23
Apr
09

Sin

 

     Have you ever stopped to think how often you sin?  As we read the Bible, we see that it doesn’t just label actions as sin, but also thoughts.  For example, Jesus said:  “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”  (Matthew 5:28)

     Neither is ignorance bliss when it comes to sin.  Sin is a sin whether we know it is or not.  Even if I didn’t know that the Lord commanded us not to worry, I still am sinning when I worry because I am disobeying his command.  It doesn’t work to tell the trooper I didn’t know what the speed limit was, and it doesn’t work to plead ignorance before God.

     In addition to all that, sin is not just doing something God forbids.  It’s also not doing what he commands.  “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is a sin.”  (James 4:17)  That means I’m sinning when I don’t love my enemies, when I don’t bless those who are persecuting me.  I’m sinning when I don’t love my neighbor as I love myself.  (Wouldn’t “as yourself” mean I would spend just as much time and money on them as I do myself?) 

     I don’t know about you, but I sin a lot.  Those flashes of anger at the driver ahead of me, the selfishness of doing what I want to do rather than what my spouse wants to do, my less than honoring thoughts about the government. . .on and on it goes.  Just for discussion sake, say I peg my sinning rate at one a minute during my waking hours (which is way too conservative).  That equals more than 21 million sins in a span of 60 years!

     To make matters worse, the Bible says, that even one sin is very, very serious.  “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend (LDS Bible footnote – stumble, err) in one point, he is guilty of all.”  (James 2:10)  One stumble = full guilt.  If that is the result of one sin, what does 21 million sins result in?  It is crushing to think of standing before God with one count of sin against me – much less 21 million counts.

     That is why I am so thankful that Jesus took my place and faced the Father’s wrath for me.  I testify that Jesus, by paying for all my sins, paid my debt to God’s justice.  I testify that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, God remembers my sins no more. I testify that Jesus gets all the credit for my having eternal life and living forever with Heavenly Father. 

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324 Responses to “Sin”


  1. April 23, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    “I testify that Jesus gets all the credit for my having eternal life and living forever with Heavenly Father”

    Will everyone be saved?

    If not, why not?

    Is God not capable of saving everyone?

    Did God simply pick you at random?

  2. 2 Brad
    April 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Will everyone be saved?

    No.

    If not, why not?

    The Bible says so.

    Is God not capable of saving everyone?

    He’s capable.

    Did God simply pick you at random?

    He chose me according to His dictates, and I accepted salvation according to my free will.

  3. 3 GB
    April 23, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    So when the Lord says “Well done, thou good and faithful servant:”, that is getting all the credit?

  4. 4 Brad
    April 23, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    So when the Lord says “Well done, thou good and faithful servant:”, that is getting all the credit?

    Yes, He still gets all the credit.

  5. April 23, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    So when the Lord says “Well done, thou good and faithful servant:”

    I fall down and worship Him.

  6. 6 GB
    April 23, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Brad,

    credit; 1)commendation or honor given for some action, quality, etc.

    So the “servant” got no credit?

  7. 7 GERMIT
    April 23, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    So when the Lord says “Well done, thou good and faithful servant:”

    I fall down and worship Him

    Nice touch, there, Gunny….. I know I would be looking around to see who HE could possibly be talking about, or to whom. If I’m within two or three zip codes of the FATHER, it will be a glorious day.

    GERMIT

  8. 8 gloria
    April 23, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Mark,
    Thank you for your post. I too am thankful that our precious Lord redeemed me and because of what He did on calvary I have been forgiven of my sins, and yes I sin too! That is what makes me love Jesus so much! He is so good, so merciful and yes ” He is quick and just to forgive us of our sins , when we confess our sins” 1 John 1:9 All of us sin, all of us have fallen short .Romans 3:23
    I am so thankful Jesus paid the price for my sins.
    He is so worthy of our praise!

    gloria

  9. 9 gloria
    April 23, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Hopefully I will always want to give Jesus all the credit. AT least that is what my heart desires. For without Him I can do nothing. John 15:5 It’s not about us guys – it’s about Him. That is what the Lord has been teaching me since I left the LDS — it’s not about ‘me’ or my “glory” or my “work” or my “exaltation”…. it’s about Him. Wow , now that’s a 360 degree change in my heart.

    Worthy, worthy is the Lamb!

    gloria

  10. 10 gloria
    April 23, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Brad,
    Just wanted to shout out ” Amen” to your post.
    The Bible speaks over and over again about being “chosen”…. I beleive I was “chosen” to be part of God’s family. And the gift of eternal life. But yes, this concept of being “chosen” was spoken of often by our Lord.

    God bless,
    gloria

  11. April 24, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Martin Luther – Dear Christians One and All Rejoice

    From Martin Luther: Hymns, Ballads, Chants, Truth page 36-38:
    “This, Luther’s first congregational hymn, appeared in print in 1524. It is almost autobiographical in nature, for the first stanzas reveal the guilt and frustration Luther felt, especially in the monastery. What is true of Luther is true of every human being – all are sinners, as this hymn shows. Yet there is reason to rejoice. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to take on our flesh and bone, to live, die, and rise from death for our justification. The exuberant original tune is agile enough to reflect the joy of the redeemed sinner.”

  12. 12 Brad
    April 24, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I can take no credit, want no credit, and deserve no credit. God gets, and deserves, all the credit, for it is He who sent His Son to die for me, who didn’t deserve it.

    Not sure why people try to “take” credit for it.

  13. 13 markcares
    April 24, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    When it comes to taking credit, I think Paul put it pretty well in 1 Timothy 1.

    [15] This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
    [16] Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
    [17] Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

  14. April 24, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    I have to admit that I find it odd that the objection to this post is that Christians beleive that God deserves the credit for good works, Paul is clear about this in 2 Cor 3:5 and elsewhere.

  15. 15 Joseph S.
    April 24, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    De Servo Arbitrio.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Bondage_of_the_Will
    On the Bondage of the Will (Latin: ‘De Servo Arbitrio’, literally, “Concerning Bound Choice”), by Martin Luther, was published in December 1525. It was his reply to Desiderius Erasmus’s De Libero Arbitrio or On Free Will, which had appeared in September 1524 as Erasmus’s first public attack on Luther, after being wary about the methods of the reformer for many years. At issue was whether human beings, after the Fall of Man, are free to choose good or evil. The debate between Luther and Erasmus is one of the earliest of the Reformation over the issue of free will.

    Luther maintained that sin incapacitates human beings from working out their own salvation, that they are completely unable to bring themselves to God. In this treatise, he begins by examining Erasmus’s argument. He then discusses the power and complete sovereignty of God and lays out his own argument. His conclusions are that unredeemed human beings are dominated by Satan: Satan as the prince of this world never lets go of what he considers his own unless he is overpowered by a stronger power, i.e. God. When God redeems a person, he redeems the entire person, including the will, which then is liberated to serve God.

    In early 1526, Erasmus replied to this work with the first part of his two volume Hyperaspistes, but this was a long and complex work which did not gain much popular recognition.

    Luther was proud of his On the Bondage of the Will so much so that in a letter to Wolfgang Capito written 9 July 1537, he said:

    Regarding [the plan] to collect my writings in volumes, I am quite cool and not at all eager about it because, roused by a Saturnian hunger, I would rather see them all devoured. For I acknowledge none of them to be really a book of mine, except perhaps the one On the Bound Will and the Catechism.[1]

  16. 16 markcares
    April 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    GB:
    Just curious. How often would you say you sin?

  17. 17 gloria
    April 25, 2009 at 2:40 am

    Amen, Brad. Amen! I want all the credit to go to Jesus too!

    God bless,
    gloria

  18. 18 gloria
    April 25, 2009 at 2:41 am

    Thanks for sharing that passage , mark. I echo paul’s sentiments — may the glory and honor be God’s forever and ever. Amen!

    Gloria

  19. April 25, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    I don’t know why there is even a need to debate over this particular post.

    Nothing Mark said in the original post is objectionable from and LDS standpoint. In fact, if it was quoted verbatim in General Conference or in a local sacrament meeting, I doubt any Mormons in the audience would bat an eye.

    Read King Benjamin’s address. Evangelicals don’t have a monopoly on grace, or the concept that sin (even seemingly small sin) makes us absolutely unworthy of God’s presence.

    Mark’s post was completely unobjectionable and I see no reason for a theological scrum today.

  20. April 25, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    And Mark, I don’t think there is a moment I’m NOT sinning.

  21. April 26, 2009 at 4:50 am

    This is a pray we say as a confession of sins in the Lutheran church.

    “Holy and merciful Father, I confess to you that I am by nature sinful, and that I have disobeyed you in my thoughts, words, and actions. I have done what is evil and failed to do what is good. For this I deserve your punishment both now and in eternity, but I am truly sorry for my sins and trusting in my Savior Jesus Christ I pray, Lord have mercy on my a sinner.”

  22. April 26, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    And Mark, I don’t think there is a moment I’m NOT sinning.

    Well, yeah Seth, so long as you’re a registered Democrat…

    ZING!

  23. April 26, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    “Registered” Jack?

    Sounds like that “Mormon legalism” is rubbing off on you.

  24. April 26, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Oh no, are you one of those filthy bastards who technically remains “Independent” so that you can vote in the primaries for both parties? Not even I sink that low.

    I’m sure there are many parts of Mormonism which have rubbed off on me. Now I’m doing my best to rub back.

  25. April 26, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    In Colorado, you aren’t allowed to vote in either primary without being registered in the particular party.

    I was too late in registering last election, so I didn’t get to vote for either of my preferred picks in the two parties (I’m not one of those people who would have voted for the opposing candidate that I felt was weakest just to ensure victory of my party’s candidate.

    I’m registered as Democrat now.

    But a “true” Evangelical would say that Jesus saves in spite of the “filthy rags” of our registration cards.

  26. April 26, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Seth, a “true” Evangelical would tell you that you’re a Mormon who worships the brother of Satan, the son of an exalted man and his exalted goddess wives who live on the planet Kolob, plus you believe in working your way to heaven, therefore your Democratic party registration is merely scenting the stationery on which your one-way ticket to hell is printed.

    Incidentally, my husband sometimes reads your posts and he also thinks you’re going to hell, so there’s a good chance you’re screwed regardless of which political party religion is God’s. Sucks to be you I guess.

  27. April 27, 2009 at 2:49 am

    This is a small clip from a debate between a Christian and Mormon on the effect of the fall.

    The Mormon guy gets crushed in this cross examination.

  28. April 27, 2009 at 4:44 am

    Yeah Joseph, well I have answered the questions he did not on this blog before.

    What is “all we can do?”

    To repent. Nothing about meriting anything in there. Total effort on the part of the believer consists of repentance. Not “working your way to heaven.” This is made clear in Alma 24:11-13.

    Secondly, let’s address Mr. White’s use of John 6:44. Most versions are similar to each other, so I’ll just use the NIV:

    “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

    Just for kicks, I grabbed the online NET Bible entry on this verse. In the footnote it reads thus:

    “The Father who sent me draws him. The author never specifically explains what this “drawing” consists of. It is evidently some kind of attraction; whether it is binding and irresistible or not is not mentioned. But there does seem to be a parallel with 6:65, where Jesus says that no one is able to come to him unless the Father has allowed it. This apparently parallels the use of Isaiah by John to reflect the spiritual blindness of the Jewish leaders (see the quotations from Isaiah in John 9:41 and 12:39-40).”

    Never explains what this “drawing” consists of Joseph. And no mention of whether it is binding or irresistible.

    It seems clear that Mr. White is seeing what he wants to see in the text here, and is conducting eisegesis with that aim. Trying to use this as a proof-text that human agency plays no role in choosing God seems to be pretty-much unfounded.

    Nice try from Mr. White. Too bad that his debate partner wasn’t on the ball enough to call him on it.

  29. April 28, 2009 at 4:23 am

    Just so I understand, by human agency do you mean free will in the semi-Pelagian sense? Would I be accurate to classify Mormonism as semi-Pelagian in its view toward man?

  30. April 28, 2009 at 4:35 am

    Seth, why don’t you call Dr. White up on his program and “call him” on his eisegesis regarding John 6:44?

    1-877-753-3341 (Toll Free)
    http://www.aomin.org/articles/webcast.html

  31. April 28, 2009 at 4:43 am

    I don’t think so Joseph.

    Semi-pelagianism holds that the initial work of faith is a human act of free will, but that any further increase of faith is purely the work of God.

    You could hold this view and be a Mormon in good standing…

    But then again, you could probably even be a five point Calvinist and still be a Mormon in good standing (though I think it would be a very uncomfortable fit).

    As I understand it, Mormon theology holds that human free will is operational at every stage of faith. We do not generally hold with “irresistible grace.”

    Personally, I do not think you can have any part of the human salvation equation be 100% God. If you do that, human free will does not logically survive. This results in a God of catch-22s that I cannot really jump on board with.

  32. April 28, 2009 at 4:44 am

    And Joseph, I tend to do better in written format than I do when speaking live. I doubt I would fare in the rapid-fire radio format.

  33. April 28, 2009 at 5:30 am

    So would you consider Mormonism a form of full Pelagianism if it is not semi-Pelagian?

  34. April 28, 2009 at 6:31 am

    We differ from Pelagius in that we do not believe that mere free will makes the perfection of a person humanly possible without outside aid.

  35. 36 markcares
    April 29, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    GB
    Still wondering about your answer to my question. How often do you see yourself sinning?

  36. April 30, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Dr. Martin Luther
    Smalcald Articles – Of Sin

    1] Here we must confess, as Paul says in Rom. 5:11, that sin originated [and entered the world] from one man Adam, by whose disobedience all men were made sinners, [and] subject to death and the devil. This is called original or capital sin.

    2] The fruits of this sin are afterwards the evil deeds which are forbidden in the Ten Commandments, such as [distrust] unbelief, false faith, idolatry, to be without the fear of God, presumption [recklessness], despair, blindness [or complete loss of sight], and, in short not to know or regard God; furthermore to lie, to swear by [to abuse] God’s name [to swear falsely], not to pray, not to call upon God, not to regard [to despise or neglect] God’s Word, to be disobedient to parents, to murder, to be unchaste, to steal, to deceive, etc.

    3] This hereditary sin is so deep and [horrible] a corruption of nature that no reason can understand it, but it must be [learned and] believed from the revelation of Scriptures, Ps. 51:5; Rom. 6:12ff ; Ex. 33:3; Gen. 3:7ff Hence, it is nothing but error and blindness in regard to this article what the scholastic doctors have taught, namely:

    4] That since the fall of Adam the natural powers of man have remained entire and incorrupt, and that man by nature has a right reason and a good will; which things the philosophers teach.

    5] Again, that man has a free will to do good and omit evil, and, conversely, to omit good and do evil.

    6] Again, that man by his natural powers can observe and keep [do] all the commands of God.

    7] Again, that, by his natural powers, man can love God above all things and his neighbor as himself.

    8] Again, if a man does as much as is in him, God certainly grants him His grace.

    9] Again, if he wishes to go to the Sacrament, there is no need of a good intention to do good, but it is sufficient if he has not a wicked purpose to commit sin; so entirely good is his nature and so efficacious the Sacrament.

    10] [Again,] that it is not founded upon Scripture that for a good work the Holy Ghost with His grace is necessary.

    11] Such and many similar things have arisen from want of understanding and ignorance as regards both this sin and Christ, our Savior and they are truly heathen dogmas, which we cannot endure. For if this teaching were right [approved], then Christ has died in vain, since there is in man no defect nor sin for which he should have died; or He would have died only for the body, not for the soul, inasmuch as the soul is [entirely] sound, and the body only is subject to death.

  37. 38 ADB
    April 30, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    There you go again with those Lutheran Confessions, Joseph. Sums it up pretty well, doesn’t it?

  38. April 30, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Joseph, that list is largely unobjectionable from a Mormon standpoint. We don’t accept the Calvinist notion of total depravity, but otherwise…

  39. 40 ADB
    April 30, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Seth,

    Unfortunately, that (total depravity) happens to be the essence of the list . Can you clarify how you can agree with most of the list but somehow reject total depravity (notice that everything after point #3 is rejected, not agreed upon–perhaps if you missed that, it would explain my confusion as to why you’d find the list unobjectionable)? I have a hard time seeing how that can be possible, so some explanation would help me understand your POV. Thanks.

  40. April 30, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Total Depravity is the notion that there is nothing inside of man that is even capable of freely choosing God in the first place. This runs counter to the overall thrust of the Bible, is refuted by uniquely Mormon scripture, and even runs in tension with the confession Joseph cited above:

    “and that man by nature has a right reason and a good will”

    David’s Psalm, poetic as it was, is utterly insufficient proof of the notion that all humans are so depraved that choosing God is impossible.

  41. 42 ADB
    April 30, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Seth,

    Again, notice that the section you quoted is in point #4, which is rejected by the confession in point #3: “Hence, it is nothing but error and blindness in regard to this article what the scholastic doctors have taught, namely:” In other words, the phrase you’re quoting is one that the confession rejects, not agrees with.

  42. April 30, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    My mistake then ADB. I still hold the rest though. And it is true that there are traditions within the body of accepted Christianity that hold humanity has an inherent capacity to freely choose God and that the Fall of Adam was not so complete as to extinguish this faculty.

  43. 44 GERMIT
    April 30, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Seth: GRACE aided (this choosing), but AMEN to that…. if someone wants to see this more as a covenant where BOTH parties make a choice, I’m OK with that as well. I understand that there are certainly many who say that GOD’s sovereignty makes our choosing moot; on this, GERMIT agrees to disagree (hopefully, charitably)

    GERMIT

  44. 45 GB
    April 30, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Germit,

    There you go again, sounding like a Mormon. I hope that doesn’t cause you to lose friends. ;-)

    It is rather apparent that in this world we are free to choose and that God is not interested in forcing us to believe or do the things that He wants us to do. He wants us to willingly do those things that please Him.

    From the words of one of our hymns.

    Know this, that every soul is free
    To choose his life and what he’ll be;

    For this eternal truth is given
    That God will force no man to heaven.

    He’ll call, persuade, direct aright,
    And bless with wisdom, love, and light,

    In nameless ways be good and kind,
    But never force the human mind.

  45. 46 Echo
    May 1, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    John 1:13 “children born not of natural descent, NOR OF HUMAN DECISION or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

  46. 47 jm
    May 4, 2009 at 4:18 am

    John 1:12-13 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
    Echo: you forgot the the first part of that sentence.

  47. 48 ADB
    May 4, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    JM,

    Does that in any way invalidate Echo’s point? I don’t seem to think so. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed him” does nothing more than equate “receiving” with “believing.” The rest of the verse, as well as the rest of the Bible simply clarify that “believing” is something the Holy Spirit works in us, not something we can do on our own …

  48. 49 faithoffathers
    May 4, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    ADB,

    Lot of overlap here with the other thread.

    So you are contending that not only do works have nothing to do with whether we are saved, but whether we believe in the first place is something determined by God through the Holy Spirit?

    Where is man’s agency and choice? God controls us 100%? You know where this is leading. So God will save whom He will save- it has nothing to do with man’s choices and behavior?

    This makes God the ultimate respector of persons. How do you get around this conclusion?

    fof

  49. 50 GERMIT
    May 4, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    ADB and others:

    I know I keep banging on the same drum, forgive the redundancy, but these are NOT mutually exclusive, in my opinion, and from what I know from the Bible:

    believing” is something the Holy Spirit works in us, not something we can do on our own …

    yes, faith is a gift, but to eliminate the human , choosing , element of this endeavor is to take the scriptures to a place that they just don’t go. It puzzles me how someone could look at “to as many as received HIM…” and eliminate the choosing element of faith; as an evangelical, I fail to see how GOD is diminished, or HIS sovereignty shorted, if we recognize OUR (ridiculously small) part in alligning our will with GOD”s.

    GERMIT

  50. 51 GB
    May 4, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Germit,

    There you go again. :-)

  51. 52 echoechoecho
    May 4, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    FaithofFathers

    fof: “So you are contending that not only do works have nothing to do with whether we are saved, but whether we believe in the first place is something determined by God through the Holy Spirit?”

    Faith is a gift:
    Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD”

    It comes from hearing the message of God’s free grace and forgiveness:
    Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

    fof: “Where is man’s agency and choice? God controls us 100%? You know where this is leading. So God will save whom He will save- it has nothing to do with man’s choices and behavior?”

    John 1:13 “children born not of natural descent, NOR OF HUMAN DECISION or a husband’s will, BUT BORN OF GOD.”

    Just as you didn’t have a decision to make in being born to your eartly parents, you also can’t make a decision to be born to your Heavenly Father. It is through the message of God’s free grace and forgiveness that a person is born again.

  52. 53 echoechoecho
    May 4, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Germit

    “It puzzles me how someone could look at “to as many as received HIM…” and eliminate the choosing element of faith; as an evangelical, I fail to see how GOD is diminished, or HIS sovereignty shorted, if we recognize OUR (ridiculously small) part in alligning our will with GOD”s.”

    If I place $100,000.00 in my neighbor’s hand as a gift, they didn’t choose to take it. They did however “recieve” the money.

  53. 54 jm
    May 5, 2009 at 5:34 am

    ADB: No I just liked the whole sentence.

  54. 55 Echo
    May 5, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Scriptures clearly “eliminate the human , choosing , element of this endeavor”

    What could be more clearer than this:
    John 1:13 “children born not of natural descent, NOR OF HUMAN DECISION or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

    John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you”

    You can “recieve” something without “choosing” or “deciding” to recieve it.

    For example: I can place a monetary gift in your hand.

  55. May 5, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Echo,

    If I can’t do anything to choose God, why are you wasting your time here?

    Obviously, there’s nothing more for me to do, but sit on my rear end and wait for God do it all.

  56. 57 GB
    May 5, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

    They CHOSE not to receive him.

    12 But as many as received him, (these CHOSE to receive him) to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
    13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    In John 15 Jesus is talking to His Apostles in the upper room at the last supper. What does He say to His 12 Apostles?

    16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, AND ORDAINED YOU, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

    Yes, Jesus CHOSE His 12 Apostles, they didn’t choose themselves to be Apostles.

    From the beginning, man was giving agency to choose.

    Gen 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

    Deut 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

    Josh 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

    1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

    Prov 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:
    30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

    1 Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

  57. 58 Echo
    May 5, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Seth and GB

    We didn’t “choose” or “decide” to be born to our natural parents. However, once we were born, we could “then” choose or make decisions.
    Likewise, being born again is not a personal choice or decision. Faith comes from hearing the message and where there is faith, there you have someone who is born again by the power and will and love of God.

    God’s child, who has been born again, is able to choose to remain in his love or leave. This is where GB’s scripture references fit in.
    But nobody can be born again of their own free will.

  58. May 5, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    If you’re going to admit that humans actually have the power to choose, then it logically follows that humans have a role in their own salvation. That’s just common logic.

