11 February 2011

True Religion, Undefiled

More on gospel faith and the proper role of good works in Christian living
by Phil Johnson

ood works are a fruit of justification, not the means of it. But good works are inevitable as an expression of authentic faith. They are the vital signs of spiritual life. "For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead" (James 2:26).

To put it another way: having been justified by faith, we are saved unto a life of good works that flow naturally from saving faith. According to Ephesians 2:10, "We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

That's not talking about ceremonial, legalistic, or "religious" works—smells and bells, robes and rituals, outward symbolism and formal liturgy. But the "good works" that are the ineluctable fruit and vital expressions of true faith are spiritual qualities like holiness, humility, compassion, selfless expressions of love for one's neighbor, love for Christ, and a particular love for His people.

That is exactly what James 1:27 means: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." James is not suggesting that doctrine doesn't matter. He is not depreciating objective truth. He is not downplaying the content of the gospel message. He is not saying the atoning work of Christ is merely an example for us to follow rather than a vicarious atonement offered to propitiate God. He is certainly not suggesting that if you do enough acts of kindness, it doesn't matter whether you believe in Christ or not.

He is saying that true faith in Christ will inevitably produce works of kindness and love—an overflow of Christ's righteousness. This is an essential, inevitable expression of authentic Christian faith.

Don't miss the vital point: The essence of "true religion" as described by the Word of God is not—and never has been—embodied in altars or animal sacrifices. Its most important expressions are not ceremonies and dietary laws or festivals and priestly institutions. But true religion and undefiled is about real life—everyday life—and a quality of life that reflects the mercy, love, and goodness of Christ in the way we serve and minister to one another.

Not that we have already attained a sufficient righteousness of our own—far from it. As a matter of fact, even our best works are imperfect and therefore worthless for any merit in the sight of God. This cannot be overstressed: our own works play no role whatsoever in justifying us. But every authentic believer has a new heart, new desires, a new love for God and spiritual gifts that enable us to be used by the Holy Spirit in spite of the remnants of sin in our flesh. And we press on toward Christlikeness, because Christ Jesus has made us His own (cf. Philippians 3:12).

In other words, if our faith is truly genuine, there should be some evidence of "faith working through love" (Galatians 5:6) somewhere in our lives.

Conversely, when someone verbally professes faith in Christ but his or her personal life and private thoughts are utterly devoid of good works, personal holiness, righteous desires, love for God, and love for the brethren—that person needs to hear and heed 2 Corinthians 13:5: "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!"

In the words of YHWH Himself: "I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings" (Hosea 6:6).

Phil's signature

120 comments:

thomas4881 said...

Don't get the cart before the horse.

naturgesetz said...

I'd suggest that the works of religion are also part of the good works which God has prepared for us, which is why we are not to neglect the assembly and why we are to keep the Lord's day holy.

The reason I think our good works are not "worthless for any merit in the sight of God" is that in the sight of God they are works of Christ because we are members of the body of Christ.

sonofthunder7 said...

Love it.

And the Hosea quote is just the icing on the cake.

Thanks for the goodly words of encouragement and God's own truth, Phil. I needed that today.

James S said...

"But true religion and undefiled is about real life—everyday life—and a quality of life that reflects the mercy, love, and goodness of Christ in the way we serve and minister to one another".

Well put, Phil.

John 14:15 "...if you love Me you will keep My commands..."

May I add that one could exchange the words "True Religion and undefiled" with "The true Worship of God".

We see a true worshipper not being someone who goes to church every sunday "religiously", (though that may happen as well) but someone who truly loves the Lord God with all their heart and loves their neighbor as themselves...and we do not have it within us to act this out from our own efforts but only by the Holy Spirit Whom lives in us.

As Ezekiel 36:27 says, "I will put My Spirit within you and CAUSE you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

And so it is always justifiably strange and odd when we find any so-called believer who isn't being CAUSED to walk in His statutes and observe His ordinances.
(Mind you, we all still sin because we are not yet perfected, and we are convicted by the Spirit so we feel terrible when we do sin, unlike the NOT spirit-filled individual, but this would be how we act the majority of the time).

Robert said...

"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world." (James 1:27)

As soon as I read the title of this post, this verse came to mind. It doesn't hurt that it is one of my favorites . We have to be active in our faith in and love for Jesus and while we do that in the world we are to keep ourselves unstained by the world. How much do I fail to do these well, but as Phil states in the post, this is only the effect of our salvation...not the cause. Thank God for allowing us the priviledge to worship and praise Him (through His power) in our lives everyday.

Arthur Sido said...

Wait, hang on a second. You are saying that good works are an expected and necessary result of saving faith and that talking with one another(perhaps even occasionally exhorting one another) about good works does not constitute preaching the law? I am flabbegasted.

Excellent, timely post.

donsands said...

"This is an essential, inevitable expression of authentic Christian faith."

You would think this teaching would amened by every saint. But there are those who think this is a works salvation, our Free-grace friends.


Thanks for the excellent word.

PS That Bishop all decked out in high silk robes is very worldly indeed. The world is not just black devils, but also white devils.

Doug Hibbard said...

The Bishop is obviously on his way to a wedding...."Mawwiage is what bwings us togever today. Wuv, twue wuv."

Doug

And no, I have nothing of substance to add.

Steven said...

Phil:

I have been discussing the relation between faith and works for the past couple of days and so I appreciate the timeliness of your post. We have been discussing the issue of justification and whether someone can say "I belive in Christ, in his sacrificial death for sin, and in his resurrection, and I repent, truly turn, from my sin" and still not give any other evidence of conversion. If not, how do we reconcile that with "faith alone" and if so, how do we reconcile it with the various "works" passages, some of which you site here. This might be beyond the scope of the comments section. I know that you have addressed it some in your post, but would appreciate your further thoughts.

Thanks.

Steven

Steven said...

Phil:

I have been discussing the relation between faith and works for the past couple of days and so I appreciate the timeliness of your post. We have been discussing the issue of justification and whether someone can say "I belive in Christ, in his sacrificial death for sin, and in his resurrection, and I repent, truly turn, from my sin" and still not give any other evidence of conversion. If not, how do we reconcile that with "faith alone" and if so, how do we reconcile it with the various "works" passages, some of which you site here. This might be beyond the scope of the comments section. I know that you have addressed it some in your post, but would appreciate your further thoughts.

Thanks.

Steven

Tom Chantry said...

The question then becomes, is it permissible for the church to communicate this truth, and if so, in what way? I agree with what you write here, but I have a problem with the word “inevitable.” I don’t mean that I disagree with its use, only that it needs to be fleshed out.

To one group, “inevitable” implies that it’s going to happen one way or the other, so all the church needs to do is proclaim the gospel and wait for lives to be transformed. To another group, “inevitable” means that all who are truly saved will certainly demonstrate their faith through good works, but that one of the means of sanctifying grace is the church’s teaching - both of the nature of good works and of the obligation of Christians to exert themselves by the help of the Spirit to walk in them.

To the first group, it may be acceptable for the church’s confession and catechism to talk about good works, but it is not acceptable for anyone to ever talk about those doctrines in a sermon. To say to the church, “You have been saved unto good works, now walk in them - and here is the law of God to tell you how,” is to them the mark of base moralism. To the second group, moralism is found only where works are demanded without the proclamation of saving grace or where the obligation to perform works is presented as a ground of justification.

The first group may claim not to be antinomian, because after all their church can point to doctrinal standards which say all the right things about the law of God and its uses, but if the man-in-the-pew is never pointed to the law and told, “These are some things you, a sinner saved utterly and only by the grace of Christ, should be doing,” is that not at least functional antinomianism?

I think, Phil, that your inclusion of this statement helps us along in the right direction: “In other words, if our faith is truly genuine, there should be some evidence of ‘faith working through love’ somewhere in our lives.” (emph. added) “Should” can be taken to indicate obligation. I would add this: Pastors should be telling their flocks that they should strive to live in such a manner.

DJP said...

