and grafted into Christs Church (olive tree). If we expect to remain grafted into Christ's Church, each of us must REPENT and produce good fruit (good works) or we will be pruned/removed from the tree, as many of the Jews were already removed, because they did NOT believe, nor did they produce good fruit!

    The bible tells us that our actions while living in this current life will determine our ultimate fate, Heaven or Hell, so its certainly OUR choice my friend.

    Read and Believe!
  • GiGi - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Hello Bro Dan

    Good to hear from you again. Blessing to you tonight.
  • Bro dan - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Hi GiGi,

    Thanks, and God's Blessings to you also.
  • Chris - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Hi F Major. 1 Peter 1:2 tells us, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."

    The Apostle Peter wrote this letter to Christians, mainly of Jewish birth, who were scattered to other nations (mainly resulting from the great persecutions from the Jewish leaders/Saul: Acts 8:1). Peter calls them the Elect of God, i.e. those whom God has chosen to be His. And what criterion did God use to make this selection? The Word tells us that they, and us who believe, are chosen by Him because He knew beforehand (foreknowledge) all those who would hear the Gospel of Salvation through Christ & would respond in faith.

    So yes, God has chosen each one of us who believes - He didn't force us to believe just so that we wouldn't nullify His wise choosing by Him making a mistake; but He knew who would respond & to these were granted the gift & privilege of being adopted into His family (see Ephesians 1:3-14 for a greater picture of this mighty Work of God on our behalf). Does this then mean that we don't need to share the Gospel with those trapped & lost in sin because God will save them anyway if they are called to be His elect? No, we must share the Gospel with all, because not only are we not privy to those who would be saved, but God has chosen to save some because when they hear the Gospel, they will believe by the convicting power of His Spirit, & they will call upon the Name of Jesus to save them from the awful penalty of sin & estrangement from a loving God.

    "Unto you therefore which believe he is precious..." ( 1 Peter 2:7). If we truly belong to the LORD, Jesus is the most Precious One in our lives, for He has chosen us to be saved with so great & costly a salvation. Unbelievers might stomp on Jesus, curse & ridicule Him - but to us He is precious and our delight, & we can be ever thankful for being chosen to be His.
  • F Major - In Reply - 6 months ago
    If he chose some people to go to heaven that means he chose some people to go to hell? How could a loving God do that?
  • Chris - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Sorry F Major, I think you missed my point. God doesn't choose for some to go to Heaven & others to go to Hell. God determines that those who do not place their trust in Him & His Son have chosen for themselves to go to Hell. What I tried to indicate is that God, in His Foreknowledge, knows those who will come to Him and those who will reject Him - if someone rejects God, it doesn't mean that God is forcing him to reject God (for God is not willing that anyone should perish: 2 Peter 3:9). But God, in His Omniscient Character, knows all things about man - even how he will respond to Him. Man chooses for himself to reject God & this fact God already knows about.
  • David0921 - In Reply - 6 months ago
    So Chris, if I'm understanding you correctly, You believe that you are saved because you made a decision to "accept" Christ of your own free will.

    Or perhaps that God, before the foundation of the world, knew that you would be wise enough to accept a salvation that God offers and therefore chose you to become saved.

    That is not what I read in the Bible concerning the nature of mankind that is DEAD in trespasses and sin and in BONDAGE to sin and Satan.

    Nor is it what God declares regarding the nature of Salvation itself.

    You are describing a salvation of grace + works. It is a do-it-yourself salvation program. Where Christ has done His part and now it's up to you to appropriate that salvation. That is a salvation plan that to one degree or another is taught in virtually every church of our day and is not the Salvation of the Bible.

    Romans 3:10-18

    As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.

    Salvation is all of grace. And is 100% the work of God. If we have become Saved, Our FAITH Our BELIEF Our OBEDIENCE is the RESULT of God having applied His Salvation to our life. It is in no way whatsoever the REASON nor the CAUSE of our Salvation.
  • Jema - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Absolutely ! Great explanation , thank you . We can do nothing of ourselves , to believe so is to believe that we have any righteousness of our own , which we do not .
  • Chris - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Page 1.

    I believe, David 0921, that my "decision to accept Christ" was the response of a Work of God the Spirit before that. Let's look at the example in Acts 16:18-34 (of the Philippian Jailer & his salvation).

