Acts 15 and eternal secuity

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by thessalonian, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. thessalonian

    thessalonian
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    Something has always bothered me and so I am going to start a discussion on it. When Acts 15 is discussed it is usually with regard to infallibility of the Pope. Catholics say, Peter made the decision, Protestants say na na boo boo your wrong. Well I want to have a different discussion on Acts 15. Why on God's green earth if the Gospel that the Apostles (including Paul I might add) was one of assured salvation, did they have to bring everybody together and have a big meeting in Jerusalem to discuss whether circumcision was neccessary for salvatoin or not? Why didn't Paul bring up the usual eternal security verses and just put the whole matter to rest right away? "Circumcision isn't neccessary for salvation because Jesus say he came that we might have eternal life" or something like that?
    Didn't everybody know that the Gospel included assurance of salvation?
    Why didn't anyone stand up and say, "oh, that's works righteousness"?
    Do you catch my drift. Let's give it a go.

    Have fun. I may not participate much do to personal duties.

    Blessings
     
  2. BobRyan

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    Actually that is the point that Peter makes in Acts 15 - that this works righteousness is not possible either for Gentiles or for Jews. He says

    Peter argues that there has been only ONE Gospel only ONE way of salvation and that there is NOT difference between Jew and Gentile in that regard.

    No change - no difference - it is ONE way only.

    He then points out that the model of salvation by works "never worked" in any age. Not in the NT and not in the OT.

    I say this as a 5 pt Arminian who does not believe in the OSAS doctrine you are trying to disprove in this text. I just don't know that this is the text to do it.

    IT WOULD have been a good text for that Arminian (anti-OSAS) argument IF it had said "Gentiles are saved BUT they will lose their salvation IF they do not go on to become Jews as well".

    But since it does not say that - we don't make the case from this chapter.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  3. Ray Berrian

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    Luke in writing down truth in vs. 24 reminds us that it is not necessary to ' . . . be circumcised or to perfectly keep the Law in order to be saved.

    To be saved is not an 'in and out of grace experience of the believer.' Everlasting life begins when we first, personally accept Christ as our only Savior. What kind of life does He give? Never ending life with God.

    How do we acquire this experience and reality? The answer is in verse nine and eleven. We are saved by the ' . . . purification of the sinner's heart by faith. {in Jesus}

    Secondly, Luke writes in verse eleven, 'But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.' [Acts 15:9 & 11]

    To add 'circumcision' or keeping the Law flawlessly would make salvation a matter of faith plus works or human effort. This would complicate God's working of salvation in each of us as Christian believers. Neither Almighty God, St. Paul or St. Peter wanted people to think in this venue.

    John 3:16 is God's simple way into the reality and experience of eternal life. When we receive Christ [John 1:12] God gives to sinners everlasting life. This is eternal security, because it is not dependent on us, but totally on Jesus Christ, our Advocate. [I John 2:1-2]
     
  4. thessalonian

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    Ray,

    You missed my point. I agree that circumcision is not neccessary for salvatoin and certainly would not argue otherwise. But why did there have to be a council to meet on the question if ES or OSAS were what was being taught througout Christianity?
     
  5. Ray Berrian

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    thessalonian,

    I agree with you that the purpose of Acts 15 is because the Pharisees who got saved were saying that it was necessary to become 'circumcised' and to keep the Law of Moses in order to please the Lord and to be saved. [vs. 5]

    Salvation was by faith in Jesus apart from the Law because John 1:17 says that ' . . . grace came to N.T. people through Jesus Christ and not through keeping the Law. This main issue was not about whether they or we can lose our salvation, but that it is Christ alone Who does the saving and not Moses or even through our added aid of our 'good works.'
     
  6. Harley4Him

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    It wouldn't have been necessary if early Christians taught OSAS. Good topic thess.
     
  7. BobRyan

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    It does not follow that if there is OSAS - then you can not dispute with other church members about what is required for salvation. OSAS - and Eternal security are statements about free will, about the "permanence" of salvation.

