Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Believe in Jesus for Everlasting Life

(I am working through something and I have decided to let you help me!)

My brothers Antonio and Matthew have been challenging me for a while to define the content of saving faith. I once had an idea of what it was but I have come to view my former approach as an uncertain checklist. I do not want to have a checklist to answer this question of "What is the content of saving faith?"

I think one of the best and most provocative issues that has been brought forth on this issue is the faith of children. How much can a child know about my checklists?

Anyway, I really feel like "Believe in Jesus for Everlasting Life" is a pretty good description of saving faith according to the Scriptures. It defines what is different between myself and my Roman Catholic relatives (they don't really trust Him for their eternal well-being, although they believe a lot of the things that I think are important in my checklist). However, as I have read about this issue, the statement "Believe in Jesus for Everlasting Life" leaves something a little up-in-the-air for me. Here's what: when I see that statement, my mind zeroes in on the "Jesus." I ask: who is this? All Christians would agree that He is more than just a name. So I start to list things about Jesus that come to mind... and then I wind up with a checklist all over again!

This is the mental exercise I have been going through in the last few months.

A couple of months ago, I was drawn to this idea in the first epistle of John:
"Receiving the witness of God which He has testified of His Son."

I have been mulling that over a lot. (Receiving the witness that God has given about his Son.) I tried to apply this idea to many situations, including the faith of children... and the scenario with the man reading the gospel of John and believing in Jesus for eternal life before he reads about the crucifixion and resurrection.

This seems to me to gel with my idea of saving faith. A person who "believes in Jesus" and has saving faith receives that which God has testified about concerning His Son. I don't think there is a person who is exersizing saving faith who does not receive something (on my checklist or not) that God has testified to regarding His Son. He is not going to actively deny the first chapter of the gospel of John if he is receiving the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. A person who is believing in Jesus for eternal life is not going to reject His deity if it has been revealed to Him from the Word of God that this is part of that testimony that God has given about His Son. If the person hasn't heard it yet, then it is not a matter of him rejecting it. But a person who is looking to Christ is not going to reject the testimony God has given about His Son when he hears it.

Now what is the main item that God has testified to regarding His Son? It is found in 1 John 5:11


9If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (1 John 5:11)
Jesus Christ can guarantee our eternal well-being; He can give us eternal life. This life is in Him, no other. This is the main thing that we must be telling potential converts about. This is not the only thing, but we must, BY NO MEANS, ever, ever leave this out. It is the crwon jewel of God's testimony about His Son.

If a preacher or an evangelist does leave this most important issue out of his presentation, then can a person still be receiving the witness of God which He has testified of His Son? Well, yes, provided that the other things he is being told are true and accurate representations of that witness of God which He has testified of His Son from the Bible. But must he come to the crown jewel of that testimony, which is that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son in order to have that eteranl life? I do believe so.

Q. What must the potential convert know about Jesus Christ the Son in whom he is believing for eternal life?
A. Whatever the Bible says about Him that he can understand and is made aware of. (I am sure this is not detailed and precise enough for some, but it works for me at this point)

There is a testimony God has given about His Son. When people receive this testimony, they have eternal life.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name... (John 1:12)
Now tell me where the holes are in my thinking!

455 Comments:

  • Rose,
    I think you did a good job. true faith believes what God has said in His word. An immature believer may not understand many things in the Bible, but his heart is open to receiving what God says in His word.
    What you wrote reminded me of the Heidelberg Confession on the question of true faith.

    Question 21. What is true faith?

    Answer. True faith is not only a certain knowledge, [c] whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in his word, but also an assured [d] confidence, which the Holy [e] Ghost works by the gospel, [f] in my heart; that not only the others, but to me also, [g] remission of sin, everlasting righteousness [h] and salvation, are freely given by God, [i] merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ's merits.

    List of supporting Scriptural references:

    [c]:
    John 6:69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

    John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

    Heb. 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
    6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

    [d]:
    Eph. 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

    [e]:
    Rom. 4:16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

    Romans 4:,20,21 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,
    21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

    Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

    Eph. 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

    Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    1 Cor 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

    Acts 16:14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.

    Mat. 16:17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

    John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

    [f]:
    Rom. 10:14,17 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? [1] And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

    17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

    Mat. 9:2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”

    [g]:
    Rom. 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we [1] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    [h]:
    Gal. 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

    [i]:
    Rom. 3:24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 11/24/2007 9:03 PM  

  • Rose,

    You didn't mention the gospel. My questions are:

    Do you believe the unsaved need to believe the gospel to be saved?

    What is your definition of the gospel, and could you support your definition of the gospel with Scripture?

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at 11/24/2007 10:45 PM  

  • Hi Rose
    There isn't anything that you said that I didn't agree with.
    Your right on target!!!
    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/24/2007 11:39 PM  

  • Rose,

    In addition to Jonathan's extremely important questions about "the gospel", I would ask a couple more questions. First, I noticed you seemed to have quite an aversion to a "checklist". Why is this? Obviously we do not want to go around having people merely sign off on some "list". Nevertheless, the idea of "required content" implies some sort of "list" of items. Even the RFG/Crossless people have a "list": they think the lost MUST believe that 1)there is someone named Jesus; 2)this person named Jesus can give you eternal life; and 3)this eternal life given to you by Jesus, once received, can never be lost or given back. So I am unsure as to why you are so concerned about avoiding a "checklist" of certain items that MUST be believed to be born again.

    Second, you said,

    "Q. What must the potential convert know about Jesus Christ the Son in whom he is believing for eternal life?
    A. Whatever the Bible says about Him that he can understand and is made aware of. (I am sure this is not detailed and precise enough for some, but it works for me at this point.)"


    I must confess that I am one of the "some" that you reference for whom your answer is not "detailed and precise enough"! LOL I do think your answer above is much too generic. If I tell the lost that the Bible says that Jesus existed, is that enough? What if I tell them that the Bible says that Jesus prayed, or that he taught people, or that he ate? Each of these passes your test above. It seems to me that you will need a more "precise" answer in order to arrive at a biblically accurate position.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/25/2007 12:38 AM  

  • Hi Jonathon and Rachel

    1Co 15:1 Now I would remind you, BROTHERS, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you STAND,
    1Co 15:2 and by which you are BEING SAVED, IF you HOLD FAST to the word I preached to you—UNLESS YOU BELIEVED IN VAIN.
    1Co 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
    1Co 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
    1Co 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
    1Co 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
    1Co 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
    1Co 15:8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.


    1Co 15:12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

    Paul is speaking to saved people here, and the salvation that he is speaking of is a full salvation (received,stand,being saved,if,hold fast). In this context Paul is not dealing with essential content of faith, but with doubts about resurrection.

    Paul is using a hypothetical argument based on the claim that the dead are not raised. Paul is not giving here what one MUST believe in order to have eternal life, but that if God does not raise the dead then Christ is not raised and there is no salvation. His point is the essential nature of the resurrection of the dead to the Gospel. Without the resurrection, there is no Gospel because this is HOW God saved us.
    So to say that 1 Cor 15:1-8 is the essential content that one MUST believe for initial salvation is false.
    As far as the context of the Gospel of John the sign of the cross was just one of the signs given as evidence that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God and believing you might have life in His name. Which of the signs you believe is not the issue, the essential issue is that you believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God. Anyone believing this has life in His name based on Jesus promise. And that promise is so simple a little child could believe and be born again. That is the simplicity that is in Christ you don't need a checklist, your simply beliving in the person that is promising an eternal gift.

    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/25/2007 1:41 AM  

  • Hi Rose!

    Once again, you're right on target. Whoever simply believes in Jesus Christ receives the witness in himself. To deny this would make God a liar.

    It is the simple promise of Scripture that "whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16 NKJV). Any intellectual knowledge of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection will not save me. I have to trust in His promise in order to gain what He secured for me. There is no other way.

    That is what saving faith is, at least how I would define it. It is a trust in the promise that whoever believes in Jesus has eternal life. It is based on what Jesus has done for me, not on what works I could do for him before or after believing.

    I hope to crank out some new blogs soon.

    By Blogger Ender, at 11/25/2007 12:23 PM  

  • Rose,

    I think you have made some very good observations. I am proud that you have gone out on a limb and given us your thoughts. In the main, as the target and bullseye of saving faith, we agree, as i am convinced that you have rightly identified the correct object and content to saving faith:

    certain and sole reliance upon Jesus for everlasting life

    in other words

    believing in Him for irrevocable life

    PS: I think you need to reevalutate the the idea of what one must know about Jesus who they are believing in. In reality, all they need to know is something unique about Him that delimits reference to Him alone.


    Jonathan,

    Is it not interesting that the Apostle John in His treatise given so that men could have everlasting life does not use the term "gospel" anywhere in it? Why is that? I'll tell you why. He was pointing men and women to faith in Jesus for everlasting life. He wasn't bringing men and women to believe in this ambiguous and non-clarified set of news called the gospel.

    John was bringing men and women to Jesus! Jesus alone has the words of everlasting life. Jesus' words are spirit and they are life. Jesus states unequivocally that whoever simply believes in Him has everlasting life and shall never perish.

    Rachel,

    Refined free grace theology does not believe in a checklist like the traditionalists do. Saving faith for a RFG is a simple proposition as opposed to the TFG's multiple objects and contents of saving faith which could only be expressed in complex propositions.

    Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, guarantees ever-lasting life to all who simply believe in Him.

    in other words, Whoever believes in Jesus has everlasting life (John 6:47).

    No checklist!! No multiple objects of faith!!

    This is a simple proposition!

    Traditionalists, on the other hand, have multiple objects of faith and either a complex proposition of saving faith or multiple propositions (depending how you wish to express them).

    On must believe:

    1) Jesus is God (and all of the subpoints and presuppositions of this belief to the satisifaction of the evangelist)
    2) Jesus is human (which belief is made up of many elements)
    3) Jesus died on the cross, substitutionally, for sins (and all of the subpoints of this belief to the satisfaction of the evangelist)
    4) Jesus rose again from the dead (and all the subpoints of this belief to the satisfaction of the evangelist)
    5) On must believe that Jesus works save him.

    Here we have all these objects of faith:

    1) the doctrine of the deity of Christ
    2) the doctrine of the humanity of Christ
    3) the doctrine of substitutionary atonement
    4) the doctrine of Christ's resurrection
    5) Christ's work and person

    Not to mention all the subpoints that make each of these things up!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/25/2007 12:46 PM  

  • Rose,

    Jesus' own instructions were to behold and believe that He is the Son of God offering eternal life.

    A person can then look at the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and press on to maturity.

    You post message contains it and then some, IMO. Thanks. Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 11/25/2007 3:49 PM  

  • Alvin,

    You said,

    "In this context Paul is not dealing with essential content of faith, but with doubts about resurrection ... So to say that 1 Cor 15:1-8 is the essential content that one MUST believe for initial salvation is false."

    First of all, I know of no one who says that 1 Cor 15:1-8 is the essential content. Many of us say that vv. 3-4 contain the essential content, but no one says vv. 5-8 is too. Second, just because Paul's main point is to correct the Corinthians' view of the resurrection does not mean that anything that Paul says in such a discussion is automatically NOT the gospel (i.e. that which the lost must believe to be born again). I firmly disagree with your conclusion on 1 Cor 15.

    However, I am confused as to why you even brought up 1 Cor 15. Neither Jonathan nor I mentioned it in any way. You discussed your view of 1 Cor 15, but you didn't actually answer any of our questions. But I don't want to get too far off track, because this thread is to help Rose figure out what she believes on this issue. You or me or anyone else answering the questions may end up being helpful for Rose, but it is her answers to the questions that should determine the flow of this discssion.

    Antonio,

    You said,

    "Refined free grace theology does not believe in a checklist like the traditionalists do."

    Clearly you do not believe in a checklist "like [we] do", nevertheless you DO believe in a checklist. You can call it a "simple proposition" if you want, but the fact is that the three things I listed ARE REQUIRED by your position. That's a checklist, no matter how you look at it. I also think my view is a "simple proposition", but it CAN be broken down into a "checklist" of sorts. And so can yours.

    You said,

    "Traditionalists, on the other hand, have multiple objects of faith..."

    This would be a straw man. None of us are setting up anything other than Jesus Christ (God) as the object of faith. We say that certain things must be believed ABOUT Jesus in order to properly and savingly identify Him. These things are also biblical. But none of them are set up as being the object of faith themselves. They are merely identifiers of the one in whom we place our faith.

    You said to Jonathan,

    "Is it not interesting that the Apostle John in His treatise given so that men could have everlasting life does not use the term "gospel" anywhere in it?"

    Not really. You'd need to show that John would have had a reason to use the term before we can conclude that his lack of usage makes any difference. The book of Esther doesn't use the word "God", but should we then conclude that the author thought God irrelevant or did not have "God" has part of his mindset when writing? Of course not.

    As I have said elsewhere, "simple" is subjective. You may think "my" gospel is too complex, but others may not. For that matter, I was saved at the age of 5, and I believed "my" gospel even then. So apparently it is not too complex for a child to understand.

    You say our gospel is deficient because it is "complex". As I have also said elsewhere, this is not about "whose gospel is simplest", this is about "whose gospel is biblical". If the true gospel that saves is simple, great. If the true gospel is "complex", then so be it. The true gospel is not determined by your perception of its "simplicity", rather it is determined by what God has revealed in His Word.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/25/2007 4:20 PM  

  • Susan,
    Thank you for your comments. I am a little surprised to find that what I said reminded you of a confession!

    Jonathan,
    Do you believe the unsaved need to believe the gospel to be saved?
    I always had thought yes, but some of these scenarios that have come before me are what have provoked my further question. For example, someone who hears about Christ but does not get the whole story etc... He hasn't heard about that aspect of how Jesus provided eternal life - but He hears the promises of CHrist, realizes who this was that walked the earth - God in the flesh - and casts himself upon Jesus. Say then the next hour he dies in an auto crash - will be be saved? I would think so - do you? I have to account for the grace of God - the benevolence of Christ in His gift when I think about these kinds of situations.

    This is a short post that made sense to me regarding your question:
    here

    What is your definition of the gospel, and could you support your definition of the gospel with Scripture?

    That Christ (that Person, not just His name) died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures and that through this truth we can know that we have eternal life by faith in Him alone.

    I would say that is my version of the gospel per say. I know it is not technical, but there it is.

    Yes, I can support my definition from Scripture.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/25/2007 4:21 PM  

  • BTW,
    If you read my thoughts in the post, you will see that I do not say that I think a person can actively deny this gospel if he hears it and yet be exercising saving faith in Jesus' promise. No way. No how.

    BTW, I am really open to challenge and dialogue on this - I am still thinking through it. Thanks. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/25/2007 4:23 PM  

  • Good afternoon, Rose: I was just tidying up a wee bit in my study when I came across an old tract I'd printed entitled "The 3 R's of the gospel" which is based on the phonetically pronounced but misspelt requirement for a basic education: Reading, '(W)riting and (A)Rithmetic. In it I point out that there are 3 truths which are essential to salvation i.e. if they are denied or unknown, then there is no salvation. People are destroyed for lack of knowledge, not saved. (Hosea 4:6) These three R's of redemption are as follows:

    1) RUIN BY THE FALL:
    2) REDEMPTION BY THE BLOOD:
    3) REGENERATION BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD:

    Obviously I accept that it takes a very well taught sinner to know what you were even talking about if you delivered these three doctrinal propositions at them. Obviously therefore they need to be broken down into easier language and the wise preacher will such out and set them in order before his listeners.

    1) Ruined by the Fall: If a soul does not learn about its guilt and helplessness before a holy God, then it will conclude that salvation is unnecessary. I base this on the very telling words of the Lord Jesus that He came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32) A soul that still sees itself as righteous will disdain what the Bible calls salvation because such involves being saved from sin. In my arrogant thoughts, I might mock the idea of ever queuing outside a charity soup kitchen for my only mail of the day. I do not need their charity now. But if I was standing in rags and very hungry and stony broke I would have different thoughts and I would not deny that I qualify for their handouts. Until the sinner learns that they are bankrupt, then they will never cry out to God for mercy, simply because they do not see their need of mercy. They are self sufficient in their own eyes, but (as we know) not in reality.

    2) Redemption by the Blood: I think it is important that they have some grasp of the meaning of the word "redemption" which will flow on from the word "ruined" and Whose blood it is that redeems and why His blood in particular is needed.

    3) Regeneration by the Spirit of God: Again, why must the soul be "born again" as Jesus said it must (John 3:7) and the life changing and permanent nature of the new birth must be grasped. Such leads (in my view) to the faith that saves, but (to avoid us getting sidelined with this one) let us say (for the purposes of keeping this present subject on top) that such is associated with faith in Christ.

    OK, we are not going to cover this all in a 5 minute conversation. OK, (say) a man is dying at a roadside after an accident and we are one of the first on the scene and you can see death in his eyes and do we really start to talk about Adam and Eve and the serpent being more subtil than any other creature etc.? No, I would probably quote Romans 10:13 or Acts 16:31 or something along those lines and recognise that God's providential dealings have taken over and limited me severely. I do what I can and know that the Lord knows those who are His. But in normal circumstances where we can sit down with someone on a daily or weekly basis, I think we need to take time to do this right. There is a danger of a coin-in-the-slot-salvation which leads men like that Pastor in Texas to claim that his church had over 36,000 conversions the year before last, bringing his overall ministry total to over 1,000,000 when it is blatantly obvious that it is untrue. I am all for urgency in salvation as much as any man. But I also believe in the Sovereignty of God and that everything else will be made to wait "for the elect's sake" (Again, let us not run off on this one either and forsake the current topic).

    Sorry this post is so long, but the subject matter demands it,

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/25/2007 4:52 PM  

  • Jonathan,
    Another question, this time to you from me:
    Roman Catholics believe a lot of the same things that we do. What is the one thing that is different about that which we believe and that which they believe?

    Answering this question and the simple Scriptures from John... Jesus' conversation with Martha and John's purpose statement led me to the title of this post. If this is the big difference, perhaps this *is* the crown jewel after all, just like John seems to indicate.

    Than again, still workin it through. What do you think?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/25/2007 5:01 PM  

  • Thanks, Alvin.
    You may not agree with my comments, though. Feel free to share some more.

    Rachel,
    I have an aversion to a checklist because it seems to go against the nature of grace. But I do see your point that everyone has a checklist.

    What is funny is that here
    Q. What must the potential convert know about Jesus Christ the Son in whom he is believing for eternal life?
    A. Whatever the Bible says about Him that he can understand and is made aware of. (I am sure this is not detailed and precise enough for some, but it works for me at this point.)"


    when I said I am sure this is not detailed and precise enough for some

    I was actually thinking of Antonio and Matthew! LOL! Antonio often talks about "precision" in this discussion. I have left it a little imprecise, you are right.
    I may be wrong in this. I see your point and it is well taken.

    I suppose your last few questions to me are what leads the discussion in the "bare minumum" direction. I also want to avoid the "bare minumum" - I have felt uncomfortable dealing with it from the first time I was caused to think about it. I am now, however, trying to look it in the face.

    My bare minumum I suppose is "Believe in Jesus [Jesus - receiving what God has testified to about His Son that you understand and are aware of] for eternal life."

    So you see I am saying that the minimum is that you trust Christ for your eternity.

    ...but what must you know about Christ? is the next question - and I answer that in a little more of a nebulous fashion.

    Whatever the Bible says about Him that he can understand and is made aware of.

    Antonio would probably not agree with that part of my answer because it rules out someone with huge, actively held misconceptions about Jesus (like the cult belief that Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer) as latching onto Christ in a saving way.
    I do not see how one can actively deny things about His person and work and yet be receiving eternal life from Him.

    Does that make any sense to you or am I talking jibberish?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/25/2007 5:17 PM  

  • I am not ignoring anyone... time is sorely limited.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/25/2007 5:17 PM  

  • Hi Rachel

    Rachel your debating over what the minimum content one needs to believe in order to be saved. But yet you don’t believe John 3:16, because if you did you would KNOW you would never perish and you have eternal life.


