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Bible Study Practically speaking, what does this passage mean to you?

Link1983

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What!! You mean I can't boast about all my good works?
Like the time I helped a little old lady across the road? Or the time my arm was was twisted to donate to a charity and I finally gave 1 dollar?
Or the time I loved someone who was really hard to love? I mean no one else liked their jokes but I dug deep and found my funny bone.
I tell you what. If Heaven is based on a merit system, I'm sure to be at the front of the queue!
This guy! 😂😂😂
 

Doug Brents

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This is not the cause or everyone that heard of that Christ died and rose again would be saved; rather, it is a necessary precursor.
Rom 10:17 says faith comes from hearing the Word of God. Granted, not everyone who hears the Word has/gets faith. But that doesn't stop the source of faith being from hearing the Word of God.

Agreed, whoever believes is saved. But the verse does not tell us the cause of this belief. You believe (IMO) that the individual is the cause of his faith and I believe God is the cause of one to have faith via regeneration. The verse does not tell us the CAUSE of faith.
That is not what I said. Not everyone who believes is saved. There will be many who believe but do not obey who will not be saved. Just giving mental assent to the fact that Jesus died does not save, as is evidenced by Matt 7:21.

Rom 10:17 along with Heb 11:1 do tell us the cause of faith. Faith is our reaction to hearing the word.

Agreed. You believe it is a list of things one must do (IMO) and I believe the condition is God's selecting before the foundation of the earth (before we existed)
God did not "select" who would be saved before creation. God knew who would be saved because He knew the end before the beginning. There is a difference.

Yes, God could have designated some for salvation and some for condemnation (He may even have done so in certain circumstances, like with Pharaoh in Moses' day who may have been created to refuse God so that God could show His power in him). But for the most part, God allows man self direction and free will.

I know the logic behind your reasoning (at least I think I do). Your perspective is (IMO) ... we have to perform X, Y and Z from a will independent from God's (save knowing God's instructions for salvation). What you call the cause of salvation, I called the effect. I say cause is 'regeneration' and the effect is X, Y and Z. You say (IMO), we do X, Y and Z and this will cause us to be regenerated .... and probably you say (IMO) we have to continue doing X, Y and Z or we lose our salvation; whereas I say God sees to it that we do X, Y and Z till be die via indwelling Spirit, X, Y and Z.

Aside: References to "repent" to be saved
The stated purpose of the Gospel of John is to bring men to faith in Christ (John 20:31), yet John never once uses the word repent, not once.

Thanks for your thoughts and respectful correspondence on the matter.
Below, I am posting a comment by another person in another forum. His wording is very good.
"... let me put this in my own words. Confusing one language with another is often the cause of adversarial theologies. When I refer to the "exclusive Work of Christ," I'm talking about redemption, or the paying of a price to grant us eternal life. We could never pay that price. Only Christ could. Christ had to bring the righteousness down from heaven that grants men eternal life. Nobody here on earth can achieve that, since we've inherited a sin nature that is disallowed from having eternal life.

But if we talk about how we obtain Salvation, and whether we play a part in obtaining our Salvation, I'd have to say yes--we must *accept* of our own free will this Salvation being offered us by Christ. Unless we actually receive it, we don't have it. So Christ may very well have purchased eternal life for us, and for all mankind, but Salvation does not actually occur until we choose to receive it. Those who are severely brain-injured and still-born babies fall into a different category."


The "cause" of regeneration is the Blood of Christ shed on the Cross. But the cause of our obtaining salvation is the actions we take in faith in response to our belief in Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.

We receive salvation when we obey the commands of God as is said in Matt 7:21 - "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."

Read Col 2:11-14 and Rom 6:1-5. Both of them say that the Holy Spirit takes action to remove our sins, add us to the Church, and resurrect us like Christ when we are baptized into Christ.

In answer to your aside:
Not everywhere in Scripture is every aspect of an event listed in one place. As an example, look at the plaque with the charge against Jesus on the Cross in each of the four Gospels. Each is different. To get the complete picture, we must put all four together. It is not "one is right, and the others are wrong". It is not "the parts of this that I like, and the parts of that I like, and flush the rest". It is all of all of them. It is the same with all aspects of Scripture. We must take all aspects of any topic and put them together.

