Author Topic: Justification by Faith  (Read 76309 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38887
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2001, 06:03:00 AM »
Yes, Brother David, it is. And not only simple, but powerful to the pulling down of strongholds.  :) The righteousness of Christ when allowed into the heart will transform the character of the most vile sinner. We have abundant evidence in many changed lives over thousands of years.  :)

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

DavidTBattler

  • Guest
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2001, 08:51:00 AM »
Richard

Amen to those words "simple," and "powerful!"  I have lots more to say/ask about this subject; but I am out of time for now.   :)

------------------
"...We believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved..."  (Acts 15:11).

Your brother in Christ

David T. Battler


Allan F

  • Regular Member
  • Posts: 189
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2001, 08:59:00 AM »
When we discuss our view on a special topic, we tend to make use of the bible text's that most strongly support our view, and let the
more difficult bible verses be unquoted.

One example is about living after Gods commandments. Is it possible? Some say yes, other say no. The first group uses some
specific texts, and the other group quotes other verses. The result seems to be nothing less than a contradiction.
One good example is Rom 2:13-15.25.26 and Rom 3,10:

"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto
them selves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts,.."
"For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision"

"As it is written. There is none righteous, no not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."

Does anybody have a suggestion how to deal with this kind of apparent contradictions?

Allan F


Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38887
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2001, 05:45:00 AM »
Yes, Brother Allan.  :)  If we would read in context, much of the difficulty would be removed.


"there is none that seeketh after God..." This is made into a lie. I know many who seek after God. God asks us to. So, we must look for another interpretation that the one that is being foisted upon us.  :)  If we read this chapter in context, and put it together with the rest of the Bible, we get a better picture of what is being said. Line upon line, precept upon precept. Here a little, there a little.  The rule for Bible interpretation. We let the Bible interpret itself.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Harry Elliott

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 95
    • http://
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2001, 08:15:00 PM »
Alan--

My personal understanding of those passages:

The Hebrew Bible comprises three components.  Judaism considers the first component to be by far the most important.  It is, of course, “The Torah”, which means “The Law.  The second portion is called “The Prophets”.  When Jesus spoke of “the law and the prophets”, He was surely referring to these two portions of the OT, which were canonized by them in that order.

A major issue in Paul’s epistles is his effort to thwart the Judaizers’ coercion of Gentile Christians to submit to The Torah as God’s will for all mankind even after the cross.  Paul argued that no one is under the law (The Torah) since the coming of the promised seed, therefore Gentile Christians are not obligated by the law to observe circumcision, etc.

I believe the citations you give deal with this problem.  He chides the Judaizers that even if they were still under the law, they would become just as uncircumcised as the Gentiles, in God’s eyes any time they fail to keep the law perfectly. Which he implies is always. And that the Gentiles Christians who don’t have The  Torah, have all the law they need within themselves--by virtue of their Spirit endowed consciences, I would think.

--Harry


James Saptenno

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 86
    • http://
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2001, 07:01:00 AM »
Brother Richard.

I will follow your good advice.

Please help me in answering these questions so that I might come to know the truth of the gospel.

Is there any other condition required to be justified by faith else then having faith in Christ?

Is there any other condition required to be righteous else then God’s grace?

In His love

James S.


Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38887
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2001, 10:21:00 AM »
Brother James, I am deeply moved by your willing submission to my encouragement. The love of God removes pride in the heart. It is a miracle that none can counterfeit.

You are entirely correct about this aspect of salvation. You ask "Is there any other condition required to be justified by faith else then having faith in Christ?" The answer according to the Bible is, no. Nothing else is required. But, we must go further and recognize what this faith is. It is a whole heart faith that takes God at His Word. It is a faith which has no "unbelief". It is a faith that loves God with all the heart, all the soul, all the mind, and all the strength and a faith that produces unselfish love for our neighbors.

Thank you for your great desire to come into unity of doctrine. As we continue in the Spirit of meekness and love we shall glorify our Saviour.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

sdboyd

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 11
    • http://
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2001, 04:18:00 PM »
I think the following quote may broaden out this discussion of a great topic.  It was written to A.T. Jones:

"You repeated several times that works amounted to nothing, that there were no conditions. The matter was presented in that light that I knew minds would be confused and would not receive the correct impression in reference to faith and works, and I decided to write to you. You state this matter too strongly. There are conditions to our receiving justification and sanctification, and the righteousness of Christ. I know your meaning, but you leave a wrong impression upon many minds. While good works will not save even one soul, yet it is impossible for even one soul to be saved without good works."  FW 111.1

SB


Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38887
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2001, 06:03:00 AM »
Thank you, Brother Boyd.  :) The fruit of conversion is good works. It earns nothing, but it reveals an indwelling Christ. I am always amazed that this is such a difficult subject. When we are baptised we are telling the world we have died to self and are new creatures in Jesus Christ. Yes, there are many times we will have to confess we have failed, but we trust in our Saviour's power to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. We want to love others as He does. Love to God and love to man are the good works that are present at justification and grow throughout the Christian walk.

