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1  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: August 23, 2004, 06:10:08 PM
Dear Michael Legna

               Im sorry for the dely; for personal reasons I skipped two months online.  However, i will give you page by page response to your letter.  Ill ty to send my page resonse every week.

2  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: June 18, 2004, 03:10:58 AM
Dear Michael Legna

                 Wow, 23 pages!  This will keepo me busy....expect this to take two months but it will be done.

God bless


3  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: June 08, 2004, 04:41:07 AM
Dear Brother Bluelake

             ...Freedom... thats what i feel in the Grace He gave us.  No longer do we live in fear, no longer do we worry whether we made it, God did it, and He is faithful at that.  We have eternal life thanks to Him alone.  But since we are weak, still proned to sin and selfish will, how does God do it?  How does He carry us all the way to heaven without losing us?  Simple...He lives in us:

"I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live yet not I but Christ liveth in me and the life which I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me"


"I do not frustrate the grace of God:for if righteousness comes by the law then Christ is dead in vain"
Galatians 2:20, 21 KJV

               A good friend of mine gave me that verse, it was indeed her life verse but there it is, He started, He finished, He promised, He kept it.

God bless

4  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: June 01, 2004, 02:30:30 AM
Dear Michael,

                  Well, here it is, I finally got off school; hopefully I passed it; but now I can spend as much time i need in this effort.  Take your time in them, I am in no hurry.  God bless.

5  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: June 01, 2004, 02:25:43 AM


I do not judge Mother Teresa.  Her outward works may have been with the idea that she was meriting salvation through them (I doubt it but it is possible).  Until the Church has done an investigation and proclaimed her a saint I do not even know if her life is one I can safely model my own after.  Even then the Church is not saying she is certainly in heaven; that is for God alone to judge.  We cannot even know our own status in relation to salvation as we can easily fool our selves; that is one of the reasons why assurance of salvation is a faulty doctrine.

                                      But like I said above, we cannot absolutely say for sure if they are saved but we can suppose they are.  My brother, I believe he is saved because I have been with him, I see he truly cares for God’s word, he is diligent, and cares where he sins or not.  Same way with a friend of mine; like my brother, he also cares of sin and Bible but also he goes out on a street and preach with a loudspeaker.  He is persecuted by his co-workers but never wavered…do I know for sure he is saved?  I believe he is but like the audience in James, I judge by what I see and the only way I can know that is by his works.  Now suppose my brother and my friend only says what they believe yet nothing came pout of them are they really saved?  They may not be since there was no result from them, being saved and sealed by the Holy Spirit but at the same time, they are saved but it may take them a long while until they are truly ready to be set apart for God.  That is the essence of the James 2:14-26, we need to prove to others that we are saved by showing it and not just by saying we believe.  Therefore, faith if it has no works, it is dead by itself.
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However, in other sense, Abraham was justified by God in a way because He proved to God that yes, he has faith in Him, but only limited to that, it has nothing to do with salvation.  And if it does, if we interpret James 2 verse 23 as an example of one saved by works, then that contradicts Romans and it also departs from 14 on up which was not about salvation at all
                                                  Well who called Abraham a friend of God?  Abraham did prove to God that He was faithful and has believed but that is not what the context is about.  When God tested Abraham. He wasn’t testing him whether He is a good friend but if he Believed Genesis 22:10-12.  So who called Him, a friend of God then?  Due to the context of the whoe chapter, you must conclude that verse 23 is just another example that faith needs to be proved to men.
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No the justification before God was in relation to salvation and it does not contradict Romans as long as you understand the two versions of the story in light of the rest of scripture.  

                                                 In the light of all the other scriptures…if that is so, then the Bible has full of problems because there is only so much carpet for the dirt to be swept in until an in concealable mound be obvious.  The Bible is not that difficult to understand, it is Satan’s trick to make us believe this and many churches fall victim to this until someday someone will say, “Only so and so can interpret scripture...”