  59. 60 Echo
    May 5, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Children have the power to choose, but they didn’t have a choice in being born. They only could make choices after they were born.
    Salvation is being born again. God’s Children don’t have a choice in being born again, they can make choices once they are born again but not until.

  60. May 5, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Nice analogy.

    Too bad you fabricated it entirely out of thin air.

  61. May 5, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    Echo: at this point we may be talking past each other, so I won’t pursue this much. From what I can see, you are stretching the “born again” picture past its limits (and all analogies have limits).

    Bluntly put, what is JESUS taking about when HE tells Nicodemus that HE must be born again ?? I mean, why bother to tell Nicodemus if Nicky is not involved …..other than to torment him if he’s not the one that GOD has picked ?? This makes like zero sense… please do NOT fall back on “GOD’S ways are not our ways” or I will puke violently. To pursue my thot a little, JESUS agressively PURSUES Nicodumus and offers him something that he cannot MERELY do for himself…. HE offers him life itself….but are you telling me that Nick has NO CHOICE in this matter ?? ALL the language of repentance in the book of Acts has built into it the assumption that choices not only CAN be made , they sure as HEAVEN better be made…NOW…or else.

    Not trying to make you something other than a Calvinist…..but your theology is mis-firing badly dude, and the fallout is a VERY weird picture of both GOD and man.

    Still figuring things out myself…
    GERmIT

  62. May 5, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    PS: I should also add, a very weird picture of EVANGELISM….because SETH”s question is very valid: why bother talking to the unsaved, whose choices don’t matter ??? Unless your picture of GOD is that HE commands us to do meaningless evangelism….just cuz HE can…

  63. 64 GB
    May 5, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Echo,

    “We didn’t “choose” or “decide” to be born to our natural parents.”

    Sorry Echo, but you don’t “know” that, nor can you support that supposition with scripture.

    I submit, that we did get to decide to come to this earth and be born. In case you haven’t noticed, but God doesn’t force us to do things. Allowing us to choose for ourselves is part of His MO.

  64. 65 Echo
    May 6, 2009 at 4:04 am

    Germit,

    Germit: “Not trying to make you something other than a Calvinist…..but your theology is mis-firing badly dude, and the fallout is a VERY weird picture of both GOD and man.”
    “other than to torment him if he’s not the one that GOD has picked ??”

    I am Lutheran, not Calvinist. Calvinist’s believe some are predestined to Hell. Lutherans disagree. We believe what the Bible teaches:

    1 Timothy 2:3-4 “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, WHO WANTS ALL MEN TO BE SAVED and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

    Germit: “Bluntly put, what is JESUS taking about when HE tells Nicodemus that HE must be born again ?? I mean, why bother to tell Nicodemus if Nicky is not involved”

    First, Nicodemus was a Pharisee. The Pharisees believed that in order to gain eternal life in the celestial kingdom, they needed to be obedient to God’s laws and ordinances. They also believed in repentance.

    Therefore Jesus told him that he must be born again and a few verses later Jesus says: John 3:6 “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but THE SPIRIT GIVES BIRTH TO SPIRIT”

    In other words, Everything that Nicodemus believed about gaining eternal life in the celestial kingdom came from the flesh. “The flesh gives birth to flesh.” However, the Spirit (not man, not man’s decision, not man’s choice) gives birth to Spirit.
    Nicodemus needed to learn that only the Spirit can give birth to Spirit.

  65. 66 Echo
    May 6, 2009 at 4:05 am

    Germit: “PS: I should also add, a very weird picture of EVANGELISM….because SETH”s question is very valid: why bother talking to the unsaved, whose choices don’t matter ??? Unless your picture of GOD is that HE commands us to do meaningless evangelism….just cuz HE can…”

    The Spirit gives life through the message of the gospel. That’s why we talk to the unsaved.

  66. 67 Echo
    May 6, 2009 at 4:07 am

    GB: “We didn’t “choose” or “decide” to be born to our natural parents.”

    Sorry Echo, but you don’t “know” that, nor can you support that supposition with scripture.

    I submit, that we did get to decide to come to this earth and be born. In case you haven’t noticed, but God doesn’t force us to do things. Allowing us to choose for ourselves is part of His MO.”

    John 3:6 “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but THE SPIRIT GIVES BIRTH TO SPIRIT”

  67. May 6, 2009 at 5:27 am

    What does John 3:6 have to do with anything Echo.

    Your point is not getting through.

  68. 69 Echo
    May 6, 2009 at 5:47 am

    The point is: The flesh doesn’t give birth to the spirit. If it did, we would have to make a decision or choice. But since the flesh CANNOT give birth to the spirit, we can’t make a decision or choice.

    Only the spirit can give birth to the spirit.

  69. May 6, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Echo,

    You totally just made that up. That doesn’t make sense at all.

  70. 71 ADB
    May 6, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Seth,

    To understand what Echo means, one has to subscribe to the biblical teaching of original, or inherited sin, which I don’t believe the LDS do. What Echo is saying is reflective of the difference between how God created man (in his image = perfect and holy) and the state of Adam’s (and all mankind’s) offspring after the fall (not in God’s image, but in Adam’s = sinful [cf. Gen. 5:3]). Does that help?

  71. May 6, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Echo: thanks for the responses, please know that as sharp as some of my posts might be, we are brothers in the LORD and I don’t really want to be adverserial here. Your approach to some things puzzles me even yet, but I hope we are able to “agree to disagree” on some things, while following the same LORD and KING.

    Near as I can tell, you think that because something is “spiritual”, it must follow that therefore it has no connection whatever with something human, or involving human choice. This is my rough take on your line of thot , so correct where needed. All I can come up with is this is a needless (biblically) conclusion and faulty on many levels. It is also faulty to assume that because GOD is going to do something for us that we cant’ do for ourselves (as in being born again), that we as humans , therefore have absolutely no part to play in the process. GOD’s supernatural intervention and our involvment are not mutually exclusive, and I could give you a host of biblical scenarios where “GOD stuff” and “man’s response” are thoroughly mixed.

    The reason I’ve bothered posting with you on this is that I fear your pioture of how GOD acts, and what HE expects of man, are skewed by your interpretation of just a select few verses that seem to prove your point. I also fear that a religion where GOD goes around and gives SOME the $10,000 check, while (seemingly randomly) passing others by is not going to make much of an inroad with the LDS audience who place a high priority (and I can’t find fault with it) on human agency, and the necessity of the human part in REPENTANCE (a major biblical theme).

    This isn’t about ECHO or GERmIT being right or wrong, but I’d ask that we both look at the WORD with fresh eyes and get at the mind and heart of GOD. If this back and forth has helped in this pursuit, we’ve spent the time well.

    your friend, GERMIT

  72. 73 ADB
    May 6, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Germit,

    To your post #50: “I fail to see how GOD is diminished, or HIS sovereignty shorted, if we recognize OUR (ridiculously small) part in alligning our will with GOD”s.”

    The assumption that we can (even in some ridiculously small way) align our will with God’s totally ignores all the ways in which the Bible describes man’s sinful nature. It says that by nature we are dead, we are blind, and we are enemies of God who hate him. That attitude CANNOT change unless God changes it. Therefore it is not feasible for man by nature to align his will with God’s.

  73. May 6, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    ADB: I believe in the fall (as a negative), and yet I’m miles apart with ECHO on this human choice thing, so I’m not sure the two are as connected as you might think they are. Unless you are saying that there is no choice that a fallen man can make that would please GOD, or something along that line.

    GERMIT

  74. May 6, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    That attitude CANNOT change unless God changes it

    EDB: agreed, but doesn’t HE always do this WITH OUR PERMISSION ???; and CAN HE DO THIS WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION ????

    GERMIT

  75. May 6, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    ADB and others: after rereading your post, let me make it clear and restate what I’ve already said a few times: I am 100% on board with the fact of GOD HIMSELF enabling all our choices, all our decisions, GOD giving us (yes, even as not yet saved people) the resources to respond to HIM. I am no where suggesting that there is ever anything we do that is not connected to GOD’s pre-emptive initiative.

    Hope that helps
    GERMIT

  76. May 6, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    ADB and ECHO: please explain for me REPENTANCE (assume the person in question is not saved) from your perspective…..thanks.

    GERmIT

  77. 78 GB
    May 6, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    John 3:6 “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but THE SPIRIT GIVES BIRTH TO SPIRIT”

    That of course is true, yet it doesn’t support your supposition that we didn’t choose to come to this earth.

    Are you also trying to say that compelling one to do something is “good” and of God (because He does it)? I am sure every tyrant that has ever lived or will live couldn’t agree with you more.

  78. 79 ADB
    May 6, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    GB,

    Quick (unrelated) question: what sets you apart from the tyrants to whom you just referred? Your take says to try your best and God will do the rest. What if, in the opinion of the tyrant, he is trying his best? In your opinion, you are trying your best. Are you both right? Will you both receive the atonement of Christ because subjectively you both thought you tried your best?

    I only ask because you don’t seem to realize how subjective your own point of view is in demanding obedience. You think you’ve done enough. He thinks he’s done enough, so is it “let’s wait and see what God says about it” or can either of you be sure you’ve really done enough to merit the atonement of Christ? You seems certain. On what basis?

  79. May 6, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    ADB,

    You keep missing the point.

    Human efforts do nothing, nothing, NOTHING under Mormon theology – except one thing – choosing God freely and repenting.

    That’s it. Period. End of story.

    It’s not some “I’ll fill the cup halfway, and then God will top me off” equation.

    I’ve said this enough times now, I wonder if you’re not just being willfully obtuse about it.

  80. 81 GB
    May 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    ADB: Quick (unrelated) question: what sets you apart from the tyrants to whom you just referred?

    GB: I am not interested in compelling you to believe or do anything. I am only interested in defending my faith when it is maligned.

    ADB: Your take says to try your best and God will do the rest.

    GB: To quoted Yoda “Do or do not there is no try”. We do our best to become like Jesus in both word and deed through the principle of repentance and the “patient continuance in well doing”.

    ADB: What if, in the opinion of the tyrant, he is trying his best?

    GB: I don’t see what relevance the opinion of the tyrant has on this exchange or on my salvation.

    ADB: In your opinion, you are trying your best. Are you both right?

    GB: “By their fruits”.

    ADB: Will you both receive the atonement of Christ because subjectively you both thought you tried your best?

    GB: Actually I would ask a similar question of you. If the tyrant says he believes in Jesus and that his compelling of others to give the fruits of their labors to him so that he can redistribute them equitably and that those that resist him, he will send to reeducation/work camps (or eliminated) for the good of the whole (of course). So that he can create an Utopian society for the benefit of all and the elimination of poverty and for the children. . .

    And I believe in Jesus and believe what he said about doing his will and go about patiently continuing in well doing.

    Will we both receive eternal life? Will either of us?

    I only ask because you don’t seem to realize how subjective you own point of view is in not demanding anything more than a confession of belief.

    You condemn those who believe and because of that belief they strive for obedience, while you celebrate those that say they believe but don’t believe in obedience to God or what God said regarding His commandments.

    ADB: You think you’ve done enough.

    GB: Not yet! (Mark 13:13) And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

    I am not dead yet. I still have some “enduring” and repenting to do.

  81. 82 ADB
    May 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    So after a little more “enduring” and repenting you’ll have done enough? What if you die today?

  82. 83 GB
    May 6, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Then I will be done.

  83. May 6, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    well, I think I found the probable culprit , or point of disagreement here:

    The assumption that we can (even in some ridiculously small way) align our will with God’s totally ignores all the ways in which the Bible describes man’s sinful nature

    I would , as an evangelical, totally disagree with this, and in my understanding of “depravity”, I’d contend that DEPRAVED does not mean “outside of an ability to respond to GOD’s initiative, GOD’s life-giving overtures…” Yes , Eph tells us we were “dead in our sin”, but GOD gives life, to those who will take it… I’m thinking the core of ADB’s and ECHO’s line of thought rides with a certain view of DEPRAVITY,and what occurred at the fall. And perhaps a certain view of GOD’s sovereignty, but I’ll let the two of you flesh this out, if you want to.

    I’ve yet to hear anything other than a literal couple of proof text verses that show that this view is biblical.

    thanks
    GERmIT

  84. May 6, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    AS an aside, I’m beginning to think that “total depravity” , as usually understood, may be a somewhat modern (since the Reformation) take on the scriptures. Just wondering.

    GERMIT

  85. 86 GB
    May 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Germint,

    Your post reminded me of this verse in the Book of Mormon.

    Mosiah 3:19 For the natural bman is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

    Enjoy and God bless.

  86. May 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Personally, I think most of the “grace-only” movement is largely a modern innovation of the Evangelical self-esteem movement.

    You read people like Calvin and Luther and they certainly didn’t talk in all the warm fuzzy terms I keep getting from grace-Evangelicals online. They happened to be pretty tough on works, and hard-nosed about the human obligation in the equation actually.

  87. 88 Echo
    May 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Germit:

    Check out this link:

    http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?1518&cuTopic_topicID=45&cuItem_itemID=18101

    Quote Germit: “Unless you are saying that there is no choice that a fallen man can make that would please GOD, or something along that line.”

    Romans 8:7-8 “the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature CANNOT PLEASE GOD”

  88. May 6, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Echo: thanks , I’ll check out the link.

    Your last commment equates “the sinful mind” with everything human, everything to be expected from someone not yet a christian; I don’t think this is what “the sinful mind” is all about; another way of putting this would be

    “as long as you are thinking like THIS, then surely you are apart from GOD and dead in your sin….” or “while you take this stance….you will not find GOD….”

    more later;
    GERMIT

  89. 90 ADB
    May 6, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Germit,

    What do you want other than “a literal couple of proof text verses”? I don’t have anything else to offer other than what God’s Word says. I read John 15:8, “apart from me you can do nothing,” and Romans 8:7,8 “the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God” and Eph. 2:1 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins” (notice that later in v. 5 it doesn’t say God gives life to those who take it, as you said, but simply that God made us alive because of HIS great love for us) and 1 Cor. 2:14 “the man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him” and Colossians 1:21 “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior” and again in 2:13 “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ” and Galatians 3:22 “But the Scripture declare that the whole world is a prisoner of sin” and I don’t see how such descriptions of natural man allow for man to play a role at all in coming to faith. I believe these passages describe man ever since the fall, and I don’t perceive any “loopholes” through which man can squeeze to “decide” or “choose” to be anything but what he is by nature–an enemy of God. God alone brings to life, or as Echo has been saying, the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

  90. 91 ADB
    May 6, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Seth,

    Let me encourage you to keep reading Luther:)

  91. 92 Echo
    May 6, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Germit quote: “ADB and ECHO: please explain for me REPENTANCE (assume the person in question is not saved) from your perspective…..thanks.”

    Romans 2:4 “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that GOD’S KINDNESS LEADS YOU TOWARD RPENTANCE?”

  92. 93 Echo
    May 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Germit: “AS an aside, I’m beginning to think that “total depravity” , as usually understood, may be a somewhat modern (since the Reformation) take on the scriptures. Just wondering.”

    Gen 6:5 “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was ONLY EVIL ALL THE TIME”

  93. May 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Echo,

    That verse is totally situational and talking about ONE single instance. It’s not a commentary on human nature generally.

  94. 95 Echo
    May 6, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Seth quote: “That verse is totally situational and talking about ONE single instance. It’s not a commentary on human nature generally.”

    Can you backup your thoughts with scripture?

  95. 96 Echo
    May 6, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    GB:

    If you died today, can you be certain all your sins are forgiven?

  96. May 6, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Yeah Echo. I can.

    Try Genesis 6:5.

  97. May 6, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Echo: thanks for the reply….are you telling me that NOAH’s thoughts and intentions were also CONTINUALLY EVIL ?? how do you square that with verse 8: “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD ?” Can someone whose thought and intentions are ALWAYS evil still “find favor” in the eyes of the LORD ??

    ADB: I’m not asking for an extra biblical argument, I’m asking you to INTERACT with the very verses you quote and EXPLAIN how they could be saying what YOU THINK they are saying; just quoting the verses is not establishing your point (for me, at least…and I don’t think I’m alone in that) You wrote:

    (notice that later in verse 5 it doesn’t say God gives life to those who take it, as you said, but simply that God made us alive because of HIS great love for us) Your use of these verses is completely without an explanation of how GOD’s great love for us is in operation WITHOUT OUR PART, without or irrespective of any response from us… am I reading into the text to be asking these questions , or are they valid ?? I’m not aware of GOD’s love that controls and saves a person WITHOUT THEIR RESPONDING BACK. This isn’t about merit, it’s about the way love operates.

    Also , you’ve done nothing to establish the descriptions of sinful man, the lower nature, and the mind that is hostile to GOD to MEAN: all that which is of human origin, a TOTAL description of ALL we are and mean to GOD at all times (even as unbelievers).

    Id say you have some explaining to do
    I’ll ask the same question I’ve asked in about 59 different ways (and have not really gotten a satisfactory answer yet) Isn’t the entire fabric of the NT FILLED with divine appeals to man to RESPOND to GOD ?? Don’t these responses presuppose some kind of choice in operation, some kind of placement of ourselves under GOD”s command , even in part ?? Doesn’t ALL the evengelsism presuppose the possibility of this process…the evangelist is not waiting for GOD to just do it all HIMSELF ?? THough GOD does get the credit, later (again, HE initiates )

    More later , and thanks
    GERMIT

  98. 99 Echo
    May 6, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Seth:

    Romans 3:9-10 “What shall we conclude then? ARE WE ANT BETTER? NOT AT ALL! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written:
    “There is no one righteous, not even one;
    there is no one who understands,
    no one who seeks God.
    All have turned away,
    they have together become WORTHLESS;
    there is NO ONE WHO DOES GOOD,
    not even one.”
    “Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice deceit.”
    “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
    “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
    “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
    ruin and misery mark their ways,
    and the way of peace they do not know.”
    “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
    Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that EVERY MOUTH MAY BE SILENCED and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”

  99. 100 Echo
    May 6, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Germit-

    You said: “Echo: thanks for the reply….are you telling me that NOAH’s thoughts and intentions were also CONTINUALLY EVIL ?? how do you square that with verse 8: “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD ?” Can someone whose thought and intentions are ALWAYS evil still “find favor” in the eyes of the LORD ??”

    We are discussing what man is like before he has faith. Noah is exempt because of his faith.

    You said:
    ” I’m not aware of GOD’s love that controls and saves a person WITHOUT THEIR RESPONDING BACK. This isn’t about merit, it’s about the way love operates.”

    We aren’t talking about a response to conversion, we are talking about conversion itself, we are talking about how a person is saved. If your “decision” completes your salvation, you have placed your faith in yourself(your decision) rather than in Jesus.

    You said: “Id say you have some explaining to do I’ll ask the same question I’ve asked in about 59 different ways (and have not really gotten a satisfactory answer yet) Isn’t the entire fabric of the NT FILLED with divine appeals to man to RESPOND to GOD ?? Don’t these responses presuppose some kind of choice in operation, some kind of placement of ourselves under GOD”s command , even in part ?? Doesn’t ALL the evengelsism presuppose the possibility of this process…the evangelist is not waiting for GOD to just do it all HIMSELF ?? THough GOD does get the credit, later (again, HE initiates )”

    Scripture? Include your thoughts.

  100. May 6, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    ADB: let me give you a few more examples of what I mean by interacting with the scriptures; you wrote

    I read John 15:8, “apart from me you can do nothing…” well that’s certainly true, but it comes in a chapter FILLED with the admonition to “Abide in Me….” what does THAT mean ?? Does the command “Abide in Me” imply some kind of choice (to choose to NOT abide in HIM..) ?? Read your verses IN CONTEXT and my challenge is that you will find choice making throughout the NT… this does not negate GOD’s grace, HIS initiative, or the reality of the fall and all that entails.

    you’ve quoted (or Echo did) Eph 2:5, but this comes 16 verses AFTER ch1:13 “In HIM, you also after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-having also believed…”

    so we have LISTENING and BELIEVING… are these done without choosing ?? I think, once again, you are making too much of Paul’s analogy of “death” in 2:5: DEATH describes our spiritual condition, true, but we were still able (WITH GOD) to HEAR and BELIEVE…. at least that’s my take….I welcome yours.

    peace and growth , IN HIM

    GERmIT

  101. 102 ADB
    May 6, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Germit,

    I apologize, I would much rather spend time on addressing how to interpret the Scripture passages rather than listing 947 of them, as some others are prone to do:)

    I will get back to you when I’ve got some more time to explain Scripture’s teaching of original sin. Till then, I appreciate your willingness to actually discuss (even though I’m not all that concerned about your eternal welfare:)

  102. 103 Echo
    May 6, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Germit

    Did Jesus say: “It is finished” or did he say: “It is finished when you make your decision”?

    John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man REMAINS IN ME and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” NIV

    The KJV uses the words: “abide in” where the NIV uses the word: “remain in”.

    It is one thing to make decisions to “remain in” him.

    But you are advocating making a decision to “get in” or to “gain” salvation. That is completely different than remaining in him. Or remaining in salvation.

  103. May 6, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Echo: thanks for the response…not sure what you mean by “gain”, if you mean “choose to partake of…” or “know in your personal experience…” then fine…

    are you saying that THIS kind of choosing is biblical ???
    It is one thing to make decisions to “remain in” him.

    Actually, what I am suggesting that the bible teaches is that the process in choosing to ABIDE or REMAIN is not all that different than the process of humbling ourselves and choosing to recognize Jesus as LORD (I don’t like the phrase “make HIM LORD….” because the truth is HE IS LORD whether I “choose” x, y, or z…..) Somewhere in Colossians it says “AS you therefore have believed Christ JESUS as LORD, SO WALK IN HIM…..” so this process of choosing Jesus seems to be a life long disciplship thing…. at least that’s how I understand it.

    I’ve always understood “it is finished” to be connected to the work of Jesus reconciling the world unto HIMSELF….HIS finished payment for all that is owed….a debt thoroughly cancelled, once and for all time; this says nothing one way or another about how our choices might be used, or not used, in entering into that finished work. Are you saying that the operation of FAITH is devoid of any choice making ??

    thanks for your thots and “push” to rightly divide the WORD
    GERMIT

  104. 105 GB
    May 6, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    What a difference a translation makes.

    International Standard Version (©2008)
    I am the vine, you are the branches. The one who abides in me while I abide in him produces much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

    GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    “I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who live in me while I live in them will produce a lot of fruit. But you can’t produce anything without me.

    King James Bible
    I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

    American Standard Version
    I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing.

    Bible in Basic English
    I am the vine, you are the branches: he who is in me at all times as I am in him, gives much fruit, because without me you are able to do nothing.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    I am the vine; you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.

    Darby Bible Translation
    I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.

    English Revised Version
    I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing.

