Grace and discipleship

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by nunatak, Apr 10, 2008.

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  1. nunatak

    nunatak
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    I believe that those who have been justified by grace must also take up their cross and follow Christ.

    I think to believe that men can have justification without discipleship is cheap grace.

    We must believe AND obey.

    I don't want to suggest that I think I have arrived in my theology. If I am missing it here, somebody help.
     
  2. Baptist Believer

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    I agree.

    If you're talking about obeying Jesus' call to "follow Me", then I strongly agree. If you are talking about obeying a set of rules in order to earn God's favor, then I strongly disagree.

    Grace is not opposed to effort... grace is opposed to earning.

    We are not passive when we truly enter into faith in Christ.
     
  3. nunatak

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    I don't mean by obey to earn salvation by works.

    Salvation is the free gift of God because of Christ Jesus.

    When I say obey, I am not sure what I mean. Generally, I mean discipleship.
     
  4. Amy.G

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    I love your honesty! We should all be so humble. :thumbs:
     
  5. Havensdad

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    Wow, couldn't have put it better myself.

    I posted in a different thread, but it applies here: when Jesus said "If anyone would follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me", he was speaking to the unbelieving crowds, not just the disciples. It was a message of salvation.

    of course, those "Taking up the cross", do so because of faith, which is what saves you.

    Nunatak, if you look through scripture, it speaks of God disciplining you, and keeping you "walking the path". It is HE that changes our hearts, and cause us to follow him. The old man has been "put to death" (of course the annoying little bugger still slaps you in the face once in a while).
     
  6. David Lamb

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    What a great way of putting it! It reminded me of a well-known definition of (and distinction between) God's mercy, and His grace:
    Mercy is when God does not give us what we deserve (eternal punishment), and grace is when God gives us what we don’t deserve (eternal blessing).


     
  7. PrmtvBptst1832

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    I believe those who are justified freely by the grace of God in Christ (Romans 3:24) should take up their crosses and follow the Lord (Matthew 16:24). Notice, though, that Jesus said in this connection that a man must deny himself. While I believe in unconditional election, that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world and predestinated us to be His children (Ephesians 1:3-6), I do not believe that He predestinated all His children to be disciples. If I am irresistibly compelled to follow the Lord, there is not much self denial involved in that scenario. I am called to be a disciple as one of God's elect, not in order to become one of God's elect.

    It is not "cheap grace" to believe that justification can exist apart from discipleship. It is the teaching of Scripture.
     
  8. JustChristian

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    How do you explain Christ's response to the rich young ruler?

    Mar 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

    Lack for what? Salvation.

    Mar 10:22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
    Mar 10:23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

    And in general about the requirement to follow Him for salvation in general?

    Mar 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,
    Mar 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
     
  9. LeBuick

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    That is good also... :thumbs:

    Yes, we do take up our cross but not to BECOME saved, we carry it because we ARE saved.
     
  10. Havensdad

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    I agree that we are irresistibly called. Yet you are incorrect in your assertion that one can be saved but not be a disciple.

    There is not ONE single scripture, that says one can be saved but NOT follow Christ (disciple). Not one. But there are MULTIPLE scriptures, showing Justification and discipleship being spoke of as equivalent.

    BTW "denying oneself" is no more a choice than "all that believe in me will be saved" is a choice. God gives us a new Heart, and we cannot help but repent and trust to salvation. But we ALSO cannot help but deny ourselves and follow him.

    There is nothing in scripture that says non followers of Christ go to heaven.
     
  11. HisWordIsTruth

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    Wonder why Paul lied to that poor jailor? He didn't mention a single thing about discipleship. He simply told that man to believe and he would be saved. Guess we are to trust you "men" instead of Scripture.

    And what about those poor Ephesians? I guess Paul lied to them to, because he said they "have been saved" by grace through faith. Again not a single mention of discipleship.

    That's TWO Scriptures that refute this notion that one must be a discipleship to be saved. All that is is a back-loaded works-based plan of salvation. No one wants to admit to that, but that is EXACTLY what it is.

    It's terribly unfortunate, because he keeps people confused and bonded to the traditions of man.

    And not only can a person be saved and never become a disciple, you can also be a disciple and stop following Him and still be saved:

    From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

    They stopped following Him. They stopped being His disciple. But nowhere does it say they weren't "really" saved or that they lost their salvation.

    Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. That is as true today as it was then. Paul DID NOT LIE! That's about as simple a statement as one can make regarding everlasting life. Believe and you will be saved. Why can't we as "saved" people believe that?
     
  12. The Archangel

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    Context is really important here. I'll give one example.

    You quote Ephesians 2. Certainly Paul is telling the church that her members have been saved. Certainly, though, Paul doesn't stop there.

    The entire book of Ephesians is essentially divided into two parts: What God has done and what our response is to be.

    In the first part (chapters 1-3), Paul gives a long argument concerning a person's state before being saved and what God has done to save, etc.

    Paul's main verb, and therefore his main point and the main point of application, is not found until the beginning of part II. Ephesians 4 says:

    4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called...
    So, Paul is telling them to live properly. Paul is calling the Ephesian church members to live the life of a disciple! So, Paul believes you have to live like a Christian should live...ie. be a disciple.

