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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Can we agree that our faith itself is no merit or virtue? It is the object of our faith that justifies.... Faith is not the justifying work, but ceasing from the work of justification. (Hebrews 6:4-6)


Can you explain this further?



Quote:
Some are focused on their own strength, even the strength of faith, as opposed to the Person and work of Him who is Lord and Savior. I personally feel it demonstrates the irresistible impulse of self-justification, contrary to mature rest, when people agonize over the right way of believing or repenting their way into justification.


I would agree with this but there is fake-faith too otherwise the scripture would never need to refer to 'faith without hypocrisy'; or genuine faith. Justifying faith, of course, is faith in a person not a doctrine. Many were 'justified by faith' centuries before there was a doctrine to go with the experience.

I'm not getting into 'faith in faith'. The just, according to our scripture, lives by faith. This is surely an ongoing experience which is what I was referring to when I said that John doesn't speak of 'faith' (the noun in his gospel) but believing (the verb). In fact the famous John 3:16 is not talking about a one-off crisis of faith. Literally it reads as in Young's Literal translation; Joh 3:16 YLT for God did so love the world, that His Son--the only begotten--He gave, that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during. It is a reference to 'the believing one' rather than a point of faith.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/4/2 14:07Profile
dann
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Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 239
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:
The question I am asking is does one 'spurt' of justifying faith last for ever?



Justification - as you are well aware, is a forensic declaration, not that we declare something - but that God declares us justified for Christ's sake.

I am convinced that "nothing is able to separate us from the love of God" - not even ourselves.

Dan
/\/
\/\



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Daniel van de Laar

 2005/4/2 20:22Profile
Mr_Nath
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Joined: 2005/2/13
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 Re:

Quote:
I am convinced that "nothing is able to separate us from the love of God" - not even ourselves.


*Thinking Outloud*

I agree with that statement, but isn't it not God's love directly that gives us eternal life but our faith in His Son that died as an atonement for our sin, which God did as a result of His love for us?

Rom 5:8 KJV "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Won't sinners without Christ as their saviour, despite God's love for them still "be cast into outer darkness" with "weeping and gnashing of teeth"?

Mr Nath.

 2005/4/3 0:19Profile
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

"Can we agree that our faith itself is no merit or virtue? It is the object of our faith that justifies.... Faith is not the justifying work, but ceasing from the work of justification. (Hebrews 6:4-6)"

Quote:
Can you explain this further?



Good question. Upon reading my statement a couple days later I see the need to finish the thought.

I was trying to surgically separate apart works for justification and works
from justification. Regardless of how many good works I may someday have under my belt, I want to preserve the purity of my hope by remembering that justification is not based on my merit but upon the merit of Christ. I certainly did not mean to imply that the justified is exempt from work! Indeed, the justified may "work" all the harder since the exausting burden of self-righteousness has been lifted and replaced with love. Still, I believe that even my sweetest works are horribly flawed; and require the blood of Jesus to be acceptable to God.

This idea reminds me of a quote from Watchman Nee. "If we fight for victory we can never overcome, but if we fight from victory we can never be defeated."

For further clarification, I have found Robert W' description of "works" very agreeable. He has, more then once, successfully articulated works from a selfless motive of love. I believe this love motive is impossible for a person working for justification and only possible for a person working from justification.

Does this help? (Writing is hard and clumsy work isn't it? When handling the truths of the Bible I'm reminded of my mom's scolding as a little boy..."Put that down before you break it!")

You know, I was talking with someone this weekend about this question of justification by faith. I chanced an observation of how relative our understanding of key words are like "works" and "faith" are to our church background. For some who have seen excesses of Calvinism, they might view emphasis on faith as dubious, while others who have seen excesses of Arminianism, look at works like kryptonite to the Gospel. Have you seen this to be the tendency in your experience?

Bless you Philo!

MC


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Mike Compton

 2005/4/4 14:48Profile
dann
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Joined: 2005/2/16
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 Re:

Quote:

Mr_Nath wrote: *Thinking Outloud*

I agree with that statement, but isn't it not God's love directly that gives us eternal life but our faith in His Son that died as an atonement for our sin, which God did as a result of His love for us?

Rom 5:8 KJV "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Won't sinners without Christ as their saviour, despite God's love for them still "be cast into outer darkness" with "weeping and gnashing of teeth"?



I see what you are saying.

In Romans 8:33-35 Paul precedes his statements regarding the love of God with: "Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? "

I think Paul wasn't just talking about God's love - but rather that God's love is the surety of our justification. Not unlike what Paul summarizes in 2 Timothy 2:13, "If we are faithless, He remains faithful;..."

