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Featured Is believing/faith a work ?2

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by Brightfame52, Dec 30, 2021.

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  1. JD731

    JD731 Active Member

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    Then, if that is true, please do not act like we are in a non essential disagreement of what it takes for a sinner to be saved, which puts a condition on your salvation even when you insist there is none. And please, if you doubt my salvation because I am 180 degrees opposite from what you teach, do not be offended because I doubt yours.

    And, misrepresenting those of us who can parse a verb and accuse us of teaching that works is a reward is simply not true. What discerning Christians teach is that justification and imputed righteousness from God is predicated upon the sinner believing what God says to him, with the evidence of his subsequent action of submission and obedience to him, is a lie. Christians believe in repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, both acts of the will.

    You have offended God the Father with your sins and he is the one who has condemned you. He is also the one, the only one who can justify you. That will take perfect righteousness. In the counsels of God he has, before Jesus the righteous Son of God came, imputed faith of the sinner who will believe what he said to them for the righteousness he required, then when Jesus came and offered himself, his blood was applied and washed away his sins and reconciliation between the sinner and God occurred at that precise time and the justified could then appear in the presence of God. I am not guessing about that. It is precisely what is taught in the epistle of Romans.


    Rom 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
    3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
    4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
    5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

    Forebearance of God in OT times = righteousness through faith

    20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
    21 But now (after the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ) the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
    22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
    23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
    25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

    See here:

    15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

    God is wonderful and would like to save every sinner in the world but sinners must desire to be saved for it to happen.
     
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  2. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    So you deny Holy Scriptures which allow works of faith too. Mark 16:16, Romans 10:9 and Romans 10:13.
     
  3. Brightfame52

    Brightfame52 Well-Known Member

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    Here's another scripture that indicates faith has an element of action to it. Jesus says in Mk 11:22

    And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

    This is an imperative that requires action

    The imperative mood corresponds to the English imperative, and expresses a command to the hearer to perform a certain action by the order and authority of the one commanding. Thus, Jesus' phrase, "Repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mk.1:15) is not at all an "invitation," but an absolute command requiring full obedience on the part of all hearers.

    People try to dismiss truth by worldly arguments, the wisdom of this world.

    Yes Faith here is a noun however an action is required, which is a work 13
     
  4. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    If your assertion were true, then all are damned to hell and grace does not exist.

    One cannot desire salvation unless God quickens their dead heart.

    God must cause. The effect will be desiring God.

    God must save by unmerited favor (grace). The effect will be "My Lord and God, forgive me."

    This has been shared ad naseum, but let this sink in.
    Romans 3:10-18

    As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” “They rush to commit murder. Destruction and misery always follow them. They don’t know where to find peace.” “They have no fear of God at all.”

    We will never desire to be saved.
    God must cause...
    Let us look farther.

    Romans 3:23-28

    For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.

    Stop shoving the lie that man must, before God can.
     
  5. JD731

    JD731 Active Member

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    Four things here;


    #1 - You have already told us your hermeneutical principle is spiritualizing things you do not want to believe, which is the major portion of the whole Bible, Genesis to Revelation. You think you are a Jew because you are a Calvinist. This is a major error and a source of blindness.

    #2 - Now I would like to know why you will spiritualize one verse and ask me to take another verse in the same context literally. The very first sentence that God ever wrote directly to gentiles is Roman 1:1. It is perhaps the most important sentence in the whole Bible as far as gentiles are concerned. It gives us the theme of the 13 letters he had his man, Paul the apostle to gentiles, to write to give us the revelation of the mysteries of this age which we are even now occupying and it is a theme of the Jewish Christian epistles as well. They are mysteries because they are hidden in the counsel of God from the foundation of the world only to be made known after the ministry of Jesus Christ to his own people, the Jews, and after his death, burial, and resurrection and the rejection of Israel of their Savior and King in Acts 7..

    Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

    The gospel of God is what this whole age is all about and while the gospel of God is different than the gospel of Christ, it, the gospel of God, is dependent on the gospel of Christ. This can be proven for Christians who are not blinded by religion.

