Josh, Here are more notes I had from a study I did from J. C. Ryle's book Holiness on the chapter on Sanctification that may be of some help to you. You are right that it is important for us to be holy and to please the Lord. No one who has responded to you on this forum wants to minimize this at all. May the Lord make this crystal clear to you and help you to understand that Christ's work of justification is a finished work and our salvation rests on Him alone so that no true child of God could ever lose that which Christ has won for him! Susan
[color:red]Justification is a finished work and rests entirely on Christ's work done for me. "The only righteousness in which we can appear before God is the righteousness of another--even the perfect righteousness of our Substitute and Representative, Jesus Christ the Lord."
"Sanctification is the inward spiritual work which the Lord Jesus Christ works in a man by the Holy Spirit when he calls him to be a true believer." (J.C. Ryle)[color:red] We can never be more justified, but we can be more sanctified. Sanctification is God's will for us. I Thess 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification:
It is a result of abiding in Christ. Jn 15:5
Without sanctification there is no real spiritual life. James 2:17-20 ; 1 Jn 2:29; 1 Jn 3:9-14; 1 Jn 5:4-18
It is evidence of the Holy Spirit's presence. Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:22,25; Romans 8:14
It is a mark of God's election. 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Peter 1:22 Thess 2:13; Romans 8:29; Eph 1:41 Thess 1:3,4
It is our own fault if we are not holy.
We can grow in sanctification. 2 Peter 3:18; 1 Thess 4:1; Jn 17:17; 1 Thess 4:3
We must expect inward spiritual conflict. Our hearts are occupied by two rival camps. Galatians 5:17; Romans 7:22
We must be diligent in using the means God has given us such as Bible reading, private prayer, worship, hearing faithful preaching, communion, etc.
All our works are imperfect, but our efforts can be pleasing to God when done with the right heart much as a small child's efforts can please his parent.
[color:red]Sanctification cannot justify us, yet it pleases God. Romans 3:20-28; 1 Jn 3:22
Our works will be examined for evidence of grace. Jn 5:29; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:13
We must be made fit for heaven. God wants to make us holy. We must not become discouraged that so many flaws remain in us. The more light we have, the more we will see our own imperfections and we will be ashamed. We are debtors to mercy and grace every hour.
"The Lord Jesus Christ has undertaken everything that His people's souls require; not only to deliver them from the guilt of their sins, but from the dominion of their sins, by placing in their hearts the Holy Spirit; not only to justify them, but also to sanctify them. He is, thus, not only their righteousness, but their sanctification."
1 Cor 1:30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
Jn 17:19 And for their sake I consecrate myself,  that they also may be sanctified  in truth.
Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Titus 2:14 ... who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
Colossians 1:22,23 ... he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation  under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. All quotes from the ESV
Hi Josh,<br><br>I'm glad you joined the message board here. I have read countless postings of yours and others to you, but something you said in this post sort of jumped out at me, and this is it:<br><br>[color:blue]God can save anyone He chooses to: He simply has chosen to save those who humble themselves and hear His voice. But men do not have the power in themselves to follow God, this is why He has given us power by His grace to follow Him.</font color=blue><br><br>The thing it seems like you're not understanding is that true humility, for example--the kind that is pleasing to God--is good. It's a type of goodness, and without being born from above, we just don't have any of that in us. When the Bible says that we are dead in sin, it means it. We can't DO any good in the sense of godly goodness. True humility is one of those things. We simply don't possess the ability to be truly humble before God when we are outside of Christ. We also don't have a true forgiving spirit or true love for others, or any other of these things that you listed that God sees as good. We can have things which masquerade as them, but at best they are all tainted with sin.<br><br>You're right that we can only follow God when He gives us the power by His grace to do so, but that's SAVING grace. Until God's saving grace has acted efficaciously upon our hearts--until He has brought us to spiritual life--we cannot and will not follow Him, and we will not truly humble ourselves towards Him. <br><br>So, when you say: [color:blue]He simply has chosen to save those who humble themselves and hear His voice</font color=blue>, you are basically saying that God has chosen to save those who had this goodness in them in that they were truly humble and listened to Him. <br><br>Something to think about,<br>RefBap<br><br> <br>
Dear JoshT,<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>[color:"blue"]God does direct the course of history, but He chooses not to control some things. God wills that believers abstain from fornication (1 Thessalonians 4:3), why does it occur anyway? Because God has delegated a measure of control to His creatures.</font><p><hr></blockquote><p>Do you realize how hard it would be for God to control anything if He didn't have control of everything?<br><br>The sovereign exercise of grace is illustrated on nearly every page of Scripture. The Gentiles are left to walk in their own ways, while Israel becomes the covenant people of Jehovah. Ishmael the firstborn is cast out comparatively unblest, while Isaac the son of his parents' old age is made the child of promise. Esau the generous-hearted and forgiving-spirited is denied the blessing, though he sought it carefully with tears, while the worm Jacob receives the inheritance and is fashioned into a vessel of honor. So in the New Testament. Divine truth is hidden from the wise and prudent, but is revealed to babes. The Pharisees and Sadducees are left to go their own way, while publicans and harlots are drawn by the cords of love.<br><br><blockquote>Romans 9:18-20<br>Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?" But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?"</blockquote><br><br>Wes<br><br><br><br> <br>