    When he asked Paul & Silas, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?", Paul answered, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house". Clearly, the jailer had to do a work (= to believe). Was it a requirement to gain salvation which as you reminded us, is all of Grace alone? Not at all - it was a Response to receive the Gift- he had to believe to receive.

    So what went on prior to this moment when the jailer cried out to know the way of Salvation? All we're told is that he witnessed an earthquake, saw prison doors flung open, & prisoners' chains falling off. What else took place? We're not told, but from we have before us, with the extraordinary events taking place before his eyes which he couldn't deny, caused him in a moment to re-examine his obstinacy towards the God of Israel, have a glimmer of the Truth from the witnessors search his heart, and of course, the Work of the Holy Spirit to convict.

    In answer to the jailer's question, Paul said, "Believe". And no doubt when Paul & Silas "spake unto him the word of the Lord (the Gospel), and to all that were in his house", they would have acknowledged their sins & repented. True, Salvation is all of Grace, but the sinner still needs to repent (a work), & still needs to believe (a work). All these must take place prior to salvation being given - not after. None of it are contributions towards a person's salvation - but all are responses to the Spirit's Work.
  • Chris - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Page 2.

    Now, if you feel that "my decision to accept Christ of my own free will" is still a work towards Salvation, then it would be so if the Work of the Spirit was absent. There is no salvation where one decides to follow Christ without any regenerating Work. But when the Spirit is present, "accepting Christ" also equates to 'receiving Him', & that with gratitude. True, the sinner is completely dead spiritually & unable to muster faith to believe (which is a Gift of God anyway) - but what happens when the Holy Spirit is involved in the sinner to awaken the heart & open the eyes, that he might understand, repent, believe, & accept? I don't see this as Works - it's ALL of Grace. GBU
  • David0921 - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Again Chris,

    What I see in your comment is that "receiving Him" is something that we have to DO or NOT DO (not doing would be rejecting), and that it is ultimately up to US to either RECEIVE or NOT RECEIVE the gift of Salvation, as many teach. But again, that is a Salvation the rests ultimately on something we DO or do NOT DO. And those are "WORKS".

    God DID NOT look down the the corridors of time before the foundation of the world and saw who would "receive Him" and who would not. And then chose to save those who would "receive Him".

    What God sees is what we read in Rom 3. That is, NO ONE would seek Him nor "receive Him". But despite that, God made the decision to save certain of all those dirty rotten sinners whom He saw would not seek Him nor accept Him. These are what God refers to as the ELECT. And these are those for whom Christ died and paid the full penalty required by the Law of God for all of their sins. And obligated Himself to apply that Salvation to each and every one of those ELECT before their physical death by giving them a brand new Resurrected Soul, which in itself can never sin again (1 John), and make them New Creatures in Christ.

    We do not know who are the ELECT of God. That is God's business not our business. We only know that God made that decision apart from any inherent goodness or righteousness in any one of us. If we are unsaved, we do not know whether or not we are one of God's ELECT. But God commands us to cry out to Him for Mercy as He begins opens our Spiritual eyes to our Spiritual condition and standing before the Law of God; that MAYBE God MIGHT save me. If we have become saved by God's Mercy we will begin to have the assurance of salvation as we see the desire in our heart to be more and more obedient to what God declares in His Word, the Bible, both in doctrine and in practice in our life.

    We come to God with a broken and a contrite heart PLEADING for Salvation. Psalm 51:17 Luke 18:13.

    We don't DECIDE to be saved.
  • Chris - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Page 1.

    Thanks David0921. Concerning the Elect, my understanding from 1 Peter 1:2, is that those who are the Elect of God are such because of God's Foreknowledge; i.e. He knows beforehand who will be His and this of course, as the rest of that verse explains, are those who will be obedient to Christ & His Sacrifice and by the sanctifying Work of the Spirit. These facts are the marks of the Elect, the true believer - God's Foreknowledge of us already knows that to be His Elect, we would turn to the Cross & His Spirit would engage with us, and of course, we would first hear the Gospel & be convicted by its message.

    You wrote, "God does not save anyone BECAUSE we Believe. But if and when God Saves an individual by His MERCY and GRACE alone, they will Believe. Our BELIEF, our REPENTANCE are good works that we do as a RESULT of our Salvation."