    Here is the gospel of God in a nutshell:

    Rom 16:25 Now to him (God the Father) that is of power to stablish you (gentiles) according to my gospel (the gospel of the grace of God - read Eph 3 now), and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
    26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the (NT) prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
    27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

    There is no way on God's green earth that you will be able through Calvin's lens to understand the gospel of God as it is laid out and revealed through the writers of the New Testament scriptures.

    #3 - None of the verses you quoted even remotely hinted that God does not desire to save sinners and that he will not save those who believe in Christ, or that they are not able to believe in Christ when they hear about him because they are dead as you mis-define dead. There are no words that limits the salvation of those who have sinned and come short of the glory of God except through unbelief, of which the text makes clear that the Jews are the principle unbelievers. The Jews, in whom you desire to be numbered.

    Also, there is not a single verse in the New Testament scriptures that tells us that a sinner cannot be saved because God wills his unbelief.

    #4 It seems you believe in a Jesus but you do not believe the record that God the Father has given us in the words of his holy scriptures. You spiritualize them and void his truths and teach others to do the same.

    This is the way I see it and I am grieved at this TULIP.
     
  6. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Abraham was not a Jew. Every person of the Promise is the descendant of Abraham, by faith. This is exactly what Paul tells us in Romans, but you seem ignorant of Paul's teaching.


    The gospel of God, salvation by grace and justification by faith, started in the garden with God and Adam, and it continues to today. Your dispensationalism, which is just bad theory, is showing here. Since you are clearly ignorant of God and His Covenant making, you fully miss the grand narrative of God in the Bible.


    Well, you have this exactly backwards. Many verses have been shared showing you very clearly that God chooses who are elect.
    I provided Hebrews 9 where we see that the New Covenant is a Will that outlines who will receive an Inheritance from God. It is God who wrote the Will and chose the names. God did not write every humans name in the Will. Therefore, the idea that God desperately wants everyone to be saved, but human will overpowers God's ability to save is simply the lie you have bought in order to declare yourself as the ruler of your life.


    No spiritualizing, but certainly an understanding the context and whole of God's word.
    I highly doubt you take every word in the Bible with exact literalness. If you do, then Jesus tells you to actually eat his flesh and drink his blood. You would think Jesus turned into Bread and gave up his human body to become matzo. Such literalness would be utterly silly.
    Now, read what Paul tells us about Israel in Romans 2 and Romans 9 because you will see what Paul is talking about. Better yet, read the entire letter so you can grasp the whole argument. At present, you have a hack kneed approach to the Bible that causes you to misunderstand. Such is the nature of dispensationalism.
     
  7. Brightfame52

    Brightfame52 Well-Known Member

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    See the word Love is a noun strongs g26 however that doesnt negate that its also an action done by someone Gal 5:14. So when men argue over such semantics its like Paul says 1 Tim 6:4

    He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

    So if a person says they are saved by God because of their act of believing, they are promoting salvation by works, which is condemned in scripture. See salvation is by grace alone apart from works.14
     
  8. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    The verb G4100 is mostly used in John's gospel account. Some 86 verses.
    Romans 4:5, ". . . But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him . . . ." G4100 is the verb.
     
    #88 37818, Jan 11, 2022
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  9. Brightfame52

    Brightfame52 Well-Known Member

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    Now since believing, the result of God given Faith is a work, that is an act of the mind, the heart and will, if men teach they are saved or justified before God because of their act of believing, while yet unregenerate and in a state of nature, then in essence they're saying that they were saved or justified before God based upon a subjective characteristic that pleased God while yet in the flesh. However the scripture plainly teaches that they which are in the flesh [the unregenerate] cannot please God Rom 8:8

    8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    Faith/Believing pleases God see Heb 11:6
     
  10. Brightfame52

    Brightfame52 Well-Known Member

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    Repenting and or believing are acts of the mind and the will which makes them works.20
     
  11. Brightfame52

    Brightfame52 Well-Known Member

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    Is the act of Faith a Work ? Yes it is, and here's some reasons why

    1. Because we are commanded to believe (as we are) to love one another, as he gave us commandment, 1 John 3:23.

    2. To obey a command, is a work; but to believe, is to obey a command, 1 John 3:23, 24. Faith is an obeying of the will of God; therefore it's a work, and a good work.

