Donations for the month of August


We have received a total of "$0" in donations towards our goal of $175.


Don't want to use PayPal? Go HERE


Search

Member Spotlight
Posts: 3,064
Joined: September 2003
Show All Member Profiles 
Forum Statistics
Forums30
Topics7,234
Posts53,064
Members962
Most Online523
Jan 14th, 2020
Top Posters(All Time)
Pilgrim 13,988
Tom 4,002
chestnutmare 3,064
J_Edwards 2,615
Wes 1,856
John_C 1,814
RJ_ 1,583
MarieP 1,579
gotribe 1,060
Top Posters(30 Days)
Pilgrim 18
Tom 13
Robin 6
John_C 2
Recent Posts
The Fifth Commandment
by Pilgrim. Thu Aug 05, 2021 6:54 AM
Marriage and the Church
by Pilgrim. Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:36 AM
What if...
by Tom. Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:15 PM
"Holiness - Introduction" by J.C. Ryle
by Pilgrim. Sun Aug 01, 2021 6:42 AM
The New Birth ~ William Nicholson 1862
by Fred B. Smith. Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:21 AM
Mandatory Vaccines
by Pilgrim. Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:13 PM
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Justification #37928
Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:04 AM
Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:04 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 416
Virginia
Reformation Monk Offline OP
Addict
Reformation Monk  Offline OP
Addict
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 416
Virginia
Question on justification.

There are people in my church who seem to believe in the following doctrine.

That God justifies people who has either never heard the gospel and or who has rejected the gospel.

Or God imputes Christs' righteousness to people throughout time and continues to do so who don't have a personal relationship or living faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

The examples that people give:


1. Someone like Mahatma Gandhi. Here we have a man who was created in the image of God. So he along with all humanity is a witness to Gods general revelation. He has a moral conscience and he recognizes that there is a higher power in the Universe.

He is religious and he lead a prayerful life. He dedicated his life to good deeds and helping others.

But, he never accepted Jesus Christ as his lord and savior. He rejected the truth claims of the Bible and didn't worship the one true God of the Bible.

But because he lead a pious life and obeyed and followed his conscience and asked "his" god to forgive his trespasses, does this mean that he was one of Gods children and had Jesus Christs' righteousness imputed to him and therefore be saved in the final judgment?


2. A tribal leader deep in the Amazon who has never seen a missionary or a Bible or heard of Jesus Christ or the gospel.

Let's say this leader, again like Gandhi, follows his conscience and prays and asks for forgiveness to his nature gods. i.e.; the Great Lizard Totem, or the Great Sloth in the Great Tree. Is this a means by which this person could have Christs' righteousness imputed to him by God. Could this individual be an adopted son of the Father and be saved at the final judgment?


3. A mentally challenged person or children. These are people who cannot fully understand Gods general revelation and or their own sinful condition so therefore are exempt from Gods condemnation. ( I don't care to get into a discussion in this area, I'm just adding this, because people always seem to fall back on this one as well )



So that is my question. After sharing the gospel over and over again in my local assembly, there seems to always be people who bring these issues up. It's like they know that some people can be offended by the "bad news" of the gospel, so it seems that they are trying to "soften" it by including this doctrine.

It's one of those; "Oh yes, but what about people who never hear the gospel?" or "Well, what about people who have done good deeds all their life?" or "Wait! what about children and mentally challenged people??"

I've always believed that the New Testament teaches us that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and that no one comes to the father accept through Him. But I've tried to tell people this and they look at me like I'm some kind of weirdo.

So anyway, any assistance with this would be most helpful.

Dave


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
Re: Justification [Re: Reformation Monk] #37929
Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:38 AM
Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:38 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 41
Philadelphia, Pa.
Machaira Offline
Newbie
Machaira  Offline
Newbie
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 41
Philadelphia, Pa.
Dave,

I always find that the best place to start in answering questions like yours is to first look at a Reformed confession like the WCF and compare it with the Biblical proof provided. Not only do you get a clear statement of the Reformed postition, you also have Scripture to back it up.

If you would like to discuss any of the following points further I'd be happy to do so.

Westminster Confession Of Faith

Chapter X

Of Effectual Calling

I. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed time, effectually to call,[1] by His Word and Spirit,[2] out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ;[3] enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God,[4] taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh;[5] renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good,[6] and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ:[7] yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.[8]

II. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man,[9] who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit,[10] he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.[11]

III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit,[12] who works when, and where, and how He pleases:[13] so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.[14]

IV. Others, not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word,[15] and may have some common operations of the Spirit,[16] yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved:[17] much less can men, not professing the Christian religion, be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the laws of that religion they do profess.[18] And to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested.[19]

-----------------------------------------------------------

[1] ROM 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. EPH 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.

