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

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What's Faith? (Part 6)

If you were talking about the concept of faith, as in "By faith Abraham..." or "We have gained access into this grace through faith..." or "You have been saved by grae through faith..."

IOW, the biblical concept of faith...

Which of these phrases would you find to be equivalent, or most helpful in unfolding that concept:

“I have Faith in” =

1. I hope
2. I believe in
3. I am counting on
4. I am convinced of
5. I have invested everything in
6. I am certain of
7. I am willing to act upon
8. I know
9. I understand
10. I am persuaded of
11. I agree with
12. I am trusting in
13. The weight of the evidence points to

Feel free to comment on your thoughts in regards to specific ones... or add your own to the list and I will add it to the post.

77 Comments:

  • Hello, Rose! A very interesting post...

    I would have to say #5 is closest to my concept of faith.

    Hope or belief is just not full enough for what I see in scripture. There is an element of trust, giving over the entirety of one's salvation to Christ. There is also an element of repentance to self-reliance - a lawless obedience - that comes with that trust.

    This is something I look forward to more comments on! (prepositional ending so you won't feel lonely.)

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 8/12/2008 11:09 AM  

  • I would be comfortable with a few of those if the place of hope, belief or knowing is the heart and not the head. So much faith talk just resembles mental gymnastics. Faith of the heart is transformational. When we live from that innermost place we are more than religious theologians.. we are authentic lovers and followers of Jesus flowing with streams of living water (ala John 7:38).. IMHO :)

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 8/12/2008 1:49 PM  

  • "Beliving in" someboday means that you have been persuaded/convinced that this person is reliable/trustworthy for a specific or general consideration.

    The only exception would be when "believe in" someone in its context denotes assent that such and such exists.

    Usually the specific area of persuasion with regards to a person's reliablity is found within the context of the communication wherein the phraseology "believe in" someone is used.

    In the example of John 3:16, "believes in" Jesus denotes one entrusting his eternal destiny (shall not perish but has everlasting life) to Jesus. The person who belives in Jesus in this context has found Jesus reliable in the specific area of guaranteeing one's eternal destiny.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 8/12/2008 8:01 PM  

  • 10. I am persuaded.

    By Blogger Katherine Gunn, at 8/13/2008 12:57 AM  

  • Kansas Bob, you should do a word study on 'heart' in the Bible.

    You will find that the words 'heart' and 'mind' in the Bible are used interchangeably.

    In the West, we tend to contrast 'heart' and 'mind'. identifying the one with the intellect and the other with the latter. However, the biblical worldview treats the heart as the centre of man's reason, in pretty much the same way that we use mind.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 8/13/2008 8:14 AM  

  • Thanks Matthew. Would it make a difference if I said innermost being (John 7:38) and outermost being instead of heart and head?

    And what is your thinking about Proverbs 3:5-6? What does it mean to lean not on your own understanding?

    Thx, Bob

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 8/13/2008 8:53 AM  

  • KB, I do not see how one could believe with one's outermost being.

    Surely faith is self-evidently an internal phenomena?

    I think the reference to understanding in Proverbs 3 supports the mental nature of the heart concept.

    I think 'one's own understanding' would be ideas that are incompatible with faith.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 8/13/2008 9:21 AM  

  • I agree with you Matthew that faith is self-evidently an internal phenomena.

    What do you make of the idea of mental assent? Seems that this would delineate inner and outer thinking. In outer thinking it would make sense to me that one could embrace religious philosophy, say all the right things about Jesus and even look Christian but have no internal change.

    -Bob

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 8/13/2008 9:29 AM  

  • KB
    Faith is essentially mental assent to the reliability of a thing.

    Let us say I trust Royal Mail to delive3r the post tomorrow.

    I have mentally assented to the proposition that Royal Mail are reliable enough to deliver the post on that day.

    Likewise, if I have saving faith, I have mentally assented to the proposition that Jesus Christ is reliable to guarantee me eternal life.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 8/13/2008 10:07 AM  

  • Then your position Matthew is that one can think their way to heaven based on logical axioms :)

    Your example seemed to me to be a bit formulaic.. no mystery.. it paints God in a way that says if He acts in a certain way (if I get my mail everyday) then I can trust him because it is logical to do so.

    But maybe I am reading too much into your mail example.

    Enjoying the dialog.

    -Bob

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 8/13/2008 10:23 AM  

  • Matthew,

    It is a good thing that you used "Royal Mail" in your example. If you had used "US Mail", well, let's just say that Rose's husband may have to enter into the comment thread....and it could get messy!!! :) :)

    So, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that faith is a mental assent (getting things straight in your mind so you can say you understand something)? Would you use believing and faith interchangeably?

    I think I agree with you....but I am trying to mentally assend to an understanding of the definition of faith :)

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 8/13/2008 10:31 AM  

  • KB, I think perhaps you are confusing the grounds of belief and faith itself.

    The example I used of Royal Mail delivering letters may seem banal.

    I might alternatively have suggested a child's belief that her father and mother will not abandon her. If examined, the grounds of such belief might be found to just as logical as the ground for belief in the reliability of a delivery service.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 8/13/2008 10:33 AM  

  • Guess I am still not understaning where you are coming from Matthew. Are you saying that faith and logic are interchangebale? Is a child's faith in their parent's faithfulness just an exercise in logic?

    -Bob

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 8/13/2008 11:15 AM  

  • Oops....Sorry...Hi Rose!!!!!

    By Blogger Kurt, at 8/13/2008 11:27 AM  

  • Matthew's example of the Royal Mail, and of a child's belief that her parents will not abandon her are fine examples.

    Let's say I mentality assent that the mail, or my parents CAN be reliable for those things. How I live and react to my surroundings indicate whether I believe they ARE reliable for those things.

    Here, I know my mailman can certainly pick up my outgoing mail each day, but I chose to drop it off at the post office - so do I really believe he will? Likewise, a child will logically convince herself (or be persuaded) that she will not be abandoned, but frequently acts out with the tell-tale signs of that particular insecurity.

    Is mental assent sufficient as faith?

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 8/13/2008 11:46 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Romans 1:16-17
    I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who [is intellectually persuaded]: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by [intellectual persuasion]from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by [intellectual persuasion]."


    "The righteous will live by [trusting in God]."

    "The righteous will live by [agreeing with God]."

    Isn't it interesting that there's an action that is associated with faith. The righteous will LIVE BY (action) Faith.

    Hebrews13:7
    "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their [intellecual persuasion]."


    "imitate their [willingness to act]."
    "imitate their [trust in God]."
    "imitate their [certainty of God]."

    I think it's a combination. Faith expresses an action. Either on the part of the one whom the faith is in or on the one who is excercising their faith or both. The writer of Hebrews tells his readers to imitate their leaders faith. If faith was only a awknowledgement that God is trustworthy, why did the writer list of all these actions that came as a result of faith? And why would he tell his readers to imitate a mental assent. Don't get me wrong, I think that's part of it. There is an aspect of faith where you're counting on the reliability of the one who is the object of that faith. But that's only a part of the broader picture of what that faith is.

