What kind of "repentance" is necessary for salvation?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by IfbReformer, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    What kind of "repentance" is neccessary for salvation?

    Most of us(conservative evangelical baptists) will say that a person must "repent and accept Christ as his Savior in order to be saved." - or something along that line.

    But what do we mean by repent?

    Some time we will will say "repent of their sins" instead of just repent.

    But what does this mean?

    Here are some definitions I found for our english word 'repent':

    "To be sorry for sin as morally evil, and to seek forgiveness; to cease to love and practice sin."

    "To feel such regret for past conduct as to change one's mind regarding it: repented of intemperate behavior.
    "


    The greek word that our english word repent is translating is 'metanoeo' which literally means "a change of mind".

    Many times you can tell by the context of how it used that is talking about repenting from sin like in these passages:

    "22Repent[metanoeo] of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart."
    Acts 8:22(NIV)

    "21I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented[metanoeo] of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged."
    2 Corinthians 12:21(NIV)

    Other passages have do not say anything about sin but mention repentance:

    "15"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent[metanoeo] and believe the good news!"
    Mark 1:15(NIV)

    "20Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent[metanoeo]."
    Matthew 11:20(NIV)


    Then we have one the most famous "Repent" passages in the New Testament when Peter was speaking to the crowd at Jerusalem:

    "38Peter replied, "Repent[metanoeo] and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
    Acts 2:38(NIV)

    Let zoom in on this passage from Acts 2:38 to illustrate what I am asking:

    Which interpretation would be correct:

    "38Peter replied, "Repent[metanoeo - change your mind about Christ - be believe he was God and accept him as Savior] and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
    Acts 2:38(NIV)

    or

    "38Peter replied, "Repent[metanoeo - change your mind about your sins, turn from them] and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
    Acts 2:38(NIV)

    Some preachers and teachers such as Charles Ryrie believe that many times "repent" is synonomous with "believe". They believe the call to repetance that is necessary for salvation is a change of mind about the Savior. It is implied that we must accept our state as sinner in order to accept that we need a savior.

    Others such as John MacArthur, teach that the repentance necessary to be saved it not only a change of mind about the Savior and an acknowledgement of our sin before God, but a turning from it.

    Even if you believe as MacArthur does that it also includes turning from sin, how much "turning" do we need to do? Can anyone completely turn from sin?

    Does this mean when a person is confronted with his need of the Savior that he must give up his bad habits before he can accept Christ?

    I think we would all agree that repentance is necessary for salvation - but what is it?

    IFBReformer
     
  2. IfbReformer

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    I just wanted to add a couple more things so you guys can see where I am coming from on this issue of repentance:

    All growing up I heard my Pastors preach that "repentance means to change your mind and turn from your sin - you may be sorry for that sin you keep doing, but you are not repentant. If you were you would not being doing it anymore. God does not forgive you until you truly repent."

    It seems to me that under that definition of reptentance none of us truly repent.

    Lets say a man has a problem with anger. He looses his temper and says something he should'nt and then asks the Lord to forgive him. A week later he gets angry again and does something similar. He struggles with this his whole life until he dies. Does this mean God never forgave because he did not overcome this sin of anger in his life?

    And how does this passage fit with forgiveness and repentance:
    "21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
    22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."
    Matthew 18:21-22(NIV)

    It is this saying the seventy seven times someone sins against you they are all different sins. Or could this be a habitual sin? Is there still forgiveness here?

    I look forward to your responses.

    IFBReformer
     
  3. Trotter

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    As I see it, repentance moves in much the same way as does confession of sins. Saying "I'm sorry," and actually feeling that way, is not confessing. To come to God with a humble heart and say, "Lord, when I did [whatever], it was wrong. It was a sin against You, and I know it. You say it is wrong, and I agree with You that I was wrong."

    As far as believing, I go with what the Bible says:
    That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
    For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10, NKJV

    Does the "believing" that Paul speaks of fall under repentance? I don't know. But I do know that it is required for salvation.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  4. Gunther

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    If one recognizes that Christ is the Lord, and he alone is needed for salvation, it implies certain things.