Chantry's comment is, imho, a perfect example of someone taking issue with an aspect of a post and, at the same time, teasing more from it and thus increasing its impact. Phil will speak for himself, but the body of his writing makes clear that he'd be in agreement with the heart of what you're saying, Tom, and (I know you'll agree) it's sad that your focused clarification even needs to be made — but it does.

Here's an irony: Chantry's point needs to be made, in different ways, in opposition both to some of his homies (covenant theology), and to mine (dispensationalism) as well.

Tom Chantry said...

Here's an irony: Chantry's point needs to be made, in different ways, in opposition both to some of his homies (covenant theology), and to mine (dispensationalism) as well.

Agreed. For what it's worth, this issue, while it hasn't made me a dispensationalist and is unlikely to do so, has soured me entirely on the argument that dispensationalism predisposes people to antinomianism. It is true that all the baptistic antinomians I have ever known were to some degree influenced by dispensationalism; not so the pedobaptistic ones. Yet just yesterday (on another blog) there were some ill-informed covenantal commenters insisting that John MacArthur, being a dispensationalist, must inevitably be a friend to antinomianism. That's not only self-evident rubbish, it also ignores the real problem in the covenantal camp.

OK, now Phil is certain to delete me; I talked about eschatology and his pastor in one paragraph!

DJP said...

Thanks for that, Tom. I think it was an important point.

Robert said...

Tom,

I just wanted to say that you seem like you must be a great pastor to your flock. I still remember the debate over idols from the cartoon post and how you graciously stated your point of view while still allowing for my own. I just wanted to thank you for your balance in your comments. I would like to add that same sentiment towards Phil, Dan and Frank, as well...although many would argue strongly that y'all are heavy handed, I think y'all are very equitable and stand firm in the truth.

Now, back to the original post...what does the free grace crowd do with the NT Epistles? Paul says we are to mortify sin, to discipline one another in love, to buffet our bodies, to admonish, help, and encourage one another, and that we are to serve one another (amongst many other exhortations). And James clearly makes the point that faith without works is dead and those works serve to prove our justification (which should give us assurance). Granted, we must ask God to show us our hearts and whether we are motivated out of love for Him in these works or if we are seekign our own glory, but that doesn't mean we should not be doing good works.

Frank Turk said...

I'm bringing it up again that Chantry needs to be a Pyro.

Just sayin'.

Tom Chantry said...

Robert,

Others are more knowledgeable about the "free grace crowd" than myself, but I can tell you a neat trick by which some of the "Reformed" functional antinomians evade those verses: everything is fulfilled by Christ.

"The Scripture says, 'mortify sin,' which clearly you can't do; good thing Christ does it for us!" "The Bible tells me to serve others, but - oops! - I'm a sinner; good thing Christ serves the church."

I'm not making this up. Here's the gist of an actual sermon on I Thessalonians 5:17 - "We're supposed to pray all the time and never stop. Clearly we can't do that. But you know what? Jesus does. Let us rejoice in His intercessory work."

By means of this neat trick all imperatives in the Bible are neatly and effortlessly transformed into indicatives. Whatever the Bible tells you to do, you just say that Christ does that. Which, of course, is true insofar as it goes, but why did Paul put it in the imperative in the first place? Yes, Jesus prays endlessly, but if you can preach that passage without telling the Christian that he ought - really, at some point, don't you know - to pray, then are you preaching that passage at all?

donsands said...

"And James clearly makes the point that faith without works is dead and those works serve to prove our justification (which should give us assurance)." _Robert

Frre grace teachers would have a different interpretation of James.

Their point is that we are saved by faith and so one can believe the gospel and become a child of God, and yet this new creation in Christ may not bear fruit. May in fact never love God, and may even come to be an unbelieving believer.

Zane Hodges: "The scriptural revelation knows nothing of a doctrine in which Christian love fro God is guarunteed by the mere fact that one is a Christian."

Robert said...

Tom,

Every time I hear or hear about the ways that pastors twist Scripture in their sermons, where they are supposed to be worshipping God by preaching forth His Word, it honestly angers me. I can't say how much of it is righteous indignation and how much of it is driven by pride, but I get upset thinking about people being led astray. Yes, they have the Word available to read and God does the work of opening up eyes to see the truth, but (as you know) a pastor has a responsibility to lead the flock. And he has to account for them before God.

With regards to that specific issue of Christ doing all, I think it can be easy to mix up responsibility for causation here. God saves us and causes a change in us by giving us the gift of the Himself in the Holy Spirit. This gives us the power to choose to follow God and do what we are told to do in His Word. So, He supplies power and is the Cause and Creator of our good works, but we are responsible for choosing to carry them out. He gets the credit, and we get the awesome priviledge of being able to do good works. And in doing so, we receive the assurance that we are indeed changed and saved by Him.

A lot of this discussion reminds me of the open letter from a couple of weeks ago that caused such a big dustup. I think when we see the imbalance that was pointed out, you don't have to go too far before you see how people wind up in the ditch from it. Kind of like the sermon you mentioned.

Robert said...

don,

I know that you're right in saying that some people espouse such beliefs, but one can not honestly read James without seeing that if there are no works our faith is dead. Even the thief on the cross tried to tell the other thief the truth...he displayed his faith and opened himself up for ridicule. And that was pretty much the limit of what he could do. Whereas we have so much that we can do for the name of Christ...while staying unstained by the world, in the words of James. Jesus even said that we would know false teachers by their fruit.

Tom Chantry said...

God saves us and causes a change in us by giving us the gift of the Himself in the Holy Spirit. This gives us the power to choose to follow God and do what we are told to do in His Word.

I remember meeting a guy in college who, when first converted, had been told repeatedly (and quite truly), "There is nothing you can do to please God." However, he had never been told anything about the doctrines of sanctification or adoption. The whole of salvation - to his underfed mind - was justification. Consequently as a Christian he walked around for two years thinking, "God has to save me now because I believe in Jesus, but He can never and will never be happy with me."

Shortly before we met and talked he had begun to discover the riches of New Testament theology. He had been told about adoption and learned that God is truly delighted with his children. But more, he had discovered in Scripture that the Spirit makes us both willing and able to obey. He finally realized that God is glorified - and therefore pleased - when His children obey him.

He was actually in tears when he told me, "You don't realize how much that means to me. I thought God could never be pleased with anything I would ever do. I know it's the power of the Spirit, and that it is therefore 'Christ in me,' but now I have found out that I can obey God and that He will be pleased when I do so! That gives me more joy than I have ever had in my salvation before!"

Celestial Fundy said...

Robert, you might want to think about whether there is a difference between a dead faith and a non-existent faith.

Free Gracers acknowlege that faith without works is dead, but this does not mean that this faith was never a genuine one.

Zane Hodges commentary on the epistle of James is well worth a look.

DJP said...

Tom, we could bring in yet a third way Christians are immobilized. Your story reminds me of some grateful responses I got to this old post. (It's incorporated and much expanded in the book.)

What comes through is that real Christians want to serve and please God. Some false teachings are like bad GPSes: well-meaning driver, bad road.

Tom Chantry said...

It really is just a version of the same error, isn't it:

If I obey, I'm just a legalist.

If I tell anyone to obey, I'm just a moralist.

If I do . . . anything, I'm just fleshly.

Robert said...

Wow, Dan...talk about a curveball. My words to them would be what did Jesus mean when He said to follow Him? Because He didn't sin, ya know.

Tom Chantry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Chantry said...

CF,

Not trying to be snarky here; as I said above I am not an expert on the Free Grace position, but:

Is the teaching then that we are transformed out of death and into life . . . by a dead faith?

9:23 AM, February 11, 2011

ezekiel said...

Steven,

Don't pass up a good read of AW Pink's exposition of Hebrews 6:9-11. You can find it

Here

It is a pretty sharp stick in the eye of those Christians drifting toward antinomianism.

I think it will strengthen and clarify your arguments. It is pretty consistent with what Phil is saying here.

senditin said...