    3. It's a work, because we are reproved for the smallness of our faith: Christ said, "O ye of little faith," Matt. 6:30, "why are ye fearful? wherefore do ye doubt, O ye of little faith," Matt. 8:26. If faith were not acted by us (although the power is of God) why are we reproved for not believing?

    4. It's a work, because the Saints are exhorted to exercise faith: "Let us draw near with full assurance of faith," Heb. 10:22. We are not exhorted to nothing but to that which is our duty, as it is to do a good work, as believing is.

    5. It's a work, because to believe is a work of all the faculties of the soul, viz.: memory, conscience, affections, principally the understanding and will, Rom. 10:9,10.

    6. To receive a thing is an act of the whole man; but to believe in Christ is to receive Him: 1 John 1:12. Therefore, to believe in Christ is a work.

    7. Because unbelief is a work of darkness; therefore to believe is a work of righteousness, Tit. 3:5.

    8. Because, to a good work faith is required, therefore, it partakes of the nature of a good work, and so is a part of every good work. (Heb. 11:4)

    9. It's a work, because we are said to do it: If thou believest, I do believe, Acts 8:37. To believe is the action of the heart, viz.: will: With the heart man believeth. He does it as truly as he confesseth with his mouth, Rom. 10:9, 10.

    10. If to confess Christ be a duty and a work (though by grace we do both), then is the act of believing a work also, and a work that we do, and is one of those works of righteousness that we have done, Tit. 3:5 with Isa. 64:6. Justification By Christ Alone
    See believing on Christ is a command, something which is done in obedience. Paul answered the Phillipian Jailor when he asked what shall he DO to be saved, and Paul answered Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ Acts 16:30-31

    30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

    31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    Now interestingly enough the word believe here the verb pisteuō and its in the imperative mood which means:

    Corresponds to the English imperative, and expresses a command to the hearer to perform a certain action by the order and authority of the one commanding. Thus, Jesus' phrase, "Repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mk.1:15) is not at all an "invitation," but an absolute command requiring full obedience on the part of all hearers.Acts 16 :: King James Version (KJV)

    Yes believing in Jesus Christ is a work done by the one obeying the imperative to believe on Him. So if we say that God saved or Christ saved us from the penalty of our sins because we believed on Christ, and God responded to our obedience and saved us from our sins, then we are in essence saying we are saved by our work of believing. Reference is made to samuel richardson, his work " Justification by Christ alone" for many of these points.
     
  12. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Fallen human logic may suggest that faith is a work, but the inerrant word of God teaches otherwise.
    Romans 4:4-5. 'Now to him who works, the wages are not counted according to grace, but according to debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted as righteousness' (c.f. also Galatians 3:2; Ephesians 2:8-9).
     
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  13. JD731

    JD731 Active Member

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    Here is an important truth that must be dealt with and God through Paul asks the question of you. Here it is;

    Rom 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people?

    Here is the answer from God himself.

    God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, [of] the tribe of Benjamin.
    2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. (past tense)

    I will give you three guesses as to who the text identifies as God's people who were known before and the first two does not count. Anyone should be able to figure this out by reading the context and believing the words. I trust that you have this capability.



    Wrong. Salvation from sin is a new testament doctrine and is wholly dependent upon the sacrifice of Christ on the cross where he dealt with the sin problem of men on our behalf. The scriptures plainly say that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Justification is another thing and God justifies the OT believers in what he says to them by imputing their faith for righteousness until our Lord Jesus Christ washed it away by his own blood. It is always God the Father who justifies the sinner because he is the judge of all the earth.