[2] 2TH 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: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2CO 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

[3] ROM 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. EPH 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved). 2TI 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

[4] ACT 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. 1CO 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. EPH 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.

[5] EZE 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

[6] EZE 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh. PHI 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. DEU 30:6 And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. EZE 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

[7] EPH 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power. JOH 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

[8] SON 1:4 Draw me, we will run after thee. PSA 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. JOH 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. ROM 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

[9] 2TI 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. TIT 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. EPH 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved). 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. ROM 9:11 For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth.

[10] 1CO 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. ROM 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. EPH 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).

[11] JOH 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. EZE 36:37 Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. JOH 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

[12] LUK 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. ACT 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. JOH 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 1JO 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. ROM 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

[13] JOH 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

[14] 1JO 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. ACT 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

[15] MAT 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

[16] MAT 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. HEB 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come.

[17] JOH 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

[18] ACT 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. JOH 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. EPH 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. JOH 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

[19] 2JO 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. 1CO 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. GAL 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.


Jim

Jud 1:3 . . . contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

Re: Justification [Re: Machaira] #37930
Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:38 AM
Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:38 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 416
Virginia
Reformation Monk Offline OP
Addict
Reformation Monk  Offline OP
Addict
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 416
Virginia
Thank you very much Machaira,

You had obviously taken some time with your reply and I appreciate that very much. There are a lot of good scriptural references here. But I would like to explore this a little further.

1. I can not use the W.C.F. as an authority in this matter.

2. A lot of these scriptural versus don't exactly deal with God's Spirit working in people whom have never heard the gospel.

My main concern here with this doctrine is one of practicality. It seems to me that if people preach that God can regenerate whom ever He wants without the aid of the gospel or the church, and if this starts to become a common doctrinal understanding, then that will totally strip the importance of the Bible and the Church away from a local assembly.

So to put it in simpler terms, my question is, can people be saved without the preaching, teaching or reading of the gospel of Jesus Christ? (look at examples in my initial post)

Or.....

Can a part of the elect actually be people whom God has chosen as His adopted children without the means of hearing and being convicted by the gospel message? Can someone who has never heard the gospel and doesn't have any idea who Jesus Christ is or someone who has not chosen to follow the Bible still be regenerated by Gods Holy Spirit and have Christs' righteousness imputed to them?

You see, there are tons of versus that tell us we need the righteousness of Christ, that our works or righteousness is as filthy rags. That our salvation comes by Gods grace alone. But the problem here is that God can simply impute the righteousness of Christ to anyone He wants, regardless, whether or not such individual has ever heard the gospel or not.

Here is the problem. People in my congregation tell me that people don't need to hear the gospel to be saved. When I share the gospel with people in my congregation and I say that evangelizing is absolutely essential to bring people to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, they don't agree with me.

They tell me that God can do whatever He wants... and I ask them... oh really? Can God lie? Can God hate? Can God go back on His promises?

They say "we He could if He wanted too." --- I say, "No He can't and He won't, because it's against His nature."

So we are told in the New Testament that the only way to restore a right relationship with God the Father and be saved from eternal judgment is to put our faith and trust in the promise of salvation brought through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, or faith in Christ alone without any works. The only way that we can put faith in Christ is by the proclamation of the gospel.

So again, I'm a little at a stand still here, because people just don't want to believe that a loving God can send "undeserving" or "good" people to hell.

This is the basic issue at hand. It's the Loving God won't send good people to hell problem really.

Anyway, if a few others could comment here, I would appreciate it, thank you.

Dave

Last edited by Puritan; Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:39 AM.

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
Re: Justification [Re: Reformation Monk] #37931
Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:41 AM
Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:41 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,004
Lake Park, Georgia USA
Robin Offline

The Boy Wonder
Robin  Offline

The Boy Wonder
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,004
Lake Park, Georgia USA
I think one of the roots of that kind of thinking is this myth (which has been echoed on more than one occassion by our "Christian" President Bush):

All religions worship the same God, they just have different names for Him/Her/Whatever).

Nonsense, of course. To this kind of thinking I have two general responses:

First, that the difference between Christianity and all other religions is that while the others say "Follow the rules and you'll be okay," Christianity alone says, "Because we have not and cannot follow the rules, we need a Savior."