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

  105. 106 GB
    May 6, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Germit,

    Col 2:6 :-)

  106. 107 Echo
    May 6, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    GB

    When we die, we must be certain we are forgiven.

    If you died today, can you be certain all your sins are forgiven?

  107. 108 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Germit: “I’ve always understood “it is finished” to be connected to the work of Jesus reconciling the world unto HIMSELF….HIS finished payment for all that is owed….a debt thoroughly cancelled, once and for all time; this says nothing one way or another about how our choices might be used, or not used, in entering into that finished work. Are you saying that the operation of FAITH is devoid of any choice making ??”

    I don’t believe “we enter” into that finished work by a choice or decision. Jesus said: “It is finished”
    Faith is a gift of God. Choices come “after” we are saved but not in conversion.
    If we have to make a choice to “enter in” then we are saved in part by our works. Scripture teaches that we are not saved by our works.
    Did you check out the link I gave you? It’s a very short read but a very good read.

    God Bless!

  108. May 7, 2009 at 12:16 am

    “When we die, we must be certain we are forgiven.”

    Why?

  109. 110 germit
    May 7, 2009 at 1:36 am

    Echo: thanks for the link, I just read it and will read it again a time or two; I’ll comment on that tomorrow (time permitting) but let just pull out a quote from your post above:

    If we have to make a choice to “enter in” then we are saved in part by our works. Scripture teaches that we are not saved by our works.

    I agree with the second sentence, but the FIRST does not equate to the second (biblically); let me put some thoughts, and scripture together, and get back to you.

    Thanks,
    GERMIT

  110. May 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Echo: today will be a very busy day at work and at home for me, but after rereading the link I have (for now) one major reaction: the author’s premise rides on one big assumption and it’s this

    saying that our salvation depends in any way on something WE do will automatically make that “something” a “work”. and specifically the kind of “work” spoken against by Paul in Galations and Romans. This is a big assumption, and where the author and I part ways (at least for now)

    Can’t stay long this morning, but I’d invite you to look at Acts 2: 37 and following and you get a great picture of GOD in the midst of saving people AND their responses happening AT THE SAME TIME; GOD “pierces their hearts” and in response, they want to know “what must WE DO ??” Interesting that GOD doesn’t tell them “Well, nothing really, you’re totally depraved and saving you is MY job….but thanks for asking….” forgive the tongue in cheek, but really, how do you explain this interchange if there is nothing meaningful that these as yet unsaved people can do to respond to GOD ???

    appriciate the push to know GOD and HIS ways
    GERMIT

    Not wanting to sound like I’m “piling on” but FOF’s comment about “it is finished” has much merit; if you want to interpret the verse in a particular way , OK, but it will have to be compared with everything else said and done in the NT…I’m sure you’re OK with that.

  111. May 7, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Echo and ADB: I’ll give you one more small tidbit to hold you over

    what is Jesus taking about in Luke 13:3 when HE states plainly “unless you repent, you will likewise perish….” what is the sense of this if HE is talking to people who categorically CANNOT make any kind of meaningful choice (till after they are saved) ???

  112. 113 ADB
    May 7, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Germit,

    Another quick response that tries to explain our POV: We call it the “gospel imperative.” In other words, when there is a call to repentance or a call to faith, the very Word that calls us to faith is the “power source” for coming to faith. To say it another way, in terms of conversion, where Scripture calls us to believe/have faith/repent/etc., it is the Holy Spirit working through that very Word which brings us to faith. This is based on the multitude of passages that clearly explain that the Holy Spirit works through the Word and that faith comes from hearing the message. So it is the Holy Spirit working through the Word that works in us the faith to believe in that Word. That is how we can understand a person’s response to the call to repentance to still solely be the work of the Holy Spirit, and not man’s free agency. The flip side, of course, is that man IS able to reject that working of the Holy Spirit and forfeit all the blessings Christ freely holds out to him. Does that help at all? I’ll have more later.

  113. May 7, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    ADB: well, your post makes things a little clearer, for which I say “thanks” , but you’ve created more questions for your side: you seem to be OK with choice if it’s on the rejecting side (obviously, I’ll go with that) and then when it’s an acceptance of the gospel , it’s suddenly “all GOD, none of us….” this just does not make sense to me, and seems inconsistent; it seems to be some kind of restatement of the stance that the only choosing an unsaved person can make is of the “away from GOD” variety. I’m thinking you’ll do a fast return to ROMANS to verify that. I’ll comment on that this weekend, or sooner, they are my “problem verses” and deserve MY explanation. Do you care to comment on the Acts 2 and Luke 13 verses ??

    GERMIT

  114. 115 ADB
    May 7, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    That kind of was my comment on those verses:) The very message which calls us to repentance is the message which empowers us to repent, as that is the message through which the Holy Spirit works.

    And yes, I am saying that it is our understanding that we can only choose to reject God, and only God leads us to accept him. I don’t believe it because it logically makes sense, but because I believe it’s how the Bible describes it (again, go back to the passages I quoted that speak of us being enemies, dead, etc.–I take those to mean we are incapable of “choosing” to accept God). If you’ve got tons of time, a good read on the topic would be Martin Luther’s “Bondage of the Will.”

  115. May 7, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    ADB: Almost forgot: couldn’t it be possible to believe that the gospel itself, thru the working of the HOLY SPIRIT is indeed the power source you speak of AND there being a place for human acceptance of this SOURCE ?? How are these two things necessarily mutually exclusive ? I do , in fact , believe that about the gospel….” the power of GOD unto salvation…” as it’s described…..but I dont’ see where that has to negate CHOICE….again, LOVE does not COMMAND, it OFFERS.

    GERMIT

  116. May 7, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Hmmmm….OK, but realize that you (seem) to be saying this: GOD calls people to respond to a message when they can only choose to do otherwise…. this is an impossibility (please remember that I’ve always maintained that any response to GOD is grace filled and GOD initiated….that doesn’t fit in here anywhere ?? what’s your alternative except the logical impossibility I mention ??

  117. May 7, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Here’s another way of re-stating my position,or describing it in ways that borrow from your posts

    the HOLY SPIRIT inspired message moves those who hear (please note that even the act of HEARING clearly implies acts of volition- someone totally hostile to the gospel will NOT stay within earshot for long)

    their hearts are supernaturally pierced by this GOD empowered message

    these people, moved on and pursuaded supernaturally, are given the power to place their trust in Jesus

    For the life of me, I don’t yet see where this scenario negates CHOOSING on man’s part; I can easily see the hand of GOD as the source and sustainer of every step of conversion….but HIS work can be OPPOSED (you seem to agree with this) or NOT OPPOSED. ALL of GOD”S attempts will only see fruit when (I dont think you like this phrase) our will is submitted to HIS.

    More later
    you guys don’t sing “Just As I Am” much , do ya :-)

    GERMIT

  118. 119 GB
    May 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeks that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

    Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that you are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.

  119. 120 faithoffathers
    May 7, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    ADB,

    I can actually appreciate where you are coming from. While I do not agree with your take on these scriptures or doctrine, I do believe faith is a gift from God (this is LDS doctrine). But as GERMIT is saying, there is at some point an individual act or choice that results in the gift of faith being bestowed. Man is free to believe. And if he or she chooses to believe- they are blessed with faith. If they respond and ACT on that faith, they are given more faith. And on and on. This is the very process by which faith is strengthened.

    A very nice treatment of this is found in Alma 32. The ancient prophet Alma says “if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”

    I highly recommend reading that chapter.

    So- I agree to a degree with you that faith is a gift from God. But I would argue that there is individual choice and action the begins the whole process- and which is still central to the whole process of faith being strengthened.

    Thanks,

    fof

  120. 121 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Germit

    you said: ” Almost forgot: couldn’t it be possible to believe that the gospel itself, thru the working of the HOLY SPIRIT is indeed the power source you speak of AND there being a place for human acceptance of this SOURCE ?? How are these two things necessarily mutually exclusive ? I do , in fact , believe that about the gospel….” the power of GOD unto salvation…” as it’s described…..but I dont’ see where that has to negate CHOICE….again, LOVE does not COMMAND, it OFFERS.”

    Germit, if your in a waterskiing accident and become unconscious and sink under the water, would LOVE do everything they can to save you or would love only offer assistance even though you are incapable of responding to that offer because your unconscious?

  121. 122 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Germit,

    Salvation is called “objective justification”. Jesus reconciled the entire world to himself declaring the whole world righteous. Jesus said it is finished.

    This finished objective reality(objective justification) is recieved by faith (subjective justification).

  122. May 7, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Problem is – we aren’t comatose water-skiers. That’s what we’re arguing about.

  123. 124 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Seth:

    Echo: “When we die, we must be certain we are forgiven.”

    Seth: “Why?”

    The LDS makes a statement that I agree with:

    “The Lord has declared that “no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven” ( Alma 11:37) Our sins make us unclean—unworthy to return and dwell in the presence of our Heavenly Father.”
    (LDS Gospel library)

  124. 125 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    GB said: “Men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeks that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

    Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that you are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.”

    Your view is unbiblical

  125. May 7, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Yeah, that’s nice.

    But why do you need to be certain?

  126. 127 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Seth: “Problem is – we aren’t comatose water-skiers. That’s what we’re arguing about.”

    That is the problem because prior to conversion we are “DEAD in Trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1)

    and Heb 11:6 “And without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God”

  127. 128 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Seth: “Yeah, that’s nice. But why do you need to be certain?”

    Because without certainty, our conscience will condemn us in the judgement.

  128. May 7, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Those passages don’t make your point.

  129. 130 GB
    May 7, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Echo:Your view is unbiblical

    GB: That is something you haven’t been able to establish. Again you guys totally ignore these BIBLICAL verses;

    Gen 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest FREELY eat:

    Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.

    Deut:11:26 ¶ Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
    27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day:
    28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, . . .

    Deut 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

    Josh 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

    Men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeks that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

    Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that you are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.

  130. 131 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    GB said: “Deut:11:26 ¶ Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
    27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day:
    28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, . . .

    Do you sin GB? What does the scripture say about those who sin(do not obey the commandments)?

    Verse 28 says those who do not obey the commandments are cursed.

    What soes Jesus say happens to the cursed in the following verse?:

    Mathew 25:41 “Depart from me, ye CURSED, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”

  131. 132 ADB
    May 7, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    GB,

    I would maintain that of the passages you quoted in post 130, only the first deals with free will–Adam & Eve were FREE to choose to eat from the tree or not. Sadly, their choice is the reason no one after them has free will to choose to come to faith, because through A & E sin entered the world, and death through sin. We’re all dead in sin by nature until we come to faith. Every passage you quote after that is being addressed to believers, who, since they have already been brought to faith by the Holy Spirit, are now able by God’s grace to continue and endure in that faith, or not.

    Understand that we aren’t making the point that believers don’t have free will–they do. The Bible simply states that prior to conversion no one since A & E does have free will.

    Dead people can do nothing–they’re dead. Blind people can see nothing–they’re blind. Enemies don’t suddenly switch over and start fighting for the other side–they’re enemies.

    I can go up to a dead person in his coffin and quote every verse you have that commands him to obey. Guess what? He’s not capable of obeying. He’s dead.

  132. 133 germit
    May 7, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Echo: I’ll get back to this later tonight or tomorrow…but I’m totally with Seth, I don’t see where a good description of even the unsaved is “comatose water skiers”; yes , I’m aware of the “dead in your sins” description, but even Adam and Eve were declared “dead” after they ate the fruit. DId GOD therefore give them NO MORE instruction or commands because they were spiritually edead, and they certainly were spiritually dead, I’d agree. So whatever “dead” meant, even for Adam and Eve, choice and obedience seems to still have been in the picture.

    I think you’ve stumbles into a weird kind of literalism as regards the bible, but let me think on these things for awhile. You still haven’t addressed REPENTANCE (and I mean of the variety that GOD expects of an unbeliever, or perhaps a “becoming-a-believer”. Why does Jesus tell them in Luke 13 to repent if they are so dead they can do zilch ??

    thanks for indulging me thus far

    GERMIT

  133. 134 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    GB,

    ADB is right and has said many important things you have missed. Context is important.
    Every post you listed after the fall is written to “believers” not “unbelievers”.

  134. 135 GB
    May 7, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Echo, Do you know Jesus? What does the scripture say about those who don’t know Jesus (do not obey the commandments)?

    1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

  135. 136 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Germit: “DId GOD therefore give them NO MORE instruction or commands because they were spiritually edead, and they certainly were spiritually dead, I’d agree. So whatever “dead” meant, even for Adam and Eve, choice and obedience seems to still have been in the picture.”

    Germit, let me find out what you are thinking.

    Heb 11:6 “And without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God”

    Can a person without faith make a choice or be obedient to God according to the above verse?

  136. 137 GB
    May 7, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    So what you guys are saying is that unbelievers can’t choose to accept and become believers? Only God can make that happen? So why doesn’t he make it happen for everyone already? Does He not have the power? Does He not have the desire? Why isn’t everyone a believer IF it is ONLY dependent upon God? Is God a respecter of persons or not?

    Explain WHY everyone isn’t a believer if it is ONLY dependent upon God.

  137. 138 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    GB

    Do you keep all the commandments without sinning?

  138. 139 GB
    May 7, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Echo: Every post you listed after the fall is written to “believers” not “unbelievers”.

    GB: Believers in WHAT? Jesus?

  139. 140 GB
    May 7, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Echo, Do you know Jesus while sinning?

  140. 141 Echo
    May 7, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    GB: Do you keep all the commandments without sinning?

  141. May 8, 2009 at 12:04 am

    “Because without certainty, our conscience will condemn us in the judgement.”

    I would think hope would be enough.

    This conversation is illustrating a point I keep coming back to:

    The only major difference between Mormons and Evangelicals is which Bible verses we read metaphorically and which Bible verses we read literally.

  142. 143 Echo
    May 8, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Seth,

    Your hoping you will get a passing mark in the judgement but it depends on you and your performance in this life.

    I KNOW I have gotten a passing mark in the judgement because it depended on Jesus and his performance. That is why I have certainty.

    The more sincere a person is about their faith, the more they want to obey. The more they want to obey, the more they see sin in their lives. The more they see sin in their lives, the more these truly sincere people will condemn themselves in the judgement because of an unclear conscience. The most sincere person is the one who’s conscience will be fatally effected the most. The requirement for the judgement is a crystal clear and clean conscience. All those who die without a crystal clear and clean conscience reap outer darkness.

    Mormonism robs people of the certainty that God wants them to have. You know the passage: “Perfect love drives out ALL fear”

    There is much fear in uncertainty. There is no fear in certainty.

  143. 144 ADB
    May 8, 2009 at 1:13 am

    GB: “Explain WHY everyone isn’t a believer if it is ONLY dependent upon God.”

    I think you’ve heard this response before, but not everyone is a believer because man not only has, but exercises the ability to reject what God freely offers. Those who reject it won’t receive the benefit of salvation.

  144. 145 GB
    May 8, 2009 at 1:38 am

    ADB: I think you’ve heard this response before, but not everyone is a believer because man not only has, but exercises the ability to reject what God freely offers. Those who reject it won’t receive the benefit of salvation.

    GB: Thanks for conceding that men are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeks that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

    Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that you are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.

  145. 146 ADB
    May 8, 2009 at 1:55 am

    GB,

    Hmmmm … please reread, as I didn’t “concede” anything. I simply explained the answer to your question. Again, not everyone is a believer because man is capable of rejecting God’s free gift of salvation. YOU drew the conclusion that “men are free to choose liberty and eternal life.” I didn’t state that, nor do I agree with it as it relates to man’s role in conversion.

    C’mon GB, you’re better than that – no need to put words into my mouth.

  146. 147 germit
    May 8, 2009 at 2:04 am

    ADB: so apparently you DO believe in CHOICE, but only in the negative, only in rejecting the gospel, not in accepting it or choosing FOR the gospel….is this a fair statement of what you’re saying (edit as needed) AS this stands, I must say it strikes me as just plain weird, and lopsided.

    GERMIT

  147. 148 germit
    May 8, 2009 at 2:15 am

    Echo: I think we see FAITH differently; I don’t see FAITH as a “something” that some people have, and some people don’t. I don’t think it’s a zero sum game, I think faith is more organic than that. It’s a clinging onto, a disposition of the heart and soul, a leaning into, trusting in, it’s a HEART attitude. This happens, if it happens at all (because not all have faith) in a gradient. I also believe there is a moving TOWARD trusting in GOD, and a movement AWAY from GOD. Even among those not yet saved. GOD is pleased by any movement toward HIM, however small. I’m not making an argument for someone being 3% saved, but tiny steps that incline the heart and will toward GOD, even while yet unsaved, are steps TOWARD an eventual faith: for example, even the willingness to HEAR the gospel and to hold those thoughts in the mind , instead of scoffing and making a joke of it all. The willingness to buy or check out a book and read even a small part of it: no saving faith…yet….but a movement toward considering what JESUS has to offer. I think GOD is pleased by these small steps to get nearer to GOD…even if these actions don’t yet represent full submission to HIS LORDSHIP.

    I cannot fathom the LORD who turned the house upside down for the lost coin turning a blind eye to these tiny steps toward conversion

    GERMIT

  148. 149 Echo
    May 8, 2009 at 2:31 am

    Germit

    Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

    In the above verse, how does faith come to people?
    In light of this verse, what is faith?

    Mark 1:34 “He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.”

    Did these demons believe that Jesus was God?
    Did these demons have saving faith?
    What is the difference between believing there is a God and believing in God?

  149. 150 germit
    May 8, 2009 at 3:00 am

    For the devil, knowing there is a GOD, as surely he does (know) profits him not at all because he has no TRUST or RELIANCE upon GOD…but for some, just getting to the point of acknowledging that there MIGHT be a GOD may be a step in the right direction (toward trust or faith); we can hardly place our trust in Someone WHO does not exist…from Heb 11 we remember that we must be confident that GOD IS and that HE is a rewarder of those who seek HIM…so maybe getting to the first half is progress….and as we find out more about HIM…”oh wow…it’s worth SEEKING HIM”

    Faith does come from hearing the WORD but I don’t see this verse as telling us the ONLY way that faith is generated; faith is organic and can grow in other soils as well: testimonies of GOD’s goodness, being out in GOD’s wonderful creation, seeing and being part of acts of love and courage, I could go on…. remember back to Hebrews 11 and the “heroes” of faith…well, we could add MAnY other stories old and new to that , correct, and they ALL would help grow our faith…

    hope this helps
    my “adventure of faith” is building a “french trap” drain tomorrow…1st time ever: please pray

    GERMIT

  150. 151 Echo
    May 8, 2009 at 3:09 am

    A french trap drain?

    “I would define, saving faith as “trusting that in Jesus, all our sins have been forgiven”

  151. 152 ADB
    May 8, 2009 at 3:28 am

    Germit,

    “faith is organic and can grow in other soils as well: testimonies of GOD’s goodness, being out in GOD’s wonderful creation, seeing and being part of acts of love and courage, I could go on….”

    We would, perhaps, grant that faith for a believer can grow in such situations, but never could faith be planted in such a situation. In other words, a believer may be even more wowed by how awesome God is as he appreciates the works of his creation, but simply admiring creation will not ever bring anyone to faith, because we can’t know anything about Jesus from creation alone. We can only hear about Jesus as the Word is proclaimed, and so only the Word creates faith.

  152. 153 Echo
    May 8, 2009 at 3:41 am

    Great Post ADB

  153. 154 GB
    May 8, 2009 at 3:51 am

    ADB,
    “not everyone is a believer because man is capable of rejecting God’s. . .”

    Simple logic, if man is capable of rejecting God’s gift, he is also capable of accepting it. If man is capable of either acceptation or rejection, he is then free to choose one or the either.

    Matt 6:24 ¶ No man can serve two cmasters: for either he (<= notice who is doing the choosing here) will hate the one, and love the other; or else he (<= again notice who is doing the choosing here) will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

    I guess you didn’t even realize that you had conceded even though it was obvious.

  154. 155 ADB
    May 8, 2009 at 4:00 am

    Hmmm … didn’t realize God’s Word was based on “logic.” I’m surprised that since there are so many “logical” people out there they don’t do the “logical” thing and believe a message that is based on “logic.”

    So you are, or are not sinless?

  155. 156 GB
    May 8, 2009 at 4:05 am

    All things denote there is a God; the earth, all things that are upon the face of it, its motion, and all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

    A person can come to know there is a God by observing these things. To learn about Jesus specifically, requires a source other than observation of the natural world.

  156. 157 GB
    May 8, 2009 at 4:08 am

    ADB,

    Do you know Jesus, or are you a sinner?

  157. May 8, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Oh boy, here we go.

    The good old standby whenever an Evangelical is losing an argument:

    “God doesn’t have to be logical!”

    Which is basically code for “I don’t have an answer, but I’d like to end the conversation with something unanswerable and pretend I actually won this debate.”

    ADB, if God isn’t logical, then you and I have absolutely no basis for even talking about him, so we might as well get off the internet. Right?

  158. 159 ADB
    May 8, 2009 at 4:45 am

    GB,

    Was post 156 agreeing with me??? Alright, some common ground! Let’s go from there.

    To answer your next question (hoping this may prompt you to answer mine), yes, I know Jesus, and yes, I am a sinner. The sinner part is why I need Jesus. If I wasn’t a sinner, what good is Jesus to me?

    Seth,

    Sorry if I gave the impression this was a debate. It just doesn’t strike me as logical that God would give up his own Son to save a sinner like me. The Trinity to me is not logical. How God can create something out of nothing is not logical.

    My point? Reason has its limits. If you were to spend time studying virtually every false teaching that has ever crept into the church, do you know they’d each have in common? They all went too far off the deep end in trying to explain certain elements of Scripture in a logical way. They didn’t acknowledge that reason has its limits.

    I believe the Bible says that men can reject God’s gift of salvation. I don’t believe that means that man can accept it (check my previous posts for passages). Is that reasonable? Nope, not in my mind. That’s where faith steps in and allows me to believe what I can’t comprehend.

  159. May 8, 2009 at 4:49 am

    That’s fine ADB,

    But it’s still an attempt to say “this discussion is over.”

  160. 161 Echo
    May 8, 2009 at 5:19 am

    Seth,

    If this were a debate, ADB has won! ADB trusts God’s word above man’s logic. Man’s logic is limited. God’s logic isn’t limited by man’s logic:

    Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

    When “man’s logic” is placed over and above God’s word, man’s logic becomes an idol. That is a sin against God’s commandments.

    The scriptures teach that God alone is responsible for our salvation.

    Man alone is responsible for rejecting it.

    Here is a quote from Luther:

    “Even he who does not believe that he is free and his sins forgiven shall also learn, in due time, how assuredly his sins were forgiven, even
    though he did not believe it. St. Paul says in Rom. 3: ‘[Does] their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God[?]… Many do not believe the gospel, but this does not mean that the gospel is not true or effective. A king gives you a castle. If you do not accept it, then it is not the king’s fault, nor is he guilty of a lie. But you have decieved yourself and the fault is yours. The king certainly gave it” (LW, vol. 40, 366-367).

