The Believer's Conditional Security Refuted (Part 2)

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by James_Newman, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. James_Newman

    James_Newman
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    The first part of this series was posted a couple of weeks ago. This is the second part, its kinda long. I will continue to post them as they come out.

    ***********************************************************************
    THE ARMINIANISM OF DANIEL D. CORNER REFUTED - Part 2:
    (BY JOEY FAUST)
    ***********************************************************************
    The following is a refutation of, "The Believer's Conditional Security: Eternal Security Refuted," by Daniel D. Corner (http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org).

    In Part I, I examined Mr. Corner's Introduction (his chapter 1). I pointed out that it only took a few pages for him to reveal the main reason behind much of his doctrinal confusion. He thinks that the phrase "kingdom of God," (etc.), means "heaven," and he uses "heaven" as a synonym for life in the eternal age. This is part of that old confusion started by Origen (i.e. allegorical interpretation) and Tyconius (typological), that later influenced Augustine; it has practically taken over the Christian denominations in modern times. It is therefore interesting that Corner writes against Origen and Augustine in his book. He is somehow unaware of how much he has in common with these writers!

    Based on the Scriptures and debates in Christian history, it is amazing that Corner does not offer any proof for his view that the phrase "kingdom of God," (etc.) refers to Heaven or the eternal state. He answers no objections to his view. The word "kingdom" is not found in the Subject Index of his 801-page book. Yet, most of the arguments of his book are based on Scriptures that teach exclusion from the "kingdom"! I have carefully studied (with pen in hand) every page of his book. He never offers the slightest discussion or evidence to prove his view of the kingdom! Furthermore, his Scripture Index omits 1 Corinthians 15:24-26. These verses are significant since they reveal the very manner in which Paul uses the phrase "the kingdom," and they reveal that the "kingdom" is the temporary, Millennial Kingdom in most verses. Corner makes much of Paul's warnings about exclusion from the kingdom (and from the inheritance in/of the kingdom) to argue against eternal security. Why then, in 801 pages, does he fail to present even the slightest proof for his views concerning the kingdom?

    While Corner falls very short of proving Arminianism, he certainly reveals many errors and weaknesses of Calvinism's fifth point (the perseverance of the saints). He certainly reveals that there is something missing, and much that is terribly wrong in the manner in which "once-saved-always-saved" is being taught in pulpits today. It is too bad that Corner, who appears to be premillennial, interprets so many Scriptures in an amillennial or postmillennial fashion! This leaves him with no other way to understand the warnings to Christians than to apply them to the eternal age; this ends up in a works salvation, and a denial of grace. Corner's only answer to this dilemma is to say that we must be wrong in our understanding of grace and works! Modern eternal security advocates would rather err on the side of grace, even if they cannot explain many of the various warnings. Yet Corner would rather apply the warnings to the eternal state - even if he has to teach eternal salvation by working to the end, with no certain assurance! This is fleeing licentiousness only to fall into the arms of Roman Catholicism. Is it reasonable to rail against Millennial Exclusion as resembling Purgatory, while one embraces Rome's "gospel" of eternal salvation by works (which is no Gospel!)?

    In Chapter 2, Corner begins by noting two positions among advocates of eternal security. He calls those who believe that every true saint will persevere in practical holiness the "moderate" position; and he calls those who believe that true saints can be carnal and "walk as men," and end up "unfruitful" (though saved at last), the "extreme" position. Corner notes that both positions agree that true saints can never lose ultimate, eternal salvation.

    His main point in Chapter 2 is his argument that once-saved-always-saved (OSAS) began with Augustine (354-430). Since Augustine was heretical in many places, and a principle father of the Roman Catholic Church, Corner argues that eternal security must therefore be wrong. He writes:

    "...did you know that it [OSAS]...can be traced more than one thousand years earlier [than Calvin] to Augustine of Hippo (354-430)?...Augustine was most importantly wrong about the foremost doctrine in all of Scripture - how to be saved...Augustine, then, was spiritually incapable of correctly understanding Scripture." (pp.20, 31).