    1. Christ is God.
    2. Salvation is found exclusively in him.
    3. He is holy.
    4. Mankind is not holy.
    5. Our lives do not please him.
    6. We do not have correct thinking.

    Now, there are others, but the above will suffice for now.

    If a person realizes he is a sinner and needs to "turn" to Christ, something is wrong with his life.

    1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

    9. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,

    10. and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

    Notice certain things.

    Among others, they turned from idols to God.

    So, they turned from their false worship to true worship. They didn't just turn to God. They turned away from sin.

    Specifically, they embraced the Christ who rose from the dead and will return again (as opposed to a false Christ).

    Ryrie's view here was more of a reaction to his understanding of Lordship salvation than it is an exegetically defensible position.
     
  5. IfbReformer

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    Gunther,

    You are using the word in the answer. Like when someone asks you what life is and you say "it when you live".

    I want to know what you think repetance is, and if you think as you do it is "turning away from sin" - what is turning away from sin?

    Sure they turned from their idols to God, so they left the sin of idolatry, you can't worship God and another God.

    In fact trusting in Christ implies that he is the only way and the one true God. If you think he is 'a' god, and not the God, then you are not saved.

    But does this mean they turned from their other sins like anger, lying, cheating... and what is it to "turn" from your sin?

    While we as Christians may gain victory over certain sins(through God's power of course) we never gain victory over them all. In fact we may have victory over a sin one day, and loose to it the next.

    What is turning from your sin?

    Please look at my second post and answer that one for me. It is easy to say you must turn from your sin, it is another thing to define it.

    I believe by some preachers and pastors defintion of repentance - i.e. turning from sin, no one ever really repentance and no one can ever really feel forgiven.

    I think this issue needs to be cleared up.

    I have an idea of what I think, but I want to hear some others first.

    IFBReformer
     
  6. Gunther

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    IFB, I will answer later.

    Oh, and on an unrelated note, stomp Notre Dame this weekend.
     
  7. IfbReformer

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    For the rest my fellow BB members,

    I hope you will chime in on this all important topic of what is reptantence, what kind of reptance needed for salvation, and if you think it is "turning from your sin" - define that in practical examples.

    As much as I think Gunther is a cool guy - I would like some other peoples imput as well.

    My contention is that even among evangelicals who believe repentance need for salvation is in fact "turning from sin" - they are very abuguious as to the details of this.

    I look forward to your response.

    Thanks

    IFBReformer
     
  8. dhfahrenkrug

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    One thing to keep in mind about repentance is the fact that if a person has not been Regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit, he doesn't even know he has anything to repent of.
    Repentance is only possible to a Born From Above, Regenerated Christian. It is a gift from God. As some of you have pointed out, repentance is a heart-felt sorrow for having offended the Sovereign God of the universe. When we sin, which is not a "mistake," but a crime against God, it takes God's free gift of grace to truly repent.
    I don't know about anyone else, but I need to repent every day. It -- sin -- is a struggle as long as we have not been glorified. I try not to judge other people. I have my hands full trying to live a sanctified life. I leave other people's walk in the hands of the Saviour.
    Don
     
  9. Artimaeus

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    Repentance isn't really two things (turning to God ABD turning away from sin). It is one thing, turning to God, it is just that by definition you are automatically turning from sin. Before salvation YOU are in charge of your life (or so you thing), YOU make the decisions, YOU are the boss. At the point of salvation you acknowledge that God is now rightfully in charge of you. By acknowledging God as both Savior and Lord you are acknowledging the twin aspects of turning from sin (Christ as savior) and turning to God (Christ as Lord).
     
  10. Gunther

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    IFB, here is something else,

    if a person needs to change his mind (I agree that this is the correct definition btw), that means that his current mindset, actions, etc, are displeasing to the Lord. That is why he needs to turn to Christ.

    When a person turns from their sins, that doesn't imply perfection - as I know you know - but it does involve an understanding of the old way of life. A person purposes to turn from their sin. Until they trust Christ, they have no ability to overcome different sins.

    So, a person is not giving up sin and then coming to Christ, because he has no ability to give up sin.

