Did Paul not get it?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, May 23, 2006.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex
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    I find this verse here confusing.

    1.Cor 9:26Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim;I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

    Do you know how this sounds like? This sounds like Paul is still in the race because of what he did. He run, he disciplined himself, he did this, he did that.... :eek: :confused:
    This sounds like Paul's works kept him in the saved state. :confused:
     
  2. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Xdisciplex:This sounds like Paul's works kept him in the saved state.

    HP: This only sounds confusing if in fact one looks at salvation as being complete in the initial act of faith and repentance. I do not believe this to be the case, again if it was we would have knowledge of that by absolute knowledge, not the faith God tells us we hold the knowledge of our salvation by.

    Salvation is a process that begins with repentance and faith, is proven out and lived as we walk in obedience to Him, and will be consummated as we stand before Him and hear those words, well done thou good and faithful servant.

    Numerous times we are warned to watch, lest we allow the things we have once received slip from our possession. It is not as though our works ‘keep us saved.’ Salvation is a process of which our obedience plays a part. Our obedience or good works are never thought of in the sense of ‘that for the sake of’ but rather are always thought of in the sense of ‘not without which.” We are not saved or kept saved on the account of our works, for nothing but the grace of God is the grounds of our salvation. Just the same, we will not be saved apart from our works. I have given the illustration before of a prisoner that is in prison for murder. I believe it helps to illustrate that point.


    A man goes to prison for life, being justly condemned and sentenced by a judge for a specific crime. Can such an individual ‘merit’ a pardon by the performance of good works while in prison? Can such a criminal perform good works to such a degree that the governor is forced to grant this man a pardon based merely on the ‘merit’ of the performance of such good works? Absolutely not. Just the same can the governor, if he so pleases, pardon such a criminal? Of course he can. Still, there is something the criminal MUST do, there is an attitude that MUST be reflected by the criminal to receive a pardon IF the governor is indeed fair and just, and attitudes are tied inseparably to intents of the heart, this very initial intent being none other than a ‘work’ in one sense of the word. The governor MUST witness from the criminal a repentant attitude and a change of heart towards his former criminal behavior if the governor is even to consider such a pardon for the criminal.

    What kind of governor would pardon a criminal from prison who had not exhibited true remorse for his crimes? Would not the governor have to be satisfied in his or her mind that IF they pardoned such a criminal that they would not return to commit the same crime or one of like heinous behavior upon society again and that such a criminal possessed and exhibited a true change of heart and attitude towards their former behavior? There are indeed certain conditions that the criminal must meet, works that such a one must of necessity do in order to have the opportunity for a pardon if such an opportunity is offered. These works on the part of the prisoner are in no way meritorious in nature, and in no way force the governor to grant such a one a pardon on their account. Just the same, there are definite conditions or works one must do in order for the governor to consider the pardon. These works are thought of in the sense of ‘not without which,’ not ‘that for the sake of.’ It can properly be stated that one is not pardoned due to any works (in one sense of the word ‘works’ in the sense of ‘that for the sake of’) of the prisoner, but just the same it can be said ‘without works’ (in another sense of the word, that being in the sense of ‘not without which’) one will never see the opportunity to receive a pardon.

    Can you see how that works can be thought of as necessary for a pardon, or in the sense of “not without which,” yet at the same time no amount of works can be thought of as “that for the sake of” or forcing the governor to pardon the criminal on the account of works performed by the criminal?

    Such I believe is the case in the verse you mention. Paul is not saying that his works save him or keep him saved, just the same, neither will he be found in Christ in the last day 'apart from' his continued obedience.
     
  3. J. Jump

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    Couple of problems here. According to Ephesians 2:8-9 and Acts 16:30-31 salvation by grace through faith (not repentance) is a done deal. The verbage in the Greek language tells us so.

    And I addressed the second issue, is that repentence is not required for eternal salvation. If it is then why doesn't Ephesians and Acts tell us so?