So when one verse only says believe, but another verse says believe and repent, or another verse says repent and be baptized, or another verse says believe and confess, we must take all the parts of all of those verses as one complete picture of what leads to the reward that all of them promise: salvation.
 

WIP

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Eph 2:8-9 - "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."

Please don't just quote other passages. What does this passage mean to you in your own words?

Thank you.
The way I understand it, my works or my good deeds do not save me. It is all God's decision. IF God saves me it is because He chooses to do so for He is sovereign. He knows my heart and in whom I trust or have faith so He doesn't have to consider my works or deeds. I might believe I am saved but I cannot declare whether or not I am saved. Only God can do that. It's all God and it is in His timing, not mine.
 

Doug Brents

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The way I understand it, my works or my good deeds do not save me. It is all God's decision. IF God saves me it is because He chooses to do so for He is sovereign. He knows my heart and in whom I trust or have faith so He doesn't have to consider my works or deeds. I might believe I am saved but I cannot declare whether or not I am saved. Only God can do that. It's all God and it is in His timing, not mine.
This is partially correct.

You are correct that your works and good deeds do not save you. Jesus paid the price for your salvation on the cross, and only His blood can wash away your sins.

However, you can know that you are saved. Paul tells us in 2 Cor 13:5-6, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified."

We can absolutely know that we are saved, and that if we died right now we would go to Heaven with God. There are several things that tell us that we are saved.
1. We have done the things that Scripture says lead to salvation (Rom 10:9-10, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Acts 22:16).
2. We are striving daily to walk in the Light (1 John 1:7).
And there are many other passages that speak of being sure of our salvation.

I can honestly say that I know the eternal destiny of my soul is with God in Heaven. I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. I have repented of my sins. I have confessed His name before men. And I have been baptized to receive forgiveness of my sins.
I am human and so I continually sin, although because I have the Holy Spirit in me He keeps me from most sin. But I know from 1 John 1:7 that as long as I am continually striving to walk in the Light, the Blood of Christ continually cleanses me of those sins, and I remain pure before our Lord.
 

Fastfredy0

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Rom 10:17 says faith comes from hearing the Word of God. Granted, not everyone who hears the Word has/gets faith. But that doesn't stop the source of faith being from hearing the Word of God.
Agreed
Not everyone who believes is saved. There will be many who believe but do not obey who will not be saved.
May be semantic communication issue. Often, IMO, belief is equated to saving faith. I grant sometimes 'belief' does not refer saving faith (James 2:19)
Just giving mental assent to the fact that Jesus died does not save, as is evidenced by Matt 7:21.
Agreed
God did not "select" who would be saved before creation. God knew who would be saved because He knew the end before the beginning. There is a difference.
Agreed, this is the crux of our difference of opinion. I believe God decided before the foundation of the earth and you believe God "looked into the future" to determine who would save themselves via faith before the foundation of the earth (my opinion of your viewpoint ... forgive me if not articulated correctly).
I state God decided because He sovereign over everything. You (IMO) make man is sovereign when it comes to having faith.
I state God's knowledge is based on His plan for all things. You (IMO) makes God knowledge in regards to salvific faith dependent on man's decisions.
I state God's providence is based on His plan for all things. You (IMO) makes God's providence restricted by the decision of men.
I state God's freedom to determine things is all inclusion. You (IMO) have man's freedom overrides God's in regards to salvific faith and the effects thereof.
I state everyone God love's with the love of complacency is (or will be) with Him for eternity. You (IMO) have the majority of people God loves living in hell for eternity.
I believe Christ's death was efficacious for all He died for. You (IMO) believe Christ's death, in and of itself, saves no one and in the majority of cases was done in vain.
Yes, God could have designated some for salvation and some for condemnation (He may even have done so in certain circumstances, like with Pharaoh in Moses' day who may have been created to refuse God so that God could show His power in him).
That is interesting. I don't think it is a majority opinion of semi-pelagians. Thanks for being candid.
But for the most part, God allows man self direction and free will.
This also interesting. Assuming the doctrine to "the age of accountability" is true, a majority of those in heaven did not exercise freewill.
Empirical evidence: Up to 1800s 40ish percent of people did not make it to 'age of accountability'. By 1960 20% did not live past age 5, now it is 2%. Other pertinent data: The 6 million-plus pregnancies in 1996 in the U.S. resulted in 3.9 million births, 1.3 million induced abortions, and almost a million fetal deaths. This means that 62 percent of pregnancies ended in a live birth, 22 percent ended in abortion, and 16 percent ended in a miscarriage or stillbirth. Another source said that abortions are down to 13% while miscarriages are at 20% for a total of 33%.
Conclusion: A significant (probably a majority) of people in heaven are there due to God's choice and not free will (granted, I used approximations and assumption about the age of accountability" is true. Of course, if the "age of accountability" is false, we still have the same group of people not capable of using their 'free will' to determine their salvific destiny.)

