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Question: Can A Christian Lose Their Salvation?
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Author Topic: Can a Christian Lose Their Salvation?  (Read 23996 times)
michael_legna
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« Reply #165 on: February 16, 2004, 09:24:42 AM »


PART 4

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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.

No support in scripture?!
Our favorite book
James 1:5 ”But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him”
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.”
Luke 11:9-10 “And I say to you , ask, and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives’ and he who seeks, finds’; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened.”
Matt 21:22 “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”
I could go on because there are more verses that state prayers are answered, as well as verses that state once we are saved the scriptures become clear.
Luke 24:27-32 shows Jesus “explaining the scriptures” to Cleopas and another on the road to Emmaus.  If God can inspire the writing do you think it beneath Him to explain it to us if we have a problem understanding?

I do not deny that God will answer our prayers and we can glean much from scripture in this way, but that does not say we will all interpret scripture perfectly forming proper doctrine from our efforts.  If that interpretation was correct we would still be one big Church all in communion with each other and no divisions.  We both know that is not the way the world is.  The funny thing about inspiration is that God tends to only tell you what you need to know at the time, other wise we would be omnificent.  

My point was and I probably did not state it precisely enough is that scripture does not promise that we will get a perfect understanding of scripture even from inspirational prayer.  That is why the Church was established to feed his sheep, when the sheep try to feed themselves even when done prayerfully they are telling God they know a better way to do this than He does.

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I will agree to a point.  There are verses in any piece of literature which are perfectly clear and no further meaning can be obtained.  They start, they state, they close.  I will also agree that in interpretation a key is to ensure consistency throughout.  But your statement of the large number being more significant than the one is not always true.  

I agree it is not always true but you can never know when it is or is not true until you understand the entire system in its entirety.  Only then can you look back and decide which verses were perfectly clear and no further meaning can be obtained and which you only thought were that way.

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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.

And the same can be said of your approach.  However it is really more apt to err because right off the bat you are imparting your own (or churches) interpretation and making the rest fit.  And wen you get to a clear verse that does not fit into your preconceived notions then as you yourself said “too bad”  Because you can ignore that which is already clear this can allow for contradiction in your own interpretations.  “Jesus said never but did not mean it, oh well too bad”

There are two reasons this idea is wrong.  First has to do with the Church being protected from error and that is a topic you and I have decide to wait on.  But second is that you are applying my method to learning and it does not apply to learning, it applies to formulating doctrine.  That is the whole crux of the situation.  Adherents to sola scriptura must formulate their doctrine as they learn it and thus apply a tool for learning to a task (formulating doctrine) that it was never intended for and is ill equipped to handle.  Those who rely on the Church to have already formulated doctrine need only compare their learning to it, to verify they have a correct understanding.  This does however require them to accept the systematic theology already developed (to include all the verses of scripture in a consistent manner) over their view that some verses are obviously clear.

The Church does not start right of the bat imparting its own interpretation.  The Church was given the proper interpretation by Christ.  That is the advantage of having a teacher over having a text.  The Church in the form of the Apostles could ask questions of Jesus and get clarifications.  Those who do not avail themselves of this resource, must as t you point out, right off the bat begin interpreting, as they do not start out with any understanding of the message.   That is not the position the Church is in.  You learn by reading and interpreting and/or relying on a teacher, the Church never had to learn.

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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.

See above and add
2 Tim 2:7 “Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”
Matt 13:11 “ And He answered and said to them ‘To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been granted’ “
1 Cor 2:10 “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searched all things, even the depths of God.”
1 Cor 2:12 ”Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God.”

None of these say that we are granted an infallible understanding of all of scripture.  If it does then you are the only one who is a true Christian, because I would bet that you do not agree on every single point of interpretation with anyone else in the world.  Since they don’t agree with you the Holy Spirit cannot be at work in them so they are not a true Christian.  No the promises of protection of proper interpretation in scripture belong to the Church alone.

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Ok first off you are putting to much into Sola Scriptura.  Sola Scriptura is not an interpretational method it is a belief that there is no other authority, or the final authority, other than the Bible.

I know what you mean, you are right it is not an interpretational method and I have tried to be careful to say the adherents of sola scriptura, but I have not always done so.  But my point is the approach of sola scriptura requires an interpretational method that is inherently flawed.  It may be that there is an interpretational method consistent with sola scriptura that can be proven logically to result in proper hermeneutics from a sola scriptura approach but I have not seen it put forward.  It certainly is not the one of letting the clear interpret the obscure.

END OF PART 4
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michael_legna
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« Reply #166 on: February 16, 2004, 09:26:10 AM »


PART 5

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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 “wreck a nice beach”, from “recognize speech”.

