When Is Believing In Christ Seen As A Work?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by TCGreek, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    1. Because John mentions "Believing in Him" as a work of God, should we take this "Believing in Him" as meritorious work? (John 6:26-29).

    2. I contend that John 6:29 is simply a play on words by Jesus when he said, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."

    3. The Jews were taking a legalistic approach: "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" Jesus' reply was a simple play on words. In other words, if any work is involved, it is the work of believing in Him.

    4. Believing then in Jesus should not be seen as meritorious, or it would contradict Eph.2:8, 9.
     
  2. Allan

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    And lets not forget Rom 4:4-6 which explictly states faith IS NOT a work at all.
    Obviously emphasis is mine :)

    I agree that Jesus was doing a play on their words but also on their idea of righteousness. They thought they could do (work) something that would bring them into favor with God. But Jesus tells them the only doing or action that can placed into that catagory is to believe in the One God sent (or faith). IOW - Trust that I am suffient for you regarding your relationship toward God.

    They understood exactly what Jesus stated because the very next thing they as was for a sign to prove he was sent from God. HE JUST FED THE 5000 (probably more like 10,000 with women and children) and yet they wanted something more. More than the feeding, more than the healings, more than the cast out of demons, more than magnificant expoundings of Gods words. They were seeking after their own lusts and nothing was enough to satify which is why Jesus spoke of himself being the bread they must eat (to satify) and His blood they must drink (to quench their thirst for more). that they might partakes in Him and He in them. Satifaction in the fulness of Him - and many left him.
     
  3. Brother Bob

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    I never took believing as works. I also take the scripture of "by Grace are ye saved through faith, not of works lest any man should boast" being Paul talking of the works of the Law Covenant, for Paul goes on to say circumcism or uncircumcism is nothing.
    I actually believe he is saying "we cannot be saved by the works of the Law Covenant".
     
  4. russell55

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    I agree, and I think it's because of what true faith is, and the role it plays in our salvation, that it is not meritorious: True faith is resting in Christ's merit. True faith says, "I have no merit of my own; there is nothing I can do to merit my own salvation; Christ's work is my only hope."

    However, there are wrong ways we can think about faith's role in our salvation that make it partial grounds for our salvation. Then, by definition, it plays the role of works or merit in the way we think about it.
     
  5. Allan

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    Editted...

    As you put it - "True Faith" has never been and never shall be a meritorious work.

    Please explain how faith can ever be concieved of as a work.
    Do you believe a person can be saved without faith?
    If not, then faith's role in salvation is that without it there is no salvation unless the person believes.

    But even the Calvinist will agree (well, most will) that man is responsible to believe. So regardless of if God changes his nature, gives him the faith [to be eventually used] in the end God still 'requires' the man to believe. God will not believe FOR man nor will God make man believe against his will. Unless a man believes scritpure states he will not be saved. It is no more a work to believe Gods word when faith is given to man, than if faith was seen to already be apart of man which either man places (his faith) in Christs work for Him at the drawing of God via the Holy Spirit.
     
    #5 Allan, Aug 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2007
  6. skypair

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    You're right (Rom 4:5, "works not but believes" is "righteous") -- but that's not very Calvinist of you.

    So "belief" IS a condition of regeneration and faith like I always said. Glad to hear you are coming around, TC.

    skypair
     
  7. Allan

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    TC didn't use Rom 4 sky, I did. And belief IS Faith, but one is the noun form and the other is the verb form of the same word.
     
  8. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    The credit belongs to He who has the power and authority to give it. And that is where it ends.
     
  9. saturneptune

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    Believing is a gift of God as is repentance.
     
  10. russell55

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    Whenever we think of faith as doing anything for us salvifically except receiving the work or merit of Christ. I think that those who reject the imputed righteousness of Christ in our salvation often do this, although they deny they do, but they deny it simply by pointing out that faith is by definition not a work.

    Well, faith is by definition not a work because of the role it plays in our justification: it receives Christ's satisfaction and his righteousness. Our justification is grounded entirely in Christ's work: his obedience to the law in our place is counted as our own righteous record, and his penalty bearing in our place is counted as our own as well.

    Those who deny that Christ's righteousness is imputed to us usually say that God accepts our faith instead of our own law keeping--our faith is accepted by God as a form of righteousness. They say that Christ's death provides the penalty payment we needed, yes, but it is not Christ's righteousness, but our own faith, that is counted as our own righteousness in justification.

    If that is the case, then faith becomes not just the instrumental means of salvation (the by or through of salvation), but partial grounds for it (part of the on account of for salvation). Those who deny the imputed righteousness of Christ make our justification grounded in Christ's penalty paying and our own "righteousness of faith." And if our justification is grounded in our faith, then faith is a work, because it is not simply receptive of justification, but something we put forward in exchange for justification.

    Please note that I'm not saying that someone who doesn't believe in the imputed righteousness of Christ is not saved. I believe that by their faith they receive Christ's righteousness imputed to them, so that their faith, in reality, serves only as the instrumental means of their salvation, whether they see it that way or not.
     
    #10 russell55, Aug 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2007
  11. TCGreek

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    1. Thanks for clearing that up.

    2. We use play-on words in our own speech; I wonder why some have denied that utility of Jesus and the early Christians?
     

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