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Dear Mike,<br><br>Concerning Psalm 105, I do believe that God turns peoples' hearts; I simply do not believe that He always chooses to.<br>Yes, I'll give credit where it's due, you did initiate the question; let's just say that your argument 'inspired' me to pose a counter-question. I actually did write a response to your letter, I just didn't post it before because I didn't see that our conversation had been brought to a different thread.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh<br>
Dear Lazarus,<br><br>I wrote:<br>"You assume that anything believed or heard by a man is considered 'works.' The scripture teaches no such concept (it distinguishes stronly between faith and works)."<br><br>You wrote:<br>"The Bible also teaches that the works AS WELL AS the exercise of our wills (which you erroneously equate with 'faith') are NOT formal causes of our salvation....<br><br>Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. <br><br>It's God's mercy/grace that SAVES.<br><br>Nobody can work hard enough to earn God's favor ... no one can want/will it enough either."<br><br>Erroneously equate with 'faith?' You lost me. But as far as Romans 9 goes, it is saying that salvation is not from man's will, but from God's; so it is only by God's grace that a man can be saved. So it does not matter how I would have responded to God's grace; if He had not chosen to save me, then I would not and could not be saved no matter what I thought/believed/did/etc... What I have been saying, that not this scripture, nor any other will contradict, is that God has chosen His elect based on His foreknowledge of their receiving His grace (1 Peter 1:2). To put it in a nutshell:<br><br>1. Salvation is of God's will, not man's; so man can never do anything to earn it or will it<br>2. Whom God wills to be saved is based on His foreknowledge of how men will receive Him<br>3. So essentially, God resists the proud (whom He knows will refuse His grace), but gives grace to the humble<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Dear Freddy,<br><br>IRT:<br>You essentially believe that Jesus can fail in accomplishing the salvation he promises to his people?"<br><br>No, I believe that man can fail to remain Christ's people and fall short of His promises (Hebrews 4:1).<br><br>IRT:<br>"Are you saying that Jesus lied, or was in error, when he told the people in Capernaum that, "all that the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out." (John 6:37)?"<br><br>No. I said that all that the Father gives to Christ will come to Him, and that if one does not abide in Christ, God the Father will cut him off and cast him out (John 15:1-7).<br><br>IRT:<br>"One interesting textual note about that passage. The original language has two negatives, so that when Jesus states, "I will by no means cast out," the language of John's gospel is emphatically stating an impossibility. In other words, Jesus is so sure of what he will accomplish with the father giving his people to him, that they could never be cast out."<br><br>It does not say that they could never be cast out, it simply says that Jesus won't. But as I pointed out above, John 15, as well as Romans 11 prove that one can be cast out for not abiding in Christ.<br><br>IRT:<br>"In my opinion, you need to stop reading the Bible with humanistic and Greek philosophical glasses, and just let it state what it states. (Of course I am assuming you will be reading it with the proper hermenuetical rules in place!)"<br><br>I was just about to ask the same thing of you: What exactly does Revelation 22:19 mean if not what it is clearly stated? How can a man fall from grace (Galatians 5:4), and still be under God's grace? How can a man escape the corruption of the world through knowing Jesus Christ, and yet not be saved (2 Peter 2:20)?<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
<br>Dear Pilgrim,<br><br>IRT:<br>"Thus I say again, that the "abandoning of oneself" is part and parcel to true saving faith. So that if one is in any way relying upon 'self', whether that be one's 'decision for Christ' or 'enduring to the end', then the 'abandoning' is not genuine but fleshly and salvation is not owned. Any embracing of a 'sharing with God' unto salvation is synergism, i.e., faith+works=salvation and indisputable not of GRACE alone."<br><br>I have already made it clear that I believe that one must endure to the end to be saved, but that I also believe that this can only be done by the grace of God. The fact that I believe in conditional salvation is not salvation by faith + works, but simply meeting the things that God requires of us (repentance, humility, love, forgiveness, etc...) by the power of His Holy Spirit.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
[color:"blue"]I have already made it clear that I believe that one must endure to the end to be saved, but that I also believe that this can only be done by the grace of God. The fact that I believe in conditional salvation is not salvation by faith + works, but simply meeting the things that God requires of us (repentance, humility, love, forgiveness, etc...) by the power of His Holy Spirit.