    So I think all the things you have listed are pieces of what we call "faith".

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 8/13/2008 1:02 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    I go with "I am persuaded".

    By Blogger Peggie, at 8/13/2008 11:33 PM  

  • Kansas,

    The bottom line is that Jesus Christ states that anyone, regardless or race, color, or sexual orientation, HAS eternal life when they trust Him FOR that life.

    In order to believe in Him (in context, entrust your certain eternal destiny into His hands) one must be persuaded that what Jesus offers (eternal life) conditioned by faith alone in Him, He is able to make good on.

    The immaterial nature of a man is a multi-faceted entity. Matthew is correct to say that heart and mind are interchangeable.

    May I ask you, why do you disparage the mind? The mind of the Lord is where He has determined the framework of history. Faith is a passive result of the mind wherein one is persuaded of the veracity of a specific or genreral consideration.

    Is affection, as fickle as the wind, a superior function of the soul?

    Faith passes the test of reason. Affection is often moved in spite of reason.

    A friend of mine, WJC, recently stated to me:

    ----------
    ...we must always be careful to recognize that God is free to act according to His gracious and merciful will - unconstrained by any human attempts to impose our own parameters.
    ----------
    I agree with him. "It pleased God... to save those who believe" (1 Cor 1:21)

    What an odd thing. Receiving everlasting life by simply believing in Jesus to provide it.

    His parameters...

    Not our own. And how we do balk at such simplicity!!!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 8/14/2008 12:02 AM  

  • Kansas, faith is entirely compatible with logic, though sometimes we might have faith in unreasonable things.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 8/14/2008 5:24 AM  

  • Missy, I am not sure I have grasped your distinction.

    Believing that a thing 'can' be reliable is a different proposition to believing that a thing always is.

    If you think that faith is more than mental assent, I think you need to explain how.

    Faith or belief (they are the same thing) often affects behaviour, but it does not always do so.

    I may believe (trust) that the mailman will deliver my letters tomorrow, but that does not entail that I will want to open them.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 8/14/2008 5:28 AM  

  • Matthew, for many years I thought I had faith because I thought God could save me, but I had a backup plan. Just in case, I would be extra careful not to offend and obey all the rules. I lived in fear and condemnation.

    Now I know that God WAS, DID, and IS saving me. I still am careful not to offend and obey - not for my salvation, but out of complete trust in His ways. I now live in a place of conviction and grace.

    Yes, there is a distinct difference in a mental assent that someone "can" deliver and that someone always will deliver. Unfortunately, there are many, as in my first scenario, feeling that "can" is sufficient in faith based on a simple, unexpanded definition of "belief." (James 2)

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 8/14/2008 10:33 AM  

  • Thanks for all your comment.

    Kurt, it is a good thing you said hello or I would have business with you the next time I see you. hahaha. Really, though, thanks for your visit to this blog. I think you and I are a lot on the same page with this.

    I do find this discussion quite interesting... and honestly, I am not sure where I fall on each item of this list of descriptions of saving faith. I still believe there is a personal component to saving faith, wherein the sinner believes that Christ has done something for he himself and not just in general... and actually receives Christ, whatever that actually is. Here is where I suppose I am a lil different than Matthew and Antonio but I am not sure I can finger exactly how.

    Please keep the discussion going - I find it helpful!!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/14/2008 10:38 AM  

  • Not sure I am following you Matthew when you say..

    "faith is entirely compatible with logic"

    ..maybe you describe to me the logic of the cross.

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 8/14/2008 10:40 AM  

  • I don't disparage the mind Antonio.. I just think that it should not be the dominant aspect of faith.. if it were then only smart people would be spiritual.

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 8/14/2008 10:42 AM  

  • Rose

    "I still believe there is a personal component to saving faith, wherein the sinner believes that Christ has done something for he himself and not just in general... and actually receives Christ, whatever that actually is. Here is where I suppose I am a lil different than Matthew and Antonio but I am not sure I can finger exactly how."

    When have I ever denied that?

    One must believe that Christ has provided one with eternal life.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 8/15/2008 4:24 AM  

  • Missy

    "Matthew, for many years I thought I had faith because I thought God could save me, but I had a backup plan. Just in case, I would be extra careful not to offend and obey all the rules. I lived in fear and condemnation."

    You had no faith at this time.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 8/15/2008 4:25 AM  

  • KB

    "faith is entirely compatible with logic"

    We believe (have faith in) lots of things that are logical.

    The faith that a doctor can provide effective treatment for an illness is based on the sophistication of medicine and the lengthy training the doctor has received. Those are very logical reasons to have faith.

    "..maybe you describe to me the logic of the cross."

    KB, at the moment I am reconsidering my views on the nature of the atonment. While I believe that the atonment is substitutionary, I am unsure whether it is correct to see it as penal (Christ being punished for sinners as opposed to suffering the consequences of sin).

    I fail to see what is illogical about the cross. Perhaps you can explain?

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 8/15/2008 4:28 AM  

  • This is the verse I was thinking about Matthew..

    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. -1Cor 1:18

    ..seems that something logical is not foolish. Also think bout this verse..

    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. -2Cor 4:18

    ..does not seem logical to focus on the unseen over the seen.. it is like someone saying that they have faith in magic.. but maybe I am misunderstanding what you mean?

    Cheers, Bob

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 8/15/2008 7:37 AM  

  • KB

    "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. -1Cor 1:18

    ..seems that something logical is not foolish. Also think bout this verse.."

    You are assuming that those who are perishing are thinking logically.

    In your experience, do unbelievers think carefully and logically about biblical teaching, or do they casually dismiss the truth?

    "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. -2Cor 4:18

    ..does not seem logical to focus on the unseen over the seen.. it is like someone saying that they have faith in magic.. but maybe I am misunderstanding what you mean?"

    I have never seen the city of Omsk in Russia. In fact, I cannot recall seeing any photographs of it. However, I have some very logical reasons for believing that Omsk exists.

    If we have come to recongise the truth of the resurrection of Christ, then we have every reason to believe in the unseen things of eternity.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 8/15/2008 8:20 AM  

  • There are some very logical religious people (some theologians) that have disagreements concerning salvation Matthew.. some may be perishing? Is it your position that theologians who are in error are simply not logical?

    Is it your assertation that one can reason their way (through logic) to salvation? Or are you saying that those perishing miss the logic of the bible?

    From my perspective it is not about logic but it is about revelation. No matter how logical one is the cross is foolish.. only the Holy Spirit can reveal the cross to an illogical or logical sinner. If you say that He reveals the logic of the cross then maybe I can accept that.. of course that would be spiritual logic.. not mental logic.. which is where we started :)

    Blessings, Bob

    By Blogger Kansas Bob, at 8/15/2008 8:37 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    I pick number 2 and number 4 . . .

