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Those who believe that faith alone (Sola Fide) justifies our salvation:

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by jay29, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. Faith alone

    Faith alone New Member

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    Originally posted by Taz:
    Taz,

    Actually, James does not say "faith alone." MONON is an adverb and cannot as such modify a noun. Hence "alone"/"only" does not modify faith. IMO it modifies "justified."

    So James is saying that there exists a justification by faith before God, but that we are justified before man by works... or perhaps by a works-verified faith. This is not speaking about justification before God at all. The illustration James used has nothing to do with being justified before God nor of gaining eternal life.

    When a Christian demonstrates his faith, the unbeliever is affected by such a living testimony. God can see our heart, but people see our works.

    When Paul says that we see that a man is justified by faith, and not by works, isn't that really saying that we are justified by faith alone? Anything which we might do beyond trusting in Christ's death is works of some sort.

    FWFW,

    FA
     
  2. swaimj

    swaimj <img src=/swaimj.gif>

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    Claudia T,

    I think we are on the same page.

    Faith Alone,

    I agree with how you are interpreting James as well.
     
  3. Matt Black

    Matt Black Well-Known Member
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    Taz brother, can you please be different and abandon that worn out line?

    </font>[/QUOTE]Why should he? It was good enough for God to inspire it to be there in the first place. Who are we to argue with God?
     
  4. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    Matt, "Faith Alone" is a concept that is spoken of throughout the scriptures which means salvation is through faith alone apart from any works whether they be works of the law or works of faith (as James speaks of). James speaks of "faith only" in a way that anyone seeking wisdom from God can ask God and study to show themselves aproved and see clearly that James is speaking about works of faith. That it is just as he said, faith without works is dead. "Dead" meaning no true faith at all. It isn't such a difficult passage. It is just one of those that the insecurity crowd has latched onto which they feel can easily be twisted into their own point of view. Let scripture interpret scripture and the insecurity will fade away.

    The point I made was that it is true that nowhere in the scriptures will you find the words "faith alone" when applying that to the concept of "faith alone". Nor does the "faith only" in James debunk the concept of "faith alone". So rather than keep reitterating this fact as some sort of disproving of the concept "faith alone" just let it go because the very same people who say such want to declare "forgiveness revoked" concept and yet the words "forgiveness revoked" do not appear anywhere as well. See what I mean? They want it both ways. So if one wants to use concept words or phrases in their own reasoning and debate, then they should not cry wolf when another uses concept phrases. That's all!

    God Bless!
     
  5. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    I asked this question of Jay but he never responded. Maybe someone else from the insecurity camp can tell me.

    How many fruits/works does one need to gain/keep eternal life? Must these work(s) be done each day? What happens if one misses a day of work? Can one miss a week of work?

    God Bless!
     
  6. Eliyahu

    Eliyahu Active Member
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    When James mentioned that the works are required in addition to the faith, he meant that the true faith proves with the works or with its fruits as we learn from what our Lord said in Matthew 7:16-20. This also is confirmed in Mt 25:31-46.

    It doesn't mean that there is another type of salvation which can be achieved by the fruits or works, but means that the true faith results in good fruits. If there is no fruit, such person was not born again from the beginning. Therefore Lord says to those people, Mt 7:23

    Then I will announce to them, 'I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers.

    Inquisitors are the good example of this type of people!
     
  7. Eliyahu

    Eliyahu Active Member
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    I believe Swaimj said very much correctly. [​IMG]

    1. If anyone doesn't show the good fruit or good works, then she or he was not saved from the beginning.

    2. Matthew 18:28

    The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    He said he would pay back all !, that was wrong answer ! Can anyone in the world be saved by paying back all ?

    Αφιημι means depart, forgive, forsake, leave alone, tolerate.
    Forgive means to cease to blame or condemn, to grant pardon, to free the debt, etc.

    If we stick to the main meaning of this word as pardoning, then we find a certain problem with the interpretation:

    Can God rescind the redemption?
    Even the adulterous man in 1 Corinthian 5 will be saved at least for his spirit, even though he may look like a naked person.

    I find the verse as the toleration because:
    The servant didn't rely on the mercy of the Lord, but he thought that he can repay back, (it is quite apparent that such promise cannot be fulfilled, but this servant believed he can repay back), then he failed and receieved the punishment. Is God changing His pardon again and again? No, He didn't get the complete pardon from the beginning because he claimed that he would pay back, and God offered him what he requested.

    Therefore those verses do not support that anyone should do good works in order to maintain the Salvation.