    Rachel you say that you believe in “Eternal Security” but what you believe is what’s called “The Perseverance of the Saints” the fifth point of Calvinism. A person can’t just believe Jesus simple promise but they have to keep on believing or they didn’t truly believe to begin with. That’s like saying the women at the well couldn’t just take one drink and never thirst like Jesus told her but she has to keep on drinking or she never drank to begin with.
    The problem with this position is that you cannot KNOW you have eternal life like 1 John 5:13 states. Because you believe there is such a thing as a spurious faith and one could be deceived all their life and then finally fall away showing their faith wasn’t true faith to begin with. So you cannot KNOW until the end of your life whether your faith is genuine.
    You would probably respond by saying yes but you believe you can lose your assurance so what’s the difference? The difference is that the one who believes Jesus promise they KNOW at the time they believe that they will NEVER PERISH and have ETERNAL LIFE. So they KNOW their eternal destiny is sealed, if they NEVER knew this then they did not believe Jesus promise about the one who believes. If they later lose their assurance from false teaching or tragedy this has NO bearing on their eternal destiny that was forever settled at the moment they passed from death to life.
    So I believe you have disqualified yourself by the fact that you don't even KNOW if your faith is real or spurious. Also Goodnight I believe is in the same boat as you. Correct me if I’m wrong.
    blessings alvin
    Hi Rose!

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/25/2007 6:55 PM  

  • Alvin,

    You said,

    "But yet you don’t believe John 3:16..."

    Please show me where I have ever said that I don't believe John 3:16. How is that you are telling me what it is that I believe? Somehow I don't think you would appreciate it if someone did that to you. Let's not go there, k?

    Beyond that, you are transferring issues. Maybe you should copy and paste your last post here into the the thread from Antonio's blog where we are discussing the issues you brought up. They seem rather out of place in this thread, and I won't respond here so as not to derail this thread.

    Rose,

    I am trying to decide if there is any real difference between not knowing something about Jesus and denying something about Jesus, from your position. Here is a scenario: say someone decides to believe that Jesus can give them eternal life, to trust Christ for their eternity, as you put it. You would consider that person saved, right? But then, a month later, they learn of the teaching of Jesus' deity. They decide they can't buy that and reject this teaching. What now? It would seem you have two options. Either you were wrong at the beginning and the person was never saved in the first place, OR the person has now lost their salvation. I think we would all agree that the second scenario (they lost their salvation) isn't possible, so we are left with the first: that the person wasn't saved in the first place. But that leaves you with a dilemma, because now you have someone who "trust[ed] Christ for [their] eternity" but wasn't really saved.

    So do you see what I'm saying? I'm still not sure on this myself, but I think at least for your position, that there wouldn't seem to be any practical difference between not believing something and actually denying it.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/25/2007 10:23 PM  

  • Rose~

    Thank you for this article, it has really helped me in my own working out of this issue regarding "what is the content of saving faith?" I really appreciate your pointing out the main issue of believing the Father's testimony regarding His Son.

    In this debate, I feel that so many people cling to theologies, or the teachings of another man. Which I believe are alright to turn to if it helps you understand the Bible more, however, God's Word, and God's Word alone should be our ultimate authority. And if anything we hear seems to make sense, we should ALWAYS go to the Word and compare it, to make sure it doesn't contradict. I don't believe the majority of teachers out there are trying to collect followers, but merely trying to point people to Christ. Unfortunately, it doesn't always happen that way.
    But thank you for pointing me to the Word and for showing me something that has helped me answer what I've been wrestling with in my own mind.

    Alvin~

    And thanks also to you; in your first post you simply pointed to the Scriptures, and explained what you think they mean. What you wrote didn't draw attention to any one person or any particular theology, but simply pointed to the Word of God, and the glory of our Heavenly Father. It encouraged me greatly, thank you. (As for your second post, I haven't read it, as you were addressing Rachel specifically, and from skimming it, it appeared it wasn't related to the first thing you wrote. I didn't want to read it and forget what it was I wanted to comment on by a different issue drawing my attention.) :)

    By Blogger IndweltDaughter, at 11/25/2007 10:49 PM  

  • [Susan,
    Thank you for your comments. I am a little surprised to find that what I said reminded you of a confession!]

    Hello Rose,

    Well, I probably should have explained that I meant the first part of that confession where it states "I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in his Word". Do you agree with the other parts of the Answer?

    I especially liked what you said below.

    [He is not going to actively deny the first chapter of the gospel of John if he is receiving the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. A person who is believing in Jesus for eternal life is not going to reject His deity if it has been revealed to Him from the Word of God that this is part of that testimony that God has given about His Son. If the person hasn't heard it yet, then it is not a matter of him rejecting it. But a person who is looking to Christ is not going to reject the testimony God has given about His Son when he hears it.]

    Here is a definition of faith found on our forum's glossary.

    [Faith is the means or instrument by which a person is saved. We must believe in order to be saved from our sins (Acts 16:30), and to receive eternal life, (John 3:16).

    Faith involves three elements--knowledge (notitia), assent (assensus), and trust (fiducia).

    Knowledge-- A person must have knowledge and understanding concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ and know the content of the gospel.

    Assent or Agreement -- He must also believe what the gospel says is true. He must be convinced and persuaded that Jesus is the Son of God who lived, died and rose again.

    Trust --The person must commit himself wholeheartedly to Christ and rely on Him only for salvation.]

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 11/26/2007 12:34 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    I made the statement at one time that I believed a Mormon child who was told Jesus was not God by his parents. But that I presented Jesus promise to this child out of the scripture and they believed (illumination took place) other words God opened their heart and they believed that the scripture that I was reading to them to be true. They had not understood the whole God thing anyway they were just going by what their parents had told them. How is this any different then the Catholic child who was told the Pope is God on earth the all seeing eye? Or the good Baptist that’s told you have to be baptized to be saved? Or the good Assembly of God child that was told by their parents that you MUST speak in tongues?
    I believe that God can open a heart just like Lydia’s to hear the words of truth. We can reason with them from scripture and the light can come on!
    Now a person that is dogmatic in their belief that Jesus is not God I don’t think is going to have ears to hear anyway when the truth has been given to them. But how many children do you run across who are dogmatic in their belief. I just see the possibility of this happening.



    Blessings alvin

    Hi Rachel K

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/26/2007 3:42 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose

    I remember a true story about a child in China when he was growing up his parents always brought him to this place where there was statue of their god they worshiped. But one day he thought to himself “I don’t believe this dirty old statue is really God” and he looked up at the sky and thought, “I believe God is out there somewhere.” He told this story to a missionary years later and said I knew God was out there I just didn’t know His name until you came.
    Just like that child we don’t know really what little children believe. And probably like any child when our parents god is attacked we will defend even though we really don’t know or believe what were defending. I believe there are Mormon children just as there are all religions, the children don’t really know but when Jesus reveals Himself to them in a child like verse like John 3:16 they can simply take Him at His promise. And then later find out that He is Jehovah God Himself.
    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/26/2007 5:16 AM  

  • Hi all, is there a competition going on to find out who has the view with least requirement of faith?

    Well, I win then, and here it is:
    Heb 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

    Easey-peasey, even a child can understand it. I expect plenty of reaction to this and believe me, i can answer the objevtions! Fire away!

    By Blogger Anton, at 11/26/2007 6:59 AM  

  • Hi Anton
    Hebrews 1:1,2 God who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, HAS IN THESE LAST DAYS SPOKEN TO US BY HIS SON

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he HAS NOT BELIEVED IN THE NAME OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD.

    Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we MUST BE SAVED.

    John 6:47 Most assuredly I tell you he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

    Blessings alvin
    Hi Rose

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/26/2007 8:34 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin:

    Alvin writes to Rachel: "So I believe you have disqualified yourself by the fact that you don't even KNOW if your faith is real or spurious. Also Goodnight I believe is in the same boat as you. Correct me if I’m wrong."

    Here's one for you, Alvin. Your faith (as encapsulated in the above words "I believe") as to whether or not I KNOW if my faith is spurious or not is entirely misplaced. Misplaced because I have never expressed any doubt as to it's reality either on this or any other blog, and therefore you have taken it upon yourself to speak on my behalf. It may be handy to have someone else confess your faith for you, but only if they manage to do it right. Alas, Alvin, here you fail and that big time.

    My reading of John 3:16 is a very simple one indeed. I place myself in the "whosoever" - a term that cannot be restricted in any way - and I cast the full weight of my soul upon what God Incarnate wrought for believing sinners upon the Cross. On the basis of this response to these words of John 3:16 I expect to be in Heaven. What am I missing in this Alvin? Is it not enough? Or, on the other hand, is there too much?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/26/2007 9:25 AM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    Good start! Let's lay down a few ground rules.

    Rule 1
    Scripture cannot be broken. A propositional statement therefore fails if even a single scriptural teaching contradicts it.

    Agreed?

    If so agreed, then please answer: if your contention that a person must know Christ in order to be saved is true, a new born baby knows none of content of the verses you quoted. If he/she dies before reaching the age of reason, is he/she saved?

    Blessings

    Anton

    By Blogger Anton, at 11/26/2007 12:13 PM  

  • Ender,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to reading your new posts.

    Hello Antonio,
    Yes, you have challenged me a lot on this. When I think about the checklist of orthodox doctrines that my Catholic family members have... the glaring thing missing os the sole reliance upon the Lord Jesus Christ. This is faith.

    In reality, all they need to know is something unique about Him that delimits reference to Him alone.

    As you know, I am not into this, but I sure like that word "delimits"! :~)

    Thanks, brother.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/26/2007 2:43 PM  

  • Todd,
    Thank you for your thoughts. I do appreciate it when yo are blogging.

    Goodnight,
    I think your three Rs are interesting. Can youu clarify some things about them for me?

    What are you saying in #3? What is it tha, must be known by convert?

    I have more comments on your comment, but I want to be clear on that #3. Thanks so much for visiting!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/26/2007 2:46 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I would say that in #3 (Regenerated by the Spirit of God) that the convert should be made aware of their need of the new birth i.e. that except a man be born again, then he cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3) These were the words with which the Lord Jesus directly confronted Nicodemus in John 3. I would not expect him to be acquainted with the ins and outs of regeneration - no one is aiming for theology classes, but certainly there should be a pressing upon the enquirer or the contact reasons for its necessity -the flesh producing only corrupt flesh etc., and nothing less than a new heart being acceptable to God etc.,

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/26/2007 4:01 PM  

  • What a brave soul you are, Rose!

    When I read this, I thought of the process I am going through right now (well for some time now) of going through each of the little bullets on my checklist for faith. I am finding that I discover quite a lot when I simply consider deleting one thing off the list - if faith still holds together, then I know it may have been important, but maybe not essential. I have a feeling that this will be a very lengthy process. :)

    With what you have said here, I think some may be concerned that you have oversimplified faith, while I believe you have taken great care not to stuff such a lofty subject in a box giving it limits it does not deserve. God has created us individuals, and as such deals with our faith individually - to me that is a big part of what His mercy and grace is all about.

    Thanks for a great post!

    By Blogger Missy, at 11/26/2007 4:02 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You said, "I really feel like "Believe in Jesus for Everlasting Life" is a pretty good description of saving faith according to the Scriptures."

    And then later you ask this question, "What must the potential convert know about Jesus Christ the Son in whom he is believing for eternal life?"

    Personally, I think it's the wrong question. I think your question should be more about what the "eternal life" is, rather than who Jesus is. 2 Peter 3:18 says that we should "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ". We all start at a certain point in our knowledge of Jesus, and we are expected and commanded to grow in regards to that knowledge. We will only believe in Jesus for eternal life if we have confidence that He can provide it for us. Which then is why book of John starts out the way it does, establishing Jesus as God. So the content of our "knowledge about Jesus Christ" may vary but it's all rooted in the same basic facts. Jesus is God and He is able to provide eternal life if I believe in Him.

    But what is the "eternal life"? Is it just a paradise we go to somewhere, someday? Does is begin after I die? Or does it begin when Christ returns? Is it off in the distance, in the future?

    Consider John 17:3
    "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."

    So Jesus answers the question about what "eternal life" is. It's the ability to know God and Jesus Christ. So when does that ability start? When can we know God and Jesus Christ? Do we have to wait until after death? Do we have to wait until Christ returns?

    No, it starts at faith. When we believe we can know God and Jesus Christ.

    Consider John 5:24
    "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life."

    So at the point of faith we pass out of death into life. Life starts at faith. I seem to recall that you touched on this in one of your other posts, or maybe in the comments section of one of the posts. How there's a connection between faith and life. And we can see that there's also a connection between life and knowing God and Jesus Christ. I prefer to not think of it as "eternal life" but rather as "life that is eternal". At the point of faith, we are made alive in Him. We were dead in our sins, but now we are alive.

    John makes reference to this in 1:12,13
    "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

    See the connection between believing and being "born" (He gave life).

    John 5:21
    "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes."

    This is what the Son does, He gives life, life that is eternal.

    Which is what makes the Good News, Good News. Paul talks about it in Romans 6:22,23 "But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

    We are freed from sin, enslaved to God. And what is the benefit? Sanctification. And what is the outcome of that? Eternal life.

    Wow, those are good words. Believing in Christ is not just so we can live forever. It's so we can live NOW. That's what we should be telling people. Faith in Christ is freedom from sin. Faith in Christ is life, now and forever. And then they, too, can grow in the knowledge of Christ.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 11/26/2007 4:15 PM  

  • BTW Rose,

    Have you ever noticed Jesus' checklist?

    John 5:24
    "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

    John 6:40
    "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."

    John 6:54
    "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

    John 12:25
    "He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

    So we must:
    -hear His word
    -behold the Son
    -eat His flesh and drink His blood
    -hate our life in this world
    -believe Him who sent Jesus
    -believe in Jesus

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 11/26/2007 4:23 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Here's a question I've been pondering: What if a person believes that Jesus wasn't sinless? In other words, what if a person believes that Jesus sinned? Is he saved as long as he trusted in Jesus, even though he believes he sinned?

    Ten Cent,
    Please define what it means there to "hate his life in this world". Expand on it a little bit. Pretty please?

    By Blogger Ender, at 11/26/2007 4:46 PM  

  • Hi again Rose,

    Just some more thought I wanted to log-in here for everyone's consideration.

    According to Romans 1 God has made Himself evident within man, to man, and clearly and evidently seen in all creation. Therefore a person would not have to know an Israelite or a Christian to come to know of God. Just Jesus, His revelation. To behold Jesus(or Jesus in the testimony of the bible), and believe His testimony of being the Son of God, is all He asks of us for eternal spiritual enjoining with the truth of God. It surely is possible for a person to do and, seems to me, is what all these other list items all boil down to. After which comes the maturing, perfecting, cleansing, deepening of a person's understanding, and so on, while they remain here on earth.

    Although granted, it will take much more to convert many.

    And of course someone is less likely today to come upon their first introduction or awareness of Jesus without being already jarred by the conflicting and over-done theologies, run-ins with poor examples of Christians and so on, even athiests, confusing them and clouding their perception of God's revelation, leaving them with a much tougher job ciphering what or how to believe. But it certainly does happen that people come to His awareness unaffected enough by others, or by presuppositions or prejudice, to simply recieve with joy Jesus' claim to be the Son of God, accept His offer, and then proceed to be taught further from the Father and He.

    Even though this same person may not yet know the surpassing riches nor the indescribable gift, like we do, to which he just became a party through belief, we still have to make room for Him as a new believer/brother in the Son of God.

    I think?

    Can someone like that misunderstand as well? Decieve himself? Look saved but not be? Yes, it would seem to me. In fact I would almost expect it.

    That may help explain why some of us yearn for a list of sorts, because new believers and non-believers are so irritating(oh my, where's that fruit when you need it).

    So there's some more to chew on. Thanks Rose.

    By Blogger Todd, at 11/26/2007 7:57 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/26/2007 8:27 PM  

  • Rose, I have been thinking about your dilemma concerning what must be known about the Jesus we are believing in for everlasting life.

    First of all, I want to say that it is a practically moot point, in that, it is near impossible for anyone to be persuaded that the Biblical Jesus guarantees their eternal destiny through simple faith in Him, without a subjectively adequate amount of information about Him that convinces one to believe in Him.

    That being said, I wish to have you consider this statement:

    In the process of evangelism, anyone who simply believes in the biblical Jesus, based upon the truth learned about Him through communication informed by the Bible, is eternally saved; in other words has everlasting life and will not perish.

    Therefore, if, through whatever biblical communication and/or consideration, one believes in Jesus of Nazareth (in the sense of certain and complete entrustment of one's eternal destiny into His hands), the same is eternally secure.

    Submitted for your approval,

    Antonio da Rosa

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/26/2007 8:28 PM  

  • Todd,

    I was reading your last comment with great interest. There are things that I do commend. I have two questions though:

    1) What does it mean to receive Jesus' claim to be the Son of God?

    2) Must one do so necessarily with "joy"?

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/26/2007 8:37 PM  

  • Hey Rose.

    Ahahahahaha Todd. I knew that was coming. We just cant have our joy on any side of the coin. This is why I kidded around over at David Wyatts site about him taking the hallelujah out from in front of the tis done, but then again maybe David should take the Hallelujah out of his title all together.

    Chuckle:-)

    Rejoice is the word spawned from Charis which comes from grace.

    My advice is to simply lay as much fact down as you know,tell them of their overwhelming sin debt that they cannot do anything about and how Christ satisfied that debt at the cross, buried it in the tomb and offers free life to those who trust in this beautiful truth and maybe throw in what the Lord has done in saving you and call men and women to trust in Christ like a little child trusts a good parent to care for them as they cannot care for themselves or help themselves.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 11/26/2007 9:10 PM  

  • BTW, No offense Antonio. I just cant help but get tickled from time to time in how you and Matt sort of nitpick this to death....even to the point of Rose seeming to be circling this around in her mind. Thats what much of this has been doing to many of us. Making it harder that it has to be by trying to make it the simplist seed possible.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 11/26/2007 9:12 PM  

  • Hi Antonio,

    1. I recognize the statement, "What does it mean to receive Jesus' claim to be the Son of God?", to be the source of great debate.

    If you get a little more specific maybe I can give you a good representation of my thoughts.

    In the meantime, how is, "I don't know what it exactly means to recieve it, but just that it's what we're described as doing in the bible when we believe". In fact, to recieve is defined as an active part of believing.

    2.Necessarily with joy?

    Not necessarily immediately with joy, but it will come. Here's my thinking.

    One answer to 'with joy?' may be that that's the language His parable used when describing the recieving the word of the kingdom. Of course, that's 'joy in learning of the kingdom'. But learning of the Kingdom can easily interchange with 'learning of the King'.

    Don't forget, this is the hypothetical character. He may recieve it with joy right away, or not, but it's inevitable. It's a fruit of the new Spirit He's about to learn He has. So no, one may not immediately recieve it with joy immediately. Let's admit here, the implications of the whole thing are hard to fathom all at once, and then ,still, never fully. So not necessarily immediately but certainly once the new believer's understanding matures the joy will come.

    By Blogger Todd, at 11/26/2007 10:09 PM  

  • Ooops, "It's a fruit of the new Spirit He's about to learn He has..."

    Those 'he's' are not supposed to be upper case.

    By Blogger Todd, at 11/26/2007 10:13 PM  

  • Just to take off on one part of your comment Brian. While it strikes me how quickly someone can come to belief when confronted with Christ's proclamation to 'behold and believe', it also strikes me how quickly someone may think they see it but don't really see it. How they may be blinded from holding it in their heart unto taking firm root. Or how quickly they can be robbed of the young seed by the god of confusion, and greed and self deception. So these young believers need a good solid teacher/preacher like yourself Brian to train them on the full extent of what the Lord has done for them and what a solid Rock they stand on.

    By Blogger Todd, at 11/26/2007 10:35 PM  

  • I'm working that parable for all it's worth, but I think that's what it's there for.

    By Blogger Todd, at 11/26/2007 10:36 PM  

  • ...and I don't mind adding the 'good teacher/preacher' about you either Antonio.

    By Blogger Todd, at 11/26/2007 10:53 PM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    Response? None? Ha! Ha!