    They do not address "how" you get it. For example - do you have to accept Christ as your Savior or can you be ... Lazarus not yet knowing the full meaning of the cross?

    OSAS says that however you consider Lazarus to have been saved - once he was saved - he stayed saved.

    Thess your focus seems to be in "how" they are getting saved and not OSAS. It is agreed that if the assumption is "they all agreed on HOW you get saved" then - they would not be having the Acts 15 discussion.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  8. Brother Adam

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    Harley,

    The passage would still be necessary if they taught eternal security or not. Like Bob mentioned- we aren't talking about if they stay saved, they are talking the how of salvation.

    The passage doesn't say anything on eternal security that I can find, for or against it. Maybe I'm missing the point too?
     
  9. thessalonian

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    Brother Adam,

    I am still reflecting on this but I still don't see where they use scripture or quotations to say that the band that Peter speaks of with regard to Cornelius, who were baptized as I understand a few years before this episode, had eternal life guaranteed to them. Surely they would have quoted Christ's words, "you have eternal life" in refuting this claim of the neccessity of circumcishion. It is not the pharasees testimony that bothers me but the lack of testimony with regard to ES in a place where it undoudtably would have silenced the oponent if it were true and would have been used.

    Blessings
     
  10. BobRyan

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    The problem is that the Acts 15 statement did not say "they have to become jews" or they have to "get circumcized to STAY saved" - it says that they needed it to BE saved at all.

    It was a debate on "how" a person is saved. On what you need to "do" to get saved - not on what it takes to "stay saved".

    And this from someone that is 5 pt
    Arminian and does "not" believe in OSAS.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. Ray Berrian

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    'The 'certain men from Judea {Acts 15:1 & the 'some of the Pharisees who believed' vs. 5} were teaching new Christians that in order to be saved they had to be circumcised. In the letters sent to Antioch, Syria and Cilicia a Gentile area it said, in effect, "You do not have to experience physical circumcision in order to be saved." [vs. 24e,f,g] These 'letters' certified that this truth was true and it came straight from the Apostolate at the Jerusalem Council of Christian Elders.

    The Christian message is that we are saved by faith in Jesus alone, and not through other spiritual exercises, rituals, ordinances, or sacraments. Christ died for our sins; [I Cor. 15:3 & I John 2:2] and when sinners receive Christ [John 1:12 & 3:16] they are transformed [II Cor. 5:17] by Christ through the Spirit of God and are forever saved. [John 3:16 & I John 5:11 & 13 & Jude vs. 21]

    Yes, we baptize people and minister to them the Eucharist, but these human and spiritual actions do not contribute to our salvation, otherwise, the minister or priest would be contributing to what Christ has already accomplished for us on the Cross and through His resurrection, ascension and present intercession.

    Salvation was received from God through faith. [Acts 15:7 f & 9b & Ephesians 2:8-9] The message to them and to us is that any add on theology even in Protestantism becomes a 'faith plus works' religion, and this is most certainly wrong. We cannot lift on of our own bootstraps up toward being saved; salvation is totally through Christ and His atoning benefits toward sinners who truly believe in Him.
     
  12. BobRyan

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    And of course the Gal 1:6-11 "One Gospel" model would insist that in all of time there was "no other way" - "no other Gospel".

    But I guess that is another thread.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. Ray Berrian

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    Bob Ryan,

    Your post was very true.

    The whole Book of Galatians is against religious types who believe you are saved by faith and kept by works. We are saved by faith alone; notice 3:11.

    ' . . . if righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain.' [2:21]

    The Law was only the sinner's schoolmaster in bringing us to Christ. [24] And again notice we are justified/saved by believing. [3:22 & 24]
     
  14. BobRyan

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    Then "it can not be" that mankind was "saved by works for 4000 years" and then "saved by Grace for the last 2000".

