Grace and Works: New Thread Per The Request Of Brother CruzJuly 30 2011 at 3:27 PM
|Sonny (no login)|
from IP address 126.96.36.199
Quoted from another thread:
[To Sonny:] With regards to your posts, you have presented a number of thought-provoking comments. However, I know that your aforementioned conclusion that salvation by works is a "legalistic and false doctrine" is a lesson you have learned from the change agents who, in turn, acquired it from the denominations. There is really no contradiction among these elements in the Bible: God's grace and mercy and love, man's faith, man's good works. But this is a great topic to discuss. Why not initiate a thread dealing with God's grace and man's faith and works? [Donnie Cruz]
I believe that one matter of confusion in the Christian world is over the topic of grace. While grace is opposed to earning; it is not opposed to effort. There are Scriptures that exhort Christians to "make every effort" (or "be diligent") concerning holy and godly living (ex. Heb. 12:14 ; 2 Pet. 1:5 ; 3:14). Christians are to work and make effort and live a life of good works. The matter of confusion is on whether these are what save us. They do not. They are a "result" of salvation, not the "means."
Christians are saved by grace; by Jesus. Salvation is a "gift" that cannot be earned (Rom. 5:15-17 mentions "gift" 5 times). We obtain this justification (right standing) before God through faith in Christ (Rom. 1:16 ; 5:1 ; Eph. 2:8-9, etc.) We are 1000% saved by Jesus. Hebrews 7:25 says that Jesus "completely saves" (NKJV "saves to the uttermost"). All our righteousness is but filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). It is only in Christ that we are "perfect" (Col. 1:28). Christ is our "righteousness" (1 Cor. 1:30).
The result of being/living in Christ? We are to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4). We are to walk worthy of the calling (Eph. 4:1). We are His workmanship created to do good works (Eph. 2:10). This, indeed, requires our effort and the aid of God's Spirit. The fruit "of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22-23) is an example of our need for help bearing this fruit.
Brother Cruz, while there are many other Scriptures and thoughts that can be included, I hope this is enough to initiate a "respectful" and "substantive" dialogue on the Scriptures and the topic of salvation and both grace and works.
NOTE: The topic (but not its contents) has been changed to include "Grace and Works" -- one major issue concerning salvation. Our thanks to Sonny.
|This message has been edited by Donnie.Cruz from IP address 188.8.131.52 on Aug 3, 2011 11:10 PM|
Re: New Thread Per The Request Of Brother Cruz
|July 30 2011, 8:25 PM |
Justification is by faith: that means that we do not have to be circumcised and obey: This is the only subject and Paul is not listing a one step plan to salvation by faith only.
Salvation means the remission of sins: faith only never does that.
Salvation gives us A holy spirit or A good conscience: faith only does not do that
Salvation makes us an accepted Disciple of Jesus Christ--the only teacher. Never by faith only.
Salvation asks God to translate our spirit into his heavenlly kingdom.
Salvation asks Christ to "add us to His church": only those who were baptized were added to His church.
If you quote just fragments of a teaching: you may not yet be a disciple.
Obedience to Christ's PROMISE is not a work of the Law or a work of self righteousness No one ever thinks of baptism as being a work since if the water is warm you actually acquire energy.
When Ricky the Auto mechanic invites you to be an apprentice, you will not make it if you tell him you are qualified because you believe in autos.
Baptism (like the Lord's Supper) is how God shows that the Gentiles were justified by faith and not by the Law of Moses.
Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
|This message has been edited by Ken.Sublett from IP address 184.108.40.206 on Jul 30, 2011 8:27 PM|
|August 17 2011, 11:24 PM |
William Crump mentioned that "As long as the information presented is scriptural truth, Jesus and Paul would undoubtedly rate it an A+."
38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
1 Corinthians 13
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
So you see William, you are wrong.....again. You can quote Scriptures until you are blue in the face, but without love, and without truly knowing the love of Jesus, well, it just ain't happening. So the A+ just fell to an F.
Uh oh, I said that four letter word again.....love.