    I'm sorry, but I can't agree to this, because how I'm reading your statement, is that salvation (i.e. the Spirit's regenerating Work in the sinner) comes first then the saved sinner repents & believes in Christ. To me, that is putting the cart before the horse. If a person receives salvation (forgiveness & regeneration) why would repentance & belief come after it? Surely, a sinner needs to repent of his sins first, calling upon the Name of the Lord to be saved. Even as Peter preached in Acts 3:19, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord"; this speaks of repentance & then conversion (regeneration), not the other way around.
  • Chris - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Page 2.

    But I also note your belief that 'repentance & belief' are considered as 'Works done towards salvation', therefore it can have no place before salvation. However, as I mentioned in my previous response to you that a spiritual awakening must take place first by the Holy Spirit to the one dead in sin & God-wards. And this awakening will cause the eyes of the spiritually blind to see (their sins & condemnation), to cry out in repentance, to believe on the Lord Jesus & to receive Him. This is not a works-generated effort towards salvation because the Holy Spirit is vitally involved in bringing the sinner (the Elect of God) to the foot of the Cross. It is all of God's Gracious Work - nothing of man's efforts. There is a difference when a sinner is being drawn of God as opposed to the sinner coming on his own terms & probably adding to his 'salvation'. True, the unregenerate man will never seek after the Lord, unless the Spirit is engaged in the hearing of the Gospel & conviction in the heart, but I can never understand how a sinner can be saved first & then repent & believe. GBU.
  • David0921 - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Chris,

    I was puzzled by your comment:

    "But I also note your belief that 'repentance & belief' are considered as 'Works done towards salvation', therefore it can have no place before salvation."

    So allow me to clarify.

    The Repentance and Belief of someone whom God has saved or plans to save, i.e. one of God's Elect, does NOT contribute in any way whatsoever TOWARDS their salvation. These are good works that we do because God has saved us or is in the process of drawing us to salvation. They will be evidenced in the life of the True Believer and are the RESULT of God working within us to will and to do of His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

    Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the FAITH OF CHRIST, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

    Our faith, our repentance are WORKS OF THE LAW; we are commanded to believe, to have faith, to repent. But these works do not contribute to our salvation in any way.

    It is Christ's faith that saves us. That is, Christ's faithfulness in paying for the sins of His Elect and then applying that salvation to their life and giving them an enduring faith in Him and a repentant heart; all of which is part and parcel of salvation itself.
  • Chris - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Well maybe David0921 I may have misunderstood you (which caused you to be puzzled). You did state, "God does not save anyone BECAUSE we Believe. But if and when God Saves an individual by His MERCY and GRACE alone, they will Believe. Our BELIEF, our REPENTANCE are good works that we do as a RESULT of our Salvation." When I read this statement, it appeared you're stating that Belief & Repentance are necessary (good works) but are the result (could read it as, products) of our Salvation. If something results from an activity, it is assumed that the activity takes place first. So, if Salvation comes first, then how does Belief & Repentance result from it?

    As well, in this last comment from you, you write, "Repentance and Belief of someone whom God has saved or plans to savedoes NOT contribute in any way whatsoever TOWARDS their salvation. These are good works that we do because God has saved us or in the process of drawing us to salvation". So even here it seems that Repentance and Belief, though non-contributing to salvation (and I agree to this part), but are evidences post-Salvation or during Salvation. Maybe your thought of Repentance is the continual attitude of the believer in his day-to-day life/warfare, and not of an initial repentance required for salvation; or even, if someone is the Elect of God, he must be saved from the beginning even as a sinner, but only has to repent & believe when he realizes his state. So, I too remain perplexed for I too don't believe that Repentance & Belief can be added to God's Gift of Salvation or else they would be considered as Works; YET I know that Repentance & Belief are necessary to grant Salvation ( Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19; Acts 8:22; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9).
  • David0921 - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Yes Chris,

    We can find verses, that when isolated, can seem to teach that OUR WORKS of Believing and Repentance are contributory TOWARDS our salvation. But in coming to an understanding of any doctrine in the Bible we must harmonize every verse in Scripture that relates to the question.

    When we do this, we must conclude that our GOOD WORKS of any sort are the RESULT of God's gift of salvation which He bestows on each and every one of His elect, not BECAUSE we do these things but as the EVIDENCE and CHARACTER of a New Creation in Christ as we read in the Galatians and Romans passages I quoted earlier and many others.

    The passage that, in my view, speaks most clearly regarding the Nature of Salvation is Ezekiel 36:24-34. Note here that every action is God's action, not man's action. And that our Repentance and Belief are the RESULT of God's actions in salvation, never the CAUSE nor the REASON.