Those who are severely brain-injured and still-born babies fall into a different category."
Ah, just read this. Goes to the point I made. Again, I believe God is the only determinate in all cases. Semi-pelagians believe God is the only determinate in 'some' cases and man is the final determining factor in some cases. (I should not claim to speak for all semi-pelagians, I am sure they are not monolithic in regards to doctrine)

Then there are those have have not heard the word (faith cometh by hearing).
I believe God is the only determinate in these cases too. Semi-pelagians believe ... hmm ... not sure ... maybe it is the 'free will' of Christians to bring the salvific word of God to these people that determines if they have a chance to exercise salvific faith. Perhaps Stalin, when he killed 20ish million people ... maybe Stalin's free will determined who would be saved on the assumption that some of these 20 million, upon hear the word, would have been saved. Perhaps Stalin's 'free will' decision and not the individuals decision or God's decision caused those who had not reach the age of accountability to be saved that would have otherwise lived to age of accountability and who have gone to hell because they rejected the gift of salvation.
I depend on the wisdom of God to determine all things and it would seem semi-pelagians depend upon the wisdom of man to determine much of this critical area of man's future.

We receive salvation when we obey the commands of God as is said in Matt 7:21 - "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."
Again, we see this differently. Sounds like you make works (obeying) a condition of salvation. I see works as being the certain result of salvation. This is interesting and further complicated by the question of quantity of quality of works needed. Aside: I don't think most semi-pelagians agreed with you, not that that makes you wrong.

So when one verse only says believe, but another verse says believe and repent, or another verse says repent and be baptized, or another verse says believe and confess, we must take all the parts of all of those verses as one complete picture of what leads to the reward that all of them promise: salvation.
Agreed, this hermenutic must be considered among others.
Assuming one must be baptized to be saved ... it really puts a wrinkle on 'death bed confessions'.
*Ponders further* It would suck to have salvific faith and on your way to be baptized and be killed in a car accident. Hmmm, from a perverse train of thought, one could determine this hypothical person's salvation by intervening in a way to ensure said person never made it to his baptism.

Thanks for presenting your viewpoint. I appreciate that you used scripture as evidence of your view point.
(Aside: Scripture quotes are superior to those who think reform theology can't be correct because it makes us robots. LOL :dancing)

(Aside2: I have too much spare time)
 

Fastfredy0

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We receive salvation when we obey the commands of God as is said in Matt 7:21
You are correct that your works and good deeds do not save you.

hat verse cannot possibly mean that there is no physical action necessary for man to take hold of salvation, because there are multiple passages that command physical actions and say that they lead to salvation.

Hmm, maybe it's me or a typo or the definition of 'works' ...
Do you believe you have to do something (besides beside faith) to be saved?
What is your definition of WORKS?

Aside: Dictionary definition if WORK is: engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a result;
 

WIP

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This is partially correct.

