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Question: Can A Christian Lose Their Salvation?
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Author Topic: Can a Christian Lose Their Salvation?  (Read 24196 times)
michael_legna
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« Reply #135 on: February 03, 2004, 01:55:18 PM »


PART 4

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You talk about how you must consider all verses.  But you can read the Bible and not understand any of it.  By looking at all of the pieces at once you only have confusion and chaos.  You have to start somewhere.  Take a 1000 piece puzzle and dump it on the table.  There is your 1000 verses that talk about salvation.  Does the puzzle make sense?  No it is mass of confusion and disarray.  You have to start somewhere... build a foundation.  

I agree that is where you are if you follow sola scriptura, the job is just too big for one man alone.  That is the advantage to having a Church who has done all this research and defended the Bible from attacks for 2000 years.  I can learn from them.  That is why God decided to have a Church to feed His sheep, He never told the sheep to feed themselves.

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We are told in the Bible to build our foundation in Christ.  

And Christ built His Church to be the ground and pillar of truth.

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With the puzzle most would build the borders first.  Once we have our foundation we then expand upon it and we see what other writers say about that which Christ has spoken.  And like a puzzle the pieces will all fit into place.  There is no "alluding", no guess work, only re-inforcement of that which Jesus had already spoken of.

Your analogy only works if the border has flat edges, that the seemingly clear verses really are as simple and clear as they first appear.  Otherwise you may get even the border wrong and the only way you will know is when you try to fit the more complex pieces in the center in and their refusal to fit will allude to the fact that you got the border wrong.

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How do you reconcile that Jesus said we would never thirst?  Was He not speaking the whole truth?  Did Jesus need James or Paul to come in and re-define what "never" means?  Are you saying that Jesus spoke clearly so that we have to read more into what He said than what is written?  Jesus said "never" what do you propose that actually means?

I have looked through a lot of commentaries and have not found a single reference by any Church Father that indicates this verse is to be interpreted literally.  Even the Protestant, Matthew Henry does not hold that this verse means what you say it means.  The only commentary I found that hints at agreeing with your simple straightforward interpretation is the Wycliffe Commentary.

Most identify the living or running water as the Holy Spirit.  That once we accept the gift of grace it is always available to us.  They do not conclude from this that we can never lose our salvation.

Letís look at the following verses.  John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

This is referring to anyone who drinks of the living water, (receives the Holy Spirit through accepting Christ as savior) will never thirst (need to seek the Holy Spirit) again.  That this water (Spirit) will spring up (flow or grow) into everlasting life (salvation).   We see this as an ongoing process not a final event.  The individual who drinks will have a spring within them growing and filling them to eventual salvation.  Anything that is not complete can change or end another way.  Salvation is not assured unless we continue to believe and accept to do the will of God.  The spring within us will continue to provide us with the Spirit but we still do not have to fully cooperate with it.

It is similar to this verse is John 6:35  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.  Where we see explicitly that we must continue to believe to never thirst.  So yes never doesnít necessarily mean never regardless of changes we go through.
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« Reply #136 on: February 05, 2004, 01:42:07 PM »

PART 1

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I see where you think scripture defines faith as including the acceptance to do the will of God and you make a very strong case for acceptance to do the will of God being part of a true faith, but as I point out below I do not think the verses are intended to define and thus limit faith to this one type.
Then you bring out Webster Smiley
1a allegiance to duty or a person
- allegiance - obligation of a feudal vassal to his liege lord
- - the action of obligating oneself to a course of action
- - something that obligates one to a course of action
- - a condition or feeling of being obligate
- - something one is bound to do
- allegiance - fidelity owed by a subject or citizen to a sovereign or gment
- - fidelity - the quality or state of being faithful
- allegiance - devotion or loyalty to a person, group, or cause
- - devotion - religious fervor
- - devotion - the act of devoting
- - loyalty - quality or state or an instance of being loyal
- - - loyal - unswerving in allegiance
- - - loyal - showing loyalty
* Ok so definition 1 of faith being allegiance to duty or person.  We see that allegiance indicates that we would be obligated ourselves to a course of action (willingness to act).  We would have fidelity (being faithful) towards that person.  We would show devotion to that person (a religious fervor, which generally involves actions).
1b(1) fidelity to one's promises
- fidelity - the quality or state of being faithful
- - faithful - full of faith
- - faithful - steadfast in affection or allegiance
- - faithful - firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty
* So definition 1b(1) of faith.  We should be faithful to one's promises (either our promise to God, or God's promise to us), we see that we should be firm in our allegiance to God, and we already went over allegiance and how it shows putting into action our belief or obligations.  And we also see that we should be firm in our observance of our duty (duty being actions as well).
1b(2) sincerity of intentions
* Pretty self explanatory.  But we should be genuin in our intentions...intentions to act.  A willingness to act, free from dissimulation, adulteration, etc.
2a(1) belief and trust in and loyalty to God.
- Belief - a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in someone or thing
- Belief - conviction of the truth of some statement of the rality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence.
- Trust - to place confidence
- Trust - to be confident
- Trust - to commit or place in one's care or keeping
- Trust - to permit to stay or go or to do something without fear or misgiving
- Trust - to rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of
*2a(1) indicates that faith would mean we should be confident in God, and convicted to the truth.  We should place ourselves into God's care.  If we have our trust in God then we are going without fear...going is an action.  
2a(2)belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
* IMO not applicable definition for what we are looking for as applied to God and not to religion.
2b(1)firm belief in something for which there is no proof
* The authors that talk of it had proof, from Adam on through to Paul, they had proof.  Thomas even with sticking his fingers into the side of Jesus had proof.  So again not as applicable here IMO.  Although you and I without "first hand" proof we are believing firmly we still consider the testimonies as proof for us, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
2b(2) complete trust
* see above for definitions on trust and how it applies.

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synonym see BELIEF
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As you can see there is no reference to acceptance to doing the works of God and in fact the dictionary sees belief as a synonym, which you do not.  So the common usage and meaning for faith (which is the meaning the translators of the scriptures were required to use) is different from your meaning.
Remember that synonyms are words that have the same meaning or nearly the same meaning in some or all senses.  So belief and faith can go hand in hand but one could have more or less meaning than the others.  As I have stated faith encompasses belief but also includes the willingness to do Gods will.  
So no the meaning of faith is not different from what I use.  The definitions you provided that are in the dictionary (and one I used www.dictionary.com has willingness to do God's will in it) do support that faith is a willingness to do an action...worded as obligation, allegiance, loyalty, fidelity, intentions, etc.  Most all of the definitions discussed are not the actions but the driving force behind the actions.  And they are more than belief but also include belief.  This is also expressed in that you will find belief (or dirivitave of belief) in the definition of faith but you will not find faith in the definition of belief.

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If every place the translators use faith is to mean what you mean by faith it is clear they should have used a different word (even making up a new term if they needed to, to create a literal translation) or through dynamic equivalence added surrounding text to express this difference through verbiage.  But they did not.  So the question becomes is the definition of faith you see in scripture a redefining of the English word ďfaithĒ or did the translators get it right all along and you are applying verses incorrectly.
But they did.  Like in Hebrews they say "by faith" thus indicating that they are talking about more than belief because belief itself does not drive actions, but a faith does, since faith has things like trust, obligation, allegiance as a driving factor.  Belief does not encompass those attributes.  
And the definition of faith that is provided in scripture is not redefining the English word.  Your "definition" is limiting what faith is truly defined as by stating it is merely belief.  I have show both through language as well as scripturally what faith is not only defined as but what it represents.