Thank you again, Brother Boyd for the very good Spirit of Prophecy statement that supports the gospel of grace. "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments." Have a blessed Sabbath!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Allan F

  • Regular Member
  • Posts: 189
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2001, 10:40:00 AM »
Thank you for the answers Brother Richard and Harry. We should always consider the context when seeking to understand a specific bible text. We should also look for other bible verses that discuss the specific topic and not cling to a single text.
I believe that much of our disagreement would disappear if we honestly follow these two principles in our Bible study.
And let us always remember that the Holy Spirit who inspired the writers is the only one who truly can reveal the Scripture to us  :)

Allan F


Dugald T Lewis MD

  • Moderator at Rest
  • Posts: 2599
    • http://www.drdugaldlewis.com
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2001, 11:59:00 AM »
Great comments myt Brothers in Christ!
I appreciate the post made by Brother Boyd.
Welcome to TRO.

Dugald  


James Saptenno

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 86
    • http://
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2001, 07:01:00 PM »
While good works will not save even one soul, yet it is impossible for even one soul to be saved without good works." FW 111.1
SB

Is this statement true and biblical?

How about the thief on the cross at Calvary, has he good works? Not a thing! But I am sure he was saved. By what? Not by good works, but by faith in Christ! Thus he was saved without good works!

This statement was made when sister EGW still clings to the idea of saved by faith and works or subtle legalism.

In His love

James S.


Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38887
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2001, 08:10:00 AM »
Brother James, it is not the prophet that misunderstood. Ellen White understood this most basic subject and continued to teach in the same manner until her death.  Here you are on very dangerous ground. Stop and consider what you have said. While we have labored over this subject for some time, and I think that I have done so from the Bible, it has done little to convince you that good works come from those in Christ. Now, someone gives Spirit of Prophecy support and you express concern that Ellen White was wrong.

My friend, Ellen White is only saying what it is that we have been sharing with you from the Bible. Here is where we differ. You believe that one can kill and be a Christian. The Bible teaches that you cannot get this kind of fruit from a good tree. These are the words of Jesus. "Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." Matt. 12:33.

Sister White stated this in June of 1910: "The experience is perfected by fruit-bearing. He who does not bear good fruit in words and deeds, in the strength of elevated, ennobling principle, is like a bad tree. The fruit that he bears is unpalatable to God. His professed knowledge of Christ is a falsehood, a deception."

The law of God is written upon the hearts of those who are surrendered to Him. They will not kill, steal, committ adultery, lie, or take the name of the Lord in vain. I understand there are many who disagree. What you are saying is a common teaching in the "evangelical" churches and even in our church, but this does not undo the truth. Please consider how far you have gone in opposing the simple truth. A tree will be known by its fruit.

You remain in my prayers and I do appreciate the manner in which you have discussed this important subject.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Justin

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 211
    • http://
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #33 on: April 08, 2001, 04:11:00 AM »
Ah, the thief on the cross at Calvary...

"And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." (Luke 23:39-42)

This thief, in the shortest span of his time and circumstance, displayed his noblest character and "good works" - fruits of his faith in Chirst - by taking a firm stand for God and His love (mercy and justice). There is very few of such men and women in the human history and the same is true for the present generation.

"If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God." (Testimonies Volume 3, Page 280)

Using this thief as an example of the salvation without good works is unfortunate and accusing Ellen White of practicing a subtle legalism is, I suggest,  even more unfair.

Justin

[This message has been edited by Justin (edited 04-08-2001).]


Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38887
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2001, 07:09:00 AM »
Amen, Brother Justin.  The thief certainly manifested his faith in our Saviour by good works. While the whole world including God's church denied the Saviour, he did indeed confess Him!  :)  The good work of the thief was the one bright spot for our Saviour amid that awful darkness. While all had lost their faith, this one man kept the commandments of God as can be seen by his keeping the very first commandment that all others were breaking.