    I came to this site after observing Antonio's interaction on Pyro, and noting the truth in his doctrine. This was confirmed on interaction with Greek speaking believers. Boy, do they have insight! Basically, they showed me how to deal with James 2, and how to reconcile James with Jesus' teaching (Hint: you should really wrap your minds around "sarx" and what it conveys in it's meaning of: the flesh).

    Now I am being shown a thing or two by Hebrew speaking believers. Maybe you can all join me on this learning exercise on how Paul's teaching can be reconciled with JAMES' teaching. I have questions to ask of him (that you also probably wish to see answers to) so I will be spending the next few`days THERE...

    Guess who I am on this discussion! Rachel, I think you are far along the road!

    http://forum.bible.org/viewtopic.php?p=86167

    By Blogger Anton, at 11/26/2007 11:43 PM  

  • Hi Anton,

    You said,

    "is there a competition going on to find out who has the view with least requirement of faith?"

    The "crossless"/RFG proponents do seem to think that the side with the simplest gospel wins. But, as I've said before, this is not about "whose gospel is simplest", this is about "whose gospel is biblical". Nevertheless, the discussion does center on what exactly ARE the requirements for saving faith.

    You said,

    "Heb 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

    Okay, so are you saying that a person is saved if they believe that God exists and rewards earnest seekers? Would you define "the gospel" (the message that the lost MUST believe to be born again) as "God exists and rewards those who earnestly seek Him"? I have some thoughts, but I'll wait for your clarification before delving into them.

    You also asked Alvin if a baby can "know Christ". Clearly a baby cannot "know" anything about the gospel or even God, so what is your point about the baby? A baby can't know any of the requirements that any of us have set forth, regardless of how "simple" they are. How does this help your position (and I still am not sure of your position)?

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/27/2007 12:32 AM  

  • Good morning Rose?Antonio:

    Antonio writes: First of all, I want to say that it is a practically moot point, in that, it is near impossible for anyone to be persuaded that the Biblical Jesus guarantees their eternal destiny through simple faith in Him, without a subjectively adequate amount of information about Him that convinces one to believe in Him.

    I assume Antonio that ou have a checklist of doctrines that will make this near impossible matter possible? If so, what are they? Having given these doctrines, what do you do if someone rejects one/more of them?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/27/2007 1:57 AM  

  • Hi Ender,

    You said, "Please define what it means there to "hate his life in this world". Expand on it a little bit. Pretty please?"

    Please don't miss the point of my comment. I was only pointing out the fact that even Jesus expands on "believing". I have a hunch that you would not agree with the path that I would take on the passage. And I get the impression that you have an idea of what it means already, so there's no need to enter that discussion. Even without that passage, the comment still stands. And I'd rather not derail the main discussion...the content of saving faith.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 11/27/2007 7:46 AM  

  • Antonio,

    You said,

    "First of all, I want to say that it is a practically moot point, in that, it is near impossible for anyone to be persuaded that the Biblical Jesus guarantees their eternal destiny through simple faith in Him, without a subjectively adequate amount of information about Him that convinces one to believe in Him."

    Funny. Someone named "Tyler" once said this to you: "While interesting, this discussion is really moot to me in the sense that I have no intention of removing any of these things from my gospel presentation, nor would I encourage anyone to do so." Guess what your response was? Here it is:

    "Hi Tyler,

    I humbly disagree with you concerning it being "moot" and only interesting theologically for I can enumerate several factors why it is important:

    1) Child evangelism is one practical ramification. How much does a child have to understand about "substitutionary" atonement, Jesus being God, or the son of God, etc... What exactly must be known, what exact contents to the object must be exactly known, that will be the difference between eternal life, and almost knowing enough?

    Simple faith in Jesus is the key! Believe in Jesus and you will live forever with Him.

    "Unless you become like children..."

    (For the time being, PLEASE for the sake of not digressing, do not comment on number 2 right now, at least until there are more foundatinal things laid concerning my position. Nevertheless it is a ramification)
    2) Another is the issue of evangelizing "Christian" cults. Biblical Christianity is the only religion in the world where works do not in some way contribute to ultimate salvation. In most Christian cults, they refer to the Bible for their doctrine (among other places). They refer to the same Jesus as we do but with misconceptions few or many. The primary purpose of evangelism is to get the individual born into God's family, thus starting a relationship with God, and starting a true knowledge of Him. The primary aim in evangelism is to get the potential convert to the place where he entrusts his/her eternal well-being to Jesus. At that moment the individual is saved and those dozen or more concommitant gifts (indwelling, sealing, every spiritual blessing in Christ, etc) are imparted to the new convert.

    If this new convert is determinate to seek out God and His knowledge and puts forth the effort, he WILL grow in his understanding. The Word will open up to him in a new way, and through time and growth, many of the old misconceptions will be cleared up.

    We need to get them saved then encourage them in proper theology. We need to get them saved and then disciple them. Once the Holy Spirit is in their hearts, He can do His job through time and the Word.

    (This next one is the hugest one, and one that we all should agree with as Free Grace believers:)

    3) Assurance of salvation. Assurance of the possession of eternal life does not come from comparing one's beliefs in theology with another's "orthodox" stance. It can cause serious introspection.

    What if my concept of Christ's deity has sufficient misconceptions to invalidate my trust in Jesus alone for eternal life?

    What if I have not been convinced about the virgin birth because no one explained it to me and I didn't even read about it in the evangelistic gospel (the Gospel of John) that my friend gave me?

    What if I am confused on how Jesus can actually die in the place of the sinner and how 1 person can die for so many?

    What if I believed that Jesus is God but believed in Modalism at the time I may or may not have received eternal life, and I still don't understand how 3 Persons can be one God?

    I could multiply these introspective questions that damage assurance.

    The remedy to doubt is not to compare one's current theology to the perceived "orthodox" theology of the day. It is remedied when one looks to Christ and His promise in faith. For perfect and certain assurance is of the essense of faith in Christ's message.

    4) It has practical ramifications on how we preach the gospel. When we come to the understanding that any and all biblical, rational, experiential information that we give the potential convert is NOT for the purpose of assent so that he may receive eternal life, but is for the purpose of persuading him that Jesus is reliable, sufficient, willing and able to guarantee eternal life to them when they trust in Him for it.

    This liberates our delivery from using a check-list of laundry items making sure the convert assents to them all.

    We like Paul in Athens can cater to the specific needs of the audience, addressing the main barriers to faith, being confident that if we "miss" something that it will not be disastrous to the faith of the person who is trusting in Christ for eternal life.

    I am sure that if I think about this longer that I can come up with some other practical ramifications as well."


    Oddly enough, I actually agree with you. This discussion is not by any means a "moot point". Not when we have Jeremy Myers thinking his daughter was saved at the age of 2 (!) simply because she (supposedly) believed Jesus could take her to heaven. Not when we have Bob Wilkin telling a JW's mother that she only needs to be concerned about getting her JW son to believe that Jesus can give him eternal life apart from his works, and she need not "get into all that [erroneous JW doctrines]".

    No, Antonio, this discussion is FAR from moot. It may in fact be one of the most important discussions we could have.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/27/2007 10:01 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose

    Goodnight and Anton
    Sorry for the slow reply but I'm back to work with very limited time.
    Hi Goodnight
    Your theology denies you of certainty! You cannot KNOW that you will not perish because you do not KNOW that you will persevere until the end. You also as a Calvinist believe that Jesus only died effectively for the elect. And being their is such a thing as a spurious faith that can look genuine but can fail, you cannot KNOW that you are one of the ones Jesus died effectively for. So you are in a quagmire, you MUST persevere in good works if your truly saved and you can't know until the end of your life that you persevered unto the end.
    Only the one who believes John 3:16 can KNOW they will not perish solely based on Jesus promise without the evidence of perseverance to have to prove it.
    So Goodnight you have no certainty. I believe this problem comes from not believing that Jesus would truly give an unconditional gift. The Calvinist cant see God giving a gift to someone who might completely disappoint Him.
    It was said that to the man the Puritans on their death beds were fearing death because they looked back over their life and they didn’t see enough works to make them feel like they were saved. But one of their brethren would tell them “yes but you loved the brethren” then they would get a big smile on their face. I wonder how long that smile lasted. Our works are not perfect and if perseverance is a condition for not perishing then you cannot KNOW until the end.
    Goodnight your not as SAFE as you think.
    Blessings alvin


    Hi Anton
    I believe in the analogy of faith. You always interpret the difficult passages by the clear ones and not the other way around. Of course scripture never contradicts scripture.
    This is what David said about his child that died.
    2 Samuel 12:23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I SHALL GO TO HIM, but he shall not return to me.
    This implies that the child is with the Lord.
    But the child has not received the gift of eternal life which is only received by faith in "The Christ." The child's soul is with the Lord still undeveloped.
    Jesus when speaking of the little children said that such is the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:14). Zane has suggested that possibly all the little children that have died before the age of accountability will be placed in the Kingdom so that they have an opportunity to receive the gift of eternal life.
    Of course this is all speculation I have no scripture to prove this. It is only a suggestion of what might happen with the children or anyone who did not have the opportunity to believe. In the end we know that God always does what is right, so we can leave this all in His gracious hands.
    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/27/2007 10:40 AM  

  • (general remarks):

    1)There are no cult religions that consider Jesus to be God.(not withstanding the misconceptions of their own doctrine by any given cult member)

    The Son of God 'is' God(as was revealed very graphically). To see the Son is to see God(so to speak) and nothing less. Everything Christ did and said is intended to and does point to the Father and Son.

    A potential convert can see Jesus evidence/testimony of being the Son and have ample assurance of his offer of the gift of eternal life.

    Christ planted all by Himself, we can only water.

    The gospel does not have it's weight in how well we teach it to people, it's wieght is in that He proved Himself to be True.

    Ac 17:31 ...having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

    And then it behooves us to, if we are going to teach(which I encourage but am not gifted at) to teach that properly.

    2)Either something is impossible or it's not. "Nearly" is not helpful.

    Good morning Rose, just trying to think it through as well. Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 11/27/2007 11:42 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger knetknight, at 11/27/2007 11:48 AM  

  • Alvin said: You always interpret the difficult passages by the clear ones and not the other way around.

    That is a good idea, then why do claim with such confidence that an unclear passage in Rev 20 is sufficient to conclude that no one will be judged for their sins at the GWT? Clearer passages contradict that notion, i.e. David in Psalm 32 when he says: "1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! 2 How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!"

    The inspired Word of God makes it clear through David that only the sins of those who appropriate God's forgiveness are effectively covered. This in no way questions the sufficiency of God's method of covering, but does confirm that if you don't appropriate the forgiveness that God provides it is for you, because of your rejection of it, of no effect.

    Think this is just OT, pre-Christ truth? Nope. The Holy Spirit affirms this exact passage as directly relevant to NT theology when Paul includes it @ Rom 4:7,8.

    Allow the clear to interpret the clear and you will indeed do well.

    By Blogger knetknight, at 11/27/2007 11:57 AM  

  • knetknight,
    Welcome to my blog! :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 12:00 PM  

  • Goodnight,
    I think your presentation is great.
    Under which category would you fit in that specific point about that which God has tesified concerning His Son from 1 John 5?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 12:02 PM  

  • Antonio:

    You wrote, “In the process of evangelism, anyone who simply believes in the biblical Jesus, based upon the truth learned about Him through communication informed by the Bible, is eternally saved; in other words has everlasting life and will not perish.

    That “biblical Jesus” you speak of would, of course be the eternal “Son of God”, the “Christ,” i.e., Deity; right?

    Elsewhere you wrote, “If I were talking to a Jew, he may very well ask me about the deity and humanity of Jesus, I would certainly entertain his questions and answer them to the best of my ability. But if such a one continued to express doubts or objections to this, I would say politely, ‘Let us for the time being put this issue on the back-burner.”

    You also wrote, “If a JW hears me speak of Christ’s deity and asks me about it, I will say, ‘Let us agree to disagree about this subject…’ I would consider such a one saved, REGARDLESS of their varied misconcetions (sic) and beliefs about Jesus.” (caps his)

    According to your own writing (so that there is no misinterpretation) you allow for a lost man to consciously reject the deity of Christ. You would “back burner” the lost man’s objection to the Deity of Christ.

    How do those statements square with your claim lost men must believe in the “biblical Jesus” when, according to you, His deity is an unnecessary part of the saving message to be believed for the reception of eternal life?


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/27/2007 12:03 PM  

  • Lou,
    You gotta greet me when you come on my blog. It is one of the rules. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 12:05 PM  

  • Oops! I was unaware of that rule,

    Greetings to you, Rose.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/27/2007 12:09 PM  

  • Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

    Wouldn't this suggest that few if any of the elementary principles of God are necessary to come to belief in Christ's declared Truth?

    By Blogger Todd, at 11/27/2007 12:09 PM  

  • Rose:

    I like what Rachel wrote.

    She wrote, "No, Antonio, this discussion is FAR from moot. It may in fact be one of the most important discussions we could have."

    Very true! What could be more important than discussing and contending for the faith, especially when it is the Gospel?

    The eternal destiny of living souls depends on a clear unrefined (reductionist) Gospel of Jesus Christ.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/27/2007 12:10 PM  

  • Alvin: Like you I have limited time as I type these words. But you say this:

    It was said that to the man the Puritans on their death beds were fearing death because they looked back over their life and they didn’t see enough works to make them feel like they were saved.

    It was "said..." Said by who? ...to the man... Again..."said by who?" Alvin, Answer me this, How many Puritans were there? What method was in use in the 16th/17th Centuries that could deliver us such a sweeping statement that we ought to take it so seriously?

    I think you can do a lot better than that in a serious discussion. Would you like to go into a court with that kind of reasoning for any argument?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/27/2007 12:10 PM  

  • Alvin: Like you I have limited time as I type these words. But you say this:

    It was said that to the man the Puritans on their death beds were fearing death because they looked back over their life and they didn’t see enough works to make them feel like they were saved.

    It was "said..." Said by who? ...to the man... Again..."said by who?" Alvin, Answer me this, How many Puritans were there? What method was in use in the 16th/17th Centuries that could deliver us such a sweeping statement that we ought to take it so seriously?

    I think you can do a lot better than that in a serious discussion. Would you like to go into a court with that kind of reasoning for any argument?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/27/2007 12:10 PM  

  • Lou,
    That is better.

    Antonio da Rosa,
    I agree with your statement. I like it. I approve. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 12:11 PM  

  • Todd:

    You wrote, "Wouldn't this suggest that few if any of the elementary principles of God are necessary to come to belief in Christ's declared Truth?"

    According to Zane Hodges, Wilkin, Myers and da Rosa a lost man does not have to know, understand or believe in the finished work of Christ, nor must he believe in who Jesus is (Deity) or what He did, on the cross, to provide salvation.


    Lou

    {Thanks Rose}

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/27/2007 12:14 PM  

  • Ten Cent and Tood,
    Thanks for your thoughts.

    You both bring up some very good points.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 12:17 PM  

  • Lou,
    Why do you call Antonio "da Rosa"?
    You are the only one I have seen doing this. It would be interesting to see someone continulaly discuss myself on other blogs and refer to me as "Cole" ...or to continually hound on about your ideas and behaviour and call you "Martuneac." I wonder what you would think about that?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 12:21 PM  

  • hahaha
    Tood=Todd

    Sorry, Todd

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 12:22 PM  

  • I will never call you "Martuneac" because I think you, as well as all the brothers and sisters in Christ, are worhty of some measure of respect.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 12:23 PM  

  • Greetings right back at ya Rose! :D Rachel's my wife and has been posting here for a few days so I feel like I'm a resident already even though I haven't directly participated. I didn't know the rule.

    Me tips me hat to the hostess.

    By Blogger knetknight, at 11/27/2007 12:23 PM  

  • except MacArthur.


    JUST KIDDING!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 12:23 PM  

  • Knetknight,
    Oh, you and Rachel. That would mean your name is Jesse? I think?
    She has a lot of challenging and interesting things to say.
    I wasn't going to call you on my rule - it is a tongue-in-cheek kinda thing anyway.

    But thanks for the greetings. I did some reading at your blog... there was some pretty good discussion going on. I found a link to it on Lou's blog back when I was visiting his blog more regularly.

    Welcome.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 12:28 PM  

  • Hi Rose! I've been reading, and must say this is quite the interesting discussion. I just don't do a lot of commenting anymore, but...

    to me, this sums it up:

    The gospel does not have it's weight in how well we teach it to people, it's wieght is in that He proved Himself to be True.

    I would add this - no one's conversion (or sanctification) takes place through mere "persuasion" of anything. Salvation is an act of God; and let's not forget that it is supernatural. In His mercy and grace, God chooses to intervene in someone's life, and it is by His power (through a myriad of means) that our hearts are changed.

    By Blogger Gayla, at 11/27/2007 12:28 PM  

  • GOODNIGHT,
    I hope you will answer my question too. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 12:28 PM  

  • Thank you, Gayla.
    It is nice to have your comment here. Yes, from God's perspective of it, you're right. I am just looking at it from our perspective in this post. Of course, God moves and this much beyond our complete understanding. However, Paul said that he "persuaded men" and that he did lots of things to "win them" so there must be something to that. That is all we are talking about.

    I hope things are going well with you. I hope Roger is doing OK with the search... or that he has ended the search. Either way, my thoughts and concern are with you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 12:33 PM  

  • I don't remember how the confusion got started but, no, I'm not Jesse. Jesse is a friend of ours but he's definitely NOT Rachel's husband and he never will be if I have anything to say about it! :-D

    My name is Stephen; knetknight is just an online name I've used for many years so I use it whenever possible for consistency in my online presence... makes logons easier to remember too. ;-)

    By Blogger knetknight, at 11/27/2007 12:34 PM  

  • Rose, thanks. Roger has a temporary contract assignment, which will at least get us through Christmas. Don't know if you've read my blog lately, but we lost his dad on the 14th.

    I agree with you, and what I was actually thinking by my use of "persuasion" was what I continually see on the blogs - the arguments. It isn't the arguments that are put forth that convince, but the supernatural intervention of the Holy Spirit that causes the light of the Truth to "click." Does that make sense?

    Lou, I appreciate your questions to Antonio and the fact that you are attempting to hold him accountable for what he says. Because, quite frankly Antonio, I have never understood your "minimalist" view concerning the gospel.

    By Blogger Gayla, at 11/27/2007 12:45 PM  

  • Hi Rose:

    It is very common to use last names only either individually or when strung together such as I did above. It is pretty much the standard practice with many who write journals and books.

    Until today, I do not recall anyone raising that as an issue toward me or any writer I am familiar with. Nevertheless, I often interchange my use of first and last names in my writings as you can see at my and other blogs.

    Plus, I don't recall anyone complain about the use of last name only in regard to MacArthur, Hodges, Wilkin, etc.

    If my last name were used I would not find it offensive, it is, as I said, common practice.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/27/2007 12:50 PM  

  • Hi Lou,

    Hey, I appreciate your remark.

    The Jesus that announced for all men to behold and believe in Him was introducing Himself as The Diety. Both telling us and showing us. That's important. He didn't tell and show all to everyone but relied on word of mouth. Just like He has ever since. That He was a part of God Almighty was not only what He was telling and showing people through His signs and so on, but He felt confident, on that basis, that they must come to that conclusion.

    Jesus expected people to recognize His diety, and that is imperative to beholding who He is.

    Which is bad news for people who have an incomplete gospel presented to them.

    Thanks for seeing the distinction between that doctrine of theology and myself Lou.

    By Blogger Todd, at 11/27/2007 1:01 PM  

  • Hi Todd:

    Thanks for the note. I'll have more later.


    Lou

    PS: Have you ever visited my blog?

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/27/2007 1:04 PM  

  • Lou,
    Well I am glad that you don't think it is offensive, since you are doing it. I just find it a little peculiar. I hadn't seen anyone refer to another blogger that way, ever. Authors, yeah, but not people in the realm of blogger. That certainly isn't the worst or most disrespectful thing I have seen you do. Nevertheless, I bet you are a really great skier. You share a birthday with my husband - (everybody celebrates your birthday, right? ;!)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 1:05 PM  

  • knetknight (Stephen),
    I remember why I thought your name was Jesse. It is because your web address is "jessecamacho"

    ...so I guess I just figured that was your name. So sooory.

