Monday, August 1, 2022

Quora deleted: Was John Calvin wrong or right when he taught that salvation is not by faith alone but by a life of good works also? (answer deleted as violation of Spam policy).

He was right on this as meaning that belief and obedience go together as cause and effect, like as forgiveness and healing/walking went together in the story of the palsied man in Mark 2:1-2, so that they can be used synonymous, as in "Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?' (Mark 2:9)

However, the effect (healing) is not the cause (forgiveness). And as evidence, the healing also justified/vindicated the one who did so as being forgiven.

And thus (in the context of dead versus living effectual faith) James can state that "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." (James 2:24) A man is justified before God by faith, and a man is justified as being a believer by the "obedience of faith."

Therefore it is the faith which will be and is expressed in obedience that appropriates justification, as is plainly stated as regards Abraham:

What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (Romans 4:1-7)

And which is not restricted to just works of the Law, but to any system of justification by actual merit, becoming actually good enough, for which the Law represents as the epitome of it, "for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law." (Galatians 3:21)

And writing to Gentiles the apostle does not refer to the law in excluding salvation by works, but plainly states:

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; (Titus 3:5)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The issue here is what actually appropriates the justification which renders one "accepted in the Beloved," (Eph. 1:6) that of effectual heart-purifying regenerating faith being imputed for righteousness, or actually becoming good enough to enter Heaven by an act and character development making expiation for sins. The Bible teaches that is it effectual heart-purifying regenerating faith, as stated before:

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. (Acts 10:43-44) Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? (Acts 10:47)

And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. (Acts 15:7-9)

And thus they were baptized.

What Calvin did teach as regards this issue includes:

Christ justifies no one whom He does not sanctify at the same time….Thus it is clear how true it is that we are justified not without works yet not through works, since our sharing in Christ, which justifies us, sanctification is just as much included as righteousness…the Lord freely justifies His own in order that He may at the same time restore them to true righteousness by sanctification of His Spirit.[ John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, edited by John T. McNeill, translated by Ford Lewis Battles (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960), III:16:1; III:3:19.]

But although works tend in no way to the cause of justification, yet when the elect sons of God were justified freely by faith, at the same time their works are esteemed righteous by the same gratuitous liberality. Thus, it still remains true, that faith without works justifies, although this needs prudence and a sound interpretation; for this proposition, that faith without works justifies is true and yet false, according to the different senses which it bears. The proposition that faith without works justifies by itself is false, because faith without is void.[ John Calvin, Commentaries, Volumes I-XXII (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981), Commentary on Ezekiel 18:14-17.] [1]

And what Luther taught includes:

faith is a living and an essential thing, which makes a new creature of man, changes his spirit... Faith cannot help doing good works constantly...

if faith be true, it will break forth and bear fruit...

where there is no faith there also can be no good works; and conversely, that there is no faith…

where there are no good works. Therefore faith and good works should be so closely joined together that the essence of the entire Christian life consists in both. if obedience and God's commandments do not dominate you, then the work is not right, but damnable, surely the devil's own doings, although it were even so great a work as to raise the dead...

if you continue in pride and lewdness, in greed and anger, and yet talk much of faith, St. Paul will come and say, 1 Cor. 4:20, look here my dear Sir, "the kingdom of God is not in word but in power." It requires life and action, and is not brought about by mere talk. Works are necessary for salvation, but they do not cause salvation...

faith casts itself on God, and breaks forth and becomes certain through its works... faith must be exercised, worked and polished; be purified by fire...

it is impossible for him who believes in Christ, as a just Savior, not to love and to do good. If, however, he does not do good nor love, it is sure that faith is not present... where the works are absent, there is also no Christ...

References and more by God's grace.

Salvation by grace is that in which souls come to God as souls as sinners knowing their desperate need of salvation, and not as souls saved by their works or church affiliation, but as destitute of any means or merit whereby they may escape their just judgment and gain eternal life; (Romans 3:10–4:7)

And who with contrite hearts place all their faith in the Divine Christ as their Lord and Savior, who died for our sins and is risen to reign in glory, (1 Peter 2:24; 328,22) and thus the believer is born of the Spirit of God, having his/her heart purified by faith. And who declare this living faith in baptism and following their Lord with humble hearts, (Acts 8:36,37; 10:43=-47; 15:7–9) and who repent when convicted in heart of not doing so. (Psalm 34:218) Thanks be to God.

In contrast, Roman Catholicism teaches that the act itself of faith justifies one by infusing Divine love in their soul, even those who cannot fulfill the requirement for baptism, that of repentant whole-hearted faith. (Acts 2:38; 8:36,37) And having begun with actually becoming good enough to be with God - even if that is said to be by grace - then such must either attain to and die in perfect holiness and atone for all their post-baptismal sins, or endure purfing punishments in RC Purgatory until they attain to the level needed to be with God.

And thus by the close of the fourth century was taught "a place of purgation..from which when purified they "were admitted unto the Holy Mount of the Lord". For " they were "not so good as to be entitled to eternal happiness ".

One "cannot approach God till 
the purging fire shall have cleansed the stains with which his soul was infested." (Catholic Encyclopedia>Purgatory)

All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but 
after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. (CCC 1030)


"
The purpose of purgatory is to bring you up the level of spiritual excellence needed to experience the full-force presence of God." (Jimmy Akin, How to Explain Purgatory to Protestants).

