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Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, May 22, 2007.
We speak of works verses faith. My question is what constitutes a 'work? '
That's a good question. I guess to many antinomians on this board, a 'work' is anything other than a passive mental assent to some propositional truths of the gospel message (as they see it), and is therefore something to be vigorously opposed if there is any hint that such a thing is being connected in anyway to (eternal) salvation.
I think the term you are looking for is monergist because the belief that it is God alone doing the work of salvation and conversion is different from antinominism which claims the law is no longer valid.
I am a monergist, but I am not antinominian. The Law is still valid. A work constitutes anything we do to be in compliance with the Law be it a physical action or a thought. It is the Law that makes it abundantly clear that we cannot do anything in regards to our salvation.
I was actually thinking of 'antinomianism', but in a broader sense, particularly as expressed by this definition (Wikipedia):
Antinomianism (from the Greek αντι, "against" + νομος, "law"), or lawlessness (in the Greek Bible: ανομια), in theology, is the idea that members of a particular religious group are under no obligation to obey the laws of ethics or morality as presented by religious authorities.
I was not referring to the works of the MOSAIC Law, but the idea that we allegedly will be ultimately/finally saved without any works of love.
Again that really is not antinomianism. They would go as far as to say all things are permissable because Jesus came and the law no longer applies.
The Lutheran perspective which is a case study in monergism has two categories of righteousness. Justification which is the act of salvation and is done totally by God. The second, is sanctification which is the Holy Spirit working in our lives to make us more Christ-like in accordance with the Law. It is sanctification that you would consider acts of love in Lutheran parlance. We teach that sanctification has no influence on justification rather it flows out of our justification.
HP: How can ‘an act of love’ be a coercive force upon man by God?? I always thought of love as a voluntary act, not one coerced upon us by God. The picture you paint of love sounds more like a ventriloquist that causes their dummy to give them a hug and a fake kiss, and then begins to believe that indeed the dummy must love them.
HP: Law without penalty is nothing more than good advice or council. If nothing we can do has any affect upon our salvation, and nothing we do can affect our standing before God, you have destroyed the law and have thrown you support to antinomianism whether or not you desire to be called by that term or not. If the penalties of law do not apply, the law is made void.
If you are not antinomian, you must believe that if a righteous man sins, he is once again guilty of breaking the law and as such incurs its just penalties. Can a man that is born again sin and become guilty before God, and if one remains in an unrepentant state, will he stand guilty as a sinner before God at the judgment?
From what I see, monergist is simply code words designed to hide the truth of believing in antinomianism.
A "work" is some deed we do that requires an expenditure, however trivial.
Faith is not a work; you either genuinely believe Jesus Christ is Lord that you must turn away from your own way to obey Him, or you do not.
To do that good deed for the person you run across takes an expenditure. To be baptized takes an expenditure. To confess Jesus Christ as Lord before people takes an expenditure. To make yourself resist that temptation to sin takes an expenditure. Etc., etc., etc.. These are works.
HP: Can one be saved apart from baptism, confessing Christ, without remaining obedient?
Does all sin involve a work?
The Bible says so:
"Believe on the Lord Jesus [plus a whole bunch of other stuff and remain faithful forever] and you will be saved."
This was taken from the book of Opinions 16:31.
The real Bible simply says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus [plus nothing] and you will be saved."
HP: With a manuscript as short as that, I bet it keeps the size of the Bible you have small, easy to carry, and quick to read through every year. :laugh:
Who said anything about coersion? I will kindly ask you to stop putting words in my mouth. Please engage with what is actually written not your pet strawmen.
Those who have been redeemed in Christ want to do good works but they can only be done through the operation of the Holy Spirit. There is no coersion there.
Maybe if you asked before you assumed you could learn more. Here you assumed that I believed that the Law has been striped of its ability to kill. This is a false assumption.
The penalties of the Law still apply. We do not ascribe to the false teaching of OSAS. If one were to remain in an unrepentant state he or she would be condemned.
Works follow salvation. One does not work to acquire salvation. One does not seek to impress God in order to be saved.
After salvation, one works to spread the Good News, grows in knowledge and wisdom and strength, shares these newly revealed qualities with others, visits the sick and elderly, gives another a ride to church, supports widows and orphans, prepares and/or serves at the annual church dinner, invites others to receive Christ as Savior and Lord, makes home visits, drives the church bus, keeps the sanctuary clean and orderly, manages the finances of the church, sings in the choir, serves as a deacon............ It is a long list. Each is a work.
"Work" is something we do to confirm to ourselves or others that we are saved. There is not test for salvation except continuing good works - says 1 John.
John Calvin comments: "First, it is clear enough that Christ is not speaking literally when he calls faith a ‘work,’ in the same way that Paul compares the law of faith with the law of works (see Romans 3:27)." (John Calvin: The Crossway Classic Commentaries, p.156, emphasis mine)
Eph 2:8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
Eph 2:9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:11¶Wherefore remember, that ye [being] in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Faith is not a work as spoken of in Eph 2:9.
You must believe!!!! and Eph.. is talking about the works of the Law of Commandments, will not save you, but to believe in Christ with the heart will save you, which is the Law of Faith and is not spoken of as a work.
Romans, chapter 3
26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27: Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
So, if the Cals want to call faith a work they don't have the support of John Calvin here, but John Calvin spoke both ways, so what you gonna do. (when they come for you)
I think what you meant to say was - says billwald :laugh:. Sorry I couldn't resist. I John doesn't give us a test for our eternal salvation. There is not a test for our eternal salvation. You either are or you are not. There is no proof of it per se. It's a spiritual transaction, of which the results may or may not show up in the physical reality that we live in. But to say that someone will prove their salvation by works or they are really not save is just a backloaded salvation message.
Salvation is by God's grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). We are saved unto good works that we SHOULD walk in them. Notice it doesn't say WILL walk in them. Huge difference there. The word translated "would" by some translations and "should" by others is a subjunctive verb in the Greek, which means an action may or may not happen. It's not a guarantee.
To add: We should do good works after we're saved.
"Call Ghostbusters!" :laugh: :laugh:
Sorry, couldn't pass on this funny "derail' opportunity!
You'd better read 1 John again. It's full of ways we know that we're saved.
3:10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
If we don't love our brothers, we're not of God. If we're not of God, we're not saved.
What constitutes a work?
29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
Faith is not a work (of us). Anything other than faith is a work.