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I contend that the latter is the correct answer, not because the verses you quote donít relate to faith, they do.  But because they are each talking about a saving faith, they are not talking about the concept of faith in general.  If a saving faith inherently includes acceptance to do the will of God, then a definition we derive from discussion of that type of faith does not preclude other forms of faith that do not include an acceptance to do the will of God.  Thus enters James discussion of faith in both its living and dead forms and we see a much closer link with the synonymous term of belief.
This is what James is talking about.  There is a difference between faith, a true saving faith, and simple belief that some would call faith.  That is why in the verses we have discussed James states that man "says" he has faith.  The man does not, he only professes to have faith.  But what he lacks is the feeling of obligation to God, allegiance to God, Loyalty to God, willingness to obey God.  All of these things the demons lack as well and have belief only.  Belief being only a part of faith and not truly faith.

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This gets into the concept of a conscience.  Group 7 are bad Gentiles since they know in their hearts what to do but donít and Group 8 are the good Gentiles who do what they know in their heart to be good.  They know the will of God without knowing the one true God.
Yes that does get into a whole different discussoin concerning conscience and such.  Not that I disagree with you there but I was not looking at the more philosophical aspect.  But one thing to note here is that the Gentiles were not necissarily ignorant of God.  many could be found outside of the synagogues and such trying to learn has much as they could about God.  Gentiles does not automatically mean Pagan, but is reference to anyone not circumcised.

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Ok but then you have the demons believing but not having faith, which is completely understandable using your definition of faith.
Not just I, but James as well.  Not only have I shown you in our English versions, where James uses the words belief/believe but also shown where there is a difference in the Greek words used at these points as well.  This only adds to show that there is a distinct difference between faith and belief.  James extensively uses 'faith' throughout his work.  But here he states simply belief.  If there was no difference

between the two then why would James have switched words?  Why not state "You have faith that God is one. You do well; the demons also have faith, and shudder"  He doesn't because there is a difference between the two.

END PART 1
« Last Edit: February 05, 2004, 01:44:57 PM by Tog_Neve » Logged
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« Reply #137 on: February 05, 2004, 01:47:31 PM »

PART 2

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I contend this makes James discussion and Paulís continued statements separating faith and works make a lot more sense.
And no one is disputing that faith and works are seperate.  I have been stating that all along as well.

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My question is in your opinion what Group do those people belong in?
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I think we can be willing and yet not do Godís will, maybe not exclusively but some more than others.  Even Paul talks about his problem with the spirit being willing but the flesh being weak.  
Yes even Paul struggled, but he prevailed.  I do not dispute that even those willing may deny God.  But I looked at the classifications of your table in a more broader sense.  Those willing would generally do.  Those that say they are but very rarely ever do or never do, do not sound to willing does it?

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I think most Christians spend the vast majority of their time bouncing between Groups 1 and 2 depending on where they are in their faith.  To put it another way I donít drop someone irrevocably into Group 1 after one good work that conforms them to the will of God.  In fact anytime you sin you for that moment are not in Group 1 by definition, so where do you go if not to Group 2.  Where we probably differ is I believe you stay in Group 2 until you repent.
Agreed but see note above on looking very broadly at the catagories.

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I agree that we cannot be taken from Godís hand but we can leave willingly.  Through asking Jesus into our lives we do have the power to overcome sin, but we have to cooperate with that power, we donít always do that.  Yes Peter did recognize what he did was wrong and he repented over it, but he did not have to repent.  Judas repented over what he did too, but he never brought forth works meat for repentance, his solution does not lend itself to one having confidence in his end result.
But there is nothing in the Bible that states we can even walk away from God once we have been saved, thus losing our salvation.  It is only in your doctrine that you get an idea that since we have to do a work to be saved (repent) then we can perform a work (leave) to be "unsaved."  Let me ask you this Michael.  Do you believe that someone could walk out of Heaven and head to Hell?  Do you believe that we can commit sin in Heaven?  If we are not saved but once then what is stopping us from leaving at anytime during eternity?

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Wait a minute did you just flip-flop?  Do you admit the possibility of losing oneís salvation?  I never said it was easy to lose your salvation but I do believe it is possible, otherwise we play no role in our own salvation.
Smiley  Nope not a loss of salvation, but a loss of one's self.  We play a key role in our salvation, we have to accept it as a gift.  And as with any gift we should cherish it.  Once accepted though it is accepted and God will not take it back.  We then play a role in the blessings we receive while here on earth as well as the rewards we receive in heaven.  When we work with God then God will work with us.  He wants that relationship of Father/child.  He loves us and wants us to see that love by allowing Him to work with us and bless us.  That is our role after accepting the Gift.  It is not a continuous gift that we have to keep taking, it is accepted only once.

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Yes our works do apply to rewards (and that is what this verse is talking about) but that is not all they are for.  They also perfect our faith.  If our works fall into a state that could be compared to a dead faith I have yet to see that the Bible teaches we are still saved.  I still see to many verses and parables that indicate we can lose our salvation.
Agreed works perfect our faith.  Stated that long ago as well.  No arguement.
I have shown verses that use pretty plain straight forward words such as 'never' and on the reverse of that I have yet to see a verse provided that states we can lose our salvation in the same sort of simple manner as expressed.  I have shown you the verses you have provided as not referencing a loss of salvation.  What I have to stand on is the solemn words of Jesus when he stated I shall 'never' thirst again.  And whith that all else comes into place. You have provided nothing as solid as 'never' yet.

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But then what is the consequence if we do not do works to perfect our faith?
No rewards today or tomorrow.

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I did not mean to imply that we donít learn by interpreting the easy first working our way up from milk to meat.  But we must always be willing to re-evaluate our understanding of the verses we took as clear when we were babes in the faith, as we gain a deeper understanding merging more and more of the complex verses into our understanding.
But that does not mean that the verses that were clear as babes are less clear as we mature in our faith.  They are still just as clear.  But other verses may provide a deeper meaning but will not provide different definitions or meanings.  IE 'never' is never.  If a more complex verse is unclear then it needs to be made clear by using what you already know.

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As to alluding allowing you to have things mean anything you want, that is not true.  Your choices must be made in light of all of the surrounding text.  It is the consistency of the text that forces the allusions to their proper understanding regardless of what a seemingly clear verse may say on the surface.  In your example if I was reading an electronics text I would soon see that P was power, I was current and R was resistance.  As much as I might want them to be Principal, Interest and Reserve if I were an accountant I would not be allowed to make that interpretation by the text.  I would be shown to be inconsistent.
Somewhat correct, however you have to start with what is clear and simple and makes for a strong foundation.  And then you build upon that.  No matter what you run acroos it will not change your foundation.  When we look at the NT we start with the simple, and what would Jesus say.  This ithe base and no one should conflict with that.  As I mentioned before Jesus speaking of salvation says we will never thirst again.  Your doctrine directly conflicts with that which it must not.  And you still have nto shown how you reconcile with that fact.