You are correct that your works and good deeds do not save you. Jesus paid the price for your salvation on the cross, and only His blood can wash away your sins.

However, you can know that you are saved. Paul tells us in 2 Cor 13:5-6, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified."

We can absolutely know that we are saved, and that if we died right now we would go to Heaven with God. There are several things that tell us that we are saved.
1. We have done the things that Scripture says lead to salvation (Rom 10:9-10, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Acts 22:16).
2. We are striving daily to walk in the Light (1 John 1:7).
And there are many other passages that speak of being sure of our salvation.

I can honestly say that I know the eternal destiny of my soul is with God in Heaven. I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. I have repented of my sins. I have confessed His name before men. And I have been baptized to receive forgiveness of my sins.
I am human and so I continually sin, although because I have the Holy Spirit in me He keeps me from most sin. But I know from 1 John 1:7 that as long as I am continually striving to walk in the Light, the Blood of Christ continually cleanses me of those sins, and I remain pure before our Lord.
No matter what, in the end, it is still God who saves and there's nothing we can do to force His hand. If we could, then we have something to boast.

I trust God and I trust that His decision is just.
 

Doug Brents

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Agreed, this is the crux of our difference of opinion. I believe God decided before the foundation of the earth and you believe God "looked into the future" to determine who would save themselves via faith before the foundation of the earth (my opinion of your viewpoint ... forgive me if not articulated correctly).
1. I state God decided because He sovereign over everything. You (IMO) make man is sovereign when it comes to having faith.
2. I state God's knowledge is based on His plan for all things. You (IMO) makes God knowledge in regards to salvific faith dependent on man's decisions.
3. I state God's providence is based on His plan for all things. You (IMO) makes God's providence restricted by the decision of men.
4. I state God's freedom to determine things is all inclusion. You (IMO) have man's freedom overrides God's in regards to salvific faith and the effects thereof.
5. I state everyone God love's with the love of complacency is (or will be) with Him for eternity. You (IMO) have the majority of people God loves living in hell for eternity.
6. I believe Christ's death was efficacious for all He died for. You (IMO) believe Christ's death, in and of itself, saves no one and in the majority of cases was done in vain.
1. I do not believe that we save ourselves. I believe that God saves us when we are obedient to Him. Matt 7:21 - "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."
Let's analyze this verse. What does it mean to "enter the Kingdom of Heaven"? I would posit that it means to be added to the Church. The Church is the body of Christ, the saved, those who will (have been) resurrected. Thus, the first part of the verse is saying that not everyone who calls Jesus "Lord", or professes to be a Christian will be saved. The last have gives us a discription of the one who will be saved (or "enter the Kingdom of Heaven"). That is the person who "does the will of [the] Father in Heaven."
But yes, I do believe that God had foreknowledge of who would be saved, not that He dictated that in most cases. Rom 9:14-24 asks this very question. "What if God..." made some for destruction, and some for glory. It doesn't say that He did, but asks, "What if...". I believe that God gave us the freedom to choose Him, or choose destruction. And even though He loves all of us, He will only glorify those who willingly choose Him.

2. I am not the one who is saying that God's salvation is dependent on man's decisions. God did, as exemplified in Matt 7:21 above (along with other passages as well).

3. No. God's providence is absolute. Again, as Rom 9 says, God could have made each of us for the purpose He chose, and we would have no say in the matter. But, I believe, He made us with the ability to seek Him, and find Him, and love Him. I don't think He wants robots in Heaven. He wants us to choose Him by faith, without seeing Him and His glory.

4. Not at all. God offered His salvation. He did not have to. He did not need to. But His love caused Him to offer us a way back into communion with Him after we had been separated from Him by sin. We had become enemies of Him, but He gave us the opportunity to become children again. But again, He does not force us to love Him. He gives us the opportunity to choose Him over self, and surrender to His will, not our own.

5. God loves everyone (John 3;16). He does not want anyone to die (be separated from Him for all eternity)(2 Pet 3:9). But not everyone He loves will choose to love Him. Only those who love Him obey Him (John 14:15). If we don't obey Him, we don't love Him. And only those who love Him will be saved.