Your approach is to place a possible alternate meaning to every verse, start the interpretation process with a presupposed stance gleamed from the first complex verse viewed, and work from there.  Mine does not take a stance with myself but one which is founded in God.  

No my approach is to not start interpreting anything until one has all the verses in ones head at once.  Then based on the consistency of all of the verses interpret them all.  So every verse is interpreted based on every other one.  The clear thus being interpreted by the obscure as well as the other clear verses.  The obscure being interpreted by the clear and the other obscure verses.  My method is fail proof, it is also impossible for an individual.  Any interpretation method applied to a text that holds the mystery of our eternal existence had better be fail proof.  The method used by sola scriptura adherents is definitely not, but it is workable.  It would be better if it was not workable as then we would not have so many who have come up with wrong interpretations to their own destruction.  So we are left with one fail proof and unworkable approach and one workable but failed approach.  What are we to do?  All this analysis has only gone to show us that we cannot interpret scripture on our own.  The answer lies in the Church and we see support for it in this role in Tradition, the Scriptures themselves and history.

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But you do have it incorrect.  And I have shown you grammatically what it states.  It is because of God’s grace that he offers us salvation.  We do accept salvation through our faith and not of works so that no one may boast.  Boasting as in “I have done this and I obtained salvation, what you did is not enough, blah, blah, blah”  Faith is established as the platform of acceptance because everyone is equal in that.  There is no “bar” for faith, you have it or you don’t.  Since there is no “degrees” of faith no one can boast that they have more than anyone else.

No I did not accept your grammatical analysis of that verse.  If you remember we got off subject on another verse that had a colon in one translation, a comma in another, and a semi-colon in a third and never really finished the conversation.  I still contend that Eph 2:8 is not contrasting faith and works it is contrasting grace and works.

There are not degrees of mere mental ascent but there are degrees of faith!  Faith as we have already seen is perfected, it grows.  Faith can be a small as a mustard seed to start but can become a great tree.  Faith can be powerful enough to move mountains and call down fire upon others or to make us whole, or it can so weak that it wavers.  That is what perfecting our faith through works is all about, strengthening our faith.

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Do you discuss Paul going to Jerusalem as talked about in Acts 15?  If so please take note that it is not Paul’s dispute.  Nor was it Paul who thought he needed to go to the Apostles and elders in Jerusalem, but it was the brethren (the others of the congregation there) that asked Paul and Barnabas to go.  Paul knew what he was preaching was correct but there were others that were “claiming” to be Christians that were stating falsehoods.  The letter sent out explains “that some our number (claiming Christianity) to whom we have gave no instruction have disturbed you with their words…”  This is not Paul’s dispute.  And those that are disturbing do not appear to be “known” missionaries either.  They claim the title and profess to know, but they appear to not be true teachers for their doctrine is wrong.

Oh but it was Paul’s dispute, not because he started it but because those who were in dispute turned to him.  I am sure he at first tried to resolve this himself, stating the proper doctrine and siding with one or the other disputers in the issue, but he was not seen as an authority by one of the two sides (or maybe even both), so he had to go to Jerusalem to get an authoritative statement from those who were seen as leading the Church.

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And by what you imply in your statement is that God has limits?  God may reveal what He desires to whom He desires.  And in a way He deems necessary.  But no matter what, the answer will be provided.  We just must be willing to wait for it as well as be prepared to get an answer we did not want.

I do not mean to imply that God has limits (except those He imposes on Himself by giving us the gift of free will for example).  And while God does indeed give us what He deems is necessary the key is as you pointed out we must be patient to wait for it.  That is what is lacking in most hermeneutics by those who interpret the Bible for themselves.  They want an answer now and will not wait, so they come up with one on their own they claim to be spirit driven (since when a spirit driven one does come it is not evidently distinguishable from the man made ones).  Then based on the certainty they associated with a spirit driven interpretation they go on to interpret more and more building error on top of error.

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

Yes and the Spirit is what we receive at salvation.  Once saved we are in Christ and Christ is in us.  Forever.

But it is an unwarranted jump to go from the Spirit is always available to us to the idea that we can never lose our salvation.  I admit that God will never abandon us, that grace and the Holy Spirit will always be available to us.  But that is not to say that we cannot ignore them and walk away.

