Saved by works?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Michael52, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. Michael52

    Michael52
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    I read something on another BB. A Calvinist made a string of assertions (with scriptue quotations) on, as I recall, a different subject. But, as I tried to follow his argument, I came up with more questions. This was in the middle of a lenghty thread. I couldn't really 'jump in ' to ask. So, I'll try to paraphrase what he said, hopefully, accurately.

    - We are all naturally dead (lost) in out sins.
    - We need to hear the gospel in order to be regenerated (saved) by the Lord.
    - If a person never hears the gospel, they will certainly remain lost.
    - This is why it is imperative that we preach the gospel to the lost, so that some may be saved.

    Now, if "We are saved by grace, through faith in the Lord" and there are zero works involved on our part. Based on the above, are the lost (ie others) dependent on OUR works (preaching the gospel) for salvation?

    I'm not arguing. I'm asking. [​IMG]

    In Christ
    Michael

    [ June 09, 2004, 03:42 PM: Message edited by: Michael52 ]
     
  2. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    Romans 10
    13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
    15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
     
  3. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
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    Good argument. Good question.

    The Calvinist said:

    True. Scriptural. Ephesians 2:1 says: "And you (speaking to the Ephesian church) hath He (God) quickened (brought to life, regenerated, brought thru the new birth), who were dead (their former condition, spiritually) in sins and trespasses."

    Romans 3:23 says ALL have sinned and 5:12 goes further to say that death (spiritual) passed upon all men because ALL have sinned. Therefore, all are spiritually dead because of sin, and will remain so, until God regenerates them, or quickens them, but how ?

    The Calvinist said:

    Here are some scriptures that have to do with regeneration:

    I don't see preaching of the gospel connected to the regeneration of its hearers. On the other hand, Ephesians 2:1 which have been quoted above shows it to be entirely the act of God.

    Then we have John 1:12-13 which says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
    Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    These who believed and have authority to be sons of God and believe on his name were born again people who were so not because of man's action, or their own actions, or because they were Jewish, but because of God's will.

    To say that they were regenerated because somebody preached the gospel to them is to go against the phrase in the verse which says, "nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man".

    Romans 8:29-30 says, "
    For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. "

    I don't see man involved here, anywhere. Not in the predestination phase, or the calling phase, or the justifying phase, or the glorifying phase, certainly not in the foreknowing phase.

    Simply put, God elected certain individuals to salvation, a definite number whose names he wrote in the Book of Life written from before the foundation of the world. He regenerates them independent of means or man.

    The gospel, however, MUST be preached wherever man goes, until God sends His Son back to take back His own with Him to heaven, and time ends with the judgment of the unsaved.

    The purpose of the gospel is instruction, not salvation. Instruction to gospel obedience, gospel life, and gospel doctrines.
     
  4. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    I disagree.

    Scripture says in 1 Peter 1:23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

    24 because "All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man F6 as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, 25 But the word of the Lord endures forever." Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
     
  5. Michael52

    Michael52
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    I disagree.

    Scripture says in 1 Peter 1:23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

    24 because "All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man F6 as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, 25 But the word of the Lord endures forever." Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Skandelon

    Back to the point.
    I disagree.</font>[/QUOTE]If the "preaching of the gospel IS connected to the regeneration of the its hearers", then is the responsibility, at least in part, for the hearers immortal souls resting on the one preaching? If it is, then it seems we are talking about a "works" salvation. If not the work of the hearer, then the work of the preacher.

    I know this isn't supposed to be confusing. Never the less, I'm confused. :confused: Not so much by what and how God reconciles this delima, but by how to possibly explain this to anyone else. - This is why I'm currently in the 'neither' category on the Calvinism/Arminianism debate. Thanks. [​IMG]

    In Christ
    Michael
     
  6. Michael52

    Michael52
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    There is another reason I was thinking about this issue. Some months ago, our pastor had a long time friend who died. The pastor's friend spent the last several weeks of his life in intensive care. The pastor had witnessed to him throughout their lives. Naturally, the pastor's witnessing greatly increased in the friend's final days. Though the friend indicated to the pastor he had accepted Jesus, near the end, the worry and stress of this unhappy circumstance was evident on the pastor, particulary because the pastor indicated that he was unsure whether his friend's death bed conversion was real.