    In evangelism, if a person asked me if they had to stop sleeping with their partner to come to Christ, I can do one of two things:

    1) I can push for the "salvation" like a hylesclone and ignore the sin and say that it has nothing to do with salvation.

    or

    2) I can ask the person if he would be willing to stop sleeping with his partner or get married (if appropriate). If his answer is yes, then his understanding of the gospel might just be on the brink of salvation. If his answer is no, then he has chosen his sex life over Christ.

    "I am the vine, you are the brances, he that abides in me produces much fruit, for apart from me, you can do nothing".
     
  11. IfbReformer

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    Gunther,

    Thanks for your reply and thanks for giving a practical example to clearify what mean when you believe someone must "turn from their sin" in order to accept Christ and be saved.

    Your Statement:
    "So, a person is not giving up sin and then coming to Christ, because he has no ability to give up sin.

    In evangelism, if a person asked me if they had to stop sleeping with their partner to come to Christ, I can do one of two things:

    1) I can push for the "salvation" like a hylesclone and ignore the sin and say that it has nothing to do with salvation.

    or

    2) I can ask the person if he would be willing to stop sleeping with his partner or get married (if appropriate). If his answer is yes, then his understanding of the gospel might just be on the brink of salvation. If his answer is no, then he has chosen his sex life over Christ.

    "I am the vine, you are the brances, he that abides in me produces much fruit, for apart from me, you can do nothing".


    The reason I wanted to hear an example is because anytime someone who believes as you do gives me one that is when I can see the holes in your position much more clearly.

    For instance if you were witnessing to someone who you knew was unsaved and living with his girlfriend he would have to be willing to stop living with her or marry her in order to accept Christ(or really for Christ to accept him).

    I once heard a similar argument from a Lordship Advocate(which I know you are not) that someone had to be willing to give up smoking before they could be saved.

    So lets examine your example more closely.

    You are speaking out of two sides of you mouth.

    On the one hand you say:
    "So, a person is not giving up sin and then coming to Christ, because he has no ability to give up sin."

    Then you say:
    "In evangelism, if a person asked me if they had to stop sleeping with their partner to come to Christ, I can do one of two things:...I can ask the person if he would be willing to stop sleeping with his partner or get married"

    So you say "he has no ability to give up sin" but you would "ask the person if he would be willing to stop sleeping with his partner or get married".

    If he has no ability to give up sin how could ask him to give up his sin as a precondition to salvation?

    Ah, I know what you will say - God regenerates him and gives him the ability(I agree regeneration happens before conversion) and I believe that God can do anything. God could turn us all into superman when we get converted to. But the simple fact is he does not.

    Some people give up their "big sin" like we always use in examples at the momment after they accept Christ. Others have a harder time.

    Whether you want to admit it or not, you do believe a person must clean themselves up before they can come to Christ.

    The way you defend it though - is that you say God does the cleaning up before they come so is not really them doing.

    Either way you are saying that there a person must give up his sin(at least the big ones like adultery and smoking right?) before his comes to Christ.

    By the way this is how I would handle the same situation:

    If a person wanted to come to Christ and they were living with someone I would tell that it was wrong and God wanted them to stop and make it right(by either seperation or marriage).

    If they asked me "do I have to give this relationship up(do I have to stop doing this sin for Christ to save me)" I would say NO. Christ saves us while we were yet sinners.

    I would tell them they have to acknowledge their sinful state, and acknowledge that what they are doing is wrong, and I would suggest they pray and ask God to help them give up this sin and make it right.

    But that does not stop them from being saved. Christ saves us while we are yet sinners.

    We do not have to clean our lives up in order to come to Christ and be saved, and he does not always help us at the moment of salvation to give up our "big sins" either. It might be weeks it might be months.

    I would tell this person that this sin will be a big impediment to growth in their Christian life. They will not experiance the true joy of their salvation until they allow God to give them the victory over it.

    They will not be able to join a church or serve until it is made right. However, God still loves them, and he saves them as they are - a sinner in need of Savior.

    IFBReformer
     
  12. Gunther

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    IFB, your quotes are in bold:

    So you say "he has no ability to give up sin" but you would "ask the person if he would be willing to stop sleeping with his partner or get married".

