A Personal Relationship with Jesus is not enough

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Born Again Catholic, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. Born Again Catholic

    Born Again Catholic
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    A Personal Relationship with Jesus is not enough

    Many people will say that you need a personal relationship with Christ but I believe this description misstates our relationship with him. Not that I think it overstates the relationship, on the contrary, I think it does not go far enough to accurately describe what the relationship really is, and thereby may lead people into error.

    I have very close personal relationships with my friends, my brother and sisters, my parents and my children but this is not the type of relationship I have with Christ. In describing his relationship to the Church, of which we are all members, Paul does not describe this as simply a personal relationship(Eph 5) but he likens it to the most intimate of earthly relations we will have our marital relationship.

    Christ offers himself completely to his Church in an act of total self-giving (selfless) love and the Church in turn receives this love and the two are forever united, in a loving embrace which is fruitful.

    Most Christians are uncomfortable with the idea of Jesus in our bedrooms but the most intimate part of this most intimate relationship reflects the relationship we have with Christ. We promise ourselves for the rest of our lives to our spouses, in our most vulnerable state our nakedness, we commit ourselves to a complete union where the two become one and where the husband offers himself totally and completely and selflessly to his spouse and the wife receives this love from the husband and returns his loving embrace, and the love is fruitful.

    This spousal analogy is repeated throughout scripture, that is our relationship to Jesus, it is that intimate, nothing is hidden or held back and nothing about the relationship is selfish or self serving, it is total self giving love. Understanding that should helps us to better understand our own intimate relations.

    With this understanding of what our most intimate relations reflect how can we or our children accept anything which literally mocks Jesus’ commitment to his Church or our commitment to him? This includes such things as pre-marital relationships, abortion, and sodomic behavior including purposely infertile relationships. All these things are not a true reflection of what are intimate relations are to image, that is the love we share with Jesus Christ

    God Bless

    Warning- I am really not sure what responses I expect back but the moderators understandably closed down one thread which become too explicit considering the young teens on this board. Therefore I propose if you do wish to comment on any of this you keep your comments no more explicit than the Bible itself on these matters. I assume any child old enough to be allowed on-line is also granted full access to the Bible. As children our constantly bombarded by images which glorify treating other people as objects I think it is important to have the matter discussed, but when the discussion becomes significantly more explicit than the Bible we have probably crossed over to an area where a parent should make the judgment as to what his child should be allowed to observe.
     
  2. DHK

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    Read Ephesians 5 again. The marriage analogy between a man and his wife is compared to Christ and the church. This is a totally different topic than soteriology--salvation. It is ecclesiology--the doctrine of the church, in which the Catholic concept is completely different than that of the Baptist. So that also is another subject for another thread. All believers collectively make up the bride of Christ, which Christ refers to here.

    Salvation is unconditional. There are no promises made. God gives me eternal life as a free gift, and forgives my sins, all on the basis of the shed blood of Jesus Christ as being the sufficient payment for the sins of the world. I simply receive that gift by faith. There is no work or works involved.
    By faith I become His child. He becomes my Saviour. And at the same time I have a relationship with my Saviour; not a religion.
    DHK

    When a person becomes saved (invites Christ into his heart), he becomes part of the family of God. As such he is a child of God. By virtue of being part of the family of God, God has become his Father, and Christ his Saviour, with Whom he now has a "personal relationship," and the Holy Spirit by the power of Christ dwells within.
     
  3. D28guy

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    DHK posted...

    Couldnt agree more. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

    To add even the tiniest bit of works to that turns it into a different gospel than Gods gospel. It turns it into a "gospel" that God has cursed.

    Works, fruit, evidence, etc, of course have their place and are important, but they play no part in attaining justification in Gods eyes.

    God bless,

    Mike
     
  4. neal4christ

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    I agree with the fact that we are saved by grace alone and in Christ alone, but I am still uncertain as to this faith alone. Yes, God's grace is mediated through faith and it is an absolutely necessary component, but where do you ever find the phrase "faith alone" in Scripture with regards to being saved by it? Where is "faith alone" found at all in Scripture (there is one place)?

    In Christ,
    Neal
     
  5. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Romans 3v28?