    Savlation of the soul is a process (sanctification), and we must be found obedient to Him as we run the race of faith. If we are not obedient then we will not realize the salvation of our soul and we will not hear those words. But it doesn't impact our eternal salvation, because that is a done deal that can't be reversed.

    xdisciplex we must die to self each and every day and moment by moment. This is basically what Paul is telling us, is that he is crucifying the flesh and he is dying to self and taking up the cross so as not to be disqualified, not from eternal salvation, but from the salvation of the soul.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. Claudia_T

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    Oh no, Paul "got it" quite well. Paul knew that some of the things he himself did would determine the oucome and he never taught that God just carries us along against our wills. He ran, he disciplined himself... Paul talks about "keeping his body under" and he talking about no longer "yielding our members" to sin but instead yielding them as instruments of righteousness...

    ...and its like some Christians are astonished at the thought that THEY actually have to DO something!

    Well guess what? WE DO!! We are not robots that God just pushes a button and forces us to do things. We have decisions to make and things we have to determine we will do. Then we have to DO them. GASP!!
     
  5. J. Jump

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    Cluadia these types of posts coming from you really strike me as odd. Here in this post you clearly understand that "doing" is a choice made on the part of the Christian.

    But then when someone says that a Christian chooses not to "do" the things that you say are a choice, then you automatically say that person is not saved, which means there is no choice.

    Do we have a choice or don't we?
     
  6. xdisciplex

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    What is the salvation of the soul?
     
  7. J. Jump

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    Hebrews 10:39, James 1:21, I Peter 1:9 speak directly to the issue, but the fast majority of the NT is talking about the salvation of the soul. Salvation by grace through faith is the saving of the spirit. When that happens your spirit and soul are separated as per Hebrews 4:12. Your spirit passes from death to life never to go back again and it passes from darkness to light.

    However your body and soul still remain in darkness. The Bible says the flesh is at war with the soul, because the soul is still in the process of being saved.
     
  8. BobRyan

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    Paul is showing an incredible amount of "focus" and REAL "effort" he compares himself to an olympic champion - in his focus devotion and effort.

    It is wise to pay close attention to his statement - it is not made lightly.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. BobRyan

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    Having made that case about lesser servants who actually have interest in personal rewards – Paul then DENIES that he really wants any of those temporal benefits / rewards /

    He claims that he values his “boast” higher than getting the earthly perishable temporal benefit from the church. In fact his view of “reward” is to offer the Gospel without charge! That is the only “reward” he mentions for himself in the entire chapter that is apart from the Gospel reward of “Eternal Life”.

    Now he will switch to the “Gospel” mission the “Gospel focus” the fact that His preaching of the Gospel of Salvation is such a consuming role that earthly benefit fades. He is under a higher calling

    This is key – Paul has just said that his “reward” is to “offer the Gospel without charge”. Paul specifically addresses the less substantive topic of personal reward (apart from eternal life) for preaching the Gospel. It is instructive that Paul specifically points to this issue of “reward” and states that the “reward” he is getting is the reward of not charging for his work as an evangelist!!

    This means that those who wish to spin the remainder of the chapter into a “concern for reward” that is apart from the Gospel reward of eternal life – must keep with Paul’s argument that his “reward” is “to offer the Gospel without charge”!! If they do that – then it makes no sense at all to say “I buffet my body and make it my slave lest I charge someone a penny for doing evangelism”. The entire “don’t think of this as the imperishable Gospel reward of eternal life” fails.

    At this point Paul jumps fully into the topic of SALVATION! He argues the point of wining the lost. He shows that his focus and goal is fully set on the salvation that is brought through the preaching of the Gospel!

    Wining here is “Wining souls for Christ” in the preaching of the Gospel. Preaching the Gospel to others – resulting in their Salvation! In this case to “Win” is to “SAVE”

    Paul shows that “To win is to save”! He preaches the Gospel to others in order to SAVE them – no mention at all of his seeking “a bit more candy when he gets to heaven”. . He mentions nothing about the temporal rewards in heaven of housing, or candy or toys nor does he mention what great honor and room-size reward he is seeking in heaven.

    --------------------------------

    Now comes that “unpleasant section” for many where Paul points out the seriousness of this Gospel pursuit for the goal of saving people -- so that I may by all means save some. as he says.

    Paul shows his explicit objective when he “Does all things for the sake of the Gospel”. He SAYS he does all things so that “he may become a fellow partaker of IT – the Gospel”!!