As my first comment on this blog after having read for a few years, I don't wish to enter into the debate between Lordship Salvation and Free-grace theology (I think it has been covered sufficiently on this blog and elsewhere). I just want to say that as someone who considers themselves in the free-grace camp, I thoroughly enjoyed the post and believe that all of us would do well to examine our live more closely.

Thanks for the good words, Phil.

Pooka said...

"He was actually in tears when he told me, "You don't realize how much that means to me. I thought God could never be pleased with anything I would ever do. I know it's the power of the Spirit, and that it is therefore 'Christ in me,' but now I have found out that I can obey God and that He will be pleased when I do so! That gives me more joy than I have ever had in my salvation before!"

That means a lot to me. Thank you, Pastor Chantry.

I've been around a bit of various ideas that we can believe and Christ applies all the everything and we have no reason to do anything. Though I knew this wasn't right, it took a long time to really start grasping what our response was and what the Holy Spirit really did.

Not just a legal response but a Spirit-enabled response out of love and devotion: those are our works. Right?

Steven said...

Thanks Ezekiel. I will read this.

Steven

Spatulaguy said...

Great post!

Food for thought: That phrase "faith working through love" is preceded by the statement that "neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything" which also appears in Gal 6:15 (in a slightly different form) but is followed by a different phrase: a new creation. Thus it isn't much of a stretch to conclude that "faith working through love" is something that only happens when there is a new creation.

If faith isn't working through love, how can there be a new creation? How can a creation be new if it is exactly like the old?

Jim

ANiMaL said...

Great post, great comments.

chris e said...

"In other words, if our faith is truly genuine, there should be some evidence of "faith working through love""

I don't think any on the 'Lordship salvation' side would debate this, the question still arises though as to whether this change is (easily) measurable or quantifiable in any discernible way.

Celestial Fundy said...

Tom, can a dead faith not once have been alive?

Passing from death into life occurs in an instant. It is a divine work. The faith that James deals with is the day by day faith by which we live our lives. That requires works.

A question for you Tom. The Westminster Confession states:

III. 'Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve His Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened,and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.'

This would suggest that a believer might go for a period of time without producing any good works or fruit. During such a time would her faith be dead or living?

Tom Chantry said...

CF,

Thank you for the interaction; it was a great blessing to reread the book of James while pondering your point.

I believe the distinction you are making here rests upon dividing saving faith from the faith by which we live: Passing from death into life occurs in an instant. It is a divine work. The faith that James deals with is the day by day faith by which we live our lives. That requires works.

I am uncertain that faith can ever be so divided, and I am quite certain that it is not so divided in James 2.

In verse 1 James introduces his topic as “the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” In verse 14 he expressly asks, “Can that faith save him?” (And this is not a discussion of saving faith!?) The twin examples of Abraham and Rahab are both brought in to demonstrate that the same faith which justifies is a faith that produces works: Abraham, though known for his righteousness, was justified by faith, while Rahab, though known for her wickedness, yet was justified by a faith that produced works. (verses 21-25) It is in this context that he says twice (verses 21 and 26) that faith apart from works is dead. That is a particularly strong way of calling it “useless” - as he does in verse 20. But of what use is faith? Can we deny that in context the usefulness of faith is twofold - it justifies and produces works consistent with righteousness?

So James does not at all separate saving faith from living faith. Rather, it is saving faith by which we live, for the faith that justifies also leads to good works.

(cont.)

Tom Chantry said...

As for your quotation, I think it was unhelpfully selective. The full chapter is this:

I. They whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.

II. This perseverance of the saints depends, not upon their own free-will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ; the abiding of the Spirit and of the seed of God within them; and the nature of the covenant of grace; from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.

III. Nevertheless they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalancy of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their perseverance, fall into grievous sins; ad for a time continue therein: whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve his Holy Spirit; come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts; have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and prevalancy others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.


Looking at paragraphs I and III together, I would answer that this is in fact a living, works-producing faith, although for a time it is unproductive. There is a difference between a field that lies fallow for a season and in which the soil is dead - utterly deprived of all nutrient. That is the distinction which must be drawn here.

Solameanie said...

Before Tom Chantry becomes a Pyro (which would be cool), I think Pecadillo is long overdue for a post.

Nag nag nag.

Strong Tower said...

"True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as, by negligence in preserving of it, by falling into some special sin which wounds the conscience and grieves the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation, by God's withdrawing the light of His countenance, and suffering even such as fear Him to walk in darkness and to have no light: yet are they never so utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart, and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may, in due time, be revived; and by the which, in the mean time, they are supported from utter despair."

There are at least 7 chapters in the WCF that concern the sanctification of the believer. One thing it is not lacking balance on is the work which God has done in the believer and what he will do to surely finish it. It takes nothing away from the responsibility of the believer to keep the commandments and nothing away from the working of God's providence in the sanctification of the believer, even to that point that God makes the believer to walk in darkness at times... this too may be necessary to provide for sons who are true sons whose punishments, though they may be greatly painful and ugly to behold, demonstrate that we are not illegitimate.

The acknowledgement we should form is that what we see may not at all be the case. Even to the point that we are to afford the less comely parts of the body greater honor. We are told what is right and good, what is unacceptable and evil, and more than that, that they are obvious. What we are not told is what God is doing in the secret place.

That said, concerning a confessing believer who has fallen into sin, or has seemingly passed into walking in ways of darkness, we must seek to snatch them back out of the flames, taking care that we are not burned. Let any who think they stand take heed, lest they also fall. The rich in this world, having many blessing of God's working in them, then, when they see their brother in need, caught in sin, should not think he can just pass on by and take the prominent seat in the sanctuary. Let each, then, esteem others better than themselves, even if others are pustules on the body of Christ. For such necrotic oozing masses were you.

donsands said...

"This would suggest that a believer might go for a period of time without producing any good works or fruit." CF

If the soil is good, then there will be fruit. Some 30, some 60 and some 100 fold. Some may have 5 fold, or less. Good soil produces fruit, and fruit will remain.

Matt. 13:23: "As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields," -Jesus

John 15:5,16: "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. ....You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you." -Jesus

have a marvelous Lord's day in his grace and forgiveness.

Anthony said...

In the day to day of ministry i sometimes encounter Christians who are feeling insecure, saying things like "but shouldn't my works confirm my faith?" yes, they should. Amen, they must! but what i often need to say to these believers is this- "that is not how you are looking at it. You are looking at "confirmation" as a law saturated work that you do. you are looking to your confirming works as your righteousness. Your confirming works - works that confirm the IMPUTED righteousness of Christ- cannot be looked at AS your righteousness." When this happens, we spiral into self focus, despair and doubt, then sin.
yes, we MUST be a people who are hating sin without compromise, making no peace with it. Yes, we must war against it with all our might. And I mean "must" not in the sense of "we have to make ourselves do what we do not want" but in the sense of "we must in that it is now our nature." But when we hold up works as confirmation of righteousness, we have to be careful. It can look like we are simply taking Paul's advice to examine ourselves. But too often it leads us to getting things backwards- NOT believing in our imputed righteousness until we see a certain level of change, instead of realizing that our trust in God's work at Calvary, and our eyes set on that work, and on the Glory of the One who did that work- is what brings about the change.
How do we balance THAT in our teaching?

WoundedEgo said...

Jas 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

WoundedEgo said...

Pyro, it appears that you accept Luther's perverse "simultaneously sinful and justified"?

1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

Anthony said...

Woundedego-
What is your understanding of "justified by works" in James? And in what sense, if at all, are Christians both a people who still sin and yet are justified, in your understanding? Just curious…

WoundedEgo said...

>>>...What is your understanding of "justified by works" in James?...