    It is certainly true that Augustine was in great error, and should not be trusted as a worthy teacher of Scriptures. But Corner needs to realize that his argument of "guilt by association" actually bites his own hand! Augustine confessed that he had abandoned the premillennial view that had been strongly advocated by the Christians before him. Justin Martyr had called premillennialism (i.e. chiliasm) the view held by all the right-minded Christians in his early day! In contrast to this view, Augustine later adopted a figurative, and/or extremely typological manner of interpreting the Scriptures. In his "City of God," he writes:

    "Those who, on the strength of this passage [Revelation 20], have suspected that the first resurrection is future and bodily, have been moved, among other things, specially by the number of a thousand years, as if it were a fit thing that the saints should thus enjoy a kind of Sabbath-rest during that period...there should follow on the completion of six thousand years, as of six days, a kind of seventh-day Sabbath in the succeeding thousand years; and that it is for this purpose the saints rise, viz., to celebrate this Sabbath. And. this opinion would not be objectionable, if it were believed that the joys of the saints in that Sabbath shall be spiritual, and consequent on the presence of God; for I MYSELF, TOO, ONCE HELD THIS OPINION. But, as they assert that those who then rise again shall enjoy the leisure of immoderate carnal banquets, furnished with an amount of meat and drink such as not only to shock the feeling of the temperate, but even to surpass the measure of credulity itself, such assertions can be believed only by the carnal. They who do believe them are called by the spiritual Chiliasts, which we may literally reproduce by the name Millenarians." (Augustine)
     
    #1 James_Newman, Jul 13, 2006
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  2. James_Newman

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    ***Continued***
    Of course, the early Christians did not believe, as Augustine implied, that the future Millennium would be "carnal" or ungodly. They rightly believed that it would be contrasted to this present time of temptation and suffering. It will be characterized as a time of joy, as opposed to this time of cross bearing. It is a time of reigning, as opposed to this time of suffering (2 Timothy 2:12, Luke 22:28-29). Augustine was simply reflecting (and watering) the growing asceticism of his day in preparation for Rome's later monkery, etc.

    This change in Augustine's doctrinal view of Revelation 20 colored his whole understanding of the kingdom; and this, in turn, affected his understanding of the Gospel. David R. Anderson writes:

    "...when Augustine became amillennial, this major change in his eschatology affected other parts of his theology, namely his soteriology...That chiliasm was the norm in eschatology up until roughly A.D. 400 is no debate among church historians."
    ("The Soteriological Impact of Augustine's Change from Premillenialism to Amillennialism, Part One; 2002; Faithalone.org)

    In 1995, I argued a similar point in an article titled, "Purgatory! The Baby with the Bath Water." I showed from Augustine's work, "Enchiridion," that his new view of the "kingdom" warped his view of eternal salvation. "Enchiridion" is a later work of Augustine, after he rejected premillennialism. He equates "the kingdom" in 1 Corinthians 6:9 with eternal salvation, in the eternal state, instead of matching it with the temporary kingdom that Paul goes on to discuss in 1 Corinthians 15. Augustine writes:

    "But now, can that part of the human race to whom God hath promised deliverance and a place in the ETERNAL KINGDOM be restored through the merits of their own works?"
    ("Enchiridion," Chapter 9)

    Notice that Augustine here defines what he means by the phrase "the kingdom" whenever it is found in this work. To Augustine, at this point in his life, the "kingdom" refers to eternal life, in an eternal kingdom in Heaven. Notice his commentary on 1 Corinthians 3 and 6 in a later chapter:

    "There are some, indeed, who believe that those who do not abandon the name of Christ, and who are baptized in his laver in the Church, who are not cut off from it by schism or heresy, who may then live in sins however great, not washing them away by repentance, nor redeeming them by alms - and who obstinately persevere in them to life's last day - even these will still be saved, 'though as by fire.' They believe that such people will be punished by fire, prolonged in proportion to their sins, but still not eternal...Now, if the wicked man were to be saved by fire on account of his faith only, and if this is the way the statement of the blessed Paul should be understood - 'But he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire' - then faith WITHOUT WORKS would be sufficient to salvation. But then what the apostle James said would be false. And also false would be another statement of the same Paul himself: 'Do not err,' he says; 'neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the unmanly, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit THE KINGDOM of God.' Now, if those who persist in such crimes as these are nevertheless saved by their faith in Christ, would they not then be in THE KINGDOM of God?"
    (Chapter 13)

    Notice, he argues against Christians with great sins being punished at the Judgment Seat of Christ (but still saved) by referring to the fact that Paul said those with great sins would be excluded from "the Kingdom." Since Augustine no longer believed in a literal, future Millennial Kingdom of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:25, Revelation 20:6), he was forced to interpret the verses that teach exclusion from the kingdom as referring to exclusion from eternal life in the eternal kingdom.