  161. May 8, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Oh, you want to play that game Echo?

    OK… can I play too?

    If this was a debate, I’ve already won! Because I’ve got TRUTH on my side.

    There.

    Wasn’t that fun? We can all go home now with self-satisfied smirks on our faces because apparently, we all won.

    Why?

    Because we all think we did.

    You can shut this thread down now Mark. Apparently, we’re all winners.

  162. 163 GB
    May 8, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    ADB: yes, I know Jesus, and yes, I am a sinner.

    GB: It was a rhetorical question in response to your red herring. According to the BIBLE those are mutually exclusive.

  163. 164 ADB
    May 8, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    If those are mutually exclusive then everyone who’s ever walked the earth is in deep, deep trouble.

    Just to verify, the conclusion you’re saying I would have to draw is either A) I don’t know Jesus or B) I’m not a sinner if I do know him. The problem is that neither of those conclusions are accurate because A) I know Jesus (he’s told me so through his Word and I know it in my heart) and B) I am a sinner, and will willingly (though certainly not proudly) admit it. Again, Jesus didn’t come to save the righteous, but sinners like me. Where modern day Pharisees like yourself stand with him is, however, a different issue.

    Is it really a red herring to nail you down to all the passages that demand obedience and perfection and get you to admit that you can’t keep them? I very much see that as pertinent to the discussion.

  164. 165 Echo
    May 9, 2009 at 5:15 am

    Seth, I wasn’t playing a game. I am sorry that you feel that way.

  165. May 11, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    ADB: you wrote

    but never could faith be planted in such a situation….

    this , to me, is just a groundless assumption, and also flies in the face of at least several testimonies I’m aware of; in one, a biologist Gary Parker, studied out the complexity of the biological world and was pushed toward faith knowing these things could NOT have happened by accident; yes, at some point someone explained Jesus to him, but the soil of science didn’t hurt either.

    you are, to me, hemming yourself in needlessly: all truth is GOD”S truth; the created world does not work against GOD and HIS plans, and even an unbeliever can (if Parker is to be believed) get a whiff of this…

    others have gotten a ‘whiff’ of the truth by knowing a spirit filled believer and wondered (prior to hearing anything about Jesus) “what’s up with THAT guy..???” what’s his, or her, explanation….

    we might never agree on this (I might be typing more for me than you ) , but you would have a tough time convincing me either from the WORD or from experience that the soils I talk of are ONLY for believers.

    In all things charity
    GERMIT

  166. May 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Echo and ADB: I hope it’s been plain to you that my purpose in going on and on in this thread is NOT just to theologically ‘joust’ with you , but my concern is for GOD and HIS gospel. I can’t see where the KINGDOM is helped by your position, though in fairness, you’d probably say the same about me and my views. So to repeat: I’m not trying to show you wrong as much as come to understand (all of us) what IS the good news and how these blessed mysteries are most powerfully presented.

    I’m sure you are motivated toward that as well.

    GERMIT

  167. 168 ADB
    May 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Germit,

    My only point, which still holds true in spite of the examples to which you referred, is that not one of those people will be in heaven unless they hear about what Jesus did for them. That message of Jesus may be conveyed through another’s testimony, sure, but whenever Jesus is proclaimed in accordance with the truth of Scripture, it is God’s Word at work. Again, only the message of his Word creates saving faith.

  168. 169 GB
    May 11, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

    My relationship with God is irrelevant to the truth that the Bible teaches.

  169. 170 ADB
    May 11, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    The irony, of course, is that you wouldn’t know anything about your relationship with God unless you first learned it from the Bible, right? Seems kind of silly to quote the Bible and then make your point about it being irrelevant to your relationship with God.

  170. 171 GB
    May 11, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    “The irony, of course, is that you wouldn’t know anything about your relationship with God unless you first learned it from the Bible, right?”

    Wrong!

    “Seems kind of silly to quote the Bible and then make your point about it being irrelevant to your relationship with God.”

    Nice strawman!

  171. 172 Echo
    May 12, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Germit, ADB makes an important distinction between two kinds of faith.

    Faith in the existance of God which is NOT a faith through which we can be saved would include Scientific evidence, archeologic evidence and even all of creation itself.

    Saving faith which is a trust in the person and work of Jesus is the only faith through which we can be saved.

    The Bible actually teaches that when man is condemned to Hell, he will be without excuse because of the evidence in all of creation itself.

  172. 173 Echo
    May 12, 2009 at 12:56 am

    ADB: ““The irony, of course, is that you wouldn’t know anything about your relationship with God unless you first learned it from the Bible, right?”

    GB: Wrong!

    ADB: “Seems kind of silly to quote the Bible and then make your point about it being irrelevant to your relationship with God.”

    GB: Nice strawman!”

    Echo: Do you respond like that because you don’t know how to respond? Are you here to attack others or to edify others? What ADB said is no strawman and your comments are really unedifying for anyone. ADB’s point is sincere. It does seem very strange to quote the Bible so much and then say that it’s irrelevant. It would be more edifying for everyone if you explained yourself so that everyone might understand your beliefs better.

  173. 174 Echo
    May 12, 2009 at 1:14 am

    Correction: “It does seem very strange to quote the Bible so much and then say that it’s irrelevant IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO GOD”

  174. 175 Echo
    May 12, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Germit: “Echo and ADB: I hope it’s been plain to you that my purpose in going on and on in this thread is NOT just to theologically ‘joust’ with you , but my concern is for GOD and HIS gospel. I can’t see where the KINGDOM is helped by your position, though in fairness, you’d probably say the same about me and my views. So to repeat: I’m not trying to show you wrong as much as come to understand (all of us) what IS the good news and how these blessed mysteries are most powerfully presented.

    I’m sure you are motivated toward that as well”

    Ongoing discussion is never a “joust”. That’s how people grow, myself included.

    The belief that a person has to “choose” or “decide” is what we call: “decision theology” or “synergism”.

    As you know, false teaching is potentially harmful and can be fatal to faith.
    I have spoken with a believer once who’s faith was close to being destroyed all because of her decision for Christ. After many years of faithful service to Christ, she got to know God better
    along the way and as you know, the more we get to know God, the more we overcome our ignorance about sin in our own lives. This poor girl had come to realize just how much of a sinner she was even though she didn’t want to sin. She began to question whether or not she had really made a decision for Christ and wondered whether or not she had really given her life to him because her sins were many.
    That’s what happens when our salvation depends on our works rather on the work of Jesus alone. A decision is a work. She was in despair!
    Works always destroy the assurance/certainty that God wants us to have. Whenever our salvation depends on us, even if it is just a decision, faith is in Jeopardy and it can be fatal to faith.
    The problem here is one of focusing on what we do (in this case making a decision)rather than focusing on the finished work of Christ. Faith potentially can be lost whenever we focus on ourselves. Faith is solid and certain whenever we focus on Jesus alone.

  175. 176 Echo
    May 12, 2009 at 1:32 am

    Correction: “That’s what happens when our salvation depends on ANY WORK rather THAN on the work of Jesus alone.

  176. May 12, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Echo: thanks forth the posts. We are similarly motivated, we both want to see ourselves and others established in the faith and flourishing. We both know that the Father is glorified when HIS children bring forth fruit that remains.

    While I recognize that weird things can be done with “making a decision for Jesus”, I think the point is taken to excess when this becomes “all of GOD, nothing of me”. Oddly enough, I’m not even a big proponent of “altar calls” for some of the reasons you put forward: it’s very easy to put our trust in some emotional experience we had as a ten yr old after the Wed night service instead of GOD HIMSELF. For me, drop kicking “choosing” is not so much the answer as living the life of a disciple who WALKS after the LORD and Savior that he/she “chose for” years ago. Our WALK does not save us, but without a LIFE of following JESUS, we have empty theology, we have words, we have correct notions (so we assume). Your lady friend DID need an assurance that the OBJECT of her faith, Jesus, is solid, but I suggest she sins because she likes to sin (sounds like ME now and again). Something needs to be done about that, with HER permission.

    It’s just as possible to have a faith that atrophies because we say “GOD does it all” compared to the other problems you sited. GOD wants disciples , not decision-makers, and not pure theologians, or at least that is what I’m coming to see.

    more later, thanks for the push to know HIM and HIS ways
    GERmIT

  177. 178 GB
    May 12, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Echo, ADB,

    The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.

    Why do you two misrepresent what I actually said?

    What did I say was irrelevant?

    What did you claim that I said was irrelevant?

    Notice the difference?

  178. May 12, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Echo/ADB: maybe the best verse I can think of that captures what I’m saying, and GB already chased down the reference (thanks) is

    Colosssians 2:6 AS you therefore have received Christ Jesus as LORD, so walk in HIM…and the rest of that chapter and on into ch 3 is filled with all kinds of things that 1)GOD has done for us….AND 2) we do in response (or SHOULD) to those facts. Not just GOD….certainly not just US….but a partnership , a covenant.

    hope your Tues is going GRACE-filled
    GERMIT

  179. 180 Echo
    May 12, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    GB: “The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.

    Why do you two misrepresent what I actually said?

    What did I say was irrelevant?

    What did you claim that I said was irrelevant?

    Notice the difference?”

    Echo: It is a sin against God’s commandments to judge someone as ignoring your position and substituting a distorted, exaggerated, or misrepresented version of your position when that is not true. People can make mistakes in understanding someone’s words or take those words differently than the author intended them, all unintentionally. It is also true that the author may be the one who failed to explain himself more clearly and so his words were misunderstood. That doesn’t mean that people are “ingnoring” your words. Your jumping the gun and judging us as ignoring you without first having to see if we are misunderstanding you or if you failed to communicate clearly. That is a sin. Lets have a peaceful discussion, these type of “strawmen” comments just tear people down rather than build them up. Especially when they are not true.

    You said: “My relationship with God is irrelevant to the truth that the Bible teaches”
    I said: “It does seem very strange to quote the Bible so much and then say that it’s irrelevant in your relationship to God”

    Here is my thinking, do correct my misundertanding:

    If your relationship with God is irrelevant to the truth the Bible teaches then naturally the two are mutually exclusive. If your relationship with God is irrelevant to the truth the Bible teaches then also, in my mind, the bible is irrelevant in your relationship to God. In my thinking, they either go together or they don’t. Can you clarify what I am misunderstanding?

  180. 181 Echo
    May 12, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Germit

    I think the misunderstanding between us is that your looking at conversion and what happens after conversion. I am focusing on conversion only.
    If I focus on the whole picture as you do, then I would say that man has no choice or decision in conversion. But once converted, he makes choices and decisions every day to “walk after the Lord” and spend his “life following Jesus.”

    A truly converted person cannot help but want to do that.

  181. May 12, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Echo: the hill for you to climb is to explain Col 2:6 (among others) that LUMPS THE TWO TOGETHER….unless you want to believe that “as you therefore have recieved…” is NOT talking about conversion but something else….. that’s what I mean by your view being not as biblically supported as it might seem at first blush…

    what else could “as you therefore have received…” be taling about other that the process of becoming a Jesus follower ??

    GERMIT

  182. 183 GB
    May 12, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    “It is a sin against God’s commandments to judge someone as ignoring your position and substituting a distorted, exaggerated, or misrepresented version of your position when that is not true.”

    Only if one attributes a bad motive to your actions. I didn’t attribute any motive to your actions, I asked you why you did it (ie, what your motive was).

    “People can make mistakes in understanding someone’s words or take those words differently than the author intended them, all unintentionally.”

    True. Is that what you did?

    “It is also true that the author may be the one who failed to explain himself more clearly and so his words were misunderstood.”

    In which case, a request for clarification would have been appropriate.

    “Your jumping the gun and judging us as ignoring you without first having to see if we are misunderstanding you or if you failed to communicate clearly.”

    You clearly misrepresented what I said. That is OBVIOUS!! I simply asked you “why” you did it. I didn’t judge/condemn you or your motives.

    “That is a sin.”

    So now are you judging/condemning me?

    “Lets have a peaceful discussion, these type of “strawmen” comments just tear people down rather than build them up.”

    Agreed, so please refrain from making them in the future.

    “Especially when they are not true.”

    Agreed, but in this case they are true.

    “You said: “My relationship with God is irrelevant to the truth that the Bible teaches””

    That is correct, so what in that statement did I say was irrelevant to what? Could it be “My relationship with God” is irrelevant to the “truth that the Bible teaches”?

    “I said: “It does seem very strange to quote the Bible so much and then say that it’s irrelevant in your relationship to God””

    But I didn’t say that the Bible was irrelevant in my relationship to God. So you clearly misrepresented what I said. Is simple logic a problem for you?

    “Here is my thinking, do correct my misundertanding:”

    I have been trying to do just that.

    “If your relationship with God is irrelevant to the truth the Bible teaches then naturally the two are mutually exclusive.”

    This is faulty logic. Just because A is independent of B doesn’t require that B is independent of A. Again simple logic.

    “If your relationship with God is irrelevant to the truth the Bible teaches then also, in my mind, the bible is irrelevant in your relationship to God.”

    Again, faulty logic. If the Obama administration is uninfluenced by your teenage daughter, doesn’t mean your teenage daughter is uninfluenced by the Obama administration. Can you understand this?

    “In my thinking, they either go together or they don’t.”

    Again the dependence of one upon the other doesn’t require the dependence of the other upon the one. Can you comprehend that you logic is flawed?

    “Can you clarify what I am misunderstanding?”

    If you are still confused, please let me know so I can provide more examples. :-)

  183. 184 ADB
    May 12, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Germit,

    To say that something has been received says nothing about the means by which it was received. I can say that I received Christ Jesus as Lord, and that in no way precludes the Holy Spirit from working in me to receive him. There’s no problem in saying that we received the Lord. We did, because the Holy Spirit led us to do so.

    It’s like saying that yesterday I received my mail. I didn’t run to the post office to go get it. The postal carrier brought it to me. I received it, but if I told someone that, I wouldn’t expect anyone to assume that I did anything at all to receive it.

    I don’t know if this helps or just muddies the water, but we have no problem with crediting the Holy Spirit with working in a person’s heart to receive Jesus as Savior. In fact, that’s the only way it can happen.

  184. May 12, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    ADB: I hope this doesn’t come across as nit picking language, which is NOT a useful practice, but I love that phrase “LED by the Holy Spirit….” I think that’s EXACTLY what happens, and NO ONE gets LED anywhere without their CONSENT…otherwise we need a different verb. Soooo….I’m quick to give GOD the credit…who would not want to be led to a Thanksgiving dinner (no charge…all you can….er….should eat…everything cooked the way you like it..) but no one gets to that table that hasn’t said “OK, sure ….that’s the deal for me…”

    to see conversion without this CONSENT is just goofy to me…. the fear seems to be that GOD won’t get HIS credit if we allow for moral free agaency or something like that…I just don’t see it…

    a better picture with the postman is that he/she is knocking on ALL the doors of the block saying “Here is Jesus….will you sign for (accept) HIM ??” Some do….some don’t…some wait and sign later….some never do…

  185. 186 ADB
    May 12, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I lead my child to the bathroom when it’s time to go potty with or without her consent:) When a criminal is taken to jail, a guard leads him to his cell with or without his consent.

    Like you said, nit picking over language isn’t all that useful unless 1) it’s done in the original Greek or Hebrew (even then it can go too far) and 2) it’s done in light of the rest of the context of Scripture.

    Also, just to clarify for you, we don’t “fear … that GOD won’t get HIS credit” by refusing to accept any sort of synergistic idea of coming to faith. Rather, we can’t help but notice that Scripture 1) uses so many pictures of man’s inability to do anything of value prior to conversion (the whole dead/blind/enemies/sinful from conception thing), 2) speaks so frequently of God being the one taking the active role in giving us spiritual life/making us alive (whereas the verbs that describe our role in conversion are so frequently passive, i.e., something was done TO us).

    Bottom line is that the only reason I see for assuming man can choose Jesus, is reason, and not because it’s supported in the Bible. Common sense/logic dictate decision theology, not Scripture. When the the two are at odds, I am bound to leave reason at the door.

  186. 187 ADB
    May 12, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Germit,

    Here’s another danger (which Echo essentially already covered), and perhaps you’ve already addressed it, so I apologize …

    How would you answer if somebody asked you, “Are you saved?” And how would you explain why you are sure of your answer?

    How does that answer compare to how you’d answer the question, “Why are you saved and not others?” And how would you explain why you are sure of your answer?

  187. May 12, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    ADB: to your last post, not only ‘was’ I saved, I am continually being saved and expect more salvation tomorrow…I enjoy all this because (I’m hoping) I’ve met the conditions for salvation set out by GOD in the bible: I’m resting 100% on who Jesus is and what HE did for me…if I’ve trusted the wrong GUY, then I guess I’m in big trouble, eh ?? As far as being “sure”, I’d comment that this is mostly a modern idea and concern; not that it is inherently a bad thing (I dont’ think it is) but I don’t think it’s nearly as big a deal to GOD as it is to us. As humans , our feelings and thoughts can take us many different places…that doesn’t make our election any less sure just because we aren’t “feeling certain”. I’m not thereby making a commercial for having wildly oscillating feelings either, but I just don’t see this as being (to GOD) that big a deal. As you and Echo have rightly shown: our faith is in GOD….so we can rest with that.

    As to your analogies: the child led to potty (with or without their consent) and the prisoner (led likewise) is , as far as I know exactly how conversion does NOT happen… so we see this (as far as CONSENT goes) in radically different ways….NONE of the language of conversion that I’m aware of would fall your way on this, but I’m open to hear your take on that.

    Again, “LED” is most apt….even as a dumb animal, perhaps…but with the dumb animal’s OK. How could LOVE contradict this way of going in the same direction ?? Isn’t what you suggest closer to some kind of power play or coercion ?? It has that appearance from here…

    As usual, appreciate the ‘push’
    GERMIT

  188. 189 GB
    May 12, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    GB: The ability to choose right or wrong regardless of ones status as a believer is supported by the Bible. Again you guys totally ignore these BIBLICAL verses;

    Gen 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest FREELY eat:

    Here is God declaring mans agency. Notice that God doesn’t specify that this agency is only given to the “believer”.

    Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.

    This is the Lord speaking to Cain. Was Cain a believer? Again, where is the specification that one must be a believer?

    Deut:11:26 ¶ Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
    27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day:
    28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, . . .

    Again, no specification that one must be a believer.

    Deut 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

    Again, no specification that one must be a believer.

    Josh 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

    Again, no specification that one must be a believer.

    1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

    Notice that Elijah is speaking “unto ALL the people”. CLEARLY from the context (the presence of 450 false prophets and those that followed them) show conclusively that agency applies to ALL, not just to believers.

    Men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeks that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

    Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that you are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.

  189. 190 Echo
    May 13, 2009 at 2:08 am

    GB: “My relationship with God is irrelevant to the truth that the Bible teaches”

    This is just a suggestion but it probably would be better to just explain what you mean when people misunderstand you.

  190. 191 Echo
    May 13, 2009 at 3:19 am

    GB SAID: “The ability to choose right or wrong regardless of ones status as a believer is supported by the Bible. Again you guys totally ignore these BIBLICAL verses;”

    Gen 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest FREELY eat:
    Here is God declaring mans agency. Notice that God doesn’t specify that this agency is only given to the “believer”.

    ECHO: When scripture is read in context, Adam and Eve were believers.

    GB SAID: “Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.
    This is the Lord speaking to Cain. Was Cain a believer? Again, where is the specification that one must be a believer?”

    ECHO: When scripture is read in context, Cain was a believer: Genesis 4:3 “In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an OFFERING TO THE LORD”. Later, Cain left the Lord’s presence Genesis 4:16 “So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence”

    GB SAID: “Deut:11:26 ¶ Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
    27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day:
    28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, . . .
    Again, no specification that one must be a believer.
    Deut 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Again, no specification that one must be a believer.”

    ECHO: When scripture is read in context, both passages you quoted from Deut. are written to the Isrealites who were believers. Deut 1:1 “These are the words Moses spoke to all Isreal…”
    Deut 1:3 “…Moses proclaimed to the Isrealites…”

    GB said: “Josh 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
    Again, no specification that one must be a believer.”

    ECHO: When scripture is read in context, Josh 24:15 is written to believers: Josh 1:1-18 (God uses Joshua to lead the Isrealites into the promised land)The verses leading up to your verse cleary show that the people being spoken to were the Isrealites(believers) See Josh 24:1-15

    GB SAID: “1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
    Notice that Elijah is speaking “unto ALL the people”. CLEARLY from the context (the presence of 450 false prophets and those that followed them) show conclusively that agency applies to ALL, not just to believers.”

    ECHO: When scripture is read in context, The false prophets and those that followed them had abandoned the Lord and his ways: 1 Kings 18:18 ” I have not made trouble for Isreal, Elijah replied. But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baal’s” So Elijah is speaking to Isrealites and leading them to repentance.

    GB SAID: “Men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeks that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

    Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that you are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.”

    ECHO: Men are slaves of sin according to the flesh. John 6:63 “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing”

    LDS teachings Rob you of the certainty of entering the celestial kingdom. That’s because a slave has no permanent place in the family, he is not a SON :

    John 8:34 “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family…”

    A slave is only kept if he meets the requirements and is a very hard worker. If he doesn’t meet those requirements, he loses everything.

    However, God wants to make you a son and the Father doesn’t want to rob his son of the certainty he has as a son. A son belongs to the family forever:

    John 8:35-36 “Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, BUT A SON BELONGS TO IT FOREVER. SO IF THE SON SETS YOU FREE, YOU WILL BE FREE INDEED.”

    And if a Son belongs to the family forever, he can be absolutely certain RIGHT NOW, that he is going to the celestial kingdom when he dies:

    John 5:24 “”I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me HAS eternal life and will not be condemned; he HAS crossed over from death to life.”

    A slave can’t say what John 5:24 says. They have to say: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me and obeys all my commandments might get eternal life and will not be condemned; he might cross over from death to life if he did all he could do”

  191. 192 Echo
    May 13, 2009 at 3:35 am

    Germit: Regarding Col 2

    The faith that was created in us by the Holy Spirit makes us overflow with thankfulness (Col 2:7)because of all that God has done for us in Jesus.

    Being strengthened by that same message, we go out into the world loving others, including our enemies, the same way that God loved us when we were his enemies. (Matt 5:44)
    The thing about enemies is they don’t want your love, they don’t choose or decide for you to love them, they don’t want to be your freind. But be a freind to them anyways.

    Basically Col 2 is about living out your faith by doing for others what God has done for you.