    #2. I believe in . . . speaks of the object of my faith “the Christ” the One who guarantees the eternal destiny of the one who has believed His promise. (John 11:25-27)

    #4. I am convinced of . . . that the promise of eternal life and resurrection that Jesus offers to the one who believes Him is true.

    Scripture that pertains:

    Romans 4:20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

    Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.

    Faith happens in the mind, it is simply believing something is true. If the object of faith is “the Christ” He always gives life to the one who believes.

    Intellectual assent, or head faith vs heart faith, these are only word games. Faith is faith and it’s the object of it that makes it saving or not. Whether it’s little faith or great faith if the object is “the Christ” He always saves.

    Where I believe our decision comes in, is with being open to be convinced in our mind of the truth. But at the moment we believe Jesus promise, His words of life spring up into eternal life. (John 4:10-14)

    13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

    Some thoughts about peoples faith:

    All those professing Christians out there who have faith but are not saved, the problem is not that they don’t have enough faith or their faith isn’t real, but I believe the problem is the object of their faith is wrong. They are believing in something that cannot save. Most are taught that what saves is Jesus plus their works, but that makes it not a gift, but debt.

    What they have confused is the walk of faith with saving faith. They didn't really believe eternal life was a gift they could freely take. They are sincere, but sincerely wrong. Their believing something that cannot give life. They didn't enter by the narrow way, by faith alone in Christ alone, which is the only way by grace.



    . . . here is a good article by Dr. Bob Wilkins

    http://www.faithalone.org/news/y2001/headfaith.html

    Alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/15/2008 10:13 AM  

  • Matthew,

    "You had no faith at this time."

    Yes, I know.

    By Blogger Missy, at 8/15/2008 11:31 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Alvin, you said: "Where I believe our decision comes in, is with being open to be convinced in our mind of the truth. But at the moment we believe Jesus promise, His words of life spring up into eternal life. (John 4:10-14)"

    What is the "truth" that we are convinced of? What is the "promise" that we believe?

    Is the truth: Christ has secured eternal life for those who believe in Him for it? So if I am fully convinced that Christ has secured eternal life for those who believe in Him for it, do I have eternal life?

    Because you say that at the moment we believe Jesus promise, His words spring up into eternal life. So what is His promise? His promise is that if we believe in Him, He gives us eternal life. So I don't think it's the promise that we're believing as much as it is the one who is promising. Other wise, you have someone acknowledging that it is true, they believe that if they believe Christ, they'll have eternal life. And because they believe that fact, you're statement indicates they would have eternal life.

    Do you see what I'm saying? You can't just believe the promise, you can't just be convinced in your mind of the truth. I can believe Obama's promises. I can believe that he will do what he says he will do. He says he will fight for women's reproductive rights if he's in office. And I trust that he will. Which is why I don't have faith in him. I don't have faith in him to do what is right for America. You can have all the faith you want that Jesus will do what He says He will do, but at the end of the day, have no faith in Him. There must be some sort of agreement with the one who is doing the promising, some sort of receiving of this promise. Not just a head nod to indicate that I know it's true.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 8/15/2008 12:37 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Ten Cent

    I couldn't find anywhere in my post where I put Obama's promises?
    Unless you meant Obama said this:
    John 11:25-27
    Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life, He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
    "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
    She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."

    Are you saying I can't simply take Jesus at His promise, and know that He has quarenteed my eternal destiny?
    I think you need to read my post again, this time with your eyes open...Ha!ha!
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/15/2008 8:55 PM  

  • Hello Rose,

    To me, the following 6 would best be used to describe Biblical faith. All can readily be conceived of as having the feature of certitude.
    2. I believe in
    4. I am convinced of
    6. I am certain of
    8. I know
    10. I am persuaded of
    11. I agree with

    The others seem to allow for the presence of uncertainty or doubt. Number 9 is the most difficult to place - it could go either way depending upon your definition.
    1. I hope
    3. I am counting on
    5. I have invested everything in.
    7. I am willing to act upon
    9. I understand
    12. I am trusting in
    13. The weight of the evidence points to

    By Blogger Looker4522, at 8/15/2008 9:25 PM  

  • Alvin,
    Good going with your Scriptural back up for your thoughts. I appreciated your comment.

    Peggie,
    Thanks for your participation. I do find this an interesting topic. Christians have very different ideas on this.

    Ten Cent,
    Glad to see you again. :~)
    When you say "intellectually" persuaded I wonder if you're creating a false impression that there is something anti-intllectual about faith. I don't think there is.

    Ten Cent, I agree with your idea that faith expresses [itself in] action. I think that is the point in Hebrews 13:7.

    However, I think we step on a slippery slope if we start to think that the result or the expression of faith is the same as faith itself. It happens in our innermost being, whether we call it the thoughts, the heart, the soul, the mind - what ever - our immaterial self is where faith is found. It is not a concrete, visible thing, but you're right - as James says - our actions that are of faith are how others can see our faith.
    Thanks for visiting :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/17/2008 2:37 PM  

  • Missy,
    That is a greta picture of you at Niagara Falls. :~)

    Looker,
    Thanks for your contribution! I appreciate that you had specific things to say about the things I listed. I get your point about #9. I wanted to say right away that #9 is definitly part of faith, but then the more I thought about it, I can see a problem with that. Thanks for the visit! Come back again.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/17/2008 2:41 PM  

  • "great" picture, I meant to say.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/17/2008 2:42 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Alvin, you said: "I couldn't find anywhere in my post where I put Obama's promises?"

    Obviously I didn't explain myself well. I didn't mean to imply that you talked about or quoted Obama. I was using Obama as an example of how someone can have "intellectual faith" without having true faith. I can have faith that he will do what he says he will do without having faith in him.

    Which is the difficulty that I find with your definition of faith. You seem to imply that I can believe a fact (intellectual) that Christ will give me eternal life and therefore receive eternal life. But what if I were to reject the gift? So, I might say, "yes, Jesus will give me eternal life if I believe in Him for it. I'm convinced that He can do it. I'm convinced that He is God and able to do it." (All the intellectual reasoning) I could even go as far and say that "I believe the promise". And according to what you have said, I would have eternal life. But what if after saying all that I said, "I don't want it. I believe it's all true. I believe Jesus can and will do what He says He will do, but it's not for me." Is that still faith?

    What's the difference between the type of faith that assents with the mind that these things are true and the type of faith that has the personal component that actually receives the gift?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 8/18/2008 8:57 AM  

  • Ten Cent,
    That is my question too! I am with you in that question absolutley. In fact my husband says that he was exactly that person in your scenario - he understood, he believed the promise, but he did not want it.