And....he had time to change his mind. He lived a lifetime of agony on that cross and he was surrounded by "unbelief" of a great magnitude. How many today will confess Christ when surrounded by family and friends that deny Him? How many will stand up for truth in a board meeting when all of the elders and the pastor are lined up against it?

Yes, the Ten Commandments were written on this man's heart and he did reveal his love for God as he suffered the agony of the cross. I am forever thankful for his words that encouraged my Saviour when all others had denied Him.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

sdboyd

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 11
    • http://
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2001, 02:03:00 PM »
James,
It is tempting to put Paul and James the apostle in a ring and root for the side that we think is right. After all, it appears that they are saying diametrically opposite things. James says, "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." Ja 2.21-24

Paul says, "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." Ro 4.2,3

So before we sit down to root for our side, it seems it would be well to remind ourselves that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God" and realize that these two are really friends fighting different battles.  Paul is fighting the battle against the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" crowd, and James is fighting the battle against the "believe and go on sinning" crowd. Both camps will land adherents in despair at the judgment.

Which brings the question to mind, "How can James and Paul be saying the same thing with such opposite language?"  

Paul is calling people to genuine faith - knowing that genuine faith obeys.(Ro 1.5) James is calling people to genuine obedience - knowing that genuine obedience proves faith. (In fact genuine obedience is only possible through faith.)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it this way, "only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes."

Obedience and Faith are, after all,  inseparable friends.

Steve


James Saptenno

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 86
    • http://
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2001, 08:17:00 PM »
This thief, in the shortest span of his time and circumstance, displayed his noblest character and "good works" - fruits of his faith in Chirst - by taking a firm stand for God and His love (mercy and justice). There is very few of such men and women in the human history and the same is true for the present generation.
Justin.

Believing in Christ is not good works, it is faith. What the thief have done on the cross was just an acknowledgment of his faith in Christ. He has done nothing good! He was saved without a single good works except his faith. Thus his salvation is wholly of grace received by faith.

And that is what the gospel is.

Salvation that based on grace (not performance) and accepted by faith.

Anything more then that is not the gospel!

Good works or law obedience life is not what we produce but what the Spirit produce in us and through us. This is the direct fruit of faith, fruit of salvation, but it is not meritorious.

Sister EGW statement might be true, that without good works no one will be saved, because good works must present in a life of a believer who claims he has faith in Christ. But it can be understood as well as a believer is saved by his good works, despite she said that we are saved by faith and not good works. Why? Because if salvation is by faith, then damnation is also by disbelief. Performance or good or bad works has nothing to do with man’s salvation. Salvation is based on grace received by faith.

Here are more of her views regarding subtle legalism.

1] "Christ came to this earth and lived a life of perfect obedience, that men and women, through his grace, might also live lives of perfect obedience. This is necessary to their salvation. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." RH, 3-15-1906

2] "Perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. It is perfection that is required; and nothing short of perfection will enable you to see the King in his beauty." RH 4-12-1870

3] One blot upon the character, one sin unconfessed and unrepented of, will close for you the gates of the city of God.” Manuscript Releases Vol. 12, p. 40

I was once in agreement with all this and had the same view as most of you and may be more extreme. But since I have learned the “in Christ motif” I realize what justification by faith really means.

“All man have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
By this alone no one will remain alive when seeing God face to face. That is why transformation is needed at Christ second coming, that indicates no one is perfect, no one is holy, all come short of the glory of God! And all must die because all are sinners! But all is saved by God’s GRACE and justified freely because of their faith “in Christ.”

“In Christ” they find their perfection even they are imperfect!
“In Christ” they find their holiness even they are sinners!
“In Christ” they find their justification even they are unjust!
“In Christ” they find their righteousness even they are all wrong doing!
“In Christ” they find their redemption of sins and death even they must die because of their sins!

It is the GRACE of God that saved us and continue to save us as long as we remain in His grace, that is if we remain “in Christ” by faith. Perfection, obedience and holiness we can never attain but has no account at all to our being saved or lost.

That is what I believe now, if God give me more truth then I might change my view.

In His love

James S.



Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38887
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2001, 07:43:00 AM »
Brother James, it has taken a long time to come to a clear dilineation of our differences, but we are now here. You find yourself not only disagreeing with us, but with the Spirit of Prophecy (and I might add, the Bible).

I again appreciate your desire to discuss this important doctrine and also your willingness to listen to our understanding. I continue to pray that we can come into unity.