6. Jesus died for everyone (John 3:16). Yet not everyone will be saved (Matt 7:13-14). Notice the end of v. 14. "... and there are few who find it." Not 'are pushed through it.' Not 'are dragged through it.'. But "find it." As in, these were searching for it.

This also interesting. Assuming the doctrine to "the age of accountability" is true, ... (reduced due to character limit)
Conclusion: A significant (probably a majority) of people in heaven are there due to God's choice and not free will (granted, I used approximations and assumption about the age of accountability" is true. Of course, if the "age of accountability" is false, we still have the same group of people not capable of using their 'free will' to determine their salvific destiny.)
I do believe in the doctrine of the 'age of accountability'. And I would agree with your assessment here. I believe that those who die before birth, shortly after birth, or are severely mentally handicapped very early in life are what I term "safe". They have never sinned, because they do not know the difference between right and wrong, and Rom 4:15 says where there is no law, there is no transgression. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like the little children who were gathered around Him (Matt 19:14). I take this to mean they are pure, open, trusting, and freely loving. I may be totally off base here, but this is what I have gathered from my study.

As you say, if the age of accountability doctrine is false, then yes, all of these people would be lost by default, because they have not even believed. They have neither heard about Jesus, believed He is who He said He was, or any of the other conditions upon which Salvation is based in Scripture.

Ah, just read this. Goes to the point I made. Again, I believe God is the only determinate in all cases. Semi-pelagians believe God is the only determinate in 'some' cases and man is the final determining factor in some cases. (I should not claim to speak for all semi-pelagians, I am sure they are not monolithic in regards to doctrine)
... (reduced due to character limit)
I depend on the wisdom of God to determine all things and it would seem semi-pelagians depend upon the wisdom of man to determine much of this critical area of man's future.
I don't believe that God is only determinate in some cases. I believe that He is the only path to salvation. Jesus is the only door through which we can possibly achieve salvation. Yet, He is the door, not the broom with which we are swept through the door.

Those who have never heard the Word (the Gospel) are lost because they have denied God. Rom 1:18-23 says that no one has any excuse for not loving and obeying God, because all of nature cries out who God is. But we all fail to give God His due reverence, and so end up lost and enemies of God.

Again, we see this differently. Sounds like you make works (obeying) a condition of salvation. I see works as being the certain result of salvation. This is interesting and further complicated by the question of quantity of quality of works needed. Aside: I don't think most semi-pelagians agreed with you, not that that makes you wrong.
The Bible, not I, makes things conditions of salvation. Mark 16:16 says that belief and baptism are required to receive salvation. Acts 2:38 says that repentance and baptism are required to receive salvation. Acts 3:19 says repentance is required to receive salvation. Rom 10:9-10 says belief and repentance are required to receive salvation. And there are other verses that restate, and give examples, of these things. Matt 7:21 makes obedience (in general) a condition of salvation.

Agreed, this hermenutic must be considered among others.
Assuming one must be baptized to be saved ... it really puts a wrinkle on 'death bed confessions'.
*Ponders further* It would suck to have salvific faith and on your way to be baptized and be killed in a car accident. Hmmm, from a perverse train of thought, one could determine this hypothical person's salvation by intervening in a way to ensure said person never made it to his baptism.

Thanks for presenting your viewpoint. I appreciate that you used scripture as evidence of your view point.
(Aside: Scripture quotes are superior to those who think reform theology can't be correct because it makes us robots. LOL :dancing)

(Aside2: I have too much spare time)
Salvific faith is the faith that leads to salvation. Salvific faith requires all of the things listed above that Scripture says "lead to" salvation. These are not things that follow after salvation, as in fruits of salvation. These are things that Scripture says, 'if you do this and that, you will receive this reward."

Remember, for faith to be alive it must be active. Inactive faith is dead and thus worthless (James 2:26). And grace is the gift of God that is transmitted to us through our faith (Eph 2:8-9). Faith is not the gift of God in this verse; Grace is.
 