Despite the incident when Abe believed YHVH about the land, etc, had Abe refused to offer Isaac, the promise would have been fulfilled to his seed, but he would have been personally a castaway. Consider Paul:

1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

James uses this to illustrate to his audience that their faith, alone, is not enough, and that they must ante up during their current test (as Abe anted up in his test):

Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Jesus says the same:

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

>>>And in what sense, if at all, are Christians both a people who still sin and yet are justified, in your understanding? Just curious…

That is Luther's viewpoint, not mine:

"By faith alone" (sola fide) became a slogan of the Reformation. But it was, and still is, much more than a slogan for theologians. It is a descriptive call to arms. It is, in short, the definitive issue in understanding how God makes a sinner just before Him. What the Reformers meant is that absolutely nothing else is needed, save faith in Christ and His work, to make a person righteous before God. And nothing can make him more righteous than he is at the first moment he believes. He is not becoming righteous, he is righteous! Thus, Luther spoke of being simul justus et pecatore ("simultaneously sinful while at the same time justified").

I consider that "Luther's Folly" and not at all a scriptural position.

Anthony said...

wounded ego-
I apologize for my slowness, but I still think I need clarification on point two. I understand what you DO NOT agree with from Luther- but what is YOUR position on this?

WoundedEgo said...

This is what I consider "Luther's Folly":

simul justus et pecatore

Anthony said...

woundedego
I am sorry, I am still not clear on this- in what sense, if at all, are Christians both a people who still sin and yet are justified, in your understanding?

WoundedEgo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DJP said...

Foul.

You made comments here, WE, please respond to questions about those comments here. Or delete your comments, if you regret what you said. This isn't a link-drop.

WoundedEgo said...

I thought myself to have posted quite a good deal of my view, but I shall attempt to restate my view...

It is my considered opinion that the letter of 1 John was written specifically to repudiate the viewpoint that one could be simultaneously sinning (walking in darkness) and yet be held counted righteous by God, regardless of one's belief.

Jesus clearly taught that one who, having been forgiven, then, ungratefully did not forgive others in response, would have their condemnation returned upon them.

Mat 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Do you agree with Matthew 18:35?

Strong Tower said...

@WE

Before you jump ship and appeal to another Scripture, just answer the question you proposed within 1 John.

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins...

If John's considered opinion is that God's children might sin, then in what sense could it be said that they are not simultaneously sinners and the sanctified?

It should goe without question that there is no need for an on going advocacy if indeed we are made wholly righteous and without sin from the moment of our new birth.

But then, if that were the case John would never have said that those who claim to be without sin are liars and truth does not abide in them.

As you can see from the more full quote of 1 John, to walk in the light is to agree that while we are declared righteous in Christ we are still sinners.

Johnny Dialectic said...

I've been following the discussion with some interest, and have enjoyed the seriousness of it (even though, not being wedded to Westminster, I would have several disagreements).

But I am also not in agreement with WE's Charles Finney inspired position, either. That's a serious error on the other side.

1 John is quite clear about this. He urges that we not sin, but if we do, we have an advocate who is also our atoning sacrifice (and atonement makes absolutely no sense if we have to be sinless to receive it).

I believe the biblical view is that saving faith can indeed be shipwrecked (a main reason we need the church around us). Sin's deceitfulness can turn a redeemed heart away from the living God. That can lead to rebellion (see Heb 3:8,15) which is the state of, once again, being lost.

WoundedEgo said...

>>>1 John is quite clear about this. He urges that we not sin, but if we do, we have an advocate who is also our atoning sacrifice (and atonement makes absolutely no sense if we have to be sinless to receive it).

Thanks for your offering a divergent view, with such a gracious manner, Johnny.

Johnny, what is an "advocate?" Is it not one who helps prepare a legal case? Well, is this "paralegal" (or "Paraclete" if you prefer) on the side of the father, or the one who is sinning? It is none other than "Jesus Christ, the righteous one." Is he a fast talking lawyer with connections, who will use his influence to subvert the justice of the father? He said, "I and my father are one (in complete unity)" did he not?

Joh 8:50 And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.

Joh 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

The concept that a sinner need not worry if they sin because they have an advocate *against* the father (in judgment) is perverse, and certainly not what John intended. The "we" to which he refers are Jesus and those who were alive some sixty years ago to hear him, and learn from him of the "message of life."

>>>I believe the biblical view is that saving faith can indeed be shipwrecked (a main reason we need the church around us).

Ah, but what if the Church is shipwrecked?

>>>Sin's deceitfulness can turn a redeemed heart away from the living God. That can lead to rebellion (see Heb 3:8,15) which is the state of, once again, being lost.

"To the Hebrews" argues that it is foolish to bank on any obedience but today's obedience. Yesterday's obedience will not shield one who is disobedient today. Today is all that counts. Jesus made the same point:

Luk 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
Luk 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

Luk 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Luk 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.

Strong Tower said...

@WE

That's slice and dice scramble and Scriptural puréeing. Just answer the question.

The concept that a sinner need not worry if they sin because they have an advocate *against* the father (in judgment) is perverse, and certainly not what John intended. The "we" to which he refers are Jesus and those who were alive some sixty years ago to hear him, and learn from him of the "message of life."

So you're saying that 1 John, the same 1 John you quoted is not addressed to us? Then what is the basis of your using it? Couldn't your hermeneutic be used of the other Scriptures you quoted? Beside: "what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." The "you" simply says you don't know what you're talking about.

Don't limit your definitions to lexigraphical meanings as if your limiting them to such is the final judgement of all that the term means. The Mediatorial role of Christ, his advocacy, doesn't entail arguing against the Father's judgement. Unless of course you hold that Christ's propitiatory sacrifice on our behalf accomplished nothing. It goes far beyond such puerile meaning as Jesus being a lawyer. His offices are Priest, King and Prophet. His pleading is founded upon the fact that the Father's justice was fully meeted out on Him on Calvary in his priestly role. It is Himself, Jesus Christ the righteous, that is being presented to the Father on our behalf. It is his case, not the case of the sinner which is presented. He stands in our place before the throne of God, presenting his blood, the final arbiter of our sanctification, and it is he who gives the repentance such that we might repent in the first place. That also is what he purchased in his role as Advocate.

That was John's message. If we say we do not have sin, present indicative, we make him to be a liar before the Father. Are you sure you want to do that?

donsands said...

"Sin's deceitfulness can turn a redeemed heart away from the living God." JD

So someone bought by the precious blood of Christ, and so born spiritually as a child of God, a new creation in Christ, whom the Son died for, and Father holds in His omnipotent hand, can become unborn, and the blood of Christ, which blotted out all his sins, is no good any more?

Not to mention, God's elect children, can become non-elect?

I just don't see this at all in Scripture JD.

And in fact, love and am humbled by the fact that god loves me so much, he will not let anything separate me from Him. Not death, nor even living in this world can do that, once I am in Christ.
Being in Christ means we are deeply , and very deep in His love.

We sang this hymn tonight at church, and it edified me to the sky, and yet made me feel humble and grateful:

"O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hzYKovRsJ8

WoundedEgo said...

So Don, would it presumptious of me to intuit that you are a Calvinist?

Strong Tower said...

@WE

There ya go again, you're reading in to it.

Word verification: intgeso

WoundedEgo said...

Ha!! Touche!

donsands said...

"So Don, would it presumptious of me to intuit that you are a Calvinist?" W-Ego

I don't use that title, unless it is needed to help make clear my distinctions.
I am a Christian, who loves Christ, and believes in His truth, and asks Him to help my unbelief, every day, and even every hour.

So, W-Ego, are you an Arminian?

Robert said...

WoundedEgo,

"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

Paul is saying that nothing can separate God's elect from His love. couple that with Romans 8:28 and we can see that God uses even the sins of believers for our good. I remember listening to John MacArthur sayign that he feels that God uses his sin to make him hate sin more...and I feel the same way. This is because when we are convicted of it, we see its effects and how offensive it is to our holy God...and then can truly hate it.

And before you ask, I do believe in the doctrines of grace because they are clearly illustrated throughout all of the Bible. I'd recommend a reading of "Foundations of Grace", by Steve Lawson, as a good resource to show how every author in the Bible showed the truth of the doctrines of grace throughout the Bible.

