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Why do you believe?

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skyhigh

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Its a good question to ask ourselves often. "Why do you believe?"
One way of answering it is to address what I don't believe in.
I don't believe in atheism. I don't believe that pleasure seeking leads to happiness. I don't believe in meaninglessness. I don't believe in hate. I don't believe in the noisy answers to life's meaning form advertiser's or friends who want to make you envious by talking about the latest technology device they purchased or their latest trip to Hawaii.
I believe we have to face ourselves fair and square one day. And realise our own limitations. And the only way we are going to truly be happy is to seek help from a less obvious quieter voice inside. I believe that Jesus resides dormant deep inside us, we just have to wake up and realise it. And then start noticing God's presence everywhere.
Then accept the fact we have to surrender to the will greater and smarter than ours. Jesus Christ.
 
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What I mean by respect where it says fear is in reverence of God like that in Hebrews 12:28, 29. Proverbs 1:7 says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Fear to the Christian just means having reverence or respect for God who is greater than us. We are not to be afraid of God as fearing Him in that sense, but to love and humble ourselves before Him.
FHG,

'What I mean' is not how exegesis (getting meaning from the text) is determined.

The Greek NT's, phobos, means:

Definition
  1. fear, dread, terror
    1. that which strikes terror
  2. reverence for one's husband (source).
I've already given an OT example of how this means the fear/dread/terror of the Lord.

In 2 Cor 5:11 (NIV), we are taught: ‘Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience’.

There is a holy fear, dread and terror of the Lord that causes us to try to persuade the ungodly of what it means to stand before the absolutely holy God, redeemed, justified, born from above, etc.

It is not just a reverence for God but a dread of God who casts the damned into Hades and then Gehenna.

This kind of response, 'We are not to be afraid of God as fearing Him in that sense, but to love and humble ourselves before Him', misses the power of the One who casts the damned into everlasting punishing. I have a holy fear of the power of Almighty God to do this.

Oz
 

for_his_glory

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FHG,

'What I mean' is not how exegesis (getting meaning from the text) is determined.

The Greek NT's, phobos, means:

Definition
  1. fear, dread, terror
    1. that which strikes terror
  2. reverence for one's husband (source).
I've already given an OT example of how this means the fear/dread/terror of the Lord.

In 2 Cor 5:11 (NIV), we are taught: ‘Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience’.

There is a holy fear, dread and terror of the Lord that causes us to try to persuade the ungodly of what it means to stand before the absolutely holy God, redeemed, justified, born from above, etc.

It is not just a reverence for God but a dread of God who casts the damned into Hades and then Gehenna.

This kind of response, 'We are not to be afraid of God as fearing Him in that sense, but to love and humble ourselves before Him', misses the power of the One who casts the damned into everlasting punishing. I have a holy fear of the power of Almighty God to do this.

Oz
2 Corinthians 5:11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

We only persuade others to turn to God as we know His terror as believers as we read in scripture what happens to His enemies, but unbelievers know not God at all. Fear is the beginning of wisdom as when we know the terror of God we learn to reverence and respect God as we humble our hearts to Him as we also learn how God loves His own. No one can fear that of who they love, but to always be obedient to His will as we walk in love by His Spirit.
 
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I'm not relying on someone interpreting Scripture I rely on what my mother taught me of Gods advice.
And if you don't know the Scriptures you have no way to know if what you were taught is correct. Somewhere in the line before you someone had to interpret the Scriptures. So, you got their interpretation.
 
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Do you believe in a work based salvation that you have to work for it, or by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves as it is the gift of God?
When Paul said that, the works he was referring to were the works of the Mosaic Law. He was not speaking of doing good works. I think it's pretty obvious that one must do as Christ commanded
 

for_his_glory

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When Paul said that, the works he was referring to were the works of the Mosaic Law. He was not speaking of doing good works. I think it's pretty obvious that one must do as Christ commanded
Hi Butch5, I was asking skyhigh that question per our conversation, but haven't got a response yet. This was asked in accordance to Ephesians 2:8, 9. It has nothing to do with the works of the law as a nonbeliever would know nothing of it, but many do believe if they are a good person they will go to heaven and this is not so according to this scripture.
 
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Hi Butch5, I was asking skyhigh that question per our conversation, but haven't got a response yet. This was asked in accordance to Ephesians 2:8, 9. It has nothing to do with the works of the law as a nonbeliever would know nothing of it, but many do believe if they are a good person they will go to heaven and this is not so according to this scripture.
Hi fhg, It has everything to do with the works of the Law. Paul wrote that to the Ephesians. He was addressing a specific problem that was occurring at that time. There were Jew from Jerusalem telling Paul's converts that in addition to having faith in Christ they needed to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses. If you read Act 15 you'll see that the issue was such a problem that Paul had to go to Jerusalem and meet with the elders and Apostles about it. After some time James sent out a letter acknowledging that the Gentiles did not need to keep the Law or be circumcised.

