What must I do to be saved?

For those deep thinkers out there.
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John-Boy
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Post by John-Boy » Thu Oct 16, 2003 6:25 am

How was the criminal on the cross saved? Was it through his faith or faith and works?

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Post by hicksdm » Thu Oct 16, 2003 6:52 am

From my limited understanding it was through faith. He never had a chance to do any works. From what I have been taught it is faith that saves us and if that faith is true then we will be motivated to perform good works. If we have no good works and live like the devil then are we truely saved, to me the answer is no.

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Post by thegreatswalmi » Thu Oct 16, 2003 7:37 am

The criminal on the cross was saved through faith. As i said in my post, faith is how we are saved, but faith can only be manifest through works...such as confession. confession of christ's authority and lordship is as much a work as faith...they are, as i said, completely synonymous...there is no such thing as faith without works.
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Post by John-Boy » Thu Oct 16, 2003 9:01 am

I think most have agreed that when one believes there will be works along with that belief - but the disagreement seems to be about what actually is necessary and sufficient for salvation.

Yeah - I think the criminal on the cross was saved through faith. And I don't think there were any good works to show for it. It's kind of the extreme example to show that he was saved "not by works." Yeah - faith with out works is dead... works are the fruit of faith, but it's through faith we're saved, not works. Works is the indicator/barometer of where our faith is at not a requirement for salvation.

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Post by Tyler » Thu Oct 16, 2003 3:31 pm

Mike,

I agree that you and I don't agree. :D Though we are relatively close in the grand scheme of things, we do differ a bit. I had, in fact, written a few paragraphs in my last post to address your comments, but ended up deleting them.

I agree with you that there is a relationship between faith and works. I just disagree that this relationship is a part of salvation.

Let me ask the question, when is one saved? Is it at the moment of faith in Christ, or is it at some moment later when works from the faith prove the faith? If it is at the moment of faith (which I believe) then works are not a part of the conversation. Works haven't even had the opportunity to have taken place yet. Thus, salvation is through faith alone.

Let look at Abraham, since James uses him as an example in his comments. Abraham's righteousness was because of his faith. It says this in James 2, Romans 4, and Genesis 15. James said that his work (willingness to sacrifice Isaac) justified him. What exactly does that mean? If it means justified in the sense that it made him right with God, then something is very strange here. His belief made him righteous, but it wasn't until 16 to 32 years later that this work made him right before God because he finally proved it? (Estimates vary, but Isaac was somewhere in the range of 16 -32 years old when Abraham was going to sacrifice him.) This does not make sense. What Abraham's obedience did was justified (proved) his faith. Did it prove it to God? No. God already knew of Abraham's faith and had declared him righteous. What Abraham's work did was prove to others his faith. But it didn't come along for 16+ years.

So what then about works? James 2 is clearly saying that works prove faith and works grow (perfect) faith. However, faith is not only a salvation thing. Faith is also a day-to-day walk with God thing. Faith is necessary for a believer in all aspects of his life, and this is the faith James is talking about. Look at the book of James as a whole. The entire thing is directed at those that are already believers. James is constantly addressing the "bretheren". This is not a book about how to become a believer. It is a book about how to *do life* as a believer. Faith is *KEY* in doing life as a believer, and James is pointing out how important works are as well. James is pointing out that the perfecting of faith is accomplished through the doing of works.

In contrast, the book of John is a book that is written so that one might learn about salvation. John 20:31 declares Johns' purpose in writing as, "but these [signs, miracles of Christ] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and by believing have life in His name." Here we have a book who's express purpose is to lead people to eternal life, and in it we will not read about works. Instead we will read "believe", if I recall correctly, 96 times.

When we believe, we are saved from eternal damnation. Works are not involved. After we are saved, we may or may not prove our continued faith through works. Obviously God wants us to continue and do good works. James 2 says that if we do not, our faith dies. (Notice that if faith dies, it had to once be alive.) Does our salvation die with our faith? Not if the life we received was eternal.

I hope everyone finds this conversation beneficial and enjoyable. I certainly do. It has been wonderful study for me to read the passages involved and try to communicate my position.

Thanks to all!