"
Every trace of attachment to evil must be eliminated, every imperfection of the soul corrected." Purification must be complete..." "This is exactly what takes place in Purgatory." — John Paul II, Audiences, 1999; 4 August 1999 | John Paul II

Catholic professor Peter Kreeft states,

"...
we will go to Purgatory first, and then to Heaven after we are purged of all selfishness and bad habits and character faults." Peter Kreeft, Because God Is Real: Sixteen Questions, One Answer, p. 224

The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. (CCC 1813 )

In contrast, wherever Scripture clearly speak of the next conscious reality for believers then it is with the Lord, (Lk. 23:43 [cf. 2Cor. 12:4; Rv. 2:7]; Phil 1:23; 2Cor. 5:8 [“we”]; 1Cor. 15:51ff'; 1Thess. 4:17)

And rather than Purgatory conforming souls to Christ to inherit the kingdom of God, the next transformative experience that is manifestly taught is that of being made like Christ in the resurrection. (
1Jn. 3:2; Rm. 8:23; 1Co 15:53,54; 2Co. 2-4) At which time is the judgment seat of Christ And which is the only suffering after this life, which does not begin at death, but awaits the Lord's return, (1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Timothy. 4:1,8; Revelation 11:18; Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Peter 1:7; 5:4) and is the suffering of the loss of rewards (and the Lord's displeasure!) due to the manner of material one built the church with. But which one is saved despite the loss of such, not because of. (1 Corinthians 3:8ff)

Footnotes

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Quora deleted this answer (cited as "spam") Are Evangelicals Christians?

 

Profile photo for Daniel Hamilton

Definitely yes, though not all, but if any class are essentially New Testament Christians then it is Evangelicals, versus others who are also called Christians. While no longer as strong as this class once were, Evangelicals are the major group most likely to actually have experienced Biblical regeneration, and thus have long testified to most strongly esteeming Scripture as the accurate and wholly God-inspired supreme authority, and to greater commitment (including being foremost providers of non-gov. humanitarian aid (including much to Africa) and core unity,

The redeemed are those who come to God as sinners knowing their desperate need of salvation - not as souls saved by their works or religious heritage, but as destitute of any means or merit whereby they may find salvation (Romans 3:9 - 5:1) - and with a humble and penitent heart (that wants a new life following Christ) believe on the crucified and risen Lord Jesus who alone can save them on His account, by His sinless shed blood and righteousness.

And who are thus baptized to follow the Lord Jesus with persevering faith. And who thus are baptized and follow Him (John 10:27-29; Acts 8:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10) - and effectually repent when they find that they failed to do so. (Psalms 32:5,6; 51:3; Hosea 5:15; 1 John 1:9) Thanks be to God.

For it is penitent, heart-purifying, regenerating effectual faith, (Acts 10:43-47; 15:7-9) which is imputed for righteousness, (Romans 4:5) and by which faith the believer is completely forgiven and "accepted in the Beloved" on His account, and positionally seated with Him in Heaven. Ephesians 1:6; 2:6; cf. Phil. 3:21)

And wherever Scripture clearly speak of the next conscious reality for those who die in that effectual faith then it is with the Lord, at death or His return (whatever comes first), by the grace of God. (Lk. 23:43 [cf. 2Cor. 12:4; Rv. 2:7]; Phil 1:23; 2Cor. 5:8 [“we”]; 1Cor. 15:51ff'; 1Thess. 4:17) In contrary to those who fall away. (Gal. 5:1–4; Heb. 3:12; 10:25–39)

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Quora deleted this answer (cited as "spam" without explanation) "Why do all of DJT’s biographers opine that he hasn’t any religious beliefs or principles at all? Why would evangelicals still support him if they are aware of this fact?"

 

Trump is not a Christian* based upon the definitive source of that word, (Acts 11:26) however, in a culture war both sides are looking for a general who will go to battle against the opposition, with such commitment overcoming personal integrity issues (which one side acts as if only the other one had).

And politically (versus hiring pastors of their church), in a culture war gone hot, then faced with a choice btwn two electable opposing candidates and lacking a saintly bulldog, evangelicals (who much supported Herman Cain till his fall, and at about 80% voted for a Mormon who has a  false god over Obama, and would even support a conservative atheist who strongly supports conservatives policies over liberals.

Which are essentially atheists anyway as regards the God of the Bible (note that atheists have one less god than Christians), as instead they are foremost proxy servants of the devil. But may they come to repentant faith in the risen Lord Jesus.

Hope this helps. Peace By Jesus

*The redeemed are those who come to God as sinners knowing their desperate need of salvation - not as souls saved by their works or religious heritage, but as destitute of any means or merit whereby they may find salvation (Romans 3:9 - 5:1) - and with a humble and penitent heart (that wants a new life following Christ) believe on the crucified and risen Lord Jesus who alone can save them on His account, by His sinless shed blood and righteousness.

And who are thus baptized to follow the Lord Jesus with persevering faith. And who thus are baptized and follow Him (John 10:27-29) 1 John 1:9; Hosea 5:15; 51:3; 6, Psalms 32:5; 2:8-10) - and effectually repent when they find that they failed to do so. (Ephesians 1:7; Acts 8:12;

For the redeemed are those are of penitent, heart-purifying, regenerating effectual faith, (Acts 10:43-47)Phil. 3:21; 2:6; cf. Ephesians 1:6) and by which faith the believer is completely forgiven and "accepted in the Beloved" and positionally seated with Him in Heaven. 28, Jn. 10:27; Acts 2:38-47) and is shown in baptism and following the Lord, (Romans 4:5; 15:7-9) which is imputed for righteousness, (

And wherever Scripture clearly speak of the next conscious reality for those who die in that effectual faith then it is with the Lord, at death or His return (whatever comes first), by the grace of God. (Lk. 23:43)1Thess. 4:17ff'; 1Cor. 15:51 [“we”]; 2Cor. 5:8; Phil 1:23]; Rv. 2:7; 2Cor. 12:4)