    Read this: Galatians 3:2-3
    2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
     
  8. Matt Black

    Matt Black Well-Known Member
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    Steaver, to answer your last two posts.

    Point taken with 'definitions' of 'faith alone', but this isn't the only case in Scripture where the concept at least crops up. EG: you have Jesus' words to the sheep and the goats in Matt 25, where they are judged purely on their works - no mention of faith there at all.

    So Scripture is, at best, ambiguous on this subject. I think part of the problem lies in the fact that evangelicals tend to stress the Pauline part of the NT, with its emphasis on justification by faith, whereas the 'higher' Churches (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican) tend to emphasise other parts of the NT such as the Gospels, where much more 'action' seems to be demanded...

    ....which leads me on to your question about works (I suspect Jay has now been 'outed' as the Catholic he surely is, and banned, so don't expect a response from that quarter). IMO it is not a question of how many 'works' of what 'quality' that one does legalistically, it is about where one is heading.

    Let's take an (as usual imperfect) analogy: when Jesus taught, He tended to attract a crowd of people. In that crowd there would be those who were curious, those who were hostile and those who were attracted to His teaching. There would also be those who were trying to move closer to Him and those who were trying to move further away and leave the scene; the former would tend to coincide with the attracted ones, the latter with the hostile, naturally. Some would also be closer to Him than others, regardless of in which direction they were moving. To my mind, the 'faith alone' argument is like mentally agreeing to His teaching but then either staying exactly where you are or - worse still - moving away from Him. The "how many works do you have to do" question is like asking how close each of the individuals in that crowd were to Jesus. IMO both of these ways of looking at the crowd are irrelevant to the issue of salvation; what is relevant is whether you are heading towards or away from Him. The 'heading towards' will inevitably produce 'works' and bring us closer to Him.
     
  9. Eliyahu

    Eliyahu Active Member
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    Matt,
    Your post is exactly what the people who do not know Jesus and never experienced the being born-again is usually writing. Sorry to write this way to you.
    I used to be saying like that too, before I was attending a church without actual experience of being born again.

    Mt 25:31-46 doesn't mean that anyone can be saved by works. It shows that many false Christians will turn out to be false and fake Christians at the Judgment seat. Nobody can be saved by works. Only Faith is more than enough. If the works are not shown or the behavior is not changed, then the person did not have faith at all from the beginning.

    Do you think those goats had the faith but didn't produce the good fruits ? Look at Mt 7:16-20. Those goats were not born again at all from the beginning !

    I know you and I will disagree continuously until you are truly born again.
     
  10. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    I don't think it is wise to declare that these were judged (lost or saved) solely by their own works. For one, the scripture declares that they did not even know what works the King was speaking of indicating that they were simply doing what came naturally rather than, as the salvation by works camp would believe, one purposefully working to gain or maintain their salvation. This would indicate that they had done these things out of a good heart that was created by God through faith.

    Jesus also calls them " righteous " (vs 37&46).

    Allowing scripture to interpret scripture we find this truth...

    "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:"(Ro 3:10)...

    Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
    Rom 3:22 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:
    Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

    Rom 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

    The only way one is declared "righteous" is through faith in Jesus Christ. These sheep in the story then must be those who got saved during the tribulation period and cared for God's children.

    We both understand brother that a mere mental belief of anything does not equate to the faith in Jesus Christ outlined in the scriptures. Those who have genuine faith in Jesus Christ(born-again) will at times stand still and at times stumble backwards but most times continue forward. Otherwise they have not the Spirit of Christ according to scripture.

    Not for me. If it is so that my works will determine my salvation then I better know how many I need and at what quality they must be. If you believe that works will play a part in my salvation then you ought to be able to define these two points for me or anyone else. If you believe it then preach it! Answer my questions about works I asked a bit ago. How many? Can I miss a day? Can I miss a week?

    Then you bring into this yet another question. When I am walking away from Jesus am I then lost? What if I turn back towards Jesus, then am I born-again-again? Back and forth, saved now lost, now saved now lost, born-again then lost, then born-again, and again, and again. If one believes it then one should be able to explain it in real life scenarios.

    This I totally agree with, but it doesn't address the salvation part.

    God Bless!
     
  11. Matt Black

    Matt Black Well-Known Member
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    I think you may have misread my point about 'works'='how close you are' ie: what I was saying is that that is not relevant to the issue of salvation; what is relevant is are you desiring to move towards Jesus or away from Him.