    Okay, here is what I meant. He might give up THAT sin, but would still be IN SIN. As you and I both know, every aspect of the lost is sin until salvation occurs. So my position still stands. When confronted with the gospel, does he continue to embrace sin over Christ?

    If he has no ability to give up sin how could ask him to give up his sin as a precondition to salvation?

    He cannot give up being IN SIN. He could stop sleeping with her. He would still be in a state of sin though. What Christ's gospel requires is a change of mind. If you believe you need Christ to save you, then he is saving you from something, namely sin (which is why he is under the wrath of God).

    Ah, I know what you will say - God regenerates him and gives him the ability(I agree regeneration happens before conversion) and I believe that God can do anything.

    Although this doesn't affect either side's position, I disagree. I believe one repents and is then saved. Repentance, faith, life (this is more technical than it is chronological).

    Whether you want to admit it or not, you do believe a person must clean themselves up before they can come to Christ.

    Absolutely not. Okay, a lost person is enslaved by sin, controlled by sin, cannot move himself from sin's power. When confronted with the gospel and the hope Christ offers, he for the first time sees that he is controlled by sin. Now, he cannot save himself. He can only be saved by calling upon the name of the Lord. A drowning person isn't saving himself. Neither can he dry himself off before he gets on the boat. Christ rescues and once he does, he cleans them up. Being cleaned up is a result of being rescued.

    If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation, old things have passed away and all things have become new.

    Either way you are saying that there a person must give up his sin(at least the big ones like adultery and smoking right?) before his comes to Christ.

    All sin is sin. The compulsive liar is in just as much danger of hellfire as the serial rapist.
     
  13. IfbReformer

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    Gunther,

    Your Statement:
    "Christ rescues and once he does, he cleans them up. Being cleaned up is a result of being rescued.

    If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation, old things have passed away and all things have become new."


    So a person must be "cleaned up" to be saved. You just say Christ does the cleaning.

    Then why do you have to ask the person to give up sleeping with the person they are or get married before they can come to Christ? If Christ does the cleaning up why do you have to ask them to give it up?

    Another issue here is that what you are saying is that a truly saved individual is a "cleaned up" person.

    You quote II Corinthians 5:17 in your defense:

    "17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
    II Corinthians 5:17(NIV)

    When it says "the old has gone" what does that mean?

    Does it mean we no longer have a sin nature?

    Nope.

    "21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members."
    Romans 7:21-23(NIV)

    Clearly we still have a sinful nature and it wars with our new spiritual nature even after we accept Christ as our Savior.

    So the i]"the old has gone"[/i] cannot refer to the destruction of our sinful nature. Maybe it refers to control of the sinful nature? The sinful nature is no longer in control but the spiritual - that would make sense right?

    "9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness."
    Romans 8:9-10(NIV)

    Paul tells us that we now "are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit". So clearly we are controlled by the Spirit. But if that was the case would'nt we be sinless? The Spirit would never allow us to do sin. But we know that we are not sinless - in fact Paul says that he still sins:

    "15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."
    Romans 7:15(NIV)

    So where are we at this point - we know that the
    "the old has gone" does not mean we have no sin nature anymore, it does mean that we are controlled by Spirit, but that does not mean we don't sin anymore - so what does it mean?

    I think we can understand all of what is being taught not just in Romans but the entire New Testament by this one verse on this subject of sin in the believers life:

    "20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness."
    Romans 6:20(NIV)

    Before we were saved we could not be controlled by the Spirit or live righteouslly - we did not even have a choice to do right - we had to obey the flesh.

    But now we have a choice - this is the new man, he has a choice between the sinful nature and the spiritual nature.

    But as Paul clearly demonstrates, there is a continual war going on between our two natures, and he has lost many battles to the sinful nature.

    He sees the conflict in himself and asks "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?"(Romans 7:24(NIV)) - who would rescue him from this conflict?

    Thank God he gave us the answer:

    "25Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."
    Romans 7:25

    In his "inner being" and in his "mind" he wants to follow God's Law, but in his flesh(sinful nature) he wants to follow the law of sin. This is a difficult concept for many Christians to grasp - but it is true regardless.