This statement could have come directly out of the pages of the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia. It is pure semi-Pelagianism. It is indisputably synergism. Now if that is what you really believe, then fine...... !! But you can't believe in "conditional salvation" but then deny that salvation is not merited by some form of works. That's inane! It doesn't make any difference "who" is influential in "helping" a "free-willed sinner" to make an alleged decision for Christ and/or to endure to the end. The bottom line is that it is still the individual's decision/will, according to your theory, that makes one to differ; not divine grace. For if all have the same grace, but some fall away, then it isn't "grace" that saves. You make grace an ingredient that is necessary for the mix, but that's all it is; an ingredient that when mixed with other ingredients, you get the end product, aka "salvation". Dress it up any way you wish, but it still ends up being a system of "grace + works = salvation". Protest as loudly as you will, it's still nothing more than SYNERGISM; God helps man to save himself.
JoshT,<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>[color:"blue"]2. Whom God wills to be saved is based on His foreknowledge of how men will receive Him<br></font><p><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>But this is not what the scriptures say.<br><br>I John 4:19<br>"We love him, because he first loved us."<br><br>You statements keep bringing you back to a salvation that you merit which is no salvation at all. You say that it is because I was willing to listen, and you say that because God first saw that we would want Him is the reason God decided to save us. I do hope that God shows you the inconsistency of your doctrine and how much it differs from that of grace. <br><br>Sincerely,<br>Ehud<br><br><br><br>
Hi Josht,<br><br>Nice to see you back. Hopefully your exams went well. Right Now I am busy with my greek class and with work. thus, when I have free time, I will respond to all your posts. In the mean time, most of the things we were discussing are being re-hashed between you and Joe and others. <br><br>alright, til free time then. <br><br><br>God bless, <br>Carlos<br>
"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)
Hey there Josh<br><br>(Josh states):<br>No, I believe that man can fail to remain Christ's people and fall short of His promises (Hebrews 4:1).<br>(fred) You responded to my question about whether or not Jesus could fail saving those whom he calls, and you answered by quoting Heb. 4:1. How exactly does Hebrews 4:1 demonstrate that Jesus is faithful to not fail, but men could possibly fall short? I sort of miss that. As I read Hebrews 4, it looks like to me that these people who may fall short did not have real faith, (see verse 2), and those who do believe will most certainly enter God's rest (see verse 3). You need to re-consider your "pet verses" you believe support conditional security in their contexts. <br><br>(fred asked Josh)<br>"Are you saying that Jesus lied, or was in error, when he told the people in Capernaum that, "all that the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out." (John 6:37)?"<br>(Josh replied to Fred)<br>No. I said that all that the Father gives to Christ will come to Him, and that if one does not abide in Christ, God the Father will cut him off and cast him out (John 15:1-7).<br>(fred responds to Josh)<br>Josh, you make me wonder about your theological training. Not that you have to be a graduate from a seminary in order to read the Bible, but you need to have some rules of simple interpretation in place to at least properly handle and study it. You do not seem to employ any coherent rules of interpretation of scripture in order to answer our questions. It is not my intention to be mocking, but point out an observation. Let me show you what I mean:<br>First off, you approach my specific question about this text (as well as this entire debate) with the the theological presupposition that men must act in cooperation with God in order to be saved, or they will loose their salvation. It is a deplorable presupposition, but a presupposition none the less. <br>Next, you have an improper reading of scripture. What on earth does a discussion about salvation to the mass of people who thronged Jesus in Capernaum as recorded in John 6, have to do with an intimate conversation between Jesus and his 11 remaining apostles as recorded in John 15? Because you have this faulty approach to Bible study in place when you come to the Bible, you eisegete the text, (ie, read into the text), what you want it to say. The text of John 6 emphatically states that those individuals given by the father to Christ will not be lost, and they will be raised up on the last day. There are no conditions mentioned any where in the whole dialogue of John 6. Any conditions you want it to promote are brought there to the text by your theological presupposition. <br><br>(Fred pointed out to Josh an interesting grammatical nugget)<br>"One interesting textual note about that passage. The original language has two negatives, so that when Jesus states, "I will by no means cast out," the language of John's gospel is emphatically stating an impossibility. In other words, Jesus is so sure of what he will accomplish with the father giving his people to him, that they could never be cast out."