Best Regards,
Tyler

P.S. As a quick point of clarification:
It is, as tyler said, a gift which will not be rescinded unless it is cast aside


I think you were trying to agree with me that salvation is a gift, which I certainly do belive. However, it also sounds like I was saying this gift can be cast side, and thus (I assume) the salvation goes away. I did not say that. I do not believe that the loss of slavation is possible at all. I do think there are extreme consequnences for such apostasy, but I do not believe eternal torment to be one of them.

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Post by Tyler » Thu Oct 16, 2003 3:46 pm

One more little comment:

The case being made is that a saving faith and works are causal. That *of necessity* good works will result from a saving faith. If that is true, why do we need the Epistles (written to believers) to exhort us over and over to do good works, and why are we told what they are and how to do them? Wouldn't a causal faith insure that we would do good without having to be told? How do we account for even the smallest infraction on each of our parts if *of necessity* saving faith will cause us to do good works?

The problem is saving faith does not cause us to do good works. Saving faith *allows* us to do good works, and even *motivates* us to do good works, but it does not *cause* us to. We must choose. If we choose to do good, then we prove our faith, and our faith grows. If we choose not to do good works, our faith is unproven and our faith eventually dies. (Please note that an unproven faith is not necessarily no faith. It is simply unproven.) As I mentioned in the last post though, a dead faith does not imply a loss of that gift that was already given to us, that is, eternal life.

Sorry, that thought came to me as I was posting the last one. I had to stick it in! :D

Thanks again, gang!

Best,
Tyler

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Post by Rebelqui » Thu Oct 16, 2003 7:23 pm

As I reviewed the conversation here about the book of James, it appears a simple fact is being lost in the shuffle. Many seem to think everything said by James represents what James thinks (similar to quoting Jesus when He is quoting a Pharisee). This cannot be true.

Specifically in James 2:18, he begins by saying, "But someone will say..." This someone is basically a literary device known as a diatribe, or someone who is quoted as an adversary in debate.

Where does the actual quote end, since the Greek Text didn't use quotemarks? :?:
(NKJV & NIV end the quote in a different place than the NASB...and the KJV has no quotemarks at all)

If we don't clarify this point we may be agreeing/disagreeing about something James did not say.

For example, it seems pretty clear that the quote ends at verse 20, "But do you want to know, O foolish man..." James is apparently now addressing the "foolish" diatribe's argument...

...Which means the argument, including the reference to demons, is all coming from the mouth of the Fool.

Also, take note of what you make James's response to be if you place the quotemarks earlier.

Keep it up!

Grace and Truth,

Rebelqui

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Post by Tyler » Fri Oct 17, 2003 6:32 am

Rebelqui,

Good point on the location of the quote marks in James. I agree with you about where the quote is apparently ending. If you look at the second half of v18, it would make no sense for James to be saying that to the diatribe because it is in complete agreement with what the diatribe says. It is not an argument at all, it is a development on what the diatribe just said. Why would James invent a diatribe to argue with, then agree with him, and then call him foolish? It is pretty clear that that is still the diatribe speaking all the way through v 19. I have no idea why many translations have decided the diatribe quit speaking half-way through 18.

All that said, James is still the author of both his own words and the diatribe's. He is inventing a straw man to debate, and he is in control of the straw man's understanding in the issue. I think my point still holds that the conversation is not about eternal life because the LAST thing we would be talking about in an eternal life conversation would be demons and whether or not they have works to go with their faith.

I do think it is very important for us to look at the location the diatribe ceases his comments in order to fully understand the passage. Ascribing comments to the wrong people is a sure way to misunderstand them!

Thanks for the point of clarification!

I hope everyone else is enjoying this as much as I am!

Best Regards,
Tyler

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Post by Rebelqui » Sat Oct 18, 2003 1:49 pm

Tyler: Nice Point...as well.

It seems people don't realize the simple math concerning the relationship between faith and works when they offer such interesting things as 'faith and works have an organic relationship", when they really don't.

They definitely have a relationship, but it is not actually causal. For example, our Salvation is causal:

If, and only if, you believe in Christ, then you will be saved. So, you can detemine that if you never believe in Christ, then you will not be saved. The cause and effect is direct: Believe...Be Saved.