    Of course, we realize that at some point we just have to trust that God is in control in situations like this. Yet, no doubt, the pastor felt a tremendous responsibility to "do something before it was to late." Had he done all that he reasonably could/should?

    It crossed my mind that I might say something to our pastor to encourage him or lessen the guilt and responsibility he might have been feeling. However, I realized that I didn't really know what I could have said, at least from a Biblical perspective. I just prayed.

    Its in situations like this where one encounters 'real life' theological problems where we wish we (I) had better answers.

    In Christ
    Michael
     
  7. Ian Major

    Ian Major
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    Michael52 said
    Now, if "We are saved by grace, through faith in the Lord" and there are zero works involved on our part. Based on the above, are the lost (ie others) dependent on OUR works (preaching the gospel) for salvation?

    Yes, I see your point. The answer is simple enough, however: the 'works' are not the same in both cases. Scripture teaches that we are saved by grace, through faith, not from our 'works of righteousness'. We are not saved by our righteous living. The works you go on to ask about are not meritorious works offered to gain eternal life, rather are ordinary actions, means God uses to bring the saving Word to man.

    God uses various means to save the elect: the hearing of the gospel is the final link. I suppose the very first link for each one of us is the actions of our Mummies and Daddies in conceiving us - we have to be born to be saved! Then every other event in our lives becomes a link in that chain that brings us to the final moment of hearing and believing the Word. Many works by man, beast and the rest of Creation, all directed by our Sovereign Lord to bring us to the point of salvation. But none of these are works meriting salvation.

    Hope that clarifies things.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  8. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Ian,

    I was just wondering why you call the gospel "the saving Word?" In your system it has no power in itself to save anything. Its not a saving word unless it is accompanied by the effectual call, right? So I could see how you might call the effectual calling a "saving word" but how can you call the gospel "saving" when it alone has absolutely no power to save?

    In fact, in your system the gospel is no more powerful a means to salvation than a Mummy giving you birth. The only saving act that has any power is the effectual call, which btw the scripture never once expounds upon.
     
  9. Ian Major

    Ian Major
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    Skandelon said
    I was just wondering why you call the gospel "the saving Word?" In your system it has no power in itself to save anything. Its not a saving word unless it is accompanied by the effectual call, right? So I could see how you might call the effectual calling a "saving word" but how can you call the gospel "saving" when it alone has absolutely no power to save?

    In fact, in your system the gospel is no more powerful a means to salvation than a Mummy giving you birth. The only saving act that has any power is the effectual call, which btw the scripture never once expounds upon.

    On the contrary, in my system it is the Word that saves. Your problem is in not accurately separating each part of the salvation operation.

    The Word comes to stoney hearts, and is rejected. You can say it has no power, therefore - but you would be wrong. It has all power to accomplish whatever God sent it to do. To the reprobate it brings condemnation. But to the elect, at God's chosen moment, it converts the soul. The Holy Spirit uses it to to persuade the new heart ( which He has now given the sinner)to repent and believe its saving message.

    It is the Arminian word that is powerless. Puny man can successfully resist it, no matter what God desires. In Calvinism, all men do resist the gospel, but some of them are given a new heart to accept it, and on doing so are saved.

    In fact, the Word is the vehicle by which the Holy Spirit meets man to give him a new heart in the first place. It is a mistake to separate regeneration and faith - you can't have one without the other, just as you can't have faith without good works. One follows the other, but they cannot be separated.

    The effectual call is merely the gospel call applied by the Holy Spirit. It is not something different from the gospel call.

    An example of the effectual call in Scripture: John 10: 3To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."

    In Him

    Ian
     

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