Is belief the hinge of our salvation?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by reformedbeliever, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. reformedbeliever

    reformedbeliever
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    There are many, one in particular who holds to the view that one must believe before a person is regenerated. Many say that the view that one must be regenerated before they can believe is false.
    My question for those who hold to the view that one must believe before he can be regenerated is this;
    In John 8, Jesus is speaking to a group of Jews. As He was speaking, some of the Jews believed. John 8:30
    If you go on reading you will see where Jesus told this same group (Jews who believed) that they would die in their sin. He didn't say they might die in thier sin, He said that they would die.
    What do you do with these scriptures? Why were the Jews not born again?
    Could it be because they were not of God? Not His elect?
     
  2. annsni

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    OK - Totally flying by the seat of my pants.

    I think it's not just "a" belief because James 2:19 says "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."

    I think it's a belief that stems from a heart that has been touched by God (yeah - a more Calvinist view). It's a different sort of belief.
     
  3. webdog

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    Bob Wilkin nails this one, IMO...


    A few hours ago I received a call from someone asking about this passage. He suggested that the people who are said to “believe in Him” actually did not truly believe since Jesus says of these people that they are of the their father the devil (John 8:44).
    I explained that whatever John 8:30-32 means, it can’t contradict John 3:16, which says that all who believe in Him have eternal life. Thus even if we couldn’t explain what is going on in John 8:30-32 and the following verses, we know it isn’t saying that a person can believe in Jesus and yet still be lost.
    The specific answer if that there is a change in referent. In all of John 8 Jesus is speaking to a large group of unbelieving Jews. This fits John 1:11. Jesus came to His own and His own did not receive Him (His teachings).
    However, in this sea of unbelievers is a small group that comes to faith in Him (John 8:30). Jesus then addresses them directly in verses 31-32. He tells them that freedom from sin comes from abiding in His word and being His disciples. Faith in Christ alone will not result in freedom from sin. Discipleship is needed.
    Then in verse 33 the unbelieving larger crowd reacts strongly against what Jesus said to the new believers in verses 31-32. We know there is a change in whom Jesus is addressing since in vv 45-46 Jesus specifically says “You do not believe Me.” Yet John and the Holy Spirit specifically say in verse 30 that “many believed in Him.” Since Scripture can’t contradict itself, and since John wasn’t so foolish as to contradict himself a few verses later, we know a different group is involved.
    Are there people who profess to believe in Jesus and yet who are not born again? Absolutely. There are two type of false professors. First, there are those who believe some form of works salvation and who, when you ask them, make it clear that simple faith won’t get anyone into the kingdom, that you must have “true faith,” which they will tell you is working faith, committed faith, and persevering faith. So these people profess to believe in Jesus, but what they believe in Him is not the message of John 3:16.
    Second, there are those who profess to believe that Jesus guarantees everlasting life to all who simply believe in Him, and yet they don’t really believe what that. How can that be? People can lie, either to get something from you (a handout, for example), or to please you (children may do this and adults from many cultures highly value pleasing people), or maybe just to get you to leave (we saw this at times in college ministry).
    I have met very few of the second type of false professor. But I’ve met a lot of the first kind. These are well intentioned people who either don’t understand the Free Grace message, or else they understand it, but believe that it is not what the Bible teaches.
    Actually John 8:30-32, properly understood, is a great passage on the power of God’s Word to change us, to transform us (see Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 3:18). If we wish to be set free, then the truth will do that for us. Thank God it does.
     
  4. Havensdad

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    Invent a new religion if you wish. Scripture is clear a true faith produces works. Every group in the bible, that professed Christ, but who's works were contrary, are called false disciples, false brethren, hated by God, etc.

    Galatians clearly condemns those who would separate works and Salvation, and works of the spirit (that we are only "saved" by faith, but then we are expected to perfect ourselves on our own). The entire process (salvation and sanctification) is one process, brought by the Holy Spirit. It is impossible for someone to be "saved" and live in complete rebellion to that truth.
     
  5. reformedbeliever

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    I don't think Wilkin nails it at all. If we read in context, and see that the beginning of John speaks of being born again of God, not the will of man (an exercise of the will) then we can truly see that we are born again not of flesh or blood or the will of man, but God. Belief is not the action which results in regeneration. It occurs after. Read John in the context of being born again of God. Clearly there are those who believe but have not been born again.
     
  6. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
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    Believe

    We show are faith by what we do. Believing there is one God is not enough.

    You have to believe in Jesus and trust in Him knowing that there is one God and following satan is not a sign you are Jesus's.

    Your faith is shown by what you do.

    When we turn away from Jesus He will disown us. The Jews was His because He came into His own but His own received Him not.

    Jesus say's if you disown me before men I will disown you before my Father in heaven. That is what He did to His own, disowned them for they disowned Him.

    Jesus will never leave us or forsake us but we leave Him we were never His in the first place.

