Evidential Christianity

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Dr. Walter, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    A careful consideration of the teaching of Christ and the apostles will reveal that there was a tremendous problem in distinguishing true and false professors within professing Christendom during the first century. False profession was really problematic because among the Jews the false professors were outwardly spotless in the words of Jesus. They were commandment keeping professors whose outward lives were flawless. They could justly profess they tithed right down to the ninth degree, kept from the unclean things, fasted twice a week and prayed openly and publicly.

    However, this very boast of righteous living was also evidential of their lost state as it evidenced their hope was ultimately in keeping the law as their basis for justification before God. Their ultimate hope was in the house they were building out of good works which defined as their own works as the true foundation for hope of justification. The evidence of their lost condition was found in their profession of ultimate salvation which Jesus illustrated as follows:


    "Lord, Lord.......have we not done...."

    In direct contrast to this COMMANDMENT KEEPING religiously lost person was the person who boasted in grace while living in sin evidencing no actual new birth or change in nature.

    The Scriptures deal with both extremes of false professors. For example, Romans 3:24-5:21 deals a death blow to the commandment keeping lost man while Romans 6 deals a death blow to the lost professor that boasts that sin promotes grace.

    The first opposes judicial justification by faith with pragmatic justification by works whereas the latter opposes regenerate sanctification with judicial justification by faith. Thus the extremes of legalism and laciviousness are produced.

    However, there is a third type of false professor that has developed today which is an advanced type of the first type of the legalist. The super pharisee or super legalist has developed as a by product of synergizing instead of distinguishing between things the Scripture hold distinct. This super Pharisee redefines justification by faith to be inclusive of justification by works and redefines justification by faith to be inclusive of regenerate sanctification thus eliminating any opposition to justification by works as the ultimate basis for entrance into heaven. Thus grace is defined as inclusive of works or a "grace works" soteriology.

    Those who embrace this synergistic approach are manifest readily to the observant believer because they are not only forced to reduce the Law's standard of righteousness to a lower level than equivilency with God's own personal righteousness but they are forced to redefine justification by faith as a progressive action rather than a completed action.

    This redefinition of law and justification is necessary in order to maintain this synergism of doctrine and obtain ultimate justification by works. This synergistic doctrine is often manifested in some kind of doctrine that maintains justified persons live above sin. This synergism denies the doctrine of indwelling sin in the believer. It re-interprets scriptures that are designed to expose the two Biblical extremes (commandment keeper; laciviousness) to be applicable instead to the true character of salvation and true believers thus transforms their intent so as to invent the doctrine of apostasy from salvation, instead of merely manifesting false professors among true Christians (1 Jn. 2:19).

    Sinless perfection is the only reasonable goal for the Christian (Philip. 3:10-12) and is the true motive for every Christian (Rom. 7:22) as every true Christian sins more than they want to. However, there is also a tension within the true Christian at all times (indwelling sin; indwelling Spirit) and therefore an ongoing struggle for the manifest life of the Christian (Rom. 7:14-25; Gal. 3:16-25). The scriptures appeal to this inward motive that desires to be holy and yet realizes the inward tension to express that holiness by challenging the true Christian to make evidential their profession as proof of their calling and election so that they can obtain experiential assurance they are not of the false order of professing Christians.

    The true relationship between justification by faith and regenerate sanctification is not one of synergism but of practical versus positional, thus divergent from one another as much as election is divergent from glorification but yet inclusive in the overall developmental stages of soteriology.
     
    #1 Dr. Walter, Jan 19, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2011
  2. Andre

    Andre
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    Greetings old friend.

    I think you know what I will say here. Paul writes this:

    God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a] 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

    ....A clear statement connecting final justification to, yes, how a person actually lives.

    And there are more such statements.

    I suggest the real problem is that many come to the concept of "justification" with a pre-existing commitment to the notion that it must be a "one-timer". This forces them to invent all sorts of ultimately unworkable schemes to get around the rather clear force of passages such as the one above from Paul.

    Paul sees "good works" as necessary for justification. In so doing, he in no way contradicts his teaching about "justification by faith" or "justification by grace"

    Why not? Precisely because it is the work of the Holy Spirit -given to the believer on the basis of faith alone - that generates the good works that ultimately save.
     
  3. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    Well, it has been some time since you have been on.