    But this teaching brought him into conflict with 1 Corinthians 3:15:

    1 Corinthians 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

    If a man's whole work on the foundation for Christ is burned, and yet he is still saved after suffering loss, yet so as by fire, why then does the Bible teach that elsewhere (according to Augustine) that great sinners will be excluded from the eternal kingdom? Rather than question his view of the kingdom, Augustine adopts an absurd interpretation. He teaches that the man in 1 Corinthians 3 is "burned" by certain desires in this life, as he holds on to Christ (the foundation), and will therefore be saved, since he did not let go of the foundation. He writes:

    "In fact, wood and hay and stubble may be understood, without absurdity, to signify such an attachment to those worldly things - albeit legitimate in themselves - that one cannot suffer their loss without anguish in the soul. Now, when such anguish 'burns,' and Christ still holds his place as foundation in the heart - that is, if nothing is preferred to him and if the man whose anguish 'burns' would still prefer to suffer loss of the things he greatly loves than to lose Christ - then one is saved, 'by fire.' But if, in time of testing, he should prefer to hold onto these temporal and worldly goods rather than to Christ, he does not have him as foundation - because he has put 'things' in the first place - whereas in a building nothing comes before the foundations. The fire is a sort of trial of affliction...This kind of fire works in the span of this life...He 'burns' with grief, for the things he has loved and lost, but this does not subvert nor consume him..."
    (Chapter 13)

    Therefore, according to Augustine, one will be eternally saved only if he endures to the end, holding on to Christ during times of testing. Perhaps feeling a bit ashamed at the reckless confusion caused by such an interpretation, Augustine goes on to suggest the possibility that the suffering of loss may be future:

    "It is not incredible that something like this should occur after this life, whether or not it is a matter for fruitful inquiry. It may be discovered or remain hidden whether some of THE FAITHFUL are sooner or later to be saved by a sort of purgatorial fire, in proportion as they have loved the goods that perish, and in proportion to their attachment to them. HOWEVER, this does not apply to those of whom it was said, 'They shall not possess the KINGDOM of God,' unless their crimes are remitted through due repentance. I say 'due repentance' to signify that they must not be barren of almsgiving, on which divine Scripture lays so much stress that our Lord tells us in advance that, on the bare basis of fruitfulness in alms, he will impute merit to those on his right hand; and, on the same basis of unfruitfulness, demerit to those on his left - when he shall say to the former, 'Come, blessed of my Father, receive the KINGDOM,' but to the latter, 'Depart into everlasting fire.'"
    (Chapter 13)

    His suggestion of a possible "purgatorial fire" (after death) is only for the "faithful." In other words, it is only for those who did not commit sins worthy of exclusion from the kingdom, and for those who have brought forth fruits meet for repentance, through alms, etc. This is plainly eternal salvation by grace through works! The foundation for Rome's Purgatory is laid, and it is only for those with LESSER sins, not great (mortal). Like Augustine, Pope Gregory the Great later taught:

    "That we believe that for CERTAIN SLIGHT SINS there will be a purgatory fire prior to judgment."

    Those with "great" sins will be eternally damned. Rome's Purgatory not only allows eternal salvation to be purchased by suffering after death, it is also only for "slight" sins. According to Rome's "fathers," greater sins, such as those mentioned in the kingdom-exclusion passages (e.g. 1 Corinthians 6, Galatians 5 and Ephesians 5, etc.), will cause one to become eternally lost.

    In bringing all this back to Daniel Corner, Augustine's views of the kingdom, the kingdom-warning passages, dead faith, enduring to the end, holding on to Christ, no real assurance, etc., all sound like Corner's own writings! Nevertheless, Mr. Corner tells us that Augustine is spiritually blind and therefore should be rejected!

    Corner claims that Augustine was the originator of the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints (OSAS). He shows the influence that Augustine had on Calvin. However, he forgets that he also argues that Augustine is seen by many to be the father of Roman Catholicism! Rome denies the doctrine of eternal security with anathemas (Trent). Corner even provides quotes noting how all of Rome's errors can be traced back to Augustine. He is correct. He simply does not realize that Rome's "conditional security" is also one of these errors!
     
