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17

First a disclaimer, I come from the camp that salvation is by faith alone. The answer will be coming from my perspective, since the question seems to be geared toward those who hold this view. It also intentionally goes against the definition of Christianity as accepted for the sake of this community because I think that it's the only way to address the ...


10

Since the "faith alone" viewpoint has been well represented thanks to @DavidStratton, I will propose an additional diagram that doesn't fit into either of the two in the question, This is the view posited by Eastern Orthodox Christianity. I will abbreviate Eastern Orthodox as EO for the remainder of this response. Rather than a Venn diagram including faith ...


10

Absolutely, definitely not. Works are important, but we are not justified by works. The Catechism states this unequivocally: 161 Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation.42 “Since ‘without faith it is impossible to please [God]’ and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore ...


9

If you (say you) have faith but don't have works, do you really have faith? Works are the result of faith. They don't save you. If you have faith, it is only natural that you will have works. James's question is to people who have no works. Why don't you have any works? Where is your faith? Matthew 12:33 (NASB) "Make a tree good and its fruit will be ...


9

This isn't truly an "answer" to the question so to speak, so please excuse my butting in here. I think it may be helpful, however, for future readers, to do a small deconstruction of this argument from the perspective of a sola fide belief system. I'm still interested in the other perspectives as well. While logically, the gambit seems to make sense, it ...


8

James is writing his epistle to "my brethren" (1:2), who are already of the church, so he is not writing to unbelievers to tell them how to be saved from their sins an get right with God. His readers have already come to Jesus and had their sins washed away in the blood of the Lamb, been justified by faith, and entered into a saving relationship with God. ...


8

You've fallen into a common trap of examining a single piece of a theological system by importing that piece into your own construct rather than seeing how it fits into its own context. A Reformed understanding of soteriology is dependent on several interwoven ideas about God and his role in creation. Note this assumption in your question is not ...


7

I think the key thing here is understanding what it means to "sow to flesh" and "sow to the Spirit". The difference (referencing Bob Utley's commentary) is the key difference between the two basic approaches to being right with God: our own effort, or God's free grace. The former (sowing to flesh) refers to trying to be right by God by trying to work ...


7

Human effort consistent with the will of God, does not oppose God's Grace. However, the words of Jesus to Peter (cf. Matthew 16:21-23), "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things, but on human things" (NRSV) are a proclamation from God himself that human effort can, indeed, oppose God's ...


6

This is a Latter-Day Saint perspective. From the Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 25:23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. Nephi is an accepted ancient prophet in the LDS religion. The whole ...


6

Clement of Rome, Clement of Alexandria, and Didymus the Blind said things that could be mistaken for the formula, but don't fit all the criteria. The first one to use it unmistakably is Origen, in passing, followed by Augustine, also in passing, though he frequently says other things that are near-hits. It's not until the Protestant Reformation that the ...


5

Here's the Arminian perspective: Background First, a little background. Jacobus Arminius was a Reformed theologian who eventually became convinced that Calvin's views of predestination and unconditional election made God the author of evil. His reasoning was that if God controls all our choices and does not give us free will, then even our wrong choices ...


5

I would just like to expand on @Dan's comments regarding the catholic (lower-case c) perspective on faith and works. In the Roman rite of Christian Orthodoxy (aka Roman Catholic), the concept of salvation is explained by sola gratia (as in salvation only by grace), rather the the sola fide doctrine conceived by Martin Luther. If one is truly coporating with ...


5

The answer is provided in one of the passages you quoted: Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what ...


5

The note for John 5:29 in the John MacArthur NASB Study Bible (MacArthur is Calvinist) says: Jesus was not teaching for justification by works (see 6:29). In the context, the "good" is believing on the Son so as to receive a new nature that produces good works (3:21; Jas 2:14-20), while the "evil" done is to reject the Son (the unsaved) and hate the ...


4

We ask "is it okay to _" because many Christians were raised on moral religiosity instead of principles of Christian decision making. Based on the second greatest commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39), Jesus calls everyone to love every human being they come into contact with (including themselves). And to love means to seek what ...


4

I believe that the demographic for your gambit would object on a couple of grounds. Firstly, they would object to sacrificing integrity in choosing to believe something that one does not actually believe. Secondly, they would object to your premise: If you are saved by grace, you should want to serve God as heartily and fully as possible, loving him and ...


4

Note that in the Edwards quote you gave: So long as men are in their natural state, they not only have no good thing, but it is impossible they should have, or do any good thing. (Jonathan Edwards [1758], Original Sin ( Vol. 3) , Ed. Clyde A. Holbrook, P280) You left off the end of the sentence: as appears by Romans 8:8, which says: Those who are in ...


4

You are actually asking numerous questions in this question, so I will just summarize the answer and then address each verse you listed. Summary: The protestant view does not link works with grace as the Roman Catholics do. Protestants that believe in once saved always saved (arguable the majority) hold to the doctrine of justification by faith apart from ...


4

I am a Reformed Pastor and I think the passage most Reformed Christians would turn to is: Ephesians 2: 8-9: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Much like Catholic teaching referred to above faith is a gift of grace, once your eyes have been ...


3

Yes, the two doctrines are quite different, you cannot be saved by your works, but there must be works with your faith for you to find salvation. In other words, it's not the works that saves your soul, but without the works your faith is in vain and of none effect. If I keep telling you that I believe the chair in front of us will hold me up, but I never ...


3

Hah, when I first heard about this theory, I thought it made sense. but to God, it does not. You may have heard about the story of two sinners who were hanged left and right of Jesus, where one sinner did not repent, however the other one did, and became the first one to enter the paradise with Jesus. IMO, I think the creater of this Gambit heard about this. ...


3

Even though this is a very simplistic way of explaining these views, and there are nuances of understanding and shades of belief that fall between these three, I really don't see anything incorrect about your summary. This does seem to accurately sum up three major views on salvation, each of which are based on Scripture, but with a different ...


3

There's a simpler answer than all of the others: In Sum, why not believe in salvation by grace? Because you don't just choose what you believe. You believe things because you think they're true. So, even if this argument was valid, it wouldn't be useful, because it recommends a choice that you don't control. The same applies to Pascal's Wager.


3

Hah, well, you've got a couple ambiguous statements to begin with: "Human effort does not oppose God's grace." "As long as you do your best , God will indeed do the rest." What do you mean by human effort? Effort in what? Doing your best in what? And what is God gracing you with? What is the "rest" that he is doing? If you're talking about salvation and ...


3

The human effort does not oppose God's grace if this effort consist in obedience to God... Even more this kind of human effort will be the inevitable result of the God's grace. That is called the perseverance of the saints in reformed theology. "Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from ...


3

According to Emanuel Swedenborg, faith without works does not save a person (Note: This section can be skipped by those who are interested only in the Swedenborgian interpretation of Luke 23:39-43. The purpose of this section is to establish that Swedenborg, and Swedenborgians, reject justification by faith alone, and believe that good works are also ...


3

I am asking specifically for the biblical basis of the belief that good works are the fruits of faith. Hebrews 11 addresses this directly. Verse 6 is instructive, for it tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. The rest of the chapter goes on to tell us how the ancients expressed their faith. Their works were the fruits -- the outflow,...


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