Grace Is God's Part: Are Works Active or a "Result"?
|August 2 2011, 12:06 AM |
The following message is in response to Glen Gearhart's post, "Salvation By Grace Plus Works" (September 3 2007, 10:55 PM). The title may be a bit catchy. So, the reader is cautioned to read Glen's statements carefully. The original discourse is found in another thread: "i was just surfing for c of c and found this"
[sic]. While the following discourse has been slightly modified (realigned for easier reading), our brother Sonny responded to the original article sometime last year -- it is being reposted below.
Glen Gearhart's Statement:
To say that works are necessary for salvation is a serious heresy, because it basically says that Christ's death on the cross is not good enough to completely save you. 1 John chapter 5 clearly states that you can know that you're saved. Paul makes it very clear in Romans, Galatians, and Titus that good works come as a result of salvation, but do not play a part in salvation.
There must be a line of demarcation drawn between two [actually three] separate occurrences or events:
Glen Gearhart's Statement:
Unless we are able to make that distinction, the discussions and disagreements regarding the issue of "grace plus works" will never end. I honestly would find it appalling for anyone to even suggest or think or believe that Christ's death on the cross is not enough to completely save anyone.
- (1) CONVERSION (P-A-S-T)
----------- and ----------
- (2) CHRISTIAN LIVING AFTER conversion (P-R-E-S-E-N-T)
----------- and ----------
- (3) REWARD OF EVERLASTING LIFE (F-U-T-U-R-E)
(1) CONVERSION (P-A-S-T SALVATION)
Of course, when one outside of Christ comes to know the truth and becomes a Christian--this being the conversion process--all his past sins are forgiven. Romans 3:23-25 clearly explains this--"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God."
As one can see, the conversion prospect is NEVER required BEFOREHAND to do/produce "good works" or "works of righteousness." One can be the world's worst criminal prior to conversion. Is he required to do good works before he repents and is baptized IN ORDER TO receive redemption or forgiveness of sins in the blood of Christ? Of course, not!!!! (So, Glen, I will have to agree with you that good works are NOT necessary for salvation but on one condition--SALVATION in reference to CONVERSION.) I think that when "conversion" is not in the equation, the expression "works of righteousness" being necessary or not necessary for salvation becomes nebulous to the mind that doesn't understand where they [the good works] should belong.
I agree that, according to I John, as you said, " you can know that you're saved." In fact, Ephesians 2:8-9 clearly explains this-- "For by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
(2) CHRISTIAN LIVING AFTER Conversion (P-R-E-S-E-N-T SALVATION)
However, and speaking of the second event--what occurs AFTER conversion--the book of I John also emphasizes the significance of: walking in the light, keeping His word, keeping His commandments. Does "keeping His commandments" not imply obedience as expected of Christians according to Heb. 5:8-9? Christ learned obedience and became the author of salvation to those that OBEY him. Doesn't obedience imply "doing good works or works of righteousness"?
Theologians often make the mistake by not understanding the contrast or subsequence in Ephesians 2:8-9 [already quoted above] AND Ephesians 2:10--"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto [TOWARD] good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Please notice the word "FOR" at the beginning of verse 10. Verses 8 and 9 speak of the CONVERSION event; verse 10 refers to what is expected of the converted in Christian living. THE CHRISTIAN is to do good works--this speaks much more than good works being just the effect of salvation (conversion). There are numerous passages that support the necessity for the Christian to OBEY His commands to do good works.
While the Holy Scripture does not suggest that good works or works of righteousness are to be substituted for the blood of Christ in cleansing us from sins, nonetheless, we are commanded to OBEY. And what do you think would be the consequence of NOT obeying God's commands? John 5:28-9--"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.."
James talks about good works that result from salvation. In other words, a truly saved person will do good works, while when Paul talks of works he means those futile efforts of a lost man to justify himself before God. Neither James nor Paul ever say that salvation is by grace plus works. In fact Paul adamantly says works and grace are mutually exclusive.
Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace; otherwise work is no more work.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us (past tense indicates we are saved if we trust Christ), by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
If we trust in our works to save us, then we can't be assured of salvation. That's the problem with a grace plus works salvation. But look at the following verses.
1 John 5:11-13 For this is the record that God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life....
Can it be any clearer than that?