    I want to be a million miles away from any Gospel that even hints that our works contribute in any way to our Salvation.

    By Grace are you saved through faith(Christ's faith not our faith). And that not of ourselves. It is the gift of God in His in comprehensible Mercy. Not of our works lest any man should boast. (forgive me for not quoting chapter and verse for these last statements, but I'm sure you are familiar).

    I never want to be that man in Numbers who picked up a few sticks on the Sabbath and was executed for that seemingly incidental sin. A dramatic picture of what happens if we look to any good work that we do or have done to affect our salvation.
  • Chris - In Reply - 6 months ago
    I shouldn't need to re-state again David0921, but I believe that repentance & believing in Christ does NOT add to or secure our salvation in any way, shape or form - only Jesus' Death for our sins makes full payment & secures entirely. Only anything that is added to it (e.g. doing extra good works to ensure that any 'lack' in Christ's Work can be added as an extra guarantee) demeans the Work of the Cross & would grieve the Heart of God. But as I stated, when the Holy Spirit is at work in the sinner, to bring in light & understanding, to draw to conviction of sin, to repent calling upon Jesus, I find in no way that this can be classified as Works. These are responses to the Spirit's Work & never add to the Work of Salvation. But if you still feel that it does, then really not much more can be added to this point.

    The verses I shared earlier to show that repentance & belief are necessary after one hears the Gospel message are certainly not isolated in clear teaching for us, or else the apostles had it wrong in their delivery of the Gospel & instruction in what must be done to be saved. So the questions that arise in my mind from what you've shared are:

    a. what is the need to preach the Gospel (according to Christ's Command), seeing that repentance & believing (Works to you) can only follow conversion/rebirth?

    b. then, if the Elect (i.e. one who is chosen to be saved & accepted at the outset) has no need to hear or be challenged by the Gospel (since he is elected/accepted already), at what point in his 'Christian experience' will he sense a need to repent & believe? I simply cannot fathom such a situation.

    Maybe you have answers to clarify, or even share if you choose to do so, how you were 'saved' under such a belief of 'salvation first, then repentance & belief after'. Since I've never heard of such a thing, I would be interested in a practical example to consider further. Thank you.
  • David0921 - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Chris,

    In rereading your comment I did not directly address your question as to why we are commanded to send forth the Gospel.

    While it is a certainty that each and every one of God's Elect will become "saved" since there sins have been fully paid for, God must still apply that salvation to their life in giving them a New Heart, a New Resurrected Soul.

    Therefore the command to send forth the True Gospel into the world as the means God has chosen to draw His Elect to Himself as He applies that Salvation to their life; and as a means of separating the wheat from the chaff particularly in our day.

    The True Gospel is the "savor of life unto life and death unto death" as we read in 2 Corinthians 2

    2 Corinthians 2:15-17 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

    It is not the business of the True Believer to decide or know who is one of God's Elect and who is not. That is God's business not our business. Our task is to be an ambassador of God's Kingdom.

    2 Corinthians 5:17-20. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
  • Chris - In Reply - 6 months ago
    David 0921, to this matter of the Gospel preached to the Elect. You stated, "Therefore the command to send forth the True Gospel into the world as the means God has chosen to draw His Elect to Himself as He applies that Salvation to their life; and as a means of separating the wheat from the chaff particularly in our day."

    So according to your understanding & by sharing this statement, can I assume that the sinner (totally lost & depraved in his sin), is still known to God as His Elect? So, this sinner must then have the Gospel preached to him, & thus be somehow drawn towards God, but of course without any assistance by God/His Spirit or else it would be Works, & then in that drawing process/stage, the sinner has Salvation/conversion applied to his life. Not sure if I've understood this correctly - please correct me.

    If this would happen to me in my 'conversion' experience, should I then, having heard the Gospel the night before, gone to bed, & then after awaking should feel that something has changed in me? Just retracing these steps: as a wretched totally lost sinner the night before, the Gospel which I heard did not have any effect on me, since if it did (i.e. caused any contrition for sin & repentance), it would be regarded as my Works. So, I awake in the morning, feeling that something could have happened in me overnight as a result of the previous night, but I don't know what - but of course God would know, because He knows that I am His Elect. Confused, I continue my life of sin & debauchery, but still God has chosen to save me, because He must since I am His Elect.