    Funnily enough, I had a difficulty getting past that with Matthew and Antonio at our group blog. That is what I was referring to in my 8/14/2008 10:38 AM post, to which Matthew replied "When have I ever denied that?" . I think I am going to find that post and link it.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/18/2008 9:03 AM  

  • Hi Rose!

    I'm back from vacationing in a strange and foreign land: one of the advantages of doing this is that it shakes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to think differently!

    Maybe I'm late in joining the discussion, but the same issue was on my mind before I left on vacation, and I can tell you that it was illustrated to me in a very novel way what having faith means.

    I believe that what set you off on this exploration is the current conflict in the Free Grace camp on the issue of "content of faith" fleshed out rather succinctly here:

    http://free-grace.blogspot.com/2007/07/major-problems-to-checklist-evangelism.html

    One way to get a hold of an understanding of the diffferent aspects of the topic is to try to understand the idiomatic usage of the word "eternal life". Lets get it straight: eternal life is not you and me sitting on clouds, plucking on harps, in the sweet bye and bye. Eternal life, as taught by Jesus, was a MODE of living:

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    John 5:39 "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;

    See:
    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    Genesis 2:17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."

    IOW, non-eternal life is a life of independence from God. See:

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    Luke 15:11 And He said, “A man had two sons. 12 “The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them.

    This striking out for autonomy is contrasted with Jesus' life:

    Matthew 26:39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."

    John 5:30 "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

    John 6:38 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

    John 8:28 So Jesus said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.

    John 12:49 "For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.

    John 14:10 "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. (NASB ©1995)

    And don't forget what the woman at the well said:

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    John 4:25 The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us."

    BTW, I chose Option 12!
    Blessings.

    By Blogger Anton, at 8/18/2008 9:31 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You said: "When you say "intellectually" persuaded I wonder if you're creating a false impression that there is something anti-intllectual about faith."


    I did include this in my first comment:
    "Don't get me wrong, I think that's part of it. There is an aspect of faith where you're counting on the reliability of the one who is the object of that faith. But that's only a part of the broader picture of what that faith is."

    Hopefully that helps clarify that I believe the intellect is part of it, but I don't believe it's one and the same as the heart. If it was, why would God separate them in the greatest commandment? Why wouldn't He just say, "Love the Lord your God with all your mind?" or "heart".

    Mt 22:37
    "And He said to him, " `YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'"


    I think faith involves both, the mind (I know these things are true, I'm convinced) and the heart (I'm receiving things things as my own, accepting them).

    You said: "However, I think we step on a slippery slope if we start to think that the result or the expression of faith is the same as faith itself."

    I agree. And that's not what I'm saying. There's a lot of people out there who look good on the outside. I am saying that the two, faith and action (obedience) are closely connected.

    It comes down to: "what is the salvation that results from your faith in Christ?" Is it only a distant "eternal life" that happens after you leave this world? Or is it a redemption from the muck and mire (ungodliness, sin) of the world for the purpose of doing good works?

    Here's what Paul tells Titus:

    Titus 2:11-14
    "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds."


    What did Christ's death accomplish for us? Redemption. Redemption from what? Every lawless deed. What else did He give Himself for us? To purify for Himself a people for His own possession. What kind of people? People zealous for good deeds.

    What were you saved from Rose? What were you saved for?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 8/18/2008 9:34 AM  

  • (oops - messed up one of the links in that last one)

    here
    and
    here
    are comments from me about the personal aspect of faith. Matthew and I went round and round about it! LOL
    I think I even saw some comments from you, Ten Cent.

    Matthew,
    That is what I was thinking of when I said that comment earlier.

    Ten Cent,
    I will respond to your last comment later - gotta go take the kids to grandmother's house.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/18/2008 10:23 AM  

  • Hello Rose and others,

    from ten cent: Which is the difficulty that I find with your definition of faith. You seem to imply that I can believe a fact (intellectual) that Christ will give me eternal life and therefore receive eternal life.

    Looker: I hope I can add some thoughts here, though it is between you and Alvin. I would say what you have written to Alvin leads to me think Alvin and I have similar ideas. Intellectually believing (is there any other way?) the saving message leads to eternal life.


    from tc: But what if I were to reject the gift?

    Looker: That matters not. The message explicitly states believing leads to the impartation of eternal life. Post-belieiving acceptance or rejection are not determinative in any way.


    from tc: So, I might say, "yes, Jesus will give me eternal life if I believe in Him for it. I'm convinced that He can do it.

    Looker: There is a large language shift here that we must note. You switched from "will" to "can". That changes things so drastically. The promise is that Jesus will. For each of us to believe the promise to be true, we also must believe that it "can" be fulfilled. The basis or grounds for the promise is that He can. There is a connection, but a distinct difference to keep in mind. You haven't stated anything wrong here, but I just wanted to point out the "will" and "can" change.


    from tc: I'm convinced that He is God and able to do it." (All the intellectual reasoning) I could even go as far and say that "I believe the promise". And according to what you have said, I would have eternal life.

    Looker: Right on.


    from tc: But what if after saying all that I said, "I don't want it. I believe it's all true. I believe Jesus can and will do what He says He will do, but it's not for me." Is that still faith?

    Looker: Yes it is. If you believe that Jesus will, then you would also have to believe that He has. The wanting of the gift is not a condition.


    from tc: What's the difference between the type of faith that assents with the mind that these things are true and the type of faith that has the personal component that actually receives the gift?

    Looker: No difference. At various times, we read about receiving Jesus, drinking the living water, eating the bread from heaven, etc. All of the verbs are equivalent to believing God's promise. Receiving is not a separate action.

    If someone claims to believe the saving message and yet think they are unsaved until they perform some additional acceptance of the gift, then the message they have believed is different than the message I believe.

    It is possible, in my opinion, to fully understand and comprehend a position yet still not believe it.

    By Blogger Looker4522, at 8/18/2008 11:56 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Here I think that a strained distinction is being made between an intellectual faith and an anti-intellectual faith. It need not be a dichotomy, if one agrees that the result must be the same.See:

    New American Standard Bible (©1995) Matthew 18
    3 and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Whether you reach childlike faith through an intellectual route or an anti-intellectual route, the goal is to reach childlike faith. See:

    New American Standard Bible (©1995) John 20
    29 Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."

    A child seeking nourishment and protection from a parent does not research the trustworthiness or integrity of that parent. He/she just EXPECTS to be fed and protected. Now a parent may seem to be nurturing a child towards independence, but doesn't he/she attempt to imbue certain qualities in that child to ensure his/her viability in the world outside the home? By that token, isn't the child still attached by a virtual umbilical cord to the parent?

    Often times that REALISATION comes through an intellectual process:

    New American Standard Bible (©1995) Luke 15
    17 “But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!

    By Blogger Anton, at 8/18/2008 2:20 PM  

  • Hi Rose, and all

    Its’ impossible to drink the living water that Jesus offers and not have it spring-up into eternal life, or what Jesus told the women at the well would have been not true.