    God bless, Stephen.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 1:10 PM  

  • Rose: I see all the 3 R's as being under the record which God has given of His Son i.e. the record which God has given of His Son is comprehended in the "gospel of Christ" (Romans 1:16) Denial of any of these truths is denial of the gospel and therefore a stifling of its power unto salvation.

    Alvin: To come to the more serious part of your posting. Excuse my list of doctrinal propositions, but they are solid and they are sound and very simple.

    1) The Gospel is for the whosoever i.e. everyone
    2) When a man believes the gospel, then he is eternally saved
    3) Only the elect (in the final analysis) will believe the gospel
    4) The elect who believe the gospel will certainly persevere unto the end
    5) I believe the gospel therefore I am elect
    6) I am elect therefore I will persevere unto the end

    That's very simple. As I wrote before when I gave a list of propositions like this:
    Watch if someone comes and messes it up.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/27/2007 1:29 PM  

  • I'll visit Lou.

    Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at 11/27/2007 1:30 PM  

  • Hi Lou,

    I fully understand the error of the 'crossless gospel'.

    The gospel that I see is a gospel that includes Nicodemus, the woman at the well, etal. They were presented with saving good news by Jesus which had already prompted them to ask the questions they did. It's likely they were both saved at the time of their belief, however, it ultimately would not happen without the cross.

    Hope that all adds up Lou. Thanks.

    By Blogger Todd, at 11/27/2007 1:49 PM  

  • Missy,
    I am glad you can see what I am thinking on this. You sond like you are looking at it similarly to myself.


    Brian,
    I do appreciate what you have said. It has really bothered me at times, to no end. I decided to embrace the struggle though and see if I could define this more clearly. I think I am still not so precise, but it has not hurt to think about it. :~)
    God bless.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 1:57 PM  

  • I wonder where Matthew is....

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 1:58 PM  

  • Rachel,
    I forgot you asked me a question.
    I think the difference is in the receptiveness of the person. "As many as RECEIVED Him..."
    There is a lot in that word.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/27/2007 2:02 PM  

  • I am weary of debates, Rose.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/27/2007 3:50 PM  

  • Rose,

    The name of the blog is blog.jessecamacho.com because the blog actually belongs to our friend Jesse. After he set it up, he then made Stephen and I administrators as well and said we should consider it our "group blog". Just for some reference, Bob Wilkin visited our church in June and brought these teachings with him. Our church leadership was not convinced that this is what Wilkin actually teaches, so Jesse, a couple other friends, and us have been working on explaining to them that this is indeed what Wilkin teaches (I think we've mostly succeeded, now we are working on determining if what Wilkin teaches is what our church plans to teach, it currently is NOT what our church teaches). Jesse started the blog out of a desire to log his thoughts on the issue, for accountability, and to hopefully dialogue with others as well. Then he made us admins too, so that's why it's our "group blog". Jesse isn't into blogging and posting nearly as much as Stephen and I are (obviously), so you don't see too many posts from him. But it is technically "his" blog that became our "group blog". So there ya go. Prolly more than you cared to know. :-)

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/27/2007 4:13 PM  

  • Rose,

    You said,

    "I think the difference is in the receptiveness of the person."

    Just for clarity, I had asked what the difference was between "not knowing/understanding/believing" a certain truth and denying it. I'm not sure I understand your answer. I had put forth a scenario in my question to you, if you don't mind I'll paste it here again, maybe you could review and expand on your answer. Here it is:

    say someone decides to believe that Jesus can give them eternal life, to trust Christ for their eternity, as you put it. You would consider that person saved, right? But then, a month later, they learn of the teaching of Jesus' deity. They decide they can't buy that and reject this teaching. What now? It would seem you have two options. Either you were wrong at the beginning and the person was never saved in the first place, OR the person has now lost their salvation. I think we would all agree that the second scenario (they lost their salvation) isn't possible, so we are left with the first: that the person wasn't saved in the first place. But that leaves you with a dilemma, because now you have someone who "trust[ed] Christ for [their] eternity" but wasn't really saved.

    So do you see what I'm saying? I'm still not sure on this myself, but I think at least for your position, that there wouldn't seem to be any practical difference between not believing something and actually denying it.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/27/2007 4:17 PM  

  • Anton,

    I read the thread you linked to. LOL that "Footwasher" linked to the same exact Tektonics article that I did! :-)

    I must say that your beliefs are quite interesting...

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/27/2007 4:26 PM  

  • Thanks Todd. Wow. Me a teacher?

    Thanks bud...your too kind and Spurgeon last week reminds us that we are fellow servants to learn from. Seems like we all have a tendancy though to go off on a tangent from time to time.

    Hey Rose, glad I'm not the only one burning brain cells about this from time to time.

    Matt...tired of debates?

    No way. Thats not possible. You and Antonio are machines. Wow how many years did it take:-)

    I only lasted a few months.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at 11/27/2007 5:02 PM  

  • Rachel,

    You are confused.

    The refined Free Grace position is not moot, but has practical ramifications as you have quoted me in.

    But the idea of what necessarily must be known about Jesus of Nazareth whom one is believing in for everlasting life IS moot, in that, no one will believe in Jesus unless they have been persuaded to do so by biblical communication and personal deliberation. Therefore, they will only believe in Him when there has been presented to them enough biblical information to persuade them. Every person will be different, depending upon the subjective state of the mind to which evangelistic data is addressed.

    Let me ask another question. Why are you continuing to use the pejorative label "crossless"? No one has been using a pejorative label for your position! Why don't you call it what we have chosen to call it? Merely "Refined Free Grace"?

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/27/2007 7:36 PM  

  • Lou writes:

    That “biblical Jesus” you speak of would, of course be the eternal “Son of God”, the “Christ,” i.e., Deity; right?

    The biblical Jesus that I am speaking of is the Christ, the Son of God, and yes, He is God in the flesh.

    Lou writes:

    According to your own writing (so that there is no misinterpretation) you allow for a lost man to consciously reject the deity of Christ. You would “back burner” the lost man’s objection to the Deity of Christ.

    If a man who consciously rejects the deity of Christ can be persuaded to believe in Jesus, who states, "Most assuredly I say to you, whoever believes in Me has everlasting life" the same is a saved man.

    The problem is that I do not fathom such a thing occurring. If someone genuinely believes that the bible states that Jesus is God and yet disbelieves, why would they believe that same bible when it says John 6:47?

    Yet if someone genuinely desires to take the witness of the Bible at face value, and yet is not convinced that the Bible says that Jesus of Nazareth is God, but a human descended from David who is the promised Messiah, and when confronted with the testimony of Jesus who states that all who believe in Him have everlasting life, actually believes in Jesus, I would consider such a man saved. Why? Jesus' promise is universal. All who believe in Him (there are not exceptions!) ALL who believe in Him have everlasting life.

    Yet let me give you another scenario.

    Imagine a good engineer(A) being confronted with an eccentric engineer's (B) blueprint for some new technology and being quite convinced that the design will never work because of an algorithmic problem. Engineer A looks at the blueprints and consciously and downright denies that the design will work because he believes that a formulaic mathmatical expression in the blueprints is absolutely deficient.

    Next, the eccentric engineer B brings to the Engineer A a select few of his top notch and cutting edge gadgets and shows him that they work beautifully. When engineer A looks at these working designs of engineer B, because of the brilliance of the designs and the superb quality of their construction, and the genius of their function, his insistence that the blueprint has an alrogithmic problem becomes softened enough to becom convinced that the design will indeed work. In such a case, the man's conscious denial of the formulaic mathmatical expression gets softened down to the arena of doubt, and he believes the design will work in spite of his doubt.

    Lou concludes:

    How do those statements square with your claim lost men must believe in the “biblical Jesus” when, according to you, His deity is an unnecessary part of the saving message to be believed for the reception of eternal life?

    Lou, the biblical Jesus can be identified by many things. He is of the tribe of Judah, lineage of David, son of Mary, legal son of Joseph, born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, ministered in Galilee, healed the sick, raised the Lazarus, gave sight to the blind, cleansed the leper, died on a Roman cross, et. al.

    A person can trust another person without knowing essential attributes or characteristics of that person, as long as what he does know persuades him that the other person is trustworthy.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 11/27/2007 8:06 PM  

  • Antonio,

    Did you actually read all of my post? Your comments sound like you didn't. Maybe you read too quickly and missed my points, so I'll repeat them for you.

    You said,

    "The refined Free Grace position is not moot, but has practical ramifications as you have quoted me in.

    But the idea of what necessarily must be known about Jesus of Nazareth whom one is believing in for everlasting life IS moot..."


    First, let's review the thread I quoted you from, shall we? Tyler said,

    "I believe that we can make a distinction between believing that and believing how. I can believe that electricity is the flow of electrons that causes my computer to operate without believing how in the world it actually works. Christ brings eternal life is the that, while the cross is the how. I don't need to believe how to believe that.
    ...
    Having said all of this, I will again say that I always share the gospel WITH the cross, death, burial, and resurrection. Why leave it out? It is the core evidence. (Though there is other evidence, and one need not hear all the evidence to believe something.) While interesting, this discussion is really moot to me in the sense that I have no intention of removing any of these things from my gospel presentation, nor would I encourage anyone to do so. I think it would be foolish to remove them. To prove that the removal of the cross does not destroy the message, while interesting theologically, has no bearing on how I will behave."
    (bold mine)

    CLEARLY the topic he was speaking to was what exactly is needed to know and believe about Jesus in order to be born again. He said that such discussion was interesting but moot, and you responded that it wasn't moot. Sorry, but you've simply contradicted yourself, or at the least you've changed your mind since then.

    Second, can you explain, then, what exactly the "Refined Free Grace" position IS? How does it differ from Traditional Free Grace?

    Even if you can come up with some way in which RFG differs from TFG that does NOT include the required content of saving faith, all the ramifications I quoted you as saying still apply just as perfectly to "what necessarily must be known about Jesus of Nazareth" in order to be born again. As I said previously, this discussion is not by any means a "moot point". Not when we have Jeremy Myers thinking his daughter was saved at the age of 2 (!) simply because she (supposedly) believed Jesus could take her to heaven. Not when we have Bob Wilkin telling a JW's mother that she only needs to be concerned about getting her JW son to believe that Jesus can give him eternal life apart from his works, and she need not "get into all that [erroneous JW doctrines]". No, Antonio, this discussion is FAR from moot. It may in fact be one of the most important discussions we could have.

    You said,

    "Why are you continuing to use the pejorative label 'crossless'?

    I addressed this already on Jonathan's blog in a response to Alvin. In case you missed it, here's what I said:

    "It is my understanding that the reason for the label of "crossless gospel" is that, if you define "the gospel" as that which MUST be believed by the lost in order to be born again, then your position does NOT include the cross. Therefore it is a "crossless" gospel. Whereas, "my" gospel DOES include the cross, so mine can't possibly be called "crossless". Although, I will say that I don't always use the label because someone close to me (no one on these blogs) asked that it not be used, because he felt it made it appear like the "crossless" proponents didn't even believe in the cross themselves or think it necessary. I tend to use it in combo with "RFG" because I do think your "gospel" is crossless, but I also understand my friend's perspective. And, I know it can be inflammatory, and most of all I want my arguments to be heard. I still use the term, but I don't press the issue."

    The term "pejorative" refers to derivative, derisive, or derogatory adjectives. I don't quite think that "crossless" falls into any of those categories. Regardless, I looked up "pejorative" on Wikipedia, and found this little gem:

    "...a common rhetorical ploy is to apply "pejorative" to a factual descriptor — as 'toxic' might be applied to poison — and then decry it as 'pejorative' to suit the agenda of those defending the substance as harmless."

    Change "toxic" and "poison" to "crossless" and "gospel", and this sentence fits perfectly.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/27/2007 10:40 PM  

  • Rose, I think we are seeing this similarly. That's why I am enjoying this exchange - you are doing the leg-work for me! {c;

    By Blogger Missy, at 11/27/2007 10:43 PM  

  • Rose:

    Hi, Antonio asks, "Why are you continuing to use the pejorative label "crossless"? No one has been using a pejorative label for your position! Why don't you call it what we have chosen to call it? Merely "Refined Free Grace"?"

    Here is how I answer:

    In a previous article I used the label “Refined/Crossless” to define the interpretation of the Gospel coming from Hodges, Wilkin, Myers, GES and da Rosa. I want to share an important notation about that.

    My purpose was to alert readers so that when they read the “Crossless” advocates use of “Refined Free Grace” theology, it is in fact a new name for the same errors originally and commonly known as the “Crossless” gospel. It would be appropriate to say by definition that the Hodges interpretation of the Gospel has been “Refined” (down to a) “Crossless” Gospel.

    I for one will never accept or agree to refer to the “Crossless” gospel as “Refined Free Grace” theology. My previous article was the first and ONLY time the word “Refined” will appear in regard to the “Crossless” gospel.

    The Devil always finds a label to make more palatable what he has soured. Abortion becomes Pro-Choice; Liberal becomes Moderate. The “Crossless” gospel is a false gospel! The “Crossless” gospel is a totally new creation that originated with Zane Hodges. The “Crossless” gospel might also be name, Abandoned Free Grace (AFG) theology.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/27/2007 11:52 PM  

  • Antonio:

    If you are old enough to remember, did anyone in the FG community agree to drop "Lordship Salvation" as a label for MacArthur's position when he protested it?

    I was involved with the LS controversy in 1988 and I assure you no one agreed to MacArthur's demands.

    "Lordship Salvation fit then, just as the "Crossless Gospel" fits this issue now. I for one will never refer to it by any other label.

    Rose/All:

    Tom Stegall wrote several pages (#10-ff) in the Special Edition from his series, The Tragedy of the Crossless Gospel.

    Go to: http://www.duluthbible.org/246451.ihtml

    Find the Special Edition and click on Tragedy Part 4.

    I encourage all of you to read the PDF on this. Ps. Stegall demonstrates from the writing of Hodges why "Crossless" gospel is an appropriate label.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/28/2007 12:34 AM  

  • Rose,

    You said: “Do you believe the unsaved need to believe the gospel to be saved? I always had thought yes, but some of these scenarios that have come before me are what have provoked my further question. For example, someone who hears about Christ but does not get the whole story etc... He hasn't heard about that aspect of how Jesus provided eternal life - but He hears the promises of Christ, realizes who this was that walked the earth - God in the flesh - and casts himself upon Jesus. Say then the next hour he dies in an auto crash - will be be saved? I would think so - do you? I have to account for the grace of God - the benevolence of Christ in His gift when I think about these kinds of situations.”

    Hosea 4:6a says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Zane Hodges, Bob Wilkin, Jeremy Myers, and Antonio da Rosa teach almost exactly the opposite of this Biblical principle by saying that people are saved in spite of a lack of knowledge!

    Mark 16:15-16 says: “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach THE GOSPEL to all creation. ‘He who has believed . . . shall be saved, but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” (NASB)

    Romans 10:14b-17 says: “And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, who bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed THE GOSPEL. For Isaiah says, ‘LORD, who has believed our report? So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (NKJV, caps added)

    1 Corinthians 1:17-24 says: “For Christ did not send me to baptize, BUT TO PREACH THE GOSPEL, not with wisdom of words, lest THE CROSS OF CHRIST should be made of no effect. For THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God THROUGH THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE MESSAGE PREACHED TO SAVE THOSE WHO BELIEVE. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; BUT WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (NKJV, caps added)

    2 Corinthians 4:3-4 says: “But even if our GOSPEL is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of THE GOSPEL of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

    Rose, there is no dichotomy between the gospel and God’s grace: "But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD.” (Acts 20:24, NASB, caps added)

    The Gospel reveals God’s grace: “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel” (Gal. 1:6, NASB).

    I pray that Paul’s statement here does not become true of you!

    Rose, you asked me: “Another question, this time to you from me: Roman Catholics believe a lot of the same things that we do. What is the one thing that is different about that which we believe and that which they believe? Answering this question and the simple Scriptures from John... Jesus' conversation with Martha and John's purpose statement led me to the title of this post. If this is the big difference, perhaps this *is* the crown jewel after all, just like John seems to indicate. Than again, still workin it through. What do you think?”

    I would say the main difference is: “Do vs. Done” (cf. Jn. 19:30, 20:30-31). It all goes back to the cross and what Christ accomplished there! It goes back to the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection - THE GOSPEL (please see the verses above).

    I hope these Scriptures help to answer your questions.

    Feel free to ask more,

    Jonathan Perreault
    http://www.freegracefreespeech.blogspot.com

    P.S. Just like the word “Trinity” isn’t in the Bible but the concept is, the word “Gospel” isn’t in the book of John but the concept is (hence the name: The Gospel of John).

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at 11/28/2007 1:47 AM  

  • Good morning Rose
    Goodnight here is a secular source and a Christian source of evidence on the Puritans.


    http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/usdeath.cfm
    How, then, did Puritans respond to the ever-present reality of death? A deep, underlying tension characterized the Puritan view of death. On the one hand, in line with a long Christian tradition, the Puritans viewed death as a blessed release from the trials of this world into the joys of everlasting life. At the same time, the Puritans regarded death as God's punishment for human sinfulness and on their deathbeds many New Englanders trembled with fear that they might suffer eternal damnation in Hell.

    Adults, too, looked upon death with foreboding. Puritan theology denied that individuals had any assurance of salvation. God had decided their fate at the time of creation and His will was inscrutable. It was a delusion to think that God in His mercy would forgive their sins and take them to Heaven. Consequently, many Puritans like Increase Mather and John Tappin suffered desperate spiritual torment and anxiety in the face of death.

    Gradually, the stark Puritan view of death softened. After 1l650 Puritan funerals became increasingly elaborate and expensive and tombstones less plain. Corpses began to be embalmed in order to allow time for families to plan funerals and for guests to gather. Especially after the Great Awakening--the intense religious revival that swept the American colonies beginning in the 1720s--attitudes toward death began to change. Where, in the seventeenth century, children were told to fear death, they were increasingly told in the eighteenth century look forward to death as a reunion with God and their parents. Adults, in turn, were increasingly assured that a life of active piety assured salvation.

    http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/davehunt-calvinrefutation.html

    “Doubts even assail leading Calvinists. Zane C. Hodges points out that ‘the result of this theology is disastrous. Since, according to Puritan belief, the genuineness of a man’s faith can only be determined by the life that follows it, assurance of salvation becomes impossible at the moment of conversion.’ And, one might add, at any time thereafter as well, for reasons we will show. … No wonder, then, as R.T. Kendall has commented, that ‘nearly all of the Puritan ‘divines’ went through great doubt and despair on their deathbeds as they realized their lives did not give perfect evidence that they were elect.’ Arminius, on the other hand, contrary to the false label attached to him by his enemies, had perfect assurance and said that the believer can ‘depart out of this life … to appear before the throne of grace, without any anxious fear…’ … Congdon writes, ‘Absolute assurance of salvation is impossible in Classical Calvinism. … Since works are an inevitable outcome of “true” salvation, one can only know he or she is saved by the presence of good works. But since no one is perfect … any assurance is at best imperfect as well. Therefore, you may think you believed in Jesus Christ, may think you had saving faith, but be sadly mistaken … and because unsaved, be totally blind to the fact you are unsaved…’” (p. 378)
    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/28/2007 10:15 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    Hi Knetknight

    You said:That is a good idea, then why do claim with such confidence that an unclear passage in Rev 20 is sufficient to conclude that no one will be judged for their sins at the GWT?

    I said: Here are some clear passages. John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD!

    2 Cor 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESSPASSES TO THEM, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

    1 John 2:2 And He Himself IS the propitiation for our sins, AND NOT FOR OURS ONLY BUT ALSO FOR THE WHOLE WORLD.

    Knetknight, these scriptures are cristal clear! So if this is true that Jesus IS the propitiation for the whole world, then we would expect sin as not the reason for eternal condemnation at the Great White Throne and that is just what we see there. People will be given a just hearing, all their works will be veiwed and of course their works have sin in them but sin as sin is not mentioned one time! Why? Becasue of the truth of those clear scriptures given up above we would expect this. Their condemnation is not even because of their works but becasue their names are not listed in the book of life. They did not believe Jesus promise of life. Many people died believing that their works were sufficient to prove their case, so the Judge The Lord Jesus Christ will give them a just hearing and the evidence will be put forth showing that no one is justified by their works.