WoundedEgo said...

Luther despised James and Revelation. Should we also reject Matthew?

Mat 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Do you agree with Matthew 18:35?

(Don, I believe you have already weighed in on this question, so I address the others).

Anthony said...

Well, now who among us is going to say "Yes, I disagree with Matt. 18:35"? You want to know if there are any who agree with what you are saying that it means- and I really am just not clear on what you are saying that it means. You said "It is my considered opinion that the letter of 1 John was written specifically to repudiate the viewpoint that one could be simultaneously sinning (walking in darkness) and yet be held counted righteous by God, regardless of one's belief." Is your conclusion then that Christians never sin? Or that when a Christian sins at that moment they become unbelievers? Is then the Christian life a life of being a believer- sinning- becoming an unbeliever. Repenting. Becoming a believer again. Over and over? Constant re-birth? Or do you view sin as something very, very rare in the life of the believer?
As for Matthew 18- Keep your quote in context of the parable Jesus is telling. Jesus is not making new laws for us to follow to earn our righteousness. He is making a point to Peter about what someone who belongs to His kingdom looks like. No real disciple of Christ will act like the unforgiving man in the story- he can't persist in acting like someone who has no understanding of mercy, because He has been shown a great mercy. If he persists in that behavior, it is fair to conclude he has not understood the mercy shown to him. That does not mean that his forgiveness earns his right standing with God- or even that his justification is dependent on his forgiveness. No, his forgiveness of his brother is dependent on Him being justified. If He is justified, he will forgive. He will not refuse repentance. But that is a very different thing from saying "he will never sin, he will never be angry, He will never need to be called to repentance." Is there ever a need to call believers to repentance, or is that call only for unbelievers? And if it is for believers, what are we calling them to repent of if they do not sin? You seem to read the parable and view it like this- "what is the rule Jesus is making here that I have to keep to make sure I am right before God." I am not sure that was Jesus' point.
If you are saying that since Jesus said that our forgiveness depends on our forgiving others, therefore our right standing before God depends upon my works, I disagree. Listen, there is a difference between my brother who gets angry at his brother and sins, and goes and asks forgiveness, and someone who claims Christ and yet refuses to repent of his anger and forgive his brother. The refusal to repent leaves us in a place where we cannot be offered security, where we should question if we have become new creations with new desires. The one who says "no, I refuse to forgive my brother. I don’t care if Jesus tells me to do it. I don’t care that I was forgiven for an offense a billion times greater. Nope, I won't do it" this one needs to hear Jesus' parable in Matt 18. But is that the same as the brother who is daily repenting, hating his sin, longing for the day when he is perfected, yet daily struggles knowing he does not love God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength? Do YOU every moment of the day love God this way? If not, are you in sin, and therefore never really a believer?
What I am trying to get from you is this- how does this practically work out for you in your daily walk with God? Do you view your justification as constantly in flux, changing from day to day? Or are you saying that you do not sin daily? Does your position leave you having to really play some creative games with many other texts, such as the one StrongTower responded to you about above? His conclusions were very good- do you have a response?

WoundedEgo said...

>>>Well, now who among us is going to say "Yes, I disagree with Matt. 18:35"?

I got the impression some thought it absurd that the heavenly father would reinstate the sins of those of his children who withheld forgiveness from others:

Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

>>>…not clear on what you are saying that it means.

I'm saying that it means, “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.“

Is anyone here of the opinion that a believer who refuses to forgive another will have his own sins "covered by the blood" or what have you?

>>>...Is your conclusion then that Christians never sin?...

To the contrary, I believe that the scriptures explicitly say that this is possible:

See Heb 10:26-31 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation…Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?...And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Phil Johnson said...

WoundedEgo:

It appears you accept Pelagius's perverse denial of the truth that sinners are unable to redeem themselves.

In answer to your original question: Yes, I believe God justifies the ungodly (Romans 4:5).

How's the effort to achieve a perfect righteousness of your own working out for you?

WoundedEgo said...

>>>...In answer to your original question: Yes, I believe God justifies the ungodly (Romans 4:5)...

1Pe 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

Robert said...

WoundedEgo:

What do you make of 2 Corinthians 5:21? "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

Strong Tower said...

@WE

Is anyone here of the opinion that a believer who refuses to forgive another will have his own sins "covered by the blood" or what have you? Yes. In an eschatological sense, all that the Father gives to Christ, of them, he will lose none.

But, that wasn't the position you first proposed. You proposed that a believer cannot sin and still be a righteous one. There is a complete ramification that you are missing. Hebrews 12 address us as sons who are scourged. And the context is our struggle against sin. You have failed to answer the question you proposed within 1 John. And your arguments about applicability have been shown to be false. You have not admitted being wrong, though you are, which is a sin. Nor have you even addressed the questions except to say that 1 John didn't apply to believers today, totally voiding your complaint in the first place.

But, since you are determined in your hermeneutic to say that the primary addressees are the only ones to whom the relevent Scripture applies, how then does Mat 18 apply to us, today? Does it not address "you", i.e., the disciples who came to Christ, Mat 18:1?

Or, do you agree that you were wrong in your assessment of 1 John? And perhaps in way that you handle Scripture? Which as you have accused by implication the Pyros, is a sin?

We do not need to jump from text to text for prooftext as a pretext. Just answer. Do believers ever sin, and if they do, does that immediately remove them from any hope of eternal life, or do we have an intercessor? The reality is that what John was writing was to gut any such proposal as you are making? And isn't that why you must deny that it addresses you, particularly?

Do you willfully sin? Do you sin at all? You quickly jumped again to a text without acknowledging the context, when you appealed to Hebrews 10. So let's ask, seeing that Abraham was an adulterer after having received the promise
(Ge 25:6) did he then lose eternal life? How about Moses? David? How about Peter?

DJP said...

Phil: In answer to your original question: Yes, I believe God justifies the ungodly (Romans 4:5).

WE (as if in response): 1Pe 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

Me (in response): 2 Peter 3:16-17 —
And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures

(Except that I don't think the facts of the Gospel actually are that hard to grasp)

naturgesetz said...

Phil Johnson—
I don't see Wounded Ego as espousing Pelagianism, just the clear implication of 2 Peter 1:10 that a Christian's election is not necessarily sure, but can be lost. The diligence necessary to make it sure is, of course, nothing one can do on his own, but a matter of accepting and continuing to cooperate with grace. But the election can clearly be lost or this verse is nonsense. I'd suggest that what causes it to be lost is "sin unto death." 1 John 5:16

donsands said...

"But the election can clearly be lost or this verse is nonsense."

I don't see that. To make sure you are one of God's elect, is important, but it doesn't mean we can become unborn, and unelect.

Christ died for us when we were filthy rebels. And He lives for us. How much more are we to be with Him now, then before. Rom. 5:10

Robert said...

naturgesetz,

Then what do you make of Romans 8:38-39?

"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Paul is making the argument that nothing can separate us from the love of God shown to His elect in saving grace. This is the wonderful stream of thought that comes after Romans 7, where Paul describes our struggles with sin after salvation.

Strong Tower said...

"To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire."

naturgesetz- Is this true or false? Is eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ as promised, or through Jesus Christ plus our "supplements" to that faith?

You will note that the Scripture says nowhere that election might be lost. You added that to the text. What it does say is that sureness can fail where no diligence of practice is. I am not sure why you want to believe you can lose your salvation. Are you planning to thumb your nose at God and not keep his commandments? I am just glad Peter thought our faith was equal to his as finished in Christ and full so that it would accomplish what it set out to do in us.

I am perplexed as to why you and WE are determined snippet snippers when the immediate context answers your errors. What is the penchant? To prove that you can walk away from God? Do you not believe that he has not given us the spirit of fear as the parable of the talents suggested. But, God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control, so that we surely do invest in the kingdom because he is not a harsh task master reaping where he has not sown. He has given us all we need and continues to supply every day the manna that provides.