    Before he was saved - there was no conflict, he just followed the sinful nature. But now that he is saved there is a conflict. One day there will be no conflict again, except this time in stead of there only being a sinful nature, there will only be a spiritual nature. That is when Christ would rescue him from this conflict, when he received his glorified sinless body.

    And that is my point about repentance, we can never truly turn away from our sin while in this body. Sure we can have victories and win battles with the Lord's help, but we will never win the "war" Paul speaks of until we get our glorified bodies.

    To say that our salvation is dependent on how many battles we win in this life with this war is contrary to scripture.

    Why does the Sciptures consistantly exhort us to live holy lives, why does Paul tell us not to obey the sinful nature if we as Christians are not even able to obey the sinful nature(thus sinning)?

    The reason we are exhorted not to offer ourselves to the sinful nature is just that - that we are still capable of it after we are saved.

    Romans 7 is Paul's balance, and in it he shares the reality of the Christian life. It is one battle after the other, some we loose some we win.

    Salvation cannot be based upon what battles we win or loose (whether at the point of salvation or during our life).

    So yes someone can love Christ, and have a problem with lust(living with a women). Just as someone can love Christ, and loose the battle over anger in there life too.

    IFBReformer

    [ September 16, 2003, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: IfbReformer ]
     
  14. Gunther

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    I do believe that Christ will clean up those whom have been rescued. I believe the Hebrews passage which says, "Without holiness, no man will see the Lord." Our becoming holy has everything to do with God working in me to replace the unfruitful works of darkness with life producing fruit (Romans 7:4-6).

    As to the other part, I could have asked anything. I merely used that as an example. As I already said, if a person does stop sleeping around, he is still IN SIN. It is just that that particular sin is at the forefront of his life. If that is the most important thing to him, then I wouldn't bring up any and everything in his life that is sin, because everything is sin. I don't have to make a list for the guy. As the gospel is explained, he will begin to see that his whole life is in sin. So I ask him simply if he is willing to turn from that sin to embrace Christ. If he says that having sex in sin is more important to him, he does not truly see the need from Christ.

    "If any man desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me."

    That is about salvation.
     
  15. greatday

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    If you talk about salvation then you must quote the source of salvation, Jesus Christ and the bible? And we have a classical example of a true salvationa and repentance that was demonstrated by restitution in the life of the tax collector, Zacchaeus:

    Luke 19:1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
    19:2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.
    19:3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.
    19:4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.
    19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, "Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house."
    19:6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.
    19:7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, "He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner."
    19:8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold."
    19:9 And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;
    19:10 "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
     
  16. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    Gunther,

    Your Statement:
    "I do believe that Christ will clean up those whom have been rescued."

    My Response:
    Like I said before, and you continue to confirm, you believe that person must leave their old habits in order to be saved. The sinner must clean themselves up.

    You will say "Wait a minute - I said Christ will clean them up!", well that may be what you are saying from a human perspective the person must stop doing their bad habits in order for Christ to accept them.

    This is what your statement is really saying:
    "I do believe that Christ will clean up those whom have been rescued."

    "Those who have been rescued(saved) will be cleaned up - they will get rid of their bad habits if they are truly going to be saved."

    I say that based on the scriptures that man is cannot be "cleaned up" until he is in Christ, until he is actually saved and one of the elect.

    Romans 6:20(NIV)
    "20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness."

    Romans 8:7(NIV)
    "7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so."

    I agree that regeneration precedes conversion, but I believe they are only seconds from each other.

    When someone is intially regenerated, God gives him the ability - which he never had before, to place faith and trust in Christ.

    Regeneration produces faith, faith produces repentance(change of mind) and belief which then brings the justifacation and positional sanctifaction of God.

    Someone can not get rid of, or give up any sin(in the power of God) until they have completely gone through the conversion process.

    But even then, they must choose not to obey their old nature, and to obey the new nature.

    That is an ongoing battle we fight each day, some days we have victories other days we have defeats, but regardless of the outcome of those battles we have been redeemed and justified and we stand holy and righteous before God.

    If all true Christians will give up their bad habits at conversion, how do explain Paul's admonitions for the Corinthians to stop there wrong doings? He address them as Christians, but says they are acting carnally because they are still doing certain things. Clearly they did not leave all their bad habbits behind at conversion.