  3. James_Newman

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    ***Continued***
    Augustine, contrary to Corner's assertions, did not believe in eternal security:

    "Augustine said the non-elect can have genuine faith. Augustine said the non-elect can be legitimately regenerated by the Holy Spirit. But because they have not received that most necessary of all gifts, the gift of perseverance, these regenerated believers are non-elect. Forget the fact that the Scriptures never suppose that one who is regenerated is not also elect (cf. 1 Pet 1:1, 3 and Titus 1:1; 3:5). When pressed on this matter, as previously stated, Augustine explained this contradiction as 'a mystery.'"
    (Anderson, "The Soteriological Impact of Augustine's Change from Premillenialism to Amillennialism, Part Two; 2002; Faithalone.org)

    Anderson is correct. Notice the following statements from Augustine's "On the Gift of Perseverance" (A.D. 429). Corner quoted extensively from this writing of Augustine. But he left out the following statements:

    "Therefore it is uncertain whether any one has received this gift so long as he is still alive...if he have righteousness, if patience, if EVEN FAITH, and FALL AWAY, he is rightly said to have HAD these virtues and to HAVE THEM NO LONGER; for he was continent, or he was RIGHTEOUS, or he was patient, or HE WAS BELIEVING, as long as he was so; but when he ceased to be so, he no longer is what he was...If from the time at which any one became a believer he has lived - for the sake of argument - ten years, and in the midst of them has FALLEN FROM THE FAITH, has he not persevered for five years? I am not contending about words. If it be thought that this also should be called perseverance, as it were for so long as it lasts, assuredly he is not to be said to have had in any degree that perseverance of which WE ARE NOW DISCOURSING, by which one perseveres in Christ even to the end." (Augustine)

    Notice, Augustine does not deny that some true believers will fail to endure until the end in faith and holiness; he simply states that he does not recognize such believers to have had the gift of perseverance in the way he is using the term. He holds that certain believers obtain a second work of grace, beyond initial regeneration. He continues:

    "And the believer of one year, or of a period as much shorter as may be conceived of, if he has lived faithfully until he died, has rather had this perseverance than the believer of many years' standing, if a little time before his death he has fallen away from the STEDFASTNESS OF HIS FAITH...Let not men say, then, that perseverance is given to any one to the end, except when the end itself has come, and he to whom it has been given has been found to have persevered unto the end..." (Augustine)

    In this quote on absolute assurance, we see that both Protestant Calvinism and Arminianism meet together in this root of Augustine. The debate between them is simply over whether or not the first faith that later does not endure was a "true" faith. Augustine teaches the same thing that Corner has argued in his book. Only, in this treatise, Augustine would add that the believers who finally fall away and are eternally lost did not seek (or obtain by God's grace) the extra gift of perseverance. He writes:

    "And this might have been given to us even without our praying for it, but by our prayer He willed us to be admonished from whom we receive these benefits...Let the inquirer still go on, and say, 'Why is it that to some who have in good faith worshipped Him He has not given to persevere to the end?' Why except because he does not speak falsely who says, 'They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, doubtless they would have continued with us.' [1 John ii. 19]...Were not both created by God - both born of Adam - both made from the earth...Lastly, had not BOTH BEEN CALLED, and followed Him that called them? and had not both become, from wicked men, JUSTIFIED MEN, and both been RENEWED by the laver of regeneration?" (Augustine)

    Augustine's theology states that a man can be called, justified, with fruits following, renewed through baptism, and yet not obtain the extra gift of perseverance. This is why we say that Corner's statements about Augustine (e.g. "Augustine, then, was spiritually incapable of understanding Scripture," p.31) actually rebukes his own view! Augustine continues:

    "...But it is said, 'It is by his own fault that any one deserts the faith, when he yields and consents to the temptation which is the cause of his desertion of the faith.' Who denies it?...Because no one can be certain of the life eternal which God who does not lie has promised to the children of promise before the times of eternity, - no one, unless that life of his, which is a state of trial upon the earth, is completed." (Augustine)

    As we have noted, Corner traces a line from Augustine to Calvin to John Macarthur. (Indeed, John Macarthur gladly admits that both he and Augustine teach the same view of salvation assurance. See, "The Gospel According to Jesus, p.222) Corner writes:

    "In fact, John Calvin called Augustine...'the best and most faithful witness of all antiquity.'"(p.32)

    Corner adds:

    "One must wonder how his writings could be so exalted by the Reformers." (p.32)

    Actually, the view that the Reformers exalted Augustine is not exactly true. Notice the following statements by Philipp Melancthon (1497-1560):