97   O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
98   Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
99   I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
100   I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
Psalm 119:97-100 (verse given to me from my elder).
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In Romans Paul is saying that Abraham did not merit his justification by his works (or his faith for that matter).  We know this is the case because Paul starts out the discussion with a reference to glorying in his effort and result and his reference two verses later to debt.   …   …   ...   …

                                               My explanation about verse 23 fit’s here.  The Law is the Law no matter whether they be written or in the heart, as long as it is a standart or way, or how, it will always be the Law.  It wasn’t about boasting Paul was after (you know Paul wasn’t deiving at Humility), it was about works that some feel it is needed to get to heaven.  And because of that, it includes all things no matter how small it may seem.                      
                                          RCC gospel is about love…in theory, it that is all that it is required then it is the one religion that has the least legalistic but hidden inside there is a list of all things.  The fact is, the heart of that gospel is not really love, but rules.  If you don’t believe me, then let me ask you this question:

Q  Can a Christian who loves God so much can go to heaven even though he cheated and lusted after other women?
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Verses 15 and 16 are about how a person with a real saving faith will not treat others this way as they will love them because God loves these same people and the saved person already loves God, so it is natural to love what He loves.  If you think you have a saving faith and do not behave this way you are fooling yourself because a true saving faith cannot exist without these types of works.

                                           But where in verse 15-16 does it talk about salvation since you believed verse 14 is?
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He is not testing another man he is going on with his point that to claim it is not enough.  It is a rhetorical statement.

                                          Rhetorical?  That somehow this verse suggests that one needs to prove himself with God also?  How so in that verse?  
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No extending the context of the verse to include the entire Bible is not spiritualizing.

                                           By having the other verses interpret the verse in question is making red – blue.  Verse 14-26 clearly wasn’t talking about Salvation as it is simply proving to others that you are saved.  Indeed, the only way your argument holds water here is to somehow interpret verse 14, 17, 20, & 23 is to use other verses, verses outside the subject of Ch 2.  For example, you gave close to five verses around Ch 2, but look, none of those verses fit the subject of Ch 2.  The first one Ch 1 talks about partiality with the Poor, the second, Ch 3, talks about the damaging effects of the tongue, third, Ch 4, Sin, and Ch 5 is about rich men – see, none of them were relating to Ch 2 by subject.  Extending the context is nothing more than an attempt to outweigh and outnumber the problem

6  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: June 01, 2004, 02:25:09 AM

Servants of sin are those who sin and do not repent.  We can be saved and still sin but we MUST repent of it.  1John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  We must repent and confess to have our sins forgiven even after we are washed in His blood.

                                          Amen, we should do that but we should do that not because we need to stay away from the trap door.  The fact is, we are servants of righteousness; if we sin, we sin but we are servants of righteousness, we will repent, we will ask forgiveness because we are new creatures.
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Yes verse 25 talks about a blessing we get as well, but verse 21 makes it clear that first and foremost the issue is saving our souls by engrafting the Word within us (taking the lessons of the Gospel to heart and implementing them in our life).

                                             But again from what?  You are still saying that we are being saved if we stay away from filth.  This is just another verse that is meant as an instruction but confused for a salvation verse.  The belief if the loss of salvation is the cause of that so when ever there are instructions, it can be read just as you read them/
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How can one be an heir to the kingdom and not be saved?  To ignore this clear reference to salvation is nonsense.

                                             Michael, you read too much into that verse.  Look at the context for crying out loud, doesn’t it suggest possibly that James is using the impartiality of God to show the rich that since God shows no respect of salvation why should they have respect of person when it comes to status?  Put the context and that verse together!
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The issue is that we cannot love God is we do not love the poor and all men for that matter that is why we should not judge others as well.  So you see our actions, how we see others and hwo we treat the poor are all about salvation.

                                         As valuable as Love is, that doesn’t mean we can read in our philosophy in that passage no matter how important it is.  Of course we need to love our brothers but James was not talking about Salvation, neither did he warn them, he simply used a perfect instance where there was no partiality with God and what can be a better instance when God saved them no matter how bad they were.
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No, I don’t know what you mean.  We cannot justify another, nor know their heart, nor judge them.  Because of this outward appearances are meaningless and the book of James spends a great deal of time explaining this.  That is what make the Protestant approach of interpreting all of the references to works in James to be referring to justification before men so ironic and wrong.