    You ask effectively "what must a man do to not be saved?" My answer would be that he would have to commit some action amounting to what we in the law call a 'repudiatory breach' of his relationship with the Lord ie: the following:-

    1. Be aware that he is irrevocably walking away from the Lord.

    2. Make that decision freely being under no duress, mental incapacity or undue influence eg: Job if he had listened to his wife and cursed God and died wouldn't forfeit his salvation as he was under extreme duress.

    3. Be fully aware of the consequences of that action.
     
  12. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    But then in effect you are declaring one cannot know for sure if they are/will be saved. Job would not have known for sure if he quailfied under the duress clause or not until he either found himself in paridise or hell.

    One may "think" they are moving towards Jesus but really be found that they were only self-righteous in the end. Again, this leaves out anyone knowing for sure if they are saved.

    You have to begin with born-again. One becomes one with Jesus Christ. It is an act of God, a new creature is made, a creature that now knows God, belongs to God, and has the Spirit of God within. I don't see how a creature that is one with God can ultimatly abandon God. That would be like tearing your spirit out of your soul and living on. It cannot be.

    As long as Christ lives in me (and being born-again is how He does live in me) how can I ever fail? I could only fail if Christ left me which cannot happen. I can leave Him symbolically through my disobedient actions, but yet Christ remains in me. There is no seperating that which God has created as one. This is why Jesus illustrated salvation as a birth. Births are irrevocable. One cannot change who their father is and if God is your Father through rebirth then God is your Father eternally whether you are a good child or not.

    God Bless!
     
  13. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    Matt, are there scriptures that teach this? I can find scriptures that teach born-again, but I cannot find scriptures that teach what you have outlined here. Can you point them out? It sounds more like a theory.

    God Bless!
     
  14. Matt Black

    Matt Black Well-Known Member
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    I agree about the 'born-again' bit. I disagree however on your 'one size fits all' approach to how that happens. For instance, I know many Christians who can pinpoint the time when that happened but equally I know others for whom that was a much more gradual process and who can't say exactly when or how they were saved but who can tell you most vigorously that they weren't saved and born again before but are now. If you want Scripture I suppose I can say that some meet Christ on the road to Damascus and others on the road to Emmaus. In fact, Christ's ministry as laid out in the Gospels is shot through with examples of what I referred to in my last post: you get those to whom He says they are 'not far from' the Kingdom of God; equally you get those who initially come towards Him but then abandon Him eg: John 6:61-69.

    There's also the reference of course to apostasising in Hebrews 6, which seems to indicate irrevocability.
     
  15. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    Being not far from the kingdom or even drawing towards the kingdom is not being born-again but rather it is being drawn by the father towards faith in Jesus Christ. Born-again is an event. The Spirit of God quickens the spirit of man. It is not a gradual process at all. Maybe the drawing is gradual but the actual birth is an event. I do not believe one can become born-again and not know it with exception only to the very young, who now in their adulthood, could not remember their rebirth back when they were very young, as say a four or five year old. But most of these will also remember as well. It would be rare, but possible, not to remember.

    Now with all due respect, I still have no answer to my questions about how many works it takes to remain saved. Also, my questions about those who turn away, then back again, then turn away again. Are they saved, then lost, then saved, just how would this play out?

    And on a personal note, is there anyone out there who has experienced salvation and then became lost and then became born-again-again? Please share. I know many here believe one can become saved and then lost. Any of you ever personally experienced this? I know you all must have experienced salvation through rebirth and can describe it because you lived it, but since you all know that you can lose your salvation you must have experienced it at some point in your own lives, no?

    God Bless!
     
  16. Matt Black

    Matt Black Well-Known Member
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    I know people who have described that experience to me ie: they have know they were saved and then wandered away from the faith and would describe themselves as no longer being Christians. Now, doubtless, the OSAS crowd would say that they were never saved in the first place but neither they nor I have 'windows into men's souls'; all I know is it doesn't sound that way listening to these individuals and their experience chimes in with the sort of apostasy described in Hebrews 6

    Now to your question about 'how many works'. I reiterate that that is not the relevant question: the relevant question is one of attitude and orientation - is it towards Jesus or away from Him?
     
  17. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    Actually that could not chime with Hebrews 6 if your interpretation of Hebrews 6 is that of one who was saved and then abandoned the faith and became lost(if this is how you are interpreting the passage), for Hebrews 6 also then declares that coming back to Christ is "impossible".

    So then your model of salvation would be Faith plus Attitude and Orientation, not works, equals salvation? In other words, for you works plays no part in one's salvation, it is irrelevant?