    Your Statement:
    "I believe the Hebrews passage which says, "Without holiness, no man will see the Lord."

    My Response:
    I agree whole heartedly with you that without holiness no man will see God - the scriptures are clear at this point.

    Hebrews 12:14(NIV)
    "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord."

    But what kind of holiness is required to see God? It is perfect holiness, for without perfect holiness no man can walk before the throne of God. Our feeble attempts at holy living in this sin cursed body will never produce the perfect holiness required to see God.

    That is why it is not our holiness that is required for seeing God(being saved and having eternal life), but Christs - because he is the only one who could give it.

    1 Corinthians 1:30(NIV)
    "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption."

    He is my "holiness" with which I will see God.

    Then we are left with what Pete(I think) thought was a "tention" in scripture.

    The scriptures like Hebrews 12:14 "to be holy" and yet they tell us that Christ is "our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

    But there is no tention here as I explained to Pete:

    You are holy(Positionally sanctified), now be holy(Practially sanctified). There is no tention. One is based on the perfect righteousness of Christ, the other is our imperfect attempt to live up to the standard of Christ while we are in these sin-cursed bodies.

    My salvation is based on the perfect righteosness of Christ, and is not one iota based on my imperfect attempt to imitate him while I am in this sin-cursed body.

    Your Statement:
    "As the gospel is explained, he will begin to see that his whole life is in sin. So I ask him simply if he is willing to turn from that sin to embrace Christ. If he says that having sex in sin is more important to him, he does not truly see the need from Christ."

    My Response:
    The Gospel I share with sinner is best exemplified in Romans 5:

    "6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
    Romans 5:6-7

    A person is powerless to give up their sin before they are saved. Christ died for us to bring us eternal life, one of the benefits of our salvation(thus securing eternal life) is that we now can obey righteousness, the benefit is that we can enjoy practical holiness - we could not before.

    I would share with your hypothetical person that Christ embraces him even though he is a sinner, even though he has violated God's law by living with this women - and that Christ is the only one who can help him to have victory over his sin.

    When he accepts Christs power to give him that victory, he will experiance the true joy of his salvation.

    I don't think anyone would ever say as you say "that having sex in sin is more important to him, he does not truly see the need from Christ" - More likely this is what someone coming for salvation would say "I am living with a women, and I don't know that can leave her, must I leave her for Christ to accept me?" - to that based on the scriptures I would give a resounding NO!

    Christ died for us and accepts us while we are still sinners. Some people may have victory over their sinful habit early after their conversion, some it may take years, and others do no live up to the potential they could have and never really have the full joy of their salvation.

    Still they are saved - because their salvation is not based upon the level of their practical sanctifaction, but upon the perfect righteousness and holiness of Christ.

    Your Statement:
    ""If any man desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me."
    That is about salvation."


    My Response:
    There is a spiritual as well as historical application for passages like the one you site from the Gospels.

    The historical application was that Christ was telling people who physically followed him that they would have deny their own needs, and he told them other times they would have to sell all there material possesions and to be a phyical disciple of his. The "cross" refered to the persecution they might face and possible death for being with him.

    The spiritual application for us is that if we want to successfully imitate Christ in this sin-cursed body(practical sanctifaction) we will have to deny all of our wants and desires to Christ. This is a daily process, the more we surrender our wants, desires and habits to Christ, the more we become like him, the more we take back or do not deny ourselves, the less we meet our goal of becoming like him.

    Yet the reason we strive to be like Christ is clear - it is not fear of loosing our salvation or proving we are not saved - it is love.

    "14For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."
    2 Corinthians 5:14-15(NIV)

    Christ's love is what compels me and any other believer not to live for ourselves, it is never fear.


    IFBReformer
     
  17. Gunther

    Gunther
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    I DO NOT BELIEVE A PERSON MUST BE CLEANED UP TO BE SAVED.

    I do believe that Christ will clean up those he has saved. The lost have no hope. Once they are saved though, they can hope.