                                           You think Mother Teresa is saved?  How about the Pope?  Their works are great aren’t they?  See there you go.  Now nobody can absolutely say for sure that they are saved but because of what they see, we believe that they are saved

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7  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: June 01, 2004, 02:23:24 AM

Yes it does say that we have to obey to properly accept the free gift and be saved.
As I pointed out above, see the parallel accounts of Christ’s teachings in Matt 19, Mark 10, Luke 18 and similar teachings relating to our love for Jesus in John 14.  Not to mention the instructions I also referred to above that tell us to obey the Gospel.  The man made idea that one can be saved by faith alone without obedience risks making the commandments of God of none affect and we know Jesus preaches against that in Matt 15:6.

                                          Pick one
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I agree if we love God just because it gains us salvation then it would make salvation out to be a wage.  But God knows the secrets in our heart and knows which of us are loving Him for that reason and who is loving Him just because of His greatness.  

                                       Michael, no matter how pure your motives are, you will always know that there is a gun pointed behind your head   Oh. God is mercy right?  Well then that merciful God still has a gun pointed behind your head.  The fact is, you are obeying under a threat and the only way you can feel comfortable is when you are confident and not afraid like I was back then.  I believed as you did that God is loving but I also know that God hates a boastful heart.  To me, if I have any confidence that I will enter the Kingdom, I will be humbled most severely   and sent to hell because I thought I was righteous enough since I was following all the commandments I have read in the Bible.
                                     On the other hand, yes, we Bible Christians also operated under a threat, but the difference is, that threat is eventual (before we believed).  Someday, God will bring an end to sin and pour out His wrath upon the sinful.   But seeing that everyone look not for God, all turned away, and are dead, He could have just ended us but He sent His Son to Save us if we simply Believe…then afterwards, we live but not us but Christ lives in us Galatians 2:20.  As a Catholic, I lived under a wish, that God would consider me worthy to enter His Kingdom.  As a saved and forgiven sinner, I am confident that I will enter the Kingdom, not because I am good enough or I am trying my best but because I know Jesus saved me.  Blessed Assurance – Jesus is mine!
                        And for those who you say that they will say yes just to be saved?  Like you said, God knows their hearts but a true believer’s Faith is genuine, but for those who looks only to avoid damnation, do they really believe?  That’s why Paul says the following:

1   Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2   By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3   For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4   And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5   And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: - 1 Corinthians 15:1-5
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You offered this verse without interpretation so I do not see how you intend it to relate to the topic.

                                        In 1 Corinthians 5, it speaks of a jungle experience a Christian will experience when He/she is backsliding.  We are delivered to Satan for him to destroy and death is not left out, hence the destruction of the flesh.
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What destruction coming from one God are they concerned with other than hell?

                                            They know that someday they will face judgment but that’s not what they are afraid of in this verse.  The Shema sets the difference between Pagan gods and the God of Heaven that there needs many gods to handle things but the one God can do those things and more, but that’s not what on their mind but since they tremble at the very fact that God is one, you can conclude that in their minds, God by Himself can end their existence easily.
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So the destruction capable in hell is accessible outside of hell.  Nonsense (referring to James 3:6).
                              But there it is, verse 5 says it.  If it is hell as you said in verse 6, how do you account for verse 5?
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Yes, but what is your point?  It seems that you have provided a reference to hell in James for me and this supports my contention that James is talking about salvation.

                                     Emnity with God as an unbeliever and as a believer is the same, it is easy to say here that salvation is lost here but God holds sin just as seriously as when we believed not.  Emnity alone therefore, does not suggest damnation when a believer does it anymore than in Romans 6 where sinning believers are encouraged to be clean not going back again the desires of the flesh when it already died.
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8  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: June 01, 2004, 02:22:59 AM

Actually salvation is in both God’s hands and ours.  So yes I can deny that if salvation is partly in our hands we are still not earning it.  …

                                          I agree with you on that sentence completely; if we upon receiving it and we let the balloon go, we lost it but at the same time, the God who gave us instructions will deny us because we broke his commandments…that is works, no matter how small it may seem, it is nothing more than a watered down messege that you do have to earn it.  Michael, to me, your gospel is works veiled by faith.  
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No Paul didn’t but Christ did.  Christ told us to gain the kingdom of heaven we needed to keep the commandments.  See the parallel accounts in Matt 19, Mark 10, Luke 18 and similar teachings relating to our love for Jesus in John 14.  Paul just taught us how we could accomplish what Jesus taught as most understood by this time and to this day that we cannot keep the letter of the law.