I have to echo Robert. Are you the excepted thing in all creation? Then again, maybe we should rewrite Jude 24: "Now to him who is unable to keep you from stumbling unless you help him, and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great thanks to you, to the only God, our co-Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord and me, be co- glory, majesty, dominion- and shared authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen."

WoundedEgo said...

Romans 8:38-39 is clearly giving assurance to the faithful, not to the sinning. To the sinning he offers only one assurance:

Heb 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

DJP said...

Good Scriptures.

Then we'll take it as established that WE affirms the Biblical testimony, which which all these Scriptures agree, that it is impossible for the elect finally to be lost (cf. John 10:28; Romans 8:29-30).

WoundedEgo said...

>>>...You will note that the Scripture says nowhere that election might be lost. You added that to the text. What it does say is that sureness can fail where no diligence of practice is...

"sureness"? I thought you were saying that the sureness could in no way be compromised, even if you are living an ungodly, unforgiving, disobedient life?

But Peter isn't talking about a subjective assurance, but rather about an objective entrance:

2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
2Pe 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Paul never had the kind of "sureness" that you claim:

Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
Php 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Php 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
Php 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Php 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Strong Tower said...

"sureness"? I thought you were saying that the sureness could in no way be compromised, even if you are living an ungodly, unforgiving, disobedient life?

That's your problem. What you think is being said, isn't. I no where said that eternal life could be forfeit. That doesn't entail the fact that we have commandments which we may fail to carry out. Peter is clear, those who say that they can continue in ignorance show that they never have understood what he said in the beginning of the letter. All things pertaining to life and godliness have been given to us with a faith equal to Peter's. If what he is saying is true then the virtues should be added, period, even though, as Jude stipulates we may stumble at the task.

So you have done it again. You haven't answered even the first of the corrections made to your Scripture twisting and have thrown up a list of Scripture.

Did you not read Romans 8:29-38?

If Paul didn't have such sureness of the crown laid up for him, then he was a liar. What are you doing then quoting a liar so as to establish your case? That is what you did with John, and Peter. And as DJP said, though this is not really so hard to understand, it is for some very difficult who likewise twist their meaning to their own destruction.

You are that sort of man.

You have yet to give us a clear answer: Do you ever sin?

Robert said...

WoundedEgo,

What do you make of Peter's statement in Acts 15:10-11? "'Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.'"

Tom Chantry said...

At this point so many commenters have thrown verses at Wounded Ego that he will be a very long time answering all of them (if, indeed, he can answer any). The verses he keeps throwing back prove nothing we do not hold; mainly they demonstrate that God’s standards are absolute and indivisible - so perfect in fact that no sinner may hope to satisfy them. I think we can all see where he is then left - given his refusal of a gospel in which Christ justifies sinners. He hasn’t answered Phil’s question, and I suspect he will not.

Be that as it may, I don’t really wish to jump on the dog-pile; but I do find his visit intriguing, coming so soon after Charlie’s the other week. While Charlie has charged us with the most grotesque moralism, Wounded Ego has (much more courteously) insinuated that the doctrine here reeks of abject antinomianism. Now that fact in itself doesn’t prove that we are in the right, but we do not need to adopt a Hegelian Dialectic epistemology to recognize that truth is rarely discovered at the extremes of any dispute. If our formulation of the relationship of law and gospel finds us under attack both as moralists and as antinomians, that is not a bad sign at all.

naturgesetz said...

Strong Tower —"To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire."
"you may become" not "you are"
God will not renege on his promises, but this is not telling us that we will not.

ST & DJP — Romans 8:38-39 and the preceding verses are clearly speaking of things that are external to the person. So too, with John 10:27-29. If one follows Jesus, no other person can snatch them out of his hand. Neither passage declares that a person cannot leave the Lord. And we have to take into account the implication of 2 Peter 1:10 into account, along with Luke 8:13 (speaking of some who actually believe but then fall away), 1 Corinthians 9:24-10:13 (which is very powerful, because the Israelites are a type of the Christians set free from slavery to sin — just as some of them were rejected, so, it is perfectly clear from verse 12, it is possible for a Christian to fall as disastrously if he does not take the way to escape temptation which God in his faithfulness provides — and not only could the Corinthians still fall, Paul explicitly acknowledges that he himself could be cast away — the incorruptible crown is still to be won), 1 Timothy 9-10, Hebrews 3:7-19 and 4:11(addressed to "holy partners in a heavenly calling"), and James 5:12. It seems to me that these passages make it perfectly clear that the assurance of salvation which we have in this life is conditional on our continuing living as God's grace enables us to do, in obedience to him, and avoiding, or at least repenting of any sin which is unto death.

donsands said...

"..as God's grace enables us to do,"
Naturg

Amen. His grace saved a wretch like me, and His grace will lead me home. His grace taught my heart to fear, and filled my heart with peace and rest: 100% God's grace.

No power of hell can thwart the Father's grace to His beloved elect, whom Christ poured out His precious blood for.

What a God! What a Savior! And He is faithful to do it, even if we are not.

WoundedEgo said...

>>>...If Paul didn't have such sureness of the crown laid up for him, then he was a liar...

Not at all, he was merely speaking at different points in his race. Early in the race he does not say that he had attained, but rather that he had not already attained, and was not already perfect (as I cited before). But at the end of his race, he had his race behind him, and count on his crown:

2Ti 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
2Ti 4:7 **I have fought a good fight**, I have finished my [race] course, I have kept the faith:
2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

His "fight" and "race" and his motifcation he describes this way:

1Co 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1Co 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Hebrews also describes faith as a race, one where sin so easily besets:

Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the **sin which doth so easily beset us**, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Jesus also spoke of a crown:

Rev 2:10b ...be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

And of a crown that may be taken away:

Rev 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

My own race is not your concern. Ponder your own.

1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

Or does your "theology" makes void all of these scriptures?

Strong Tower said...

@nat

"having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire."

Notice this participle simply indicates the past tense, or what has happened and continues to be the case and will be the case.

The subjunctive that you are referring to, "you may become" actually means "you are," especially in this construction with the hina clause. The subjunctive has no reference to time but to conditions, that is why it is conditional. Namely that the action will happened contingent upon the prevailing conditons. In this case the "so that" is referring to what has been given. It is the "what has been given" that will inevitably produce the effect. (The participle in the first clause functions somewhat as the double negation in John 3:16), in effect, that the gift was given and those who have received it have escaped the corruption. That is important. For it means that the corruption of this world cannot have deleterious impact on them. The may then means will, or would, or in this case, it might as well be "are." It isn't so strange, we breath so that we may have oxygen, given the conditions that are congruent with the normal cause effect relationship, when one happens so does the other, when we breath we are getting oxygen. Add to this that the same Peter said in 1 Peter 1:3-5: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

What you seem to be saying is that you can reach into heaven and corrupt that which is protected by the power of God. Good hunting! This agrees, by the way with Paul, who tells us that we have that inheritance now as were are, not will be, seated with Christ in his Holy throne where no corruption can enter in. What hope is there if it is contingent upon your tenuous abilities.

"It seems to me that these passages make it perfectly clear that the assurance of salvation..."

No one here has argued that assurance of salvation cannot be shaken. That is at least part of what Peter is saying. What is being questioned is whether the surety of salvation stands despite our weaknesses. Paul included himself when he said anything else in all of creation. Beside, DJP's pointing to the golden chain is right on. Those called are glorified. Not may, but are. For the verb is in the aorist indicative in the Gk, and is correctly rendered, correspondingly, to the past tense in English.

Strong Tower said...

@WE

"Not at all, he was merely speaking at different points in his race."

Now you're equivocating. How did Paul ever know definitively that he would sin again? And, if it is only now that he is assure, was he capable of sinning earlier, and that is why he wasn't assured?