    As to a couple of passages here:

    Hebrews 12:14
    Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

    Either, you strive for initial justification, by which you will see the Lord. Or you strive for final justification, by which you will see the Lord. If it is the former, you have works salvation. If it is the latter, you have biblical salvation, that being, salvation by faith, being saved by faith, will be saved by faith. Since one is running the race by faith, he will stay on the track and keep going until the end.

    As to Christ calling on people to take up their cross, you did not consider the context.

    Christ asks what a man will gain if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul. That is undeniably a passage on salvation. That has nothing at all to do with practical sanctification.
     
  18. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    If you talk about salvation then you must quote the source of salvation, Jesus Christ and the bible? And we have a classical example of a true salvationa and repentance that was demonstrated by restitution in the life of the tax collector, Zacchaeus...
    </font>[/QUOTE]A couple of notes on Zacchaeus, did Christ tell him he had to make all his wrongs right before he could accept him as Savior? Nope - Zacchaeus had become a believer and then he allowed God to give him the victory over his greed. Praise the Lord! But that is not always how it happens with believers - we know that from the rest of the New Testament.

    The saints at Ephesus did not give up there magical arts books until two years after they were saved.

    It is clear from the scriptures that the Corinthians did not give up all their carnal ways upon conversion.

    I will leave with with another convert of Christ that I believe demonstrates this:

    John chapter 4(NIV)
    "4Now he had to go through Samaria. 5So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
    7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
    9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
    10Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
    11"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"
    13Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
    15The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."
    16He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back."
    17"I have no husband," she replied.
    18Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."
    19"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."
    21Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
    25The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."
    26Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he....

    28Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ ?" 30They came out of the town and made their way toward him...

    39Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41And because of his words many more became believers.
    42They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.""

    Nothing in this story says Christ told her she had to marry the man she was with before she could accept him as Savior. In fact it never tells us if she did make that right.

    It is interesting to note that the word "repent" or "repentance" are found nowhere in the Gospel of John. It is always "believe". You see when you see repentance as a change of mind which leads to belief in Christ - making repentance practically synonomous with belief - the Bible makes much more sense.

    But when you read into it that repentance means "turning from your sins and then believing in Christ" you make it quite another. And then you have to go searching through the Gospel of John and wonder why he never even used the word "repent".

    And then you are left asking people to clean themselves up before Christ will accept them.

    IFBReformer
     
  19. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    Gunther,

    Your Statement:
    "I DO NOT BELIEVE A PERSON MUST BE CLEANED UP TO BE SAVED.

    I do believe that Christ will clean up those he has saved."


    My Response:
    Gunther I am sorry that you cannot see the contradiction in your own statements. (Schreiner
    does this alot too)

    You don't believe a person has to be cleaned up to be saved, but you believe every person who is saved will be cleaned up by Christ. It is exactly the same thing.

    You are just saying because Christ does the cleaning, it is no work of man. Yet the end result is the same, all true Christians will be cleaned up if they are saved.

    Your Statement:
    "Either, you strive for initial justification, by which you will see the Lord. Or you strive for final justification, by which you will see the Lord. If it is the former, you have works salvation. If it is the latter, you have biblical salvation, that being, salvation by faith, being saved by faith, will be saved by faith. Since one is running the race by faith, he will stay on the track and keep going until the end.

    My Response:
    Gunther, the only thing I "strive for" is to please my Lord. If I do that well enough I will earn rewards, if I don't do as well I will earn less rewards.

    Romans 9:16(NIV)
    "It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy."

    "4Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness."
    Romans 4:4-5(NIV)

    If I am working for it, or striving for it, it is not a "gift" but an "obligation".

    I was justified once and for all and can never be condemed. There not "intial" justifaction, only "final" justifacation and that happens at conversion.

    Romans 3:23-24(NIV)
    "23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

    I am justified freely apart from works I do before or after salvation.

    Romans 8:30(NIV)
    "And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."

    Because I am justified - I am guarenteed to be glorified.

    Abraham was not justified by his works but his faith was credited as righteousness.

    "1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? 2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about--but not before God. 3What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
    Romans 4:1-3(NIV)

    The Christian life is a process - Salvation is an event. That is the clear teaching of the scriptures.

    IFBReformer
     

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