Using this passage to say works are not a part of salvation is using it out of context and misleading people. Being a good person is necessary in addition to faith in Christ. Paul told the believers at Rome that God would judge everyone according to their deeds. He said those who continue in doing good are seeking eternal life. Martin Luther's faith alone doctrine couldn't be more wrong.
 
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skyhigh

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And if you don't know the Scriptures you have no way to know if what you were taught is correct. Somewhere in the line before you someone had to interpret the Scriptures. So, you got their interpretation.
At some point you have trust someone else's interpretation unless you are fluent in Greek and Hebrew, and are thoroughly informed on the cultural and societal norms of the day, in particular Jewish customs. That is why I am more likely to trust an educated person's view of the Bible than someone who has taught themselves.
 

for_his_glory

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Hi fhg, It has everything to do with the works of the Law. Paul wrote that to the Ephesians. He was addressing a specific problem that was occurring at that time. There were Jew from Jerusalem telling Paul's converts that in addition to having faith in Christ they needed to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses. If you read Act 15 you'll see that the issue was such a problem that Paul had to go to Jerusalem and meet with the elders and Apostles about it. After some time James sent out a letter acknowledging that the Gentiles did not need to keep the Law or be circumcised.

Using this passage to say works are not a part of salvation is using it out of context and misleading people. Being a good person is necessary in addition to faith in Christ. Paul told the believers at Rome that God would judge everyone according to their deeds. He said those who continue in doing good are seeking eternal life. Martin Luther's faith alone doctrine couldn't be more wrong.
What do non Christians know of the law or even who Paul was for that matter.
It's only by the grace of God through faith which is Christ Jesus that we are saved. It has nothing to do with works as works can not save us.
Ephesians 2:8 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.
 
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At some point you have trust someone else's interpretation unless you are fluent in Greek and Hebrew, and are thoroughly informed on the cultural and societal norms of the day, in particular Jewish customs. That is why I am more likely to trust an educated person's view of the Bible than someone who has taught themselves.
I agree to a point. I don't trust someone just because they are educated. I think many times that's actually a detriment. Those who are educated in Biblical things are also educated into the biases of that particular seminary. I could point out numerous commentary writers and scholars who teach erroneous things about the Scriptures. I agree that one needs to learn about the cultural backgrounds of the peoples and the historic setting. That's the point I was making to fhg. When Paul writes that one is not saved by works he is dealing with a specific issue which was that there were Jews coming out of the Jerusalem church that were telling the new converts that in addition to faith they also needed to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses. Christians who don't know this history often see the word works and think, oh, something I do is works therefore nothing I do affects my salvation. That's simply wrong. That can be seen from the Scriptures and there is an overwhelming amount of evidence in the early church writing about how one must live as Christ said to be saved. Knowing the historical setting goes a long way in understanding why the writers wrote what they did and what they meant by what they wrote.
 
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What do non Christians know of the law or even who Paul was for that matter.
It's only by the grace of God through faith which is Christ Jesus that we are saved. It has nothing to do with works as works can not save us.
Ephesians 2:8 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.
Paul wasn't writing that to today's Christians. He wrote it to the Ephesians. To people who were experiencing believing Jews coming from the church in Jerusalem and telling them, yes, you do need to have faith in Christ. But, you also need to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses if you want to be saved. Read acts fifteen. It begins like this.

And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. (Acts 15:1-2 KJV)

This is the issue that Paul dealt with in his ministry. If you read Acts chapter 15 you'll see that the elders and Apostles had to address this issue.

22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.1
28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. (Acts 15:22-29 KJV)

This was a huge problem for Paul. It was such an issue that the Holy Spirit had him go to Jerusalem to settle it.

Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.1 (Gal. 2:1-2 KJV)

When Paul speaks of not being saved by works, he's speaking of the works of the Mosaic Law. It's even right there in the context of the Ephesians 2 from which you quoted.

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.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.1
11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:1 (Eph. 2:8-16 KJV)

Paul explains what he means when he says you are not saved by works. He goes on to explain how Christ abolished the law of commandments contained in ordinances. That's the Mosaic Law.
 
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skyhigh

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I don't trust someone just because they are educated. I think many times that's actually a detriment.
I don't trust all educated theologians but I am more inclined to read ones who quote several sources not just the Bible.
 
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I don't trust all educated theologians but I am more inclined to read ones who quote several sources not just the Bible.
That helps. I also study the early Christian writings to see what the church taught in the beginning. What was the original Christian faith. I think every church should also teach people how to think logically and critically.
 
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Your interpretation of them.
No, not my interpretation of them. Some things in Scripture are pretty clear. For instance, the word "aion" it is often translated as eternal. If you look it up in a dictionary you will find eternal as a definition. However, Jesus spoke of the end of the aion. If Jesus said that it ends how can it be eternal? It can't be. Thus, the dictionary is wrong.
 
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