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IFB and Works Following Faith

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Steven Yeadon, Sep 8, 2020.

  1. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    I haved been in an IFB church for almost a year. I noticed something pleasant about my church theologically. It teaches that we are not to presume about our own salvation with a faith that is complacent and without works. Instead, we are told to search ourselves and live as directed by scripture with good works as the evidence of a faith that changed us. Faith saves us, but faith is never alone.

    It is an amazing teaching and at last completes my personal journey through the doctrine of Sanctification and how it relates to Justification. I started in a church that taught the sign of saving faith was to verbally assent we had faith. A teaching I was very disturbed by, given the sins observed in celebrity "Christians" in the secular music industry. I was even warned that IFB are terrible by one old teacher who said they are works salvation, seemingly because they teach faith produces works.

    Is my new church unique? Is this common in the IFB? What do you make of my new church's teachings?
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I think this is a pretty common teaching in IFB churches. In fact, I believe it is a Biblical teaching. Just read the book of James! My only caution is that, as my grandfather taught, works are not proof that a person is a believer, only evidence. So we should not judge anyone as lost or saved by looking at their works.

    If we had seen David commit adultery and murder, or Peter deny Christ, or Paul carry out a Jewish vow though the Holy Spirit told him not to, we might think they were unbelievers, but they were saved. Again, remember the parable of the wheat and tares. The very reason tares (unbelievers) were problematic is that they looked exactly like wheat (believers). So a lost person can produce works that make them look saved.

    Fundamentalist sanctification has been from the start the Keswick model, for the most part. Ernest Sandeen details how this happened in his history, The Roots of Fundamentalism (pp. 178-181). In that teaching, positional sanctification, based on the atonement of Christ, means that we have all we need to live the Christian life: the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Word of God. In order to life a life of daily revival--good works, if you will--is to be filled with the Spirit and walk in the Spirit. Books I would recommend on sanctification include Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Howard Taylor; The Calvary Road, by Roy Hession; and various books by John R. Rice on the Christian life.
     
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  3. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Would that be the ole "let go and let God" method?
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Depends on what you mean by that.
     
  5. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    We would just need to fully yield to the Holy Spirit and have Him live out the life of Jesus in and thru us!
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Yes, that is Keswick sanctification theology, put simply.
     
    #6 John of Japan, Sep 11, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
  7. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Here?:

    10 And as we tarried there some days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
    11 And coming to us, and taking Paul`s girdle, he bound his own feet and hands, and said, Thus saith the Holy Spirit, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. Acts 21

    If so, then I've thought the same thing, but then there's this:

    11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer: for as thou hast testified concerning me at Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome. Acts 23

    [add]

    And this:

    21 Now after these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome. Acts 19

    I now think the Holy Spirit was warning Paul what to expect at Jerusalem instead of telling him not to go.
     
    #7 kyredneck, Sep 11, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Exactly
    Demonstrating that even when we blow it, Jesus is still with us, "even to the end of the world."
     
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  9. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Sorry, I edited my post while you were replying. What about Acts 19:21?

    "I now think the Holy Spirit was warning Paul what to expect at Jerusalem instead of telling him not to go. "
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    The verse doesn't say "Holy Spirit." The KJV has "spirit" in lower case, and I agree with that. He purposed in his own spirit, not by the Holy Spirit.

    Also, in the Greek, the verb "purposed" is middle voice, meaning that "he himself purposed."
     
  11. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    So what's here that makes you decide this was a command not to go? Seems it could simply be a foretelling of things in store:

    "Thus saith the Holy Spirit, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles."
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Acts 21:4, "And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem."
     
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  13. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    There exists a disagreement by ttanslaters and interpreters as to "the spirit" there being "his spirit" or "the Spirit."
     
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  14. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Enuff said. :)
     
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  15. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    This entire area of theology is perplexing. I believe our love for God is much more important than our outward actions. David being the prime example. Then we have the Pharisees and Saducees who did everything outwardly right but were not found pleasing to God.
     
  16. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    I think the scriptural answer as given by James 2, is that our outer selves will mirror our inner faith. People will say "I have strong faith" and the biblical response is "I will show you my faith by my deeds."

    Two things. First the Scribes, Sadducees, and Pharisees were far from perfect in obedience to the Torah. The Sadducees believed God showed His approval only in this world, a far cry form teachings on Sheol and the resurrection in the Old Testament. The Pharisees and Scribes held to the Mishnah, an unscriptural addition to the bible. All three groups were in fact heretics to the spirit of the Torah.

    Lastly, David is a great example of a man who sins big but repents deeply. I have no doubt that if it wasn't for David's deep string of repentances, he would have wound up like Saul. .
     
  17. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    I do understand why we are perplexed. In my old southern baptist church before coming to the IFB, the teaching was that God was a fatherly, really grandfatherly, figure that was irritated at sin and would give us a good talking to about the sins we did as Christians. Sins we never repented of.

    That cannot be further from the New Testament unless you abandon the Gospel whole hog. Hebrews 12 was written for teachers like that. A God who is our you know, real dad, who will paddle our bottom to teach us not to do the wrong thing. A disciplinarian Father that wants His other kids to be like the begotten one. The word used in Hebrews 12 is "scourge every son" i.e. using a cat o nine tales to whip us bloody if we do wrong. All because He loves us enough to make us like Him.

    As I've learned repeatedly the hard way, in the last four years after coming to Christ, when everyone is teaching falsely, getting to know what the bible really says is perplexing. We are way beyond Joel Osteen at this point, we are now looking at the usual fundamental-identified subjects like Rick Warren and Andy Stanley. People who warp the scriptures with their teachings.

    Most Baptists and really most evangelicals do not understand their "God" at all. That is my conclusion IMHO. To be honest, I am terrified for them. Matthew 25 leaves little room for doubt about what happens to the tares among the wheat. A people claiming to be wheat that could care a wit about actually being like their God is one I am terrified for.
     
  18. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Who knows? When we look at David and Saul we see that heart condition is vastly more important than actions.
     
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  19. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    It's somewhat ambiguous--translator's choice.

    Many languages, like Japanese and Chinese, have no capital letters or articles, so then it's up to the reader's interpretation.
     
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