                                        Pick one and ill try to answer it.  However, all of which can be explained this way: Jesus said is only Him fulfilling the Law so that He can die for it.  Didn’t he say that not one jot will be removed until all is accomplished and then He says, “If your righteousness does not surpass that of the Scribes and the Pharisees you will by no means enter the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 5:18-20).   Did Jesus say, you must deny yourself  for nothing?  No, but just as Jesus saying that He is not good but the Father alone is good [Under His Humanity (Philippians 2:6-8)] Jesus is stating and restating the Law to fulfill the Law then He died under that law taking with Him the Sins of the Whole world.
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Don’t you see it is about salvation as we see that faith without that love (you say are merely instructions) profit us nothing.  If we have no profit from it then we certainly aren’t getting salvation through that faith, so love is required for salvation it is not just instructions.

                                     If by Love then what Role can Jesus play (if any at all)?  I think it is a stupid thing that Jesus died simply for a person to obey – just to obey – just…to obey?  He may have died to pay for your sins but that alone does not save a person because sin will build again, and again, and again, all Jesus can do is to shed his blood every time you sin…is that really saving?  And all the while all we have to do is to obey…think about that, is Jesus really saying you or you saving yourself?
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No, it is not legalistic because it is not the letter of the law but the spirit.  Yes every instruction is a requirement for salvation, else we would not be told to obey the Gospel as in 2 Thess 1:8 and 1 Peter 4:17 and that is not just to do good for people as you say, but it is to avoid fiery vengeance (hell).  If the Gospel were just the “good news” that all we had to do to be saved was accept Christ, in just one role; that of sacrificial lamb, then there would be no need to obey it.  It would make no sense, as you cannot obey news.

                                   How do we obey the gospel?  This is the Gospel in the nutshell 1 Corinthians 15:1-5, to believe the message that Christ died for us, that He rose again the third day alive and notice, no love here, no works or good deeds but believe.
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….  No what is the common characteristic James points out that these two faiths (that of the man and that of the demons) share in common.  Neither is put into action, neither has good works accompanying it to perfect it and keep it alive!  So a faith without works cannot save.  

                              You know, the only way that your explanation  can be believed is if God is talked about…where is God in this passage?  In all of 14-26 not once God is mentioned so how can you say that Faith and works is the necessary ingredient for salvation when God is not mentioned?   Therefore, that one God faith is not an example of a need for works and that faith is not what we call saving faith anyways because it is only intellectual and that’s all that is.  
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Ok but what tells us that these crowns are just rewards apart or in addition to eternal life?  Are there going to be some in heaven without these crowns?  What scripture can you provide to fill in these details.  Historically until the reformation the entire world of Christendom understood the reference to these crowns as metaphors for eternal life, not something to distinguish us in some sort of hierarchy once we get to heaven.

                                     Christendom is under the tutor of Rome, of course they will understand it as metaphor just as they don’t believe in the literal creation story [that God made the heaven and earth in 6 days (God rested on the 7th day literally) even though there is at every end, “…evening and morning…,” and that in Hebrews 11:

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear”].  

                                              Personally, It doesn’t matter what the church fathers think, if they contradict scripture, then that’s the end of it.  Now about Crowns, if they were only metaphors then we wouldn’t have rewards in heaven, because if we have to follow something to the end, then Salvation is our reward isn’t it?  Also, there is an instance in the Bible that crowns were cast out as a thank you not from angels, cherubims, and seraphims, but men:

10   The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11   Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Revelations 4:9, 10-11

                          Its unclear who these men are or are they even human but I don’t think angels can win or earn anything from the Lord because they are already in heaven but Humans are a different story.
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When you are given a gift you gain it so the idea alone (of gaining salvation) is not “no different than that of when Grace didn’t come”.