  192. 193 Echo
    May 13, 2009 at 3:53 am

    GERMIT: ….” I think that’s EXACTLY what happens, and NO ONE gets LED anywhere without their CONSENT…otherwise we need a different verb. Soooo….I’m quick to give GOD the credit…who would not want to be led to a Thanksgiving dinner (no charge…all you can….er….should eat…everything cooked the way you like it..) but no one gets to that table that hasn’t said “OK, sure ….that’s the deal for me…”

    ECHO: We are born again without our consent. But we always have the option to leave or to stay once we are born again. To “remain in his love” John 15:4 “Remain in me, and I will remain in you” or reject it: John 12:48 “There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words”

    GERMIT: “to see conversion without this CONSENT is just goofy to me…. the fear seems to be that GOD won’t get HIS credit if we allow for moral free agaency or something like that…I just don’t see it…” We lost free agency in the Fall of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were created in God’s image. After the fall, man was created in the image of man. When God brings us to faith, we are enabled to make God pleasing choices and decisions but NOT Before. If we have faith that enables us to make God pleasing choices and decisions, then we were already saved. Think about it. You can choose to remain in his love once you have been born again. You just can’t choose to be born again. Just like you didn’t choose to be born to your natural parents but certainly could make choices once you were born.

    GERMIT: “a better picture with the postman is that he/she is knocking on ALL the doors of the block saying “Here is Jesus….will you sign for (accept) HIM ??” Some do….some don’t…some wait and sign later….some never do…”

    ADB’s postman response is a great analogy and another would be if a person who stopped breathing was unconscience and somebody resusicated them by breathing into them. They recieved that breath entirely passively. If they loved life, would they be concerned that they didn’t make a choice to have this person revive them? Not at all! They would be totally grateful!

  193. 194 Echo
    May 13, 2009 at 5:55 am

    Correction: In the third paragraph above, I forgot to seperate your quote from my response. My response begins on line 2 of that paragraph. Sorry.

  194. 195 Echo
    May 13, 2009 at 6:04 am

    Germit, Here is a scenario. Let’s say you meet up with some person who isn’t saved. What do you say to this person so that they will be converted?

  195. 196 germit
    May 13, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Echo: thanks for the work, you’ve done a good job fleshing out your points here. Lets start with this:

    The thing about enemies is they don’t want your love, they don’t choose or decide for you to love them, they don’t want to be your freind. But be a freind to them anyways.

    This is exactly my point: yes they DO want love, and some small part of them DOES want to be our friend. That’s why i think evangelism based on your paradigm will be flawed and counter productive. Your assumptions about who you are talking to and what they are like is incomplete to begin with. I’m not contending the “enemies” description, but that one word doesn’t tell the whole tale. If I remember the names right, what about Robert the Bruce in “Braveheart”…he was both William Wallaces friend, ally, and enemy. He betrayed him, then came to his senses. He was pulled back and forth between doing the right thing and wrong thing. His selfishness fed his stupidity, but he also wanted Scotland to be free.

    I appreciate the explanation about us being image bearers and how the fall changed that. I’ll get into that later today , time permitting.

    Are you sure that ALL the language of conversion in the NT shows us to be merely passive agents in the deal ? I might revisit that also.

    blessings and hope on you and yours
    GERMIT

  196. May 13, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Echo; here’s a question for you: can you imagine the LDS posters here actually WANTING to be your friend ? Even just a little. IF that’s possible, is it a stretch to imagine that at least some small part of them would want to be a friend to the GOD you represent, the GOD you incarnate (incompletely) ?? Does that seem possible ?

    As to discussions about someone’s salvation, my first questions are usually about hobbies, interests, music, peripheral stuff, and then their outlook and experiences. Anything I have to say about the gospel would be built around what that guy/girl already knew and believed. Does that make sense ?

    GERmIT

  197. 198 GB
    May 13, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    ECHO: When scripture is read in context, The false prophets and those that followed them had abandoned the Lord and his ways: 1 Kings 18:18 ” I have not made trouble for Isreal, Elijah replied. But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baal’s” So Elijah is speaking to Isrealites and leading them to repentance.

    GB: When scripture is read in context, Elijah was talking to Ahab!

    1 Kings 18:¶ And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?
    18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.

    So NO it wasn’t the false prophets and those that followed them that had abandoned the Lord and his ways: it was Ahab!!!

    So . . . when scripture is read in context, it supports the LDS position and NOT yours.

    John 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him. (So why not all?)
    31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, IF (<= notice the conditional statement) ye continue in my word, then (<= notice the conditional statement) are ye my disciples indeed;
    32 And (“and” in Aramaic is equivalent to the English “then” conditional statement) ye shall know the truth, and (“and” in Aramaic is equivalent to the English “then” conditional statement) the truth shall make you free.
    33 ¶ They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
    34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin (<= Who does Jesus say is responsible for the commission of sin?) is the servant of sin.
    35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
    36 If the Son therefore shall make you free (through repentance which is included in “continue in my word”) , ye shall be free indeed.

    “However, God wants to make you a son and the Father doesn’t want to rob his son of the certainty he has as a son. A son belongs to the family forever:”

    Under the condition of “IF ye continue in my word” which includes repentance.

    “And if a Son belongs to the family forever, he can be absolutely certain RIGHT NOW, that he is going to the celestial kingdom when he dies:”

    Twisting the words of Jesus I see. Jesus is talking about HIMSELF in that scripture. He didn’t say “a Son” He said “THE Son” meaning Himself. You are trying to apply something that He clearly meant for Himself to others.

    John 5:24 “”I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me HAS eternal life and will not be condemned; he HAS crossed over from death to life.”

    Again, according to the conditional “IF ye continue in my word” which includes repentance.

    Can you really believe in Jesus without believing His clear and plain words?

    Like (Mark 2:17) . . . I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    (Luke 13:3) I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

    John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
    • • •
    14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

  198. 199 GB
    May 13, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Matt 6:24 ¶ No man (<= notice that unbelievers are EXCLUDED) can serve two masters: for either he (<= notice who is doing the choosing here) will (<= notice whose will is involved) hate the one, and love the other; or else he (<= again notice who is doing the choosing here) will (<= again, notice whose will is involved) hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

    This verse clearly and plainly shows that ALL men have the ability to chose whom they will serve.

  199. 200 ADB
    May 13, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    GB,

    Did you mean to say that unbelievers are INCLUDED? I’m confused.

    Just to make sure you don’t forget to include the context in the Sermon on the Mount … back in Mt. 5:1b,2 it says, “His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying …”

    Are unbelievers Jesus’ disciples?

  200. May 13, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Echo: I’ve been kicking around , mentally, the various accounts in the gospels of those seeking after Jesus or interacting with HIM, and I can really think of only ONE instance where the “seeker” is as passive as you present them: drum roll and bass guitar please……

    LAZARUS: He is quite passive because he is quite literally DEAD. Not much response to him until Jesus commands him to come forth. If you want to make this your paradigm for pre-conversion…OK….but you’ll have trouble explaining everyone else.

    Were these guys equally as passive ?

    The Centurion.
    The Syro-Phoenician woman (wow: talk about NOT passive, this lady had an attitude…)
    The blind man who “called out all the more” when “shushed” by the disciples.
    The guys who dug thru the roof to lower the paralytic down.
    Nicodemus , who chased after Jesus, and climbed a tree to get a better look.
    The woman with an issue of blood, who fought thru the crowd to get within grasping distance of Jesus (not only not passive , but VERY gutsy )

    All those who travelled from distances near and far to sit and listen to Jesus for HOURS under all the elements, fighting hunger, exposure, the crowds, religious ridicule from some, etc.

    I could go on, but do you see my point ? Would the word “passive” really describe these people and their pursuit of SALVATION ?? I don’t think so. Are they ONLY being acted upon, or are they in some way active agents in pursuing salvation ?? They sure seem active, not only for themselves, but for the benefit of others they love who need healing. Would GOD be pleased by their efforts to get to, listen to, put themselves near, JESUS ?? I would sure think so. This makes them no less damaged by the fall, no less “dead in their sins”, but again I’m challenging you to rethink what that phrase and others mean, in light of ALL the NT.

    GOD give us all that Syrophoenicians “attitude”
    GERMIT

  201. 202 GB
    May 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    What part of “no man” is so difficult to understand? It is irrelevant “who” Jesus was talking to. It only matters “who” he was talking about. In this case, ALL (both believer and unbeliever) are excluded from serving two masters, and ALL must chose which (God or mammon) they will (desire/chose) to serve.

    The very word “will” expresses choice/decision.

  202. 203 GB
    May 13, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Matt. 16:24 ¶ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If ANY man will (choice/decision) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

    Does “any man” included unbelievers?

    Mark 4:23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

    Does “any man” included unbelievers?

    John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

    Does “any man” included unbelievers?

    John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

    Does “any man” included unbelievers?

    John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
    • • •
    47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

    Does “any man” included unbelievers? “(I)f any man hear my words, and believe not” is he an unbeliever?

  203. May 13, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Hmmmm, I’ve only skimmed much of the back and forth between GB and “friends” (big smile); but Matt 6:34 actually makes as much OR MORE sense in referring to those who have not YET trusted in Jesus….hence the point to the question itself..

    Nice question GB

    GERmIT

  204. 205 ADB
    May 13, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Germit,

    I’d be interested in hearing a response to my question from #187: “Why are you saved and not others?”

    GB,

    I don’t recall which thread it was, but I had asked about how the LDS define “faith” and “believe.” I recall you gave a pretty thorough answer for “faith” (thanks!), but did you get around to defining “believe” or did I miss it? I’d be interested in hearing that definition.

    I think this topic has exhausted itself, as we’re now (or better, “again”:) ) running in circles. While it is certainly noteworthy to keep in mind the hearers being addressed when referencing such passages above, the bottom line is that even when a call to choose this or that or to repent is issued, we believe the call itself (God’s Word) alone is the reason why anyone can say yes (I believe I’ve already addressed that with the term “gospel imperative” in a prior post). I have a feeling we won’t see eye to eye on this. The foolishness of God won’t overcome man’s reason if he insists on clinging to it.

    I came across a Martin Luther quote in a devotion today that I think very nicely sums up the Bible’s view on man’s role in conversion (or any good work for that matter): “The love of God does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it.”

  205. 206 GB
    May 13, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    I came across a Martin Luther quote in a devotion today that I think very nicely sums up the MARTIN LUTHER’S view on man’s role in conversion (or any good work for that matter): “The love of God does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it.”

    There, fixed it for you.

  206. May 13, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    ADB: that is one whale of a disturbing question..or at least it is for me. I grew up Roman Catholic, taught the view that I was , by my connection to that church “IN” , while many others were “OUT”. I didn’t question this for many years , not until my mid-teens, and then the absurdity of it hit me: why should my membership in a church I was BORN into give me any special status ?? How nutty was THAT ?? or so it seemed to me; this did not make sense to me , then or now (I’m not trying to be flagrantly anti-RC, just telling my own story here).

    a few years later, after having the gospel and faith explained to me, I came to a saving knowledge of JESUS; this was and is great news, but as to your specific question WHY ME AND NOT SOMEONE ELSE ?? I’m not sure I have a snappy answer to that, but I can tell answers that don’t resonate with me at all. Any answer that has GOD slipping salvation in SOME people’s pocket, while walking past others is just weird, and un-JESUS like to me. I just don’t see that either in the NT or my experience of GOD HIMSELF. The GOD I know a little of is a talker, initiator, seeker, action-taker, lover of all HIS creation. I’m not talking about some kind of universalism here, but a GOD WHO pursued, WHO ‘woos’ HIS wayward creation , or tries to, back to HIMSELF. I’ve tried to steer clear of emotion laden language, because I consider you and ECHO brothers, but your “package” of how GOD operates seems to me mean and arbritrary. I can’t get my head around a GOD who would make your set up HIS agenda.

    I don’t think I’ll get a really good picture of “why me” until I’m on the other side of eternity, but until then, my message will be to encourage people to do what I see the not-yet-saved do in the NT: hear the good news; respond to the good news; become a lover of the GIVER of the good news; follow HIM; make disciples that do the same;

    ALL OF THAT (even prior and during conversion) requires not ONE choice, but a lifetime of choices (kind of like marriage ) ; what I’ve heard from you and ECHO have only made me more confident that this is more GOD”s mind and heart than what you’ve offered.

    hope that doesn’t seem too snarky
    the LORD”s best and highest for you and yours
    GERMIT

  207. 208 Echo
    May 14, 2009 at 3:27 am

    Germit: “This is exactly my point: yes they DO want love, and some small part of them DOES want to be our friend. That’s why i think evangelism based on your paradigm will be flawed and counter productive. Your assumptions about who you are talking to and what they are like is incomplete to begin with. I’m not contending the “enemies” description, but that one word doesn’t tell the whole tale. If I remember the names right, what about Robert the Bruce in “Braveheart”…he was both William Wallaces friend, ally, and enemy. He betrayed him, then came to his senses. He was pulled back and forth between doing the right thing and wrong thing. His selfishness fed his stupidity, but he also wanted Scotland to be free.”

    The unbelieving world is incapable of loving others as God loves us.
    Love, as given and recieved by unbelievers has conditions.
    An unbeliever might desire to be a freind to someone or have someone as a freind, but AGAPE love isn’t there.

    And I disagree that enemies want to be our freind. Not until we are a freind first.

    We need to be careful not to speculate about humanity. We have only a limited human perspective. God has the complete persepective. He sees everything, knows everything and can see into the heart of each and every human. We are limited.
    We are limited even to the point that we simply must let God alone speak to us through his word on these matters even if our feelings aren’t in line with what he says.

    Cleary he says: “Nor of a human decision….but born of God”
    If our feelings go against that, we must trust and believe God over our feelings. In due time, he will make this truth plain to us.

  208. 209 Echo
    May 14, 2009 at 3:31 am

    Germit: “As to discussions about someone’s salvation, my first questions are usually about hobbies, interests, music, peripheral stuff, and then their outlook and experiences. Anything I have to say about the gospel would be built around what that guy/girl already knew and believed. Does tat make sense ?”

    Let’s suppose I am an unbeliever. Share the gospel with me. Include everything you would say to anyone you share the gospel with.

  209. May 14, 2009 at 3:34 am

    First off Echo, I wouldn’t bother doing that until we had established some sort of relationship that makes witnessing even appropriate in the first place.

  210. 211 Echo
    May 14, 2009 at 4:51 am

    GB said:

    “When scripture is read in context, Elijah was talking to Ahab!
    1 Kings 18:¶ And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?
    18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.

    So NO it wasn’t the false prophets and those that followed them that had abandoned the Lord and his ways: it was Ahab!!!

    So . . . when scripture is read in context, it supports the LDS position and NOT yours.”

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    The scripture verse that you quoted orignally, explains…

    1 Kings 18:21 ” Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.”

    This passage is consistent with what I have been saying. Elijah says: “How long will you waver between two opinions?” It is obvious from this verse that those he was speaking to, heard both opinions. “Faith comes from hearing the message” They heard the message. They had to of heard it otherwise they would be unable to waver between two opinions.

    >>>>>>>>>>

    GB said:

    John 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him. (So why not all?)”

    >>>>>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    Men have the freedom to reject Christ as I stated before.

    >>>>>>>>>>

    GB said:

    “31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, IF (<= notice the conditional statement) ye continue in my word, then (>>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    Notice it says: “continue in” That is like the other passage we talked about where it says “remain in”. Believers who were born again apart from their choice or decision are now enabled, because of the gift of faith God placed in them, to continue in him and his word or reject him and his word.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    GB said:

    32 And (”and” in Aramaic is equivalent to the English “then” conditional statement) ye shall know the truth, and (”and” in Aramaic is equivalent to the English “then” conditional statement) the truth shall make you free.”

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    When we “continue” is his word, yes, the truth shall make us free.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    GB said:

    33 ¶ They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
    34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin (>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    We are all servants of sin prior to conversion.

    >>>>>>>>>>>

    GB said:

    35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
    36 If the Son therefore shall make you free (through repentance which is included in “continue in my word”) , ye shall be free indeed.”

    >>>>>>>>>

    God works repentance(sorrow for sin) into us. He frees us from being slaves of sin.

    >>>>>>>>>>>

    GB said:

    “However, God wants to make you a son and the Father doesn’t want to rob his son of the certainty he has as a son. A son belongs to the family forever:”

    Under the condition of “IF ye continue in my word” which includes repentance.

    >>>>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    We can’t choose or decide to be saved. With the gift of faith, we can continue in his word.

    >>>>>>>>>>>

    GB said:

    Twisting the words of Jesus I see. Jesus is talking about HIMSELF in that scripture. He didn’t say “a Son” He said “THE Son” meaning Himself. You are trying to apply something that He clearly meant for Himself to others.

    ECHO:

    The NIV says: “a son” the KJV says “the son”. The lexicon makes the meaning more clear: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5207&t=KJV

    In the above lexicon it says: “A son”, children of Isreal, sons of Abraham”
    This intended meaning is even expressed in the context of the scriptures we are discussing so there is no mistaking what was intended:

    John 8:39 “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41You are doing the things your own father does.”
    “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

    >>>>>>>>>>

    GB said:

    John 5:24 “”I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me HAS eternal life and will not be condemned; he HAS crossed over from death to life.”

    Again, according to the conditional “IF ye continue in my word” which includes repentance.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The verse says: “HAS (>>>>>>>

    GB:

    Can you really believe in Jesus without believing His clear and plain words?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    Here are his “clear and plain words”:
    John 5:24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me HAS eternal life and will not be condemned; he HAS crossed over from death to life.”

    Gb, “Can you really believe in Jesus?”

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    GB:

    Like (Mark 2:17) . . . I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    >>>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    Who is doing the work here? Jesus is! What does he say: “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I HAVE not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    GB said:

    John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
    • • •
    14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    And later in context, this is what it means to keep the Father’s commandments:

    John 15:12 “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you”

    That means forgiving everyone unconditionally just as in Christ we have been forgiven unconditionally.

    God Bless you!
    Echo

  211. 212 Echo
    May 14, 2009 at 4:55 am

    GB said :

    Matt 6:24 ¶ No man (<= notice that unbelievers are EXCLUDED) can serve two masters: for either he (<= notice who is doing the choosing here) will (<= notice whose will is involved) hate the one, and love the other; or else he (<= again notice who is doing the choosing here) will (>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    Who is Jesus talking to?

  212. 213 Echo
    May 14, 2009 at 5:07 am

    Germit,

    Re: post 201

    God works faith through the word. Jesus is the Word.

  213. 214 Echo
    May 14, 2009 at 5:17 am

    Germit: Re post 207

    Just remember us if you ever find yourself looking inward for assurance of your salvation or if your faith is shaken. And remember to take the focus off of yourself and put it instead on the finished work of Jesus in whom you have already been assured that all your sins are forgiven.

    May God Bless you and Keep you!

  214. 215 Echo
    May 14, 2009 at 5:22 am

    SETH SAID:

    First off Echo, I wouldn’t bother doing that until we had established some sort of relationship that makes witnessing even appropriate in the first place.

    >>>>>>>>

    ECHO:

    Thanks for sharing that thought. And in many circumstances that’s a truly great idea. But sometimes certain circumstances prevent a relationship from happening first. The Apostle Paul didn’t always have a relationship with those he shared the gospel with.

  215. May 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Echo: you certainly are persistent and consistent :-)

    As for my post 201, I was hoping for a little more response on that ; you don’t seem to address the “passivity” question: many on that list have NOT YET come to what I think we both would describe as saving faith , yet are quite active. I’m not into arm twisting, so I can only point out your lack of respone…take it from there if you want.

    As to what I’d say to the unbeliever, maybe you don’t get what I’m saying: I don’t have, don’t want, don’t care for any kind of “packaged” approach. They make me gag. Jesus didn’t have a packaged approach, why should I take one up , other than it’s what ev.’s have done now for a few decades. I have , in the past given out THE FOUR SPIRITUAL LAWS, or THE FIVE SPIRITUAL ABSOLUTES. The bible verses on those tracts are STILL true, and GOD does use HIS word powerfully, but the approach, and other kinds of formulas are anti-relationship, and I won’t go there. Unbelievers are PEOPLE, and they know when they are being treated like some kind of religious project. Provided I have the time, and I usually do, my big goal in talking to anyone is to establish some kind of connection where they give a rat’s ass what I have to say or think. If we have no connection, I’m PROBABLY talking to the wind. I don’t want to waste their time or mine, so that’s where I start (time permitting).

    I am also NOT likely to get into heaven/hell, or “if you were to die tonight”……all of which are important, but most people 1)have already heard that from many ev.’s and 2) it does not even hint at the LARGER, and more complete themes of SALVATION Jeusus did not save us from HELL exactly, HE saved us to be COMPLETE HUMAN BEINGS. and to live in HIS KINGDOM.

    To me, there is a BIG difference in the two approaches.

    Hope you find this helpful
    Revisit post 201 if you get the time, I’d still like a response to that

    GERmIT

  216. May 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Echo: a few more “add ons”

    yes, the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE…. so LOVE of the highest quality is born thru knowing Jesus…but you are taking something true, and going someplace strange with it: does that mean that unbelievers are incapable of ANY kind of love ?? Does self-interest fuel ALL their attempts at love ?? and while on that theme, does’nt self-interest describe much of what WE do even still as believers ?? so how different are we from “them” anyway ??

    your theology seems to pull you into extremes of characterization …both of us as believers and ‘the other guys’. I know you get this from your theology, because the WORD is true, but maybe YOUR theology is off; hope this doesn’t seem like a smack down or anything.

  217. 218 Echo
    May 14, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Germit: I responded to your post 201 in 213.

  218. 219 Echo
    May 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Germit, re post 217

    Unbelievers can love but are incapable of loving others with the kind of love God has for us. Unbelievers love others with self interest in mind.

    As believers, we still carry with us the old Adam within who battles against the Spirit within and so alot of times, we aren’t any different. But we can love others the way God loves us.

  219. May 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Echo: OK…yin and yang, I suppose…..where you see differences, I see commonalities; I would hold that the commonalities actually make for better evangelism, but we’ve about played this out; I appreciate your attention and interaction in this.

    may GOD embrace us , again, today
    GERMIT

  220. 221 Echo
    May 14, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    May God Bless you and Keep you Germit

  221. 222 GB
    May 14, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    E: This passage is consistent with what I have been saying. Elijah says: “How long will you waver between two opinions?” It is obvious from this verse that those he was speaking to, heard both opinions. “Faith comes from hearing the message” They heard the message. They had to of heard it otherwise they would be unable to waver between two opinions.

    GB: So are you admitting that they were unbelievers? So Elijah WAS talking to unbelievers and asking them when they were going to choose. Thanks for conceding!!!

    E: Men have the freedom to reject Christ as I stated before.

    GB: So, are you saying that they are free to reject Christ but NOT FREE to accept Him? It isn’t freedom if there is only one choice available, it is coercion. It isn’t a choice, if only one option is available.