<br>(Josh responds with his expected and typical retort):<br>It does not say that they could never be cast out, it simply says that Jesus won't. <br>(Fred responds)<br>Well Josh, this may shock you to no end, but it exactly does mean they will not be cast out. There is no way any honest evaluation of the grammar and context could yeild any other conclusion. You are basically saying the passage is not saying what it is saying! John means to record these direct statements by Christ like he did, because he wants to tell his readers that those given to Christ by the Father will never, no never, be cast out; even for not abiding (which is an impossibility as well) as you so claim.<br><br>(then Josh adds)<br>But as I pointed out above, John 15, as well as Romans 11 prove that one can be cast out for not abiding in Christ<br>(Fred responds) Yes, Josh, you did point those passages out, but you fail to realize those passages do not prove what you want them to prove.<br><br>(Josh complains)<br>I was just about to ask the same thing of you: What exactly does Revelation 22:19 mean if not what it is clearly stated? How can a man fall from grace (Galatians 5:4), and still be under God's grace? How can a man escape the corruption of the world through knowing Jesus Christ, and yet not be saved (2 Peter 2:20)?<br><br>(Fred responds) <br>Josh, all of these passages, as well as the many other "so-called" problem passages you keep raising are easily answered if you would read the text properly. Now reading the text involves more than reading the Bible with your conditional security glass in place. You need to consider context, grammar in the original language, the point of the book and so on if you wish to handle properly the word of God, or as Paul told Timothy "rightly dividing" the word of God. Maybe you could answer some of my questions to help clarify your position.<br><br>Regarding Rev. 22:19, perhaps you can explain to me why you think this is a reference to loosing salvation? Is it because of John using the phrase "book of life?" How exactly does the addition of plagues mentioned in verse 18 play into your understanding of one loosing his salvation? If I am looking at this passage the way you do, it seems like only plagues are added to the person who adds to the things in the book. Nothing is taken away. So, could the person who only adds to the book of prophecy still maintain his salvation, yet with the addition of plagues? Moreover, perhaps you can explain what it means to add or take away from the book of this prophecy? If doing either of these things is possible for a genuine Christian to do so that they loose their salvation, it would be important to know with certainty what it means exactly to add to, or take from, the book of life. Enlighten us please.<br><br>Regarding Galatians 5:4. How exactly does this teach us that we can loose our salvation? Do you know that the word translated as "fallen" literally means "to lose one's grasp on something?" It is not the word for apostasy, or turning from the truth. Considering the context of Paul's polemical letter to counteract the heresies of the Judiazers, why is it wrong to understand that Paul is telling the Galatians that by them embracing the Judiazing heresy they are placing themselves under a salvation theology that teaches works, rather than the biblical theology that teaches salvation by grace? Why is that not valid to see this verse as Paul telling the Galatians that they have slid into theological ignorance and are in need of simply being rebuked for their lack of discernment and corrected in their doctrine, rather than telling them lost their salvation? Why is it incorrect to undestand what Paul is saying to mean, "you Galatians have lost your grip on the doctrines of grace and have slid away from the truth of salvation by grace; let me help you regain your grip on the truth"? <br><br>Then regarding 2 Peter 2:20. What makes you believe that these individuals addressed by Peter were saved to begin with? It seems like to me that Peter is condemning men who were false prophets and teachers to begin with, not genuine believers who turned from Christ. Their character, as describe in chapter 2 by Peter, demonstrates that they never had any foundational change in their spiritual life. They only wanted to hook up with the Christians and the churches to gain from them for their own selfish interests. Perhaps you can show me where I am wrong with my understanding of this passage.<br><br>Talk at you later<br>Fred
"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
