Faith alone beyond the text?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Marcia, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
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    I never go to answer Thinking Stuff on a thread that just closed. He said, in part:
    I do not think essentials are beyond the text. Essentials of the faith are based purely on the text: virgin birth, deity of Christ, the Trinity, the atonement sufficient and completed to pay the penalty for sins, the bodily resurrection of Christ, the ascension of Christ, the 2nd coming of Christ.

    Faith alone for salvation is clearly spelled out all over the NT. If salvation is not by grace through faith alone, then it is of works and this view is explicitly denounced in the text.

    Scriptures alone is based on the text. That is, if the Bible is God's word, then is it our authority for faith and practice or is it not? If one does not accept it as God's word, or one wants to use some authority they consider equal to the text or superior to it, then they certainly have gone beyond the biblical text. If the Bible is God's word, and one believes that and has trusted Christ, then God's word is God's word, our source of authority and special revelation.

    It comes down to whether you believe the Bible to be God's word or not. If you do not think it is, then you might as well be an atheist, New Ager, Mormon, Wiccan, or whatever, because you accept other sources as equally or more authoritative.

    I don't argue with people who don't take the Bible as God's word. I give them links on the canon, the evidence for the reliability of the New Testament, and other such links, and tell them they can read that if interested. I won't waste my time with people who want to argue whether the Bible is God's word or not.
     
  2. Thinkingstuff

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    My response to you is to show me the text. I take the bible as God's word. However, there are many essentials that have been derived but not clearly stated in scriptures. I can show you James 2:24
    You have referrences like this about scriptures
    But nothing in scriptures that states scripture alone. The virgin birht is in scriptures. But not the Trinity you can only ascertain that the trinity is referred to but you will not find it clearly defined. Plus I never suggested that the bible wasn't God's word. I suggested many things that we hold as important aren't based soley on the text. But were derived from what men think the text refers to. Show me were it says in scriptures that says we are "saved by faith alone through scriptures alone". You won't find that text verbatum. What you will do is use several verses that suggest it. But ultimately it is beyond the text because the text does not say these things verbatum. You ascertain what you believe the text means but that is a function of your mind trying to determine the intent of the writer. If the text said things like the statement I made above it would make things so much simpler but it does not. So jumping from certain passages to other passage to support a particular perspective of what you think the text is saying is GOING BEYOND THE TEXT.
     
    #2 Thinkingstuff, Mar 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2010
  3. steaver

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    Jam 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.


    The answer is that you do not "see then". Because your take away form what James just taught is the exact opposite of what Paul extensively and thoroughly explained. You have Paul and James at odds. So you do not see what James is talking about.

    This does not make saved by faith alone a false doctrine, but rather it shows that you are not rightly dividing what James is saying.

    Jam 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
    Jam 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?


    Do you see how Abraham's faith was made perfect by his works?

    Do you notice that Abraham HAD faith BEFORE the works that were mentioned above were ever performed?

    Jam 2:23 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.

    What scripture was fulfilled (revealed as truth) by Abraham's obedience?

    Here it is; "Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness". No works mentioned here as far as Abraham receiving his imputed righteousness. Not at all, the works Abraham performed showed his faith was true and the scripture about Abraham's faith was truth.

    Do you see then how Abraham's works fulfilled the truth of the scripture which said Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness" ?

    Jam 2:14ΒΆWhat [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

    James is clearly speaking of a dead faith or in other words no saving faith as the faith spoken of and taught by Jesus Christ.

    Jam 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

    James asked the question; 2:22 "seest thou" ?

    It is not James fault if you do not understand his teaching on true faith being evidenced by works.

    If by grace ye are saved through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works lest any man should boast, then that declares it is by FAITH ALONE!

    :godisgood:
     
  4. DHK

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    1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

    If this is not the trinity clearly defined, then what is?
    Just as we do not have the word "deity" in the Bible, so we don't have the word "trinity." Yet we don't have a problem with deity, and some do have a problem with trinity. Why? It is clearly taught: The Father, the Word (John 1:1), and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. Is that not the trinity?
     
  5. Jerome

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    Westminster Confession:

    Don't you see? If you can "deduce" that something is a "necessary consequence" of Scripture, that counts as Sola Scriptura too:laugh:
     
  6. BobRyan

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    you are using the method of looking to your own impression of Paul INSTEAD of what is written in James to exegete James 2.

    Which as it turns out - is not actually exegesis of James 2.

    But then - you are compounding that problem by projecting your own mothods on to others in your response.

    Not a good idea.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. BobRyan

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    Yes I notice. That is a key part of the topic - so it is important to notice that.

    More...

    James sets his own context for what is meant by "faith alone" in this chapter. It is "faith without works" - it is faith that cannot save according to James.