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Unfortunately we see that that method doesnít work for the vast majority of Christians as they all come up with radically different interpretations from the same spirit.  Added to that there is no way to know when the spirit has directed you or when you have had some flash of inspiration on your own that was not guided and that this method is of man made design appearing nowhere in scripture leaves little to recommend its use.
But is this not what your Magisterium is all about.  Maintaingin that which is not in scripture (traditions).  If you can so off the cuff disregard possible inspiration from prayer as only man made inspiration then I contend that Sola Scriptura is the only way it should be.  The fervorent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  We are guaranteed answers from God when we pray.

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But that is just one example and it is the easiest case at that.  But even here you are again supporting a supposedly clear verse with allusions to the correctness of your interpretation from more vague and complex verses.  The support just isnít obvious because there is no disagreement between the seemingly clear and the seemingly complex.  What if you found the additional texts were contrary to your interpretation of the seemingly clear verse, would you not then revise your interpretation of the seemingly clear verse?
NO.  you re-evaluate your interpretations of that which is more difficult.  That which is clear is not in any need of re-evaluation....it is already clear.

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Yes they donít contradict each other but our understanding of one of them can contradict our understanding of another.  That is why we need a way to judge which of our understandings is correct.  This in now way reflects on the correctness of a verse but only on our fallible understanding of it.
Yes and through study and prayer an understanding will come.  We are pomised that.  

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Yes and that conflict is what we use to determine what the proper interpretation of any verse is.  Once we have systematically interpreted all verses such that no conflict arises then we know we have properly interpreted all scripture.  If someone goes back and says wait a minute this seemingly clear verse seems to be interpreted all out of whack, we say too bad!
WHAT!!!!
So if A=1, B=1, C=1 then (A+B+C)*5=15 correct.  But if you find out A is not equal to 1 but 2 you would still say that the answer is 15!?!  Now that is bad logic.  You must first build upon what is clear, for they are givens, knowns, in programming they are constants.  Then there are variables.  And we know the answer because it is given as well.  You have to start with what is known...what is a given...that which is clear, and then evaluate that which does not appear clear or is not in as simple terms and determine what the variable is and what it should be.  If you have two recordings of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, recorded at the same place and time but maybe slightly different locations in the area.  One has a cabbie honking his horn so all you hear is "I have HONK HONKeam" but the other is crystal clear.  Are you going to interpret what MLK said based on the one with the cab?  So you get "I have to Clean"...yeah that is what MLK said...oh you have a recording that is clear as a bell and it says "I have a dream"...well to bad is what you would say?!  Very bad logic and interpretational process.

END PART 2
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« Reply #138 on: February 05, 2004, 01:48:59 PM »

PART 3

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You are merely putting more weight on your interpretation of one clear verse from Christ, than the weight you would give to your interpretations of more subtle implications of many verses by other authors inspired by the Holy Spirit.  It is a completely understandable position, however it is not proper or acceptable otherwise the whole of scripture could be a page long.
No what I am doing is starting with the simple basics of the scripture and that which is clear and ensuring that when I read through the rest of the scripture, things that appear to alter the simplistic nature of that are also now as clear as the first.  I get just as much information and more when I read other verse such as the ones in Eph.  And they say more, but they do not alter the meaning of the clear verses.

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I agree that is where you are if you follow sola scriptura, the job is just too big for one man alone.  That is the advantage to having a Church who has done all this research and defended the Bible from attacks for 2000 years.  I can learn from them.  That is why God decided to have a Church to feed His sheep, He never told the sheep to feed themselves.
But you yourself stated earlier that there is no way of knowing if a person was inspired by God or just their own "flash" of inspiration.  So thus without sticking to strictly the Bible you have no way of knowing that even the discussions of 2000 years are correct since they could be the inspiration of man and not God.  And I do not wish to enter into a debate here concerning churches and their correctness or any such thing.  Not the topic for it.  But one thing to note on you first sentence is that God also told us that once we were saved the mysteries of God and His word would be made clear.  And God also directs us that if we ever have questions we should pray to Him for answers.  James 1:5 "And if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God..."  John 15:7 "...ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you"

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Your analogy only works if the border has flat edges, that the seemingly clear verses really are as simple and clear as they first appear.  Otherwise you may get even the border wrong and the only way you will know is when you try to fit the more complex pieces in the center in and their refusal to fit will allude to the fact that you got the border wrong.
There are many many clear directives and verses...."Thou shalt not murder" is one.  Clear and simple and a good edge piece.  One to be built upon.  "Thou shalt have no other Gods"  Another good one.  One that gets expanded upon several times in reference to idol worship, praying to no one other than God, etc, etc.   The clear verses such as that make for good foundations to build upon and nothing further along in study should conflict with that.  And they do not when built upon the foundations God has set forth.

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I have looked through a lot of commentaries and have not found a single reference by any Church Father that indicates this verse is to be interpreted literally.  Even the Protestant, Matthew Henry does not hold that this verse means what you say it means.  The only commentary I found that hints at agreeing with your simple straightforward interpretation is the Wycliffe Commentary.
Hmmm strange when I look into Henry's notes:
"Christ shows that the water of Jacob's well yielded a very short satisfaction.  Of whatever waters of comfort we drink, we shall thirst again.  But whoever partakes of the Spirit of grace, and the comforts of the gospel, shall never want that which will abundantly satisfy the soul."
Even Henry uses the words never...those that drink will never want for that which satisfies.
Adam Clarke states in his commentary
"On this account he can never thirst:-for how can he lack water who has in himself a living, eternal spring? "
indicating as well the word never.  Why?  because the Spirit that is the well is now within us, eternally (forever).
Jameison-Faussett-Brown commentary says
"whereas the "water" that Christ gives--spiritual life--is struck out of the very depths of our being, making the soul not a cistern, for holding water poured into it from without, but a fountain (the word had been better so rendered, to distinguish it from the word rendered "well" in Joh 4:11), springing, gushing, bubbling up and flowing forth within us, ever fresh, ever living. The indwelling of the Holy Ghost as the Spirit of Christ is the secret of this life with all its enduring energies and satisfactions, as is expressly said (Joh 7:37-39). "Never thirsting," then, means simply that such souls have the supplies at home. "
We see words like ever fresh, ever living, thus also stating it is always there.  
Notes from John Calvin
"That which quickens the soul cannot but be eternal. Again, the words of Christ are not at variance with the fact, that believers, to the very end of life, burn with desire of more abundant grace. For he does not say that, from the very first day, we drink so as to be fully satisfied, but only means that the Holy Spirit is a continually flowing fountain; and that, therefore, there is no danger that they who have been renewed by spiritual grace shall be dried up."
That which quickens the soul is eternal.  No danger of being dried up.
So I am not sure what commentaries you were looking into but the ones that I have looked into express that once we drink of the water that Christ is to provide we shall never be thirsty again.  We shall be born of the Spirit and the Spirit will be within us providing a river of living water for us to drink, which allowing the Spirit to reside in us is and give us new birth is the instant of being saved, this indicates that no matter what (even if one could stop drinking from the river within) that the river is still there, we cannot shut it off.  The metaphor used is that the well of Jacob can satisfy a worldly thirst, but cannot satisfy the thirst of the soul...and the soul is what is eternal.  But when receiving Christ our soul is satisfied forever.