    I think you know what I will say in return as well. You are jerking Romans 2:6-7 out of context. Look at the pronouns in verse 1-5 and you will see that the person being described is a lost man who believes he is better than others but Paul concludes he is not and judgement by just standards will demonstrate it (vv. 6-16). You will also note in this GENERICALLY APPLIIED criteria and consequences the GENERIC descriptive terms "to them" and "EVERY SOUL" and "EVERY MAN" instead of specific and concrete descriptive terms such as "saint" or "elect" or "child of God" or "lost."

    You will also note that it is followed by the very same kind of lost Jewish man who thinks they are better than others (vv. 17-25) especially due to circumcision but they are not (3:1).

    This is a context dealing with lost but self-righteous better than thou persons who actually believe they will "escape" the judgement of God (v. 3) whereas, Paul informs them that the judgement of God will be just (v. 5) according to just and equitable criteria and consequences so that no hypocrit will escape.

     
  4. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
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    Dr Walter...

    I generally reduce that down to "talking out of both sides of your mouth", or the shorter version.."double talk".
     
  5. billwald

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    > Look at the pronouns in verse

    The Devil is always "in" the pronouns. One would have thought the authors would have written more clearly. Apparently God has no legal training. <G>
     
  6. Dr. Walter

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    No, the Details are in the pronouns. The author is speaking quite clearly and God has immaculate legal training! Some just want to ignore what the Holy Spirit put into the text because they are so busying reading out of the text what He never put into the text - exegesis versus eisegesis!
     
  7. BobRyan

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    So - in a snippet of that OP -- we find agreement.

    (Except that I would include 1John 2:1, Romans 6:13 and 1Cor 10:13 with Phil 3:10-12)

    Every little bit counts my friend.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  8. BobRyan

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    It is that "Final Justification" concept that is being zeroed in on in Rom 2

    Rom 2
    7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;

    8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.


    9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
    10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    11 For there is no partiality with God.
    12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;

    13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

    14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
    15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
    16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.


    26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
    27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
    28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
    29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

    14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
    15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts,

    =========================

    It is only the one who is today a saved saint today that can by "perseverance in doing good" be considered approved or justified in that "final justification" of the future judgment mentioned in vs 16 above.

    Thus we do not persever to become saved - we persevere IN being a saved saint and STAY saved -- that future point of justification merely "looks at the tree" as we see in Matt 7. And looking at the tree does not change the tree.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. Dr. Walter

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    It is not "final justification" but final "judgment" that is being zeroed in on in Romans 2.

    1. The pronouns in Romans 2:1-5 exclusively refer to self-righteous who will not be justified in the day of Judgement.

    2. The pronouns in Romans 2:6-10 are GENERIC rather than specific because Paul is not applying anything here but only defining the criteria and consequences GENERICALLY for "every soul" and "every man" and that comes by works (v. 6) to be justified UNDER LAW (vv. 12-13).

    3. The criteria of just judgement not salvation is being defined in Romans 2:14-16 as there is no mention of justification "by faith" or "through faith" or "by grace". No mention of the "saved" "child of God" "elect" etc. The gospel provides the ultiamte standard for judging works as God's righteousness is revealed in the gospel in the person and WORKS of Christ.

    3. There is no saved Jew in Romans 2:17-25 but only condemned Jews.

    4. Romans 2:26-29 is completely negative and designed that circumcision does not help justify anyone apart from SINLESS OBEDIENCE to all commandments and Romans 3:1 confirms this negative conclusion.
     
  10. BobRyan

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    13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

    14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,

    15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
    16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.



    You are appealing to the either-or logical fallacy "again".

    In the text we find BOTH future judgment AND future justification explicitly in the text.

    What part of this was supposed to be hard to see for the objective unbiased Bible students?

    It is GOSPEL judgment -- and there is only ONE Gospel Gal 1:6-11 as it turns out.

    Imagining that justification or judgment in Rom 2 is not part of the real, the one and only Gospel - merely shows that your POV needs to go to unbiblical extremes to support its case!

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. BobRyan

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    26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
    27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
    28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
    29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

    14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
    15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts,



    The paucity in logic in that wild claim is immediately apparent to the reader who READs the succeeding examples in the text above only to see you immediately deny them.

    Hint: Paul is a Jew writing to the church in Rom 2.

    Thus Paul affirms that both Jews and Gentiles are being saved and both Jews and Gentiles will be lost in Rom 2:7-13. Turns out the saints will be comprised of both former Jews and Gentiles in heaven as will the lost in the lake of fire in Rev 20. No way to escape the obvious here.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. Dr. Walter

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    Oh please give it rest. First, you made the rediculous claim that Paul is speaking about possible saved persons in Romans 2:4 when in fact the pronouns in verse 4 necessarily demand that Paul is speaking about the same persons in verses 1-3 and in verse 5 - the ungodly self-righteous who believe they will escape judgment by their works.