    You said: Clearer passages contradict that notion, i.e. David in Psalm 32 when he says: "1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! 2 How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!"

    I said: There is no contradiction with this verse, this verse is speaking of the one who is BLESSED and FORGIVEN. I never said that the ones in hell are blessed or forgiven. Forgiveness is a personal issue not a judicial issue (Mark 11:25). Just as a judge standing in judgement over a man either finds the man guilty or innocent of the crime he does not forgive him. If the reason the man is on trial is because he stole the judges car, then after the judge has found him guilty if he wants to, he can lay aside his robes and forgive the man. Also concerning forgiveness if you notice in the gospel of John the only verse forgiveness is mentioned is John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” As you can see this is not free gift language in fact forgiveness is not a gift but something that is granted at the time one is in fellowship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. This prescription for forgiveness that Jesus gave His disciples is shown in Acts 2:38 Peter telling those Jews who had cruicified Christ before they would be in harmony with God must repent and be baptized before they would receive the forgivenness of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Notice also that in verse 37 they were cut to the heart and said what shall we do? This shows that they had believed Jesus was the Christ, and anyone believing that is born of God (1 John 5:1a). We know always at the core of the Apostles message was the gift of eternal life as shown in 1 Tim 1:16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Forgiveness was only withheld for that particular time in history concerning that Generation of Palistianians but now is granted at the moment one believes in Christ for eternal life. So the ones in hell are not forgiven, there is no forgiveness for anyone who rejects Jesus Christ.

    But mark it well Jesus IS the propitiation for the sins of the world and is not imputing their sins to them! Jesus paid it all!!! And no one will pay for sin again! There is NO judical condemnation concerning sin. This is why anyone is able to take of the water of life freely! The cost has been paid and the sin has been taken away. The question now is do you believe it?

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/28/2007 10:26 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    I will get back on the main track now. But I did want to show that the Calvinist cannot know if they are truly saved because they attach works of perseverance as evidence of their faith. Therefore they really don't believe John 3:16 because if they did they would know at the moment of faith in Jesus promise that they would never perish. With their theology they cannot know until the end of their life that they have persevered in good works. And the sad thing here is that they are trying to define saving faith while holding on to a works salvation.
    Also my other post on Jesus taking away the sin of the world. This also is a concern with the defining of saving faith because the reason some would argue for more information to be believed is because there stand on Jesus propitiation for the world. They only believe that it is effective for the one who believes. Some would argue our stance on saving faith is a "crossless" gospel, but in fact their gospel is a "crossless" gospel to the majority of humanity. They void the propitiation that Christ accomplished and say that it is inefective for the majority of humanity. Both of these issues (perseverance,sin) will cloud their reasoning concerning "what must I do to be saved?"
    blessings

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/28/2007 10:40 AM  

  • Both Colin Maxwell and Jonathan Perreault have referenced Hosea 4:6 as determining knowledge saves - or at least lack of it destroys. Do both of you really think this scripture refers to spiritual destruction and not physical?

    By Blogger Missy, at 11/28/2007 11:01 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin,

    Alvin: You really surprise me that you want to keep this bit of your argument about the Puritans and their death bed experiences going :-)

    First of all, none of your quotes make any references to (and I must quote your original charge) "It was said that to the man the Puritans on their death beds were fearing death" I asked you two simple questions, which you, as a policeman, would surely ask in such circumstances. With note book ready, I asked: How many Puritans were there in the first place? This is essential, because your charge was laid upon the whole Puritan body i.e. "to the man" I work on the idea that if you cannot give me the numbers, then your claim to speak for them in each of their deathbed experiences is somewhat suspect. Secondly, (to consolidate the rebuttal of your outlandish claim) I asked what apparatus was in place in the 16/17th Century to give us reliable information from the said death bed of all these Puritans, British, American and European and anywhere else? I look in vain for your answers, and (to be blunt) I am not surprised. What would the ever sharp Judge Judysay to this? :-)

    Secondly, you supply two quotes from two very dodgey places. Let's take the world's wonderfully focussed view: Did the Puritans (to a man) believe: "It was a delusion to think that God in His mercy would forgive their sins and take them to Heaven?" I have many a Puritan tome in my library where they taught otherwise. Secondly, the claim that: "Puritan theology denied that individuals had any assurance of salvation". runs contrary to the Westminster Confession of Faith that clearly states This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope; but an infallible assurance of faith founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation, the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made, the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God, which Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption. (WCF chapter 13, paragraph 2) I think in cross examining your first witness, that I have produced, not mere evidence, but proof that they are flawed in their knowledge of Puritan theology. Imagine trying to talk about Puritan theology on assurance and missing out on the WCF great chapter! Or to get closer to home, Alvin, imagine reproducing the quote here as proof.

    Let's think about the great Dave Hunt and the great army he gathers around him to silence the Calvinists. First of all, I notice that Mr Kendal isn't so bold or brash as to tell us that all the Puritans to a man struggled on their death bed. He reduces the numbers to "nearly all" but again, we might ask the same questions which we ask above: How many Puritans were there in the first place and how does he know in what frame of mind they died, so as to make this allegation? These kind of allegations are easily flung around. But they are easily stopped. Futhermore, the idea that Calvinists believe that our works are the sole evidence of salvation is also erroneous. Yes, we may discern that our lives have been changed by the grace of God (Is that not the experience of every Christian) and take comfort that we have new desires etc., but there are otherfactors which come into play. I can spot at least two others in the above paragraph from the WCF.

    Lastly, I personally think it is very distasteful to stand at the deathbed of a dying saint and use any doubts which he, as a fallible and weak, human being might have in his death throes. I would rather do battle for truth on the pages of Holy Scripture and subsequently, I have given you a 6 fold reason, drawn from sound theological prepositions, why I have assurance that I am elect.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/28/2007 11:05 AM  

  • Alvin said: There is NO judical condemnation concerning sin.

    No? Rom 3:26,30 make it very clear that justification, the judicial term, is only effective through personal faith.

    The Bible clearly states that neither personal forgiveness nor judicial justification are automatically imputed to anyone. Your view simply is not consistent with the whole of the Word. My view, on this topic at least, is.

    This is not off track to Roses' topic at all because what you believe about how Jesus payment is applied affects what you believe the lost man must know and accept.

    Rachel has addressed this with someone else here and makes a pretty convincing argument that there is no real dichotomy between personal/judicial forgiveness anyway.

    More later, thanks.

    By Blogger knetknight, at 11/28/2007 11:06 AM  

  • Just to clarify, Stephen linked to the wrong thread in his last post above. This is the link that deals with the issue of forgiveness of sins.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/28/2007 11:25 AM  

  • Missy,

    Whether or not, Hosea 4:6 is referring to temporal judgement or not, the Bible has nothing good to say about ignorance. Life eternal is knowledge of the true God (John 17:3) whereas those who know not God are subject to flaming fire (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Oftentimes, temporal calamities prefigure spiritual ones. Thus physical blindness in the Bible is used to show us spiritual blindness etc.,

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/28/2007 11:31 AM  

  • Collin,

    "Oftentimes, temporal calamities prefigure spiritual ones. Thus physical blindness in the Bible is used to show us spiritual blindness etc.,"

    Sometimes, but not always. :)

    Even so, does spiritual blindness condemn? Romans 1 tells me that it is not merely knowledge that leads to life eternal, but whether I retain or disdain the knowledge I am given. Even in Hosea, God's rejection (spiritual) of the priests occurs because of the REJECTION of knowledge by the priests. Whereas, the destruction (temporal?) of the people is due to the priests not teaching the law that saves (temporal?) to their people, therefore why they lack knowledge.

    The rest of Hosea 4:6 -
    "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children."

    I made the previous comment because it seemed that an incomplete line in a story was used to support a theology when the rest of the story does not support it.

    I am not even sure where I stand on this issue. But, I just can't get past the implication of the "Three R's" that unintelligent people must be condemned. I know many who love Jesus with all their heart and know they will see Him in heaven, but have no clue what it means to sin - and to follow this method, knowing sin is a must.

    By Blogger Missy, at 11/28/2007 1:09 PM  

  • Missy,

    Does spiritual blindness condemn? Yes, because such blindness flows from sin, both Adam's and their own. Romans 2:15 makes it clear that even the heathen are condemned by their own standards of right and wrong.

    I must be honest and say that I find your last statement very hard to swallow: I know many who love Jesus with all their heart and know they will see Him in heaven, but have no clue what it means to sin… If this is the depth of their ignorance, then we must surely query what they are said to know about Jesus and the knowledge of seeing Him in Heaven. I assume that we are talking here about fully alert people etc.?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/28/2007 1:19 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Ender, at 11/28/2007 1:43 PM  

  • Hi Rose!

    My, you've opened up a can of worms here! You have the Calvinists, the traditional free gracers, the so-called "crosless" gospel advocates, all fighting over what it means to believe in Jesus! They're all trying to court you, but which one will you date? (Ha ha!)

    I might take a week or two fast from blogging. It's such a time consuming activity, and I need to reorient my energies into finals at school. I'll check out what you've been reasoning then.

    By Blogger Ender, at 11/28/2007 1:44 PM  

  • Colin,

    "I assume that we are talking here about fully alert people etc.?"

    Some are not alert - some mentally ill - some extremely deficient. What is their fate without knowledge? It disturbs me, too.

    Was Adam spritually blind prior to eating the fruit?

    By Blogger Missy, at 11/28/2007 2:29 PM  

  • Missy, I suspected that would be your reply. I would hold that such folk, including also little babies who die in their infancy,are under the blood and must be treated as special cases. When I was articulating the '3 R's of the gospel' I had in mind those who have all their faculties about them and have no claim whatsoever to being considered special cases.

    re: Adam. No, Adam wasn't spiritually blind before eating the forbidden fruit. Spiritual blindness is a direct result of the Fall and it was eating the forbidden fruit that led to that tragic and far reaching event.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/28/2007 2:50 PM  

  • Rose, I think you should teach a course on how to generate comments!!

    Ender,

    I had to chuckle seriously.

    By Blogger Jim, at 11/28/2007 3:18 PM  

  • Colin, I am disappointed that you do not consider me special.
    :(

    Seriously, I understand what you mean, but I am not sure I can fully embrace, "This is the way it is... except..." I hope you know that I am not picking on you! Like I said, I am not sure of what I think about this. I'm just working it out and asking the questions that occur to me. I appreciate your bouncing back.

    So what was the difference in Adam before and after "the Fall"?

    By Blogger Missy, at 11/28/2007 3:50 PM  

  • So what was the difference in Adam before and after "the Fall"?

    Missy: Before the fall, Adam was upright (Ecclesiastes 7:29) and sinless, although he did have the capacity to sin (as proved by the fall itself). When he sinned, he incurred guilt and a fallen nature along with a depraved heart and, of course, the reality of death. he also saw these things passed unto his children, as seen in Romans 5:12

    P/s Now! now! Of course, you're special, Missy We can't all be special, or the word will lose its meaning, but if you want to be special... ;-)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/28/2007 3:56 PM  

  • Alvin,

    It is becoming rather difficult to discuss these things with you because you have so many errors in just one post. You've "machine-gunned" us with all these unfounded statements, none of which are anywhere near proven true, then drawn conclusions from these unproven premises. Rather shaky foundation, don't you think? Where to begin...

    You said,

    "But I did want to show that the Calvinist cannot know if they are truly saved because they attach works of perseverance as evidence of their faith. Therefore they really don't believe John 3:16 because if they did they would know at the moment of faith in Jesus promise that they would never perish. With their theology they cannot know until the end of their life that they have persevered in good works. And the sad thing here is that they are trying to define saving faith while holding on to a works salvation."

    No no no. Let's start with your first sentence. "Works of perseverance" are attached as ONE evidence of our faith, not THE evidence of our faith. Also, you seem to think that "works of perseverance" mean that we will never do anything bad. All Christians could (and probably do) do good in certain areas and struggle in other areas. Christians may very well struggle with certain areas their entire lives. I do not worry about my salvation because I struggle. In fact, the struggle is itself a "good work", and goes far in helping to assure me that I truly do have a new nature given to me by God.

    Moving to your second sentence, would you please stop telling me/us what we believe? I noted this in my last reply to you and you simply ignored me. Regarding John 3:16, Your reasoning here is completely fallacious. I already pointed out the problems with your reasoning on this issue on Antonio's blog, and you had no answer. I absolutely do believe John 3:16. It says that whoever believes in Jesus will have everlasting life. Since I believe in Jesus, I will have everlasting life. I can't know if anyone else is being completely honest when they say they believe in Jesus. Yet I know that about myself. I know without a doubt that I am saved because I know that I truly do believe in Jesus. I honestly believe. Thus, when I see changes in my life that the Holy Spirit brings, it further assures me that I am born again.

    It's kind of like love in a marriage. How do I know my husband loves me? Because of the things he does. But can those things be done w/o love? Of course. But if he truly loves me, he WILL do something loving at least occasionally. If my husband said he loved me every day, but never did a single thing indicative of that love, his love is brought into serious question. Same with our children. They get caught doing something wrong, and say they're sorry. If they continue doing the wrong thing every single day and never EVER change or even ATTEMPT to change, their true sorrow is called into serious question. While it is the love, or the sorrow, etc. that truly matters, it is the loving or sorrowful actions that prove if the person truly has love or sorrow. Loving actions don't create love, rather true love produces loving actions.

    It is the same with belief in Jesus. Good works don't produce faith, rather true faith produces good works. As I noted in Rose's other thread here about the "faith alone" quote, read this article about the issue, I think it will help.

    So, yes, I do have complete assurance that I will be in heaven when I die. I know that I truly do believe in Jesus, therefore I know that I will always persevere, I will never fall away. You seem to have it backwards - it is not that I know that I believed once I see that I never fell away, rather it is that I know I will never fall away because I believe.

    Then there's your last sentence, that we/I am "holding on to a works salvation". Incorrect sir! Works have NO part in saving me. Good works cannot possibly save anyone. I am not trusting in my works in ANY WAY to get me to heaven. My works are not getting me to heaven, Jesus' works (righteousness) are. Since I placed my faith and trust in Him, His righteousness is imputed to my account, and God has justified me. Jesus bore my sin on the cross, and I accepted His payment. My works have no part in that transaction. So I ask you again, please stop proclaiming my beliefs for me, especially when you are proclaiming them inaccurately.

    Okay, this post is long enough. I'll respond to your other post in a bit.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/28/2007 4:20 PM  

  • Alvin,

    You said,

    "Some would argue our stance on saving faith is a 'crossless' gospel, but in fact their gospel is a 'crossless' gospel to the majority of humanity."

    Did you miss where I already explained this? This is becoming a pattern with you, where you state something as fact, I challenge you on it, you have no answer, then awhile later you come back and state the same thing as fact again! Well, I suppose it's possible you really did just miss my answer, so here it is again:

    "It is my understanding that the reason for the label of 'crossless gospel' is that, if you define 'the gospel' as that which MUST be believed by the lost in order to be born again, then your position does NOT include the cross. Therefore it is a 'crossless' gospel. Whereas, 'my' gospel DOES include the cross, so mine can't possibly be called 'crossless'."

    So again, nice try, but no dice.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/28/2007 4:39 PM  

  • Alvin,

    Your post to Stephen is again filled with errors. I don't have much more time, so I'll just point out a big one and come back later.

    Stephen brought up Psalm 32 which says, "How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!"

    This is parallelism, very common in the wisdom lit. The phrases "whose transgression is forgiven", "whose sin is covered", "to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity", and "in whose spirit there is no deceit" are all synonymous. Clearly, the one whose sin is not imputed to him is the VERY SAME ONE whose sin is forgiven. There are not some whose sin is not imputed to them but who remain unforgiven. As I've asked you on other issues, please show an example of someone of whom it was stated that their sin was paid for/removed from them, yet they were unforgiven and/or went to hell. Or, please show a passage that states the same. You said that Mark 11:25 somehow states that, "[f]orgiveness is a personal issue not a judicial issue", but Mark 11:25 says nothing of the sort. The truth is, you'll find nothing that says that because no such dichotomy exists IRT saving faith.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/28/2007 4:58 PM  

  • Someone said:

    "Spiritual blindness is a direct result of the Fall and it was eating the forbidden fruit that led to that tragic and far reaching event."

    Is this really biblicaly true or is it a man-made teaching passed down thru the ages?


    I thought God said that Adam would surely die, couldn't that simply mean physical death?

    The bible never says they died spiritually it only says their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked.("self"-awareness became alive)

    By Blogger Kris, at 11/28/2007 5:21 PM  

  • Hi again Rose!

    Jim, all we're missing now are the Christian Universalists, the Arminians, and the Catholics, and then we'll really have a hodgepodge here!

    By Blogger Ender, at 11/28/2007 5:28 PM  

  • Missy,

    You asked:

    "Both Colin Maxwell and Jonathan Perreault have referenced Hosea 4:6 as determining knowledge saves - or at least lack of it destroys. Do both of you really think this scripture refers to spiritual destruction and not physical?"

    My point in quoting Hosea 4:6 was simply to say that it illustrates a spiritual truth, a truth which I subsequently endeavored to show by citing various verses relating to the gospel (I believe these verses are where the discussion should focus).

    Blessings,
    Jonathan Perreault
    http://www.freegracefreespeech.blogspot.com

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at 11/28/2007 8:00 PM  

  • Jonathan,

    Thanks! Yes, I understand what you were doing, but I don't understand the relationship of this verse in scripture to the gospel. Maybe the last part of that verse regarding those charged with the responsibility to share the knowledge, but not the part you quoted specifically in regards to spiritual salvation. Is there something I am missing or have I got my understanding of this passage wrong?

    By Blogger Missy, at 11/28/2007 10:47 PM  

  • Missy,

    I was specifically responding to Rose's question to me, in which she asked:

    “Do you believe the unsaved need to believe the gospel to be saved? I always had thought yes, but some of these scenarios that have come before me are what have provoked my further question. For example, someone who hears about Christ but does not get the whole story etc... He hasn't heard about that aspect of how Jesus provided eternal life - but He hears the promises of Christ, realizes who this was that walked the earth - God in the flesh - and casts himself upon Jesus. Say then the next hour he dies in an auto crash - will be be saved? I would think so - do you? I have to account for the grace of God - the benevolence of Christ in His gift when I think about these kinds of situations.”

    Maybe I should have left out the "My" out of my Hosea 4:6 quote. It would then read: "people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” That was probably more my specific point. With the verses I quoted referring to the gospel, I was showing that there must be a knowledge of the gospel and a belief in it for one to be eternally saved. If there is no knowledge of the gospel, there is obviously no belief in it, and neither is there eternal salvation. I cited a passage from Mark, Romans, 1 Corinthians, etc. to substantiate this truth.

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at 11/28/2007 11:30 PM  

  • Good evening Rose

    Concerning ignorance of knowledge and knowing God as stated in John 17:3.
    All interpreters of the New Testament must keep in mind that, in both English and Greek, words for "knowing" are polymorphous, used in many ways.
    Thus the test suggested by 1 John 2:3 is not of the saving knowledge of God or of Christ, but of the experiential knowledge of God and His Son.
    1 John 2:3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

    And I agree with what Danny has stated about John 17:3
    Since laying hold of eternal life 1 Tim 6:12-style leads to a greater experience of that life both here and in the Kingdom, I take Jesus' equating knowing God with eternal life in John 17:3 to refer to this abundant life, and not to having the gift of eternal life. The immature believer has the gift of eternal life, but doesn't reap the reward of the abundant eternal life. The mature believer experiences eternal life fully, and thus can be said to "know God" (1 John 2:3, John 17:3).
    Like Marty said, "eternal life is knowing God, and yet is had by those who don't know God"
    My comment:
    So I see John 17:2 as speaking of the reception of eternal life and John 17:3 as experiential knowledge of God.
    Jesus speaking to Thomas in John 14:7 “IF YOU HAD KNOWN Me, YOU WOULD HAVE KNOWN My Father also; and from now on you have known Him and have seen Him.”
    Jesus speaking to Phillip in John 14:9 “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have NOT KNOWN Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say show us the Father?
    Here are ones that are born again but do not know Jesus in the sense that He is God. The ones with the checklist would have you believe that you are ignorant and not saved if you don’t have an experiential knowledge of Jesus as God for initial saving faith. Which is not true!
    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/29/2007 12:57 AM  

  • Good morning Rose
    Knetknight said:
    Alvin said: There is NO judical condemnation concerning sin.