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This is referring to anyone who drinks of the living water, (receives the Holy Spirit through accepting Christ as savior) will never thirst (need to seek the Holy Spirit) again.  That this water (Spirit) will spring up (flow or grow) into everlasting life (salvation).  We see this as an ongoing process not a final event.  The individual who drinks will have a spring within them growing and filling them to eventual salvation.  Anything that is not complete can change or end another way.
Very much incorrect.  The thirst that Christ is talking about that He satisfies is an eternal thirst.  One of the soul.  So one that drinks of the water that Jesus provides (accepts the Spirit) will no longer thirst.  Why?  Because the Spirit will now be in that person and be as a well of water.  This well of water is to satisfy the thirst of our soul, which is eternal, and provides life for eternity.  And it is complete.  The well is placed in us on acceptance of the Gift.  The Spirit now dwells in us.  Jesus does not indicate that no matter what changes we make the well will go away.  NO he says just the opposite in that it will always be there, it will never go away.  It will spring up into everlasting quenching of the thirst of the soul.

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It is similar to this verse is John 6:35  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.  Where we see explicitly that we must continue to believe to never thirst.  So yes never doesnít necessarily mean never regardless of changes we go through.
Let me state this and I am making this on an assumption by your name.  You will never be a natually born woman.  So can any changes you make in your life affect that statement?  No.  Sure I can say that I will never sky dive.  But I can tell you right now that my feelings of jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft are that it is completely ludicrous, however I also know that when I say never I am also expressing my feelings and not a known truth (ie a figure of speech).  I have said never often in my life and quite regularly my wife proves me wrong Smiley (I will never change the wax ring on a toilet, I will never do my own plumbing, etc).  There is a very distinct difference here.  We have man speaking and God speaking.  When God says never do you think it only means until He decides to change his mind?  Do you believe that God will flood the earth again?  Things could change could they not and we could become as wicked as the people of Noah's time...does that mean that God would then flood the earth again?  
I do not disagree that we should continue to drink of the Spirit, we should be near drowning in the river of eternal life.  But the continued dipping of the cup into the river of eternal life that is within a saved person (forever) is not a process to follow to be saved....one only needs to have the river of the Spirit placed in them to be saved.  The continued drinking is symbollic of a continued building of ones faith in God.  God at that point has already saved us by putting in us the well that springs to eternal life.  Even if we quit drinking it does not turn the well off...God does not come in and remove it, if He did then Jesus would have not said Never.

END
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« Reply #139 on: February 05, 2004, 10:43:28 PM »

Yes, a person can lose their salvation.  All we have to do is look at Judas.  He was counted among the twelve before he betrayed Jesus.  He, like the others, was sent out by Jesus.  Which we can see in Mark 6:12,13 And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

If Judas was not saved, could he have done these miracles.  Jesus told us that if devils cast out devils their kingdom should fall. I cannot imagine any devil wanting their kingdom to fall.  So if a devil didn't do it, that must mean that Judas did it.  Remember, it says "they" so that has to include Judas.  

We know that Judas is called the son of perdition.  Which means "one that is hopelessly lost".  

I believe we have enough evidence to show that Judas lost his salvation.
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« Reply #140 on: February 05, 2004, 11:18:59 PM »

John 17:12

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
KJV


Ex 7:10-13

10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.

11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.

12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.

13 And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
KJV
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« Reply #141 on: February 06, 2004, 06:34:18 AM »

The scriptures you shared in your response gives me the impression that not everyone has an equal chance to be a part of God's kingdom.  That kind of mentality is not consistent with the God that I have come to know.

2 Pet 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
KJV

What God did to Pharaoh is consistent with what we read in Romans.

Romans 1:29-32  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, UNMERCIFUL: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

God will use us to glorify His name, just as He used Pharaoh.  It is we who decide whether the results will be positive or negative for us.
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« Reply #142 on: February 06, 2004, 10:54:02 AM »

Salvation is not by chance but by grace...

Rom 9:20-23

20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
KJV
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« Reply #143 on: February 07, 2004, 08:15:15 AM »

Ephesians 1:1  
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 5:3-5
 For let fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness not be once named among you, as becomes saints, neither baseness, foolish talking, jesting, which are not becoming, but rather giving of thanks. For you know this, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous one (who is an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.


Galatians 1:6  
I marvel that you so soon are being moved away from Him who called you into the grace of Christ, to another gospel,

Galatians 5:19-21  
Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkennesses, revelings, and things like these; of which I tell you before, as I also said before, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Since Paul was addressing Born-again, spirit-filled Christians, why do you think he felt it necessary to remind them that if they practiced such things, they would not inherit the kingdom of God?
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« Reply #144 on: February 09, 2004, 02:02:34 PM »


PART 1 OF 5

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Remember that synonyms are words that have the same meaning or nearly the same meaning in some or all senses.  So belief and faith can go hand in hand but one could have more or less meaning than the others.  As I have stated faith encompasses belief but also includes the willingness to do Gods will.  

So no the meaning of faith is not different from what I use.  The definitions you provided that are in the dictionary (and one I used www.dictionary.com has willingness to do God's will in it) do support that faith is a willingness to do an action...worded as obligation, allegiance, loyalty, fidelity, intentions, etc.  Most all of the definitions discussed are not the actions but the driving force behind the actions.  And they are more than belief but also include belief.  This is also expressed in that you will find belief (or dirivitave of belief) in the definition of faith but you will not find faith in the definition of belief.

I donít have a problem with this definition of faith except to ask what it means for James to then ask ďcan faith save him?Ē in verse 2 :14  James is referring to someone who under your definition does not really have faith, he only claims he does.  But James seems to indicate that the individual does have faith, but it is in a form that will not be satisfactory towards accepting salvation.  It would seem if the definition you propose was to be applied at all times and in all cases then James should have more properly said ďcan belief save him?Ē but he didnít.  So James at least is using a different definition of faith than you are.

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I contend that the latter is the correct answer, not because the verses you quote donít relate to faith, they do.  But because they are each talking about a saving faith, they are not talking about the concept of faith in general.  If a saving faith inherently includes acceptance to do the will of God, then a definition we derive from discussion of that type of faith does not preclude other forms of faith that do not include an acceptance to do the will of God.  Thus enters James discussion of faith in both its living and dead forms and we see a much closer link with the synonymous term of belief.

This is what James is talking about.  There is a difference between faith, a true saving faith, and simple belief that some would call faith.  That is why in the verses we have discussed James states that man "says" he has faith.  The man does not, he only professes to have faith.  But what he lacks is the feeling of obligation to God, allegiance to God, Loyalty to God, willingness to obey God.  All of these things the demons lack as well and have belief only.  Belief being only a part of faith and not truly faith.

I agree with your assessment of the man but have a problem, not with him identifying what he has as faith, but by the fact that James identifies what the man has as faith in James 2:14.

Also I noticed you did not address the following verse later in my post.