    The two things the women at the well needed to know:

    John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”



    Jesus makes clear that the water He gives, once drank she would never thirst again:

    John 4:13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”



    She asked for the gift:

    John 4:15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

    She asked for the knowledge of His person, might you be the Christ in her roundabout way:

    John 4:25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”

    Jesus gave the living water, the knowledge of His person:

    John 4:26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

    1 John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,

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

    John 5:25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.

    John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.


    John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.


    1 John 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which[c] He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life,[d] and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

    The gospel of Johns purpose statement:

    John 20:31And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

    The only place in the gospel of John where a person answers according to Johns purpose statement:

    John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
    27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

    Jesus asked her if she had believed the content “Do you believe this?” In essence to believe in Jesus as the Christ is to believe in Him for your eternal wellbeing (John 3:16;4:10;5:24;6:47;11:25-27;20:31).

    It is crystal clear by these passages that the one who has believed Jesus promise has received Him.

    It’s impossible to believe something and at the same time not know that you believed it. Either you didn’t believe it, or you believed something false. If like the women at the well the object of your faith is the “Christ” and that He gives to the one who believes living water, then it is impossible for that water not to spring up into eternal life.

    The only way that I could see a person saying they believed in their mind but didn’t receive eternal life, is that they believed something that Jesus doesn’t offer. The clue would be “they didn’t want it” this tells me they didn’t understand the gift but had some preconceived idea that it involved more, say losing their life.



    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/19/2008 10:14 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Alvin said:
    The only way that I could see a person saying they believed in their mind but didn’t receive eternal life, is that they believed something that Jesus doesn’t offer. The clue would be “they didn’t want it” this tells me they didn’t understand the gift but had some preconceived idea that it involved more, say losing their life.

    Hi Alvin,

    What exactly do you mean by the above? You need to flesh out the outline you have offered, put more substance into your proposal!

    IOW, what does "receiving eternal life" mean? For example, is it a "qualitative change" or a "quantitative change" in a person's life from the moment he believes Jesus?

    If losing their life was what God required of Adam, and what the father (everybody agrees`that this father represents God in the parable) required of the prodigal, why would you object to that idea? I also see that in Rose's links, the idea of losing autonomy isn't very attractive to most people.

    By Blogger Anton, at 8/19/2008 12:33 PM  

  • Hi Anon,
    Can you explain what you mean by this:
    I also see that in Rose's links, the idea of losing autonomy isn't very attractive to most people.

    Thanks!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/19/2008 12:39 PM  

  • anton, I meant to say

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/19/2008 12:40 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Alvin, I believe Anton has a point when he asks you to clarify your definition of "eternal life". What exactly is Jesus promising when He promises eternal life?

    You said, "The gospel of Johns purpose statement:

    John 20:31 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."


    So what is John's purpose? "That you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God."

    What's the result of the belief? "That believing you may have life in His name."

    It's not about believing in Christ for eternal life. It's about believing in Christ.

    You said, "It is crystal clear by these passages that the one who has believed Jesus promise has received Him."

    No, it's crystal clear that your reading your own soteriology into these passages. John's purpose is not for people to believe a promise. John's purpose is for people to believe a person (that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God) and from that comes the promise (life in His name).

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 8/19/2008 12:54 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    In your link, Bobby Grow said (at 10/18/2006-5:21 pm):
    Actually Matthew these folks do believe the gospel is true, they just don't "Want" to believe; because they would rather continue on in their own "autonomous" lifestyle.

    By Blogger Anton, at 8/19/2008 1:07 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Alvin, and all: Are these verses in harmony or do they compete?

    --------

    John 3:16
    "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

    John 6:35
    And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

    John 12:36
    "While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light." These things Jesus spoke, and He went away and hid Himself from them.

    John 1:12
    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,

    Acts 10:43
    "Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins."

    Romans 4:5
    But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,

    ------

    Each passage says something slightly different about the one who believes. They have eternal life, never thirst, become sons of light, become children of God, receives forgiveness of sins, credited as righteousness.

    So do I have to have faith in each of those promises for each to be true, or is it because I have faith in Christ that each of these things are true of me?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 8/19/2008 1:07 PM  

  • Ahem...cough! cough!

    John 12:46 "I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. (NASB ©1995)

    By Blogger Anton, at 8/19/2008 1:36 PM  

  • The above comment is cautionary: many NT scholars recognise that the Gospel is multifaceted. What did Jesus do? Answer: many things. What did He achieve? Answer: many things.

    They recommend that one focus on the important, central aspect. Of course, Jesus won forgiveness of sins (as one scholar categorises it: Christ the Victor) but there is something more important than that.

    Hint: Word of God. John is full of it.

    By Blogger Anton, at 8/20/2008 4:37 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    Anton, the subject of this post is not the walk of faith but initial saving faith. Ten Cent and yourself seem to want to get the works in there some way, but works has absolutely nothing to do with the gift of eternal life.



    Anton here is some reading material for you on the prodigal who was already a son.

    http://www.faithalone.org/news/y1998/98nov1.html



    Ten Cent you said:

    It's not about believing in Christ for eternal life. It's about believing in Christ.
    No, it's crystal clear that your reading your own soteriology into these passages. John's purpose is not for people to believe a promise. John's purpose is for people to believe a person (that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God) and from that comes the promise (life in His name).




    Ten Cent if what you said was true John 4:10 would read like this:

    John 4:10 according to Ten Cent:

    Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

    But that’s not how it reads:



    John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”



    Two things she needed to know: #1 the gift of God #2 who it was speaking to her. And then she needed to ask Him for the water that would spring-up into eternal life so that she would never thirst again.



    That would be consistent with these verses:



    1 Timothy 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.



    Paul tells us what the pattern is “believe on Him FOR everlasting life.”



    1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.



    Ten Cent where is Christ mentioned in the verse below?

    And where in the New Testament would you have to go to find out what the living water is?



    Revelation 22:

    17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”

    And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come.

    Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.



    Two things the person reading this verse would need to know: #! What the gift of God is #2 Who is offering the living water

    And you would need to believe Him for it! Give me this living water so that I never thirst again.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/20/2008 10:20 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Alvin, you still haven't defined "eternal life" or "living water" for that matter.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 8/20/2008 11:26 AM  

  • Alvin said:
    Anton, the subject of this post is not the walk of faith but initial saving faith.


    Initial saving faith IS the same as the walk of faith:

    NASB 1 John 1
    7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

    All the verbs are in the present tense: IOW its a continuing salvation. Its not helpful to make a distinction between saving faith and the walk of faith.

    Alvin said:
    Ten Cent and yourself seem to want to get the works in there some way, but works has absolutely nothing to do with the gift of eternal life.


    You can understand it better that I have no concept of works in the understanding I have of how one receives eternal life if you also understand that faith is a restorative process. For example, California was always a part of America. When it was annexed after Santa Anna's defeat, it was a restorative process! Is there any work involved in a son recognising that he is a son? The Hodges' article stresses the same.