And you still refuse to answer, do you ever sin? Yes or no, no more games. Yes- your race is my business, as you have made mine yours and you have made everyone who has read your comments your business. You do hope to convert your readers to the righteous path you walk, don't you? Unless you are aimlessly commenting here, which is a waste, which is a sin for the waster is the cousin to the destroyer. You continually speak out of both sides of your mouth, and that is being double tongued, also a sin. You lied about 1 John, and that is sin also. Why won't you admit your sin? Why does it matter to you whether or not my theology does anything, unless you are sticking your nose where you say it doesn't belong? That is a sin. Why does my walk matter and yours not, unless you are violating Jesus' admonition not to judge unless you judge with the same measure by which you wish to be judged? But I am not like you. I do think it is your business as much as it is mine. But, by you making it a forbidden act, you violate your own standards and your own conscience, a couple more sins.

So answer, do you ever sin?

WoundedEgo said...

>>>Now you're equivocating.

No, I'm "accurately dividing."

>>>How did Paul ever know definitively that he would sin again?

Please restate your question, because as it stands, it makes no sense.

>>>And, if it is only now that he is assure, was he capable of sinning earlier, and that is why he wasn't assured?

I've tried to field every "question" posed, but I can't quite discern what you are asking, so I can't really respond. Please try to restate your question more clearly. Thank you so much.

Strong Tower said...

@WE

It was meant to read "would not."

To the second point: If it was only at the end that Paul was assured, was it because he thought he could have sinned, earlier, but has learned that he cannot? That point being, what encouragement could he ever give to any who were struggling with living righteously, that they could attain to a state as he, but there was no true hope if they failed? Are the admonitions to live rightly founded upon the assumption that there are struggles to do so? Or is it the presumption of Scripture that all do live righteously but may fall? Was Paul still a sinner and only achieved perfection at the end? Or did he actually believe that he had been delivered from the body of death though the body was dying because of sin, he was alive because of Christ? In your economy of works based religion, if it is the case that someones sins they are lost, are they lost for good, viz a viz, Hebrews 10? You have quoted Hebrews 10, (although out of context) wouldn't it have been impossible for Paul to be restored if he had sinned after he had been born again? Which takes us back to John. In what sense was John teaching "if anyone sins?" Can such children even be called children if they are capable of sin? How about Paul's teaching that the Spirit wars against the flesh and the flesh against the Spirit so that you are unable to do as you will? Is that right? Is Romans right, that in our weakness we don't even know what to pray, yet we are commanded to pray?

But as I said Wounded, all this is moot, if you don't answer. It is obvious that you have a double standard, for you say that your walk is no one's business, yet you have come here to make everyone's walk yours. You have implicitly accused the Pyro's, and it their readers, of sin in aligning themselves with Luther's perversity. But you have yet to answer whether or not you sin. You won't admit it, but is is obvious in this thread you have. How then do you know you are saved seeing that you do sin? And if you're in sin, how do you know that anything you think you know, you know, seeing you walk in darkness and are not in the truth by your own standard? Rightly dividing? Hardly so, for when the Scripture teaches us as it does in Gal 6:1 to restore a brother caught in sin, how can that be, if you interpret Scripture to mean that the righteous do not, indeed, cannot, sin?

It is obvious, that you are wrong. And more, that you are wallowing in pride, for the judgement you judge others with you are not willing also to be judged by it.

Phil Johnson said...

WoundedEgo:

You totally ignored my question: How's the effort to achieve a perfect righteousness of your own working out for you?

Anthony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anthony said...

Woundedego-
I know a lot is being thrown out at you here, and I know this will be an easy post to either mock or ignore or be angry at. So be it. But just consider. I know that you know that you cannot keep God's law, and that you are condemned before Him based on your good works. Your understanding of the texts, your very worldview, is condemning you.
Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart.
You are not demonstrating a righteousness that matches these statements. Ever. And you know it. And you resist this, you fight against this, because you have been fooled by a lie that makes you think that you are being obedient to God to resist admitting this, that you are clinging to truth and avoiding heresy by refusing to admit this. And so much of what is said here in these comments falls on deaf ears. But I am praying that you are able to hear the glorious truth- not that God frees us to sin at will and be forgiven anyway, but that our redemption is not yet complete, our condition as of now is not yet one of perfection, and we still, here in this cursed world in these unredeemed bodies struggle. The flesh and the Spirit still do wrestle, and we sin. You sin. And your fear of being lost if you sin will not keep you from sin. Your attempt to now keep the law will not set you free from sin. As Bonar tells us,
Terror accomplishes no real obedience... No gloomy uncertainty as to God's favor can subdue one lust, or correct our crookedness of will. But the free pardon of the cross uproots sin, and withers all its branches. Only the certainty of love, forgiving love, can do this.
You keep enslaving yourself to what God offers to set you free from; the law, the very thing that is the power of sin. Throw out explanations, post more verses, claim you this and believe that- whatever you want to do- but at the end of the day, you are still a sinner, and you are still living under the law. The good news is that Christ came to set you free from the guilt you carry with you even now. You can be at peace with God today, you can come to Him now, and be accepted on the merit of Christ's work, not your own, right now. I know it sounds like a license to sin, and in a sense the gospel always sounds that way- until you really understand the love and grace of God that you can only understand through the gospel. When you come to love Him realizing that He first loved you, then you will see that the gospel is no open invitation to sin at will and keep feeling secure, but an invitation to trust that God will rescue you, and you can't do anything to add to that at all, and then that will birth a love in you for Him that will change your desire, and you will no longer want to sin, but will become obedient from the heart. I'm praying for you, friend, that you will see His grace, and find rest. Not rest from the battle against sin, no- never. But rest from law keeping, from trying to perform to keep a righteousness that God knew you could never obtain through your performance.

WoundedEgo said...

>>>...You keep enslaving yourself to what God offers to set you free from; the law, the very thing that is the power of sin...

I thought I ought to respond to this notion that I imagine the faithful Christian to be under the law. Not at all.

I personally was never under the law. I'm not Jewish. The law is only applicable to Jews.

I was not under that covenant. Were you?

Nor am I, or you, under the new covenant, since that was also made to the Jews only. "To them belong the covenants."

So it is disingenous to take Paul's teaching of "faith apart from works [of the law]" and apply it to gentiles!

Robert said...

I would respond, but seeing as the previous questions have not been answered, I don't see the use. In fact, I'm surprised that this comment stream is still open. Sadly, this reminds me of my autistic son who sometimes plugs up his ears and buries his head when either 1) he hears something that he doesn't want to hear or 2) he can't handle everything going on. Although I know that when I am faithful (and humble), God works both to soften his heart and to help me see when I am pushing too hard.

Anthony said...

Oh boy, without getting into the mess you make of redemptive history…
No, woundedego, you do not IMAGINE yourself under the law, and you would never SAY that "faithful" Christians are under the law- but you do LIVE like you are under law. That was my point.
And yes, we are all born under the law inasmuch as the righteous requirements of the law are demanded of us. Whether we have encountered special revelation or not, whether we are Jews or not, the law is written on our hearts, and by it we are condemned. All of us. In that sense, we are under it.
We cannot keep it. It was kept for us. Now, in light of that, and all that He did for me at Calvary, I flee sin and seek His glory.

Anthony said...

Robert-
good words. if you sense too much pushing, check us (me) up and tell me to shut up! I think you are right, I don't know if there is a point in going on if there are no ears to hear. But it's sad. I just know what it was like when I struggled to keep the law, and would love to see others freed from it... thanks brother...

WoundedEgo said...

>>>...I would respond, but seeing as the previous questions have not been answered...

Which questions?

Thanks.

Robert said...

WoundedEgo,

I would start with Phil's since this is his post we are commenting on...

WoundedEgo said...

>>>I would start with Phil's since this is his post we are commenting on...

I responded. I'm sorry if you are not satisfied with my response.

What other questions have not been addressed?

DJP said...

Like everyone else evidently, WE, I don't see the response.

Please copy and paste.

WoundedEgo said...

Here is my response:

"...My own race is not your concern. Ponder your own..."

Tom Chantry said...

That was your answer to the following?

How's the effort to achieve a perfect righteousness of your own working out for you?