1 Cor 13:2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

Here we see it is possible to have great faith (such as to move mountains) but not have charity, so I would think that this individual has not accepted to do the will of God so would not have faith in your definition, but yet is referred to by the scriptures as having great faith.

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Ok but then you have the demons believing but not having faith, which is completely understandable using your definition of faith.

Not just I, but James as well.  Not only have I shown you in our English versions, where James uses the words belief/believe but also shown where there is a difference in the Greek words used at these points as well.  This only adds to show that there is a distinct difference between faith and belief.  James extensively uses 'faith' throughout his work.  But here he states simply belief.  If there was no difference between the two then why would James have switched words?  Why not state "You have faith that God is one. You do well; the demons also have faith, and shudder"  He doesn't because there is a difference between the two.

But we have yet to determine finally that James uses your definition of faith, we wonít be sure (or I wonít be convinced anyway) until we can come up with a reason James says the man with no works has faith.  I also would really like to complete the consideration with an explanation of 1 Cor 13:2 as well.  I am not saying that faith and belief are not ever different, just that sometimes they are used interchangeably especially and that James did precisely that when discussing the man with no works so he could compare his dead faith to the belief of demons.

I think you also missed the following question as you wrote your response.

Also I tried to put the people with no works (those with a dead faith) in Group 2 which you say doesnít exist and I thought you would put them here in Group 4 but you put the demons here even though you said earlier that James is not comparing the demon to those without works who only say they have faith.  My question is in your opinion what Group do those people belong in?

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But there is nothing in the Bible that states we can even walk away from God once we have been saved, thus losing our salvation.  It is only in your doctrine that you get an idea that since we have to do a work to be saved (repent) then we can perform a work (leave) to be "unsaved."  Let me ask you this Michael.  Do you believe that someone could walk out of Heaven and head to Hell?  Do you believe that we can commit sin in Heaven?  If we are not saved but once then what is stopping us from leaving at anytime during eternity?

There are a lot of verses in the Bible that say we can walk away.  All of the verses that reference abiding and perseverance and working out our salvation all point to our ability to stop carrying the cross and following Him.  

Of course we can walk away from heaven, Lucifer did!  Let me ask you (since I referenced Judas last time) do you think Judas was saved?  If not was he never saved?  Even as an Apostle? Even having received the Holy Spirit and been given the power to remit sins?  If he was saved then was not his betrayal of Christ a walking away or denial which will lead Christ to deny him before the Father?  Was his suicide not a sin which he could not repent of, and therefore not one that can be forgiven?

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Wait a minute did you just flip-flop?  Do you admit the possibility of losing oneís salvation?  I never said it was easy to lose your salvation but I do believe it is possible, otherwise we play no role in our own salvation.

Smiley  Nope not a loss of salvation, but a loss of one's self.  

I asked the above because you had said in your previous post   ďAs far as it being impossible to fall to a point of even possibly losing our salvation...yes I think it possible, but I feel it would be very very very difficult.Ē    That doesnít sound like a lose of self to me.  Do you want to retract that statement of explain it?

END OF PART 1
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« Reply #145 on: February 09, 2004, 02:04:18 PM »


PART 2

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We play a key role in our salvation, we have to accept it as a gift.  And as with any gift we should cherish it.  Once accepted though it is accepted and God will not take it back.  We then play a role in the blessings we receive while here on earth as well as the rewards we receive in heaven.  When we work with God then God will work with us.  He wants that relationship of Father/child.  He loves us and wants us to see that love by allowing Him to work with us and bless us.  That is our role after accepting the Gift.  It is not a continuous gift that we have to keep taking, it is accepted only once.

I agree it is not a gift we have to keep on accepting, and I do not think God will take the gift away, nor can anyone rob us of it, but we can throw it away.  We can waste our inheritance as the prodigal son did, we can return to our wallowing after having been washed, we can return to our own vomit if we do not work our own salvation with fear and trembling.

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Yes our works do apply to rewards (and that is what this verse is talking about) but that is not all they are for.  They also perfect our faith.  If our works fall into a state that could be compared to a dead faith I have yet to see that the Bible teaches we are still saved.  I still see to many verses and parables that indicate we can lose our salvation.

Agreed works perfect our faith.  Stated that long ago as well.  No arguement.
I have shown verses that use pretty plain straight forward words such as 'never' and on the reverse of that I have yet to see a verse provided that states we can lose our salvation in the same sort of simple manner as expressed.  I have shown you the verses you have provided as not referencing a loss of salvation.  What I have to stand on is the solemn words of Jesus when he stated I shall 'never' thirst again.  And whith that all else comes into place. You have provided nothing as solid as 'never' yet.

I see the verse in Hebrews 6:4-6 with its references to falling away and renewing to repentance and crucifying afresh speaking as plainly as the never in John 4:14.  I see the parable of the prodigal son with the son taking his inheritance and losing it becoming dead but then made alive again as speaking as plainly as the never in John 4:14.  I see James 5:19-20 with its reference to saving a soul from death as speaking plainly.  I see Matt 12:31 as speaking plainly about an unforgivable sin, only committable by those already saved, which must then preclude their salvation.   I see Rev 22:19 as speaking clearly about individuals being removed from the Book of Life.  I see 2 Pt 3:15-17 speaking plainly about the possibility of trying our Lords long suffering and eventually falling from out own steadfastness to the loss of our salvation.  There are hundreds more.

I donít expect you to be swayed by these arguments though because I have come to understand  our difference is in the interpretation method we use to glean truth from the scriptures.  Have you been following my posts in the Hermeneutics thread?  We have discussed the issues briefly between ourselves but it appears we may need to do more than that to progress.

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But then what is the consequence if we do not do works to perfect our faith?

No rewards today or tomorrow.

So an imperfect faith is good enough to accept the gift of salvation?  Then it appears you are saying we donít need works to go along with our faith; either that or we only need a one time belief along with one example of works and weíre in.  I am not buying it.

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I did not mean to imply that we donít learn by interpreting the easy first working our way up from milk to meat.  But we must always be willing to re-evaluate our understanding of the verses we took as clear when we were babes in the faith, as we gain a deeper understanding merging more and more of the complex verses into our understanding.

But that does not mean that the verses that were clear as babes are less clear as we mature in our faith.  They are still just as clear.  But other verses may provide a deeper meaning but will not provide different definitions or meanings.  IE 'never' is never.  If a more complex verse is unclear then it needs to be made clear by using what you already know.

No a more complex verse once properly understood can make a verse we only thought was clear, truly clear in a different light.  Never doesnít even have to mean something other than never, it could be that the meaning of thirst is explained more precisely, so that it becomes apparent it is not referring to a lack of salvation.  There are many ways in which a supposedly clear verse can be unclear.

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As to alluding allowing you to have things mean anything you want, that is not true.  Your choices must be made in light of all of the surrounding text.  It is the consistency of the text that forces the allusions to their proper understanding regardless of what a seemingly clear verse may say on the surface.  In your example if I was reading an electronics text I would soon see that P was power, I was current and R was resistance.  As much as I might want them to be Principal, Interest and Reserve if I were an accountant I would not be allowed to make that interpretation by the text.  I would be shown to be inconsistent.