    "Therefore we conclude that we are justified by faith without the deeds of the law"?
     
  6. i_am_young

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    A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is just the outcome of receiving Him as your personal Lord and Savior. That receiving of Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior is an act of faith by which Ephesians 2:8 says. The more intimate your relationship is with Christ, the more closer you are to realizing how you are really saved by Him. It is because you are now growing more in His knowledge and wisdom.

    young in Christ,
    Ian
     
  7. Living4Him

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    This is a very interesting thread and I would like to share part of a letter that I sent to my older brother awhile back that I feel is along the lines of this discussion.

    "....Sure I believed that Jesus died for my sins, but I basically felt that once saved, always saved, didn’t really matter what I did because God would eventually forgive me. How could I have made a mockery of what Christ did for me by believing that? What did following after my own paths and not God’s grant me? Well, I did not seek after the will of the Father for my life. I wanted to have two children and I wanted to have them in my early to mid-twenties. I was impatient in waiting for the man that God had chosen for me, so I hooked up with C. I was never meant to marry him, and it certainly wasn’t a Sacred Marriage before God. Due to my own sin of rebelliousness, I had to live with the consequences of my actions. God gave me two wonderful children, but I also had to endure punishment for my sins. We know that there are consequences to sin. The effect of sin is to entail the penalty of undergoing suffering (reatus pænæ). Sin (reatus culpæ) is the cause of this obligation (reatus pænæ). The suffering may be inflicted in this life through the medium of medicinal punishments, calamities, sickness, temporal evils, which tend to withdraw from sin; or it may be inflicted in the life to come by the justice of God as vindictive punishment. My living in sin with C was a mortal sin. Mortal sin is something said, done or desired contrary to the eternal law, or a thought, word, or deed contrary to the eternal law. This is a definition of sin as it is a voluntary act. As it is a defect or privation it may be defined as an aversion from God, our true last end, by reason of the preference given to some mutable good. But what do I mean by this? Sins that are in direct opposition to what God has stated (i.e. adultery, fornication, murder) are sins that kill or grieve the Holy Spirit or God’s Graces in us. We know that if we continue in these sins, we will have a hardening of our heart and we will start turning our back on God. No longer will we be seeking God.

    That is exactly what happened to me. I was an occasional Sunday Christian. I felt that as long as I occasionally made an appearance at church then I was alright because hey, I had asked the Lord to forgive me of my sins.

    S and I would occasionally attend the Baptist Church here, but I wasn’t satisfied in my Christian life. There had to be more to Christianity. When I started to send my kids to a Catholic School, I thought I should really pray and study what they would be learning as far as faith. For the first time in my life, I started to really read my Bible. It was then that I understood that I had only been taught half the truth at S.S.

    Here are some pretty profound verses that I read:(here is the link for my scripture references Are you saved? )

    “For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Lord, and believe in your heart that GOD has raised Him from the dead, You shall be saved.” Romans 10:9
    "For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

    Jesus Christ Himself said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 7:21

    St. Paul was speaking about the Jews and their rejection of Christ.
    “And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, 'Though the number of Israelites were like the sand of the sea, ONLY A REMNANT WILL BE SAVED...'“ Romans 9:27
    "Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to GOD on THEIR behalf is for salvation. I testify with regard to them that they have zeal for GOD, but it is NOT DISCERNING. For I bear them witness that they have zeal for GOD, but not according to knowledge; for, ignorant of the justice of GOD and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to the justice of GOD. For Christ is the consummation of the law unto justice for everyone who believes.” Romans 10:1-4
    St. Paul clearly said that only a remnant of the Jewish nation will be saved, as they have not rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah. In these verses he addressed the Judaizers who were still clinging to the Old Covenant Jewish traditions.

    However, Jesus Christ in Matthew 7:21, had spoken to all of us, and He clearly stated that we have to do the will of the Father. Doing something requires effort, or work. That work is keeping the commandments. Those who do not keep the commandments will not enter heaven.

    Jesus Christ redeemed us and provided for our salvation. The Gates of Heaven were opened, but not one of us can just 'walk in' and claim residency without obeying the will of the Father.