FAITH AND WORKS functions differently because they are simply two elements that can relate in 4 ways (many things work this way):

1. One can have FAITH and WORKS (as everyone seems to admit)

2. One can NOT have FAITH and NOT have WORKS (see James 2:19)

3. One can NOT have FAITH, but HAVE WORKS (e.g. the dead works of Romans 3 & 4)


....Now given the above 3 options, the 4th one MUST be true mathematically, logically, and honestly...which is:

4. One can HAVE FAITH, but NOT have WORKS (This is actually our justification & salvation...and what is meant by being saved by "faith alone" ...as emphasized in Roman 5:1, 11:6, and Titus 3:5)

God bless,

Rebelqui

P.S. Did everyone stop for the weekend, or change their view?

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Post by OldSeaRock » Sat Oct 25, 2003 10:13 am

What an interesting discussion!

Thanks to everyone who has contributed, this has been an inspiring thread.

In my view, if you truly believe then you have faith. If you have faith then you will abide in Christ (even though we all fall short..) and by abiding in Christ you will have "works".

We're saved by grace through our faith.

Are there examples in the Bible of those who were "saved" and then lost? Sure there are! Prime example: Judas Iscariot. So regardless of what we may think or believe, it can happen according to the Bible. Ananias and Sapphira are two other examples. Can we fall from grace? According to the scriptures, it is certain that it can happen. Simon the Sorcerer almost fell but repented and was forgiven.

I guess that one of the big questions here is, "what do we define as works"? I believe that our "works" is how we live our daily lives, the fruit that we produce as Christians. The whole concept of believing that Jesus is the Christ, according to the Scriptures, will set off a chain reaction of events that will start our works, through our faith, whether we understand "works" or not.

Excellent thread - and God bless everyone here!

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Post by Rebelqui » Sat Oct 25, 2003 8:47 pm

OldSeaRock wrote: Are there examples in the Bible of those who were "saved" and then lost? Sure there are! Prime example: Judas Iscariot.
Mr. Rock,


Help me here:

Where do we get that Judas was saved? :?: It seems to me the "son of perdition" was marked from the beginning. He's even absent at key discussions about the disciples' acceptance by Christ [e.g. upper room discourse - John 13-17].

It seems the real problem with the "works follows saving faith" theory, is that if we aren't saved by works...how can we get unsaved by them?

God bless,

Rebelqui

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Post by OldSeaRock » Sun Oct 26, 2003 4:58 pm

After reading these Scriptures, the path Judas walked is clear:



Matthew 10:1-4 (ESV)
And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. [2] The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; [3] Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; [4] Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Luke 6:16 (ESV)
and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.


Here is says that Judas became a traitor. indicating that he fell.

Luke 22:3-6 (ESV)
Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. [4] He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. [5] And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. [6] So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.

Was Judas always a traitor? Not until Satan entered his heart.


Acts 15:22 (ESV)
Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers

At one time, Judas was considered to be one of the "leading men among the brothers". That was before he made his bad choices.

John 17:8-12 (ESV)
For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. [9] I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. [10] All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. [11] And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. [12] While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

Jesus says that Judas, "come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me". Later, Jesus says that Judas was lost, indicating that he "fell". Was Judas then marked from the beginning? No, Judas accepted the truth and afterwards made a choice to do what he did.

Good discussion - God Bless all!

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Post by sguthrie » Mon Oct 27, 2003 6:06 am

OldSeaRock wrote: Are there examples in the Bible of those who were "saved" and then lost? Sure there are! Prime example: Judas Iscariot. So regardless of what we may think or believe, it can happen according to the Bible. Ananias and Sapphira are two other examples. Can we fall from grace? According to the scriptures, it is certain that it can happen. Simon the Sorcerer almost fell but repented and was forgiven.
But the question is, was Judas REALLY saved? Or was he just going through the motions as many who call themselves Christians are today?

Even before the betrayal, there were signs that Judas didn't really "get it" and may not have been saved, such as getting upset the the value of the perfume the woman poured on Jesus as an act of worship.