    The Parable of the Prodigal Son is NOT a single point parable: it is too rich in detail for that to be true. If the only point taught was that "God is always ready to forgive", why the need for the ring? Or the description of the other son's reaction? To take it still further, do you think that it was a coincidence that the prodigal landed up on skid row?

    I submit:
    God's gift is structuring the world so that men are brought to repentance:

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return."

    God's gift is the Word of God:

    NASB Romans 1
    21 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

    NASB Hebrews 4
    12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

    NASB John 1
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    Jesus is the gift of God! NOT eternal life. If you understand the term "Immanent" you will understand:

    NKJV Revelation 13
    8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

    The Truth is seen in Creation, in the Bible and it is now a Person!

    Alvin said:
    But that’s not how it reads:

    John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”


    Nothing wrong with the reading of the text if you understand that Jesus' ministry WAS the gift of God:

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father."

    Read through the Gospel of John: Jesus uses the words "works" and "words" interchangeably. God is trying to teach us something through Jesus' "works" AND His "words", something that is also a motif or theme in Creation and the Bible.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995) Deuteronomy 18
    15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.

    By Blogger Anton, at 8/20/2008 3:59 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Ten Cent said,
    Alvin, you still haven't defined "eternal life" or "living water" for that matter.

    I believe that the living water with faith springs up into eternal life (John 4:14).

    So I believe the living water is the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ (John 4:10,26).

    The Christ is the One who guarantees if you die you will live and if you live you will never die as Jesus told Martha (John 11:25-27).

    Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God (1 John 5:1a).

    I believe that eternal life is the life of Christ, and is experienced according to your love for Him and obedience by keeping His commands (John 14:23). Just as to know Him, one might know Him only as the Christ (John 17:2) but not know Him as God (John 17:3). Thomas would be an example, and also Philip did not yet know Him (John 20:26-28; 14:8,9; 17:2,3).


    Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. (John 14:23)

    I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b)

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/21/2008 6:24 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Alvin said:
    So I believe the living water is the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ (John 4:10,26).

    Hi Alvin,

    Good answer! Please expand further: why is knowing Jesus is the Christ the same as drinking of the living water?


    Also what is the experience of eternal life for you personally? Is it qualitative? Is it quantitative?

    Thanks

    Anton

    By Blogger Anton, at 8/21/2008 1:05 PM  

  • New American Standard Bible (©1995) Romans 3
    4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, "THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED."

    God will prevail when He is judged? Shocking! Lets take it literally: God is in the dock.

    1. What illegality is he accused of?

    2. What is the motive for His infraction?

    3. What is His modus operandi?

    1. The accuser claims that God is a liar.

    NASB Genesis 3
    4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!


    2. God's motive is to create a world which bears fruit.

    NASB Genesis 1
    31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

    Very good: for what? For bearing fruit. Conditions were good for the purpose. It was not PERFECT... if that was the case, why would man need to subdue it?


    3. God's central principle is that of selflessness. Selflessness is willing to suffer deprivation so that another will benefit. Its a zero sum model.

    NASB John 12
    24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

    Adam was not willing to suffer deprivation (the wimp!): he was disobedient.

    NASB Genesis 2
    12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”

    Israel was not willing to suffer deprivation (here's where being macho is actually being wimpy!): they were disobedient.

    NASB Luke 13
    4 “Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?

    Hey, Adam was supposed to improve on God's Creation! And Israel was supposed to be instruments for the restoration of the world, be blessings to it through its seed. what Adam and Israel failed to do because of disobedience, Jesus succeeded at through obedience.

    NASB John 6
    51 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh."

    The world is a contrast of give and take. Those who give are fitted for noble purposes, those who take, for ignoble:

    NASB 2 Timothy 2
    20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.

    Herod, Pilate, the Babylonians, Pharaoh: predators. God needs them for his ignoble purposes. Take care that you do not fit yourself out for dishonour: you may end up being a hatchet man in God's scheme of things. And you will KNOW that God has singled you out for the work.

    The Babylonians were chosen by God to punish Israel for its unfaithfulness, but they crossed the line. They not only took Israel into exile, but subjected it to unspeakable atrocities. God had a huge pool of nations to use in punishing Babylon, but he chose the Medes, a nation noted for its love of destruction. The Medes were not looters: they were despoilers. When Babylon received judgment for crossing the line in its persecution of israel (remember: apple of God's eye?), they knew why they were getting it in the neck.

    When Pharaoh's army drowned in the sea, the cream of Egypt's manhood diappeared. What do you think flashed before their eyes as they went: maybe the picture of Israelite babies crying out for justice? At being drowned?

    And Judas hanged himself.

    Did God make Judas a betrayer? Nah, he was already a betrayer:

    NASB John
    6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.

    Remember the idea about fitting yourself out for honour or dishonour? The choice is yours.

    NASB Genesis 4
    7 "If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."

    NASB Luke 22
    3 And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve.

    By Blogger Anton, at 8/21/2008 2:11 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    More false teaching by Anton:

    Alvin said:
    Anton, the subject of this post is not the walk of faith but initial saving faith.

    Anton said:
    Initial saving faith IS the same as the walk of faith:

    NASB 1 John 1
    7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.


    Anton if you would have noticed in the verse you gave it's about fellowship which is conditional and has to do with discipleship. That's why the "IF."

    Anton were world's apart on what we believe, you believe a works-salvation where everything is messhed together. As you call it "restoritive."
    I don't care to argue with you, that's why I broke off before. But just to warn others what your teaching is false.

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/22/2008 4:45 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Alvin, you said: "I believe that eternal life is the life of Christ"

    Can you explain what you mean by the "life of Christ?"

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 8/22/2008 9:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Alvin, you said: "Two things she needed to know: #1 the gift of God #2 who it was speaking to her. And then she needed to ask Him for the water that would spring-up into eternal life so that she would never thirst again."

    I'm a little confused. Are you saying that there are requirements before she can believe in Christ? And did she have to ask for it or just be mentally persuaded that what He said was true?

    John 4:40-42
    "So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world."


    What did the the other Samaritans believe (have faith in)?
    Doesn't the text say that they believed that He is the "One", the "Savior of the world."

    And what was it that the Samaritan woman told the others that they believed?

    John 4:29
    "Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?"


    Did she tell them that He gives living water? She say that He had something to give them or that there was a promise involved? She told them that she believes she found the Christ. And they define what that means to them, the "Savior of the world."

    So Alvin, if Christ is the Savior of the world, what did He save us from?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 8/22/2008 1:44 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    John 9:35-38
    Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?" Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you." And he said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped Him."