    For example, you are free to reject an ice cream cone when it is presented to you, but you are not free to accept it? It has to be shoved down your throat WITHOUT your consent and you are supposed to love it? Do you realize how ridicules that sounds?

  222. 223 GB
    May 14, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    John 8:39 “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did.

    What did Abraham do?

    Rom 4:3, Gal 3:6, James 2:23 “Abraham believed God”!!! Who did the believing? Abraham did!!!!

    International Standard Version (©2008)
    So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!”

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

    GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    So if the Son sets you free, you will be absolutely free.

    King James Bible
    If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

    American King James Version
    If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

    American Standard Version
    If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

    Bible in Basic English
    If then the son makes you free, you will be truly free.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    If therefore the son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

    Darby Bible Translation
    If therefore the Son shall set you free, ye shall be really free.

    English Revised Version
    If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

    Weymouth New Testament
    If then the Son shall make you free, you will be free indeed.

    World English Bible
    If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

    Young’s Literal Translation
    if then the son may make you free, in reality ye shall be free.

  223. 224 Echo
    May 14, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    GB said:

    So are you admitting that they were unbelievers? So Elijah WAS talking to unbelievers and asking them when they were going to choose. Thanks for conceding!!!

    >>>>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    The verse says: “How long will you waver between two opinions” This means that if they were able to waver between two opinions, they knew what both those opinions were. Because they knew both opinions, the right one and the wrong one, they were capable of, through faith in the right opinion, to make a choice. Faith is a gift given through hearing the right opinion to begin with.

    >>>>>>>>>>>

    GB said:

    So, are you saying that they are free to reject Christ but NOT FREE to accept Him? It isn’t freedom if there is only one choice available, it is coercion. It isn’t a choice, if only one option is available.

    For example, you are free to reject an ice cream cone when it is presented to you, but you are not free to accept it? It has to be shoved down your throat WITHOUT your consent and you are supposed to love it? Do you realize how ridicules that sounds?

    >>>>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    The thing that “sounds Ridiculous” as you coined it, is that a person would Resist with all their power and might the cone that is freely offered them unless they can demand taking the credit for recieving the cone by boasting of the great work their arm did in reaching out to grab the icecream cone.
    Makes more sense to just thank the generous person who offered the cone to me rather than thinking my arm is such an amazing body part.

  224. 225 Echo
    May 14, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    GB: Re post 223

    Both “a son belongs to it forever” and “the son belongs to it forever” are accurate translations. But because you are inaccurately understanding it, clarification comes not only from the lexicon but from the context of the passages themselves.

    They both mean: “a son, son of Abraham, son of Isreal” The context of the passage proves that point very clearly.

    We all become sons of God through Jesus Christ.

    God Bless you and keep you

  225. 226 GB
    May 14, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    “The thing that “sounds Ridiculous” as you coined it, is that a person would Resist with all their power and might the cone that is freely offered . . . ”

    I agree, I love ice cream. I would simply choose NOT to resist and choose to accept the cone and enjoy it.

    “. . . them unless they can demand taking the credit for recieving the cone by boasting of the great work their arm did in reaching out to grab the icecream cone.”

    Who cares about getting the credit? I will enjoy the cone I chose to accept.

    “Makes more sense to just thank the generous person who offered the cone to me . . .”

    I agree, I am would be very VERY grateful that he offered the cone to me.

    ” . . . rather than thinking my arm is such an amazing body part.”

    . . .

    . . .

    Oh, what was that?

    I was too busy think about how wonderful the cone is. Who cares about my arm, I have a cone. :-)

    It is not “a” son that sets us free, it is THE Son!!

  226. May 14, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Echo: HE does, and HE is….thanks.

    GERMIT

  227. 228 Echo
    May 14, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    GB said: “I agree, I love ice cream. I would simply choose NOT to resist and choose to accept the cone and enjoy it.

    That’s wonderful. Except it doesn’t fit your theology, your God says: ” you can’t have the icecream cone until you obey all of my commandments”. Therefore when the time comes to get the icecream cone, you won’t be thanking the giver because you worked to obey all the commandments and that means you deserved(earned) that cone.

    Notice in your explanation that the abiity to choose to accept is based on faith that the cone was especially for you in the first place. The person giving it to you enabled you to choose to accept it. The fact remains, the cone was a cone before you accepted it. It did not become a cone because you accepted it. Your trusting in your own arm.

    Your religion teaches you that it is all about YOU and what YOU must do. The Bible is all about JESUS and what JESUS DID FOR YOU.

    >>>>>>>>

    GB said: “It is not “a” son that sets us free,It is THE SON!!

    >>>>>>>>>

    Echo: Yes, that’s right. THE SON sets us free to be “A” son. Read the context.

  228. 229 Echo
    May 14, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    who is more generous?

    The one who gives you the cone or the one who expects you to obey all his commandments in order to get the cone?

  229. 230 GB
    May 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Why do you hate to obey the commandments?

    Do you think the commandments are given to us to make us unhappy?

    How do you show that you love God?

    How do you show that you know God?

  230. 231 Echo
    May 15, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    GB Said: “Why do you hate to obey the commandments?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    These are really good questions GB. I sincerely appreciate them. Just for clarification for you, we don’t hate to obey the commandments. We love to obey the commandments. Allow me to explain…

    Anyone who has been given a free icecream cone is truly thankful to the giver because of his self-LESS act of kindness and generosity. This is what someone who wanted to be your freind would do. I would like to be this persons freind because he is kind and generous. I would love to do things for this freind to show thanks and love in return. I want to touch the heart of this freind in the same way that this freind touched my heart by giving me the cone selflessly.

    If someone only offers me an icecream cone if I obey his every desire first, I don’t see him as being kind and generous nor “self-less” at all. I see him as self serving. He is only offering me the cone if he gets something from me first. Everything I did for this person wouldn’t be done of my own free choice or out of love for him because I HAVE TO DO IT whether I want to or not in order to get the cone. Therefore everything I did for this person would be done to get the cone because the freindship just wouldn’t be there. I would be a slave to his demands rather than being free to love him as I was free to love the one who simply gave me the cone first.

    >>>>>>>>>

    GB SAID: “Do you think the commandments are given to make us unhappy? How do you show that you love God? How do you show that you know God”

    >>>>>>>

    Echo:

    I think Jesus is amazing! He took my sin on him and took the punishment I deserved and in exchange for that he gave me his righteousness(sinlessness) as a gift. (just like the first freind gave the freind a cone out of his generosity) Every moment of every day I stand before God as “PERFECT” and “SINLESS” because of the gift of righteousness Jesus gave me. I AM FREE! I know that I HAVE eternal life in the celestial kingdom and all because of Jesus.

    Because of his overwhelming kindness and generosity, I can’t help but want to obey the commandments of God. That’s the power of love! It is given freely and returned freely.

    I hope that answered your questions?

    Hebrews 10:14 “because by one sacrifice he HAS MADE PERFECT FOREVER those who are being made holy.”

    Romans 5:17 “how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”

    May God Bless you and Keep you my freind!

  231. 232 GB
    May 15, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    “We love to obey the commandments.”

    So why impugn the motives of others who are also obeying the commandments?

    Especially when JESUS said “Matt 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    And (Matt 19:17) “. . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”

    And (Matt 28:20) “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

    And (John 14:15,21) “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
    • • •
    “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

    And (John 15:10,14) “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”
    . . .
    14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

    So again, why impugn the motives of others who are also obeying the commandments?

  232. 233 Echo
    May 15, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    GB:

    We don’t impugn the motives of anyone’s heart because we cannot see into hearts.
    But God CAN see into hearts and does know the motives of everyone’s heart.

    God has outlined in his word that the motives of those in the scenario where obedience is a requirement to get the icecream cone are the wrong motives. We simply pass along his message.

    This isn’t something that anyone can come to understand and agree with until they let God speak to them through his word and believe what he says even if it doesn’t presently make any sense to them or goes against their feelings. If they do this, believe his word above all things, God will make it clear to them and clear up any bad feelings they have about it more and more as they learn more and more.

    God points out people’s wrong motives because he loves people and want to keep them from harm. He doesn’t tell them their motives are wrong to harm or hurt them nor to condemn them. God tells people these things to save them from the harm it is doing to them.

    I hope that answers your question. If not, let me know how I can clarify that for you.

  233. 234 GB
    May 15, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    “God has outlined in his word that the motives of those in the scenario where obedience is a requirement to get the icecream cone are the wrong motives.”

    Really? Please feel free to quote Jesus then.

    “This isn’t something that anyone can come to understand and agree with until they let God speak to them through his word and believe what he says even if it doesn’t presently make any sense to them or goes against their feelings.”

    Really? Please feel free to quote Jesus then.

    “God points out people’s wrong motives because he loves people and want to keep them from harm.”

    Please feel free to quote Jesus.

    “God tells people these things to save them from the harm it is doing to them.”

    Please feel free to quote Jesus.

    “If not, let me know how I can clarify that for you.”

    Please provide quotes from Jesus.

  234. 235 Echo
    May 16, 2009 at 4:12 am

    Here is one verse to start:

    Jesus says this in John 18:9-14 “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
    “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
    “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    Here is a well documented case of someone obeying the commandments. Jesus faults their motives.

  235. 236 Echo
    May 16, 2009 at 4:41 am

    All of the Bible is God’s word from Genesis to Revelation, not just Jesus’ words:

    1 Thes 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”

    2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    Mathew 10:20 “for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

    2 Thes 2:14-15 “…So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings WE PASSED ON TO YOU, whether BY WORD OF MOUTH OR BY LETTER.”

    John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the SPIRIT OF TRUTH who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

    John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

    Jesus rebuked some for not believing his word. He told them they belonged to their father the devil. Don’t let yourself fall into this trap by thinking only Jesus’ words are God’s word.

  236. 237 Echo
    May 16, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Galatians 4:21-31 “Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise.
    These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written:
    “Be glad, O barren woman,
    who bears no children;
    break forth and cry aloud,
    you who have no labor pains;
    because more are the children of the desolate woman
    than of her who has a husband.”

    Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.”

    The covenant of Hagar represents the icecream cone that is yours once you fullfill all the demands of the person offering you the cone.

    Jerusalem represents the icecream cone that is given to you without demands.

  237. 238 Echo
    May 16, 2009 at 4:47 am

    Romans 4:4-8 “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
    “Blessed are they
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
    Blessed is the man
    whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

    The man who works and recieves wages represents the icecream cone given once you meet the demands of the giver. The Giver becomes obligated to give the cone because the person he offered the cone to met all his demands.

    The wicked person who is credited with righteousness represents the cone that is freely given without demands.

  238. 239 Echo
    May 16, 2009 at 4:52 am

    What you have in all these instances is the two icecream cone scenarios.

    The one who recieves the cone without demands has the motive of Love and thankfulness to God.

    The one who recieves the cone once they meet the demands, aren’t motivated out of Love and thankfulness to God.

  239. 240 GB
    May 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    E:Jesus says this in John 18:9-14 “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else,. . .

    GB: Don’t you mean Luke 18:9-14? Also notice “and looked down on everybody else”, clearly shows that the pharisee in question was NOT keeping the commandments. So CLEARLY these verses DON’T support your supposition.

    E: Here is a well documented case of someone obeying the commandments.”

    GB: WRONG!! “and looked down on everybody else” is a clear violation of loving your neighbor as yourself.

  240. 241 GB
    May 18, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    E: All of the Bible is God’s word from Genesis to Revelation, not just Jesus’ words:

    From Deu 18:15 ¶ The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
    . . .
    18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
    19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

    Moses prophesied that a preeminent prophet would be raised up, whose teachings would be preeminent among ALL the teachings of ALL the prophets.

    Who was he talking about?

    Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
    23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
    24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
    . . .
    26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

    So was Moses talking about Jesus? Yes he was. The teachings of Jesus supersede ALL others.

    Paul verified the preeminence of Jesus and His teachings with this statement. Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    The words of Jesus are PREEMINENT. When there is an apparent conflict between the words of Jesus and Paul (or anyone else), Jesus wins.

  241. May 18, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    It really is ridiculous the lengths Evangelicals will go to equate “works of righteousness” with the warped and twisted version of the Law of Moses that the Pharisees practiced.

    Christ, when he condemned the Pharisees works, didn’t say “you guys are so wrong for trying to do good!”

    Not at all.

    What he said was that the works they were doing were perversions of the original Law of Moses. For example, the Pharisees would be scrupulous about hand-washing at dinners where they discussed how to evict widows from homes for money. They obsessed about technicalities in the law while ignoring the central point for why the law was given.

    So Jesus’ central message was NEVER that good works were bad. His message was that obsessing over technicalities at the expense of real works was gross hypocrisy.

    Jesus Christ, for what it’s worth, scrupulously observed the Law of Moses himself. It was just the corrupt and twisted variation on the Law that he dismissed.

  242. 243 GB
    May 18, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Seth,

    Well said!

    Matt 15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, . . .
    3 But he (Jesus) answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
    . . .
    7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
    8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
    9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

  243. 244 ADB
    May 18, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Seth,

    “Christ, when he condemned the Pharisees works, didn’t say “you guys are so wrong for trying to do good!”

    No he didn’t. What he did say, though, was “you guys are so wrong for trying to do good if you think that will get you into heaven” (cf. John 5:45, where Jesus points out that their accuser was Moses; in other words, trying to “get right with God” by keeping the law perfectly will only accuse you of being guilty of not keeping ALL of it). It’s been said over and over by the Christians commenting on this blog that we are in no way against good works (but you know that already). The problem with the Pharisees is that they thought their good works and their own righteousness were good enough to sneak into heaven without Jesus. THAT’S why Jesus repeatedly condemned them: not for their works, but for the motive behind their works.

    “It really is ridiculous the lengths Evangelicals will go to equate “works of righteousness” with the warped and twisted version of the Law of Moses that the Pharisees practiced.”

    The Law of Moses was perfect and holy as God gave it, but it was the Pharisees (and their equivalents today) who were guilty of warping and twisting it into something by which someone could somehow earn God’s favor.

  244. May 18, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    This is just my take: I find equating Paul’s reference to “works” with ANY KIND OF HUMAN ACTIVITY CONNECTED TO CONVERSION to be just as much a distortion as anything the Pharisees came up with. Jesus did NOT categorically tell people to do NOTHING and wait for GOD to do everything. That was the gist of my back and forth these past two weeks.

  245. May 18, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    ADB, your misread of John 5:45 is a perfect example of my point:

    “45 But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.”

    Which basically means that the Pharisees were violating the essence of the Law of Moses, and Moses would stand in accusation of them.

    Big whoop.

    Nothing in there at all about your strained reading. Just another example of an Evangelical trying to reverse-engineer his own misguided worldview onto the words of Jesus.

  246. 247 GB
    May 18, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    ADB:“you guys are so wrong for trying to do good if you think that will get you into heaven”

    GB: What? No scriptural reference?

    John 5:45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
    46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
    47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

    So what did Moses say?

    Deut 11:26 ¶ Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
    27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day:
    28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

    And what did Jesus say?

    Matt 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
    20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

  247. 248 ADB
    May 18, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Seth,

    “Which basically means that the Pharisees were violating the essence of the Law of Moses, and Moses would stand in accusation of them.”

    Could you just clarify what you mean by this? What do you mean by “violating the essence of the Law of Moses”?

    “Nothing in there at all about your strained reading. Just another example of an Evangelical trying to reverse-engineer his own misguided worldview onto the words of Jesus.”

    It seems odd to me that the LDS, who, when and if they ever read the Bible, only read the Bible through the lens of the Book of Mormon, would accuse Christians, who study nothing but the Bible, of having a “misguided worldview.” Such an accusation might carry a little weight if the one making it could honestly admit that he could approach the Bible in an unbiased manner, without any influence of books fabricated by a false prophet. Unfortunately he cannot, and neither can any other LDS.

    See, I can put down too, but I’d prefer not to. I appreciate your insights and comments, but not nearly as much when they’re accompanied by the belittling undertones. Can we agree to just leave the spiteful and unloving undertones to GB?

  248. 249 Echo
    May 18, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    POST 1 Of 3

    GB said : “Don’t you mean Luke 18:9-14? Also notice “and looked down on everybody else”, clearly shows that the pharisee in question was NOT keeping the commandments. So CLEARLY these verses DON’T support your supposition.”
    “WRONG!! “and looked down on everybody else” is a clear violation of loving your neighbor as yourself.”

    >>>>>>>>>

    Echo: You missed my point. The Pharisee was confident of his own righteousness. That means he thought he was being obedient to all of the commandments of God. He was blind to the fact that he looked down on others. Likewise, to think that you can enter the celestial kingdom by obeying ALL of the commandments likewise points out your blindness. I pointed out one of your sins to you and you resisted that. If you want to obey ALL the commandments, you should welcome anyone pointing out ALL your sins so that you can overcome them. Surely you know that God holds you guilty even for the sins your not aware of? All the more reason to have them pointed out:
    Lev 5:17 “”If a person sins and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands, EVEN THOUGH HE DOES NOT KNOW IT, HE IS GUILTY and will be held responsible.”

  249. 250 Echo
    May 18, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    POST 2 OF 3

    GB said:

    “Echo: All of the Bible is God’s word from Genesis to Revelation, not just Jesus’ words:
    From Deu 18:15 ¶ The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
    . . .
    18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
    19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
    Moses prophesied that a preeminent prophet would be raised up, whose teachings would be preeminent among ALL the teachings of ALL the prophets.
    Who was he talking about?
    Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
    23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
    24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
    . . .
    26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
    So was Moses talking about Jesus? Yes he was. The teachings of Jesus supersede ALL others.
    Paul verified the preeminence of Jesus and His teachings with this statement. Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
    The words of Jesus are PREEMINENT. When there is an apparent conflict between the words of Jesus and Paul (or anyone else), Jesus wins.”

    >>>>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    Woe to you, you hypocrite! You blind guide! You require that I use only Jesus’ words to support my doctrine yet you use anything but Jesus’ words to support yours! How much LDS doctrine can be found only from only Jesus’ words!

    Jesus appointed Ananias to say the following to Paul:

    Acts 22:14-15 “Then he said: ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.”

    The Apostle Paul KNOWS GOD’S WILL and HEARS WORDS FROM HIS MOUTH. He passes along that information to us.

    Here are Jesus’ words to the Apostle Paul:

    Acts 26:15-18 “” ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ “

    Paul is appointed to turn people from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Not listening to Paul is not listening to Jesus. It is willfully remaining in darkness. Not listening to Paul is willfully resisting the power of God and willfully remaining in the power of Satan.

    If you’re not willing to listen to Paul, there is no point in continuing the discussion.

  250. 251 Echo
    May 18, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    POST 3 OF 3

    Scenario A) A man gives you an ice-cream cone for free.

    Scenario B) A man offers to give you and ice-cream cone ONLY IF you meet ALL THE CONDITIONS he has given you. (Fact: You and I cannot meet ALL the conditions)

    1) Which man is more generous and loving?
    2) Which man is not generous and loving?
    3) Which man is serving you?
    4) Which man is serving himself?
    5) Which Man makes you feel “free”?
    6) Which Man makes you feel like a slave?
    7) What has the man in A) done for you?
    8) What has the man in B) done for you?
    9) In which scenario are you more likely to be thankful?
    10) In which scenario are you more likely NOT to be thankful?
    11) Which man expected you to love him first?
    12) Which man loved you first?
    13) Which man is acting as your friend?
    14) Which man is NOT acting as your friend?

    1 John 4:19 “We love because he FIRST loved us.”

  251. 252 Echo
    May 18, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    GB: The belittling undertones you use in your posts mark you as being just like the Pharisee who looks down on others. You are blind to that just like the pharisee was.
    You claim that a person gains the celestial kingdom after meeting the conditions, yet you yourself fail to obey those conditions.

  252. 253 Echo
    May 18, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Germit said: “This is just my take: I find equating Paul’s reference to “works” with ANY KIND OF HUMAN ACTIVITY CONNECTED TO CONVERSION to be just as much a distortion as anything the Pharisees came up with. Jesus did NOT categorically tell people to do NOTHING and wait for GOD to do everything. That was the gist of my back and forth these past two weeks.”

    But it is God who does everything in order that people can do something. Without him, they can do nothing.

    Can you believe that all your sins are forgiven if God doesn’t tell you that all your sins are forgiven?
    When God tells you that all your sins are forgiven, the message produces the ability for you to believe it because the Holy Spirit is working through the word. God gets all the credit for that.

  253. May 18, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    ADB, I’m not the one claiming to come at the Bible from an unbiased Bible-only manner.

    That would be you. My position is not unbiased. But it does allow me to recognize eisegesis when I see it. Evangelicals are always carrying on about how THEY are the ones who merely engage in exegesis and it’s everyone else who is doing the eisegesis.

    Well, this is a good example. You are looking at Jesus’ words after the fact and attempting to reverse-engineer a diatribe about “grace-only” where there isn’t one. It’s your inability to see that there might just be another reading than your own in the Bible that provoked my comments.

    Well, that and the fact that this inane and pointless back-and-forth on this blog is all showing up in my email inbox every – single – day and I’m getting more than a little tired of it.

    It would be nice if we could actually have a discussion between Mormons and Evangelicals that actually exists, as opposed to this entirely manufactured grace vs. works debate. Evangelicals who debate online show every indication of being just as obsessed with righteous works as Mormons are – they just like to pretend that they aren’t – usually by disguising their own works as merely “fruits of my ‘saved’ status.” Likewise, Mormons actually do believe in grace, when you nail them down on the doctrine. It really is a big chicken-or-the-egg debate and I’m rapidly losing interest in it.

    And I’m more than a little tired of Evangelicals triumphantly trotting out a selection of verses from the Bible as if they’d just scored a slam-dunk when in reality, the verses are open to several different meanings.

    And no, I’m not interested in challenging you to a Bible duel. GB has been doing that more than adequately for the past month. If debating with him for that long hasn’t allowed you to figure out there’s more than one read here, nothing I write is going to get through to you either.

    Carry on. I guess…

  254. 255 GB
    May 18, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Echo: Likewise, to think that you can enter the celestial kingdom by obeying ALL of the commandments likewise points out your blindness.

    Jesus: “if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matt 19:17)

    Echo: “The Apostle Paul KNOWS GOD’S WILL and HEARS WORDS FROM HIS MOUTH. He passes along that information to us.”

    Apostle Peter: “As also in all (Paul’s) epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (KJV 2 Pet 3:16)

    Apostle John: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. (1 John 2:3-5)

    Apostle Paul: Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but obeying God’s commandments is everything. (ISV 1 Cor 7:19)

  255. 256 Echo
    May 19, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Seth said:

    Evangelicals who debate online show every indication of being just as obsessed with righteous works as Mormons are – they just like to pretend that they aren’t – usually by disguising their own works as merely “fruits of my ’saved’ status.” Likewise, Mormons actually do believe in grace, when you nail them down on the doctrine. It really is a big chicken-or-the-egg debate and I’m rapidly losing interest in it.”