Secondly, God has provided one - whose perfect obedience and substitutionary death has secured the salvation of all who come to God through Him. There are not multiple saviors, nor is there any other way than the one God Himself has provided. It simply makes sense that salvation is available only from the One who has purchased it for us. He alone has the right to determine the terms under which He makes it available to us.

-Robin

Re: Justification [Re: Robin] #37932
Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:05 PM
Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:05 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 416
Virginia
Reformation Monk Offline OP
Addict
Reformation Monk  Offline OP
Addict
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 416
Virginia
Would this be a good defense?

Quote
"None is righteous, no, not one;
11no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one."
13(R) "Their throat is(S) an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive."
(T) "The venom of asps is under their lips."
14(U) "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
15(V) "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16in their paths are ruin and misery,
17and(W) the way of peace they have not known."
18(X) "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

19Now we know that whatever(Y) the law says it speaks to those who are under the law,(Z) so that every mouth may be stopped, and(AA) the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20For(AB) by works of the law no human being[c] will be justified in his sight, since(AC) through the law comes knowledge of sin.

21But now(AD) the righteousness of God(AE) has been manifested apart from the law, although(AF) the Law and the Prophets bear witness to itó 22the righteousness of God(AG) through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.(AH) For there is no distinction: 23for(AI) all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24(AJ) and are justified(AK) by his grace as a gift,(AL) through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God(AM) put forward as(AN) a propitiation(AO) by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show Godís righteousness, because in(AP) his divine forbearance he had passed over(AQ) former sins. 26It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

18For(AJ) the wrath of God(AK) is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19For what can be(AL) known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature,(AM) have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him

16For(AC) I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is(AD) the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew(AE) first and also to(AF) the Greek. 17For in it(AG) the righteousness of God is revealed(AH) from faith for faith,[e](AI) as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."

14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:14-16

Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.
8These were his instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staffóno bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. 10Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them."

12They went out and preached that people should repent. 13They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. Mark 6

2Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Colossians 4:2-4

3We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3

And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. Mark 13:10

25Jesus said to her, (Y) "I am the resurrection and(Z) the life.[d] Whoever believes in me,(AA) though he die,(AB) yet shall he live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me(AC) shall never die

And Jesus came and said to them, (V) "All authority(W) in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19(X) Go therefore and(Y) make disciples of(Z) all nations,(AA) baptizing them(AB) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them(AC) to observe all that(AD) I have commanded you. And behold,(AE) I am with you always, to(AF) the end of the age."

16"For(AA) God so loved(AB) the world,(AC) that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not(AD) perish but have eternal life. 17For(AE) God did not send his Son into the world(AF) to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18(AG) Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not(AH) believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19(AI) And this is the judgment:(AJ) the light has come into the world, and(AK) people loved the darkness rather than the light because(AL) their works were evil. 20(AM) For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light,(AN) lest his works should be exposed. 21But whoever(AO) does what is true(AP) comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God."

2In(C) my Fatherís house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that(D) I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you(E) to myself, that(F) where I am you may be also. 4And you know the way to where I am going."[c] 5(G) Thomas said to him, "Lord,(H) we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" 6Jesus said to him, "I am(I) the way, and(J) the truth, and(K) the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7(L) If you had known me, you would have(M) known my Father also.[d] From now on you do know him and(N) have seen him."


I have to come to the conclusion that God does not lie. It is against His nature. So If we take the Bible to be inspired by Him and consider it His Word, we have to look at all these versus in their context and come to the conclusion that Gods plan of salvation involves hearing or reading the gospel and making a choice to put ones faith in Jesus Christ. I do not believe that after all these versus we can come to the conclusion that Gods general revelation is enough for anyone to be justified and covered by the righteousness of Jesus.


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
Re: Justification [Re: Reformation Monk] #37933
Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:50 AM
Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:50 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 4,003
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Online content
Needs to get a Life
Tom  Online Content
Needs to get a Life
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 4,003
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Dave

I just thought I would ask you a few questions that may help you in this matter.

What do you think your Church's beliefs are on this issue?
Have you consulted with your pastor about your concern for these people? He may like to know about it, so he can provide biblical teaching.

Tom

Re: Justification [Re: Tom] #37934
Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:45 AM
Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:45 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 416
Virginia
Reformation Monk Offline OP
Addict
Reformation Monk  Offline OP
Addict
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 416
Virginia
Quote
Tom said:
Dave

I just thought I would ask you a few questions that may help you in this matter.