                                      The difference is that we gained salvation by faith alone, so it is impossible to earn that gift since it is a heart change, and a decision and not a practice.  If it were by continuing in something then that is earning because you did something other than or in addition to faith…that alone is earning.  
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Well then I guess we are still under the law then, because we are told to obey the Gospel.  But the spirit of the law not the letter of the law.  Remember Christ did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill them (Matt 5:17) and the Gospel teaches us how to fulfill them as well (Rom 13:8-10 and Gal 5:14).

                                                     How do you obey the Gospel Michael?  The Gospel, is not the same as preceipts or tenets, but only Good News.   What. Good News!   You get to deny yourself!!!  You have to endure to the end – yes!!!  I have to lose my life to gain it – Alright!!!   What fun, I think I’ll pluck my eye out!
                           And Galatians, Romans how do you know that’s talking about salvation?  Or is it a fitting picture?  Now you just sent three…you are crossing your bounds here, don’t do it again.

9  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: June 01, 2004, 02:20:30 AM
No the two verses you reference do not contradict.  Ephesians is contrasting grace and works saying that we are saved by grace not works.  It could just have easily said we are saved by grace and not faith.  The message is not a contrasting of faith and works it is a contrasting of the idea of salvation being a free gift and the idea that salvation can be earned.  James is talking about the proper method of accepting the free gift which is through faith (but what kind of faith is James’ question), a living faith one that is accompanied by works…

         If salvation is a gift, shouldn’t it be free?  And if it is free, why do we have to obey to keep it?  Just as we need to work to keep our jobs, so as obedience to the law…see, so long as works is needed, it can never be free.

Your saying it over and over only lets me know that you think that is the case not that it is indeed the case.  You still miss the point though that of course works is part of salvation, but not the type of works where in we would merit salvation – for then we can boast and we know we cannot do that.

         Then really, what do you call it when a Christian has to be obedient in order to get to heaven?  It doesn’t matter whether faith has any part, the fact is, works are involved in the salvation process, if you remained faithful to God’s commandments, wouldn’t you say that you did merit salvation?

Perhaps if we look at it another way.  The point of Eph 2:8 is no boasting.  No boasting over our works meriting salvation and even no boasting over our faith being good enough to gain us salvation.  Salvation is free by grace.  So many Protestants would exclude Catholics from salvation because they say their faith was not good enough

      Is your faith good enough?  No, because your faith is not on him but your works alone, there is no gray line, you either trust in Jesus’ finished work on the cross or you don’t.  About Grace in Ephesians, you may say that it only speaks of God’s willingness you give salvation freely but That doesn’t hold water.  Accepting God is always free just as His wisdom (no different than the OT) but if there are conditions to receive something other than just accepting it then it is not free at all.
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No I would say that you have not looked at enough scripture to form a consistent doctrine.

      By trying to outweigh it?  Drown it with so many verses you can find in order to make it look like it means something else?  That is in effect, trying to hide or suppress the problem and pretend it doesn’t exist when it really does.  It’s alright to make cross-references if there is another verse that says the same thing but makes it more clear the meaning of the problem verse but it is quite another to show opposite verses to solve the problem.
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Yes, I agree, if you can show that there is no way to interpret scripture consistently to match a Church’s doctrine then that doctrine must be wrong.

      If the Church’s doctrine pass the test then that doctrine is good but if it does not, then the Church’s doctrine is wrong (Proverbs 22:12, 19-21).
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The problem does not go away unless you get a different understanding of works or faith or the emphasis of the verse etc.  All these possibilities must be considered as we look through the rest of scripture.

      Trying to use other verses to interpret this one is sweeping the dirt under the rug.  It is one thing to show reference a verse that says the same thing but gives a clearer meaning but it is quite another to show opposite verses – that is not cross-reference.  
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The need to do something to accept a gift or even to keep it does not reduce the freeness of the gift.  I can give a child a free balloon filled with helium and tell them they must take it in their hand (work) and hold on very tight (work) and the balloon is still free and the work they did (taking it and holding on) did not merit the gift for them.  So I am not lying to anyone you just don’t understand the concept of free and merit.

      See my comments above about why Catholic faith is not enough.  The true reason for Christ’s death is to set us free from the very law that condemns and to bring it back and say “You believe, yes, but you must work also,” is really making His death meaningless.  