    >>>>>>>>>>>>

    Echo:

    I am going to “nail you down” on grace then. Where is grace in your beliefs? You must repent to be forgiven. LDS repentance includes overcoming your sin first. Where does grace come in?

    How would you answer all the questions in my post #252?

  256. 257 Echo
    May 19, 2009 at 1:32 am

    GB, There is a big difference between our view of obeying the commandments BECAUSE God already gave us the gift of eternal life in the celestial kingdom and your view of obeying the commandments in order to GAIN eternal life in the celestial kingdom. I showed you the difference in the two ice-cream cone scenario’s which you didn’t respond to at all.

  257. May 19, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Seth: I think the chicken and egg picture is actually pretty good, although this might be a case of “chicken covered with egg” as in “it’s problematic which came first”. Again, I’m not so sure that the NT consistently parses out the timeline suggested by ECHO and friends: FAITH and WORKS seem to be thoroughly mixed and where you find one, you get the other. The heroes of faith (Hebrews 10 I think) are lauded for their FAITH, and that seems to be a laundery list of things they DID while trusting in a source of strength not their own….

    ECHO: you are asking SETH, a DEAD MAN, to REPENT ??? How exactly does that work ??

    GERMIT

  258. May 19, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Echo: what think ye of this ??? It’s from todays Internet Monk (Michael Spencer)

    Bishop J.C. Ryle did an exceptional job teaching how justification and sanctification are related. I wish Bishop Ryle would have used the concept of discipleship in his description, but it won’t be hard to make the application to those parts of the Gospels where Jesus teaches us how to live in the Kingdom we’ve been given as a free gift and how to live out the call to discipleship that is the Christian’s journey to Christlikeness.

    Here is Ryle on the difference in justification and sanctification, followed by some other comments by Ryle on the subject.

    (a) Justification is the reckoning and counting a man to be righteous for the sake of another, even Jesus Christ the Lord. Sanctification is the actual making a man inwardly righteous, though it may be in a very feeble degree.

    (b) The righteousness we have by our justification is not our own, but the everlasting perfect righteousness of our great Mediator Christ, imputed to us, and made our own by faith. The righteousness we have by sanctification is our own righteousness, imparted, inherent, and wrought in us by the Holy Spirit, but mingled with much infirmity and imperfection.

    (c) In justification our own works have no place at all, and simple faith in Christ is the one thing needful.

    (d) In sanctification our own works are of vast importance and God bids us fight, and watch, and pray, and strive, and take pains, and labour Justification is a finished and complete work, and a man is perfectly justified the moment he believes. Sanctification is an imperfect work, comparatively, and will never be perfected until we reach heaven.

    (e) Justification admits of no growth or increase: a man is as much justified the hour he first comes to Christ by faith as he will be to all eternity. Sanctification is eminently a progressive work, and admits of continual growth and enlargement so long as a man lives.

    (f) Justification has special reference to our persons, our standing in God’s sight, and our deliverance from guilt. Sanctification has special reference to our natures, and the moral renewal of our hearts.

    (g) Justification gives us our title to heaven, and boldness to enter in. Sanctification gives us our meetness for heaven, and prepares us to enjoy it when we dwell there.

    (h) Justification is the act of God about us, and is not easily discerned by others. Sanctification is the work of God within us, and cannot be hid in its outward manifestation from the eyes of men.

    I’ve just skimmed it, but it sounds good to me…. Comments ??

  259. 260 GB
    May 19, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Echo: There is a big difference between our view of obeying the commandments BECAUSE God already gave us the gift of eternal life in the celestial kingdom and your view of obeying the commandments in order to GAIN eternal life in the celestial kingdom.

    GB: I don’t know that it is a “BIG” difference, but what did Jesus say?

    Jesus: “if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matt 19:17)

    And Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
    28 And he (Jesus) said unto him, Thou hast answered right: THIS DO, AND THOU SHALT LIVE.

    AND, John 4:36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

    John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and THEY FOLLOW ME:
    28 And I GIVE UNTO THEM ETERNAL LIFE; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

    Apostle Paul said, Rom. 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

    Apostle Paul said, 1 Tim 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
    19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

    Jesus said, Matt 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    Apostle Paul said ISV Rom 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and have become God’s slaves, the benefit you reap is sanctification, and the result is eternal life.

    All these clearly indicate that obedience to God is a PREREQUISITE to eternal life.

  260. May 19, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Excuse the long cut and paste, but this from J C Ryle also, seems very relevant also; let me know ECHO, where you are at with this:

    (3) For another thing, if we would be sanctified, our course is clear and plain— we must begin with Christ. We must go to Him as sinners, with no plea but that of utter need, and cast our souls on Him by faith, for peace and reconciliation with God. We must place ourselves in His hands, as in the hands of a good physician, and cry to Him for mercy and grace. We must wait for nothing to bring with us as a recommendation. The very first step towards sanctification, no less than justification, is to come with faith to Christ. We must first live and then work.

    (4) For another thing, if we would grow in holiness and become more sanctified, we must continually go on as we began,, and be ever making fresh applications to Christ. He is the Head from which every member must be supplied. (Ephes. iv. 16.) To live the life of daily faith in the Son of God, and to be daily drawing out of His fulness the promised grace and strength which He has laid up for His people—this is the grand secret of progressive sanctification. Believers who seem at a standstill are generally neglecting close communion with Jesus, and so grieving the Spirit. He that prayed,”Sanctify them,” the last night before His crucifixion, is infinitely willing to help everyone who by faith applies to Him for help, and desires to be made more holy.

  261. 262 GB
    May 19, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Germit,

    Very good points. That is why repentance, obedience and works of righteousness are so important. They are invaluable to the sanctification process. It isn’t so much about doing as it is about being. However, we “be”come by the doing.

    What many fail to understand is that the state of being justified is NOT a permanent state. It can easily be lost by not turning away from sin (repentance) and doing the obedience thing.

    Ex. 23:7 . . . I will not justify the wicked.

    2 Pet 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

    Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

  262. 263 Echo
    May 19, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Germit said: “you are asking SETH, a DEAD MAN, to REPENT ??? How exactly does that work ??”

    I am talking about LDS beliefs on repentance.

  263. 264 Echo
    May 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Germit: Re your post 259

    Yes. Justification is Christ’s righteousness imputed to us in an instant and is recieved by faith alone. Because of Justification, we stand before God as perfect.
    Sanctification is our righteousness and it is a process. It is motivated by justification.

    When I have been speaking with you about doing nothing, I am speaking about justification alone. Sanctification follows justification.

  264. 265 Echo
    May 19, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    GB: Re post 260

    All these things are not a Prerequisite to eternal life. To say so is to deny all that Christ did for you.
    If all these things are a prerequisite to eternal life, you are your own Savior rather than Jesus being your Savior. I am not trying to put you down but this is a fact. One that you need to be aware of.

    Good works are evidence of our thanks for the gift of eternal life already given to us, but they don’t save us. Jesus saved us.
    Anyone who isn’t thankful rejects that gift.
    Faith without works is dead as James says, but works don’t saved us. Jesus saved us.

  265. 266 Echo
    May 19, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Germit I havn’t forgotten your last post but I’ve run out of time and I gotta run…Will be back later to respond.

  266. 267 GB
    May 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    E: You must repent to be forgiven.

    GB: True.

    E: LDS repentance includes overcoming your sin first.

    GB: From Websters 1828 Dictionary, Repentance: Real penitence; sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God, a violation of his holy law, and the basest ingratitude towards a Being of infinite benevolence. This is called evangelical repentance, and is accompanied and followed by amendment of life.

    Repentance is a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to God.

    Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation. 2Cor. 7. Matt. 3.

    Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction that it has offended God.

    Repentance means to turn away from sin, and towards God.

    E: Where does grace come in?

    GB: Repentance is a grace (gift) from God.
    Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

    Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

    Repentance is a grace (gift) from God.
    Forgiveness is a grace (gift) from God.
    Eternal life is a grace (gift) from God.

  267. 268 GB
    May 19, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    E: “Justification is Christ’s righteousness imputed to us in an instant and is recieved by faith alone.”

    GB: Chapter and verse please. The ONLY verse in the ENTIRE Bible that has both the word “faith” and “alone” is?

    James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

    E: All these things are not a Prerequisite to eternal life.

    GB: So, you just ignore what Jesus actually said about it. Good luck with that.

    E: To say so is to deny all that Christ did for you.

    GB: So, you just ignore what Jesus actually said about it. Good luck with that.

    E: If all these things are a prerequisite to eternal life, you are your own Savior rather than Jesus being your Savior.

    GB: Faulty logic mingled with a “STRAWMAN”? A prerequisite is necessary but not necessarily sufficient.

    E: I am not trying to put you down but this is a fact.

    GB: Then why don’t you pay attention to what I ACTUALLY said?

    E: One that you need to be aware of.

    GB: Please feel free to quote chapter and verse.

    E: Good works are evidence of our thanks for the gift of eternal life already given to us, . . .

    GB: Except you haven’t ACTUALLY received it yet.

    E: . . . but they don’t save us.

    GB: They are necessary but not sufficient.

    E: Jesus saved us.

    GB: On this we agree.

    E: Anyone who isn’t thankful rejects that gift.

    GB: True, because ingratitude is a sin.

    E: Faith without works is dead as James says, but works don’t saved us. Jesus saved us.

    GB: They are necessary but not sufficient.

  268. 269 GB
    May 19, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    1) Which man is more generous and loving?

    It depends on what the “conditions” are.

    2) Which man is not generous and loving?

    It depends on what the “conditions” are.

    3) Which man is serving you?

    It depends on what the “conditions” are.

    4) Which man is serving himself?

    It depends on what the “conditions” are.

    5) Which Man makes you feel “free”?

    It depends on what the “conditions” are.

    6) Which Man makes you feel like a slave?

    It depends on what the “conditions” are.

    7) What has the man in A) done for you?

    Given me a cone.

    8) What has the man in B) done for you?

    Given me a cone and possible much much more, it depends on what the “conditions” are.

    9) In which scenario are you more likely to be thankful?

    It depends on what the “conditions” are.

    10) In which scenario are you more likely NOT to be thankful?

    It depends on what the “conditions” are.

    11) Which man expected you to love him first?

    No way to be certain.

    12) Which man loved you first?

    It depends on what the “conditions” are.

    13) Which man is acting as your friend?

    No way to be certain, it depends on what the “conditions” are.

    14) Which man is NOT acting as your friend?

    It depends on what the “conditions” are.

    You seem to be saying that obeying God’s commandments is a burden and not the blessing that it is. Why are you so against obeying God’s commandments? Do you not love God? Do you not know God?

  269. 270 Echo
    May 20, 2009 at 1:45 am

    Germit: Re post 261

    I disagree with that post.

    Justification is God’s doing alone. Justification begins and ends with Christ. There are no: “We must’s” in justification.

  270. 271 Echo
    May 20, 2009 at 2:14 am

    GB Said:

    ” Chapter and verse please. The ONLY verse in the ENTIRE Bible that has both the word “faith” and “alone” is?”

    Echo:

    The Bible doesn’t say “faith alone” but it is full of verses where “faith” is alone.

    One perfect example of the entire gospel in one single verse is John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    There are plenty verses like that.

    GB, You have to overcome your sin to be forgiven. That is what the LDS teaches. You have sinned in many posts you have written. Consider that and all the sins you commit that we don’t know about. Add to that all the sins that you are unaware of for which God is still holding you guilty.

    Honestly, with God as your witness, how does that make you feel?

  271. 272 Echo
    May 20, 2009 at 2:27 am

    GB said: “You seem to be saying that obeying God’s commandments is a burden and not the blessing that it is. Why are you so against obeying God’s commandments? Do you not love God? Do you not know God?”

    Echo: I have answered this in direct response to you already. I have also repeatedly said that we desire and love the commandments. This has now become slander on your part. You also use derogatory comments towards people. Assuming you have done unto me as you would have me do unto you, then ask you: Why are you so against obeying God’s commandments? Do you not love God? Do you not know God? How much of the commandments do you actually obey?

    Mathew 12:36 “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”

  272. 273 GB
    May 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    E: The Bible doesn’t say “faith alone” but it is full of verses where “faith” is alone.

    GB: So? There are verses that only mention obedience, or works, or righteousness or keeping the commandments.

    Only the express mention of one thing excludes all the others. So because faith is never mentioned exclusively (ie. with words like “alone” or “only”) all others are NOT excluded. And to exclude them when they are clearly mentioned as requirements is unwise.

    John 3:16 . . .that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    How can you believe IN him if you don’t BELIEVE what he plainly and clearly taught?

    E: You have sinned in many posts you have written. Consider that and all the sins you commit that we don’t know about. Add to that all the sins that you are unaware of for which God is still holding you guilty.

    Mathew 12:36 “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”

    This is a question I have asked many times. Do you think you can answer it for me?

    How can you believe IN Jesus if you don’t BELIEVE what Jesus plainly and clearly taught?

  273. 274 ADB
    May 20, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    GB,

    I’ve appreciated much more your most recent posts, as I think it helps me to understand where you’re coming from when you explain things a little more. We could both go back and forth quoting the Bible, and absolutely should, to some extent, but it’s your explanation of those passages that helps me understand where you’re coming from.

    Your most recent post, 273, reminds me that I think I had asked you previously to explain the difference between “faith” and “belief.” If I recall, you defined faith, but I think I missed how you define “belief” (if you did, I apologize–please just point me to the post if I missed it). Do you see the terms as synonymous? Is having faith the same thing as believing?

  274. 275 GB
    May 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    ADB,

    Faith is a subset of belief, in that faith is a belief in something that is true. Technically speaking a person can believe in something that isn’t true (like the earth is flat), but they can’t have faith in something untrue (like the earth is flat, because it isn’t true).

    However, generally speaking, when “belief” is used in the scriptures, it is synonymous with faith.

  275. 276 ADB
    May 20, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    GB,

    Thanks for the clarification. Would you say that when “belief” is used synonymously with “faith,” in the Scriptures, that the LDS understanding also then includes some concept of work or effort that goes along with the belief?

    Here’s another one for you. “Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him” (John 8:30). When Jesus spoke, people had faith. My question is this: Would you say that those who “put their faith in him” would have been in heaven had any of them died right at that moment? Assume in that hypothetical situation that they didn’t have time to keep Jesus’ command or love others, etc. If the Bible says they had faith, would that have been sufficient?

  276. 277 GB
    May 21, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    ADB: Would you say that when “belief” is used synonymously with “faith,” in the Scriptures, that the LDS understanding also then includes some concept of work or effort that goes along with the belief?

    GB: Faith is a principle of action. If you really have faith, you will ACT like it.

    I find your hypothetical lacking in something. Since God sets the bounds of our lives, (with the possible exception of suicide) we die when God wants us to die. Clearly those people you are talking about had something left to do because Jesus said to them:

    31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
    32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    So my question to you is; Why would you think that God would cause/allow any of those people to die when they (apparently) were about to do something that He wanted them to do?

  277. 278 Echo
    May 22, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    GB said :

    “So? There are verses that only mention obedience, or works, or righteousness or keeping the commandments.”

    Echo:

    There are many verses that mention “faith” without mention of obedience, works or righteousness or keeping the commandments. In fact, many exclude these things and say so:

    Eph 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— NOT BY WORKS, so that no one can boast.”

    Acts 15:9-11 “He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

    Acts 26:17 “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are SANCTIFIED BY FAITH IN ME’ “

    Romans 1:17 “17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith FROM FIRST TO LAST,…”

    Romans 3:21-24 “But now a righteousness from God, APART FROM THE LAW, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus”

    Romans 3:27-28 “Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is JUSTIFIED BY FAITH APART FROM OBSERVING THE LAW.”

    Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

    Romans 5:2 “through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”

    Romans 9:30 “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, WHO DID NOT PURSUE RIGHTEOUSNESS, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;”

    Romans 9:31-32 “but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it NOT BY FAITH BUT AS IF IT WERE BY WORKS. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.”

    Romans 10:6-10 “But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

    1 Corinthians 1:21-23 “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the FOOLISHENESS OF WHAT WAS PREACHED TO SAVE those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,”

    Galatians 2:16 “know that a man is NOT JUSTIFIED BY OBSERVING THE LAW, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.”

    Galatians 3:8 “The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith,”

    Galatians 3:22 “But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.”

    Galatians 3:24 “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. “

    Galatians 3:25 “Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.”

    John 3:36 “Whoever BELIEVES in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him”

    John 5:24 “”I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

    John 6:35 “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty”

    John 6:40 “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.””

    John 6:47 “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life”

    John 11:25 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;”

    Acts 10:43 “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

    Acts 13:39 “Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses”

    Romans 1:16 “am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”

    Romans 10:4 “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

    1 John 5:5 “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

    Romans 3:22 “This RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe”

    Romans 4:5 “However, to the man who DOES NOT WORK but trusts God who JUSTIFIES THE WICKED, his faith is credited as righteousness.”

    Romans 4:6 “David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness APART FROM WORKS:”

    Romans 4:24 “but also for us, to whom God will CREDIT righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead”
    Romans 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”

    Romans 5:18 “Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men”

    Romans 9:30 “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;”

    Romans 10:3 “Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.”

    Romans 10:4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes “

    1 Corinthians 1:30 “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, WHO HAS BECOME FOR US wisdom from God—that is, OUR EIGHTEOUSNESS, HOLINESS and redemption.”

    2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that IN HIM we might become the righteousness of God”

  278. 279 Echo
    May 22, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    GB said:

    How can you believe IN Jesus if you don’t BELIEVE what Jesus plainly and clearly taught?

    Echo:

    In the scenario of the Rich man, Jesus teaches us the truth not only that perfection is required to gain eternal life but that we can’t even begin to be followers of Jesus until we are perfect first.

    Keep in mind that Jesus loves this man just as we love you. And just as Jesus said everything out of love for others, everything we say to you is out of love for you.

    The man asks what he lacks, Jesus tells him one thing, sell all you have and give to the poor, knowing full well that this would be a weakness for the man. (Just as I have pointed out your sins showing you what you lack)
    But notice that Jesus says: “If you want to be perfect…”
    That’s because perfection is a requirement before we can even follow Jesus. If you teach that you must obey ALL the commandments to gain eternal life, your teaching that people must be perfect and that means that you yourself must be perfect as well. GB, your own actions (sins) contradict your own teaching and that of Jesus as well. You’re demanding a standard from people that you yourself have not obtained. Your putting a yolk on people that you yourself cannot bear. Jesus demanded a standard (perfection) but he was perfect.

    Just as this rich man was lacking, GB, you are lacking as well.
    Obedience to all the commandments (perfection) is a requirement, and you should model that perfection that you believe in Just as Jesus did, otherwise your putting a load on the backs of others that you yourself are unable to carry out. That’s hypocrisy. Jesus demanded perfection and he lived it. He wasn’t a hypocrite.

    Jesus said: “If you want to be perfect…”. Jesus was saying in effect, that obedience to all of the commandments is a requirement for eternal life, you must be perfect. Once your perfect…THEN COME FOLLOW ME. Notice Jesus said that later. He said: “THEN COME FOLLOW ME” So perfection must come first.

    GB, are you perfect yet? Until you are perfect, you aren’t a follower of Jesus and you are denying him and rejecting him. That is a truth that Jesus clearly and plainly taught and that is a truth that I believe. Unless you and I are perfect, right now and always, we can not enter the kingdom of Heaven.

    Are you perfect?
    How can you believe in Jesus when you don’t do what he plainly and clearly taught?

  279. 280 GB
    May 22, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    So? There are verses that only mention obedience, or works, or righteousness or keeping the commandments.

    Only the express mention of one thing excludes all the others. So because faith is never mentioned exclusively (ie. with words like “alone” or “only”) all others are NOT excluded. And to exclude them when they are clearly mentioned as requirements is unwise.

  280. 281 Echo
    May 22, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    GB

    If you read many of the verses I posted. They exclude works.
    You didn’t respond to my post 279.
    What are your thoughts on that?

  281. 282 GB
    May 22, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    E: They exclude works.

    GB: Except that they don’t exclude works as a requirement.

    Only the express mention of one thing excludes all the others. So because faith is never mentioned exclusively (ie. with words like “alone” or “only”) all others are NOT excluded. And to exclude them when they are clearly mentioned as requirements is unwise.

  282. 283 GB
    May 22, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Echo,

    Your post #279 is irrelevant to what JESUS clearly and plainly taught.

  283. 284 Echo
    May 23, 2009 at 2:20 am

    GB, post 279 is exactly what Jesus taught.

    Are you perfect?

  284. 285 GB
    May 23, 2009 at 3:22 am

    Echo,

    Your distortions and wresting of what Jesus plainly and clearly taught are irrelevant to what Jesus plainly and clearly taught.

    “That’s because perfection is a requirement before we can even follow Jesus” is a distortion what Jesus ACTUALLY said. You disregarded all of the “and”s in the rest of the statement.

    If thou wilt be perfect, go AND sell that thou hast, AND give to the poor, AND thou shalt have treasure in heaven: AND come AND follow me.

    The rich man needed to do ALL of those things to be “perfect”.

    Jesus said, Matt 5:48)”Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

    That certainly sounds like a commandment.

    In you previous post you started with Eph 2:8, which you seem to think some how removes works of righteousness and obedience from the requirements of salvation. Shall we look at the verse in context and at Ephesians as a whole?

    Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath BEFORE ORDAINED THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM.

    WOW!! You missed some very important context by not including verse 10.

    Now let’s look at some other verses in the epistle.

    Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that YE HENCEFORTH WALK NOT AS OTHER GENTILES WALK, in the vanity of their mind,
    18 Having the understanding darkened, BEING ALIENATED FROM THE LIFE OF GOD through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
    19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
    20 BUT YE HAVE NOT SO LEARNED CHRIST;
    21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
    22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
    23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
    24 And that YE PUT ON THE NEW MAN, which after God is created IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS.
    25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
    26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
    27 Neither give place to the devil.
    28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
    29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
    30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
    31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, BE PUT AWAY FROM YOU, with all malice:
    32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

    Eph 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, LET IT NOT BE ONCE NAMED AMONG YOU, as becometh saints;
    4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
    5 For this ye know, that NO whoremonger, NOR unclean person, NOR covetous man, who is an idolater, HATH ANY INHERITANCE IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST AND OF GOD.
    6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh THE WRATH OF GOD UPON THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE.
    7 BE NOT YE THEREFORE PARTAKERS WITH THEM.
    . . .
    9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in ALL GOODNESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUTH;)
    10 PROVING WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE UNTO THE LORD.
    11 And HAVE NO FELLOWSHIP WITH THE UNFRUITFUL WORKS OF DARKNESS, BUT RATHER REPROVE THEM.