    That is fine but I also asked you to explain how this orientation reflects one's spiritual condition of saved. As my orientation is in reverse mode am I then lost? What happens when I turn back, am I then born-again-again? How many times can I be born-again? According to how you understand Hebrews 6 it is impossible to turn away and the turn back, correct?

    Matt, you believe in a doctrine of salvation that declares there is no such thing as "Faith Alone" for salvation. There is nothing wrong with taking a position and standing firm unless it is a wrong position. If your position is right and you are convinced in your heart one needs more than Faith in Christ, then you should have no problem describing how oreintation or works affects the born-again event. When is one saved? Is one saved while walking towards Jesus BEFORE being born-again? Is one saved while doing good works for Jesus BEFORE being born-again? Is one saved WHEN one is born-again BEFORE any works can be done at all? At what point was you saved Matt? Do you know?

    Some say that you are saved at re-birth and then from there your works can overthrow your salvation. Or if you turn away you are then lost. But then they say you can turn back and be saved again. That would mean being born-again-again. Or not? This is what I am asking you to explain. Personally I can't see this happening, this is why i ask those who can see it to explain it.

    Here is the easy cop-out answer you can give which is given by most..."I don't have to explain it or apply it to life, I just have to believe what I read in the Scriptures".

    Scripture isn't much good to those who cannot apply it to real life scenarios.

    God Bless!
     
  18. Eliyahu

    Eliyahu Active Member
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    At least it is good that the issue has reached whether the gradual conversion (not only the sudden conversion) can be accepted as the salvation. Such recognition means that one knows enough about the differences in the discussion of salvation.

    1. Does it take so long time for the Holy Spirit to come into out heart ? Does Holy Spirit hesitate to come into our heart or to go out of our heart?
    2. Apparently the Sanctification takes time and it is the matter of lifetime lasting journey for the person who were born again already. Are some people confused between Born-again and Sanctification?

    3. Whenever I talk with the people who had clear time of Being born again, I have reached the certain agreement quickly or find even the disagreement in the understandable level, but when I met the people who do not have the time of actual being born again, I have found so much difference and found them exactly same as the unbelievers, even though they may be a scholar in theology or pastors or priests.

    4. John 8:30-59 tells us many things:

    31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples.

    Jesus said to those who believed Him.

    At the end those believers tried to kill Jesus ! (v 59)

    They confessed they have only one Father- God !

    But Jesus said "Your father is Devil " (44)

    Don't you think, if you were there, you should accept that Jews were believing in God at least even though they may not believe in Jesus?
    However, Jesus refused approving such belief as the real belief !
     
  19. Matt Black

    Matt Black Well-Known Member
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    So, what do you make of Jesus' words "If you continue in My word"...?

    Steaver, all I can tell you is that I heard what an evangelical would call 'The Gospel' preached when I was 16 and instantly without hesitation accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour (well, He and I are still working on the 'Lord' bit of that!) so, if you like, I suppose you can say I was definitely born again then. But if I had heard that preaching ten years earlier - even when I was being brought up a Catholic - my response would have been the same: I have always, as far back as I can remember, had a desire to serve and love the Lord and I certainly had all the 'jigsaw puzzle pieces' of the classic evangelical Gospel from an early age, I just didn't have the 'picture on the box' until I heard that particular preaching. Does that mean I was saved before then? I don't know; you tell me.

    Now, I have ever since waxed and waned in my walk with God. I have never repudiated Him although my conduct at times leaves much to be desired. But it is possible for me to repudiate Him and reject His salvation - you tell me, would I then still be saved or not (if I didn't want to be saved any more would not my continuing salvation override my free will?)?
     
  20. steaver

    steaver Well-Known Member
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    The scripture is what tells you. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. You heard the foundation of the gospel, what it takes to be convicted of sin and was drawn by the Father to call on Jesus for salvation. You accepted the free gift of eternal life through a one time act of faith. God then made you a new creature, the old past away and the new came forth, reborn! From there a baby needs time to grow. You have been growing ever since, maybe seemed stunted at times, but you cannot fail because Jesus cannot fail!

    Have you failed Him as many times as I? I am just a worm and nothing without Jesus steering the boat. Could you repudiate Him? You know that you could not. He lives in you and forever witnesses to you that you belong to Him. Can you reject His salvation? You already past that test. Think! Born-again, a rebirth, a new creature, past from death to eternal life! Born of God. It is not Born of Matt's desire. You only accepted an offer. You only said "go ahead and do it Lord". God took it from there. Your were given the "free" gift of eternal life and the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (cannot be recalled or undone).

    God Bless!
     
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