    I'm sure I've got it wrong somewhere David0921 - please clarify. Or, how did you experience this weird sensation in your life? I'm sorry if I sound cynical, but I genuinely don't understand how this works - it's both foreign to my mind & reading from the Word.
  • David0921 - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Good morning Chris,

    Thank you for your response.

    In my comments on this subject, both now and in the past, I've tried to explain my understanding of what God is teaching regarding the Nature of Salvation and what it means to be "saved".

    I suspect that once again the differences in our understanding of many verses and passages in scripture, and the sometimes apparent confusion in what we each are attempting to communicate, stem in large part from our fundamental approach to how we are to interpret the Bible as a whole. In other words, our Biblical Hermeneutic.

    So for now I'm going to just leave it there and hope that God in His Mercy might open our understanding and lead us both into Truth as we search the scriptures.

    Thank you and may the LORD richly bless you.
  • David0921 - In Reply - 6 months ago
    So finally Chris, Part 5

    I want to leave this discussion by again quoting Ezekiel 36:24-33, which is one of the clearest statements regarding the Nature of Salvation and that each and every aspect of our Salvation is 100% the WORK of God, including our WORKS of BELIEF and REPENTENCE.

    "For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.

    Notice, again, that EVERY ACTION IS GOD'S ACTION.

    Every True Believer WILL BELIEVE and WILL REPENT and WILL have an earnest ongoing desire to be obedient to the Law of God. And if we don't find this in our life we may still cry to God for Mercy that He might save us. It is still the day of Salvation!
  • Chris - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Page 1.

    Thank you David0921 for your detailed comments & for taking the time to do so. I'll address each part of your five parts.

    Part 1: Fully agree about mankind's total spiritual depravity before God, for no sinner can ever find righteousness from within himself that will avert the Wrath of God. To the "Law of God" you referred to, I'll take it as 'the holy standards that God requires of man to which man will always fail God'; rather than the giving of the Law (God's Standards to Israel), to which the Gentile had no knowledge of, aside from the dictates of his conscience ( Romans 2:14,15).

    Part 2: Again, fully agree that the sinner is totally incapable or desirous to attain God's Holy Standard for righteousness and God is completely justified in the eternal condemnation of the sinner.

    Part 3: Some issues here. a. "What does it mean to be "justified"? It means that we stand perfectly just before the Law of God because we have paid the full penalty required by the Law of God for each and every one of our dirty rotten sins." Did you mean, 'our justification before God means that we can stand guiltless because 'we'(?) or is is 'Christ' that paid our full penalty?'

    b. I also understand that Galatians 2:16 refers to those who were no longer under the Law, but would use the Law as well as Grace given through Christ's death, to find their righteousness & justification. This was the 'Works of the Law' referred to, when any of it was added to the faith found in Christ alone - for the Law never gave righteousness & acceptance before God. "for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." Unless the Elect of God today is of Jewish descent & was once under the Law, this verse has no application to the Gentile elected of God who was never under the Law & could never & should never use that Law to add to his faith.
  • Chris - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Page 2. David0921

    c. "How have we been justified? Christ has paid the full penalty, eternal DEATH for the sins of those He is saving by being perfectly faithful in taking upon Himself all of the sins of each of His Elect". John 3:16 states that God so loved the world (not just the Elect), that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish". Here, I understand that God's Love extends to both the Elect & non-Elect (the world), but of those in the World who place their trust in Him (proving they're the Elect of God), will not go the way of eternal damnation, but of eternal life.

    d. Did Christ die "an eternal death" for us? Not sure if you meant that Christ died & saved us from the eternal death that we were destined for.

    Part 4: you referred to the Galatians' passages. The reason for Paul's reference to the Law, was because of the Judaizers (Jewish Christians - Galatians 1:7) who taught those in the Galatia region, that obedience to the Law was necessary (Works) for salvation & Paul's Gospel was defective (i.e. justification by faith alone plus nothing, not even the Mosaic Law).

    So from here we begin to separate in our understanding of this Doctrine of Salvation. You have asked the question, "So what is a good WORK? Are our BELIEF, our FAITH, our REPENTENCE good WORKS? The best definition of a "good WORK", I believe, is "any obedience to the COMMANDMENTS of God, the LAW of God". Of course you believe that not only obedience to the Law of God is a 'Good Work', but also belief, faith, & repentance are. 2 Thessalonians 1:11 does not speak of Faith as a work towards salvation, but of having Faith that works in the believer's life & Paul prayed 'for a powerful faith in them'.