END OF PART 5
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michael_legna
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« Reply #167 on: February 16, 2004, 09:28:09 AM »


PART 6

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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 can’t make him drink

Did you mean Hebrews 6?
And again although there are lessons to be learned, Hebrews was written to and for Jews.  We know it is not possible to crucify Jesus again.  Why would we need to?  To fulfill the prophecies.  We see reference in these verses of people who have been enlightened (of God), that would the Jews or Christians.  Then we go into talking about those that have fallen away (from God).  We see it is impossible to renew them again, because it would mean that the Messiah would have to come and be sacrificed again.  To accept Christ now for anyone what has to be done?  Accept that He was the Messiah.  What would have to be done for a Jew to today to have their prophecies fulfilled?  Messiah to come back and be crucified again.  

You tried to state that this verse is showing how a person call lose their salvation and fall away from God.  But if you accept this verse as that then it would also read that once you fall from salvation you can never get it back.  It says that it would be impossible to be renewed.  How does that play into your doctrine of falling away?  If I were to believe that I can lose my salvation and based on this verse I could never get it back again if lost.  Does God only give you one shot at it and if you get it and lose it you are lost forever?  Or will you come back and state because of other verses “impossible” does not mean impossible?  

Yes, Hebrews 6 of course.  I think interpreting this verse as prophetic is stretching it too far.  This verse and all verses of scripture have a message for all men at all times.  The problem of falling away and not being able to be saved again is seen I think in the issue of the special circumstances of this salvation.  We know the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, so that is what this falling away must entail.  So we are not talking about the typical person who is saved but by one who is outstanding in their faith.  One who has been blessed by gifts, “tasted of the heavenly gift”.  This requires an understanding of faith as having levels which above you stated you disagree with but I see these individuals as having an experience of the Holy Spirit that is different, that is why for them to sin it becomes blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

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No I don’t 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.

There are no other verse that conflict with this.  Is it that you cannot accept this view because it speaks of the truth and that it does not allow for a consistent manipulation of the scripture.  

There are plenty of other verses that conflict with this interpretation of yours.  Every verse that tells the Church to lead, to feed the sheep, that tell us to submit to those responsible for our souls all conflict with your interpretation.

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Throughout Scripture we see references of the Spirit residing in us.  Paul often states that we are in Christ and that Christ is in us.  There are several verses that state the Ghost comes into us.  On accepting Christ as our Saviour the well of the Holy Ghost is in us.  
John 17:21 “That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us”
Eph 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
2 Tim 1:14 “That good things which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.”
James 4:5 “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?”
1 John 3:24 “And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him.  And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us”
1 John 4:12 “No man hath seen God at any time.  If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and His love is perfected in us.”
1 John 4:13 “Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit”
2 John 1:2 “For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us forever
It is very clear that when we are saved the Spirit dwells within us.  It is this dwelling of the Spirit which Jesus refers to as the well that is within us that is the source of our lack of thirst.  Jesus says we will never thirst for the Spirit and in 2 John we see that the Spirit, which is truth, shall be with us forever.

There is no literal legalistic view about any of it.  It is the pure unadulterated word of Godi
To deny that the Spirit dwells in us is to deny what the Gospel says.  When we accept Christ, Christ gives us the Holy Ghost to reside in us.

But a literal interpretation of them leads us to a world view we know is contrary to reality as I have shown above.  Yes the spirit dwells in us, but it does not lead us all, to all knowledge, at all times and thus yield perfect interpretations of all scriptures for everyone.  If it did, we would all agree and we don’t.

END
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« Reply #168 on: February 17, 2004, 07:56:16 AM »

Along the lines of the thread title; and nothing to do with the debate:

BIBLE MEDITATION: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: Some people distort the doctrine that when a man is saved he is always saved. They get the idea that if that is true, then they will sin all they want to. Friend, I sin all I want to. I don’t want to! If the only thing that keeps you from sinning is fear of losing your salvation, I wonder if you have really surrendered yourself to God and asked Him to save you. Peter tells us that we have become “partakers of the divine nature.” Does that mean that you don’t sin any more? No. Before I was saved, I was running to sin. Now, I’m running from it. I may slip, but I’m saved. I have a desire to live pure and clean to the glory of God.

ACTION POINT: What about you? Do you have a desire to be holy? Or do you treat the doctrine of assurance as a license to live a sinful life?

Love Worth Finding~
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« Reply #169 on: February 17, 2004, 04:19:01 PM »

Amen! sincereheart
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« Reply #170 on: February 26, 2004, 04:16:09 PM »

Sorry for delay.  Been busy at work and was thinking on what to trim out and such.

PART 1

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Sorry this took so long but it is getting quite lengthy.  Perhaps we need to focus again on specific root issues.  I notice that the idea of levels of faith is becoming important, so I might suggest that.  But feel free to pick and choose from the paragraphs as you see fit to reduce the length – I did not want to this time as I did not want you to feel I was ignoring a point you made.  Know that if on the next go around you decide to pare this down I will not think you are purposely ignoring my points.  I would hope that you cover 1 Cor 13:2 as I have yet to see an interpretation from you on how this form of faith fits your definition.