    Rather - salvation was by grace through faith "One Gospel" in all ages. That means that the "giants of faith" that we see in Heb 11 - were "born again saints" that were "saved by grace through faith".

    That means that the "blood" that forgave their sins was "The blood of Christ" because "it is impossible for animal blood to take away sins" Heb 10:1-4.

    That means that Enoch and Elijah - were taken to heaven - and fully forgiven - by our "one God and Savior" - proclaimed as such in the OT.

    The Law merely points the lost to their need of a Savior. It still has the same authority to condemn all mankind as "sinners" as "violaters" as those who "owe the second death" for the wages of sin is death. This means that if we do not accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ, if we do not accept salvation - then we are "as doomed today as they were 4000 years ago". As doomed as Adam when he fell. As much in need of the New Birth, of salvation, of the blood of Christ "alone" to cover our sins.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. cotton

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    So, how do we explain Matt. 19:16-22, Mark 10:17-20, Luke 18:18-22? The dialogue between Y'shua and the young man? Why does he place an emphasis on the commandments when asked about eternal life?
    Cotton
     
  16. BobRyan

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    #1. Because - without the savior - perfect obedience - perfect sinlessness is the only way into heaven. And of course "ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" so ALL need the Savior -- sinless perfection is not really an option.

    #2. Because even if someone DOES accept Christ and is born-again "These things I write unto that you sin NOT" - the command not to rebel against God's Will - His Word - His Law is the same. It is not how one "earns" salvation - but it is still the "marching orders" for the saints who walk NOT after the flesh but after the spirit.

    #3. Because in Romans 3 we are told that our faith "does NOT make VOID the Law of God but rather establishes the Law of God".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  17. cotton

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    Well, I believe that begs the question, "what's the point or purpose of obedience? as well as what constitutes obedience?" Also, I believe Ray said that Gal 3:11 states we are saved by faith 'alone' however the word 'alone' is not in my version(s).
     
  18. cotton

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    Bob; After looking at my post, I realize I didn't address your reply well; my bad; I agree with all your points as to how WE should view his response (which is what my question was). My thoughts (which weren't reflected in my question) were more centered around the young man's dilema; he didn't have the book of Romans or the example of the cross to reference. The paradox of Y'shua's response was evident in that even His disciples didn't understand. Also, even our understanding of the apparent paradox doesn't negate His words, if you would enter into life, keep the commandments.
    Cotton
     
  19. BobRyan

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    Gal 1:6-11 - only one Gospel in all ages.

    The Gospel message is salvation by grace through faith. The New Covenant is spelled out in Jeremiah and quoted from Jeremiah in Hebrews 8.

    There is no "salvation by works" for 4000 years in the OT followed by another Gospel of "salvation by grace" for 2000 years in the NT. It was always "by grace". It is the same Gospel - the same way of salvation - the blood of Christ alone that forgives sins.

    Christ is pointing out two things in that pre-cross statement.

    #1. sinless perfection is the only way to get to heaven by your works.

    #2. Obedience to the commandments - rather than rebellion against God's word is - the rule EVEN for the child of God.

    Notice that to "make the point" Christ asks the wealthy ruler to give up what he loved ---

    But in Deut 6:5 God "already said" that we must "love God with all your heart".

    Christ tells the man to give his money to the poor (pre-cross) -- and in Lev 19:18 God "already said" that we must love our neighbor as ourselves.

    His message pre-cross was fully consistent with what it would be today. For that reason in Matt 28 - Christ said that the mission of his followers was to tell others what he taught them (pre-cross for 3.5 years). ANd that is what you see proclaimed in the Gospels.

    Is this what you are looking for?

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  20. cotton

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    I think I see and concur; all that are or ever were redeemed are redeemed by faith; we don't obey to be saved, we obey because we are saved? And; the Gospel is Y'shua's sacrifice for sin; the New Covenant is 'the Torah is now written on are hearts'?
    Cotton
     

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