    God did not write your name in the will. If he did show it to us. God chose one person before the creation of the world and he says so.
    Isa 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

    The epistle to the Ephesians shows over and over in the first chapter alone that anyone else is chosen "in him." Believers in his gospel makes up the body of Christ and the Spirit places us into his body when we believe.

    You have no understanding because you do not believe the words.

    Actually God did not say those words to me, he said them to his people Israel. They knew the law of Moses and had the Old testament written to and by themselves. This is the bread of life chapter. It is the manna chapter. The point he is making to these Jews is that he must be on the inside of them for them to have life as the manna had to be eaten for it to sustain their life, therefore they must eat his flesh and drink his blood. He cannot save them by being on the outside of their bodies. Each of them must eat his flesh and drink his blood. This is set forth clearly by out Lord as a metaphor for believing in him and receiving his Spirit, who is life, we are told in Roman 8:9, after Jesus is glorified and returned to heaven.
    If believing the words and honoring the context of scripture is what you are calling hack kneed, then I plead guilty.
     
    #93 JD731, Jan 15, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
  14. JD731

    JD731 Active Member

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    Work in the scriptures is defined by God as keeping the outward form of his law by the efforts of the flesh and expecting his approval and reward of eternal life for doing so.
    This is also defined as "self righteousness," which sadly, many are guilty of on forums such as these.

    This could be proven easily and from many different passages but I will illustrate this truth from one passage. Here.

    Ro 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, (present tense which is AD 58 when this letter was written) that they might be saved.
    Okay, Israel is not saved in AD 58 or else the statement will not make sense, and Paul under inspiration thinks they can be or why pray such a prayer.

    Ro 10:2 For I bear them (Israel) record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
    Paul is saying they do not have the knowledge to be saved.

    3 For they being ignorant (not knowing) of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
    Their own righteousness would be a self righteousness and we know they sought righteousness through observing the Mosaic Law.

    4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
    How so? Because he came and kept every precept of the law perfectly, something they were not able to do, and their failure to keep it completely assured they were not righteous. But if they would trust him then God would impute his perfect righteousness to their account. Following is a companion passage for this argument.
    Ga 3:19 Wherefore then [serveth] the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
    20 Now a mediator is not [a mediator] of one, but God is one.
    21 [Is] the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
    22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.(the promise is Christ's indwelling Spirit)
    23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards (after the law as the operative principle of God's dealing with Israel) be revealed.
    24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
    25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
    (Verses 23,24,25 are the pronoun we, but in v 26 the pronoun is ye, which is plural. The we in those verses is designating Israel and the ye the gentiles)
    26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
    27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
    28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
    29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
    Being the seed of Abraham here does not make one a Jew because that is one of the points in v 28. Jesus Christ was not linked to Jacob through the flesh, he was the son of God. One who is born into the family of God by faith in Christ is linked to God through Isaac, the miraculous birthed son of God that Abraham had nothing to do with except to have relations with Sarah, which was confirmation that he believed God. This is called the obedience of faith.

    This can help you if you allow it.
     
  15. JD731

    JD731 Active Member

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    One thing is clear if these forums are any indication of modern Christianity. That is that no one is reading the bible with any discernment. When someone can make an argument that faith is a work and seemingly be taken serious by the multitudes that lurk here, it proves the rot that may be beyond repair. The scriptures are full of examples that men get so far into apostasy that God has no more remedy except judgement. Following is an example of that scenario.

    2Ch 36:11 Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.
    12 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD.
    13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel.
    14 Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.
    15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:
    16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

    Our wonderful, compassionate, and patient and long suffering God has what he calls "his strange work," which is judgement. But it must be done because of our wickedness. It is his last option.

    Isa 28:21 For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.
     
  16. Brightfame52

    Brightfame52 Well-Known Member

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    if we say that God saved or Christ saved us from the penalty of our sins because we believed on Christ, and God responded to our obedience and saved us from our sins, then we are in essence saying we are saved by our work of believing.
     