Understood on the length.  Lets see what we can trim out LOL

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No, I cannot agree with that interpretation, it reads something into what James is clearly saying when it is not needed.  James literally identifies the man as having faith in James 2:14 as he asks “can faith save him?”  Under your definition you have to have James saying “can that claim to faith save him?”, but that is not what James says.

Ok lets look at 2:14, I am sure that you can agree that in the beginning of verse 14 James clearly indicates that the man is professing faith.  James does not state implicitly that he has it but only that the man says he has faith.  But lets look also at what some various translations state concerning the end of that verse:
NASB – “Can that faith save him?”
Green’s Literal – “Is faith able to save him?”
Young’s Leteral – “Is that faith able to save him?”
KJV – “Can faith save him?”
We have a couple of different translations which emphasis that faith as in the faith the man professes and that is it.  James further expands upon him referencing the faith the man has is being talked about a few verses later in verse 20 when James states comments as though talking to the man himself that his faith is useless.  If that man says he has faith and has no works supporting that then the man is not doing the will of God, thus he is basing what he calls faith strictly on saying he believes in God.  And James even emphasizes this when stating that the demons believe in God as well.  
It is not reading anything into what James is saying but it is reading James for exactly what he is saying.  It does not take a theologian to read and to understand what is written, it only takes an understanding and language and sentence structures and such.  James sets up his dissertation here by stating that the man says he has faith.  Thus the implication is that the man only professes faith but in reality he does not.
You may not be able to agree with that interpretation and for that I am sorry.  But it is translated there in plain English, and with very little interpretation needed the meaning comes clear.  There is no deeper meaning or alternate meaning there.  Just as you say I am reading something into “can faith save him?”, you are reading something out of James when James says that the man “says he has faith.”  However in every translation I have read the ending differs little in the wording, but the meaning comes across clear.  But none differ on the beginning and what is said in that the man is professing to have faith.

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You said that you would address this verse in a little bit but I don’t see it below.  Did I miss it as I edited my response?  I really want to see how you explain this issue of faith existing in someone who is not saved under your definition of faith.

My apologies, I had moved over it to come back to it later and forgot all about it.  Hmmmm Lets read back through what it all has to say here.  We can see what the gifts are referenced as in the previous chapter.  They are spiritual gifts, that is gifts given by God, they are “bonus” gifts for participating.  They could be things like the gift of music, speech, art, preaching, wisdom, or pretty much anything God desires.  We see that Paul mentions that each gift has it’s place in Christ’s Body.  Then when we move into Chapter 13 we are shown how we should use these gifts, they should be used in love (charity).
The verse in question reinforces what James had to say.  We could have all the willingness to do God’s will but if we do nothing, we are useless.  We should use (putting our faith into action) our gifts, why? For our own benefit? NO! because it is God’s desire that we do it.  How should we use our gifts?  Anyway we want to?  Again a resounding NO.  We should use our gifts with love, for love.  God wants us to love one another as well as to love Him.  When you love someone you would want to do things for that person.  What could be more pleasant to God than to see us using the gifts He provided in a manner of love to all we come in contact with?  I would gather nothing would be more pleasing.
So the verse shows nothing of a lost salvation, or even comes close to it.  But it shows that we each have gifts from God and we should be using those gifts for further glorification of God by using them in love for Him and from Him.  The verse in question even only implies that the person would be nothing, which is a neither saved or not.  So to imply they would have lost salvation is implying more than what is said.  

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I think that once we die we await the final judgment and during that time which may be just an instant in our view we don’t make further decisions.  After the final judgment I suspect you cannot enter heaven from hell because God will not let you.  After the final judgment, I suspect you can leave heaven to go to hell because you choose not to love God anymore.  

So by this God would allow you to leave heaven because you no longer love Him.  But then if you repent while in Hell and wish to seek Him again, then God will ignore you because you turned from Him while in Heaven?  So God will accept our repentance unless we were already in Heaven, then if we leave He would no longer accept our repentance?  So when Jesus says that we shall live even if we die He really does not mean it.  We could face another death of the spirit if we leave heaven.  Also in that since Jesus abides in us and with us forever and does not leave…then your doctrine here would state that if we leave heaven then Jesus will go to Hell with us.
I am sorry but I cannot accept that doctrine.  There is nothing Biblical about it.  If this is what your tradition preaches then I pray you re-evaluate your position and dive into some deep study and prayer.  And pray to God and not Mary or anyone else.  Pray that He will provide you with wisdom.  Pray that He will open your eyes to what He has plainly had written.  There is a reason why Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and it is because they allowed their tradition to cloud the written word.  They put more trust in their traditions of men than what God had to say.  There is also a reason why Jesus quoted from the OT so much, and that being that it was the Word of God as God wanted it and not the traditions of men.  When Satan tempted Jesus what did He do?  He quoted from the OT.  Reliance upon the Word and only the Word and nothing else for inspiration and knowledge