    You said:
    No? Rom 3:26,30 make it very clear that justification, the judicial term, is only effective through personal faith.

    The Bible clearly states that neither personal forgiveness nor judicial justification are automatically imputed to anyone. Your view simply is not consistent with the whole of the Word. My view, on this topic at least, is.

    This is not off track to Roses' topic at all because what you believe about how Jesus payment is applied affects what you believe the lost man must know and accept.

    Answer:
    Most Christians tend to place eternal life and forgiveness of sins into the same category. But this is a serious mistake.
    It is not at all hard to see how the propitiation Christ made on the cross can satisfy God’s righteous judgment WITHOUT IMPARTING eternal life to the unsaved person. Satisfaction for sin and the impartation of eternal life to a dead sinner are clearly separate and distinguishable actions.
    But for most Christians, an unforgiven sin means a sin not paid for, and therefore it seems to follow that if all sin has been paid for, it should all be automatically forgiven. But this line of reasoning is deeply flawed and unbiblical.
    Its first and foremost flaw is this: all sin IS paid for! But if that is true, forgiveness cannot be the remission of some unpaid penalty. In the same way, unforgiven sin cannot be sin for which WE MUST PAY AS WELL AS CHRIST. THAT WOULD BE DOUBLE PAYMENT, and it would call into question the efficacy of the cross.
    Let us emphasize this point. The Lord Jesus Christ is not just POTENTIALLY the propitiation for the sins of the world. He IS that ( 1 Jn 2:2). Or as Paul puts it, “God was in Christ reconciling THE WORLD to Himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESSPASSES TO THEM” (2 Cor 5:19). From the standpoint of God’s righteous demands as the Judge of all humanity, all humanity’s sin was paid for by Christ and none of it remains as an issue in man’s final judgment. None of it! Not one single bit!
    “Harmony With God” Zane Hodges page 70,71.
    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/29/2007 3:22 AM  

  • Where is Rose?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 11/29/2007 4:33 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    Hi Rachel
    You said:
    No no no. Let's start with your first sentence. "Works of perseverance" are attached as ONE evidence of our faith, not THE evidence of our faith. Also, you seem to think that "works of perseverance" mean that we will never do anything bad.
    I said: Rachel it doesn’t matter if it is ONE evidence of your faith it has to be there, if it isn’t your faith could be a spurious faith. It’s impossible for you to say you won’t fall away because you don’t know that. You can’t know that until the end of your life.
    As concerning works of perseverance do you think that righteous Lot (2 Peter 2:7) had enough evidence of perseverance in his life?
    Lot was considered righteous ONLY because he believed. If perseverance was ONE evidence of his faith he failed miserably. The last thing you read about Lot in the Old Testament was that he was drunk and having incest with his daughters.
    Or we could look at the ones at the Lord’s supper getting drunk and now sleep in Jesus (1 Cor 11:30). Did they persevere in good works?
    Note : sleep (koimaomai) only used for true believers.
    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/29/2007 5:11 AM  

  • Hi Matthew
    Rose was asking the same thing about you.
    This is her next to last post:
    I wonder where Matthew is....

    11/27/2007 1:58 PM
    Maybe she decided to take a little break like you? I don't know.
    Maybe I should take a break, maybe get an ice cream,,,,,,blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/29/2007 6:40 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin:

    Alvin: Sorry to ask you questions which you cannot asnwer, even though you plough on as if you can. You state re: perseverance: "Also, you seem to think that "works of perseverance" mean that we will never do anything bad." I don't any one who has ever defined perseverance like that. Do you?

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/29/2007 8:12 AM  

  • Jonathan,
    You said the difference between what Catholics believe and the real truth is "done vs. do".
    I think that is just a different way of saying the same thing I was saying!
    (I was raised Catholic BTW - schools and all)
    done vs. do
    yes

    true redemption vs. hope-I-make-it

    eternal life vs. maybe-I-will-go-to-heaven

    I think you also agree that trusting Christ for eternal justification... or life, (however you want to phrase it) is the difference between those who agree with many of the items that are Orthodox and the born-again Christian.

    Does that make sense?

    Thanks for your comments.

    BTW, I told you what I thought the gospel was - did you have a problem with my description of the gospel?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/29/2007 10:13 AM  

  • Ender,
    You are a funny guy! hahaha!
    I date no one. I am a married woman. :~)

    I do think it is interesting all the differing viewpoints. One observation I make is that everyone here probably shares pretty much the same content in their gospel presentation. (Except that small detail for those who can't tell someone that Christ died for them specifically, haha, you know who you are.... we love ya.) There is just some ambiguity about what precisely it is that makes the difference of death and life in faith. What is the specific? That is what this discussion is about.

    With this in mind, we should all remain very charitable in this discussion and don't forget who the real enemy is!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/29/2007 10:31 AM  

  • Jim,
    I actually get intimidated when there are this many comments. I don't know where to begin and so I just sort of get overwhelmed and sit there are read them.

    Thanks for visiting. Do you have any thoughts on the subject?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/29/2007 10:32 AM  

  • Colin Maxwell,
    I don't think you really answered my question but maybe I didn't make it clear. In your three Rs where do you emphasize the eternal life that Jesus provides?

    NOTE: I think that viewing it as eternally being "right with God" or "justified" is very similar to saying "eternal life." When I was saved, I thought of it more as being a done deal in respect to being 'right with God', forgiven. I don't think God requires us to have the right word so much, but that we must cast ourselves upon Him and trust Him with our eternal destiny in childlike faith.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/29/2007 10:37 AM  

  • Lou Martuneac,
    (if you are still hanging around here)
    and Rachel,

    It just occured to me to ask you this: based upon my post, do you think I hold to a "crossless gospel"?

    (I aim my question to you both because you are the ones who I have noticed using this term, Lou being seemingly fixated on it, Rachel using it more sparingly)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/29/2007 10:39 AM  

  • Colin,
    Do you hold to some sort of an "age of accountability" view?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/29/2007 10:40 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You ask: In your three Rs where do you emphasize the eternal life that Jesus provides? This would probably come under the 2nd "R" i.e. Redemption through His blood. The term "redemption" would take in all that was bought for us by Christ including eternal life. I agree about maybe not having the right word so much, although words like "forgiven" and "cleansed" (or "made clean" to update it) are basic words, even in this dumbed down age.

    If I say "yes" to an age of accountability, don't ask me what this age is. If an infant dies young, we are quite happy to conclude that they are in Heaven. But there must be somewhere along the line where such thinking on behalf of an individual becomes but a fond hope. Where it is, I cannot tell. I am just thankful that God is rich in mercy and that the Judge of all the earth ever does that which is right. Right from their earliest days, I prayed that God will save my children by His grace and have/continue to labour (under God) for their conversion to Jesus Christ.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/29/2007 10:56 AM  

  • Good morning Rose, greetings from Kansas City!

    Alvin, you did not satisfactorily address the actual point which is that you said "There is NO judical condemnation concerning sin." My view ("sufficient but not efficient") harmonizes passages like Romans 3:26, 1 John 2:2, and 2 Cor 5:19 whereas your view effectively discredits a subset of passages for the sake of the others. Scripture does not contradict scripture, it all works together. You claim to agree with this but you haven't demonstrated that in practice. No harshness here, just a matter-of-fact observation.

    In summary:

    a) Rom 3:26 clearly states that judicial justification is not universal.

    b) Rom 4:7,8 (PS 32 pulled into the NT) shows that personal forgiveness is not universal.

    The rest of your argument crumbles in light of this so I don't see a need to address your other points.

    By Blogger knetknight, at 11/29/2007 11:39 AM  

  • Rose:

    You asked, "...based upon my post, do you think I hold to a 'crossless gospel'?"

    Only you can provide the answer with a clear, unambiguous answer to this question:

    Do you believe a lost man can be saved apart from believing in the finished work of Christ and/or His Deity?


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/29/2007 11:58 AM  

  • Hi Alvin (and hi Rose!),

    I hope you don't mind me butting into your conversation with Knetknight, but that's what the comment section is for, right?!

    I haven't read all your comments, but I think most of them. And it appears to me (correct me if I'm wrong) that your stance is that faith in Christ gives you eternal life, but not forgiveness of sins. And that the payment for sins, all sins of all people, was accomplished through Christ death on the cross. So sin is not the issue when it comes to possessing eternal life or not, faith is.

    1. So the payment for sin as been made, but forgiveness has not been given and is not given when you have faith in Christ? Is that right?

    What about Acts 10:42,43?
    "And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name >everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins."

    2. So does that mean that we receive forgiveness when we believe or does that mean we can receive forgiveness when we believe in Him?

    And I've seen you refer to 2 Cor 5:19 a few times. Can we take at a look at the surrounding verses as well?

    2 Cor 5:18-20
    "Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."

    You stress "in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them". I think you're attempting to use that as proof that the all sin was taken care of at the cross. Notice that the "not counting" trespasses is directly connected to "reconciling the world".

    3. So, is the whole world reconciled to God and therefore their trespasses aren't counted against them (or us)? If so, why does Paul "beg them on behalf of Christ" to be reconciled to God? Aren't they already reconciled?

    And you said, "From the standpoint of God’s righteous demands as the Judge of all humanity, all humanity’s sin was paid for by Christ and none of it remains as an issue in man’s final judgment. None of it! Not one single bit!"

    What does sin require? What is the payment for sin? "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

    4. So if the payment for sin is death, and the sin debt for all humanity has been paid, then does everyone avoid death? (You might protest and say that Rom 6:23 is referring to physical death, then I ask, why do people die "physically" if the debt has been paid?)

    My point in all this is that I don't believe you can detach sin and it's penalty from faith and it's benefit. Romans 8:1,2 "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." This is what eternal life is all about...freedom. Freedom from sin, freedom from death, freedom to know God, freedom to live a righteous life. Unbelievers do not have freedom from their sin, they are still slaves. I cannot tell a potential convert that they are free from their debt of sin. But I can tell them that they can be free if they will believe in/trust in Christ.

    I hope I don't come across, sounding like I think I know it all. I know I don't. Which is why I even engage in these conversations. I want to test what I believe so that I can know Christ even more.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 11/29/2007 12:07 PM  

  • Rose,

    You asked me:

    "BTW, I told you what I thought the gospel was - did you have a problem with my description of the gospel?"

    I remember you said your definition of the gospel was as follows:

    "What is your definition of the gospel, and could you support your definition of the gospel with Scripture?

    That Christ (that Person, not just His name) died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures and that through this truth we can know that we have eternal life by faith in Him alone.

    I would say that is my version of the gospel per say. I know it is not technical, but there it is.

    Yes, I can support my definition from Scripture."

    I believe the apostle Paul declares to us what the gospel is and I think this is what you were referring to in your quote above:

    "Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received. . . For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve." (1 Cor. 15:1, 3-5)

    It seems that in your description of the gospel you have included everything that Paul did in the passage above except that you did not mention Christ's resurrection appearances/signs as did the apostle Paul. It is interesting that in both John 20:30-31 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-5, the resurrection appearances of Christ to His disciple(s) is specifically mentioned (even emphasized!). Ater studying the gospel of John and writing my article on the resurrection signs, I think we do err by removing this key truth from our actual definition of the gospel.

    I am open to further insights regarding this truth, but that is how I understand the Scriptures at this time.

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at 11/29/2007 1:21 PM  

  • Jonathan,
    I did mention the ressrrection ... I hope you didn't miss that because I think that is very KEY in the gospel!

    I think you are referring to the appearances post-ressurection?
    I think it is very powerful to tell people about that - that over 500 people saw Him.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/29/2007 1:26 PM  

  • Lou,
    So let me get this right...
    If allow for exception for anyone of any age... in even a very rare instance... not undersatnding the specifics about HOW Christ obtained the right to make others sons of God, (even as many as believe on His name) then I am a "crossless gospel" person?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/29/2007 1:35 PM  

  • Good afternoon Rose: (forgot the greeting part earlier)

    Earlier you asked, “...based upon my post, do you think I hold to a 'crossless gospel’?”As I said, only you can provide the answer to your question by answering this question: Do you believe a lost man can be saved apart from believing in the finished work of Christ and/or His Deity?

    Your reply, “So let me get this right...If allow for exception for anyone of any age... in even a very rare instance... not undersatnding the specifics about HOW Christ obtained the right to make others sons of God, (even as many as believe on His name) then I am a ‘crossless gospel’ person?”

    I fail to understand why you feel the need to qualify the nature and substance of my question.

    It is the question that Jeremy Myers, although reluctantly, finally answer with a “No.” The FGA panel discussion presented the question this way, “Is explicit belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection necessary for salvation?”

    Allow me to boil this down to a very clear, unambiguous statement. I’ll set the Deity of Christ component aside for the moment. You asked if I (or Rachel) think you hold to the “Crossless” gospel. Your answer to this defining question will help all of your guests to know where you land on the question you have posed.

    Therefore, In this dispensation, must a lost man believe Jesus died for his sins and rose from the dead for the reception of eternal life (salvation)?


    Lou

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/29/2007 2:23 PM  

  • Lou,
    That's funny.
    I answered your question indirectly but apparently you didn't decipher it.

    Do you believe a lost man can be saved apart from believing in the finished work of Christ and/or His Deity?

    (I do find it interesting that you keep saying lost *man*)

    Here, let me put my answer more plainly:
    I would say they mostly will not be saved apart from believing these because he is going to hear about how Jesus died for his sins and rose from the dead. If he hears this and understands it... then... if he is recpetive of anything (including eternal life, then main thing that God has testified of re: His Son)... then he will be receptive of this truth about Christ also.

    However, I think based upon the Bible that I need to allow for the exception to this, however rare it might be among adults and perhaps more so amongst children.

    At the end of the day, it is Christ who saves eternally through simple faith in Him. There is no other way.

    I answered your question.

    Now let's see if you will answer mine or if you will ignore it like I think you will - like you did twice when I myself, in a very friendly way, and David Wyatt in a more than kind way, asked you on the UoG Blog:


    What do you think a child must know of the Lord's deity/personage/work and what about repentance for a little one?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/29/2007 3:06 PM  

  • Rose:

    Why would you want or have to answer the question “indirectly?”

    Shouldn’t a clear, precise, unambiguous, closed-ended question be replied to with a clear, direct unambiguous answer?

    You wrote, “I would say they mostly will not be saved apart from believing these because he is going to hear about how Jesus died for his sins and rose from the dead. If he hears this and understands it... then... if he is recpetive of anything (including eternal life, then main thing that God has testified of re: His Son)... then he will be receptive of this truth about Christ also.”

    Mostly?” Are you suggesting that some can be saved by believing and others can be saved apart from believing?

    Hears…and understands?” Hearing and understanding does not save anybody. Those are not believing.

    Receptive?” Being “receptive” does not save any one. A lost man, an atheist for that matter, can be open and receptive to facts about Jesus, but dismiss these, and remain in unbelief. Would you agree with that?

    You wrote, “I think based upon the Bible that I need to allow for the exception to this, however rare it might be among adults and perhaps more so amongst children.”

    Exception” to what; believing in the finished work of Christ? This gives the impression there is more than one way to be saved. Belief in His death and resurrection for salvation; or receive salvation apart from belief in His death and resurrection. Both can't be right; wouldn't you agree?

    That argumentation reduces the finished work of Christ down to a, “take it or leave it, because it does not really matter anyway” plan of salvation; doesn’t it? Outside of the “Crossless” gospel advocates like Hodges, Wilkin, Myers and da Rosa I do not know any responsible Bible believing Christian who would accept such a conclusion.

    IMO, there is no way to come to the conclusion that there is a “Yes” and “No” answer to this question and be consistent with the plain teaching of Scriptures.

    Rose, In this dispensation, must a lost man believe Jesus died for his sins and rose from the dead for the reception of eternal life (salvation)?”

    Shouldn’t a clear, precise, unambiguous, closed-ended question be replied to with a clear, direct unambiguous answer? My answer to the question is, Yes, absolutely!”

    Can you offer a clear, direct, unambiguous answer, such as “Yes” or “No?”


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/29/2007 4:05 PM  

  • Rose, I understand your answer to Lou is yes, with possibly an exception for those unable to understand. Am I correct?

    Sorry, Rose, if I am out of place, banish me. :) I am VERY impatient to learn Lou's answer to your question!

    By Blogger Missy, at 11/29/2007 4:19 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/29/2007 5:05 PM  

  • Missy:

    You wrote, “Rose, I understand your answer to Lou is yes, with possibly an exception for those unable to understand. Am I correct?”

    My question was not meant to address folks who may be “unable to understand,” such as those with learning disabilities. That is an entirely different discussion.

    It is a very cut and dry question: no hoops or bends, very simple, clear and unambiguous; wouldn't you agree?


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/29/2007 5:08 PM  

  • Rose,

    You said to me:

    "Jonathan,
    I did mention the ressrrection ... I hope you didn't miss that because I think that is very KEY in the gospel!

    I think you are referring to the appearances post-ressurection?
    I think it is very powerful to tell people about that - that over 500 people saw Him."

    You are correct, I was specifically referring to the resurrection appearances of Christ to his disciple(s) that is mentioned in both John 20:30-31 and 1 Cor. 15:3-4, the last passage specifically saying: "and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve." I was not necessarily referring to Christ's appearances to over 500 witnesses. Both John 20:30-31 and 1 Cor. 15:3-4 seem to specifically refer first and foremost (it seems to me)to Christ's post resurrection appearances to his twelve disciples. So that is what I was referring to. My point was, if both John and Paul include these key proofs in their good news, we should not be so quick to automatically exclude them.

    Jonathan

    P.S. I also would be interested in further understanding your answer to Lou's questions.

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at 11/29/2007 5:43 PM  

  • I know, Lou. I thought that is exactly what Rose was accounting for - but that is for her to answer, hence why I asked her to clarify.

    I am curious as to how one can simply answer "Yes" or "No" to your question without considering those people. If you are asking her to exclude certain individuals from consideration, without specifically telling her which ones to exclude, then your question is full of hoops and bends and very ambiguous.

    By Blogger Missy, at 11/29/2007 5:44 PM  

  • Jon:

    Rose wrote to you, “I did mention the ressrrection ... I hope you didn't miss that because I think that is very KEY in the gospel! I think you are referring to the appearances post-ressurection? I think it is very powerful to tell people about that - that over 500 people saw Him.”

    If I am reading her note right I would concur that the resurrection is “key” and “powerful to tell (lost) people about.”

    What we have learned from the men who hold to the “Crossless” interpretation of the Gospel, is that they believe a lost man can be unconvinced of and/or reject the resurrection of Christ and still be born again.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/29/2007 6:25 PM  

  • All,

    If I understand Rose correctly, she takes the position that the resurrection of Christ does not have to be believed for eternal life? Would I be correct in that understanding?

    Missy,

    I don't think Lou's question is full of loops and holes simply because he excludes babies and metally handicapped people, both of which cannot believe because they cannot hear with understanding (Rom. 10:14). I think Lou's exeption here is simply understood by all of us and therefore does not have to be specifically mentioned.

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at 11/29/2007 7:34 PM  

  • Jon:

    It is hard to figure why so many in the "Crossless" camp and those who are sympatheitc to the advocates of the "Crossless" gospel struggle to comprehend and answer this question in clear, unvarnished terms.