21   I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. – Galatians 2:20-21
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…How can we make the acknowledgement of Christ as sacrificial lamb part of our life?  We could do it by trusting in Him alone, but we see that leads to boasting that our faith is what gained us salvation while others did not merit the gift due to their lack of faith.  This is of course contrary to Eph 2:8 even though it never talks against faith – only works.

                                       James did not at all say that we must prove to God by works; where in verses 14-15 that we need to work to prove to God we believe not just by our faith?
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                                       James did not at all say that we must prove to God by works; where in verses 14-15 that we need to work to prove to God we believe not just by our faith?
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Not when interpreted in isolation but the rest of scripture plainly does say that we are not saved by faith alone, as faith alone is dead.  When interpreted in light of the rest of all of scripture we do know (at least I do) that this verse is referring to a living faith and that is one that cannot exist without works.

                                        Trying to answer scripture with another scripture only suppresses the problem.  It is like trying to make the color red, blue by pouring in blue until it turns blue…that is not how to answer scripture.  And lets assume that your way of interpretation is the only way; that makes the Word of God, less inspired, because if you have to do that with every problematic scripture then what does that say about the word of God?

10  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: May 02, 2004, 04:10:10 AM
Dear Brother Tom,

             Thank you for that encouragement, its already tough here but Im staying.  I dont know when Ill be back here, but hopefully i should return at the beginning of summer, Lord willing.  In the meantime, as I write, I managed to finish nearly half of the message Michael has given to me, oh...seven more pages to go out of 16!!!  God bless you Brother, keep fighting the good fight!

11  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: April 26, 2004, 06:05:40 PM
Dear Michael

                 I'm sorry for the delay, I slacked a bit in time when my semester was about to get hectic.  It will be a while until I get all of this done and it may not be until the end of May.  Sorry for the wait.

God bless

12  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: March 12, 2004, 02:38:37 PM
Dear Michael

                Switching to the dark side eh?  The big-bad microsoft yes?  We have microsoft too, but if it is any comfort, I havent had any problems yet but then again, I am illiterate on computers...eh, you'll do fine   Smiley
                For me, my HW is increasing, I too am getting busy but my semester is amazingly better having more time to do what I need to do...well, I best be off to a friend's house, but I hope you have a good evening.

God bless

13  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: March 09, 2004, 10:06:20 PM
Dear Michael

                 Part five, now that's going to take a lot of time.  My response may take up to five weeks because of school, but I will get this in, but if not, I'll tell you.

Ps.  How are you doing by the way?

God bless

14  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: February 28, 2004, 08:51:28 PM

23  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

What is he saved from?  It’s certainly not damnation, but a simple but hard lesson for only being a hearer and not a doer, his life will not be enriched by the blessings of God, his religion before Him is vain just like effort without love.  

Where is this hard lesson mentioned?  You seem to be reading it into this verse just to support your theory.  

      In verse 25, it is not heaven that they are reward for their obedience but blessings:

25   But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Jam 2:5  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?  b

James is saying we are saved if we love Christ.  How do we know he is talking about salvation?  Because he refers to us as heirs of the kingdom of heaven, a clear reference to salvation.  What do we have to do to become that heir, we must have faith and love Him.  But anyone who has studied scripture knows that loving Him cannot occur in isolation.  If we say we love God and have not the love of man in us we are a liar.
       Again, just because James mentioned “heir of the kingdom” does not automatically mean, that he is talking about salvation through love.  Again, the reason why he brought that up is because of their treatment of the Poor (vs. 2-4).  He likened the poor to the gentile people of whom, Jew regarded as not holy.  So in standing up to the Poor, ‘Hath not God chosen the poor of this world?’  So if God without respect of persons chosen the Gentiles, then why should there be any partiality with the believers?
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I could care less if you think it is silly.  Provide an alternative explanation of what is meant by referring to the “heirs of the kingdom” that you are willing to use consistently through the rest of scripture.  When I see the heirs of the kingdom I think it is silly to see anything but a reference to salvation.