    Ephesians 2:8,9 is actually a great example of a God-given Faith in Salvation, which is not included in a works-based salvation. Faith is God's Gift to believe - leading to salvation.
  • Chris - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Page 3. David0921

    Philippians 2:12,13: is Paul reminding them, 'you have God's Salvation, now work it out (i.e. don't be slack or negligent in living the new life that Christ has purchased for you), & do so in fear & trembling - living the Christian life is a serious, disciplined matter, under the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

    "Our Faith, Belief, Repentance are WORKS and a RESULT and EVIDENCE of, not REQUIREMENTS for, Salvation." There certainly must be an on-going evidence of Faith, Belief & Repentance in a believer's life, but none of the passages suggest that they cannot be requirements towards Salvation.

    Part 5: Ezekiel 36:24-33. Indeed, this passage is all of God's Action: that Israel would be released primarily from Assyrian/Babylonian captivity & then ultimately "from all countries". But what happened? Have they yet received "a new heart & a new spirittaking away the stony heart of flesh? Their Messiah came, gave His Life for them & they yet remain obstinate & stony in heart. I believe this will yet happen ( Romans 11:25-27), when Israel will be saved. How will they be saved? These verses don't divulge this information, except God's Act to take away their sins.

    And so we go back to what Jesus had commanded & to which the apostles obeyed, Mark 1:14,15 "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: REPENT ye, and BELIEVE the gospel."

    Acts 3:19, "REPENT ye therefore, and BE CONVERTED, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord" Israel in the future, will still need to believe & accept that Jesus was indeed their Messiah; maybe all Works in your understanding, but vital if they are to receive "a new heart & a new spirit".

    I'll get to your new comment now.
  • David0921 - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Continuing Chris, Part 4

    Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the WORKS of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the WORKS of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

    Galatians 3:1,2 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the WORKS OF THE LAW, or by the hearing of faith{Christ's faith}?

    Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the WORKS OF THE LAW are under the CURSE: for it is written, CURSED is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

    In these verses God is making it crystal clear that if we are following a gospel that is conditioned upon our good WORKS, we are CURSED.

    So what is a good WORK? Are our BELIEF, our FAITH, our REPENTENCE good WORKS? The best definition of a "good WORK", I believe, is "any obedience to the COMMANDMENTS of God, the LAW of God". Are we not COMMANDED to Believe and to have FAITH in Christ; are these not "gifts" of God and part and parcel of Salvation?

    2 Thessalonians 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the WORK OF FAITH with power:

    Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Phil 2:12,13 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, WORK out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is GOD WHICH WORKETH in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

    Our Faith, Belief, Repentance are WORKS and a RESULT and EVIDENCE of, not REQUIREMENTS for, Salvation.
  • David0921 - In Reply - 6 months ago
    And so Chris to continue, Part 3

    Let's look at what God declares regarding our GOOD WORKS and how they enter into God's Salvation program.

    Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE WORKS {our works} OF THE LAW, but by the FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST {Christ's faith}, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the FAITH OF CHRIST, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

    What does it mean to be "justified"? It means that we stand perfectly just before the Law of God because we have paid the full penalty required by the Law of God for each and every one of our dirty rotten sins. We no longer stand guilty before the Law and the Law can no longer condemn us.

    How have we been justified? Christ has paid the full penalty, eternal DEATH for the sins of those He is saving by being perfectly faithful in taking upon Himself all of the sins of each of His Elect (we will get to Election, Predestination and Foreknowledge later perhaps) and Dying an eternal DEATH as the full payment demanded by the Law, and then rising to life again as proof that the payment had been fully made. All of this as Eternal God Himself. We can't comprehend How God could actually DIE, but it is so because the Bible declares it to be so.

    And BECAUSE Christ has accomplished all this on behalf of His Elect, it is guaranteed that each and every one of His Elect will become saved.

    More to follow
  • David0921 - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Chris, part 2

    So what does it mean to be Spiritually DEAD and condemned to DEATH in body and soul?

    It means what we read in 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the NATURAL MAN RECEIVETH NOT the things of the Spirit of God: for they are FOOLISHNESS unto him: NEITHER CAN he KNOW them, because they are SPIRITUALLY discerned.

    It means that both in our body and our soul we LUST after SIN and are in REBELLION against God. We want to go OUR own way and have no desire to be under the AUTHORITY of God; to HUMBLE ourselves and be OBEDIENT to the Law of God, the Bible. We want to do it OUR way, not GOD'S way".