    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/29/2007 9:27 PM  

  • Hi Ten Cent
    You said:
    1. So the payment for sin as been made, but forgiveness has not been given and is not given when you have faith in Christ? Is that right?
    Ten Cent here is my answer from my post up above: 11/28/2007 10:26 AM


    Also concerning forgiveness if you notice in the gospel of John the only verse forgiveness is mentioned is John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” As you can see this is not free gift language in fact forgiveness is not a gift but something that is granted at the time one is in fellowship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. This prescription for forgiveness that Jesus gave His disciples is shown in Acts 2:38 Peter telling those Jews who had cruicified Christ before they would be in harmony with God must repent and be baptized before they would receive the forgivenness of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Notice also that in verse 37 they were cut to the heart and said what shall we do? This shows that they had believed Jesus was the Christ, and anyone believing that is born of God (1 John 5:1a). We know always at the core of the Apostles message was the gift of eternal life as shown in 1 Tim 1:16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Forgiveness was only withheld for that particular time in history concerning that Generation of Palistianians but now is granted at the moment one believes in Christ for eternal life. So the ones in hell are not forgiven, there is no forgiveness for anyone who rejects Jesus Christ.
    More later alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/29/2007 9:29 PM  

  • Hi Rose
    Here is what I think their checklist would maybe look like:
    1. Believe in Jesus for eternal life.
    2. Believe that Jesus is God.
    3. Believe in Jesus death.
    4. Believe in Jesus burial.
    5. Believe in Jesus resurrection.
    Below beliefs that one would need to believe the above conditions.
    6. Personal sin.
    7. Jesus sinless.
    8. Jesus born of a virgin.
    9. Jesus historical roots:He is from Nazarth.
    10. Some kind of repentance; either a change of mind about sin or a change not believeing to believing.
    Note: Repentance is never mentioned one time in the Gospel of John. Also forgiveness is only mentioned once.
    A child would have to believe all of the above. But when the child is told Jesus is God. The child says "I thought the Father was God?" Now the child is be explained the trinity in order to believe the diety!
    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/29/2007 9:39 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Also take note that THEIR gosepl potentially paid for the sins of the world. It's not effective unless one believes. So their gospel is an empty gospel to the majority of humanity because they are left to pay for their sins.

    Fact: Jesus IS the propitiation of the world not that He potentially is but that He IS THAT!
    Now that's really good news!!! No one has been left out, thinking did Jesus REALLY die for me or did He just potentially die for me? Maybe,,,,maybe not
    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/29/2007 9:58 PM  

  • Hi Rose:

    That is an impressive list Alvin posted.

    However, I don’t recall seeing any documentation that would identify any one in particular that would demand belief in every single item he listed as necessary for salvation. Maybe that documentation will be forthcoming. Once he can document some actual persons who require belief in that entire list for salvation we can interact with him on that issue.

    Until such time that Alvin can provide the documentation we should not be distracted from what is documented about specific beliefs of specific persons in regard to the necessity of belief in the finished work of Christ for salvation.

    We can read examples of that documentation in this article.

    So while we wait for Alvin’s documentation, may I suggest we continue to address the one question that defines whether or not a person would be considered an advocate of what has come to be known as the “Crossless” gospel.

    That question is: In this dispensation, must a lost man believe Jesus died for his sins and rose from the dead for the reception of eternal life (salvation)?


    Lou

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/29/2007 10:06 PM  

  • Jonathan,

    Thanks. That was kinda my point. To me, her "mostly" meant 'yes, but not sure how to consider these specific situations in that context'(partially intuited by her question to Lou). Maybe I should not have tried to clarify Rose's answer - rather that if she was saying what I understood her to mean, it was basically the same conclusion I am currently at and therefore possibly a little over-anxious to hear Lou's answer to Rose's question myself. Not to put him on the spot, but out of curiousity and to help me move forward in my considerations. I know what I feel the answer should be, but I do not know specifically how the Bible addresses it - which is far more important to me than how I feel about it. Please don't knock me around for being less astute! Should I not desire to learn from others?

    I am just sorting these things out and asking questions - very interested in the answers and opinions - but mostly in the Biblical evidence. I have no claim to any camp and really having trouble trying to figure out what the differences are.

    For example, what would be your anwswer to Lou's question? I'm assuming, by the way you seemed to have twisted Rose's answer to appear to be in opposition, that it would be a "yes"? To me, she seems to be saying exactly what you are, but for some reason I get the feeling that the answer she is awaiting from Lou will enlighten me to what the true difference in doctrine is. Everyone else reading may know "Lou's exception here is simply understood by all of us and therefore does not have to be specifically mentioned" - but I am telling you I do not understand. If that makes me worth less than an answer, I can accept that. I will try to answer any question anyone throws at me, and I promise I will never respond with a childish "Not gonna give you an answer to yours 'til you answer mine first!"

    I am, and hope always to remain, teachable. I also hope that you would treat me as a possible convert, not an enemy.

    (several comments seem to have been made while I wrote this, so forgive me if the question was answered in the interim!)

    By Blogger Missy, at 11/29/2007 10:09 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Lou, nobody would have to take a guess at your checklist if you would have answered Rose's question earlier. Also that question was asked by David and myself!

    Here it is again:

    What do you think a child must know of the Lord's deity/personage/work and what about repentance for a little one?

    11/29/2007 3:06 PM

    Lou being you and jon believe that Jesus is ONLY potentialy the propitiation of the world I know you got to get sin in there somewhere. Let's hear you?
    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/29/2007 10:56 PM  

  • Wow, this thread is hoppin' today! Hard to keep up! :-)

    Alvin,

    You said,

    "It’s impossible for you to say you won’t fall away because you don’t know that. You can’t know that until the end of your life."

    Wrong. I know perfectly well that I won't fall away, because true believers simply won't fall away, and I know that I know that I know that I am a true believer. Since I am a true believer, I won't fall away. No worries, no "daisy theology" like Wilkin tries to say.

    Your questions about Lot and the Corinthians make plain that you do not understand what is meant by "perseverance", an error I corrected for you in my last post, which you conveniently ignored. So Lot and the Corinthians sinned. Where is the evidence that they had NO good works EVER? Perseverance doesn't mean that you'll never fail, or that you'll eventually be perfect and never sin, or that you can't sin at the end of your life. Lot and the Corinthians pose ZERO problem for me, the Bible simply points out some sins they did. Nowhere does it say that they had NO good works. Sinning in one area of life doesn't preclude doing good in other areas of life.

    Alvin, why is that you ignore so much of what is said to you? And when you do respond, you simply repeat yourself. If you say something, and someone points out a contradiction in your statement, you either ignore it or just repeat your original statement! Ten Cent made 4 points in his post, and you only responded to the first one (and even then you didn't actually respond to the contradicting verse that he mentioned), and your "response" was a copy & paste of your last answer! It would seem that rational and reasonable dialogue with you on this issue is becoming less and less likely. I will continue to respond to you, but really for the benefit of the other readers here. It has become apparent that any response from you will be sporatic at best.

    Regarding your "checklist" for our side, so what? Even if we say that your list is correct (and that's a big IF), so what? This is called "argument from outrage", a common tactic used by atheists and skeptics. It is employed when the person points to something in the Bible and simply expects everyone to assume it is incorrect without proving that it actually IS incorrect with real evidence (e.g. "In the OT, God told Israel to take land from other people and kill everyone that lived there, including women and children! Obviously this 'God' is either bad or fake!"). As I've said several times already, and will continue to say, this is not about "whose gospel is simplest", this is all about "whose gospel is biblical". If your list is shorter that doesn't make it automatically better. And in response to your question about what children need to know (even though it wasn't directed at me), I (and the vast majority of Christians I know) was saved at the age of 5, understanding and believing that Jesus as God died for my sins and rose again. This is the same gospel that adults need to believe. I have no earthly idea why anyone would consider that "complex". Even if it was, it's biblical. And that's the only thing that matters.

    Oh, btw Alvin, in your "response" to Ten Cent, you said, "Forgiveness was only withheld for that particular time in history concerning that Generation of Palistianians but now is granted at the moment one believes in Christ for eternal life." Where exactly is this change explicitly stated?

    Finally for Alvin, you said,

    "So their gospel is an empty gospel to the majority of humanity because they are left to pay for their sins. ... No one has been left out, thinking did Jesus REALLY die for me or did He just potentially die for me?"

    No one has been left out in my gospel either. This is a straw man. Jesus DID die for everyone, but the payment isn't applied to the individual until you believe. I'll use this analogy again. It's like the bank called and said that someone volunteered to pay your mortgage. The money has been put in an account with your name on it, but you have to come down and sign your agreement. There is enough money there for you, but until you sign, it's never applied to your account.

    My gospel isn't "empty" in the least. On the contrary, it truly is "good news" to everyone! If someone rejects the gospel, then it is not "empty", instead it is simply ineffective. But the gospel itself remains rich and full. Your attempt to make my gospel somehow "less" has failed.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/29/2007 11:17 PM  

  • Goodnightsafehome (Colin?),

    You said,

    "Alvin: Sorry to ask you questions which you cannot asnwer, even though you plough on as if you can. You state re: perseverance: 'Also, you seem to think that "works of perseverance" mean that we will never do anything bad.' I don't any one who has ever defined perseverance like that. Do you?"

    First, you have made the same observation about Alvin as I have. Second, you are a little confused. It was ME who said (to Alvin), "Also, you seem to think that works of perseverance' mean that we will never do anything bad." I know of no one who has defined perseverance that way. My point was that Alvin seemed to be defining it that way, as evidenced further by his appeal to Lot and the Corinthians as some sort of problem for the perseverance view. So, just wanted to clear that up that it was me that said that TO Alvin.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/29/2007 11:17 PM  

  • Missy,

    I think that's great you are open to hearing both sides. Regarding this, I would direct you to the "Pursuit of Truth" blog. They have several documents (under the "Documents" link) there that I think would answer many of your questions. I have a link to their blog on my blog.

    Hope that helps,
    Jonathan
    http://www.freegracefreespeech.blogspot.com

    P.S. I didn't mean to "twist" Rose's answer. Maybe I misunderstood her.

    By Blogger Jonathan Perreault, at 11/29/2007 11:22 PM  

  • Rose,

    You said,

    "It just occured to me to ask you this: based upon my post, do you think I hold to a 'crossless gospel'?"

    My thoughts when I first read this were the same as Lou's. I'm really not sure what you hold to. I don't even know if you are sure what you hold to, considering the main article of this comment thread. Perhaps you have cemented your view more since reading these comments?

    Either way, my answer would be the same as Lou's. If you think that someone could possibly be born again without understanding or believing that Jesus as God died for their sins and rose again, then yes, I would say you hold to a "crossless" gospel. The reason is as I have stated several times: "the gospel" is defined as 'that which the lost MUST believe in order to be born again'. If anyone's "gospel" (see definition in last sentence) does NOT include the cross, then it is by definition "cross-less".

    If, OTOH, you DO think the cross is NECESSARY for entrance into heaven, then no, your gospel is NOT "crossless". It really depends on you and your answer to the question, "do the lost need to understand and believe in the deity, cross, and resurrection of Jesus in order to receive eternal life?" Or, as Lou worded it, "do you believe a lost man can be saved apart from believing in the finished work of Christ and/or His Deity?" (btw, I have no problem with Lou saying "lost MAN". It's just a generic term for all people.)

    I noted that at least you seem to think that such truths cannot be denied. I brought up a scenario to you that I think shows that, for your position, there is no practical difference between what must be believed and what can't be denied. You haven't answered that scenario yet. Maybe your answer there would help determine your position. For ease of reference (since there are so many posts here!), I'll copy & paste it here:

    "say someone decides to believe that Jesus can give them eternal life, to trust Christ for their eternity, as you put it. You would consider that person saved, right? But then, a month later, they learn of the teaching of Jesus' deity. They decide they can't buy that and reject this teaching. What now? It would seem you have two options. Either you were wrong at the beginning and the person was never saved in the first place, OR the person has now lost their salvation. I think we would all agree that the second scenario (they lost their salvation) isn't possible, so we are left with the first: that the person wasn't saved in the first place. But that leaves you with a dilemma, because now you have someone who "trust[ed] Christ for [their] eternity" but wasn't really saved.

    So do you see what I'm saying? I'm still not sure on this myself, but I think at least for your position, that there wouldn't seem to be any practical difference between not believing something and actually denying it."

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/29/2007 11:30 PM  

  • You are such a blessing to me Rose.

    I really mean that and I wanted to be comment number 160!

    By Blogger Kris, at 11/29/2007 11:30 PM  

  • shoot darn dang it. someone snuck in there and made number 164


    Shucks

    By Blogger Kris, at 11/29/2007 11:31 PM  

  • Hi Rose
    Hi Rachel the reason I'm having to repeat myself is because what I'm saying is not registering. So I think maybe the second time through you will get it.
    You expect me to take you serious when you say things like this: My point was that Alvin SEEMED to be defining it that way
    Your problem Rachel is your drawing your own conclusion on what I SEEMED to be saying. Let's stick to what I HAVE said.
    Concerning Ten Cents he had missed my post where I spoke to that concern, so instead of reinventing the wheel I went up and got what I had already said thankyou very much!
    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/29/2007 11:34 PM  

  • Oh, I forgot to say, regarding babies and the mentally handicapped. I agree with Lou and Jonathan here, that clearly those who lack the ability to even understand these truths are really in a separate category. Babies and some mentally disabled adults cannot even understand that Jesus can give them eternal life. So they would be "exceptions" to even the "crossless"/RFG gospel. The fate of these people is a separate discussion.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/29/2007 11:34 PM  

  • Alvin,

    You said,

    "the reason I'm having to repeat myself is because what I'm saying is not registering. So I think maybe the second time through you will get it."

    No, that's the point. What you're saying IS registering, and we're making counter points. You need to answer our objections, not just repeat yourself. The Psalm 32 passage (along with the other Scriptures I discussed in the post that I linked to at my group blog) is a major trouble spot for you, and you have yet to address it.

    Regarding Ten Cent, I'll say it again. You completely ignored the other 3 points in that post, and I have asked a follow-up question on your answer to Ten Cent's first point. You had NOT previously addressed the issues that Ten Cent brought up. That's why they were brought up. Please interact with the objections and counterpoints people are raising to your beliefs. Don't just repeat.

    "Your problem Rachel is your drawing your own conclusion on what I SEEMED to be saying. Let's stick to what I HAVE said."

    Okay, so rather than just repeat yourself, the appropriate answer would be to demonstrate where I have erred in what I concluded about you. Instead though, your comments about Lot and the Corinthians proved that I was indeed correct about your misunderstanding of the doctrine of perseverance. Besides that, I have made many MANY points to you that you have ignored. Implying that I contantly assume what you believe when you really don't believe that is just plain incorrect (in fact, I haven't even done it at all).

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/29/2007 11:49 PM  

  • Rachel if you would have bothered to look at the bottom of my last reply to Ten Cent you would have seen this:
    More later alvin

    11/29/2007 9:29 PM
    I'm only answering questions from five different people Rachel,

    hi rose

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/29/2007 11:55 PM  

  • Missy,

    I think you may be taking some comments a little too personally. I don't know Jonathan personally, but he is one of the nicest people I've seen on these blogs. I am quite sure that he would never "knock [you] around for being less astute", or think that you shouldn't learn from others, or determine that you are "worth less than an answer", and I can't imagine him "treat[ing you] as an enemy".

    I do not think Jonathan twisted Rose's answer, although only Rose can truly say for sure on that. So far, Rose has only said that the rez is "powerful" and "key" to the gospel, but these terms are NOT the same as saying that the rez is necessary. We have seen from others that when they use such terms, but specifically refrain from using more absolute terms (such as "necessary" or "required"), then they usually do not think that a doctrine truly IS "necessary" or "required" to be born again. I am sure that is why Jonathan summarized Rose's position the way that he did. In addition, he DID ask for confirmation from Rose that he was correct. So he didn't say for sure that he thought Rose believed that the rez isn't necessary, he just thought that was true and wanted to be sure. I don't see any "twisting" there.

    Regarding the fate of babies and mentally disabled adults (which I think you are asking about), I don't see much, if anything, in Scripture that talks about that. Most people assume that they are in heaven, perhaps God extends a special grace to them somehow. But there isn't really anything in the Bible that addresses that issue.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/30/2007 12:04 AM  

  • Alvin,

    Actually I DID see your "more later". But, you posted THREE more times after that (not including your responses to me here recently) and did not address anything from Ten Cent. And, you didn't address anything in my post that was linked to. Based on your past record, it was highly likely that "more later" simply meant you would be posting more, not that you would necessarily post more response to Ten Cent.

    But alright then, I will wait to read your more complete response to Ten Cent. Don't forget the issues Stephen and I have raised too.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/30/2007 12:09 AM  

  • This is what Rachel said about her gospel:

    No one has been left out in my gospel either. This is a straw man. Jesus DID die for everyone, but the payment isn't applied to the individual until you believe. I'll use this analogy again. It's like the bank called and said that someone volunteered to pay your mortgage. The money has been put in an account with your name on it, but you have to come down and sign your agreement. There is enough money there for you, but until you sign, it's never applied to your account.

    My gospel isn't "empty" in the least. On the contrary, it truly is "good news" to everyone! If someone rejects the gospel, then it is not "empty", instead it is simply ineffective. But the gospel itself remains rich and full. Your attempt to make my gospel somehow "less" has failed.

    Here is my answer to this kind of reasoning:
    Have you ever heard an illustration like this?

    A man is spending his last days on death row. Suddenly the warden appears and shows him a piece of paper. The paper is a full pardon from the Governor. After the man looks it over "he says' "I dont want it!" Then he hands it back to the warden. The illustration ends with the execution of the condemned man.
    Whats wrong with this story?
    Well to begin with there is no way a state would execute a pardoned man. The prisoner would be unceremoniously ushered out of his cell, at least eventually depending on legal technicalities. Yet users of such illustrations think it is a good one if human beings reject the pardon that Jesus Christ bought for them by His death on the cross they will go to hell and pay for their sins. Can this be true? No it cannot!

    The illustration that I shared with you cannot be correct! Why? Because it denies the reality of the propitiation that the Lord Jesus Christ made on the cross. Before I go any further let me confront an objection. Someone might argue this way: The propitiation that Christ made on the cross is real. It is fully adequate for all men. However it is only effective if men believe it. This view leads to a new illustration. A man deposits a billion dollars in the bank. Any debtor can come and draw freely on the account. It is sufficient to meet his needs. If he doesn't draw on it the account does not pay for his sin, he has to pay for it. What's wrong with this story? The same thing as before. It denies the reality the propitiation that Jesus made on the cross. Nothing has really been paid for. I submit to you today that such illustrations fly into the face of the word of God. Listen to the words of the Apostle John written in 1 John 2:2 referring to Jesus Christ. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, not for ours only but for the whole world.
    Did you hear anything in 1 John 2:2 of Christ being potentially the propitiation for the sins of the world? Neither did I. The Apostle flatly states that Jesus IS, IS THE PROPITIATION FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD! He is that, not that He can be, or potentially is. But He simply IS! Notice also that this truth is parallel to the truth that He is the propitiation for OUR sins. In what ever sense He is the propitiation for OUR sins, He is also the propitiation for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD. Very simply put the propitiation work of our Lord Jesus Christ is universally effective. That is true whether anyone believes it or not. On the cross my friend Jesus has paid for every sin that ever will be committed by any person who has ever lived on the face of the earth. If you ask me that is magnificent and over whelming. (illustrations by Zane Hodges)

    Blessings alvin
    more later for EVERYONE!

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/30/2007 12:20 AM  

  • Alvin, I started to type a long reply but instead, realizing that what I said earlier is apparently just not registering, that I'd tweak a play from your book and just link you back to my original comment. You said: "There is NO judical condemnation concerning sin."

    Please reference my earlier comment as I am awaiting an actual reply to this as eagerly as you are awaiting Lou's reply.

    Finally, I see that you just posted an illustration about a condemned man on death row. Your illustration is flawed because, unlike your condemned man, the Bible clearly teaches that our judicial "pardon" IS only effective upon faith in Jesus. The question of mine from Romans 3:26 addresses exactly this shortcoming in your reasoning.

    By Blogger knetknight, at 11/30/2007 12:34 AM  

  • Missy:

    I answered your question that you left for me at my blog.