    1 John 2:19
    They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

    Disown is not a Peter experience, but turning away and never returning back.

    This is why this scripture is so important

    Hebrews 3:12See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. 14We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

    How do we save someone from death, if they are going to be saved no matter what anyways?

    James 5:17Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 19My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
     
  7. reformedbeliever

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    Agreed. Its more like that old person who's dead spirit has been made alive (born again or regenerated) by the Holy Spirit of God. If we have anything to do with being born again (including an exercise of the will) then we have reason to boast.
     
  8. saved and sure

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    The key word in your question is the word “some”. Some believed and were saved by believing. Then in verse 31 Jesus tells those who got saved what is needed to be His disciples. Verse 32 simply states that the truth of trusting In Jesus for their salvation sets them free.

    In verse 37 Jesus begins to talk to “other” Jews, not those who believed in Him. That is evidenced by verse 37 when Jesus says they want to kill Him. Cannot be the same group.

    Salvation comes by trusting in the sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sins. Belief (trust) is what saves. Regeneration happens as a result of salvation. It is not a requirement of salvation. Discipleship is a result of following Christ not salvation.

    Not all who are saved are disciples and not all who are disciples are saved.

    Matthew 7:22 “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?”

    Matthew 7:23 “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

    In these verses Jesus is talking to those who are following Him but they never trusted (believed) in Him. Therefore He tells them to depart because they were not saved. (He never knew them)

    In Christ,
    Dave
     
  9. reformedbeliever

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    Read the text web.
    31. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
    32. "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.''
    33. They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, `You will be made free'?''
    34. Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
    35. "And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
    36. "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
    37. "I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.

    One has to be born again of God before they can have saving faith. Or, saving faith (true belief) comes from God.
     
  10. reformedbeliever

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    This is absolutely incorrect. Read the text. It is the Jews who believe whom Jesus is refering.

    31. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
    32. "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.''
    33. They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, `You will be made free'?''
    34. Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
    35. "And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
    36. "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
    37. "I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.

    Simple grammar and sentence structure proves you wrong sir. Respectfully.
     
  11. psalms109:31

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    Had

    They key word is had believed in Him.

    John 12:42Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
     
  12. skypair

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    FACT #1: NOBODY was "born again" before the cross! "Born again" means spiritually resurrected by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The church is resurrected upon belief -- Israel upon the "resurrection of the just" (John 11:24) into the "new covenant" (Jer 31:31).

    FACT #2: Jesus was declaring theology that was yet to come! Notice from your own context that Jesus told them "...for if you BELIEVE not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins." John 8:24 OUR future is in OUR hands. Believe unto regeneration and eternal life or reject and hope for more and compelling revelation of the Truth!

    skypair
     
  13. skypair

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    See, it's like It told you. They COULDN'T be "born again" until after the cross!

    And again may I make this point -- belief is merely hope. When one believes and reacts to belief -- appropriates that belief -- THEN they are regenerated and THEN they have faith which is belief VALIDATED.

    skypair
     
  14. swaimj

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    ReformedBeliever, in this passage there is a large group of Jews who are arguing with Jesus and questioning his claims. Within that group is a small group of people who have heard him teach and they have believed his claims. He offers them words of encouragement: "If you continue in my words...the truth will make you free". A few verses later it is said that the Jews were trying to kill him. Surely that people who believed on him are not also trying to kill him! The entirety of the argument in chapter 8 is between Jesus and the non-believers. Jesus speaks briefly to some in the crowd who are believers and encourages them, but they are clearly marked out by John as believers.
     
  15. webdog

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    We've done the "regeneration precedes faith" debate hundreds of times. Passing from life to death PRIOR to faith in Christ deems one already "alive". Faith is nothing more than lip service at this point. I believe Scripture supports the opposite (in case you didn't know :D)
     
  16. webdog

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    Exactly...and that is why I believe the explanation by Wilkin is the best.
     
  17. saved and sure

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    I beg to differ.

    John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
    John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    If these are the same Jews explain why Jesus would say this to them?:

    John 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
    John 8:38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.


    Jesus could not say in one verse that they believed and in the other verse say that His Word has no place in them. They are definately different Jews.

    In Christ,
    Dave
     
  18. webdog

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    Someone should have told this to Lot, one of 2 men in the entire Bible to be called both righteous and godly.
     
  19. Havensdad

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    Not so...

    1Jn 3:4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
    1Jn 3:5 You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
    1Jn 3:6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
    1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.
    1Jn 3:8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
    1Jn 3:9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
    1Jn 3:10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother
     
  20. webdog

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    Are you arguing Lot was not righteous? We know from Scripture he sure wasn't "practicing righteousness"!

    The problem I see is you are assuming the converse and inverse of your bolded is also true "those who don't practice righteousness are not righteous". The text does not say that. Take it at face value.
     
    #20 webdog, Apr 9, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2008

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