    Those who want to limit this discussion to “the amount of candy you get in heaven” are missing the entire point. Paul argues for the very basic issue of “participating IN THE GOSPEL”. Not to participate in the ONE Gospel of our salvation – is to be lost brothers and sisters.

    It is as a “fellow partaker of the GOSPEL” that Paul wants to live AND to preach. Indeed what is the point of preaching if he is not also PARTAKING of the benefits of the Gospel – eternal life.

    Paul shows that his own example in persuing that goal of being “A fellow partaker of the Gospel” is the standard/model/role-model for the saints. Paul argues that ALL saints are pursuing the same eternal imperishable reward in their striving – in their self-discipline. Paul says “but WE do it to receive an IMPERISHABLE objective.


    He has left the realm of “I am a leader and Apostle and so I have special rights” to the perspective of WE ALL want to be “Fellow partakers” of the Gospel for as he has just pointed out when the Gospel is received the people are saved. (; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.)

    So now in this “fellow partaker of the Gospel” model for ALL that Paul is offering (in the form of his own life example) he shows how it works. He shows the perspective of the saint, the attitude, the focus the Olympic ALL for the Gospel focus that is NEEDED. IN fact he argues that it is critical EVEN for an Apostle for even in this most exaulted case HE is at risk “LEST after preaching the Gospel to other I MYSELF should be disqualified” from that very Gospel!

    How instructive!

    Yet how fervently ignored by those who find this to be an “unpleasant” section of scripture!

    Take each "detail" and show the meaning IN the 1Cor 9 context itself. Let the argument speak for itself IN the text you are exegeting.

    Or do you read vs 23-27 and respond with

    And so when Paul says

    Do you respond with

    "Are you saved by your efforts of paying close attention, persevering and taking pains with those disciplines?"

    Will your response to each of these displeasing texts be simply to challenge them and show how your view of "other texts" don't allow these unpleasant texts to exist??


    When Paul says

    He speaks of “The loss of all things” and the goal of “knowing Christ”. In fact he says his goal is to “gain Christ”. More than this – he seeks to “attain to the resurrection from the dead”.

    Those who think that “knowing Christ,” and “gaining Christ” and ‘the resurrection of the righteous” are all things “other than salvation” have not thought about the point of Gospel salvation in the complete form it is presented in scripture.

    So when we see such direct appeals to the salvific benefits of the Gospel - do you respond with I would hope that you are humble enough to put no faith in yourself........and at least a little in God!?? Do you rework this into a kind of “its all about Paul’s confidence in himself” story? Why not accept it as the faithful view of the saints of God – just as Paul presents it??

    If you see yourself needing to “gloss over” the details of Phil 3 or 1Cor 9 and you if you feel the need to respond to them as “inconvenient test” as you divert attention away from these direct challenges to OSAS and towards some less problematic texts - you can begin to see that those other texts are being taken to extremes so place them in favor of OSAS. If we let the text speak in its full detail does it cause you to immediately jump to some other "more comfortable" text?

    IF so - it is a sign that you have taken what your comfortable texts do not actually say explicitly and have added "inferences" that were never in those texts to start with.

    In the case of these "unpleasant" texts - it is the mere quote of them and the insistence on seeing their details rather than glossing over them that is causes so many to have heart burn.

    ----------------------------------

    Can we “retranslate” 1Cor 9:27 so it will be more “Acceptable” for OSAS?

     
  10. xdisciplex

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    @ J.Jump

    What is the salvation of the soul good for? What if you miss it?

    @ Bob

    This sounds really scary and I have problems making this agree with other bible verses such as:

    Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

    Joh 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

    Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

    Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    2Co 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

    What sense does being sealed and even being given the spirit as an earnest make when you can lose your salvation at any time? :confused:
     
  11. BobRyan

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    No silver ticket. - Sorry.

    Paul is right in 1Cor 9.

    Just as he affirms the SAME point in Romans 2 "NOT the hearers but the doers.

    Just as he affirms the SAME point in Phil 3 - " I PRESS ON toward the goal"

    Just as he affirms in 2Tim 2 "IF we deny Him HE WILL deny US"

    Just as he affirms in Romans 11 "you are right THEY were cast out because of their unbelief and YOU should FEAR for you only stand by your faith. IF He did not spare them NEITHER will HE SPARE you".