END PART 1
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« Reply #171 on: February 26, 2004, 04:20:51 PM »

PART 2

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I will say after all this that I am not certain this understanding of mine expresses the teachings of the Catholic Church as I do not have a perfect understanding of the whole process, but this is how it makes sense to me.

Should I coin a new term and call it Sola Catholica?  LOL a Catholics adherence to interpretation of Scripture and manly traditions ad proposed by Catholic doctrine.  LOL sorry could not resist.

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What is the difference between considering to have lost salvation and losing salvation.  Is it just a state of confusion in our own minds?

I was stating from my point of view that one would not lose their salvation, but from your point of view they could have.  

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This gets into the whole issue of initial and final salvation.  The gift is given once as you say.  We then accept it through faith and works together (or belief and works together to use your terms).

No no no.  You still do not even get that correct.  My terms are not belief and works together. My statement is faith. Period.  Faith being defined Biblically and through our own language as being belief and an allegiance/willingness to obey God.  I know you probably will not accept that definition even though I have shown you in several instances where your “belief” that faith is just a deeper form of belief is incorrect.

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Yes, that is your position but there is nothing to support the idea that these verses (or any and all verses) of scripture are limited in their relevance to select group.  I understand that is a linch pin upon which dispensationalism hangs or falls but it is not one I accept.  I believe that all of scripture is relevant to all of mankind.  So to ignore the message of a verse by saying it doesn’t apply to you is unacceptable to me.

Hold on there now.  There is wisdom to be gained, knowledge to be learned from all of Scripture.  However you have to understand where, what, who, and why the authors were inspired to write what they did.  You have to look at not only the context of a verse in relation to verses around it but also context of the verse in relation to the author and where he was, who he was writing to, when he wrote it, etc.  

If you do not accept that parts of the Bible were directed at certain people then why is there so many references as far as talking directly to Jews, or Gentiles, or Pharasee’s, etc.  There are many direct comments throughout the OT as well as the NT that speak directly to a type of person or group of people.  Do you think the OT was written strictly for Christians, or perhaps it was written just for the Jews and is not applicable to us?

I am not stating that some verses are not relevant or only relevant to select groups.  But there are verses/chapters/books which are speaking to/about a certain group of people.  And they must be taken in that context.  You have to understand the surroundings in which the verse was spoken/written.  This does not reduce the importance of the verse but places it in the context it was written.

Look at Matt 23.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees” Now to whom was Jesus talking to?  There is no one today called Pharisees.  And I do not claim it to be irrelevant as for a set of verses to learn from.  But you have to understand who it was Jesus was talking to.  You have to understand the context of the time and the people of the time.  There are those like the scribes and Pharisees today, but they are not called that.  The Bible then goes in at certain spots and helps to create an image of what the scribes were like and what the Pharisees were like as well so that we know the statement is not an empty one and allows us to understand what Jesus was saying in these verse.  When someone is speaking to the Jews then they are speaking to the Jews, it can be applied to Jews of today or people of like mind.  Not irrelevant but in the context of the writing.  And Hebrews was written to the Jews so the author was speaking in terms they would understand and referencing things associated with their belief, traditions, etc, etc.  Hebrews was not written to Christians but to Jews.

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The reference to salvation coming through the long suffering of Jesus (meaning He can put up with a lot from us – not that He suffered a long time) and the reference to others who wrest (twist and misinterpret) scripture to their own destruction (damnation) shows I think that if we fall from our own steadfastness and begin to twist and misinterpret scripture to cover our sins or convince ourselves that we have security we will try even the long suffering of Jesus to the point of losing our salvation.  We cannot hold onto the free gift if we do not repent of our sins.

But you are reading far more into the verse than what it says.  Again it does not state anything about losing our salvation.  Be careful.  You say that twisting and misinterpreting verse can lead to this.  Well if that is true then you have done it here by putting much more into that verse than what is stated.

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Do you want me to provide more?  I am always reluctant to do that initially because some many here are ready to accuse people of flooding them with scripture to prove a point, they seem more content with a few “proof verses” rather than seeing the weight of scripture come down on one side or anther of an debate.  As to God taking away the salvation in the verse from Revelation I don’t agree.  True He scratches the name out of the Book of Life (as would be the case for anyone who loses their salvation) but it was due to our actions.