Somewhat correct, however you have to start with what is clear and simple and makes for a strong foundation.  And then you build upon that.  No matter what you run acroos it will not change your foundation.  When we look at the NT we start with the simple, and what would Jesus say.  This ithe base and no one should conflict with that.  

That proposition, that the clear and simple provide a good foundation is not a fact as you would have me take it, it is merely a preposition of your position, something you take for granted with no proof to support it.  I agree that there should be no conflict between what we interpret Christ and the seemingly clear verses to be saying.  But it is always our interpretation we are dealing with here, we never have an absolute in either of those class of statements as we never are told to take anything strictly literally in any of the scriptures.  Interpreting scripture literally unless there is a good reason to do otherwise is just another man made guideline and has led to countless errors in and of itself.

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As I mentioned before Jesus speaking of salvation says we will never thirst again.  Your doctrine directly conflicts with that which it must not.  And you still have nto shown how you reconcile with that fact.

No my doctrine conflicts with your interpretation of that verse and I have shown how it can be interpreted such that the doctrine of the Catholic Church and all the scripture verses it is based on does not conflict with it.

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Unfortunately we see that that method doesnít work for the vast majority of Christians as they all come up with radically different interpretations from the same spirit.  Added to that there is no way to know when the spirit has directed you or when you have had some flash of inspiration on your own that was not guided and that this method is of man made design appearing nowhere in scripture leaves little to recommend its use.

But is this not what your Magisterium is all about.  Maintaingin that which is not in scripture (traditions).  If you can so off the cuff disregard possible inspiration from prayer as only man made inspiration then I contend that Sola Scriptura is the only way it should be.  The fervorent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  We are guaranteed answers from God when we pray.

I am not sure I understand what you are trying to claim here, but the Magisterium of the Church was established by Christ to bind and loose on earth.  That includes determining the Canon, providing interpretation of the Canon, determining the acceptance of other sources of the Word of God (such as Tradition, decisions of Councils and Ex Cathedra statement) and resolving conflicts over doctrinal issues between Christians.

As for disregarding inspiration from prayer I am only saying that there is no support for it in scripture as a means for interpreting scripture and that individuals relying on it has only resulted in massive division and over 30,000 denominations all claiming the others are wrong.

END OF PART 2
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« Reply #146 on: February 09, 2004, 02:05:26 PM »


PART 3

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But that is just one example and it is the easiest case at that.  But even here you are again supporting a supposedly clear verse with allusions to the correctness of your interpretation from more vague and complex verses.  The support just isnít obvious because there is no disagreement between the seemingly clear and the seemingly complex.  What if you found the additional texts were contrary to your interpretation of the seemingly clear verse, would you not then revise your interpretation of the seemingly clear verse?

NO.  you re-evaluate your interpretations of that which is more difficult.  That which is clear is not in any need of re-evaluation....it is already clear.

First, you are using clear in an absolute sense again.  Things are not clear or unclear they are only relatively clear.  You cannot know when something is clear in an absolute sense, you can only know when it appears clear to you.  The only thing that is absolute in interpretation is consistency.  That is why a large number of verses which allude to a truth are more significant than one in isolation that seems to say something plainly.  The chance of finding verses that must be interpreted differently than your ďplainĒ verse is much greater than finding verses that must be interpreted differently than another whole group of verses.

Second, your method of re-evaluating the more difficult does not work, because it is possible to arrive at a point where there are too many unclear/complex verses to re-evaluate in a consistent manner and you have to give up on your interpretation of the clear verse.  All it takes is one case of this and the method or approach of doing it this way cannot be trusted.  That is why we must evaluate the simple in light of the complex.

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Yes they donít contradict each other but our understanding of one of them can contradict our understanding of another.  That is why we need a way to judge which of our understandings is correct.  This in now way reflects on the correctness of a verse but only on our fallible understanding of it.

Yes and through study and prayer an understanding will come.  We are promised that.  

Where in scripture are we promised that?  The only time I know of promises of infallible interpretation in scripture they are given to the Church not to individuals.

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Yes and that conflict is what we use to determine what the proper interpretation of any verse is.  Once we have systematically interpreted all verses such that no conflict arises then we know we have properly interpreted all scripture.  If someone goes back and says wait a minute this seemingly clear verse seems to be interpreted all out of whack, we say too bad!

WHAT!!!!
So if A=1, B=1, C=1 then (A+B+C)*5=15 correct.  But if you find out A is not equal to 1 but 2 you would still say that the answer is 15!?!  Now that is bad logic.  

No you either misunderstand my point or are using a bad analogy.  The example should be if we think A=1 and we think B=1 and we think C=1 then we find out that (A+B+C)*5 =18 then we know we got one of the simple substitutions wrong.  This would be a proper analogy for a complex or obscure interpretation driving a simple or clear interpretation.  In your example you have the simple substitution driving the complex result and that I do not agree with.  Sola scriptura wants us to note that A=1, B=1, and C=1 and when we find a complex verse that seems to say that (A+B+C)*5=18 we must redefine what + and * mean to make it fit.

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You must first build upon what is clear, for they are givens, knowns, in programming they are constants.  Then there are variables.  And we know the answer because it is given as well.  You have to start with what is known...what is a given...that which is clear, and then evaluate that which does not appear clear or is not in as simple terms and determine what the variable is and what it should be.  If you have two recordings of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, recorded at the same place and time but maybe slightly different locations in the area.  One has a cabbie honking his horn so all you hear is "I have HONK HONKeam" but the other is crystal clear.  Are you going to interpret what MLK said based on the one with the cab?  So you get "I have to Clean"...yeah that is what MLK said...oh you have a recording that is clear as a bell and it says "I have a dream"...well to bad is what you would say?!  Very bad logic and interpretational process.

Ok Lets use this analogy too, because once again you have applied it wrongly to the argument.  Your application of the analogy is unfair because by using an accurate option for your side of the argument it presupposes your approach to be right.  Here is a more fair analogy.  If we have two recordings of the speech; one which clearly says I have a cream and one that says I have a HONK drHONKeam.  One would be justified in taking the seemingly clear one to be correct.  But later when you have evaluated the entire speech you recognize it is not a commercial for the dairy association and cream but for freedom and dreams.  It is only when analyzing the entire text that you can be sure of any of it.  That is why computer speech recognition is so difficult.  They need to take the entire context of a discussion into account, something we humans do without even realizing it.  That is why we can discern ďwreck a nice beachĒ, from ďrecognize speechĒ.

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You are merely putting more weight on your interpretation of one clear verse from Christ, than the weight you would give to your interpretations of more subtle implications of many verses by other authors inspired by the Holy Spirit.  It is a completely understandable position, however it is not proper or acceptable otherwise the whole of scripture could be a page long.

No what I am doing is starting with the simple basics of the scripture and that which is clear and ensuring that when I read through the rest of the scripture, things that appear to alter the simplistic nature of that are also now as clear as the first.  I get just as much information and more when I read other verse such as the ones in Eph.  And they say more, but they do not alter the meaning of the clear verses.

I have learned the meaning scripture in just that same way, I think we all do.  But I have seen that the more complex verse do indeed change the meanings of the simple verses (some of which at first glance seem clear), and Eph 2:8 is a prime example.  I once thought it to be saying the following four things.