Doug Brents

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No matter what, in the end, it is still God who saves and there's nothing we can do to force His hand. If we could, then we have something to boast.

I trust God and I trust that His decision is just.
Agreed, there is nothing we can do to "force His hand". But He has said He will withhold His hand, until we have obeyed (Matt 7:21), and then listed several things that must be included in that obedience, before His Spirit takes action as depicted in Col 2:11-14, and Rom 6:1-5.
 

Fastfredy0

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1. I do not believe that we save ourselves. I believe that God saves us when we are obedient to Him.
Agreed to the first statement. If a condition of being saved is being obedient, I disagree. If the result of being saved is obedience, I agree.

I am not the one who is saying that God's salvation is dependent on man's decisions.
Agreed, if you are saying our salvation is independently decided by God. "No one seeks God", depravity of man ...

God's providence is absolute. Again, as Rom 9 says, God could have made each of us for the purpose He chose, and we would have no say in the matter. But, I believe, He made us with the ability to seek Him, and find Him, and love Him.
Agreed. God's providence is absolute. He ordains all things.
Re: He made "us" ... "us" is not defined. I agree if you mean the elect (those God choose before we existed). To them He gave the ability to seek him 1 Cor. 2:14


He does not force us to love Him. He gives us the opportunity to choose Him over self, and surrender to His will, not our own.
"Us" is not defined. Agreed, God does not "force" us if by "us" you mean the elect. He changes our disposition so we willing do what God desires, though imperfectly.

He gives us the opportunity to choose Him over self, and surrender to His will, not our own.
If you 'us' you mean everyone without exception then I ask how is one saved that does not hear the gospel. If you mean the 'elect' by 'us', I agree and God will have a 100% conversion rate.

God loves everyone (John 3;16). He does not want anyone to die (be separated from Him for all eternity)(2 Pet 3:9). But not everyone He loves will choose to love Him. Only those who love Him obey Him (John 14:15). If we don't obey Him, we don't love Him.
I would argue that God does not love everyone with the love of complacency ... but that is a thought for another thread.
I am familiar with 2 Peter 3:9, Hebrews 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:4 ... ... but that is a thought for another thread. I grant they are worth consideration. I don't grant that they are not without explanation from my viewpoint.


I do believe in the doctrine of the 'age of accountability'. And I would agree with your assessment here. I believe that those who die before birth, shortly after birth, or are severely mentally handicapped very early in life are what I term "safe". They have never sinned, because they do not know the difference between right and wrong, and Rom 4:15 says where there is no law, there is no transgression. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like the little children who were gathered around Him (Matt 19:14). I take this to mean they are pure, open, trusting, and freely loving. I may be totally off base here, but this is what I have gathered from my study.
I am on the fence concerning the "age of accountability". I know the doctrine is a great comfort at a relevant funeral, but that does not make it true but does lend a bias for the doctrine.
I've considered the arguments. I know the favorite one is King David when he says about his dead baby "
  1. 2 Samuel 2:23 “But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” David is in heaven so theologians figure for David to 'go to him' the baby must be in heaven. But verses about Israel's king often say when the king dies that he has gone to be with his father. But what does 'go to him' mean ... maybe be with the dead. Lots of verses about kings say when the king died he went to be with his father:
    1. So Joram slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David,
    2. His servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his tomb with his fathers in the city of David.
    3. So Jehu slept with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria.
    Re: [babies] never sinned .... Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

    Then there's the people that say that the verse that people will be heaven from every tribe, nation and tongue Rev 7:9 and since some tribe never heard the gospel they conclude babies must make it.