Provide as many as you like as far as I am concerned.  But so far the ones you have provided have not shown a loss of salvation.

 
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God never abandons us we always walk away from Him

Unless of course we walk out of Heaven then as you said God would not let us back in.
 
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You still use a floppy?!  LOL.  Get yourself one of those 128 MB memory sticks (about $40 right now) they pop right in a USB port and work great I carry one everywhere with lots of junk on it.  At home I have a Mac and the thing works in PCs or Mac with no reformatting issues or anything, which is good since Mac’s don’t come with floppy drives anymore.

Yeah I know.  Just have not gone out to get one.  And I like my good ole floppy…RORL.

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What you are referring to is the conversion we must undergo.  Catholics believe it is not enough just to have our sins hidden beneath His blood, we believe that the Bible speaks of a true conversion of the sinner, that we become holy through our cooperation with grace.  I know this is going to open another whole can of worms but that conversion doesn’t occur in a one shot deal when the Holy Spirit enters us, nor does it happen when we first believe or do our first good work.  Conversion is a process, that is why sanctification is part of salvation not just evidence of our faith.  That is what Paul means by telling us we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

We are converted to children of God as soon as we ask to become that.  When we ask Jesus to come into our lives and accept Him into our lives He immediately does.  At that point we are “Christians”.  Yes there is a true conversion of the sinner, the washing away of the sins by the blood of Jesus gives us a new birth in the Spirit.  Sins of the past are cleansed.  I agree this does not mean that a new child of God will magically no longer sin in his or her life.  Sure there is a conversion of lifestyle that takes place.  But that is not a conversion of the soul but a conversion of the person outwardly.

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I think I agree with how you were going to finish that statement, but then you are not choosing clear over complex you are going with the majority of verses, which is fine as long as you can be sure you have a majority and that would still require knowing all the scriptures in such a way that you can balance them against themselves in your mind to make that determination, otherwise you never know when you might find another set of verse to toss on the scale for the other side of the argument and you would end up with a doctrine that wavers.

Which is why I study often and regularly.  Not only reading the Bible normally (pick a book and read it..usually in order), but also I study topically and search through for other verses that are related and such.  And also why I take notes.  I have 2 notebooks full of notes from just the first 8 books of Genesis alone.  Maybe one day before I die I will compile everything and put it into a nice concordance type of thing...LOL

END PART 2
« Last Edit: February 26, 2004, 04:21:53 PM by Tog_Neve » Logged
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« Reply #172 on: February 26, 2004, 04:23:23 PM »

PART 3

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I am not questioning the Bible as I have faith in it too, but the idea that “the clear and simple provide a good foundation” is not in the Bible it is man made.

In a way you are correct.  The Bible does not tell us one way or another how to interpret verses.  But then it is also written so that anyone should be able to read it and understand it.  God inspired it so that anyone can understand what is written.  And the idea to complex provides foundation is also man made.  But one thing that God did make was our nature and our process of thought, our learning process, our growth in maturity, etc, etc.  And throughout we start with what is simple and build our way up to more complex.  We start with milk and work our way to meat.  Our knowledge is not an imparted intelligence it is learned.  Our wisdom is not imparted but is learned as well.  And we learn from simple to complex.  

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What you are expressing in going from milk to meat is how we learn it is not how we establish doctrine.  The two are different.  The doctrines that Christ taught the Apostles were already established, those same doctrines were taught by the Apostles to those who graduated from milk to meat.  But when you go off on your own and try to rely on sola scriptura you have to not only learn but develop doctrine simultaneously and the methods for doing those two things is different.  The method used to learn a subject is not the proper one to establish the truths of that subject.  That is why sola scriptura and the methods inherent in using it must lead to error.

No through using the Bible only you are using the doctrine that Jesus taught the Apostles and the Apostles in turn taught the other Christians of the time.  You are not relying on anyone else’s word for it but that of God.  Your reliance on the doctrine of your church fathers is just that…a doctrine of people before you, by men before you.  Those that adhere to the concept of Sola Scriptura pull their doctrine from that of what is said in the Bible.

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Yes we are in Christ and Christ is in us but we are warned repeatedly in the New Testament that we must continue to abide in Him or we will not be saved.  (for example John 15:4-10 and 1 John 2:24-28 )  So we see that it is not a permanent residence.  True He will stay as long as we want Him to so in that way the promise is one of permanence but we can always reject the gift until we die.  We do that by sinning unrepentantly.