    John 10:28 "And I give them everlasting life; and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand."
    See also John 6:37, "And him who comes to Me I will not cast out."

    Both of those verses indicate that Jesus Christ will be loyal to us and will never cast us out. However, He left open the fact that we could simply walk away from Him by not keeping His Word.

    "For GOD so loved the world that He gave his only-begotten Son, that those who believe in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting.” John 3:16

    It seems at first glance from that verse, that all one has to do is to believe in Jesus Christ to be saved. Again, when the verse is understood from the original Greek text, this is not the case at all. The Greek word used here for "believe", is "Pisteuvw", or when transliterated into English is "Pisteuo". This Greek word means, to believe, to rely on, and to "obey". To "obey" involves works, which means we must bear good fruit.

    You could be a branch attached to the vine, but just who is the vine dresser?
    "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in Me that bears no fruit He will take away; and every branch that bears fruit He will cleanse, that it may bear more fruit."
    John 15:1-2

    "For all of us must be made manifest before the tribunal of Christ, so that each one may receive what he has won through the body, according to his works, whether good or evil."
    2Cor 5:10

    See Matthew 22:8-14, the parable of the marriage feast. The one who was not dressed properly was cast into the darkness outside where there was weeping and the gnashing of teeth.

    In Matthew 25:1-13 is the parable of the ten virgins. Five were not prepared for the coming of the Bridegroom (Christ) and were shut out of the marriage feast.

    Then there is another parable which applies too. In Matthew 13:47-50, the kingdom of heaven is likened to a net cast into the sea and gathers fish of every kind, both good and bad. The good fish are saved, but what happens to the bad ones in verses 49-50? They are cast into the furnace of fire where again there is weeping and the gnashing of teeth. All of the fish were gathered into the net, but were all of them saved from the furnace of fire?

    Read about the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:31-46. You probably have already noticed that both believed, but did you also notice that only one worked? What was the final end of those who did no works? See verses 45-46. Since the goats believed, why then were they not saved also?

    See a fruitless person is cut off. Now you can readily see that salvation depends upon each one of us and on our individual fruitful actions in a very important way.


    Nothing defiled may enter the kingdom of heaven.
    “And there shall not enter into it (heaven) anything defiled, nor he who practices abomination and falsehood, but only those who are written in the book of life of the Lamb.” Revelation 21:27

    "He who overcomes shall possess these things, and I will be his GOD, and he shall be my son. But as for the cowardly and unbelieving, and abominable and murderers, and fornicators and sorcerers, and idolaters and all liars, their portion shall be in the pool that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:7-8

    Where do liars spend all eternity even if they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but fail to work out their salvation by keeping the Ten Commandments? Are not "Thou shalt not lie", and "Thou shalt not kill" two of the Ten Commandments?

    "Why do you ask me what is good? One there who is good and he is GOD. But if you will enter into life, OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS.” “ Which commandments?" the man asked. Jesus said, "Never murder. Never commit adultery. Never steal. Never give false testimony. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Matthew 19:17-19

    These verses clearly have said that if we do not obey the commandments, we will not have (eternal) life.

    "Here is the patience of the Saints, who keep the commandments of GOD, and the faith of Jesus."
    Revelation 14:12

    So, can we truthfully say we are saved? Yes, but we can’t believe that it is a one sided process completed by Jesus Christ alone. He did His part, now it is up to each one of us to do our part by our co-operation with His unlimited sacrifice on the cross.

    Salvation is an ongoing process throughout our lives. It is a life long struggle.

    "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Phil 2:12

    We were saved in the past: Rom 5:1-2,8:24, Eph 2:5-8, 2Tim 1:9, Tit 3:5.

    We are being saved now: Rom 5:9-10, 1Cor 1:18, 15:2, Phil 2:12, 1Pet 1:8-9, 2:1-2.

    We will be saved in the future: Mt 10:22, 24:13, Rom 13:11, 1Cor 3:12-15, 5:5, 2Tim 2:11-13, Rev 21:6-7.