    But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; - v. 5


    Second, you make the redicuous claim that Paul is speaking about possible saved persons in Romans 2:6-13 when in fact he uses only generic terms "EVERY MAN" and "EVERY SOUL" and never concrete terms (every justified soul, every saved man, etc.) as he sets forth God's just criteria and consquences for judging such that come to him "according to his works" UNDER LAW to seek JUSTICATION BY LAW.

    For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.


    Third, you make the rediculous claim that Paul is speaking about possible saved persons in Romans 2:14-15 when in fact he is defining the just basis for God to condemn Gentiles of sin in the judgment. They were not given the Law of Moses but given the conscience whereupon God has written the moral law just the same.

    Fourth you make the rediculous claim that since the "gospel" is mentioned in verse 16 then this proves he is speaking about saved people when in fact the gospel is explicitly brought in for "judgement" not salvation, as the gospel reveals the righteousness of God in the works of Jesus Christ as the final standard to judge all who come "according to his works."

    16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

    Paul is systematically demonstrating there is none righteous according to the law and all who come "according to his works" to be justified by the law will be condemened.

    Fifth, you attempted to make the rediculous claim that in Romans 2:17-24 there are saved Jews along with lost Jews being considered and yet Paul is clearly speaking of the Jew that believes he is better than all other men due. The pronoun "you" in Paul's conclusion in verse 24 has for its antecedent the same person being challenged and described in verses 17-23.

    Last, you attempt to make the rediculous claim that Romans 2:25-29 speaks of both saved and lost Jews and Gentiles when in fact Paul is proving that circumcsion does not make the Jew superior to the Gentile in the day of judgement and Romans 3:1 necessarily demands that conclusion. You completely ignore the repeated "if" in verses 28-29 where Paul makes his case that circucumcision is no profit unless every point of the law is also kept. To the Jew who can keep every point of the law then circumcison profits him in the day of judgment UNDER LAW and "if" the Gentile keeps every point of the law written on his conscience then he does not need circumcision and therefore circumcison profits NO ONE because neither Jew or Gentile can keep every point of the law.

    24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
     
    #12 Dr. Walter, Jan 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2011
  13. Andre

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    It is indeed true that Paul is addressing a self-righteous hypocrite in verses 1-5. But this is hardly an argument that Paul does not mean what he writes in 2:6-8, namely that some will get eternal life based on doing good and others will get wrath based on doing evil.

    Let me explain why: Yes, Paul chastises the hypocrite in verses 1 to 5. Then he connects that chastisement to a coming judgement where he says some will get life based on works and others will get condemnation.

    I have no idea at all what argument there is here that we should not take Paul exactly at his word - that some will get eternal life based on good works and others will get wrath. Let's return to the hypocrite who he is chastising: Clearly we can indeed take Paul at his word in verses 6 and following and coherently connect this to the warning to the hypocrite.

    The reason: it is clear that Paul is warning the hypocrite that he is in danger of falling into the camp of those who will get wrath. There is, therefore, no reason at all why we should not believe the other side of the judgement - that there will indeed be some who get life based on their good deeds.
     
  14. Dr. Walter

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    No one denies that he means what he says in Romans 2:6-8! But you and Bob deny who he is addressing this to! Romans 2:1-5 identifies the subject he is addressing and the purpose for addressing them in Romans 2:6-8.

    The reason is expressly identified by Paul in verse 3 and that is they THINK they will escape judgment and they think this because they do not see themselves as Hypocrits but as BETTER than others and that is precisely why they JUDGE others. Romans 2:6-13 is written with these hypocrits in view and their false basis of justice in view in order to lay down the JUST criteria and consequences that God will use UNDER THE LAW (vv. 11-13) according to their works (v. 6).




    I have no idea at all what argument there is here that we should not take Paul exactly at his word - that some will get eternal life based on good works and others will get wrath. Let's return to the hypocrite who he is chastising: Clearly we can indeed take Paul at his word in verses 6 and following and coherently connect this to the warning to the hypocrite.

    The reason: it is clear that Paul is warning the hypocrite that he is in danger of falling into the camp of those who will get wrath. There is, therefore, no reason at all why we should not believe the other side of the judgement - that there will indeed be some who get life based on their good deeds.[/QUOTE]

    What you fail to see is that Paul is meeting these hypocrits on the same basis they believe will vindicate them - THEIR OWN WORKS (v. 6) in THEIR OWN PERSON before God UNDER THE LAW! He is not addressing SAVED persons. Saved persons do not believe they will stand before God for their sins IN THEIR OWN PERSON but rather they believe that they stand before God for their sins IN CHRIST's person and IN CHRIST's righteousenss UNDER GRACE.

