Does Faith, in either system, merit salvation?

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Skandelon, Jan 8, 2014.

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  1. Skandelon

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    Merit - "deserve or be worthy of (something, esp. reward)"

    In Calvinism, man comes to faith by a irresistible divine work of grace. Even so, does that faith merit or earn their salvation? In other words, are men saved by the "works" that God graciously caused them to do? Or are they saved by grace alone and the works are merely an outflow or fruit of that grace?

    In non-Calvinism, we believe that faith and repentance are responses to God's gracious provisions...responses for which we are 'responsible' (response-abled). But, even still, the act of repenting or confessing in faith doesn't merit salvation. Someone doesn't deserve to be forgiven because they ask for it. The CHOICE to forgive anyone, even those who humbly confess, is all of Grace. God indeed will give grace to the humble, but its not BECAUSE they are humble, but because he is gracious. Their humility doesn't EARN or MERIT salvation. If not for grace, even the most faith filled and humble people in the world would die and go to hell.
     
  2. The Biblicist

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    Faith is the work of God! The substance of faith, which is manifest in the confession of faith with the mouth is created by God in the heart by divine revelation (Mt. 16:17; 2 Cor. 4:6) in direct connection with the gospel (1 Thes. 1:4-5; Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:17-18) and so it is "with the heart" man believeth.

    Here is your archilles heel. You assert that men can be faith filled apart from grace. You are asserting that saving faith is of man and anything "of man" is works. We deny saving faith is of man but is wholly a gift of God and the gifts of God are WITHOUT REPENTANCE - He does not take them back.
     
  3. Skandelon

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    And? Are men saved because 'with the heart they believeth' and thus merit being saved? Or is that faith a fruit of grace alone and actually not meriting anything? I think its the latter, right?

    That is only true if you fail to consider God's work in bringing the gospel to the world a gracious work. OR if you believe its only a gracious work if it has irresistible saving effect on mankind.

    Actually, I'm asserting as Paul stated, that faith comes by hearing the word of God, which he GRACIOUSLY sends, but I don't deny human responsibility because some might 'trade the truth in for lies' and deceive themselves, becoming defiled and hardened. I don't make the mistake of Calvinist by suggesting the gospel was just not sufficiently powerful enough to enable an actual response, thus giving unbelievers the perfect excuse for their unbelief.

    Only if it were to merit something. The concept of 'works' salvation is based upon the work meriting or earning salvation, which we deny. The act of requesting God's help is not a work, because the act of requesting doesn't merit being helped. One forgiven doesn't deserve to be forgiven just by making the request.

    If a man tortured and killed everyone you loved and then after feeling remorse sought out your forgiveness would he deserve to be forgiven because he asked you? Further would he deserve you not only forgiving his crime, but your choice to give him your house and all your money too? That is ALL OF GRACE.

    You are making the erroneous conclusion that because a man 'freely' or 'responsibly' asks God for forgiveness that he deserves to not only be forgiven but given an eternal home in Glory, which is unfounded.
     
  4. convicted1

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    Faith is part of the "grace package", that coincides with, regeneration, repentance, sanctification, glorification, et al. You can't have faith w/o the others coinciding with it. God gives these to all who He chooses to bestow it to.

    IOW, God won't give faith alone, but the others, too...
     
  5. convicted1

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    Yes. God gives them a new heart after He removes the stony one.

    God sent the gospel to bring the sheep from amongst the goats. It's an effectual call to those who are regenerant.


    First off, faith is God's gift bestowed upon sinful mankind. After this gift is applied, they are then fully able to understand and respond.

    They ask Him because they have been enabled/quickened/regenerated to see their sinful condition for what it is. They then call out to Him with a "broken heart and a contrite spirit".


    Fallen man, left to himself, would never seek forgiveness. How many murderers have no remorse for the wickedness they've done?

    Men freely and repsonsibly seek God's forgiveness because He has already began a work in their lives to "come unto Me and be ye saved".
     
  6. preacher4truth

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    ...does faith merit salvation?

    How do some not get that we don't merit anything from God? :confused:

    'Not of yourselves' should clear that up, but for some it doesn't.
     
  7. prophet

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    Every man, was who He chose to give it to.
    Rom 12:3
    3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.


    Eph 2:8
    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:it is the gift of God:
     
  8. Skandelon

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    I don't know. And I also don't know how one group can accuse the other of this given that NEITHER group believes or teaches salvation is merited.
     