What do you think your Church's beliefs are on this issue?
Have you consulted with your pastor about your concern for these people? He may like to know about it, so he can provide biblical teaching.

Tom


There are a lot of people in the congregation that feel as though people can be "saved" without the gospel.

Most of the people in my congregation don't read the Bible and or don't really know much about it.

Sharing the "whole" gospel with people in my church is a sensitive process.

Most people, kind of like the Roman Catholic Church, are focused more on letting others "see Jesus in them."

This is the predominant focus in how they want to lead their faith. i.e.; being loving, kind, friendly, etc....

The main underlining problem that I witness in my church body, is that it is more of a social club. It's a place where people can gather and socialize and be friendly and teach their children good moral values. But there isn't a strong focus on the gospel and when there is someone talking about the gospel it's mainly the later part, i.e.; "the good new", that Christ died on the cross for us so that we may have a restored relationship with God. While this is certainly the gospel, it isn't convicting unless add the first part which is that we in and of ourselves were born sinners and that our righteousness is as filthy rags and the only hope in restoring our relationship with the Father is by putting our faith and trust in the only one who was able to satisfy the demands of God and that was Jesus Christ. Without Christs' righteousness imputed to us, or without being covered by His blood we are lost. It is only by putting our faith in Him and His redeeming work on the cross that we will be saved.

So.... you see, people in my congregation are very uncomfortable being confronted by their sin and sin nature. They don't like being told that they are inherently sinful. That they and the rest of humanity have a very real sin problem. That people are inherently "bad" and not "good." And most especially that unless someone is in Christ, they WILL go to hell.

I am in the process right now of discussing this issue with my pastors.

My pastors do share the gospel from the pulpit and are good ministers of the Word. I don't believe it's entirely their doing. But they are also not very convicting in this area of the gospel.

In an age of relativism, self esteem and subjective truth, it's hard to be firm on objective truths that are hard to understand and accept.

But never the less, the church is predominantly Arminian. But not totally. There has been more reformed action going on. But it all boils down to the problem of God sending undeserving people or "good" people to hell.

But what I'm trying to do right now, in the next few weeks is to work on this doctrinal idea with the Pastorate and the elders. So that is why I'm trying to gather all my ducks in a row.

So any help would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

Dave


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
Re: Justification [Re: Reformation Monk] #37935
Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:42 AM
Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:42 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 416
Virginia
Reformation Monk Offline OP
Addict
Reformation Monk  Offline OP
Addict
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 416
Virginia
I just wanted to add a couple more things. All of this of course is a great way for me to think and to log down my thoughts and to straighten everything out.

1. So the issue at hand is.... does one need to actually "hear or read" the gospel to be saved?

I believe so because of what we're told in Romans 10.

2. Why do people feel uncomfortable with the part of the gospel that deals with original sin and repentance? Why are people uncomfortable with the idea that one needs to "hear" the gospel preached to them for conviction to repentance before they can accept Jesus as Lord and be justified?

Because I believe that people don't want to confront their sin and they just want a place they can go to that will encourage them and help them to be "positive" and "happy."

Ideas like sin, condemnation, repentance and hell are to "touchy."

So it's this part of the gospel that is left out.

So, while I'm a firm believer in the Law of Christ and leading our Christian lives focusing on the fruits of the Spirit rather then on total obedience to the Law, I still firmly believe that we are shown in the New Testament time and time again that the "whole" convicting gospel is essential for our Justification and Sanctification.

When we lose sight of this, when we want to just focus on "goodness" and "happiness" we have a tendency to turn our focus away from repenting from our sin to that of a works faith. If we are not humbled, if we do not recognize are weakness, then we will focus instead on our pride and our works. i.e.; self-esteem. We will try to "justify" ourselves and therefore reject that we need a savior because we deserve to go to hell.

If we go down this road, then of course our gospel will include the doctrine of people being able to be justified or have Christs' righteousness imputed to them without having to proclaim Christ as their Lord and Savior. That people can be saved through just simply obeying their conscience and or Gods general revelation. That they can have the law written on their hearts and as long as they lead a life of good works and repentance or (turning away from doing wrong and feeling sorry for their mistakes and asking a higher power for forgiveness) that from their labor and the fruit shown from it, that is clear indication that Gods Holy Spirit has worked in them to renew their hearts.