Lets take a look at John 15.  This is the statement of Jesus that he is the true vine.  I would recommend looking into some other verses that talk about the vine that is God and Jesus.
Ps 80 in which we see the vine was brought out of Egypt and planted and spread.  This being in reference to the Exodus and the Israelites.  It says they were praised for the vines shadow, the boughs and branches.  But yet it does not mention the fruit.  And the calling out for God to help and to have the face of God shine again.  But the vine is the plant of Israel, the seed of God’s people.  They spread but as usual did not bear good fruits.  Their branches being plucked and devoured.  It is burned with fire and cut down.
And Isaiah 27:6 shows that Israel “shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.”  So they did not.  They filled it with branches but not bearing fruit.
The Parable of the Landowner in Matt 21 can be shown in Isaiah 5.  And here we see that the vine is planted the vineyard and states what more could be done than that which God had done.  And when it should produce good fruit it brings fourth wild grapes.
And we can see in II King 4:39-40 what the wild vine’s produce can cause, death.  The wild vine is deception and leads to death.  But it grows amongst the good vine of God and yet even looks good to eat.
Hosea 10 shows us that Israel was an empty vine.  Reaping for themselves, but appearing to do so in God’s name.  They were clinging to the vine of God but not a true branch of God’s vine.  It goes on to show that because of their wickedness they shall be cut off.  Because they were not of the true vine and a branch of the true vine but only clinging to it and “acting” as a branch they would be cut off.
Judges 9:13 shows us that the fruit which comes from the branches of the vine, which a true branch of a vine is the only to produce fruit, is pleasing to God.
Luke 8:18 shows some insight as to a branch that clings to the vine thus appears to be part of the plant but is not.  “for him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.” Implying that even if they seemed to have religion outwardly if they do not have their branch springing fourth from the vine of Christ then they will have their religion stripped from them.

And to say that it is not a permanent residence?!  You are changing the definitions of eternal, forever, never, and others that go on to state that the Holy Spirit will be in us and us in Him eternally, forever, and never leave.  How utterly untrue and unBiblical.  God used words meaning never, eternal, forever for a reason and it was to stated never, eternal, and forever.

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I do not deny that God will answer our prayers and we can glean much from scripture in this way, but that does not say we will all interpret scripture perfectly forming proper doctrine from our efforts.  If that interpretation was correct we would still be one big Church all in communion with each other and no divisions.  We both know that is not the way the world is.

But if we all did that and did it earnestly and believingly then we would be all of the same opinion, it is because people do not seek answers from God that we have divisions.  It is because people put more trust in creations of man or from men that we have divisions.  I do not dispute the importance of the church for believers and the mission of God.  You use a good word there at the end of your last sentence.  “world”.  That is exactly what the problem is and that is the world.  We should not be bothered with the way the world is but should be centered on the way God is.  We should remember we are not of this world anymore, we may be in it but it is not in us.  The world should not be dictating how our church should run.  But even in the early days of the Apostles the world entered into the church and they had to fight it off.  

My point was and I probably did not state it precisely enough is that scripture does not promise that we will get a perfect understanding of scripture even from inspirational prayer.  That is why the Church was established to feed his sheep, when the sheep try to feed themselves even when done prayerfully they are telling God they know a better way to do this than He does.

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The Church does not start right of the bat imparting its own interpretation.  The Church was given the proper interpretation by Christ.  That is the advantage of having a teacher over having a text.  The Church in the form of the Apostles could ask questions of Jesus and get clarifications.  Those who do not avail themselves of this resource, must as t you point out, right off the bat begin interpreting, as they do not start out with any understanding of the message.  That is not the position the Church is in.  You learn by reading and interpreting and/or relying on a teacher, the Church never had to learn.

And the Apostles are shown to have asked questions of Jesus and they are shown in the Bible.  Jesus teachings are printed in the Word.  We all have a teacher in Christ and His teachings were recorded for us.  We were all given the proper interpretation by Christ because it is written in the Bible.  There is no support for the idea that there are “other” sources of interpretation other than that of God.  We are told many fold to not rely on the teaching of men for men are folly and that God will make the man who says he is wise, to be a fool.

END PART 3
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« Reply #173 on: February 26, 2004, 04:29:21 PM »

PART 4 (wew down to 4 parts..LOL)

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None of these say that we are granted an infallible understanding of all of scripture.  If it does then you are the only one who is a true Christian, because I would bet that you do not agree on every single point of interpretation with anyone else in the world.  Since they don’t agree with you the Holy Spirit cannot be at work in them so they are not a true Christian.  No the promises of protection of proper interpretation in scripture belong to the Church alone.