(3) REWARD OF EVERLASTING LIFE (F-U-T-U-R-E SALVATION)
Again, CONVERSION is the salvation event during which an individual is redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and begins NEWNESS OF LIFE. The Christian receives eternal life in the sense that it is a promise or an inheritance. ["I am destined to inherit 2 million dollars when I reach the age of 75. Please, don't let me die before then." ] Numerous passages support the truth that everlasting life will be rewarded to the faithful in the end:
While doing good works or works of righteousness does not forgive sins (because only the blood of Christ does and can), still the New Testament is the plenary authority in directing Christians to obeying the commands of our Lord.
- I John 2:25--"And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life."
- Jude 1:21--"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto [TOWARD] eternal life."
- Titus 3:7--"That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
- Eternal life is an inheritance--Mark 10:17; Luke 10:25; 18:18; etc.
- Mark 10:30--"But he shall receive and in the world to come eternal life."
- Titus 1:2--"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"
- Titus 3:7--"That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
- Romans 6:22--"But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."
- James 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."
- Rev. 2:10--" be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
The second chapter of James clearly emphasizes that contrary to many theologians' claim that faith produces good works, faith may not necessarily produce good works. Consider the following verses:
 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
In summary, grace is God's part and His offer for man's redemption in the blood of Christ is available to anyone who wants to accept that offer. When one is ready to accept God's free gift of salvation, never is he commanded to produce good works or works of righteousness prior to conversion. (As previously mentioned, the world's worst criminal can be saved.)
In Christian living and journey, faith is dead without good works. He matures and grows and still sins. But the Lord is still faithful and just to forgive his confessed sins and cleanse him from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).
Brother Cruz - Excellent Teaching On Grace and Works!
|August 2 2011, 12:15 AM |
AUTHOR: Sonny (no login) 220.127.116.11
SUBJECT: Brother Cruz - Excellent Teaching On Grace and Works!
SOURCE: "i was just surfing for c of c and found this"
DATE: October 9 2010, 1:46 AM
I have been reading several posts/comments, including older ones like this one, to better know my brothers and sisters in Christ and have respectful dialogue with them. So basically, I wanted you to know I appreciate your stand for grace and truth.
|August 2 2011, 1:42 PM |
That's true: John demanded repentance and good work from the Pharisees whom he identified as a race of VIPERS. They were not the ordinary human being who was not known as a robber and murderer.
The only condition for those on Pentecost who felt guilt for the murder of Christ were never asked to go out and do good works. Peter said "repent and be baptized. Again we are baptized to become DISCIPLES and not ritualists. We are Baptized by water INTO the Word or into discipleship of Christ. No one demands that a person proves that they are a brain surgeon before they can beaccepted into Med school.
Baptism is never a work of righteousness: The command to be baptized is a PROMISE and grace accepts promises of what we could never do on our own. I have never heard anyone say that their baptism was anything other than accepting the gift.
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey,
his servants ye are to whom ye obey;
whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Romans 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin,
but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Romans 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye BECAME the servants of righteousness.
I believe Sonny is still thinking of repentance and baptism BECAUSE God has saved us by raw, faith-only. But, faith or trust in the literature always means to COMPLY. Believeth not means COMPLIETH NOT: it is identified even in Isaiah as a REVOLT which is declaring that you offer something better than Christ.
The Work of Christ was finished when he figuratively took his blood into the True Tabernacle in the spiritual realm.
I appropriate that finished work by promise when I "obey that form of doctrine" which is baptism.
We are baptized by Christ into His spiritual kingdom where we have access to Him in our own spirit. Just make certain that they are being baptized INTO the School of Christ and not into "approved membership" or you are still in your sins.
Baptist-Influenced Preachers in the Church Have Made "Grace" Controversial
|August 4 2011, 12:56 AM |
The change agents operating in the brotherhood, in their continued attempt to downgrade the N.T. church's commitment to abiding by the doctrine of Christ and His apostles, are at it again.
If it is not about instrumental music being mechanically operated in the assembly of NT saints, it is about baptism as a symbol--not a necessary or an actual process in obtaining redemption in His blood. If it is not about baptism, it is about the Lord's Supper being extended or expanded to a brotherly "fellowship" with a real meal for the belly. And the list goes on and on--an attempt by these change agents and their disciples to denominate the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. These agents of change [and they become prominent for their efforts to be just like the other "nations"] are determined to MAXimize their efforts to invent or "discover" [what they want us to believe are] "errors" in the beliefs and teachings of the church. Watch out: Al MAXey and MAX Lucado and their theses on "baptism."