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Post by OldSeaRock » Mon Oct 27, 2003 7:10 pm

In John 17:8-12 Jesus says "Them" referring to all of them. No ifs, ands or buts - no qualifiers.... all of them. They all accepted.. it's clear at that point.

The scriptures say (in so many words) that he was indeed saved and then later "dropped the ball". I can't see Jesus bestowing "gifts" on anyone that wasn't "in Christ". Jesus says that he only "lost" one (Judas). How can one lose what one never had? :wink:

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Post by Tyler » Tue Oct 28, 2003 3:59 pm

At one time, Judas was considered to be one of the "leading men among the brothers". That was before he made his bad choices.
Wrong Judas. Judas Iscariot had already killed himself at this point.

In the abiding post I have already made clear that I believe that one can cease to abide, or "fall", but that that is no indication that salvation from the Lake of Fire is (or can be) lost.

As for John 17, Christ prays this prayer AFTER Judas has left the disciples (John 13:30). It is also clear here that Christ is singling out Judas as an exception among the disciples. Look at verse 11. Christ KNOWS that Judas is a son of perdition (v12). If Judas was in mind as part of the "they", why would Christ ask for oneness for the disciples including a son of perdition? He wouldn't! I would argue that Judas was in Christ's mind as an exception to what he was saying the whole time, and Christ clarifies that point in verse 12.
I can't see Jesus bestowing "gifts" on anyone that wasn't "in Christ".
He didn't bestow gifts. That came through the Spirit, and the Spirit has yet to come. He gave them "authority" over demons, and to heal disease and affliction. These are not "gifts" of the Spirit, because the spirit is yet to come. Authority is given to non-believers even now, though perhaps not in such miraculous things.
Jesus says that he only "lost" one (Judas).
That he is "lost" doesn't imply that he was ever previously found. Do we not often call unbelievers "lost"? (The use of "has been lost" in your quote of the ESV is very interesting, as this is strictly an interpretive move on the part of the translaters. The greek verb for "lost" is in the aortist tense, which implies neither past, present or future. There is not corresponding tense in which to tranlsate it into English. To choose past perfect, as the ESV did, seems to be because they believe as you do and it made sense to use that tense in their theology. Typically aortist is simply translated past tense. For example, the NKJV translates John 17:12b past tense, "...and none of them is lost except the son of perdition...")

I continue to enjoy the discussions here. I have been gone on a retreat since last Thursday, and while away I wondered several times what I was missing in these discussions!

Thanks guys.

Tyler

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Post by sguthrie » Wed Oct 29, 2003 9:00 am

Tyler wrote:That he is "lost" doesn't imply that he was ever previously found.
Great point. An example of this in our common usage today is sports. We can say that the Yankees lost the World Series. Does this mean they first won it, and then somehow lost it?

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Post by Rebelqui » Fri Oct 31, 2003 9:39 am

Hey Tyler and sgutherie,

Really nice points!

Judas was not present...so the words do not & cannot apply to him.

Lost doesn't insist on "first, found".

Every word needs a context to have any meaning at all (think about it). Christ pursued the "lost" sheep of Israel...yet he also identified that some were not his sheep at all (nor ever would be).

Judas I. was never saved/found. He started lost, stayed lost, and died lost.

Blessings,

Rebelqui

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Re: What must I do to be saved?

Post by DepartedLight » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:09 am

because the last thread in the theology section as a zombie seemed like a good idea to resurrect at the time
DL Jake

Feel free to use that quote in your signature. Stanley76 » 22 Feb 2019 21:50

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Re: What must I do to be saved?

Post by Sir Moose » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:29 am

DepartedLight wrote:because the last thread in the theology section as a zombie seemed like a good idea to resurrect at the time
You're just bringing it back to life without even offering an opinion? You're busy popping popcorn, aren't you?

And just so I'm not guilty of that of which I accuse you, I would say we are saved by faith alone and that works are a natural and necessary outflow of that saving faith. I would further add that we cannot lose salvation. There is no need for the 'lick of flame at my heels' to motivate me - I am motivated by love for God and a desire to continuously draw nearer to Him.
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.

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Re: What must I do to be saved?

Post by Grizzly » Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:51 am

I aint sayin nothin' :)
"I smoke in moderation, only one cigar at a time", Mark Twain

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