DJP said...

Thank you. That's a non-answer, of course.

Tom Chantry said...

"Shut up," he answered.

donsands said...

"How's the effort to achieve a perfect righteousness of your own working out for you?"-Phil

I have a brother, Charismatic Christian, who said he is learning to live a life without sinning. He simply goes an hour without sin. Then He goes another hour, then he has a day without sin, and on he goes.
I told him, "You think you need to be good to get to heaven. I believe I need to be forgiven."

There are those in the church who think they don't sin. And would never come themselves a sinner.
And you also have the gnostics, who say "even when I sin it's not sin."

maybe Wounded fits in there somehwere.

WoundedEgo said...

Don, I notice that the theme of you site is "No Cross, No Crown."

I would, on the face of it, think it an allusion to verses such as:

Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

2Ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

But you seem to see the cross as Jesus' alone to bear. So what does that slogan mean to you?

Robert said...

WoundedEgo,

Do you pass over Romans 7 when you quote from Romans 8? Or do you not see that Paul is speaking of his continuing struggle with sin after salvation and that there is no condemnation and that He is saved by the blood of Jesus? And then He goes on to say that nothing can separate us from the love of God...not because we are without sin, but because He has chosen us.

Daryl said...

As Phil has already asked... allow me to rephrase his question and ask it again.

Are you perfect WE?

Even if you manage it for an hour, can you do it for a day?

And even if you manage it for a lifetime, does that cancel out all the sins you've already committed?

Are you a Muslim? Hoping against hope that God will be so impressed with your last 10 years, or 10 minutes, that he'll ignore the previous 80 billion sins?

Is that it?

Strong Tower said...

@WE

"...My own race is not your concern. Ponder your own..."

But you make everyone else's your concern. Which is hypocrisy. Which is a sin.

Your sins in this thread alone prove Phil's point- you cannot begin to live up to your own standards. We do not need to know anything other than what you have demonstrated here. It is just a matter of you admitting it. So donsands is right also, even when you do sin, you have a double standard excusing yours while accusing others. You twist Scripture so that you are not held to account. Which in itself is a denial of Scripture, another sin.

Seared is the word used for such a conscience as yours. And don't go asking about another's website slogan until you answer the question, do you sin, do you take up your cross daily and die to your continued sins: Colossians 3:5. Remembering just who it is that Colossians was written to: saints and faithful brothers in Christ. How is it that they were to lay aside the deeds of the flesh and put on Christ if they didn't have any putting off or putting on to do? How can you forgive, or be forgiven: "bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive," if as you say, a saint cannot also be a sinner? How do you bear with the sins of one another if the other being sanctified, cannot sin? And if you cannot bear with them who sin, then, are you not guilty of not being able to forgive them?

See the impossible position you have place yourself in? That if you say you have no sin, your sin remains. And that is not just John, but Christ, who you deny. You say you need no repentance, because in your righteousness, you never sin, and because you say you do not, there remains no forgiveness for you and your guilt remains. How can it be that we are to "confess your sins to one another," if as you say we are not simul justus et pecatore? The works that James speaks of, in your theology, are impossible for you to carry out.

WoundedEgo said...

>>>Do you pass over Romans 7 when you quote from Romans 8? Or do you not see that Paul is speaking of his continuing struggle with sin after salvation...

Actually, Romans 7 is irrelevant to you and I, as it deals with Paul's experience as a Jew:

Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
Rom 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Are you Jewish? Then you were never under the law. That passage does not apply to you.




and that there is no condemnation and that He is saved by the blood of Jesus? And then He goes on to say that nothing can separate us from the love of God...not because we are without sin, but because He has chosen us.

WoundedEgo said...

>>>...and that there is no condemnation and that He is saved by the blood of Jesus?...

The word "condemnation" refers to a death sentence, not to "someone pointing the finger at you." And the freedom from condemnation is stated as follows:

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Rom 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

WoundedEgo said...

Regarding Colossians 3, note how Paul sums up:

Col 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
Col 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Strong Tower said...

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

The carnal mind is an enemy of God because it is not subject (under) the law...

but WE says: I was never under the law...

To which Paul rejoins, WE cannot please God because he has a carnal mind.

Anthony said...

Somebody here is going to have to deal with his presuppositions if this is going to get anywhere. His hermeneutic is going to continue on this path until that happens, his pushing aside all arguments is going to continue until that happens. Maybe this just isn't the place for it, but until someone deals with his underlying wrong assumptions, I don’t think this is going to get anywhere.

Strong Tower said...

Terrible dodge WE. The point is, you said that we are not simultaneously sinner and saint. The whole of Colossians says you lie. You continue only to quote the portions of Scripture that serve your end, and out of context at that, much like the Tempter in the wilderness. Your continued sinning in that vein is not going to work.

If verse 24 is true, that we have an inheritance, then how is it lost? As I pointed out, it is in heaven, not on earth, and incorruptible. Which I know you deny, (that is what Scripture testifies to no matter how much you want to disbelieve it) but that is what an inheritance is all about. It is not contingent upon the one who is the beneficiary, but the benefactor. An inheritance is not based upon doing anything to receive it, it is the matter of a gift bestowed upon the death of the testator. And it is Christ, not you, who died. The wrong doer, in 25, is not said to be cut out of the inheritance, and we all agree that the Father disciplines those who are not bastards with scourgings because of their sins. But perhaps you ought to read the story of the prodigal to get a better idea of our Father's forebearance and of an inheritance which cannot be corrupted even by our sinful wanderings.

Are you ready to admit you're in sin and continue to sin as this thread wears on, or are you still content with eating with the pigs?

WoundedEgo said...

Inheritance...

1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Eph 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Eph 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
Eph 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Eph 5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them [in their actions and thus, their punishment].

Rev 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Luk 18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luk 18:19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
Luk 18:20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.
Luk 18:21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
Luk 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
Luk 18:23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
Luk 18:24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
Luk 18:25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Luk 18:26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
Luk 18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
Luk 18:28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
Luk 18:29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,
Luk 18:30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Strong Tower said...

Okay, so you don't have an inheritance with the saints who are also sinners: and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

You have repeatedly proven yourself guilty.

donsands said...

"But you seem to see the cross as Jesus' alone to bear. So what does that slogan mean to you?" -Wounded

It means everything.

I agree with the truth that says:

"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me." -Paul

Except that I haven't worked harder than most. Yet any righteousness found in my walk here is 100% pure grace of God, and I take no credit for it. If I can take credit, then God owes me. And that can never be.

"Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty Cross"

WoundedEgo said...

>>>...But perhaps you ought to read the story of the prodigal to get a better idea of our Father's forebearance and of an inheritance which cannot be corrupted even by our sinful wanderings...

The boy was "dead" until he repented and returned.

Luk 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

When he returned, he had squandered all of his inheritance, and could only live out his days as a servant to his brother:

Luk 15:31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and **all that I have is thine**.
Luk 15:32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

To see this as proving simultaneous sinning and justification is madness.

And just as silly is it to see in it an assurance that one can sin and not forfeit one's part of the inheritence.

Strong Tower said...

Wow, what a perversion of a text. Almost as bad as what you did to 1 John. Seeing what you did there, I guess you can only live out this life a servant having forfeited your inheritance, because, having sinned at one point of the law you are guilty of the whole. Yep, you squandered it all.

Now, back to the question. Are you perfect? Like the elder brother?

WoundedEgo said...

1Co 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Strong Tower said...

@WE

So you've defiled the temple. Now what?

Phil Johnson said...

WoundedEgo's theology is blatantly a system of works, and his refusal to acknowledge the impossibility of achieving Christlike perfection through his own efforts speaks for itself. The doctrine he is promoting is at least as bad as the heresy Paul cursed in Galatians 1, and it stems from the very same lie Paul refuted in that epistle.

Since he has refused multiple appeals to address the simple question I put to him, I'm confident this thread is going nowhere, and I think it's time to call a halt. Thanks to all who participated.