Now, the liberal/progressive agents of change have also their focus on "GRACE"--God's grace--and how that members of the church have it all wrong. While true believers in God and His plan of redemption already know and believe that man's salvation is not possible without God's grace, love and mercy, these agents want you hypnotized into thinking and being deceived that "grace" is not taught and emphasized in the church. Instead, that we emphasize baptism very strongly, but not God's grace. Indeed, it is a deceptive mechanism on the agents' part to lessen the importance of baptism WHEN baptism does not negate the grace of God in His offer to man of redemption in the blood of the Lamb.
Good works are not required of the world's worst criminal in order to become God's child. That's the initial salvation via baptism (being buried with Christ and resurrected with Christ in newness of life).
Good works are necessary in Christian living [this is our present salvation]. Christians are to maintain good works. Faith without works is DEAD (James 2)!!!!! How is that in contradiction to God's grace? God's grace is God's part. Good works are man's (the Christian's) part. Good works are not the result or benefit of salvation. Good works are a separate component in Christian living -- not just faith. In essence, faith and good works (obedience) are requirements that a Christian must fulfill.
Only the change agents, influenced by Protestantism (especially by the Baptist teaching on grace and "once saved, always saved"), find God's grace contradicting the Christian's good works--one is God's part; the other is man's part. If the Christian did not have to do his part, why would not God save all of mankind by His grace? Hmmm!
Re: Baptist-Influenced Preachers in the Church Have Made "Grace" Controversial
|August 4 2011, 10:41 AM |
It seems that the one story from the Bible that my Baptist friends just can't get around when we are talking is the story of the conversion of Saul/Paul. In reading the account, it is very obvious that despite Saul/Paul encountering Christ on the road, days spent in prayer, etc., he still was clothed in his sins. It was not until he asked "What must I do" that he found out that in order to shed his sins, he had to "Arise and be baptized" to "wash away his sins." It is a good lesson for all of us to learn that despite our sincerity and prayers, we are still clothed in sin until doing what Saul/Paul did to be rid of his sins.
A Sample of Scripture vs. Baptist Doctrine
|August 8 2011, 4:55 AM |
SCRIPTURE: "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:16)
BAPTIST: And now why tarriest thou? Because thy sins have been washed away [already], arise, and be baptized, calling on the name of the Lord.
SCRIPTURE: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16)
BAPTIST: He that believeth and is saved [already] shall be baptized [later]; but he that believeth and is not baptized shall not be damned.
SCRIPTURE: "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38)
BAPTIST: Then Peter said unto them, every one of you whose sins have been remitted [already saved] and have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, Repent [later], and be baptized [later].
|Dr. Bill Crump|
Re: A Sample of Scripture vs. Baptist Doctrine
|August 8 2011, 11:27 AM |
A Southern Baptist preacher once remarked that there is not one Scripture anywhere in the Bible that requires baptism for salvation. Upon extending the invitation after a sermon, this same preacher urged people to come forward and be baptized [later], because there were some long-time "members" in that congregation who had NEVER been baptized. The implication was that these "members" were "Christians" who had been "saved" but had not formally shown their "inner belief" with the "outer symbol" of baptism.
Some People Don't Want to Change for the Better
|August 8 2011, 9:36 AM |
Donnie, you are the epitamy,
(for you William), of why the church of Christ has a bad name. You had to put in your last response that you assumed those from the baptist denomination would say that. Why not make it an assumed response from anyone? We actually have members from the church of Christ that falsely believe what you are speaking of.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
Re: Some People Don't Want to Change for the Better
|August 8 2011, 2:30 PM |
Baptists believe they are "saved" the moment they ask Jesus to "come into their hearts as their personal Savior." They also believe that baptism is merely an "outer sign of an inner belief"; that is, baptism is required neither for forgiveness of sins nor for salvation. Therefore, it is accurate to say that one way of stating the Baptist belief is: "Those who believe but are not baptized will not be damned."