    My question for you is, which of your definitions of faith fit with this situation:

    "Lord, I hope in you."
    "Lord, I am counting on you."
    "Lord, I am convinced of you."
    "Lord, I have invested everything in you."
    "Lord, I am certain of you."
    "Lord, I am willing to act upon you."
    "Lord, I know you."
    "Lord, I understand you."
    "Lord, I am persuaded of you."
    "Lord, I agree with you."
    "Lord, I am trusting in you."
    "Lord, the weight of evidence points to you."


    It's interesting to see the result of this mans faith, "he worshiped Him."

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 8/22/2008 1:57 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Alvin said:
    Anton if you would have noticed in the verse you gave it's about fellowship which is conditional and has to do with discipleship. That's why the "IF."

    NASB John 17
    6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 “Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; 8 for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9 “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; 10 and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 “I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.

    Hi Alvin,

    Jesus claims He has manifested God's name to the twelve. In verse 11, He prays that they will be KEPT in that name. In your understanding, where did the salvation name-keeping start and begin and when did the fellowship name-keeping start and begin. Alvin, you must not be afraid of unfamilar views: do as the Bereans did.

    Alvin said:
    Anton were world's apart on what we believe, you believe a works-salvation where everything is messhed together. As you call it "restoritive."
    I don't care to argue with you, that's why I broke off before. But just to warn others what your teaching is false.

    Alvin, you must be specific where "works" has crept into the ideas I submitted. I reiterate: no "works" were involved. Quite the opposite in fact. One works to be what one is not. One must surrender the "foreign" life and assume the "native" one. The net effect is less work, not more!

    Ten Cents, very good tack! I hope and pray that the Lord will open the hearts of the readers. Much blessing can come from the understanding.

    By Blogger Anton, at 8/22/2008 2:44 PM  

  • Hi Rose,
    Ten Cent said:
    Alvin, you said: "Two things she needed to know: #1 the gift of God #2 who it was speaking to her. And then she needed to ask Him for the water that would spring-up into eternal life so that she would never thirst again."

    I'm a little confused. Are you saying that there are requirements before she can believe in Christ? And did she have to ask for it or just be mentally persuaded that what He said was true?


    Jesus is the One who stated the requirements! Jesus told her she needed to know the gift of God, and who it was that asked her for a drink. Every person receives the gift of eternal life the same way. They need to know the gift, and the giver. To believe is a synonym for asking as John 6:35 shows:

    35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.



    John 4:40-42
    "So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world."

    What did the the other Samaritans believe (have faith in)?
    Doesn't the text say that they believed that He is the "One", the "Savior of the world."


    The Samaritans were believing in Jesus as the Christ the One who guarantees their eternal destiny. Believing in Him as the “Savior of the world” is the same as believing in Him as the Christ if it’s in the sense that they are believing Him for their eternal wellbeing.

    And what was it that the Samaritan woman told the others that they believed?

    John 4:29
    "Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?"

    Did she tell them that He gives living water? She say that He had something to give them or that there was a promise involved? She told them that she believes she found the Christ. And they define what that means to them, the "Savior of the world."

    So Alvin, if Christ is the Savior of the world, what did He save us from?


    The Samaritans had no understanding of the cross just as Jesus disciples did not believe Jesus would die on a cross. Just as Nicodemus had no understanding of the cross when Jesus told Him that He would be lifted up. Nicodemus was believing in Jesus as the Christ just as the women at the well and the Samaritans summed up in John 3:16 as a promise he would never perish and have eternal life.


    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/23/2008 10:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose
    Anton said:
    Jesus claims He has manifested God's name to the twelve. In verse 11, He prays that they will be KEPT in that name. In your understanding, where did the salvation name-keeping start and begin and when did the fellowship name-keeping start and begin. Alvin, you must not be afraid of unfamilar views: do as the Bereans did.

    Anton if you would do as the Bereans you wouldn’t have a belief that contradicts itself mixing a gift Jesus gives freely with discipleship which He warned to count the cost. What you don’t seem to understand and believe is that eternal life is a gift so following Jesus is not a condition. Jesus never forces someone to follow Him, He wants them to follow Him out of love for Him, and when they do He promises a richer experience of eternal life. If you would take Scripture for what it says you would know all those warnings that are in there are for a reason. The Christian life is not automatic, the born again believer still has a free will to walk in the flesh or in the Spirit. A believer should be walking in those good works that God has prepared for him to walk in, but there is plenty of evidence from Scripture that wasn’t always the case. For you to think discipleship and fellowship is automatic is to be arrogant!
    Scripture that pertains:

    Richer experience of eternal life:

    John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

    Gift one can take freely:

    John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

    Jesus said count the cost:

    Luke 14:27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—

    A believer has the divine nature within him, but still there is the possibility he has forgotten he was cleansed from his old sins.

    2 Peter 1:9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

    There is the promise of an “abundant entrance” to the one who is diligent.

    The election of course is to service, and notice later in this chapter verse 12-15 Peter is constantly reminding them so they don’t forget.

    2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    note: If one has never believed in the gift of God,that it is truly a gift, then they have no divine nature to draw upon. Therefore they are exercising the self-rightous flesh, and are no different then the Rich Young Ruler who thought he was good.

    No guarantee we will but should:

    Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

    One that is arrogant who thinks everything is automatic:

    1 John 1: 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
    8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

    1 Cor 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

    Closing comment for this thread:

    1 John 1: 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your[a] joy may be full.

    1John 2:24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.

    1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life,[d] and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

    If what I’ve understood Anton and Ten Cent to have said is that the gift of eternal life and discipleship you can’t have one without the other. Then they cannot know they have the gift of eternal life until they have followed Jesus all the way to the end of their lives. Because if discipleship is an automatic outcome, then it’s something that has to happen making it a condition to prove one is a child of God. And since it’s impossible for them to know they will continue in the faith, they cannot know they have eternal life. Paul himself admitted that he could be disqualified.

    The only way someone can know they have the gift of eternal life is that it’s based solely on the promise of God, and therefore is truly a gift one can take freely.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/23/2008 10:08 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Alvin said...

    The gospel of Johns purpose statement:

    John 20:31And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

    in his post dated: 8/19/2008 10:14 AM


    Hi Alvin, I hope you had a wonderful time at Church, worshipping our wonderful God, in spirit and in truth. Aren't we previliged to KNOW this beautiful and great Saviour? But wouldn't it be even more wondewrful if we knew Him like a wife KNOWS her husband?

    NASB John 7
    3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

    Why is what Jesus DID here the same as "giving of living waters"?

    NASB John 4
    17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”

    IOW, why is it that "these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."

    Could it be that Nicodemus was right:

    NASB John 3
    1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

    ?
    (emphasis mine)

    Now can you see where I'm coming from?

    PS Try to end the thread with a preposition! Heh! Heh!

    By Blogger Anton, at 8/25/2008 1:47 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Alvin, you said: "Jesus told her she needed to know the gift of God, and who it was that asked her for a drink. Every person receives the gift of eternal life the same way. They need to know the gift, and the giver. To believe is a synonym for asking as John 6:35 shows:"

    So apparently, Rose, you can add "asking" to the list of definitions for faith.