    "...but I chastise my body and bring it into subjection, lest perhaps after preaching to others I myself should be rejected."
    1Cor 9:27

    Then there is Rom 11:22, "See, then, the goodness and the severity of GOD: His severity towards those who have fallen, but the goodness of GOD towards you if you abide in His goodness; otherwise you also will be cut off."

    “ I have confidence in you the Lord that you will not think otherwise; but he who disturbs you will bear the penalty, whoever he may be.” Gal 5:10

    "You therefore, brethren, since you know this beforehand, be on your guard lest, carried away by the error of the foolish, you fall away from your own steadfastness." 2Pet 3:17

    "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are immorality, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, jealousies, anger, quarrels, factions, parties, envies, murders, drunkenness, carousing, and suchlike. AND CONCERNING THESE I WARN YOU, AS I HAVE WARNED YOU, THAT THEY WHO DO SUCH THINGS WILL NOT ATTAIN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.” Gal 5:19-21

    See also, Matt 6:14-15, 7:21, 24:44-51, Mark 11:26, Luke 10:16, John 14:21, Rom 11:22, and Rev 21:8.

    Perseverance in doing the will of the Father: This virtue will bring us to our goal:

    "...but he who has persevered to the end will be saved.” Matt 10:22, 24:13
    Notice that these verses do not say that we are saved but that we will be saved...future tense. What does "persevered" mean? Why should anyone have to worry about perseverance if they are already saved?

    "Life eternal indeed he will give to those who by patience in good works seek glory and honor and immortality; but wrath and indignation to those who are contentious, and who do not submit to the truth but assent to iniquity.” Rom 2:7-8

    "And in doing good, let us not grow tired; for in due time we shall reap if we do not relax.” Gal 6:9

    "Do not therefore, lose your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of patience that, doing the will of GOD, you may receive the promise:" Heb 10:35-36

    "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been tried, he will receive the crown of life which GOD has promised to those who love Him.” Jam 1:12

    "But he who has looked carefully into the perfect law of liberty and has remained in it, not becoming a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, shall be blessed in his deed.” Jam 1:25

    "Take, brethren, as an example of labor and patience, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.” Jam 5:10

    "Therefore, brethren, strive even more by good works to make your calling and election sure. For if you do this, you will not fall into sin at any time. Indeed, in this way will be amply provided for you the entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.” 2Pet 1:10-11

    "Him who overcomes I will permit to eat of the tree of life, which is the paradise of my GOD."
    Rev 2:7

    "Fear none of those things that you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be you faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Rev 2:10

    "And to him who overcomes, and who keeps My works unto the end, I will give authority over the nations.” Rev 2:26

    "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."
    1Cor 10:12

    See also: John 15:4-10, 1Cor 15:58, Eph 4:14,6:10-17, 1Thes 3:8,5:21-22, 2Thes 2:15-17,
    Heb12:1-15,13:9, Jam1:4,2:14-26, 1Pet1:4-7,5:8, Rev2:17,3:5,11-12,21,21:7



    Wow! Talk about a profound revelation. So I guess it can not be said that Salvation of faith + nothing (no works) is scriptural. What are the “works” that Jesus commands us to do? 1. To feed the hungry. 2. To give drink to the thirsty. 3. To clothe the naked. 4. To visit the imprisoned. 4. To shelter the homeless. 6. To visit the sick. 7. To bury the dead. These are from the Bible and referred to the Corporal (Material) Works of Mercy. The Spiritual Works of Mercy are: 1. Correct those who need it. 2. Teach the ignorant. 3. Give advice to those who need it. 4. Comfort those who suffer. 5. Be patient with others. 6. Forgive others who hurt you. 7. Pray for others.
     
  8. Jude

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    Sola Fide is a doctrine of men.
    James 2.15-26

    15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    By WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, AND NOT BY FAITH ONLY. (how much clearer can it be?) It is certainly more-proper to say that we are saved by Grace alone. And as we've seen above, the overwhelming Biblical evidence supports the notion that we must, by grace, be obedient, to be saved...
     
  9. Jim Ward

    Jim Ward
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    The belief that tradition and Scripture are equal is one of the most heretical beliefs ever thought up by man.
     
  10. JFS

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    Jim Wrote:
    Can you please explain this?