A person who deliberately types "epitamy" instead of "epitome" only wants to sow discord.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
Re: Some People Don't Want to Change for the Better
|August 8 2011, 3:06 PM |
Dave wrote: "We actually have members from the church of Christ [who] falsely believe what you are speaking of."
If members of the Church of Christ actually believe the examples of false doctrines that Donnie presented, then they are not true members of the Church. They believe like Baptists and the other denominations that Christ never founded.
And Your Point?
|August 8 2011, 11:15 PM |
MY POINT, William, which is beyond your ability to comprehend, is that singling out the baptists is wrong. The underlying rip current and problem here is to assert this false teaching to the baptists, when (as William admitted) we see that even those that claim to be members of the church of Christ actually teach falsely also.
Wrong is wrong! Always!
Have you conversed with Baptist friends about baptism?
|August 9 2011, 1:59 AM |
Dave, have you ever discussed [civilly, I hope] with any of your Baptist friends about baptism and its purpose or design? I know there are always "individual differences" wherever and whenever, but the consensus among Baptists is that the moment one accepts Christ as "my personal Savior," he is saved instantaneously. (Other related beliefs are "once saved, always saved" or "one never falls from grace.")
I know, I know that you've heard of that form of teaching before. Would you be surprised to see an SOF such as this one?
First Baptist Church
You may have a point, though, Dave. I probably should have indicated (instead of "BAPTIST") the following: "CHANGE AGENTS with Baptist Doctrine Proclivities."
11 Young Adults Saved This Sunday A.M.
5 Will Be Baptized This P.M.
Baptismal Services Also Next Sunday P.M.
|Dr. Bill Crump|
Re: And Your Point?
|August 9 2011, 8:53 AM |
Dave would not single out anyone. He would settle for the status quo. Live and let live, right, Dave?
|Dr. Bill Crump|
"Wrong Is Wrong!"
|August 9 2011, 6:52 PM |
I'm always amused whenever Dave gets into one of his little "omnipotent" spells of self righteousness. Picture a little kid jumping up and down, stamping his feet, and hollering, "Wrong is wrong! Always!" Dave's little spells always
provide a chuckle or two.
Live and Let Live
|August 9 2011, 3:32 PM |
I don't have to tell them William. You have always done a bang up job with restating what someone else has said. It may never be anywhere close to what the original message is (some may even call it a lie).....but no skin of your nose, right?
Change Agents Have Made Grace--God's Part--Controversial
|August 11 2011, 3:49 AM |
The subject of "grace" is referenced 39 times in the Old Testament, 130 times in the New Testament. "Mercy" is referenced 372 times in the Bible.
Grace is a major component in man's redemption. But it is God's part and His alone; man does not tamper with God's grace--downgrade it, upgrade it, misuse or abuse it.
Change agents in the brotherhood with foremost in their agenda to downgrade the church to being just like the "other" [denomi]nations, accuse this body of believers of being unemphatic concerning grace. The truth is that we're way past that stage of just now recognizing the truth that man's redemption would be impossible without God's grace and the cleansing blood of the Lamb. Another is that there is no controversy in dealing with God's grace when we speak of the necessity of one being baptized in order to have his sins remitted. There is also no controversy in being under God's grace while Christians endeavor to be obedient (doing good works or works of righteousness) and to remain faithful to the end.
(I'm in the process of creating an HTML table that would simplify our understanding of God's grace--which is so dependent on how we rightly divide the word of truth. How does grace impact man's conversion (initial salvation) in order to become God's child? And how does the Christian cope with living the life of righteousness, obedience and faithfulness while still under God's grace. "Shall we continue in sin that GRACE may abound (Rom. 6:1)? I think not. [I cannot promise when it will be completed.})
Anyway, here's our assignment. How do we deal with seemingly "controversial" passages regarding grace? [But they're not controversial.]
Caution: It would be easy to take the passages out of context without properly understanding the following terminologies and expressions: works, good works, works of righteousness, works of the law, the law of Moses, under the law, under grace.
- Rom. 4: Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all
- Rom. 11: Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.  And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Jesus was Grace Personified: also Word personified
|August 11 2011, 1:47 PM |