    It is not simply "ONE CASE" of "texts that need fixin' " if you are going to cling to the silver-ticke idea -- you would have to go and "rework" a great many texts.

    Consider Matt 18. Here we see the servant fully forgiven by the King. But that servant fails to show that SAME compassion and forgiveness to others - and has hiw own initial forgiveness "revoked".

    Read the last of that chapter. Another one that must be "fixed" if you are going to cling to the "silver ticke" idea.

    But in your case I would urge a strong starting point first - before getting wrapped up "in worry" about the ending. The start is all important and it comes with both assurance and "the New Birth" so enjoy!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. xdisciplex

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    But HOW in the world can a christian feel safe if he can lose it until the very last meters? This is sick! How in the world can a person be happy with this crushing pressure on his shoulders? Think about it, this is about heaven or hell. This is almost unbearable when you feel like "Oh, I gotta do and run and chastize myself and pray and fight the sin and resist and preach and evangelize because otherwise I'll go to hell and lose my salvation...."

    Oh boy...

    I have no clue how this harmonizes with verses like this here:

    2Co 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

    What is the worth of being sealed when this basically means nothing? This is like saying to somebody that you give him something as a present and that it belongs to him now and the next second you want it back. [​IMG]
     
  13. Marcia

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    What you are saying here is not in the Bible.

    There is no clear evidence that spirit and soul are separate. The use of spirit and soul in the Hebrews passage is a parallelism. In many passages, the words "soul" and "spirit" are interchangeable. There is difference of opinion in the church as to whether man is body/soul/spirit or body/spirit(soul). I think it doesn't matter -- we are material and immaterial.

    When one believes in Christ, one is saved totally but our bodies are not redeemed until the resurrection of our bodies in the future. To say our spirit is saved but not our soul is not a biblical view nor is it part of orthodox christianity.

    We don't work to earn salvation; the bible is crystal clear on this. Read Galatians. However, sanctification, the process of growing in Christ is something we are to strive for in cooperation with the Holy Spirit.
     
  14. BobRyan

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    Two options.

    Option one --
    Get a ticket and then you don't have to worry - you are "in" no matter what you do or think.

    (the problem with that solution - is that it is not in the Bible).

    Option two --

    A relationship - WALK with Christ, "Christ IN you the hope of Glory" -- the Romans 8 thing of "The Holy Spirit bearing witness with your spirit that you ARE the child of God". The Romans 11 "Fear lest you follow the same example of unbelief" is there but it does not take away from the peace that passes understanding.

    In Romans 2 - the Jews "thought they had a ticket" so they were "in no matter what and God was simply stuck with them". But Paul argues there that EVEN a gentile WITH NO BIBLE could have salvation - SHOWING the New Covenant promise written on the heart.
     
  15. xdisciplex

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    But it doesn't work this way. This way you always have to be focused on how much you do and you can never really know if you're doing well or not. If not even Paul felt like he already has attained it then how am I supposed to feel? I cannot compare myself to Paul and most likely most of the christians cannot do this. Then I can always fear that I am not doing enough. Not praying enough, not reading the bible enough, not fasting enough, not obeying enough, not being radical enough, being too carnally minded, being too focused on the world and so on.
    This way I'll always be worried and this isn't liberating this is paralyzing. This is almost like being a catholic. I don't get it. Why do christians complain about the catholics and how focused they are on works when Paul is also focused on works? :confused:
    What is the right way to describe it? I feel like no matter how you call it you might be called a heretic.
    If I say I'm saved by grace through faith then some will scream and call me a heretic because I do not include the works.
    If I say that once I'm saved I have to do works to remain saved then I'm also a heretic because then I can stand before God and say: Yes, you saved me but I'm only here today because I made sure that I remained saved through all my good works which I have done.

    You see, no matter what I do it's always wrong. This is just great.... :(
     
  16. James_Newman

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    The fact that you can have peace while having no assurance of your salvation (outside of your works) does pass understanding, I'll grant you that. The hope of Glory is just that, the hope of Glory. It is not the hope of being eternally saved, but the hope of being GLORIFIED at Christ's second coming, and reigning with Him in GLORY.
     