    Those who have never heard the Word (the Gospel) are lost because they have denied God.
    Agreed

    The Bible, not I, makes things conditions of salvation. Mark 16:16 says that belief and baptism are required to receive salvation.
    Well, at least one of us does not have this right.
    From my side 5 quick points.
    1. The verse doesn't qualify whether the baptism is of water or the Holy Spirit. If it is the latter then I agree. I assume you believe it is the former (water)
    2. The book of John says the purpose of the book is to show us the way to salvation John 20:30
    3. Having water baptism as a condition of salvation contradicts verses saying we are not saved by works and 'work' is defined as a mental of physical process one does in order to accomplish a purpose
    4. the New Testament declares directly and without complication in at least 150 passages that men are saved upon the sole principle of faith.
    5. Not a scriptural reason, but the fallout of the need for water baptism for salvation precludes the idea of salvation upon a deathbed.
    Tom Constable commentary (for what it is worth):
    This is a verse that some people believe teaches the necessity of water baptism for salvation. However, Christian baptism elsewhere in the New Testament is always defined by an outward confession of belief in Jesus Christ. This verse also regards baptism as such. The second part of the verse clearly teaches that unbelief results in condemnation, not belief and failure to undergo baptism.

    In the first part of the verse, one article governs both participles: "has believed and has been baptized" (NASB) or "believes and is baptized" (NIV). This indicates the close relationship between believing and being baptized. However, they are not inseparable (cf. Rom. 3:21-28; 1 Cor. 1:17; Eph. 2:8-9). Baptism is not a condition for salvation, but it is an important step of obedience for a believing disciple.

Salvific faith is the faith that leads to salvation. Salvific faith requires all of the things listed above that Scripture says "lead to" salvation. These are not things that follow after salvation, as in fruits of salvation. These are things that Scripture says, 'if you do this and that, you will receive this reward."
This is our point of disagreement.
Doug (IMO) salvific faith-->water baptism-->confess -->obey -->born again
Fred regeneration (born again) --> faith/repentance which lead to obedience (water baptism, obedience, confession)

Remember, for faith to be alive it must be active. Inactive faith is dead and thus worthless (James 2:26).
Agreed
And grace is the gift of God that is transmitted to us through our faith (Eph 2:8-9). Faith is not the gift of God in this verse; Grace is.
Again, we disagree on this point.

Thanks for the candid exchange of ideas. Fred
 

Hospes

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I don't think He wants robots in Heaven.
In heaven, do you think we'll be able to sin against God? If not, why not?

I am assuming not being a "robot" implies we will have the ability to choose something other than what is good. If I am wrong, maybe you can define what you mean by robot.
 

Link1983

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In heaven, do you think we'll be able to sin against God? If not, why not?

I am assuming not being a "robot" implies we will have the ability to choose something other than what is good. If I am wrong, maybe you can define what you mean by robot.
There is no sin in Heaven. The Bible says..
 

Hopeful

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This is partially correct.

You are correct that your works and good deeds do not save you. Jesus paid the price for your salvation on the cross, and only His blood can wash away your sins.

However, you can know that you are saved. Paul tells us in 2 Cor 13:5-6, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified."

We can absolutely know that we are saved, and that if we died right now we would go to Heaven with God. There are several things that tell us that we are saved.
1. We have done the things that Scripture says lead to salvation (Rom 10:9-10, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Acts 22:16).
2. We are striving daily to walk in the Light (1 John 1:7).
And there are many other passages that speak of being sure of our salvation.

I can honestly say that I know the eternal destiny of my soul is with God in Heaven. I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. I have repented of my sins. I have confessed His name before men. And I have been baptized to receive forgiveness of my sins.

I am human and so I continually sin, although because I have the Holy Spirit in me He keeps me from most sin. But I know from 1 John 1:7 that as long as I am continually striving to walk in the Light, the Blood of Christ continually cleanses me of those sins, and I remain pure before our Lord.
I quit being merely "human" when I was reborn a new creature.
You don't have to sin anymore, as that is the outcome of a real "turn from" sin.
 

Doug Brents

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In heaven, do you think we'll be able to sin against God? If not, why not?

I am assuming not being a "robot" implies we will have the ability to choose something other than what is good. If I am wrong, maybe you can define what you mean by robot.
No, there will be no sin in Heaven, because the Deceiver will no longer be present. He will be in the Lake of Fire for eternity, and we will be free from the physical that was tainted by the Deceiver's lies and man's sin.

