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Switch to Forum Live View Salvation by faith plus works or Sola Fide
6 years ago  ::  May 20, 2012 - 8:55AM #41
Posts: 6,091

I think the problem you and Martin Luther are having is taking the passages out of context string them together to create a false doctrine. I’m sorry Joe but Luther was just flat wrong, five hundred years later and he’s still wrong.

Gal 2 is about the Law of Moses and circumcision. The Jewish Christians were having a hard time letting go of their old belief systems. Many wanted the new Greek or Roman Christians to also be circumcised coming into the Old Covenant first before they could partake of the New Covenant. Paul’s whole point was that the Old Covenant could not save anyone never did. It was all pointing to and in anticipation of the New.

As Mormons were not talking about being obedient to the Old Covenant, one does not have to be circumcised or make blood sacrifices in order to be saved. One has to be obedient to the New and Everlasting Covenant which Jesus through his own blood establish.

Our third and forth Articles of Faith;

We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel/ the New Covenant.

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

That is Biblically sound!

Ephesians 2 is not about personal salvations at all. Paul was addressing the newly saved Gentiles as a group. Luther totally missed that, he did not place himself in Paul’s shoes, a Jew speaking to Gentiles.

“And you/Gentiles hath he quickened (brought life too), who were dead in trespasses and sins; ….Among whom also we/Jews all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh…. .For by grace (the love of God) are ye/Gentiles saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we/Jews are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them….Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;…. ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world…”

As Jews they may have been sinners at times but they were not without hope, without God nor strangers of the covenant. The Jews or Israel were the workmanship of Yahweh/ Christ to do the good works.

Abraham was promised; “…and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” well how so?

“And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious….” Isa11:10

“Ye (Israel) are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen..” Isa 43

“…Enlarge the place of thy tent, … and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles …” Isa 54

“And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, …that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.” Isa 66:19

“Christ hath redeemed us …That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Gal 3

Now the resurrected Lord said to his apostles representing the 12 tribes of Israel

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” Matt 28

That was their calling and the good works “before ordained” which Paul was referring to. It was the calling of Israel to be a witness to the Gentile world of Christ and his saving gospel.

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God….For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,…Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:”

Again Eph 2 was not about personal salvation but about the salvation of the Gentiles as a whole. It’s not until he gets to chapter 4 that he starts to address the individual members; fathers, mothers, children, servants and masters.

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;….henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,….put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness….And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption…. Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters …With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”

Ah so good works are important!

It’s interesting that you chose to use Titus when it preaches just the opposite of what you are saying?

“They (some false teachers) profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” Tit 1

So it is possible to profess to know Christ but be a liar and not really know him. Jesus didn’t say we would know who was really of him because they believed A, B and C. We would know who was of Christ by their works.

Paul exhorts “Young men …. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity …”

So good works and a knowledge of the truth are important.

And then he says “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that …we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

So once again good words are important.

“Put them in mind … to be ready to every good work,….For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient…But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

There is no way where I could do enough good works or seek enough forgiveness of sin that I could justify or sanctify myself.

First of all without Christ there would have been no resurrection. No resurrection equals no perfection and no entry back into God’s presences.

Secondly without Christ there would have been no atonement, mercy can not rob justices. I must be purified and sanctified through the blood of Christ or I can not reenter the presence of God. Remember we discussed how those who go to the Telestial Kingdom will not ever enter the Father or the Son’s presence again. That is because the grace of the atonement did not sanctify them.

But how dose he but into action this atoning grace “…he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour ”

Once again the two baptisms one of water and the other by the Holy Ghost.

Barclay writes it this was “…he saved us through the water of rebirth and that renewal which the Holy Spirit gives”

Jesus but it this way “ Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”

Joe you’re just wrong, you’re not reading or using the Bible in its entirety. You are picking out one liners to support a false doctrine created by a man, by the arm of flesh rather than according to what the Bible actually teaches.

I think we have beaten this to death now, I can’t see anywhere else for this argument to go.

Wise men still seek him.
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6 years ago  ::  May 22, 2012 - 11:00AM #42
Posts: 289

WWA: Martin Luther took passages out of context to create the saved by faith alone doctrine. For example Gal 2 is about the Law of Moses and circumcision. The Jewish Christians were having a hard time letting go of their old belief systems. Many wanted the new Greek or Roman Christians to also be circumcised coming into the Old Covenant first before they could partake of the New Covenant. Paul’s whole point wasn’t saying that “works” per se don’t save but that the Old Covenant (i.e. circumcision) could not save anyone.


Actually, no, because Paul was speaking more broadly about works. That is why he referred to the curses in Galatians 3:10-14. Paul was speaking of good works in general. Paul went on to say that the person who was circumcised in an attempt to become righteous through it was a debtor to observe every commandment of the law. Going back to Galatians 3:10, we know that the law demands perfect obedience. So, too, in James 2:9-11. So Luther was right.

And remember that it was not just Luther but Bucer, John Calvin, John Knox, John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Zwingli, and a host of others.

You need to be much more careful in your exegesis of Scripture. You also need to beware of rejecting the grace of God that is given only to those who trust Jesus Christ. That was what Paul was warning the Galatians of, and it is the message that should not be missed.

Read Acts 15. The debate in the early church was not confined to circumcision. It was about keeping the commandments and the feast days, etc. Once one eliminates all the "works" covered in the vastness of the Law -- i.e. not just circumcision and feast days, but "commandments" -- there's not a lot, if anything, left.

We could also add the words of Jesus in Matthew 15:1-9, I guess. It certainly should be obvious that works of any kind are by no means meritorious. Neither baptism nor lying on of hands is needed for salvation. Good works are important for the Christian life but are not necessary for salvation.

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