    Eph 6:7 WITH GOOD WILL DOING SERVICE, as to the Lord, and not to men:
    8 Knowing that WHATSOEVER GOOD THING ANY MAN DOETH, THE SAME SHALL HE RECEIVE OF THE LORD, whether he be bond or free.

    So, in the context of the adjoining verse and the epistle as a whole, your interpretation doesn’t stand.

  285. 286 Echo
    May 24, 2009 at 2:40 am

    GB said:

    “Your distortions and wresting of what Jesus plainly and clearly taught are irrelevant to what Jesus plainly and clearly taught.

    “That’s because perfection is a requirement before we can even follow Jesus” is a distortion what Jesus ACTUALLY said. You disregarded all of the “and”s in the rest of the statement.

    If thou wilt be perfect, go AND sell that thou hast, AND give to the poor, AND thou shalt have treasure in heaven: AND come AND follow me.”

    Echo:

    Mark 10:21 “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. THEN come, follow me.” (NIV)

    GB Said:

    “Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath BEFORE ORDAINED THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM.

    WOW!! You missed some very important context by not including verse 10″

    So, in the context of the adjoining verse and the epistle as a whole, your interpretation doesn’t stand.”

    Echo:

    Remember the icecream cone? It was given without the person doing anything to get it. That is the same as “for by grace are ye saved through faith: and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man boast.

    What was the result of being given a cone? Giving thanks.
    That is the same as “created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS”

  286. 287 Echo
    May 24, 2009 at 2:59 am

    Are you perfect?

    The verse says: “Be ye therefore perfect as your father in heaven is perfect”

    the verse doesn’t say: “become perfect” it says “be perfect”

    What does Ephesians 2:8-9 mean to you?

  287. 288 GB
    May 26, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Mark 10:21

    International Standard Version (©2008)
    Jesus looked at him and loved him. Then he told him, “You’re missing one thing. Go and sell everything you own, give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me.”

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

    King James Bible
    Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

    American King James Version
    Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said to him, One thing you lack: go your way, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

    American Standard Version
    And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

    Bible in Basic English
    And Jesus, looking on him and loving him, said, There is one thing needed: go, get money for your goods, and give it to the poor, and you will have wealth in heaven: and come with me.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    And Jesus looking on him, loved him, and said to him: One thing is wanting unto thee: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.

    Darby Bible Translation
    And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, One thing lackest thou: go, sell whatever thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross.

    English Revised Version
    And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said to him, One thing thou lackest: go, sell whatever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

    Weymouth New Testament
    Then Jesus looked at him and loved him, and said, “One thing is lacking in you: go, sell all you possess and give the proceeds to the poor, and you shall have riches in Heaven; and come and be a follower of mine.”

    World English Bible
    Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross.”

    Young’s Literal Translation
    And Jesus having looked upon him, did love him, and said to him, ‘One thing thou dost lack; go away, whatever thou hast — sell, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, be following me, having taken up the cross.’

  288. 289 Echo
    May 26, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    GB, all of the translations reveal ONE truth. The same truth.

    The NIV which says: “THEN come follow me” reveals the same message as “And come follow me” The NIV simply makes it more clear for those of us who can’t see it clearly in the KJV.

    Even in the King James version, doing what will bring treasures in heaven comes first: Do this, this and this and you will have treasures in heaven it says. These things come before following Jesus is mentioned. The NIV simply makes that intent more clear to us. As does versions such as “the message”, “The NLT” and CEV etc.

    Are you perfect?

    The verse says: “Be ye therefore perfect as your father in heaven is perfect”

    the verse doesn’t say: “become perfect” it says “be perfect”

    What does Ephesians 2:8-9 mean to you?

  289. 290 GB
    May 26, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    (The NIV which says: “THEN come follow me” reveals the same message as “And come follow me” The NIV simply makes it more clear for those of us who can’t see it clearly in the KJV.)

    The problem with this statement is that in the Greek the word “kai” which according to Strong’s means 1) and, also, even, indeed, but.

  290. 291 GB
    May 26, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    What does “created in Christ Jesus unto GOOD WORKS, which God hath BEFORE ORDAINED THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM.” mean to you?

    Eph 4: 11 And he (Christ) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
    12 For the PERFECTING of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
    13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
    14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

    Saints are in the process of becoming perfect.

  291. 292 Echo
    May 26, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    GB said:

    The problem with this statement is that in the Greek the word “kai” which according to Strong’s means 1) and, also, even, indeed, but.

    Echo:

    Strongs concordance: “G2532 and, also, even,so, THEN, too etc.”

  292. 293 Echo
    May 26, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    I meant what does this part of the verse mean to you:

    “Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

  293. 294 GB
    May 26, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Strongs concordance: “G2532 and, also, even,so, THEN, too etc.”

    I am not sure where you got this because when I said “and, also, even, indeed, but” I was doing a copy/paste from Strong’s concordance.

    I will add (my comments) to Eph 2:8 to help you understand what it means to me.

    “Eph 2:8 For by grace (it is a gift see John 3:16) are ye saved through faith (which is a principle of action, which impels one to be obedient to the teachings of Jesus Christ); and that not of yourselves (no matter how good we are, we fall short because all have sinned, only through the atonement of Christ and obedience to him can we be cleansed from our past sins): it is the gift of God (this phrase is rather clear and plain): Not of works (of the law of Moses), lest any man should boast (like the “scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites” who had corrupted the law of Moses and boasted that their abidance to their corrupted version assured their entrance into heaven).”

  294. 295 Echo
    May 26, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    GB said:

    “Strongs concordance: “G2532 and, also, even,so, THEN, too etc.”

    I am not sure where you got this because when I said “and, also, even, indeed, but” I was doing a copy/paste from Strong’s concordance.”

    Echo:

    I have a concordance I have at home not online. It’s called: “Expanded Edition-Strong’s complete word study concordance” It’s specifically for the King James Version of the bible. ISBN 0-89957-126-3 by AMG Publishers.

    GB said:

    “Eph 2:8 For by grace (it is a gift see John 3:16) are ye saved through faith (which is a principle of action, which impels one to be obedient to the teachings of Jesus Christ); and that not of yourselves (no matter how good we are, we fall short because all have sinned, only through the atonement of Christ and obedience to him can we be cleansed from our past sins): it is the gift of God (this phrase is rather clear and plain): Not of works (of the law of Moses), lest any man should boast (like the “scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites” who had corrupted the law of Moses and boasted that their abidance to their corrupted version assured their entrance into heaven).”

    Echo:

    So how are you cleansed from your sins from the time you were baptized up to now?

  295. 296 GB
    May 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    As I said, I cut/pasted from Strong’s found here http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2532&t=KJV

    So basically kai is translated in the KJV as “then” 20 out of 9251 times. So you are using a 0.2% usage as the foundation of your argument.

    Do you think I am supposed to find that compelling?

    “So how are you cleansed from your sins from the time you were baptized up to now?”

    Through the gift/grace of repentance and the renewal of the baptismal covenant through partaking of the Sacrament of the Lord’s supper.

  296. 297 Echo
    May 27, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Using your online blue letter bible Notice that is says that it is “having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force”

    Cumulative from Websters dictionary: “increasing or growing by accumulation or successive additions. Formed by or resulting from accumulation or the addition of SUCCESSIVE parts or elements.

    Successive from Websters dictionary: “Following in order…(i.e. three successive days.) Following another in successive sequence.”

    So using your “AND” word rather than my “THEN” word, and using Websters “succesive days” here is an example:

    On Monday change your flat tire AND on tuesday put oil in your car AND on Wedeneday put gas in it AND on thursday come over to my house.

    The things that must be done to your car on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday must be done before you can come over to my house on Thursday.

    So to make it clearer, I could use the word “THEN” rather than “And” but both are appropriate it’s just that “THEN” makes the succession clearer.

    Are you perfect GB?

    GB said:

    “Through the gift/grace of repentance…”

    Echo:

    Do you have to overcome your sin before you are forgiven?

  297. 298 GB
    May 27, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    So, if we take the basis of your argument and apply it uniformly to Mark 10:21 we get;

    Then Jesus beholding him loved him, (then) said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, (then) give to the poor, (then) thou shalt have treasure in heaven: (then) come, take up the cross, (then) follow me.

    So now based on your logic, the “one thing” that was lacking was the selling of the material possessions.

    So now do you think I am supposed to find your original argument compelling?

    E: Do you have to overcome your sin before you are forgiven?

    GB: The Lord has said (D&C) 64:9 Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.
    10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

    But He has also said (D&C) 19:15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
    16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
    17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
    18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—

  298. 299 Echo
    May 27, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Think about it – You can’t give to the poor until you first sell all your possessions. You can’t have treasure in heaven until you first give to the poor. You can’t take up your cross and follow Jesus until you first have treasures in heaven.

    You can’t follow Jesus until you are perfect. Are you perfect?

  299. 300 GB
    May 27, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Your argument is not compelling.

    Think about it, can you be perfect and NOT follow Jesus?

    It can be argued that everything mentioned prior to “follow me” are simply preparatory to the “one thing” which is the “follow me”.

    So again, think about it, can you be perfect without following Jesus?

    Luke 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

    Can you be as Jesus without following Him? Isn’t following Him doing the things that He would have us do?

    The parable of the sower is instructive.

    Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

    That describes the rich man we have been talking about. Can you bring “fruit to perfection” without following Jesus?

    JST Heb. 6:1 Therefore not leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    It is very clear that one must follow Jesus to become perfect. Not become perfect then follow Jesus. Think about it.

  300. 301 GB
    May 27, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Here is more.
    Moro. 10:32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
    33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

    I think that explains it plainly and clearly.

  301. 302 Echo
    May 27, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    GB said:

    “Your argument is not compelling. Think about it, can you be perfect and NOT follow Jesus?”

    Echo:

    It’s not my argument, it is what Jesus said.

    As for the other scriptures you gave, we will talk about them later. But lets first focus on what Jesus is teaching the Rich man.

    Can the man give to the poor before he has sold everything? NO
    Can the man have treasures in heaven before he has given to the poor? NO
    Can the man follow Jesus before he has treasure in heaven? NO

    Can you be perfect? NO

    The fact that you aren’t perfect doesn’t negate what Jesus teaches. He teaches that we must be perfect before we can follow him.

    If a drunkard reads a scripture that says being a drunkard is a sin, is the drunkard interpreting scripture properly when he says “well think about it, I can’t stop being a drunkard so that can’t be what the scripture means”

    This is how you are interpreting what Jesus is teaching here.

    What I mean is…you can’t take scripture and interpret it by getting it to fit where you are at personally(which in this case you are personally: “NOT PERFECT” just as the drunkard was a drunkard).

    But instead you should listen to what Jesus is teaching in order to know where he wants you to be. (which in this case he wants you to be perfect just as the drunkard should give up his drinking)

    So instead of getting scripture to meet you where you are at(imperfect), you should be thinking about how to get where scripture teaches you to be at.(perfect)

    Now sticking to the story of the Rich man alone. What are you thinking? What is your question?

  302. 303 GB
    May 27, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Echo: . . . you should listen to what Jesus is teaching in order to know where he wants you to be. (which in this case he wants you to be perfect just as the drunkard should give up his drinking)

    GB: Exactly!!! He wants us to be perfect and to become perfect we must follow him. Get it.

    Are you trying to say that the “saints” in Eph 4:12 weren’t following Jesus?

    Think about it, can you be perfect and NOT be following Jesus?

    It can be argued that everything mentioned prior to “follow me” are simply preparatory to the “one thing” which is the “follow me”.

    So again, think about it, can you be perfect without following Jesus?

    Luke 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

    Can you be perfect like Jesus without following Him? Isn’t following Him doing the things that He would have us do?

    The parable of the sower is instructive.

    Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

    That describes the rich man we have been talking about. Can you bring “fruit to perfection” without following Jesus?

    JST Heb. 6:1 Therefore not leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    It is very clear that one must follow Jesus to become perfect. Not become perfect then follow Jesus. Think about it.

    Your interpretation that we can’t follow Jesus UNTIL and UNLESS we are perfect is without foundation, no matter how much you twist Mark 10:21 to try and get there.

    Following Jesus is the path to perfection.

  303. 304 Echo
    May 27, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    GB said : “So again, think about it, can you be perfect without following Jesus?”

    Jesus is teaching us to be perfect THEN follow him.

    Why do you think the apostles then said: “who then can be saved?”?

    Why did Jesus reply to that question with this: “With man this is impossible” ?

  304. 305 GB
    May 28, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Echo: Jesus is teaching us to be perfect THEN follow him.

    GB: No, Jesus is teaching us that we become perfect by following Him.

    The “saints” in Eph 4:12 were following Jesus, were they perfect? No.

    Think about it, can you be perfect and NOT be following Jesus? No.

    Everything mentioned prior to “follow me” are simply preparatory to the “one thing” which is the “follow me”.

    So again, think about it, can you be perfect without following Jesus? No.

    Luke 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

    Can you be perfect like Jesus without following Him? No.

    The parable of the sower is instructive.

    Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

    That describes the rich man we have been talking about. Can you bring “fruit to perfection” without following Jesus? No.

    JST Heb. 6:1 Therefore not leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    It is very clear that one must follow Jesus to become perfect. You can’t become perfect without Jesus. Think about it.

    Your interpretation that we can’t follow Jesus UNTIL and UNLESS we are perfect is without foundation, no matter how much you twist Mark 10:21 to try and get there.

    Following Jesus IS the path to perfection. This is OBVIOUS!!!!!

    1 Pet 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

    Christ is the example of perfection, following Jesus IS the path to perfection. This is OBVIOUS!!!!!

  305. 306 Echo
    May 28, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    GB, the story of the Rich man that we are discussing is talking about Justification.

    Ephesians 4:12 which you shared with me is talking about Sanctification.

    Justification is like a horse and sanctification is like a cart. The horse must come before the cart.

    Let me ask you:

    Can the Rich man give to the poor before he sells all his possessions?
    Can he have treasures in heaven before he gives his money to the poor?

  306. 307 GB
    May 28, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    E: Can the Rich man give to the poor before he sells all his possessions?

    GB: Yes, he can give his possessions to the poor and they could then sell them, if they so desired.

    E: Can he have treasures in heaven before he gives his money to the poor?

    GB: Yes, he can give possessions to the poor and have treasure in heaven.

    The problem the rich man had is that his heart was set upon his possessions. And as Jesus said, (Matt 6:21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. He needed to give up his love for his possessions before he could become perfect by following Jesus. You have to become perfect before you can be perfect.

    Echo, are you following Jesus?

  307. 308 Echo
    May 28, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    GB said:

    “Yes, he can give his possessions to the poor and they could then sell them, if they so desired”

    Echo:

    Is that what Jesus told him to do?

    GB said:

    “Yes, he can give possession to the poor and have treasure in heaven”

    Echo:

    And when that happens, he can then follow Jesus

    GB said:

    “Echo, are you following Jesus? ”

    Echo:

    Yes. Jesus first made me perfect, now I am following him.

  308. 309 GB
    May 28, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Echo, you didn’t ask me what Jesus told him to do you asked me;
    Can the Rich man give to the poor before he sells all his possessions?
    Can he have treasures in heaven before he gives his money to the poor?

    Which I answered.

    Now answer me.

    Are you following Jesus?

  309. 310 Echo
    May 28, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    GB said:

    “Echo, you didn’t ask me what Jesus told him to do you asked me;
    Can the Rich man give to the poor before he sells all his possessions?
    Can he have treasures in heaven before he gives all his money to the poor?”

    Echo:

    My apologies GB. I intended that you answer them from what Jesus told him to do. Can you answer those questions from what Jesus told him to do?

    GB said:

    “Now answer me. Are you following Jesus?”

    Echo:

    I did answer. Perhaps you missed it?

  310. 311 GB
    May 28, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Echo: I did answer. Perhaps you missed it?

    GB: Sorry, I did miss it. WOW !! You are perfect! Why do I find that unbelievable?

  311. 312 ADB
    May 28, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    GB,

    This may clear up some things related to the most recent posts (or further confuse them): Do you consider perfection and righteousness to be the same thing?

  312. 313 Echo
    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    GB said:

    “Sorry, I did miss it. WOW!! You are perfect! Why do I find that unbelievable?”

    Echo:

    In the story of the Rich man, it is clear that Jesus teaches that we must be perfect BEFORE we can follow him.

    Is that unbelievable? I am certain that the disciples felt the same way that you do because they also found Jesus’ teaching to be “unbelievable”. Here is what they said:

    Mathew 19:25 “When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

    Jesus explains in verse 26: ” “With man this is impossible,…”

    With man, it is impossible to be perfect. But that doesn’t change or negate the requirement that we must be perfect before we even begin to follow Jesus. That is still the requirement and it remains the requirement. But that requirement is impossible for man.

    We know perfection is the requirement because Jesus said to the Rich man: Mathew 19:21 “If you want to be PERFECT, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. THEN come, follow me.”

    We also know perfection is the requirement from scriptures such as:

    James 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking ALL OF IT.”

    In that scripture we learn that when we sin in just one point of the law, we have broken God’s entire law! For example let’s say you and I are at work and we take a few minutes of the boss’s time to do some personal things on the computer… that is sinning. Or maybe we use derogatory comments in our conversations with others…that is sinning. Or maybe we get angry, or refuse to listen to, or don’t want to be respectful to people who tell us that they think our beliefs are wrong…that is sinning.. Or maybe we didn’t show love to our enemy and do good to him even though he does no good to us….that is sinning. Or maybe we didn’t take time to help our neighbor, to clothe the poor, to visit those in prison etc.…that is sinning. If we sin in just one point, we have become like murderers, adulterers, slanderers, homosexual offenders and God haters because we have broken the entire law just as they have.

    Galatians 3:10 “”Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”

    Everyone who does not do EVERYTHING written in the law is cursed. When we sin, we aren’t doing everything written in the law. That means we are cursed.

    What does Jesus say about those who are cursed? Mathew 25:41 “’Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

    Perfection is a requirement BEFORE we can follow Jesus. But with man it is impossible to meet this requirement just as Jesus said.

    But Jesus also then said: “but with God all things are possible”

    Jesus therefore made us perfect so that we can now follow him.

    Hebrews 10:14 “because by one sacrifice HE HAS MADE PERFECT FOREVER those who are being made holy.”

    GB, have you been made perfect forever? You must be perfect forever BEFORE you can even begin to follow Jesus.

  313. 314 GB
    May 31, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Echo:“If you want to be PERFECT, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. THEN come, follow me.”

    GB: Let’s look at the logic of that “if-then” statement.

    “If you want to be PERFECT, . . . THEN come, follow me.”

    Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    Apparently “sanctification” occurs BEFORE “perfection” and “sanctification” comes AFTER “justification”.

    I think that settles it.

  314. 315 Echo
    May 31, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    What is your definition of “sanctification” and “justification”?

  315. 316 Echo
    June 2, 2009 at 3:09 am

    Justification wherein we are made perfect FOREVER leads to sanctification wherein we desire to become perfect just as in Christ, we have already been made perfect.

  316. 317 GB
    June 2, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    What? no scripture to support you? What happened to “sola scriptura”?

  317. 318 Echo
    June 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    We have been made perfect apart from anything we do, because of what Jesus alone has done:

    Hebrews 12:23 “You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men MADE PERFECT”

    Hebrews 10:14 “because by one sacrifice he HAS MADE PERFECT FOREVER those who are being made holy”

  318. 319 GB
    June 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I don’t know which version of the Bible you are using but it doesn’t appear to be a good one.

    Heb 10:14

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

    King James Bible
    For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    American King James Version
    For by one offering he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    American Standard Version
    For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    Bible in Basic English
    Because by one offering he has made complete for ever those who are made holy.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    For by one oblation he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    Darby Bible Translation
    For by one offering he has perfected in perpetuity the sanctified.

    English Revised Version
    For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    Young’s Literal Translation
    for by one offering he hath perfected to the end those sanctified;

  319. 320 Echo
    June 2, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    “them that are sanctified”

    Jesus alone has sanctified us and it is a one-time event that lasts forever:

    Hebrews 10:10 “By the which will WE ARE sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE for all.”

    Sanctified means to be “free from the guilt of sin” forever:

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G37&t=KJV

    Jesus has set us free forever from the guilt of our sin. He has made us perfect forever.

    You can put your faith and hope for eternity in the celestial kingdom in God’s law , but in the end, God’s law will only reveal your sin. There isn’t a single human being who doesn’t sin every day. God’s law holds you guilty even for the sins you are unaware of and it holds you guilty for the sins of your church and the teachings of your church. Even I have witnessed your sin and guilt in these threads of which Alma and the Bible testifies against you.

    Jesus will say to you: “I never knew you”

    It’s only when we give up on ourselves and instead let God’s law reveal our sins to us (and they are many) that we are prepared to meet our Savior who will only then assure us that he has saved us.

    If you don’t want Jesus to say to you: “I never knew you” you need to look into God’s perfect and Holy law that demands perfection from you and say to God: “I can’t live the perfect life you demand, I can’t meet the conditions! Admit that all you can do is hang your head in shame and dispair and then plead: God have mercy on me a sinner!” Then Jesus will say: “I knew you!”

    It’s only when you have given up your faith in God’s law that the Holy Spirit will step in and give you faith in Jesus instead.

  320. 321 GB
    June 2, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    2 Thes. 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

    1 Pet. 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

    The Spirit actually does the sanctification. And God gives the Holy Ghost to those that obey Him.

    Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

  321. 322 Echo
    June 2, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Look at 1 Peter 1:2 that you quoted. “Sanctification… UNTO obedience.” That means sanctifation leading to obedience or resulting in obedience.

  322. 323 GB
    June 3, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Both Peter and Paul agree that it is the Spirit that sanctifies.

    But what you are saying is that Peter contradicted himself between Act 5:32 and 1 Pet 1:2, because of your definition of “unto”.

    “Unto” is translated from the Greek word “eis”, which according to Strong’s is translated into “into 573, to 281, unto 207, for 140, in 138, on 58, toward 29, against 26, misc 322”.

    So both “for” and “in” are valid English meanings for “eis”, and either one of these would eliminate the apparent contradiction.

    1 Pet. 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, FOR/IN obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

    So then, your argument isn’t compelling.

  323. 324 Echo
    June 3, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    GB,

    I agree that it is the spirit that sanctifies, so you perhaps have misunderstood me.

    The sanctifying work of the Spirit speaks of his drawing us away from sin and making us holy.

    The verse speaks of the sprinkling of his blood.
    So the Spirit cleanses us from all sin and produces in us a saving faith.

    The Spirit sanctifies us in the sense of our having been made perfect forever. We have been forgiven for ALL sin. Sanctification of the Holy Spirit leads to obedience in the sense of obeying God’s call to believe it. However the Spirit produces in us, that “saving faith” but we can resist it.

    Once saved, the Holy Spirit helps us in our life to remain in the faith and to serve God.


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