    There is a common misunderstanding here. We do not do "good works" (living the life of a disciple, etc.) in order to get saved. We do good works and live the life of a disciple precisely because we have been saved.

    Our living the life of a disciple is the "fruit" that we have been saved; it is not the seed of our salvation.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  13. David Lamb

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    But what is a disciple? The word so translated means "pupil", "learner", "follower". So a disciple of Jesus is one for whom Jesus is teacher, Master. How does a person believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, while not looking to Him as Master? The gaoler was told to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. More was involved than merely believing that Jesus existed.
     
  14. HisWordIsTruth

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    Context is absolutely key. Context, context, context. The context in Acts 16:30-31 is what must I do to be saved. The answer that follows directly after that is believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. He meant what he said and he said what he meant. Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. Either that is the truth or it's a lie.

    As the truth there is NOTHING in there regarding discipleship.

    Now as to Eph. 2 and the book of Eph. and the rest of the NT in general of course we are called to a life of discipleship. Of course we SHOULD life a life that produces fruit. However SHOULD does NOT mean WILL.

    A number of folks today are teaching we WILL live a life of discipleship and that's simply not what Scripture teaches. It teaches we SHOULD live a life of discipleship. If it were the other way around we would not have to be instructed to do so.

    We don't constantly go around telling each other to "breathe". Why? Because that's what we are going to do unless something is seriously wrong or we purposefully stop. But without any outside influences we are going to breathe.

    That is NOT the case with discipleship. We SHOULD be disciples. We SHOULD produce good fruit. We SHOULD repent of our sins and confess our sins.
     
  15. HisWordIsTruth

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    Because discipleship is not a part of everlasting life. If it was then it would be by works, not by grace alone in the finished works of Christ alone.

    You simply can't have it both ways. It's either one or the other. :)

    Salvation is based solely on the finished works of Christ and that is that He died and shed His blood in our place, because we are incapable of acting in such a manner to bring about our own salvation.

    If we believe that we are saved. Then one must be taught what it means to be a disciple. Another reason we know discipleship has nothing to do with everlasting life is because there is a cost involved. There is no cost to the person to believe on the Lord Jesus. You believe and it is over and done with.

    Discipleship requires on-going faith. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is a one-time faith that once you believe the matter is over and done with.
     
  16. webdog

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    Excellent point.
     
  17. webdog

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    You have an excellent grasp on the difference between justification and sanctification. Both works based salvationists (arminians) and perseverance of the saintist (calvinists) blur the two.
     
  18. HisWordIsTruth

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    Exactly. The way I usually explain it is that people know that our works are a piece of the puzzle, but they just don't know where that puzzle piece fits in the grand scope of things, so instead of working and looking to make sure it fits in the right spot they will cram it into the spot they want it to fit in, until the puzzle piece fits. Or they will cut off the necessary spots to make it fit.

    We are called to good works. However they can NEVER enter the picture of everlasting life whether prior to, during or after believe on the Lord Jesus.

    Our works are a part of the sanctification process as you have correctly pointed out. So once we get works into the proper place then we must ask okay what happens if we do have works and then what happens if we don't.

    Our two camps will say that if we don't then we were either not "really and truly" saved or we can "lose" our everlasting life, both of which are anti-Biblical teachings. Did I just create a word? Anti-Biblical :)
     
  19. The Archangel

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    You could not be more wrong. If you examine the "whole-Bible context" you will see, repeatedly, that proper living is required as a result of salvation/conversion.

    First off, you quote Acts 16:30-31. You say believing on Christ is required for salvation. That is very true. However, since you are not looking at the whole-Bible context, would you then say the jailer could believe for his family, since that was promised? No, of course not. Why? Because the text clearly states the gospel was preached to the Jailer's household and they all [independently] believed. Now, Luke does not go into the minutiae of the Jailer's subsequent life. The episode, as recorded, does not intend to do so. So, we must consult the rest of the scriptures.

    James, for instance, says that "faith without works is dead." This passage is a clear indication that a proper faith in Christ will, by definition, be recognizable by the fruits of one's life. It is no coincidence that Jesus Himself said "You will know them by their fruits." How a person lives shows what they believe. This is basic to Christianity.

    It will be that, over time, a true Christian will demonstrate their faith in Christ by how they live. Now, their lives won't be perfect, but you will see a decidedly Christ-centered life.

    If you were correct, and you certainly are not, Paul would not think of telling the Corinthian church (in 1 Cor 5) to judge the man who is living with his father's wife. In fact, If you were right, Paul would never tell anyone to do anything, except believe. Certainly Paul preaches belief. But, Paul also, in every instance, preaches living a proper life as a disciple as a result of conversion.

    Again and again we see in scripture this pattern: Live a discipled life because you have been saved; not in order to get saved.

    Salvation/conversion is not the end of the battle; it is just the beginning.

    There simply is no way around this.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  20. webdog

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    This message frustrates grace if works are required for salvation, or is quite confusing if the result of salvation is the requirement for works. Are we created to do good works? Of course. Will this happen in every instance? No, just look at the thief on the cross. What good works did he do besides put His faith in Christ?
     
    #20 webdog, Apr 14, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2008
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