      It is silly because you picked that verse seemingly without regard to the verse around it, pretty much like a fruit basket where you pick one out of preference rather than value and quality.  If that verse is talking about salvation, then how do you account for the topic in the first place?  If your interpretation of that verse is true, it would read like this:

4.   “Are you not partial yourselves if you judge with evil thoughts?”
5.   “Listen bretheran, if you love God, you get to be heirs of the kingdom!”
6.   “But you have despised the poor…”

Isn’t that a little odd?  What is that doing in a subject about the poor?
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So you claim we are talking about justifying ourselves before men, not justification as it relates to salvation?  Nonsense, we are told throughout scripture not to be concerned with appearances before men.  That is the problem with the whole Protestant approach to the Book of James, they have him teaching a message that is denounced throughout the rest of scripture.

      Yes you can justify a person, but I think you already know what I mean by that, so therefore I’ll leave it as it is.
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But note that Abraham specifically is not talking about justification in front of men as his belief and works together was “imputed unto him for righteousness”(James 2:23).  Men cannot impute anything for righteousness only God can do this.  Men cannot determine who is the friend of God and who isn’t, only God makes that determination.  You have to give up this idea that this is about appearances for men’s sake as it is clearly about justification before God.

      Ultimately yes, and of course, we do not have the sufficient amount of knowledge to know who is saved and who isn’t.  But we can suppose and believe who is saved and who isn’t; how do you feel about Mother Teresa?  Since she has done a lot for people in India, wouldn’t you say that she is saved…at least for now?  See, we do justify people, we call her indeed, a friend of God just as Abraham was justified:

2   For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
3   For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4   Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5   But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. – Romans 4:2-5

      However, in other sense, Abraham was justified by God in a way because He proved to God that yes, he has faith in Him, but only limited to that, it has nothing to do with salvation.  And if it does, if we interpret James 2 verse 23 as an example of one saved by works, then that contradicts Romans and it also departs from 14 on up which was not about salvation at all
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No, James is not talking just about showing other people you are saved.  He is talking about real salvation.  You have to do more than claim that I am spiritualizing that passage to prove it.  All throughout the Book of James, he is talking about salvation so why would he stop now?  If James is not talking about salvation when he says it cannot save him, what is he talking about?  What other type of saving can be related to faith other than salvation from eternal damnation?  Certainly the ability to prove our faith to others bears no significance on us being saved from anything, so just what does your interpretation intend by this limitation on the word “save”?

      Michael, if verse 14 says what you believe it says then how do you account for verses 15-16 where it gives an example of one saying he has faith but does not show it?  And, how do you account for verse 18 where James gave a instance of a man testing another, “You have faith, I have works, show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith by my works”?
      The reason why I made a claim that you might be spiritualizing is because your interpretation is not in the context of that passage.  Even if I showed you the context around it, you still held you your interpretation.  I can’t quote you at this moment but you gave me the impression that the verse in spite of context still say what it says because there are other verses that supports your claim, so if the Bible in your view says faith and works, then James must indeed spoke of it (despite context)…now that’s spiritualizing.



15  Theology / Apologetics / Re:Why No One can Be Saved by Works. on: February 28, 2004, 08:48:31 PM

Don’t you see it is about salvation as we see that faith without that love (you say are merely instructions) profit us nothing.  If we have no profit from it then we certainly aren’t getting salvation through that faith, so love is required for salvation it is not just instructions.

      I think it is easy for you to see that because when you believe in the loss of salvation then every instruction can be interpreted as a requirement for salvation.  Thus, it can easily get legalistic.  And profit?  When I love, I profit too even though I have eternal life already because it motivates me to do good for people and to drive myself to spread the Word because I care for the lost.  If you are right however, I profit both eternal life and the will to do good yet the motives for doing good is selfish..

But James says that the man has faith.  He then questions (rhetorically) if faith can save him in the absence of works and determines that it cannot.  You still have not provided an alternative to what he is being saved from if not from eternal damnation.
When you look at a person, from your church, and you see him singing, kneeling, and praying like everyone else.  He says he believed, but can you justify that his kind of faith saved Him?  There are varying kinds of faith you see, from the weak, believing that god exists to believing Jesus is God (second person of the Holy Trinity), and John 14:6 literally.  The clearest evidence dawned on me for this, (all credit to God) is actually in James 2 itself:

19   Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  

I tried the link it doesn’t work apparently you have to do the search each time you go to the site to get the results.  But just because something is listed as a crown does not mean it is a reward.  It makes no senses.  Tell me, if we are given eternal life as part of salvation what is the reward of the crown of life?