    "'I see,' writes Melancthon, 'what is troubling you about faith. You stick to the FANCY OF AUGUSTINE, who, though right in rejecting the righteousness of human reason, imagines that we are justified by that fulfilling of the law which the Holy Spirit works in us. So you imagine that men are justified by faith, because it is by faith that we receive the Spirit, that thereafter we may be able to be just by that fulfillment of the law which the Spirit works. This imagination places justification in our fulfillment of the law, in our purity or perfection, although this renewal ought to follow faith. But do you turn your eyes from that renewal, and from the law altogether, to the promise and to Christ, and think that it is on Christ's account that we become just, that is, accepted before God, and that it is thus we obtain peace of conscience, and not on account of that renewal. For even this renewing is insufficient (for justification). We are justified by faith alone, not because it is a root, as you write, but because it apprehends Christ, on account of whom we are accepted. This renewing, although it necessarily follows, yet does not pacify the conscience. Therefore not even love, though it is the fulfilling of the law, justifies, but only faith; not because it is some excellence in us, but only because it takes hold of Christ. We are justified, not on account of love, not on account of the fulfilling of the law, not on account of our renewal, although these are the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but on account of Christ; and Him we take hold of by faith alone...Believe me, my Brentius, this controversy regarding the righteousness which is by faith is a mighty one, and little understood. You can only rightly comprehend it by turning your eyes entirely away from the law, and FROM AUGUSTINE'S IDEA about our fulfilling the law, and by fixing them wholly upon the free promise, so as to see that it is on account of that promise and for Christ's sake, that we are justified, that is, accepted and obtain peace. When could the conscience have peace and assured hope, if we are not justified till our renewal is perfected? What is this but to be justified by the law, and not by the free promise? In that discussion I said that to ascribe our justification to love is to ascribe it to our own work, understanding by that, a work done in us by the Holy Ghost. For faith justifies, not because it is a new work of the Spirit in us, but because it apprehends Christ, on account of whom we are accepted, and not on account of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us. TURN AWAY FROM AUGUSTINE'S IDEA, and you will easily see the reason for this...'"
    (Melancthon, quoted in Horatius Bonar's, "God's Way of Holiness")

    Here we see that Melancthon denied that Augustine even understood the Gospel! Historian D'Aubigne called Melancthon "the Theologian of the Reformation." We do not have to agree with everything the Protestant Reformers advocated to wonder how Mr. Corner could reprove them for being influenced by Augustine, when he also has so much in common with him. If Melancthon was alive today, he would rightly reprove Mr. Corner for being blinded by Augustine's "fancy"!

    It appears that Corner is confused about the distinction between imputed righteousness and infused righteousness. Corner believes a Christian's IMPUTED righteousness can be destroyed by sin. He makes no distinction between a believer's position in Christ, based on imputed righteousness, and the believer's WALK in Christ, based on His infused righteousness in our practical lives. Corner writes:

    "While it's certainly true that we are imputed a righteous standing before God through our faith in Christ, this righteous standing can be destroyed by sin." (p.194)

    This is Augustine's old error, and Corner tells us that Augustine was spiritually blind.
     
  4. DeafPosttrib

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    James,

    There is not a single verse find anywhere in Bible saying the 'Kingdom of God/heaven' is so called, a thousand years or temporary kingdom.

    Daniel 7:14 says: "And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is AN EVERLASTING DOMINION, which shall NOT PASS AWAY, and his kingdom that which shall NOT BE DESTROYED."

    Clear, Bible teaches us, God's kingdom, itself is an everlasting, it have no end. And it is NOT a temporary, or 'a thousand years' either.

    Daniel 7:18 says: "But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom FOR EVER, EVEN FOR EVER AND EVER."

    It tells us very clear that the kingsom, its is an everlasting, have no end. It doesn't saying that it shall be last for a thousand years.

    Gal. 5:19-21 clear telling us, anyone who do wicked things, as it named of sins, what they commited, cannot enter the kingdom of God. This gives us the picture of anyone who do wicked things and no repent, cannot have eternal life with Christ.

    Same with Rev. 22:14-15 telling us, these who DO Lord's commandments, shall have their right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Notice verse 15 says, "For WITHOUT are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolators, and whosever loveth and maketh a lie." This passage telling us, anyone do keep and obey God's commandment, shall enter the kingdom of God(eternal life) with Christ on new earth, and in New Jerusalem. And others who do wicked things CANNOT have eternal life, where are they? In the lake of fire. Because their names are not find written in the book of life. Simple and plain.