    It means that in both our body and our soul we are subject to eternal DEATH as required by the Law of God because of our sin.

    It means that we have NO ABILITY NOR DESIRE to become right with God, ON GOD'S TERMS.

    IT means that apart from God's intervention in our life we CANNOT NOT and WILL NOT come to Him ON HIS TERMS.

    This is what God sees as He looks down the corridors of time before He ever created this world and mankind, i.e. what He sees in each and every one of us WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

    So how then, how does anyone "get right with God" and "become saved"? What must we DO to be saved? How do we become RESURRECTED from Spiritual Death to Spiritual Life? And what does it mean to be "Saved"?

    Let's answer the last question first by asking another. What do we need to be saved from? We first must endure the penalty demanded for our sins by the Law of God, eternal DEATH. God's justice must be satisfied. But how can we accomplish this if the penalty is eternal DEATH? The answer is we CANNOT. We then must be made totally righteous in our entire being, both body and soul, in order to even be in the presence of God and not be consumed by Him; how can we do this? The answer again is we CANNOT.

    So the answer to all of these questions is this: We can do NOTHING. We are totally utterly helpless to DO any of this or CONTRIBUTE to any of this because of our Natural Condition.

    More to follow
  • David0921 - In Reply - 6 months ago
    Good morning Chris,

    And thank you for those very good questions.

    I have tried to address some aspects of those questions in my earlier comments regarding the Nature of Salvation and what it means to be "Saved", although inadequately I'm sure. Any truth that we may have come to understand from Scripture is only by God's Mercy as He may choose to open our understanding.

    I will attempt to further address your questions in more detail, which may take several post and time. Ultimately, what I say is worth nothing. Only what God declares in His Word, the Bible, the Entire Bible, is important as we seek to "compare scripture with scripture" in order to come to Truth.

    The starting point must be our condition, apart from God's Mercy in Salvation, which God summarize in Romans 3 in language that we don't like to hear:

    Romans 3:10-18 As it is written, There is NONE righteous, no, NOT ONE: There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God. They are ALL gone out of the way, they are TOGETHER become unprofitable; there is NONE that doeth good, no, NOT ONE. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.

    Emphatic and all inclusive! This condition applies to each and every one of us throughout time once Adam sinned. And because of Adam's sin, God has delivered all of mankind (as all of mankind was in the loins of Adam) and the Creation itself under Bondage to Sin and Satan.

    We are Spiritually DEAD, body and soul, and are under the sentence of DEATH, body and soul, required by the Law of God for each and every sin, every violation of the Law of God, that we commit each and every day of our life.

    And we CANNOT escape. Is there no hope?

    More to follow.
  • David0921 - In Reply - 6 months ago
    So Chris,

    Is belief, i.e faith (one is the verb the other the noun but the same word) a WORK? God answers that question in 2 Thes 1:11

    11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the WORK OF FAITH with power:

    God commands us to "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ". And when we do that we are doing a "good work". But God is very clear that no work that we do can INITIATE nor MAINTAIN nor CONTRIBUTE to our Salvation in any way whatsoever.

    God does not save anyone BECAUSE we Believe. But if and when God Saves an individual by His MERCY and GRACE alone, they will Believe. Our BELIEF, our REPENTANCE are good works that we do as a RESULT of our Salvation. And we will find in our life an earnest and ongoing desire to be OBEDIENT to any commandment of God, i.e the LAW of God.

    If we are following a gospel where Salvation is the RESULT of any WORK that we do, we are trusting in a false gospel that cannot save.

    So what must we do to be saved? THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO? We can only cry to God for His Mercy, like the Ninevites did in the very real hope that God might save us. And wait upon God to do a work of GRACE in our hearts if it is His good pleasure so to do.

    Ezekiel 36:24-28 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
  • Mary Jay - In Reply - 6 months ago
    F Major:

    John 15:16 You have not chosen me, I HAVE CHOSEN YOU, and ordained you .....

    You were not chosen to go the heaven, you are chosen to be a worker in the Kingdom of God.

    The word of God is all about HIS kingdom, and the kingdom workers, not sitting in a rocking chair in a place called heaven.

    You have to go deep into the study of Mosses and the Prophets, to understand.

    God Bless YOU!
  • F Major - In Reply - 6 months ago
    So, we are not "elected"?



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