    It is a kind of faith that "admits to historic facts" -- some of the same historic facts that even demons admit to - but it does not act in obedience to the "LAw of Liberty".

    As for Abraham:

    Abraham was a child of God - following the will of God long before the birth of Isaac - long before Isaac was old enough to be offerred by Abraham as a human sacrifice.

    James is not talking about the day Abraham turned to become a Christian - having faith and then having works. Rather James is talking about many decades afterward - when Abraham went through the mental and spiritual ordeal of having to offer his son has a human sacrifice to God. This is not a concept to be taken lightly. It is the most horrible thought imaginable.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #7 BobRyan, Mar 5, 2010
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  8. steaver

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    As it turns out, I did perform an exegesis on James. Look again.
     
  9. lori4dogs

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    It certainly seems like it and I would like to use it in discussions to offer biblical evidence for the Trinity. However, even though the KJV, Douay-Rheims, New American Bibles include this verse as you have posted, my other versions: RSV, New International Version, the Revised Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible don't include it. Footnotes indicate that there is controversy over it not being in the earlier mss. I'm not having much success finding information pro or con to it's inclusion/exclusion.

    In fact, I really haven't heard it used before in debates over the trinity.
     
  10. DHK

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    Then it becomes a versions debate in which I believe I can defend myself.
    But I would rather stay away from such debates, and agree before such a discussion to have it based on one version only (like the KJV). Then those kind of red herrings can be avoided.
     
  11. lori4dogs

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    I'm not suggesting it should be excluded. As I said, the verse certainly does seem to define a Triune God. Maybe it would be better to discuss it on another thread/another time.
     
  12. Marcia

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    I discussed James on at least one other thread and I'm not going into that again. It is so crystal clear that James does not teach we are saved by works. The fact the Mormons, who are probably one of the worst Bible students on earth, use this shows their ignorance. For Christians to be as ignorant as the Mormons is really sad. At least the Mormons have an excuse.

    Not finding the Trinity clearly defined does not mean it's there. There are several passages in the NT that mention the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus prayed to the Father, so they are not the same person. Jesus said he would send the Spirit, so Jesus is not the Spirit. It's really pretty simple to find the Trinity in scripture.

    I never said "we are saved by faith through scriptures alone," so I'm not needing to respond to that.

    You don't need something explicitly states for it be there; it can be implicit and found in many passages that way. Implicit is not going beyond the text.

    Nothing I mentioned is beyond the text; it is all in the text. Would God give us his word and then have us not be able to discern the truth from it? Of course not.

    It is really not all that hard. It's mainly a matter of context and comparing scripture with scripture.
     
  13. Marcia

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    Some passages that explicitly show the Trinity.

    Here's a good study sheet for those who think it's hard to find the Trinity in scripture:
    http://www.layevangelism.com/qreference/chapter10.htm

    Fact is, you can't avoid it. We used to have Oneness people here and their view was slaughtered by scripture. Their heresy melted before God's word.
     
  14. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Nothing like having the best of all worlds in ones camp. Ones deductions (interpretations) become, 'thus saith the Lord' when conveniently needed. How funny. :smilewinkgrin:
     
    #14 Heavenly Pilgrim, Mar 7, 2010
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  15. Rippon

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    All Christians use deductions gleaned from their understanding of Scripture; rightly or wrongly. It is a logical deduction that the doctrine of the Trinity is a scriptural concept. Though not explicit in the Word of God it can be ,by reason of good and necessary consequence be deduced. It's not at all funny.
     
  16. Thinkingstuff

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    I think you misunderstand what I am really saying. Which is simply this. Many of our held beliefs are not reliant on text alone. In fact if you were to seriously study the text you may question the held belief such as Faith Alone. Part of the problem with faith alone is how we define it. If you believe something is that faith? I personally against the world do not. Faith is only expressed in the actions performed by it. Otherwise its not just belief. Which the scriptures say that the devil and his angels believe in God but are still condemned. Note Righteousness does not equate to salvation, nor does justification. Both these terms are part of what is known as salvation. So when Hebrews speak about Abraham believed God it was accorded to him as "righteousness" but the text doesn't say it saved him. I may do something that is accorded to me as righteous but it does not save me. James does teach that faith is not faith without works. That is very clear from the text. You can say you believe something all day long and if it doesn't manifest itself in works you have no faith. Simple.
    but that is my point. You derive the consept beyond the scripture. It is a function of reason. If the text says "we" then we suppose there is more than one. Yet God makes it clear to Moses that he is One God. Yet Jesus claims that he and the father are One. It takes a step beyond scriptures to say that this means Jesus is of the same substance of the father. That the Holy Spirit is another person. And that the Persons of the trinity do not conter God's oneness. We could use the same passages to assert something different. So text alone is not clear in this instance.
    But it is a fundalmental point. It is our belief that this is true. So whether you said it or not is irrelevant to the point that many things we hold to be doctrine are not just textual such as this statement.
    Implicit according to whom? That's the point. To you? To the mormon down the street? To the JW? To the Catholic? or Orthodox? What colored glasses are you wearing to interpret what is implicit in scripture?
    For some reason you made this debate personal. I'm not suggesting you or anyone else said anything. What I am saying is that many held beliefs that are core to our faith is not explicitly stated in scripture. We derive it from scripture. Which by the very definition of "derive" is beyond the text and becomes a function of our reason or leading of the Holy Spirit which is also beyond text.
    Which is why Christians have been debating the same stuff for millenia using the same texts? Not quite as simple as you seem to think.
     