We are saved by grace
We accept grace through faith
We do not accept grace through works.
Therefore we cannot boast.

But I later saw (only by comparing that interpretation to other scripture and trying to force interpretations on that other scripture to match) that Eph 2:8 is really saying the following four things:

We are saved by grace
We accept grace through faith
We are not saved by works
Therefore we cannot boast.

The difference is in item 3.  The verse is not contrasting faith and works it is contrasting grace and works.  Faith and works as we both know are inherently linked (though we disagree on the details).  So the standard Protestant interpretation of Eph 2:8, that was arrived at through sola scriptura and letting the simple illuminate the complex, gets it wrong.  This results in them having to jump through all kinds of hoops later to make all the complex verses match the idea of faith and works being at odds with each other.

END OF PART 3
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« Reply #147 on: February 09, 2004, 02:07:42 PM »


PART 4

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I agree that is where you are if you follow sola scriptura, the job is just too big for one man alone.  That is the advantage to having a Church who has done all this research and defended the Bible from attacks for 2000 years.  I can learn from them.  That is why God decided to have a Church to feed His sheep, He never told the sheep to feed themselves.

But you yourself stated earlier that there is no way of knowing if a person was inspired by God or just their own "flash" of inspiration.  So thus without sticking to strictly the Bible you have no way of knowing that even the discussions of 2000 years are correct since they could be the inspiration of man and not God.  And I do not wish to enter into a debate here concerning churches and their correctness or any such thing.  Not the topic for it.  

I donít want to get into that debate either but it is the answer to this.  God granted protection to His Church on earth to resolve these issues and that is what we must rely on ultimately.

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But one thing to note on you first sentence is that God also told us that once we were saved the mysteries of God and His word would be made clear.  And God also directs us that if we ever have questions we should pray to Him for answers.  James 1:5 "And if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God..."  John 15:7 "...ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you"

There is an access we all have to His guidance in interpreting scripture as we study but it is not all encompassing or we would not be told to go to the Church to resolve differences and Paul would not have gone to the Council of Jerusalem to resolve his dispute.  If Paul didnít have access to all understanding of all the mysteries you and I surely donít.

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Your analogy only works if the border has flat edges, that the seemingly clear verses really are as simple and clear as they first appear.  Otherwise you may get even the border wrong and the only way you will know is when you try to fit the more complex pieces in the center in and their refusal to fit will allude to the fact that you got the border wrong.

There are many many clear directives and verses...."Thou shalt not murder" is one.  Clear and simple and a good edge piece.  One to be built upon.  "Thou shalt have no other Gods"  Another good one.  One that gets expanded upon several times in reference to idol worship, praying to no one other than God, etc, etc.   The clear verses such as that make for good foundations to build upon and nothing further along in study should conflict with that.  And they do not when built upon the foundations God has set forth.

Many clear (or seemingly clear) directives and verses are not enough.  You have to know and show that there are enough to complete the flat border of the puzzle and that is an unknowable fact until you know what the entire puzzle looks like.

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I have looked through a lot of commentaries and have not found a single reference by any Church Father that indicates this verse is to be interpreted literally.  Even the Protestant, Matthew Henry does not hold that this verse means what you say it means.  The only commentary I found that hints at agreeing with your simple straightforward interpretation is the Wycliffe Commentary.

Hmmm strange when I look into Henry's notes:
"Christ shows that the water of Jacob's well yielded a very short satisfaction.  Of whatever waters of comfort we drink, we shall thirst again.  But whoever partakes of the Spirit of grace, and the comforts of the gospel, shall never want that which will abundantly satisfy the soul."
Even Henry uses the words never...those that drink will never want for that which satisfies.

Yes note Henry says that the water here represents the Spirit just as I said it did.  Not salvation as you say it does.

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Adam Clarke states in his commentary
"On this account he can never thirst:-for how can he lack water who has in himself a living, eternal spring? "
indicating as well the word never.  Why?  because the Spirit that is the well is now within us, eternally (forever).

Again Clarke says the same Ė water is Spirit not salvation.

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Jameison-Faussett-Brown commentary says
"whereas the "water" that Christ gives--spiritual life--is struck out of the very depths of our being, making the soul not a cistern, for holding water poured into it from without, but a fountain (the word had been better so rendered, to distinguish it from the word rendered "well" in Joh 4:11), springing, gushing, bubbling up and flowing forth within us, ever fresh, ever living. The indwelling of the Holy Ghost as the Spirit of Christ is the secret of this life with all its enduring energies and satisfactions, as is expressly said (Joh 7:37-39). "Never thirsting," then, means simply that such souls have the supplies at home. "
We see words like ever fresh, ever living, thus also stating it is always there.  

Notes from John Calvin
"That which quickens the soul cannot but be eternal. Again, the words of Christ are not at variance with the fact, that believers, to the very end of life, burn with desire of more abundant grace. For he does not say that, from the very first day, we drink so as to be fully satisfied, but only means that the Holy Spirit is a continually flowing fountain; and that, therefore, there is no danger that they who have been renewed by spiritual grace shall be dried up."
That which quickens the soul is eternal.  No danger of being dried up.

These two commentaries are ones I do not have, and they do seem to more closely fit your interpretation (not that I doubted you could find one Ė only that I could not).  I even mentioned that Wycliffe was close to yours.  But I was reviewing the Early Church Fathers and found nothing like this which doesnít surprise me as the idea of once saved always saved is found nowhere in the Church until the reformation.

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So I am not sure what commentaries you were looking into but the ones that I have looked into express that once we drink of the water that Christ is to provide we shall never be thirsty again.  We shall be born of the Spirit and the Spirit will be within us providing a river of living water for us to drink, which allowing the Spirit to reside in us is and give us new birth is the instant of being saved, this indicates that no matter what (even if one could stop drinking from the river within) that the river is still there, we cannot shut it off.  The metaphor used is that the well of Jacob can satisfy a worldly thirst, but cannot satisfy the thirst of the soul...and the soul is what is eternal.  But when receiving Christ our soul is satisfied forever.

And yet Hebrews 3 makes it plain that although this spring of the Spirit is available so we never need to thirst we can (once having tasted of this water) can fall away and need if it were possible to crucify the Lord afresh.  So it seems that the never ending supply is not sufficient to guarantee salvation.  You can fill a sinner with water but you canít make him drink.

END OF PART 4
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« Reply #148 on: February 09, 2004, 02:10:13 PM »


PART 5

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This is referring to anyone who drinks of the living water, (receives the Holy Spirit through accepting Christ as savior) will never thirst (need to seek the Holy Spirit) again.  That this water (Spirit) will spring up (flow or grow) into everlasting life (salvation).  We see this as an ongoing process not a final event.  The individual who drinks will have a spring within them growing and filling them to eventual salvation.  Anything that is not complete can change or end another way.

Very much incorrect.  The thirst that Christ is talking about that He satisfies is an eternal thirst.  One of the soul.  So one that drinks of the water that Jesus provides (accepts the Spirit) will no longer thirst.  Why?  Because the Spirit will now be in that person and be as a well of water.  This well of water is to satisfy the thirst of our soul, which is eternal, and provides life for eternity.  And it is complete.  The well is placed in us on acceptance of the Gift.  The Spirit now dwells in us.  Jesus does not indicate that no matter what changes we make the well will go away.  NO he says just the opposite in that it will always be there, it will never go away.  It will spring up into everlasting quenching of the thirst of the soul.