  17. JD731

    JD731 Active Member

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    According to you, maybe. But not according to the scriptures.

    No one who has ever been justified by faith without obedience. Jesus said, "why call ye me Lord, Lord and do not the things that I say?

    In Romans 10, here is what God says about a man getting saved.

    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    The operative word here is Lord.

    2962 κύριος kurios [koo’-ree-os]

    from kuros (supremacy); n m; TDNT-3:1039,486; [{See TDNT 418 }]

    AV-Lord 667, lord 54, master 11, sir 6, Sir 6, misc 4; 748

    1) he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord
    1a) the possessor and disposer of a thing
    1a1) the owner; one who has control of the person, the master
    1a2) in the state: the sovereign, prince, chief, the romano emperor
    1b) is a title of honour expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master
    1c) this title is given to: God, the Mesías

    A man can say he is Lord and not do what he says. Therefore, believing is a matter of the heart and includes repentance because the same text says this:

    13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    BF, I think you just do not believe the words. In Romans 10 doing something is involved with being saved and God does not call it a work.

    Paul says it this way in Ga 2;

    16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
     
  18. Brightfame52

    Brightfame52 Well-Known Member

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    The word “believe” in the Greek text is “pisteuo” which is a verb denoting a work. If a person could believe in Christ before they are born again by the Spirit, it would mean they have done a work and that would mean they have worked for their salvation which is totally against what the scriptures teach. Ephesians 2:8-9

    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.22
     
  19. Brightfame52

    Brightfame52 Well-Known Member

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    According to scripture, because believing is a work, an act of the mind and or heart.

    So if you condition salvation on your believing, or your obeying, then you are believing in salvation by your works, which is totally against Salvation by Grace, by Christ !
     
  20. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Faith:
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    If that is what is understood by Justification by faith, then you might have a point. But that is certainly not how I understand it.
    Here is an extract from Chapter VII of What is faith? by J. Gresham Machen (Banner of Truth books) Note particularly the last two paragraphs:

    'That is the centre of the Christian religion - the absolutely undeserved and sovereign grace of God, saving sinful men by the gift of Christ upon the cross. Condemnation comes by merit; salvation comes only by grace: condemnation is earned by man; salvation is given by God. The fact of the grace of God runs through the New Testament like a golden thread; indeed, for it the NT exists. It is found in the words which Jesus spoke in the days of His flesh, as in the parables of the servant coming in from the field and of the labourers in the vineyard; it is found more fully set forth after His redeeming work was done............Everywhere the basis of the NT is the same - the mysterious, incalculable, wondrous grace of God. "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

    The reception of that gift is faith: faith means not doing something but receiving something; it means not the earning of a reward but the acceptance of a Gift. A man can never be said to obtain a thing for himself if he obtains it by faith; indeed, to say that he obtains it by faith is only another way to say that he does not obtain it for himself but permits another to obtain it for him. Faith, in other words, is passive, not active; and to say that we do not save ourselves but are only saved by the one in whom our faith is reposed; the faith of man presupposes the sovereign grace of God.

    Even yet, we have not sounded the full depths of the NT teaching; we have not yet fully set forth the place in salvation which the Bible assigns to the grace of God. A sort of refuge, in what we have said so far, may seem to have been left to the pride of man. Man does not save himself, we have said; God saves him. But man accepts that salvation by faith; and faith, though a negative act, seems to be a kind of act: salvation is freely offered by God; the offer of it does not depend at all upon man; yet a man might seem to obtain a sort of merit by not resisting that offer when once it is given him by God.

    But even this last refuge of human pride is searched out and destroyed by the teaching of God's word; for the Bible represents even faith itself - little merit as it could in any case involve - as the work of the Spirit of God. The Spirit, according to a true summary of the NT, works faith in us and thereby unites us to Christ in our effectual calling; sovereign and resistless is God's grace; and our faith is merely the means which the Spirit uses to apply to us the benefits of Christ's redeeming work.'
     
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