Again, the argument is "why not?" Why couldn't this be? God can do anything He wants to right?

Again I say no, God can't and won't do anything, because He is limited to His character and His promises. God doesn't work in this manner because He has been very clear about how salvation comes about in a person. (again refer to Romans 10).

So anyway, thanks again for all the inputs. Again, if I could get some more feedback, I would appreciate it. I'm still shaky on all of this and I need to be %100 sure of myself and have all my ducks in a row when I sit down with my pastors.

Why?

Well it's simple. The truth is, is that pastors are pretty stubborn and prideful. It has been my experience that to introduce a new idea or change to a pastor is practically impossible. I wish and pray it weren't so, but it seems to be the case most of the time.

So I will continue to pray and ask God to use me to work in my congregation and to prepare me to bring the truth in an effective and convicting way.

Thanks,

Dave


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
Re: Justification [Re: Reformation Monk] #37936
Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:09 AM
Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:09 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 251
New York
Joe k Offline
Enthusiast
Joe k  Offline
Enthusiast
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 251
New York
Quote
savebygrace97 said:
I just wanted to add a couple more things. All of this of course is a great way for me to think and to log down my thoughts and to straighten everything out.

1. So the issue at hand is.... does one need to actually "hear or read" the gospel to be saved?

I believe so because of what we're told in Romans 10.

2. Why do people feel uncomfortable with the part of the gospel that deals with original sin and repentance? Why are people uncomfortable with the idea that one needs to "hear" the gospel preached to them for conviction to repentance before they can accept Jesus as Lord and be justified?

Because I believe that people don't want to confront their sin and they just want a place they can go to that will encourage them and help them to be "positive" and "happy."

Ideas like sin, condemnation, repentance and hell are to "touchy."

So it's this part of the gospel that is left out.

So, while I'm a firm believer in the Law of Christ and leading our Christian lives focusing on the fruits of the Spirit rather then on total obedience to the Law, I still firmly believe that we are shown in the New Testament time and time again that the "whole" convicting gospel is essential for our Justification and Sanctification.

When we lose sight of this, when we want to just focus on "goodness" and "happiness" we have a tendency to turn our focus away from repenting from our sin to that of a works faith. If we are not humbled, if we do not recognize are weakness, then we will focus instead on our pride and our works. i.e.; self-esteem. We will try to "justify" ourselves and therefore reject that we need a savior because we deserve to go to hell.

If we go down this road, then of course our gospel will include the doctrine of people being able to be justified or have Christs' righteousness imputed to them without having to proclaim Christ as their Lord and Savior. That people can be saved through just simply obeying their conscience and or Gods general revelation. That they can have the law written on their hearts and as long as they lead a life of good works and repentance or (turning away from doing wrong and feeling sorry for their mistakes and asking a higher power for forgiveness) that from their labor and the fruit shown from it, that is clear indication that Gods Holy Spirit has worked in them to renew their hearts.

Again, the argument is "why not?" Why couldn't this be? God can do anything He wants to right?

Again I say no, God can't and won't do anything, because He is limited to His character and His promises. God doesn't work in this manner because He has been very clear about how salvation comes about in a person. (again refer to Romans 10).

So anyway, thanks again for all the inputs. Again, if I could get some more feedback, I would appreciate it. I'm still shaky on all of this and I need to be %100 sure of myself and have all my ducks in a row when I sit down with my pastors.

Why?

Well it's simple. The truth is, is that pastors are pretty stubborn and prideful. It has been my experience that to introduce a new idea or change to a pastor is practically impossible. I wish and pray it weren't so, but it seems to be the case most of the time.

So I will continue to pray and ask God to use me to work in my congregation and to prepare me to bring the truth in an effective and convicting way.

Thanks,

Dave


Dave:

Is there a possibility of giving the "cliff note" version of your situation? You are mentioning an awful lot of issues that are taking place. Then following witha long disseetation of your understanding. what are the main points of your contention with the assembly you worship at.


There never was a sinner half as big as Christ is as a Savior.
Re: Justification [Re: Joe k] #37937
Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:57 PM
Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:57 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 416
Virginia
Reformation Monk Offline OP
Addict
Reformation Monk  Offline OP
Addict
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 416
Virginia
Basically my main concern is "can God impute Christ's righteousness to people who have never heard of Jesus Christ or the gospel?

Does the Bible teach us that it is absolutely necessary for the gospel to be heard or read or understood to bring about conviction and repentance? Or can people follow their conscience and have the Holy Spirit renew them without the use of the gospel?