  17. Marcia

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    I said that the essentials of the faith are found in scripture.

    Salvation by faith alone is explicitly stated in the Bible.

    If you take time to read and study the whole bible, you will see that yes, this is what it means. Over and over and over again - salvation by faith alone. You should read some good commentaries on James, after studying the test and comparing it to scripture. James is sort of a NT Proverbs. It's the only NT wisdom book and should be read that way. It has a lot of connection to the OT, in fact. I don't have time to explain all this here - it requires study on your part. How much Bible study do you do?


    James teaches that faith is dead without works, not that you don't have salvation without works. He was writing to scattered believers who had let their faith become dead by loving wealth or treating wealthy people in the church better than others. He addresses all this. Also, Paul uses "justified" in a different way than does James. If you did some research you would discover this. Read some commentaries on the use of this word by Paul and James. Works validate faith is what James is saying. When we do good works, we are justified as believers before the world.

    Did you not see the scriptures I posted that explicitly show the Trinity?

    How much Bible study do you do? I have studied the Bible since becoming a new believer in late 1990 and have been studying it in depth in seminary for more than 10 yrs., and to answer questions in my ministry for over 15 yrs.

    It takes commitment and time to carefully study and evaluate the Bible. This forum is probably one of the worst places to get answers.
     
    #17 Marcia, Mar 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2010
  18. Thinkingstuff

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    I study the bible daily. I became a new believer in 1986 and have evaluated the bible ever since. I was saved at a missionary boarding school in east africa where I first started learning about scriptures. I studied under the Navigators when I was in the military. I've studied under pentecostal school during my undergraduate studies (primarily to see what pentecostals taught while I obtained a liberal arts degree). I studied at an american Baptist University for my graduate work. And during this time I have found that people read into the text their theology. Simple and plain. That's why there are many denominations. Every teacher (professor), pastor has their pet systematic theologian and approach to understanding scriptures. I've read many commentaries from many different positions many at odds with each other. I believe the essense of faith is what you act on. For instance let me give my father as an example. He has been told for years that if he keeps smoking he can develop emphazema or cancer. Now he may have believed this was the case but did not stop smoking two packs a day. The fact that he believed that this was probably true is not faith. Its just a belief. Now that he's older and having difficulty breathing he quit smoking all together. It has grown from a belief into a faith. He acted on his belief which He really has come to belief and act on it. That is faith and the essence of faith. So if you believe something and don't act on it what good is it to you? Nothing. Its only by acting on what you believe that you've expressed faith. Even the theif on the cross expressed his faith by acting on it. 1) he rebuked the other theif. 2) He acknowldeged his sin and 3) he begged Jesus to remember him when Jesus got to his kingdom. These are actions based on the faith of the theif thus he expressed his faith.
     
  19. Thinkingstuff

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    I honestly think faith can only be understood from the context of how I put it. Lets look at what the scriptures say. Here are the common verses that are always used with a "Faith Alone" theology.
    Interesting to note Luther added "alone" to this passage. However, if we take Jesus view of law in Matthew's gospel; that maintaining a life based on underlying principle rather than by meticulous adherence to the particulars of the law we can understand this passage to say:"Man is justified by faith (which in my post above is only expressed by what you do based on what you believe) ... apart from the meticulous observance of the particulars of the law". So, in other words: putting up a Mezuzah on the door way to your house will not justify you but faith that leads you to live principally does. The next commonly used verses follow suite with the same understanding.
    in this particular verse It shows that we cannot earn our way into grace but that it is a free gift. Yet in the context of this passage I understand it to mean
    That we are saved to do the will of the father not just walking around believing something with out acting on it. Or good works
    Now you said I should adhere to the Full bible and what it says so in order to understand these passages in context lets look at what Jesus has to say
    and further the apostles :
    So in a whole bible context faith justifys but only if faith is one that acts. This is the Context which James speaks of.
     
  20. Revmitchell

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    This is not a Baptist view.
     

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