    Lou

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/30/2007 12:36 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    You have to wait your turn Knetknight, Goodnight was before you.
    Good night said:


    GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...
    Good morning Rose/Alvin:

    Alvin: Sorry to ask you questions which you cannot asnwer, even though you plough on as if you can. You state re: perseverance: "Also, you seem to think that "works of perseverance" mean that we will never do anything bad." I don't any one who has ever defined perseverance like that. Do you?
    11/29/2007 8:12 AM

    My answer: I have NEVER said anywhere in print that perseverance means that we will NEVER do anything bad, like you and Rachel are insinuating! My view of perseverance is that it’s not the evidence of saving faith, and works are not an indispensable element of true faith. Good works suggest regeneration but they don’t prove it, no ones works are perfect. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 Jn 1:8). For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23 present tense). If perseverance is a condition for eternal life then it’s impossible for any of us to know we are going to persevere until we get to the end of our life. Paul himself knew that he could be disqualified from the race. The Apostle John said that we can “KNOW” we have eternal life, if perseverance is a condition for eternal life no one could KNOW.
    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/30/2007 3:22 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Hi Knetknight
    I already answered this in three different post up above, one was by Zane Hodges. If that didn’t meet your qualifications, then draw your own conclusions which I’m sure you will anyway!
    Blessings alvin
    11/30/2007 12:20 AM
    11/29/2007 3:22 AM
    11/28/2007 10:26 AM

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/30/2007 3:49 AM  

  • Good morning Rose/Alvin,

    Alvin: My apologies re: my attributing to you the sentence: "Also, you seem to think that "works of perseverance mean that we will never do anything bad." Rachel has already pointed out my error on that one. Usually quotes, attributed to others, are either put in speech marks (") or italics or preferably "both" but when all is said and done, the error is mine and again, I apologise.

    What I would like to know is where any one uses the actual words that "perseverance is a condition for eternal life" Maybe you can produce these words, but it is not language that I would use. I believe that God's people will infallibly persevere - aiming straight even if falling short - unto the end, but will do so because they are elect and saved and not in order to do so.

    Buried deep in my soul is the knowledge that I am a Christian. As such, (and not to become such) I am expected to be an Overcomer. I go forth each day very conscious that while even my most pious thoughts and intentions are stained by sin and human infirmity, yet I can overcome and live a useful and God glorifying life. There is plenty of evidence, not only in Scripture, but in the lives of other Christians around me that it can be done. When I sin, I grieve but I also realise that my justification and place in glory does not depend on my persevering, but on what Christ did perfectly for me at the Cross. It is this alone that gives me my assurance that I will be in Heaven. I have touched the hem of His garment and He has made me whole. As I wrote before, if there is failure here to deliver, then it is not my failure but His and that to me, is a definite non starter.

    I must express surprise at your statement to Knetknight (and yes, I did check it!) that "As you can see this is not free gift language in fact forgiveness is not a gift but something that is granted at the time one is in fellowship with God through faith in Jesus Christ." Did you really mean to say that "forgiveness is not a gift"? Do we not read: In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (Ephesians 1:7) i.e. grace and gift bearing the same meaning in the New Testament? Perhaps, you have worded this somewhat clumsily? (Something I think we need to make allowances for, especially in debates like these?)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/30/2007 4:42 AM  

  • Hi Ten Cent

    Here is what you said:
    1. So the payment for sin as been made, but forgiveness has not been given and is not given when you have faith in Christ? Is that right?


    What about Acts 10:42,43?
    "And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name >everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins."

    2. So does that mean that we receive forgiveness when we believe or does that mean we can receive forgiveness when we believe in Him?
    This is what I said on my post up above:
    Forgiveness was ONLY withheld for that particular time in history concerning that Generation of Palistianians but now is granted at the moment one believes in Christ for eternal life. So the ones in hell are not forgiven, there is NO FORGIVENESS FOR ANYONE WHO REJECTS Jesus Christ.
    Ten Cent I showed the example from Acts 2. The gift of eternal life and the gift of the Holy Spirit are two different gifts. The ones in John’s Gospel received the gift of eternal life, but they did not receive the gift of the Spirit until Pentecost. Those ones in Acts 2 before they would be given the remission of sins and the gift of the Spirit they had to repent and be baptised. But as we see in Acts 10 with Cornelius he was baptized after he had believed. So that generation that had rejected the baptism of John the Baptist and Jesus before they would be given forgivness of sins and the gift of the Spirit they had to be in fellowship with God by the baptism of repentance then the gift of the Spirit was bestowed. But take note that they were born again (gift of eternal life) the moment they believed that Jesus was the Christ and that they had crucified Him. They said “what shall we do?” Showing they had believed. That was ONLY for that generation now we receive everything the moment we believe (gift of eternal life,gift of the Holy Spirit,forgiveness of sins,justification,sanctification positional,baptized into Christ).
    I will address the rest of your questions at a later time, it’s late and time for bed.
    Blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/30/2007 5:04 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Hi Rachel

    My last post to Ten Cents I believe answers this question of yours below:

    Oh, btw Alvin, in your "response" to Ten Cent, you said, "Forgiveness was only withheld for that particular time in history concerning that Generation of Palistianians but now is granted at the moment one believes in Christ for eternal life." Where exactly is this change explicitly stated?

    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/30/2007 5:30 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose/Goodnight

    Apologies accepted! As you can tell I'm a fairly new blogger, so part of the blame is on me. You notice I start and stop with (I said, you said) because I don't know how to do dark and light which I would like to learn. And I'm on dialup which I have to share the phone with my wife,,LOL
    Yes I did mean to say (forgiveness is granted) it is all on the bases of grace but is not a gift as the verse in John 20 shows and Acts 2 but now is granted at the time of saving faith.
    Also perseverance of the saints being the 5th point of Calvinism. I believe every believer will be made perfect (glorified). But not all will persevere in good works in this life.

    Got to get to bed.
    blessings alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/30/2007 5:54 AM  

  • Good morning (again) Rose,

    This particular posting has certainly been an eye opener for me!

    "Highlights" for various reasons include the following:

    1) Antonio's admission that " First of all, I want to say that it is a practically moot point, in that, it is near impossible for anyone to be persuaded that the Biblical Jesus guarantees their eternal destiny through simple faith in Him, without a subjectively adequate amount of information about Him that convinces one to believe in Him." I am just sorry that he didn't take this up a bit more, although asked to do so. However, it appears (to me anyway) to be a significant shift in his position. We now need a list of those doctrines without which it is "nearly impossible" to be persuaded without.

    2) Alvin's thought that "forgiveness of sins is not a gift of God." I was surprised at that one, although when repentance is off the FG list and some (although not all) appear to be sacrificing the Cross and the Deity, you do not need to be the eternal pessimist to ask, "What is next?"

    3) Your own appearance of wavering on the matter of the Cross in the faith that saves. I think in debates like these (and this one has been pretty intense) you need to state clearly your position and then explain it afterwards. We all may indulge ourselves at other times and in less intense circumstances in throwing out a few questions before stating our convictions. I think in debates like these, that can be pretty much hit and miss and therefore increases the likelihood of being misunderstood. I would understand any question about what particular points are needed to constitute justifying faith as relating to normal circumstances and not special cases.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/30/2007 6:04 AM  

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    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/30/2007 8:23 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/30/2007 9:10 AM  

  • Alvin said: "I already answered this in three different post up above, one was by Zane Hodges.

    I reread all three of your posts and you didn't answer my question once. You did quote ZH, so what, does he have some special apostolic authority that I'm unaware of? And you quoted some OTHER passages, but you didn't deal with the passage I asked about. Alvin, interpretation of scripture does not work as "9 out of 10 vv support my conclusion." It must ALL fit together. 1 John 2:2 and 2 Cor 5:19 do not trump Romans 3:26, they must fit together in your conclusion or your conclusion simply isn't biblical.

    If that didn’t meet your qualifications,...

    No Alvin, the words of men and disregard of entire blocks of scripture in favor of one's own conclusions do not meet my qualifications, are you seriously suggesting they should?

    ... then draw your own conclusions which I’m sure you will anyway!"

    This is laughable in light of your track record in this thread of "plough[ing] on" with your own conclusions without having meaningfully addressed the serious questions asked of you and your position. Colin noted it, Rachel has noted it, and I have noted it

    Romans 3:26 misses you and sends it's love.

    By Blogger knetknight, at 11/30/2007 9:13 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/30/2007 9:33 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/30/2007 9:36 AM  

  • Colin:

    Thanks for making mention. There is a simple way to clear any potential misunderstanding.

    Alvin: Is repentance a necessary condition for salvation?

    Alvin: In this dispensation, must a lost man believe Jesus died for his sins and rose from the dead for the reception of eternal life (salvation)?

    If he answers in the affirmative on either of these questions I will gladly apologize.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/30/2007 9:44 AM  

  • Colin:

    I fairness I pulled, will edit and repost that comment, below.

    I will come back to the subject once Alvin will give a clear unvarnished answer to the defining questions on repentance and the cross and resurrection.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/30/2007 9:54 AM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    Thanks for your response. It appears your getting hit on all sides. I hope you understand that it's not my intent to pursue these matters so that I can win an argument. Which is a good thing, because I don't know if I'd "win" or not. I really just want to make sure my thinking is correct. And if it's not, then I need to change.

    The crux of the matter for me is whether or not the issue concerning salvation...eternal salvation...is sin or unbelief. It appears to me that for you, sin is not the issue, unbelief is. Sin has been paid for on the cross. And it's just up to the individual to believe it or not. So for you, it seems, that the Gospel is "believe in Christ for eternal life." For me, it is "believe in Christ and have life (freedom from sin, forgiveness, righteousness of Christ).

    You said: "Forgiveness was ONLY withheld for that particular time in history concerning that Generation of Palistianians but now is granted at the moment one believes in Christ for eternal life. So the ones in hell are not forgiven, there is NO FORGIVENESS FOR ANYONE WHO REJECTS Jesus Christ."

    So, if forgiveness is "granted at the moment one believes in Christ", does that mean that sin is part of the equation? And if sin is part of the equation, then wouldn't that mean that people who do not believe in Christ and do not have forgiveness of their sins are in hell because of their sins. IOW, their sin debt is not taken care of, thus the payment must be made...death. But for the believer, that payment has been made.

    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."


    Thanks again, Alvin, for the conversation. May God continue to reveal Himself to us all through His Word.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 11/30/2007 9:55 AM  

  • Colin:

 (Revised comment)

    Good to see you participate. This is an important discussion on the necessity of belief in the finished work of Christ for salvation. 



    Your notes to Rose were a blessing to read. You wrote, “I think in debates like these (and this one has been pretty intense) you need to state clearly your position and then explain it afterwards.” I trust we’ll have that clearly stated answer from Rose later in this thread.



    As for your highlights:
Antonio’s “significant shift in position,” we will certainly need clarification from him and I trust he will respond to you.



    Alvin’s “forgiveness of sins in not a gift of God” statement. You questioned, “What is next?” 

What always happens to those who have begun to lose their theological balance is that they fall into more and deeper errors. Unless someone comes along aide to recover them early on they become increasingly susceptible to and more quickly slide into greater levels of heresy.

    The teachings of Hodges have lead these men to egregious errors and I feel badly for their having been drawn into these errors.



    What is next?” Hard to say, but their slide into more doctrinal errors is not over yet.

The teaching of the “Crossless” advocates dismisses repentance, the cross, resurrection and Deity of Christ from the Gospel.

    IMO, these teachings put the “Crossless” advocates about a step-and-a-half away from full-blown universalism.




    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/30/2007 9:59 AM  

  • Good morning Rose, I am share a few thoughts with Colin.

    Hi Colin:

    On repentance we know they (Hodges/Wilkin) and the “Crossless” advocates believe repentance is not part of salvation. However, I just read the following from Alvin, which seems to confuse and/or contradict the Hodges/Wilkin position on repentance.

    Those ones in Acts 2 before they would be given the remission of sins and the gift of the Spirit they had to repent and be baptised. But as we see in Acts 10 with Cornelius he was baptized after he had believed. So that generation that had rejected the baptism of John the Baptist and Jesus before they would be given forgivness of sins and the gift of the Spirit they had to be in fellowship with God by the baptism of repentance then the gift of the Spirit was bestowed. But take note that they were born again (gift of eternal life) the moment they believed that Jesus was the Christ and that they had crucified Him.

    Which is it? Repentance is not a condition for salvation? Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins? They were not given remission of sins because they rejected the baptism of John and Jesus? Fellowship with God must be through repentance? They were already born again and later they repented and received remission of sins? The Holy Spirit was bestowed after coming into fellowship with God by the baptism of repentance?

    The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit indwells and seals at the moment of belief in Christ for salvation (Eph. 1:13). Alvin, however, appears to have the indwelling of the Spirit occurring chronologically after belief in Christ and His crucifixion, at such time when there is a subsequent act of repentance for the remission of sin.

    Then at the end of Alvin’s statement he equates being born again with believing that Jesus is “the Christ” (* a non-deity definition of Jesus according to “Crossless” theology), but also believing Jesus had been crucified.

    This is an important statement from Alvin. For months the “Crossless” advocates have insisted that lost me can be saved apart from believing Jesus had been crucified, but Alvin states this is a necessary condition to receive the “gift of eternal life.”

    You may also be aware that Antonio believes the Judgment Seat of Christ will be a place of punishment for some believers. The slide into these and more error is not over.

    Think about it, they believe a lost man does not have to know, understand or believe anything about whom Jesus is and what He did to provide salvation.

    They teach that a lost man can openly reject the Deity of Christ and still be born again.

    They insist repentance is not part of or necessary for salvation. So, lost man does not have to have “change of mind” about God or Jesus Christ. Antonio teaches that in an evangelistic setting any “misunderstanding” or objection to the Deity of Christ should “be placed on the back-burner.”

    Alvin wrote, “Very simply put the propitiation work of our Lord Jesus Christ is universally effective.” That could indicate another very dangerous position. My question to Alvin is this: by saying the Lord’s “propitiation...is universally effective,” do you mean to say that the sins of the whole world have been forgiven prior to a lost man calling upon the name of the Lord? He seems to have indicated that he has already clearly answered, “no” personally, “yes” judicially. I’d appreciate clarification.

    Very confusing things are coming for the advocates of the “Crossless” gospel. We have not seen the end of it. Unsuspecting believers need to be warned and equipped to recognize, defend and refute these teachings that have their origin with Zane Hodges.


    LM

    * See- The Christ Under Siege

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/30/2007 10:08 AM  

  • Alvin,

    In one of your posts you mentioned that you don't know how to bold and italicize on this site, so just thought I'd help you out.

    Under the box where you type your comment is this phrase: "You can use some HTML tags, such as < b >, < i >, < a >". The "b" will bold, and the "i" will italicize. But here's how you have to do it. To type something in italics, you put < i > at the beginning of whatever you want italicized, then at the end put < /i > (but don't use the spaces, I'm using spaces so that you can see the code I'm typing). Same with bold, it would be "< b > whatever you want bolded < /b >".

    So it looks like this:

    "bold these words"

    "italicize these words"

    Hope that helps.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/30/2007 11:49 AM  

  • Lou,

    Far be it from me to speak for Alvin (haha!), but here is what he said regarding when the HS is received:

    (Alvin's words)
    "That was ONLY for that generation now we receive everything the moment we believe (gift of eternal life,gift of the Holy Spirit,forgiveness of sins,justification,sanctification positional,baptized into Christ)."

    However, my question to Alvin still is, where is that change stated explicitly? You referenced Cornelius as the marker for change. But while Cornelius and co. received the HS AFTER saving belief, LATER in Acts (chapter 19) we have some people who did have saving faith but hadn't yet received the HS. So it would seem that, according to your reasoning, the event that happened with Cornelius didn't necessarily change things because the "old way" still happened AFTER Cornelius.

    Additionally, the story of Cornelius actually seems to argue against your position. Acts 10:43 says, "Of Him [Jesus] all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins." So Peter here states that even in the OT it was revealed that belief in the Messiah brought forgiveness of sins.

    And again, I ask for explicit evidence. Where is an example of Scripture where it is stated of someone that their sins were paid for, but not forgiven? Where explicitly is the change from forgiveness not given at belief to forgiveness being given at belief?

    Also, please read my post from my group blog that I linked to earlier in this thread. It's rather long, so I don't want to repost it here. But it contains some Scripture that seems to be in opposition to your view, so it would be good if you could interact with it.

    Where in Scripture do you find the idea that "forgiveness of sins is a personal issue"? Where do you see a dichotomy between "judicial" forgiveness and "personal" forgiveness?

    Finally, I think you are imposing your modern understanding on the ancient text. If we get an understanding of the ancient world and their views on things like "personal" forgiveness, I think it will be obvious that your view is clearly false. More on that aspect later, gotta go for now.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 11/30/2007 12:05 PM  

  • Woahh!!!
    My internet connection was lost since late yesterday afternoon (makes it hard when you work at home and depend on email to communicate with work).

    I can't believe all of these comments. It may take me a while to sift through them, especially since I now have to catch up on some work I am behind on.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/30/2007 12:22 PM  

  • what is this 'nickname' feature? I am going to try typing something in there and see what happens.

    By Anonymous Ros(i)e, at 11/30/2007 12:23 PM  

  • Oh, it's just an anonymous thing. Never mind.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/30/2007 12:23 PM  

  • this is weird
    I answered the question but I hear Lou, Jonathan and Colin, (I think) basically saying that I haven't answered it plainly enough?

    Do you believe a lost [person] can be saved apart from believing in the finished work of Christ and/or His Deity?

    I am going to separate your question a bit and divide it in two.

    Do you believe a lost [person] can be saved apart from believing [in Christ's] Deity?

    I think the chances of anyone thinking they can receive eternal life from anyone who is not eternal is nill, so NO. I have not waivered on this point. People must know that this is the Maker or they will receive nothing from Him.

    Then again, what about children? What about Alvin's question with the child getting confused over "Son of God" (which, BTW, I do not accpet the Wilkin/Hodges view on that title - it means what it seems to mean, not God Junior either, but "God of very God")

    Do you believe a lost [person] can be saved apart from believing in the finished work of Christ?

    Yes, in exceptional cases. This would not be the norm. I am thinking of people who can't understand certain things if they hear them (yes, small children, mentally challenged.)

    I am also thinking of the exceptional case of a person who has heard many things about who Jesus is (someone in a foreign land who is not familiar with the old old story) and is convinced that He is the one to cast Himself upon even before he hears of Christ's work. Say He hears the first four chapters of John - how awesome - I can totally imagine someone being convinced of WHO this awesome Person is and asking Him for eternal life right then. Then, something happens to prevent him from hearing the rest of the story. (death, missionary interruption...) As I said, this would be a rare case. Faith in Jesus would have to be there - that Jesus was the ONE that could make it right for him. Why would the Lord not receive such a person?

    Here, let me put my original answer about the cross:
    If he hears this and understands it... then... if he is recepetive of anything (including eternal life, then main thing that God has testified of re: His Son)... then he will be receptive of this truth about Christ also.

    Am I a "crossless gospel" person because I allow for rare exceptions like this?


    I originally asked about whether I was now considered a "crossless gospel" person in a tongue-in-cheek way because the cross means so much to me... it would seem ludicrous to call me that.

    (Then again, I am sure the cross means a lot ot the other people that are being labeled and shunned over this discussion as well)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/30/2007 2:09 PM  

  • Lou,
    You are on the verge of really discouraging Missy, I think, by not answering the question that was asked of you several times now:

    What do you think a child must know of the Lord's deity/personage/work and what about repentance for a little one?


    Or will you still say that I have not answered your question, now that I have these three times expressed my thoughts as absolutely as I can?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/30/2007 2:13 PM  

  • Rachel,
    That was nice of you to instruct Alvin on html.

    I will try to look at your scenario too before the week is up - I lost it the other time you mentioned it - sorry - there are just so many things flinging around here - it is confusing.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/30/2007 2:15 PM  

  • I'm glad Rose that you have declared yourself full y on this matter. From my point of view, the FG position leaves its adherants a bit dodgey! As I say above, you wonder what is going to go next.

    Re: the first 4 chapters of John in your scenario, by then the reader already directly knows that Jesus Christ is the sacrificial Lamb of God (John 1:29) and that He will be lifted up just as Moses lifted up the serpent (John 3:14) Also, there is reference back in John 1:42 to that which the Prophets wrote e.g. Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 etc.,

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/30/2007 2:27 PM  

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