    Bible teaches us very clear, if anyone who wicked things, cannot enter eternal life with Christ, go into everlasting fire with Satan. Bible commands us, everyone must repent of sins, to enter the kingdom of God.

    John 3:3, 6 telling us, that a person must be born again, or... cannot see the kingdom of God. Christ means that, a person must repent of sins, then can enter the kingdom of God. Or, if a person refuses repent of sins, then cannot enter the kingdom of God, go into everlasting fire. Very simple and plain.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     
  5. rooster25

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    Still Trusting In Your Works ? Dpt...
     
  6. DeafPosttrib

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    No. I do not trust in good works. Good works do not bring me into heaven. Many religions do focus on good works, they hope that they are go into heaven by do good works.

    Baptists emphasis Eph. 2:8-9 telling us, that we are saved by the grace through faith, not of works.

    There are much of debate on faith and work. Some say faith should be separated from work. Some say faith must be include with work same time.

    Book of James explaining on faith and work.

    But, the most mainly focus on word - 'faith' throughout in the Bible.

    Many saying faith means believe without seeing or sight. That is partially correct.

    Yes, we have to believing and trust in Christ without sight.

    But, the Bible telling us of the examples on faith. It is more than just believing. Faith shows of beliving with action.

    Abraham was the perfect example of faith.

    One day, when Abraham was in land of Ur. God came to him, and called him to leave country and follow Him. Abraham didn't ask him questions, he determined listen and obey God's called. He left county and follow him. That is his faith. God told him, that his name will be great and blessed as great nation. Abraham believed in God's promise. He obeyed His called.

    Another one big test on Abraham. One day, God told him, to bring son Isaac up the mountian and make a sacrifice offering Isaac to God. Abraham didn't ask God, why? Abraham listened and obeyed God. He told his son Isaac, to come with him up to the mountian. When they both arrived there. They were prepared to make sacrifice offering. Isaac puzzled and told his father, where is the lamb. Abraham told him, God will provided it. Abraham put his son on the altar. Then, he was ready about to strike knife with his hand to stab his son. Suddenly an angel halted Abraham. God sent goat over there. Abraham passed the test because of his faith.

    Notice Hebrews chapter 11 recorded list of the Old Testament saints' names, it is called, 'Hall of Faith'. It recorded how they has done in their faith with action.

    Bible says, without have faith, impossible to please God.

    Luke 18:18-30 is a perfect example of a rich man have lack of his faith. The rich man came and ask Chirst, what shall he do to have eternal life? Christ told him, if he desires to have eternal life, then give up everything what he have his possession, give to poor, and shall receive treasure from heaven, and have eternal life, come and to follow Christ.

    Rich man bittered, and refuse give up his greta possession, and turn away. Why? Because he have no faith.

    This passage is not talking about good works. It is talking FAITH.

    Christ tells us, many will not be able enter into eternal life on narrow road to the gate, because no faithh. Also, remain in sins.

    Bible commands us, to repent sins, and come to follow Christ, shall have eternal life. Sadly, many turn away back to sins, and stopped follow Christ. Many will not enter into narrow road into the gate - eternal life. Many of them shall be end up in destruction - hell.

    I hope that you understand my point about faith.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     
  7. DeafPosttrib

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    James,

    Daniel Corner explained on kingdom of God/heaven more clearly in his book in page 86-87.

    He discussed on Luke 18:18-30

    Let me talk of Luke 18:18-30.

    Luke 18:18 - "A a certian ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?.

    He didn't ask Christ about a thousand years of kingdom. Because, millennial doctrine was not yet introduced during Christ time, till about 1500 years later. Rich man's desire about have eternal life speaks of beyond death.

    Notice three important verses in this passage:

    Luke 18:24-26 "And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, HOW HARDLY shall they that have riches enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they that heard it said, Who then CAN BE SAVED?"

    Dan Corner said:

    Dan Corner is right. Kingdom of God/heaven is never so called, 'millennial kingdom'. Because, millennial doctrine was not yet existed during Christ's time, till about 1500 years later.