By "robot" I mean those who are forced to do good, forced to be saved. God created man to seek Him, and to find Him (Acts 17:27). God will only take to Heaven those who love Him, and obey Him (Matt 7:21).
 

Doug Brents

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I quit being merely "human" when I was reborn a new creature.
You don't have to sin anymore, as that is the outcome of a real "turn from" sin.
Yes, you are a new creation if you are "in Christ", but you are still human; subject to the temptation of the flesh and the deception of Satan.
I agree we do not HAVE TO sin any more. We have been freed from the law of sin and death. But we all still do sin. If you say you don't, then you lie and the truth is not in you (1 John 1:8). (Not an accusation against you, please don't feel that this is an attack. I am simply stating that if anyone claims that they do not sin anymore because they were reborn, they lie.)
 

Hopeful

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Yes, you are a new creation if you are "in Christ", but you are still human; subject to the temptation of the flesh and the deception of Satan.
No, as I walk in the Spirit instead of the flesh.
My flesh was crucified with Christ, along with the vile affections and lusts.
They are dead.
I agree we do not HAVE TO sin any more. We have been freed from the law of sin and death. But we all still do sin. If you say you don't, then you lie and the truth is not in you (1 John 1:8). (Not an accusation against you, please don't feel that this is an attack. I am simply stating that if anyone claims that they do not sin anymore because they were reborn, they lie.)
If one is "still doing it" they are not free from the law of sin and death.
1 John 1:6, 8, and 10 pertain to those walking in darkness.
1 John 1:5, 7, and 9 pertain to those walking in light.
Thankfully, God has provided a way to stay in the light without ever leaving Him.
 

Randy

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Eph 2:8-9 - "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."

Please don't just quote other passages. What does this passage mean to you in your own words?

Thank you.
The good news came to them, (pagans),from God . (gift) The salvation by the forgiveness of sins wasn't based by works of the law of Moses but by the blood of Christ. (grace).
 

Doug Brents

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No, as I walk in the Spirit instead of the flesh.
My flesh was crucified with Christ, along with the vile affections and lusts.
They are dead.

If one is "still doing it" they are not free from the law of sin and death.
1 John 1:6, 8, and 10 pertain to those walking in darkness.
1 John 1:5, 7, and 9 pertain to those walking in light.
Thankfully, God has provided a way to stay in the light without ever leaving Him.
That is not accurate. John says "we" in verses 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. He is not talking just to those who have never been saved. He includes himself in "we" who might say they have no sin. This passage is to all people. If you and I say we have no sin, we lie. If you and I walk in the light, then we have fellowship with each other and with God.
 

Hopeful

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That is not accurate. John says "we" in verses 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. He is not talking just to those who have never been saved. He includes himself in "we" who might say they have no sin. This passage is to all people. If you and I say we have no sin, we lie. If you and I walk in the light, then we have fellowship with each other and with God.
He also says "if".
If we walk in darkness x y and z happen.
If we walk in the light, (God is light), a b and c happen.
There is no sin in God, so if we are walking "in God" we too cannot have sin in us.
Don't you think anyone walks in the light-God?
 

Doug Brents

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He also says "if".
If we walk in darkness x y and z happen.
If we walk in the light, (God is light), a b and c happen.
There is no sin in God, so if we are walking "in God" we too cannot have sin in us.
Don't you think anyone walks in the light-God?
I absolutely do believe that we who are in Christ walk in the Light. And I also know that, because we walk in the Light, the Blood CONTINUALLY cleanses us from the sins we commit knowingly or unknowingly as we live each day. Walking in the Light doesn't mean we don't, or can't, stumble. The Deceiver is alive and active, and is continually seeking those he can destroy.

But to say you have no sin is itself a sin, because it is a lie. Even Peter sinned when he pulled away from the Gentiles when the Jews showed up, and Paul called him out on it (Gal 2:11-13). Being in Christ doesn't mean we cannot sin. It just means that we strive to not sin with the help of the Holy Spirit, and that we have a continual cleansing of those sins.
 
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