      I tried it too when you said this, and it didn’t work, I couldn’t go in.  Sorry about that.  But I took the liberty of copying the verses that mentions the crowns, and here it is:

Crown of Righteousness
2 Timothy 4:8
Crown of Life
James 1:12
Crown of Glory
1 Peter 5:4

      Evangelicals believed that there are five crowns we can earn if we live in righteousness including a Reverend that led me to Christ.

We are nothing until we are converted, then if we are nothing we were never truly converted so no God does not save a nothing.

      We become something yes, after conversion, we become the children of God most high, but prior to our receiving Christ, we are nothing, our debt is already high so we are already divided from God.  
It is different however when we have to gain eternal life.  That principle alone, that idea in itself is no different than that of when Grace didn’t come.  So what if we received Christ as Lord, so what if we obey Him, we still are under the law if we do have to obey Him.  Love?  That is just a smoke screen to the reality of salvation gained though the Law.

We do have to do all the law in the book.  We do it through love.  Gal 5:14  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

      Does it say somewhere there, “Love to gain approval to salvation?”  This one like that other passage in John are instructions but neither of them didn’t say anything about love being required to reach God.  Will you continue to show me instructions, then saying, “See, you must do this to be saved?”  

No you are wrong.  What determines the genuineness of love is not why we do it but the motive behind it.  If we have to love to accept the free gift, that is merely a requirement and does not affect the genuineness.…

      If love however is a requirement for salvation, it is a wage nevertheless because don’t you have to, in a job, required to work 9-5 to get the pay?  Well you are doing good for the company, you are helping them out in their business yet still, you don’t work for free, no one does UNLESS they are already millionaires.  When you are given eternal life in the Bible, it is unending, you are a millionaire.  So why work for God?  Because He died for you, and you have something the world needs, a solution for sin and not religion.   Love?  Sure, if we love, we fulfilled the commandments of God, but for God and man, not eternity.

He does mention hell, though he may no do so by name every time.  Look at verses James 1:15, where the death he refers to here is clearly spiritual death – hell.

15   Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

      Sin brings forth death, both believers and unbelievers will experience this.  But for believers they will not experience spiritual death

5   To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. – 1 Corinthians 5:5

 He refers to it again in James 2:19 when he brings to mind the demons and their fate when he encourages us to add works to our faith (which the demons won’t do) to avoid that same fate.

19   Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

      Are they trembling that they are going to hell, or they knew that so much destruction can come about by one God better than 12 legions of angels?  He is not at all talking about hell here.  Compare this with verse 14, he is talking about the kind of faith they have.  Demons believing in one God?  Pretty much like a church member believing that there is a God…is that enough to save?  Hardly.


 James 3:6 is even more specific referring to how the actions of our tongue reveal the true intent behind our works that is what drags us to hell.

5   Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6   And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

      Did you see the word, “Hell” there and thought, “Oh, - ‘Hell’!”  “If we don’t hold our tongues, we will go to hell!”  Place this verse in context of verse 5 and you will see that James is not talking about damnation, but the damage the little member can do to the whole body.  It is indeed set on the fires of hell, that’s how destructive it is.


  Where do you think the enmity with God, that arises from friendship with the world, mentioned in James 4:4 lead us?  It leads us to hell and all because we chose the pleasures of this world through our works instead of submitting to the Lord as we are told in verse 4:7.

Of every sin, of course we offend God.  What?  If we sin as Evangelicals, we are OK, God neglects?  Similarly, in Romans 6, we are baptized in Christ, why do we sin any further?  We who believe are dead to sin but slaves to righteousness.  If we sin, if we backslide, we shall pay the price (Hebrews 12:6-8).  But God be thanked, we are not the servants of sin now are we?  Can we be enemies of God?  Perhaps, will we remain  that way?  No, we are free from sin, we are thus servants of righteousness.  And by the way, the Greek word, for servant, “Douloo” means actually “Slave.”

20   For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21   What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22   But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23   For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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