  17. BobRyan

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    #1. You were right to immediately detect a sharp difference between what you were reading in 1 Cor 9 and what you were thinking about once saved always saved.

    #2. You say "But it doesn't work this way. This way you always have to be focused on how much you do and you can never really know if you're doing well or not." -- that is not correct. IF God is going to tell you "NOW" that you are saved - and born again - and walking with Christ then you know NOW that you are ok.

    Your problem is that you want to be anxious about all the tomorrows "now" as well. But God tells us not to worry about tomorrow - each day has enough worry of its own.

    Colossians 2 gives wise advice "AS you have RECEIVED Christ Jesus SO WALK in Him".

    There is no short cut.

    No magic ticket.

    The WALK is the fact of life - and it is shown in both Romans 8:1-16 as well as 1John 2 (read the entire chapter).

    That is why you have to take time each day with those devotional books and prayer etc.

    This is not a t-shirt you pick up one day and then that's it. This is a breakfast you must eat every day.

    Eating breakfast once two years ago as your "food" for life does not cut it.

    But the good news is that the New Birth involves a "LOVE of the TRUTH" - which is Love for the one who IS The WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE. Loving the truth means loving to engage in close relationship WITH Him each day!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  18. xdisciplex

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    But doesn't this take away from Jesus' work on the cross? This sounds like wether I stay saved is totally up to me.
    And it also sounds like as a christian you have to do certain things otherwise you cannot be a christian. This leads to compulsion, at least in my case. Then I will think "I have to read the bible now otherwise I'm not a christian" or when I don't want to read the bible then I will feel like God is angry at me now and already becoming impatient with me and I'm close to losing my salvation. I know myself. This is exactly where this is going and I end up totally paranoid and I'll do things only out of fear of losing my salvation. This cannot be the way.
    This feels like having a Damocles sword hovering over your head all the time. How can I even have a normal relationship with God when the whole time this fear or this thought that I can lose my salvation is present? This isn't even possible. This is like playing with a tiger. The whole time you have in mind that the tiger who looks so nice and behaves friendly could also tear you into pieces.
    And you can never know wether you'll really make it to heaven. You can never know what's going to be in 10 years, in 20 years in 30 years. What if you simply fall off one day? What if God already knows it? What if you'll never make it to heaven? This is sick. :(
     
  19. James_Newman

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    Eating once will do it, if it is the right food.

    John 6:51
    51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
     
  20. BobRyan

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    That is the "story" they usually tell when they are going about their work of having to "fix up" and "redefine" Romans 11, Matt 18, 1Cor 9, 2 Tim 2, Romans 2, Ezek 18 ... The problem is "it never ends" you end up having to "fix so much of scripture" fit that "story" that at some point you are better off just letting the Bible define the Gospel instead of making one up that "seems" more convenient at the moment.

    As we discovered in the case of Job 1 and 2 the entire system is based on free will. It is precisely BECAUSE you always have the option of leaving, of losing heart, giving up and turning back to sin and rebellion that you see texts like 1 Cor 9 or Heb 12:1-4 and all these others "that need fixin' up when you opt for those OSAS stories instead".

    The problem is that it is an endless list of texts that all "need fixin'" when you go that route.

    If your compulsion is the "extreme variety" that we see in 1Cor 9 -- that of an olympic champion with single minded focus on the prize - and this drives you daily to the foot of the cross for daily assurance (Paul says "I DIE DAILY" 1 Cor 15, and Christ says we must "Take up our cross DAILY and follow Him") -- then good!

    But if you find that your "compulsion" is to "try harder WITHOUT actually having a relationship with Christ that very day" then "something is still broke".

    As for anxiety, paranoia and fear - I don't think these things can be "defeated" by the traditions-of-man or simply a more satisfying story. You need "real" supernatural Bible answers - and Paul is giving it to you in 1Cor 9, Romans 11, Romans 2, Christ in Matt 18 AS WELL as those fun places like John 3:16. You have to take "it all" not just a pick-and-choose so that only that which can be somehow fit into OSAS is accepted.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     

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