    Early Church understood, that 'kingdom of God/heaven' is the picture of everlasting life with God, and also, it is the gospel of salvation.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     
    #7 DeafPosttrib, Aug 9, 2006
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  8. rooster25

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    the kingdom of God is more than just a future event ...it includes the present...see Matt 6:33 we are to be seeking it now...the rule and reign of The Lord Jesus Christ in my life today......rusty
     
  9. rooster25

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    dpt,

    I agree works do come when a person is saved...however to focus on the works (in and of themselves) brings pride...self dependance...we fall from grace(not salvation) like the galatians....fall from living under grace back to law(works) ...called living in bondage........
    salvation is an operation of God ..rusty
     
  10. James_Newman

    James_Newman
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  11. GeneMBridges

    GeneMBridges
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    This, of course, is from Bob Wilkin's website. How ironic. However, it would be helpful if you'd actually quote from the primary sources without reading them anachronistically.

    This is muddled. The Augustinian position and later the position of the Reformers in the sixteenth century was that if a person is truly regenerate, God will protect and sustain that person so that he will persevere unto the end and be saved. "Genuine faith" was any faith in Christ for the Fathers, whereas, since the Reformation, we differentiate between saving faith and spurious faith in the Reformed churches.

    Not exactly. When the Church Fathers write the word "regeneration" and "justification" and "renewal" you have have to be sure you don't read back what we mean when we use them. "Regeneration" at that point in church history was very ill defined as it was. In addition, it was also indexed by Augustine to the mediation of the church to all those who were baptized into it.

    In the quote you cited he speaks of "the laver of regeneration." That is, for Augustine, baptism. The key word is "laver," as in "baptismal laver," like the laver outside the Temple in Jerusalem; like the baptistery.

    What you seem to have missed is that Augustine differentiates between the presumptive faith of baptism (renewal), which is given to all baptized persons, and the actual faith of regeneration and conversion itself as we understand it today (which is only given to the elect). For Augustine, the grace of regeneration is always effectual for the elect and will not therefore be denied by the elect. Regeneration is offered by baptism to both the elect and non-elect, but only the elect are subjectively regenerated. This view is closest to the doctrine of regeneration in Lutheranism (which is also indexed to baptism), the elect do not resist it, because of God's predestination. The non-elect do resist it and thus show they were not given the gift of perseverance in the grace of regeneration. "Perseverance" is thus the rough equivalent to what we would consider saving faith and repentance expressed in conversion and the resultant transformation of our lives as believers. Thus, Augustine differentiates between falling away from the grace of baptism and falling away from the grace of salvific regeneration itself. Those who are not given the gift of perseverance are those who have received the outward graces of baptism (which are general) but not the inward graces of the Holy Spirit. In Baptist parlance, that would look very like those who we say hear the general call but receive no effectual call. Regeneration and saving faith for Augustine had an objective and subjective distinction very like the Lutheran distinction between objective and subjective regeneration (all baptized are "objectively" or "presumptively" regenerated but only the elect are "actually" or "subjectively" regenerated, and thus, from this doctrine comes their doctrine of objective and subjective justification. This results because of the inner tensions in his (and Lutheranism's) theology relative to his soteriology and eccelsiology, where he pits his own views in the Donatist controversy against his soteriology, but that's typical of most of the Church Fathers anyway. Lutherans today vary between those that remain closer to Augustine and those who follow after Melancthon on this issue.

    This is not the Reformed view of regeneration or justification except in the Dutch Reformed churches, where they have a doctrine of presumptive election for their infants, whereby they treat them as presumptively regenerate until they show contrary evidence. The Presbyterian tradition treats them in the opposite manner. So, what Corner has done, as best, is not find holes in the Reformed view of perseverance of the saints (as the Free Grace people apparently believe in order to make this assertion--which doesn't surprise me, because they can't ever seem to articulate Reformed theology correctly anyway), rather he's found holes in Lutheranism and Dutch Reformed theology, which is much more genuinely like Augustine on these issues than Reformed theology in Presbyterianism and Baptistery.

    Corner simply asserts that the doctrine of eternal security leads to antinomianism. Well, if you believe that a believer can apostatize as some, by Bob Wilkin's own admission, do believe, then Corner is correct. The perseverance of the saints, however, is that true believers are preserved from apostasy, not that they are preserved from all sin and not that they can apostatize and still be considered believers. They persevere, because saving faith is the gift of God Himself and thus God keeps them from apostasy. He does not, however, keep them from all sins. Apostasy is defined, in RT, by the criterion laid down in Scripture which is that they repudiate the gospel itself, fall into moral latitudinarianism, and lose any and all conviction of sin internally and externally. All Christians can backslide, no true Christian will apostatize. Corner says nothing to overturn the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints.
     

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