    Paul is addressing HYPOCRITS before verses 6-16 and HYPOCRITS after (vv. 17-3:8). Their salvation is in their works and they believe the Law of God will vindicate them becuase they believe JUST LIKE YOU DO - they are capable of doing "good" works UNDER THE LAW'S STANDARD definition of "good" and like YOU they will be sorely disappointed (Rom. 3:9-11; 19-20).
     
  15. Andre

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    You seem to think that because Paul starts with an address to a particular class of persons, this prevents him from expanding the scope of his treatment to support his argument. Clearly, there is no such "rule".

    Romans 2 begins with Paul's critique of the self-righteous man. Fine - we all agree on that. Then comes the warning about the future judgement based on deeds.

    Imagine this scenario. A parent scolds a misbehaving child. The parent then warns the child that those children who behave will get a lollipop and those who do not will have to go to bed early (with no lollipop).
    How is this possibly a warning if it is impossible for the child to achieve a state where one gets a lollipop based on good behaviour? A warning in advance of a "deeds" judgement is only a warning if there is a possibility of changing one's path and achieving the "good side" of the coming judgement. If the child thinks its impossible to get the lollipop, then the warning has no meaning for him - it cannot affect his behaviour.

    And yet this is precisely why the child is warned - to change his behaviour.

    This is why we need to take Romans 2:6-8 as describing a real judgement with real positive and negative outcomes. In short, it only makes sense to warn the hypocrite of verses 1 through 5 if the judgement in 6 to 8 is real and it is possible to pass that judgement.
     
  16. Dr. Walter

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    Ah, but that is where your scenario below fails! It is not Paul, but the hypocrit who introduces a concept about judgment (v. 3). You have to understand the hypocrits concept of judgement to understand Paul's response! This is precisely where you scenario below fails!

    The hypocrit's concept is SELF-CENTERED! He fully believes that he will escape judgement under God's law (v. 3) based solely upon his OWN PERSONAL WORKS/MERITS (vv. 6, 17-25).

    Only the lost moral hypocrit (vv. 1-5) or the religious lost hypocrit (vv. 17-25) dare approach the judgement of God based solely upon their own personal merits/works. If you cannot see that is exactly what is being expressed in verses 17-25 then you need glasses.

    Paul meets this mindset by simply setting forth the JUST criteria UNDER HIS LAW whereby God determines whether one receives eternal life or receives eternal condemnation.

    There is no one in this context who approaches the judgement of God based upon the mindset of Christ's merits UNDER GRACE but solely that mindset that EXCLUDES all but self and all but their own merits has SUFFICIENT UNDER LAW!


    Your scenario is not analogous to Romans 2:1-24 for the following reasons. First, the misbehaving child in your scenario has not made it clear to the parent that this child believes he will get the lolipop irregardless due to his own perception of himself as sufficiently obedient in his own eyes. In his own eyes there is no misbehavior and therefore there is no impediment to obtaining the lollipop (vv. 1-6). That mindset which you completely omit from your scenario is the element of hypocrisy in verses 1-6 that makes the actual subject a hypocrit.

    Second, in your scenario as also in verses 1-6,7-25 there is no one else but misbehaving children that are in view and therefore there is no one else but those who wrongly perceive themselves as already SUFFICIENTLY GOOD ENOUGH due to their OWN PERCEPTION of their OWN PERSONAL MERITS!

    However, you have correctly conveyed Paul's response in verses 6-16, if, you factor in that the misbehaving child is in denial of his actual behavior and it is in response to that false self-perception that the Parent confronts the disobedient child with the TRUE CRITERIA for obtaining or losing the lollipop! Now, confronted with the TRUE CRITERIA for gain or loss of the lolipop, the HYPOCRTICAL CRITERIA that gave them CONFIDENCE in their own SELF-MERITS is now challenged by another criteria other than their own self-perceived criteria.

    That is exactly what Paul is doing with HYPOCRITS and their FALSE PERCEPTION of their own personal merits! Paul confronts their hypocrisy by setting forth the JUST criteria for gaining eternal life UNDER GOD's LAW or being condemned UNDER GOD'S LAW with the clear implication that their outcome will be condemnation (vv. 12-16) rather than justification.
     

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