If our understanding comes from God then it is infallible.  And no I do not agree with everyone else in the world (I believe you meant everyone and not anyone), on every piece of Scripture.  But I also do not judge them nor myself in the manner and I consider their interpretation on the point and go back into study and prayer and ask believingly, as directed by God, for the answer.  God promises an answer.  God tells us that we will have an understanding that non-believers will not.  God tells us that if we seek an earnest answer in Him then He will provide it.  To state otherwise you would again claim that what the Bible says is not true…that it means something else.  You put your church above the authority of God and the Bible.

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No I did not accept your grammatical analysis of that verse.  If you remember we got off subject on another verse that had a colon in one translation, a comma in another, and a semi-colon in a third and never really finished the conversation.  I still contend that Eph 2:8 is not contrasting faith and works it is contrasting grace and works.

Then I contend you go back to school and learn you grammar better.  Eph clearly states that it is because of God’s grace that salvation is offered and we saved through faith and not of works, so that no one can boast.  The only thing in that entire set of verses that anyone would be able to boast about is works.  Grace is shown to be the reason God offers the gift of salvation.  Faith is something that has no outward provable metric to boast upon.  Salvation is the gift offered by God.  So the only two items in there that relate to man is faith and works.  And since no man can boast about faith then man must no boast about works.  Thus it is not works that saves but faith.  Thus it contrasts works and faith.  Not grace and faith.  How could that even contrast grace and works since grace is by God and works are by man?  It could not.  

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There are not degrees of mere mental ascent but there are degrees of faith!  Faith as we have already seen is perfected, it grows.  Faith can be a small as a mustard seed to start but can become a great tree.  Faith can be powerful enough to move mountains and call down fire upon others or to make us whole, or it can so weak that it wavers.  That is what perfecting our faith through works is all about, strengthening our faith.

I do not argue that faith grows.  And have said so all along.  We start with a desire to do God’s will and as we do God’s will our trust, love, allegiance to Him grows.  He will ask more of us, but never more than we can handle.  Have explained many times how they are directly proportional or directly related.  But it is only the desire to do God’s will that is faith and it is not the works that are faith.  They are works and are a separate entity…they are our faith in action.  They are doing what God desires.  They are showing we have more than belief as the demons have.  They are showing we have a true faith and not just a professed faith as the man in James 2.

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That is what is lacking in most hermeneutics by those who interpret the Bible for themselves.  They want an answer now and will not wait, so they come up with one on their own they claim to be spirit driven (since when a spirit driven one does come it is not evidently distinguishable from the man made ones).  Then based on the certainty they associated with a spirit driven interpretation they go on to interpret more and more building error on top of error.

And that may be true with some, but is not true with all.  And the inverse can be said as well in that those that seek an answer do not wait for the answer from God but instead seek an answer from something else that is man made.  A man who attends a church that is not rooted in God and they go there to seek the answer to their question will get an answer alright, but not one of God.  (and I do not say that in reference to you or anyone, but showing that a church can be ungodly as well but still claim to be Christian).

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But it is an unwarranted jump to go from the Spirit is always available to us to the idea that we can never lose our salvation.  I admit that God will never abandon us, that grace and the Holy Spirit will always be available to us.  But that is not to say that we cannot ignore them and walk away.

Yes it is unwarranted to jump from saying the Spirit never leaves us as the Bible says and saying that it is just always available.  I would be interested in seeing how you, or your church have made that jump.
 
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Yes, Hebrews 6 of course.  I think interpreting this verse as prophetic is stretching it too far.  This verse and all verses of scripture have a message for all men at all times.  The problem of falling away and not being able to be saved again is seen I think in the issue of the special circumstances of this salvation.  We know the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, so that is what this falling away must entail.  So we are not talking about the typical person who is saved but by one who is outstanding in their faith.  One who has been blessed by gifts, “tasted of the heavenly gift”.  This requires an understanding of faith as having levels which above you stated you disagree with but I see these individuals as having an experience of the Holy Spirit that is different, that is why for them to sin it becomes blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Then you have completely read Hebrews out of context.

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But a literal interpretation of them leads us to a world view we know is contrary to reality as I have shown above.  Yes the spirit dwells in us, but it does not lead us all, to all knowledge, at all times and thus yield perfect interpretations of all scriptures for everyone.  If it did, we would all agree and we don’t.

Exactly.  We do not because we do not let the Spirit lead us, as we are supposed to.  And we let the world interfere with our relationship to God.  We know we cannot live without the world being around us but we should not let the world interfere with our relationship to God.  Look at prayer.  Look at the fathers throughout the Bible and their prayer.  Jesus had prayed for hours on end without ceasing.  Today most people consider it good enough to say a blessing at the meal

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