I agree, God's love is not the mechanism by which man attains justification before a holy God.

Dan
/\/
\/\


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Daniel van de Laar

 2005/4/4 16:17Profile
Svineklev
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Joined: 2004/12/14
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 Re: once justified, always justified?

Ron--

I'll look into this a bit more, but it looks like you may be reading things into this passage.

In verse 34, Paul addresses those who have gone through persecution:

"For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one."

See that? He speaks of an [i]abiding[/i] possession.

And then in verse 39 (which you left out):

"But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls."

Again, those whom he is addressing [i]abide.[/i]

It is common for those who finish the course, who win the race, to be discouraged en route. So Paul's encouragement to see it through without losing confidence (verses 35 and 36) is quite appropriate.

So, what about verse 38? I'm not sure. It depends on how we end up translating it. The Greek [i]kai ean[/i] can be taken as "and if," "but if," "even if," or "and should it be the case that." This last may allow us to translate: "for if he were to shrink back." I see nothing in the syntax that would disallow such an interpretation, and the context may indeed tend in that direction. This would make it hypothetical: "If any of you were to shrink back, I would know that you are not amongst the Lord's righteous ones, for He is not pleased with those who turn back."

I think you're right that it is not talking about two men, but one. However, that "man" is a generic one (my righteous one)...which may be why the [i]any[/i] is added in quite a few translations. Habakkuk is not singling out any [i]specific[/i] "righteous one."

Justification is by faith alone...not by faith and endurance. For the life of me, I cannot understand how a Protestant can believe in the apostasy of a true believer. If justification is forensic and we are pronounced "not guilty" on account of the righteousness of Christ...at what point would the righteousness of Christ suddenly not be enough? Why and when would the court of heaven proclaim, "Oops, we made a mistake!"

We are talking, I believe, about the faithfulness of Christ.

2 Timothy 2:11-13 says:

"Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure,
we will also reign with him. If we disown him,
he will also disown us; [b]if we are faithless,
he will remain faithful[/b], for he cannot disown himself."

This is a tough verse. Surely he didn't permanently disown Peter in spite of Peter's denials. Surely he is not faithful to those who have no saving faith. I therefore believe it means that our perseverance depends on his faithfulness, not on ours. And that He will by no means allow us to apostasize.

I have problems with the "once saved, always saved" attitude that allows too much flexibility in the direction of antinomianism. I much prefer the "perseverance of the saints" that acknowledges our need to strive to endure.

"For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised." (Hebrews 10:36)

So, let's all get out there and [i]endure....[/i]

--Eric








 2005/4/10 20:15Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Eric
You will tell me if I am wrong, but isn't it a valid concept in 'Calvinism' that justification is by faith without works, but that justifying faith is evidenced by works? And that consequently authentic 'faith' is 'justified' by 'works'? So what would happen if the 'works' that were 'justifying' the 'faith by which we were justified' ceased?

I can imagine some of our folk who don't have English as their first language struggling with that last sentence, but I think you will see how I am thinking.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/4/11 17:25Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
For further clarification, I have found Robert W' description of "works" very agreeable. He has, more then once, successfully articulated works from a selfless motive of love. I believe this love motive is impossible for a person working for justification and only possible for a person working from justification.



faith working through love? I do think there is a continual pastoral need to surgically separate the concepts. When this does not happen, particularly in 'holiness' circles there is the almost inevitable tendency to preach 'justification by sanctification'.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/4/11 17:30Profile
crossman4God
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Joined: 2005/7/1
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 Re:

The works that justifys the TRUE faith will never cease dear friend, God is the Author AND FINISHER of our faith, He will keep giving works just like he keeps giving faith.



Crossman

 2005/7/1 19:13Profile
ReceivedText
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Joined: 2005/4/22
Posts: 257
Seattle, Washington, USA

 Re: Once Justified, Always Justified?

[b]Once Justified, Always Justified?[/b]

If I go steal a candy bar, get caught, and the store owner says to me "I'll pay for your candy bar," can I assume that I can go there every day and take candy bars for free because he forgave me in the past?

Of course we know that Jesus paid for our sins before any of us were ever born. We also know that if we are entangled in some sin tomorrow that when we are in Him, in the Light, the blood covers.

It's hard to find any analogy like the one above to compare with this issue, since Christ has paid for all of our sins before any of us were born and the ones we commited after we were saved.

I think the real question is whether we remain "in Him". If we are baptized into Him, we are baptized into his death. He that is dead is free from sin.

"For he that is dead is freed from sin." [Romans 6:7]

I think there is a lot of foundational truth of how we enter into Christ in Rom. 6.

RT

 2005/7/1 19:24Profile





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