    Alvin, don't you think that asking would be a requirement above an beyond mental assent? This is somewhat ironic, because I agree with you, the one who wants eternal life, the one who wants what Jesus is offering must know who He is and must ask for what He is giving. Which is the whole idea of receiving the gift. Which is the personal component of saving faith. Maybe, just maybe, in the end, we're arguing on the same side of the argument. But I look at your idea of mental assent--only being convinced in the mind that Jesus will do what He says He will do--and I don't see that working with the idea of knowing the gift and knowing the giver.

    And if you look back at the story of the woman at the well, you'll see that she didn't have an understanding of the gift, she only knew the giver. She wanted the gift, but she misunderstood. She thought this "living water" would be actual water. And she wanted it so that she didn't have to keep coming back to the well.

    She did know the giver and so did the rest of the Samaritans. They believed that this "One is indeed the Savior of the world."

    So I ask again in a slightly different way, from what were the Samaritans expecting Jesus to save the world? What were they believing?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 8/25/2008 10:46 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Ten Cent and Anton

    I believe this might be helpful:

    Conclusion
    In the closing chapter of his first epistle, the apostle John wrote as follows: “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (1 John 5:1). This is as plain as it possibly could be. It is also completely harmonious with what we have just seen in John’s gospel.
    The truth that Jesus is the Christ—the truth that He is the Giver of eternal life to every believer—is saving truth. Belief in this truth produces immediate—and permanent—new birth.
    It follows, therefore, that there is no such thing as believing the saving message without possessing eternal life at the same time. “Everyone”—not just some or many—but “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” There are no exceptions at all.
    So states the apostle.
    But the superb simplicity of all this is lost on many modern evangelicals. Indeed, they are frightened by it, and they are tempted to evade it by invoking some special definition of saving faith. In the process, they cloud beyond hope the biblical doctrine of faith and distort in a tragic way the biblical message of grace.
    (Zane Hodges “Absolutely Free” page 42,43)

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/26/2008 5:10 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Alvin, you quoted ZH: "The truth that Jesus is the Christ—the truth that He is the Giver of eternal life to every believer—is saving truth."

    Hopefully you can come out of "combat mode" long enough to think about some things.

    1. What does it mean that Jesus is the Christ? And don't say that it means He is the Giver of eternal life, because even in the example of the woman at the well, the Samaritans didn't comprehend that He was offering eternal life. That's not what the woman told them. She told them that she had found the Christ. And they believed.

    2. And even if I were to accept what ZH is saying, then tell me, what does the "saving truth" save me from?

    I'll end my comments with that, because it's obvious this thread is going nowhere. It's no longer profitable for either of us.

    May we all grow in the knowledge of Christ.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 8/26/2008 8:53 AM  

  • Ten Cent,
    I am sorry that it took me so long to get back to your question. I was thinking about it some.

    You said:
    __________________
    John 9:35-38
    Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?" Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you." And he said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped Him."

    My question for you is, which of your definitions of faith fit with this situation:

    "Lord, I hope in you."
    "Lord, I am counting on you."
    "Lord, I am convinced of you."
    "Lord, I have invested everything in you."
    "Lord, I am certain of you."
    "Lord, I am willing to act upon you."
    "Lord, I know you."
    "Lord, I understand you."
    "Lord, I am persuaded of you."
    "Lord, I agree with you."
    "Lord, I am trusting in you."
    "Lord, the weight of evidence points to you."

    _________________

    I think it sounds like he was persuaded or convinced that whatever Jesus said to him was true. He would have worshipped anyone if Jesus had told him that other person was the "Son of man." I think he saw in Christ that which led him to faith - that showed him Christ "had the words or truth." Then the man hears from Christ's own lips that He is the Messiah... and so he worshipped him. It is awesome to see the truth, and it would have been totally awesome to see the truth in bodily form standing right before you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/26/2008 1:07 PM  

  • The personal miracle convinced him - his reasoning is in the former verses right there for us to see.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/26/2008 1:09 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    You said:

    It is awesome to see the truth, and it would have been totally awesome to see the truth in bodily form standing right before you.

    Like I said, Truth is now a person!

    But maybe it would be even more profitable, in light of the encounter with the woman at the well, we say:

    All knowledge is now a Man, and in Him there is no ignorance.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)1 John 1
    5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

    By Blogger Anton, at 8/26/2008 3:26 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You're pulling me back into the conversation.

    You said: "The personal miracle convinced him - his reasoning is in the former verses right there for us to see."

    Let me start my response by saying that I don't deny that there is an aspect of mental convincing or persuading that takes place in order for a person to believe. (We would differ on how that comes about.) But I don't think that being persuaded is faith.

    Jesus asks the man in v.35, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" The man responds, "Who is he, sir? Tell me so that I may believe in him."

    Or if persuasion is faith, then the man would be saying, "Who is he, sir? Tell me so that I may be persuaded that He has secured my eternal destiny."

    So when do you think the man have faith in Jesus? When he was convinced, or after Jesus found him and presented Himself to the man?

    And WHAT was his faith? Was it just being convinced that what Jesus said was true? Or was there something more personal, more internal about it?


    In the verses that you referenced, the man was only convinced that the One who healed him was from God and that He was a prophet. The text reveals to us that the parents of the man would have acknowledged the Jesus was the Christ, but they were afraid of being put to death.

    And here's the kicker, the man who had been blind was not believing in Christ for eternal life, he was believing in Jesus as the Son of Man. So if I were to run with Antonio's or Alvin's definition of saving faith, I would have to say that there isn't enough evidence that this man is saved.

    And you're absolutely right, it's awesome to see the truth and it would've been totally awesome to see the truth in bodily form. "Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Blogger Ten Cent, at 8/26/2008 3:29 PM  

  • Ten Cent, I meant to tell you that you make a very good point. Thanks.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/02/2008 2:52 PM  

  • Hi Rose
    Ten Cent said:
    And here's the kicker, the man who had been blind was not believing in Christ for eternal life, he was believing in Jesus as the Son of Man. So if I were to run with Antonio's or Alvin's definition of saving faith, I would have to say that there isn't enough evidence that this man is saved.

    It doesn’t say “Son of Man” but “Son of God.” No one is saved by believing in the Son of Man, but they are when they believe in the Son of God in the Johannine sense.

    John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
    18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

    What are they believing in Jesus for? The gift of eternal life just as the women at the well. All through the Gospel of John Jesus is offering eternal life to the one who believes in Him. This is what the blind man was believing in Jesus for even though it’s not stated explicitly. Every person that is born again must know the gift of God.

    1 Timothy 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.
    1 John 2:25
    And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.

    Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you give Me a drink

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 9/09/2008 1:25 AM  

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