  9. Skandelon

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    So, do you believe someone confronted by the powerful gospel appeal to be reconciled to God is equal to being 'left to himself?'
    Is proof that one won't seek forgiveness also proof that one cannot respond when forgiveness is offered?
     
  10. convicted1

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    The gospel is effectual to those He has quickened to hear, react, and respond to, and no one else.

    If someone dies lost, it was their choice. If they died saved, it was God's choice. None whom He has NOT chosen will ever seek His forgiveness. They have no desire to come to Him.
     
  11. preacher4truth

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    People deny this all the time, but is seen in their teaching that they do in fact believe this. These groups can also make STATEMENTS that they don't when it's clear that they do via their doctrine.
     
  12. preacher4truth

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    :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
     
  13. Iconoclast

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    Very Clear....:thumbs:
     
  14. Skandelon

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    I realize that is the Calvinistic perspective, but the question was to bring clarity to our position, because your statement seemed to suggest that one confronted by the powerful gracious gospel truth is 'left to himself' if he isn't effectually regenerated. We obviously disagree. One confronted with the Word of God is not 'left to himself,' in our system, as your statement seemed to imply.

    Whose choice was it to make all mankind born total disabled to respond to God's revelation due to Adam's fall?
     
  15. Skandelon

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    How would you like if one of us went around saying Calvinists don't believe in evangelism, regardless of what they SAY they believe, their system is clearly anti-evangelistic. Is that fair? Is that charitable? Is that accurate?

    Then why would you do that to us?
     
  16. The Biblicist

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    Rome claims they believe in justification by grace without works - UNTIL you let them define what they mean and then you see what they say contradicts what they really teach.

    No one denies that Arminians say they believe in salvation by grace but when we define what they mean, then the fine line between grace and works is redefined to be works. You believe that God merely enables the will to choose but ultimately YOUR WILL is the determinate factor of salvation whereas God and Satan are mere cheerleaders hoping YOU DO the right thing.
     
  17. Skandelon

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    I understand that perspective, but I'd just remind you that works must be meritorious to be considered 'works.' Since we deny that faith or repentance earns or merits salvation you cannot rightly accuse us of believing in works salvation.

    That is a categorically incorrect statement. The son's return home wasn't the 'determinate factor' in his restoration, as the father COULD have punished him instead. What you are doing is PRESUMING that because God promises to save the humble, that humility is meritorious, but that is not the case. God's choice to save the humble is gracious, because humility doesn't merit being saved. Understand?
     
  18. preacher4truth

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    *sniff* Hmmmmm...I smell a trap with your 'us' statement.

    I said many groups, but hey, you know...

    Look at The Biblicists post #16 as well. A person can say what they want but in their actual teaching they can deny it, not see it, showing they are in fact self duped. In fact this is seen on BB that bold statements are made (i.e. Salvation is 100% to God's glory!!!) then is completely denied when the party expresses interpretations of passages, gives definitions and continues dialogue.

    This may be one reason Paul told Timothy to guard his teaching, 1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 2:15. :thumbsup:
     
  19. The Biblicist

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    It does not matter what you claim because what you claim is not the final authority is it? What determines your claims is whether or not God's Word verifies what you claim. Since we do not believe God's word verifies what you claim then it is consistent for our position to condemn your position as "works" equally as it is our position to charge Rome with works even though they doggedly deny they believe in salvation by works.

    First, my statement had nothing to do with this parable.

    Second, you do not establish doctrine by a parable. This parable is not given to define the fine lines between grace and works.

    Third, your understanding of this parable is flawed. These parables are directly addressed to those who view themselves in no need of repentance who are better than sinners (vv. 2-3) but like the older son they believe they have at no time violated any command of their Father. The consistent point of all three parables is that there is MORE REJOICING IN HEAVEN over one who repents than over 99 or 9 coins or an elder son who NEEDS NO REPENTANCE.
     
  20. Skandelon

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    It is not the final authority of what is truth or false, as that is what we are debating. However, it is the final authority of what we believe is true. If we don't believe faith earns or merits being forgiven and saved, then that is what we believe, period. Saying we believe otherwise is just a false statement.

    The parable is simply an analogy I'm using to bring clarity to what we believe is true. Take it or leave it, but at least acknowledge your understanding in the process.

    If it helps, change the analogy to be you and a murderous rebellious child who you, a gracious individual, seeks to reconcile with...does his return home to beg you for forgiveness merit your forgiveness? Does his return home merit his full restoration as an heir and a party with steak? Does it? Yes or no?
     
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