I want to repeat what we have all said before. Good works will not save anyone. None here are teaching that good works will save anyone. Only the blood of Jesus can save a sinner. Now, having made this very clear, the  fruit of salvation is a changed life. My friend you cannot continue in your belief that a Christian will kill, steal, etc. The fruit of Jesus in the heart is obedience to the known law.  If we are to continue in our discussion this is the point we must address. You do not believe in the power of God's gracen to transform your character. You have listened to some who have no power in their lives and are teaching others the same.

You can help our work here by sharing with us where you learn such things as a Seventh-day Adventist. We know the "evagelical" churches teach such, but where have you learned this “in Christ motif”? My thoughts before were the 1888 Study Committee, but we would all like to know who it is that has been teaching this "in Christ motif".  There are a number of "teachers" that come close to this. Venden, Sequierra, Larson, Whielen, and many writing in the Review. We would appreciate your help in this matter so that all may rightly understand what is being taught and who it is that is teaching.

In His love and grace,    Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Harry Elliott

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 95
    • http://
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2001, 06:10:00 AM »
Hi Richard--

Perhaps you could share a bit more of the clear delineation you see.  Are you taking the position that the only Christian who is secure in his/her salvation is one who has ceased sinning?

--Harry


James Saptenno

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 86
    • http://
Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2001, 08:15:00 AM »
Brother Richard.

Your reply is just your own opinion without biblical proof.

I clearly see where we differ and where we agree.

You and I agree that Christ saved us, but we differ in how to remain save.

My point is I remain saved by God grace, not by my obedience to the law or by my good works. All I need is faith and a choice to live for God, and He will do the rest. But faith too, I have it because of His grace, all what left is a choice. A choice to accept salvation and live for God or to deny salvation and living for self. I my self can do nothing good as my nature is sinful, without the Spirit of God working in me to build up faith, I will surely lost. But once I have faith in what Christ had done for me, I then have a new choice except my nature to live for the flesh. That choice is to live for God, to focus my mind on Christ and live for Him that had died for me.

But living for self or living for the flesh is our nature that is why our performance can never be perfect and sinless. To the letter of the law we might show perfect obedience but to the Spirit of the law we fall short. And for that we remain sinners and saved only by God grace.

Paul clearly clarifies this by saying: “ …..touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” (Philippians 3:6). But then he said: “ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin is dead. For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died” (Romans 7:7-9).

Once, Paul was “blameless” to the law (the letter of the law), it is when he did not know the “law” (the spiritual demands of the law) in the commandment number 10 “thou shalt not covet.” But once he knew that, he saw himself no longer blameless but a sinner and must die. All his perfect obedience to the law considered now as living without the law, accounted as “dung,” since the law open his heart that he kept breaking it and so was and remain a sinner that must die. That is why he no longer seeks righteousness by the law but “ be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Philippians 3:9), since “ .. now the righteousness of God  without the law is manifested…which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe” (Romans 3:21,22). Righteousness is no longer based on the law or performance but based on grace received by faith because “ all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23,24).

Paul understood that no one could ever attain perfection and sinlesness, because all breaks the law and fall short of God’s glory. All failed in performing the spiritual demand of the law. So, if salvation and justification based on good works or performance, then all men will lost and died forever. The same applied to “remain saved”, if perfection and sinlesness by obedience to the law is required to remain save, then no one will remain save and all will be lost because no one can keep the spiritual demands of the law due to the weakness of the flesh or our sinful nature (Romans 8:3). But thanks God, that to remain save is His grace received by faith!

I did not disagree with the SOP, as my view agrees with Sister White statement here:

“So long as Satan reigns, we shall have self to subdue, besetting sins to overcome; so long as life shall last, there will be no stopping place, no point which we can reach and say, I have fully attained."

And….

"Now you may cling to your righteousness, and you may think that you have tried to do right, and that, after all, you will be saved in doing this. You cannot see that Christ does it all." FW 72,73

and…

"...the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin ascend from true believers as incense to the heavenly sanctuary, but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God. They ascend not in spotless purity, and unless the Intercessor, who is at God's right hand, presents and purifies all by His righteousness, it is not acceptable to God. All incense from earthly tabernacles must be moist with the cleansing drops of the blood of Christ. He holds before the Father the censer of His own merits, in which there is no taint of earthly corruption.

Oh, that all may see that everything in obedience, in penitence, in praise and thanksgiving, must be placed upon the glowing fire of the righteousness of Christ." Selected Messages Book 1, p. 344

In His love

James S.

[This message has been edited by James Saptenno (edited 04-13-2001).]