No I donít accept that literal legalistic view of the verse, it conflicts with too many other verses to allow for a consistent interpretation of scripture as a whole.

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It is similar to this verse is John 6:35  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.  Where we see explicitly that we must continue to believe to never thirst.  So yes never doesnít necessarily mean never regardless of changes we go through.

I do not disagree that we should continue to drink of the Spirit, we should be near drowning in the river of eternal life.  But the continued dipping of the cup into the river of eternal life that is within a saved person (forever) is not a process to follow to be saved....one only needs to have the river of the Spirit placed in them to be saved.  The continued drinking is symbollic of a continued building of ones faith in God.  God at that point has already saved us by putting in us the well that springs to eternal life.  Even if we quit drinking it does not turn the well off...God does not come in and remove it, if He did then Jesus would have not said Never.

I donít see that we have this separation of building our life and acceptance to do the will of God for salvation.  There are too many verses that discuss abiding and remaining etc. to accept that after some limited time (perhaps just one event) of acceptance of doing the will of God that we can stop.  Perhaps it is time I provided the verses that I feel your simple interpretation of John 4:14 needs to be shown as consistent with.  But I donít want to be accused of flooding you with verses.  It is just that the way my view of proper hermeneutics works requires us to consider a wide range of scripture to determine anything.  Let me know what you think.

By the way is your name a reference to Got Even?

END OF PART 5
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« Reply #149 on: February 09, 2004, 06:38:55 PM »

I have read through all 10 pages, and although there has been many good points and many bad points, I must say I am dissappointed at the personal attacks and the attacks on others denomination, (not so much in the later pages).  So please, lets keep this a discussion where we are trying to understand the other person's view, and do so in love.
Amen?

I find this topic very fascinating, and it's always interesting to learn what others believe.  So here are my two cents.

The question of whether or not we could lose our salvation depends greatly upon how we view God.  We could start a whole new thread on that, but for the sake of time I'll start by asking a couple questions.

1.  Does God lie?
(I think we all agree he doesn't)
2.  Is a person God considers righteous saved?
(Again, I think we can all agree they are)
3.  Is a person God considers wicked saved?
(Again, I think we can all agree they're not)

Then consider for a moment Ezekiel 33:12-20
"Therefore, son of man, say to your countrymen, `The righteousness of the righteous man will not save him when he disobeys, and the wickedness of the wicked man will not cause him to fall when he turns from it. The righteous man, if he sins, will not be allowed to live because of his former righteousness.' 13 If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die for the evil he has done. 14 And if I say to the wicked man, `You will surely die,' but he then turns away from his sin and does what is just and right-- 15 if he gives back what he took in pledge for a loan, returns what he has stolen, follows the decrees that give life, and does no evil, he will surely live; he will not die. 16 None of the sins he has committed will be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he will surely live.

    EZE 33:17 "Yet your countrymen say, `The way of the Lord is not just.' But it is their way that is not just. 18 If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, he will die for it. 19 And if a wicked man turns away from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he will live by doing so. 20 Yet, O house of Israel, you say, `The way of the Lord is not just.' But I will judge each of you according to his own ways."

Okay, so lets break that down and see if we come up with the same conclusion.
v12- "Therefore, son of man, say to your countrymen, `The righteousness (faith, belief, works, all those combined) of the righteous man (saved man) will not save him (save him from what?  Spiritual death) when he disobeys (this meaning knowingly and willingly, with aforethought), and the wickedness (sins) of the wicked man (not saved) will not cause him to fall (be cast into eternal damnation) when he turns from it. The righteous man, if he sins, will not be allowed to live (*) because of his former righteousness (faith, belief, works he had/did when he was saved).'
*- I've had a couple people actually try to argue that the word 'live' didn't mean eternal life.  But if that were so, why don't we see men and women from 2000 or more years ago still alive today and walking around?  According to that definition if you were rightetous you'd never physically die???  Obviously the term 'live' means eternal life with God, and death meaning eternal seperation from God.  We will see this makes more sense in the verses to follow.  So what can we conclude from the last part of it, if a saved person decides to turn from his righteous ways, he won't be able to have eternal life with God.
v.13-  If I (God) tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but (very important word) then he (indicating a choice made of his own free will) trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die (eternal death, not physical) for the evil he has done.
Here we see someone who God considers righteous and it is God saying to this person that he will surely be with him in paradise (remembering that God doesn't lie, if he says it's going to be so then it will), BUT then the person decides to turn away from God and make it his own righteousness and not one that came from God as a result of his obedience, faith, belief, etc.  It sounds as if this person in their own eyes became their own god, and no longer saw God as their Lord and Savior.
v14-16- And if I say to the wicked man, `You will surely die,' but he then turns away from his sin and does what is just and right-- if he gives back what he took in pledge for a loan, returns what he has stolen, follows the decrees that give life, and does no evil, he will surely live; he will not die.None of the sins he has committed will be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he will surely live.
Here we see the opposite happening.  Here an unsaved person turns from his ways and does what is right, thus saves himself from eternal death.
v17-Yet your countrymen say, `The way of the Lord is not just.' But it is their way that is not just.
Here is a view many people take that can't accept God being someone who allows people to fall away.  The Lord's way is not taking salvation away and being unjust, it is 'their' way that is not right and suffers the consequences.  I'll repeat that, it's not God taking away anything, his way is not unjust!
v18- If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, he will die for it.
Repeating what he said earlier.  Back in the biblical days when something was repeated, for example like Jesus saying 'Verily, verily', it basically meant pay attention this is important.
v19- And if a wicked man turns away from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he will live by doing so.
Again, the second point is repeated.
v20- Yet, O house of Israel, you say, `The way of the Lord is not just.' But I will judge each of you according to his own ways."
Repeated again that it's not God's choice, but ours.

Of this, I see one strong point made very clear.  No matter what position you're in (saved or unsaved), you can turn from it.  It's easy for people to accept the fact that unsaved people can turn and receive life (of their own free will).  Yet they do not think a saved person can exercise the same free will and choose to turn from God.  At what point do we lose our free will?  If we have a free will to choose God, but then lose our free will once we do, that means we become like puppets.  We can no longer make decisions, and I have two problems with that.  1.) Is that what God wants, a bunch of puppets doing his will, or living beings with a choice and choosing to love him and follow him?  Which would be more rewarding to him?  2.) If we lose our ability to choose, then that means God makes the decisions for us, and I don't see God (since we sin everyday) being the puppiteer when we sin.

There are extremist that say 'once saved always saved, therefore it doesn't matter what I do because I asked Jesus into my heart.'  I am NOT saying anyone on this thread shares in this same line of thinking, because in earlier comments there's been talk about doing works that grow and perfect our faith after we've received the free gift.  So we don't need to go into that.

I ran out of time, but I will continue this later.  Please consider what I've wrote, I have more to elaborate on so please if you have questions, feel free to ask.

God bless!
 Smiley
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Pr. 3:5-7
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the LORD and shun evil.
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