Dave


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
Re: Justification [Re: Reformation Monk] #37938
Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:39 PM
Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:39 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Virginia
CovenantInBlood Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian
CovenantInBlood  Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,040
Virginia
Dave,

What do these folks think of Heb. 11:6, "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him"?

1) Mahatma Gandhi rejected the faith. He spurned the Lord of Glory, preferring his dumb idols to the Maker of heaven and earth. Do your church folks believe in the First Commandment?

2) Like Gandhi, the Amazonian tribal leader falls under the condemnation of Scripture, as one who "exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures" (Rom. 1:23), even though God's attributes are revealed in what He has made; therefore, "they are without excuse" (v. 20).

3) As for the "fallback" option, your church folks should be pressured to show where in Scripture God has said that any class of men are exempted from condemnation. It seems rather the opposite, if we believe the Apostle: "As it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God'" (Rom. 2:10-11).

Finally, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'But the righteous man shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16-17).

May I ask, what kind of church are you attending that the people are so ignorant and hard-hearted regarding the utter importance of the Gospel? It may be the wiser choice to leave and find a church that is solidly biblical.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Justification [Re: CovenantInBlood] #37939
Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:07 AM
Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:07 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 416
Virginia
Reformation Monk Offline OP
Addict
Reformation Monk  Offline OP
Addict
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 416
Virginia
Here are a couple of links to what people bring up.

Mountain Tribe Evangelized

Again, I know from Romans 1,2, and 10 that God's primary means of grace is through the Word. But I'm trying to affirm that in my church.

Dave

What happens to people who have never heard the gospel?


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
Re: Justification [Re: Reformation Monk] #37940
Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:21 PM
Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:21 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 4,003
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Online content
Needs to get a Life
Tom  Online Content
Needs to get a Life
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 4,003
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Dave

In your initial post you answered your own question.
You said:
Quote
I've always believed that the New Testament teaches us that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and that no one comes to the father accept through Him. But I've tried to tell people this and they look at me like I'm some kind of weirdo.


Since this is exactly what Scripture teaches (Jn.14:6), it should tell you a lot about those who look at you as though you are a weirdo. Hence why I believe that it is very important that your pastor does some teaching on this topic.
But in the mean time if you get that response again I would just ask them to show you from Scripture where it shows that one can be saved any other way, regardless of whether or not one has heard the Gospel before.

Tom

Re: Justification [Re: Reformation Monk] #37941
Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:17 PM
Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 156
Western Oregon
G
gnarley Offline
Member
gnarley  Offline
Member
G
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 156
Western Oregon
Just curious. What denomination is your church


gil
Re: Justification [Re: Reformation Monk] #37942
Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:55 AM
Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:55 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 4,003
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Online content
Needs to get a Life
Tom  Online Content
Needs to get a Life
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 4,003
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Dave

I had a chance to look at the two links you provided.
From what I gathered from the second link, their argument in a nutshell goes something like this.
In the Old Covenant the Jews were saved by faith in God that He would provide the Messiah to redeem them.
Therefore those that have never heard the Gospel before in this day and age are saved in the same way.

With those things in mind, I could answer their logic in a number of ways. Not the least of which is the fact that we are no longer in the Old Covenant and the Messiah has already paid for the sins of the elect.
So I ask you this question. Are people who are of Jewish descent saved if they are still waiting for the promised Messiah (no matter how sincere they are) and don't believe that Jesus is the Messiah?
The answer to that question leads us right back to John 14:6, that Jesus is the only way one can be saved. This would include both those of Jewish descent and those who have never heard the Gospel.

I thought I would also mention something else from the second link.
The author used stories from the book 'Eternity in Their Hearts' by Don Richardson to support his arguments. However, I believe that rather than support his arguments, the stories actually destroy them.
In each story about tribes etc... that became Christians. Each person was converted after they heard the Gospel, not before. Regardless of whether or not they were waiting for a missionary to come and proclaim the Gospel to them.
In other words, they were converted when they put their faith in Jesus Christ.

Tom

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 76 guests, and 71 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
winslowlady, Zach, Daverogk, Dani, timothywhite
962 Registered Users
Shout Box
August
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
Today's Birthdays
No Birthdays
Popular Topics(Views)
1,274,038 Gospel truth
Page Time: 0.058s Queries: 16 (0.005s) Memory: 3.0083 MB (Peak: 3.3116 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2021-08-06 03:49:14 UTC