    God Bless You

    John
     
  11. Born Again Catholic

    Born Again Catholic
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    It is always interesting how people take things. In hindsight, especially with the title I chose, I guess I can understand this turning into a "what is a saving faith" argument but that was not my original intent.

    My intent was to discuss just how intimate our relationship with Jesus must be. Is describing it as a "personal relationship" adequate enough or does this understate the true nature of our relation? and secondly, As our marital realtionships are a sign of Christ relationship with the Church what does this truly mean for us especially in the most intimate part of our most intimate relationships with our spouses?(moral issues)

    I hadn't thought of the natural implications of this post that it really effects our understanding of what is a "saving faith" but it certainly does. A truly intimate marital relationship is not a one time declaration of love, we can declare our love in our courtship, as anyone married person here can tell you a true marital relation is much more than a one time declaration of love, thanks for pointing that out DHK.

    God Bless
     
  12. D28guy

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    It certainly is.

    Just as hidious is to deny that we are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

    Justification through faith alone is essential. God feels so strongly about it that he curses any gospel that includes works of any kind as necesarry for our justification.

    Works/fruit/evidence flow from our justification...which becomes ours through faith alone.

    "God be merciful to me, a sinner."

    No works at all, yet Jesus Christ declared that man justified.

    "God, I thank you that I am not like other men. I tithe, I give alms, etc..."

    The pharisee included works, and even gave God credit for them, yet Jesus Christ declared him to be not justified.

    God bless,

    Mike
     
  13. neal4christ

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    Mike,

    Where is the phrase "faith alone" found in Scripture? I agree that we are saved by grace, not faith (Eph. 2:8), and that it is mediated through faith (same verse). Your example above makes since because faith is absolutely necessary. However, is it not a logical conclusion that without any works a person is really not justified? After all, is that not God's plan for us once we are reconciled to him (Eph. 2:10)?

    In Christ,
    Neal
     
  14. trying2understand

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    James appears to believe differently.

    James 2:24
    You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
     
  15. paidagogos

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    James appears to believe differently.

    James 2:24
    You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Nope, your exegesis is faulty. James does not contradict Paul since both were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Actually, James is differentiating between a dead, sterile cognitive belief, as evidenced by the demons, and true saving faith of the Christian. Paul puts it in perspective in Ephesians 2:8-10: “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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” True faith produces works or, in other words, true faith is demonstrated by one’s works or behavior.

    In sum, the problem is with your understanding, not the Scriptures.
     
  16. trying2understand

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    So you are saying that a sterile cognitive faith is one without works, which would not justify you.

    And faith with works (or as James says works and not by faith alone)justifies man.

    How do you then morph this into justification by faith alone?
     
  17. neal4christ

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    Good point, Ron. Exactly what I was trying to get at in a round about way. [​IMG]

    In Christ,
    Neal
     
  18. trying2understand

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    Ain't this fun? [​IMG]
     
  19. paidagogos

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    Sorry, but your exegesis and exposition is misconstrued. James is simply contrasting a mere rational knowledge with true saving faith or trust. Salvation produces works, but works have no part in bringing salvation. Saving faith produces works out of a regenerate heart but works have absolutely nothing to do with salvation. As Paul wrote: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work (katergazomai = perform, work fully, work out from inner to outer, i.e. let that which is inner work out) 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. (Philippians 2:12-13)” Works are simply the result of salvation and have no part in procuring it. If salvation is a gift, and it is, then works have no part in obtaining or retaining salvation.

    Paul wrote: “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? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”

    He continued: “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 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. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:1-14)”

    Hint: Read the Scriptures fully and in context with comparison to other related Scriptures. You may have heard it said that Scripture is its own best commentary.
     
  20. neal4christ

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    I have. However, it confuses me a bit when all these different ones claim the same "truth" and yet end up with so many different interpretations, all based on using Scripture to interpret Scripture. I used to hold firmly to that, but it gets a bit frustrating when we all claim this and yet end up arguing over the interpretation of a passage. If it was so clear cut it seems to me there would not be so much disagreement. Makes sense in my simple mind! [​IMG]

    In Christ,
    Neal
     

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