Dear Ehud,<br><br>IRT:<br>"You statements keep bringing you back to a salvation that you merit which is no salvation at all. You say that it is because I was willing to listen, and you say that because God first saw that we would want Him is the reason God decided to save us."<br><br>I do not merit the salvation that God has wrought. God was not compelled to save those who would hear Him, nor do we deserve it; it is simply what God decided to do. This goes back to why I say hearing and following Christ are not merits that earn us eternal life, but conditions which God has set if He is to save us.<br><br>IRT:<br>"I John 4:19<br>'We love him, because he first loved us.'"<br><br>Agreed wholeheartedly. If God had not first loved us, we would not even be capable of loving Him back; for it is only by His grace that we can truly love Him. The essential difference in what we believe is that I believe that some men resist God's grace.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
Dear Joe,<br><br>You quote Romans 11:6-7, but make no statement as to how it connects to what I said. I don't see your point<br><br>IRT:<br>"But if someone who is SAVED dies before he repents AGAIN does he go to Hell? James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all..."<br><br>I believe that God gives men space to repent of their wickedness (Revelation 2:21). He doesn't just re-save and damn a person every time they repent or sin.<br><br>IRT:<br>"DO you believe in the PERFECT Christian (one without ANY sin?)? Thus, IF ONE sin exists in your view of salvation, then a person will go to Hell, though he was once saved......."<br><br>Besides our Lord Jesus, a perfect man has not walked the earth. You make too many assumptions about what I believe. God is each man's judge, not me. Personally, I believe that God is very gracious and will give men the opportunity to repent of their sin, but will damn those that despise His goodness.<br><br>IRT:<br>"Please do not get upset when someone shatters your theology, by simple quoting you..... Say what you will!"<br><br>Someone would have had to shatter my theology for me to be upset. I am not ashamed of anything you have quoted from my posts. To contradict them you would have had to say something to disprove them, not just type the phrase, "Works righteousness!" a few times.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh
JoshT - you wrote:<br><br>[color:blue]"This goes back to why I say hearing and following Christ are not merits that earn us eternal life, but conditions which God has set if He is to save us."</font color=blue><br><br>Are you not simply doing the double-speak? You say that believing and making a decision are not 'works'....now you say that FOLLOWING (i.e., persevering for a lifetime even) Christ is also NOT a work...but merely a 'condition'.<br><br>If it walks and quacks ....<br><br>In Him, <br>
YOU SAID:<br><br><blockquote>You quote Romans 11:6-7, but make no statement as to how it connects to what I said. I don't see your point</blockquote><br><br>Sorry you do not understand the Scripture: You had said that [color:red] God has purposefully limited Himself and has delegated to each man some degree of control over his own destiny</font color=red> and my point is the ONLY limit God placed upon Himself was His elective grace and not being submissive to “our works” for [color:blue] if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (Rom 11:6-7)</font color=blue><br><br>YOU SAID: <br><br><blockquote>[color:red]I believe that God gives men space to repent of their wickedness (Revelation 2:21). He doesn't just re-save and damn a person every time they repent or sin.</blockquote></font color=red><br><br>Josh, stop taking verses OUT OF CONTEXT : Revelation 2:21 was written to the CHURCH which is, was, and is to come. The space He gives is only to the elect, no others, for their space was already prepared for them before the creation of the world (Rev 13:9, 17:8)<br><br>YOU SAID:<br><br><blockquote>[color:red]Besides Personally, I believe that God is very gracious and will give men the opportunity to repent of their sin, but will damn those that despise His goodness. </blockquote></font color=red><br><br>Opportunity, yes, God does give each the opportunity. To the blind, He says see, but they don’t see. To the cripple He says walk, but they don’t walk, to the ….I hope you get the point…..only if Christ ‘heals’ them and raises them from the deadness of their sins will their opportunity ever come to salvation. Plus, your personal opinion means nothing as weighed by Scripture<br><br>YOU SAID”<br><br><blockquote>[color:red]Someone would have had to shatter my theology for me to be upset. I am not ashamed of anything you have quoted from my posts. To contradict them you would have had to say something to disprove them, not just type the phrase, "Works righteousness!" a few times. </blockquote></font color=red><br><br>Of course you are right here . I should have known that saying you believed in “works righteousness” and supporting it with all your quotes would not have offended you, for you believe it to be so. May God give you grace!<br><br>