It depends on how one interprets Mr.Luther's words. To an unsaved sinner who hasn't yet repented, it's good to know he will be forgiven. As the Psalmist wrote "Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." And for believers "Your sins are forgiven for his name's sake," writes John in his first epistle. And to the best of my knowledge none of those words from Mr. Luther are contained in official Lutheran confessions. Especially the last two quotes are not.
Pietism has been important among some Protestants, Abigail. It's an emphasis on living and not just knowing the truths of Scripture. It's an answer to antinomianism and lends life instead of just doctrinal discussion on paper. It came out quite vividly among some pre-Protestant Christians 100 years before Martin Luther, even earlier. People wanted man to quit controlling them and let the Bible shape their lives. Things happened. They were changed.
For those who know just a little about the New Testament, Mormonism should be easy to reject. Why? One word: Angels. Angels "restored" the Gospel to Joseph Smith, so he claims. That added a new scripture too, the Book of Mormon. The Bible refutes both in harsh language: Concerning the scriptures, the Bible upholds Scripture Alone: "Ye shall not add unto it nor diminish ought." "If any man add unto the prophecies, I will give plagues, if any man take away he will be taken out of the book of life." And then, regarding messages from angels: "Though we or an angel preach any other gospel than that which ye received let him be accursed," and Paul repeats "Let him be accursed." Mormons also have modern prophets, their president being the chief one, but the Bible says our faith is based on the Apostles and Prophets. It's a done deal. The prophets have spoken in the Scriptures. Same for popes, a form of prophet,I suppose. They also have their own lists of works to get saved and keep saved. Catholics and Mormons, among many others, hear those words and heed them for your soul's sake.
Well, we've removed God and his word and prayers to Him in the name of Jesus. No surprise. Something has to fill the void. If it isn't God then....... ...well it isn't ordained of God what's filling the schools, that's for sure.
Too many churches are catering to popular culture instead of worshipping only according to that which is sanctioned in the Scriptures. True worshippers will worship in Spirit and in truth according to God's word, because "Thy word is truth."
They aren't all apostate, that's for sure. The apostate are those who deny the Lord who bought them and disobey the Apostles and Prophets. And so yes, we can see that today with "christians" mixing new age with theology, adding works to Christ's finished work, adding to God's settled record called the Holy Bible, teaching heresies and doctrines of demons(forbidding marriage, eating of certain foods, observations of holy days, making images and giving them adoration) etc. Simply to acknowledge another head of the Church besides Christ is apostate, also denying the sufficiency of the scriptures alone--for "Ye shall not add unto them nor take ought from them." Yep, much apostacy but thankfully the promises of Christ describe a remnant saved by God's grace, sanctified by the word of truth, preserved in Jesus Christ with the hope of final salvation, and the promise of not falling(Jude 1 & 24). The infallible teachings of the true church are found in the New Testament, the epistles being most correct and above reproach, even called the command of the Lord.
Abigail wrote: We are not establishing our own righteousness when we act in obedience to the Word of God. We are not saved by works of righteousnessâ€”we are saved by the precious atoning blood of Jesus Christâ€”but salvation by being filled with the Spirit of Christ, which is the Holy Ghost, produces works of righteousness in our lives. Repentance is the first requirement for salvationâ€”turn from your wicked ways unto righteousness. Without this change, we remain in our evil condition and will be cast into hell.
Well, I think I can give a thumbs up here. Without the aid of the Holy Spirit, we are going to have a difficult time....impossible to fulfill the word of God.
The other possibility is that maybe this dialogue happens because some members have spooken in tongues despite some of these churches holding to heresies and doctrines of demons(saving oneself and keeping one's salvation by observing laws, forbidding marriage and eating of certain foods, atoning for one's sins by works, atoning for another's sins by works of supererogation, keeping the observance of holy days or else committing sin, making images and bowing to them, etc.).
I see what observer means. I was pondering today this: If we could keep all works perfectly, why did Jesus not just come down tell us what to do and then go back to heaven with being crucified and risen?
Observer answers: "God commands sinners to keep His law perfectly in thought, word, and deed but we canâ€™t! That is why Christ came, to perfectly obey the law and to shed His blood to save His people from their sins."
The Epistle to the Hebrews has a similar tone. Namely "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission."(Heb. 9:22)
Alan, Thank you. I had an interepretation that leaned more toward salvation as a process, but wasn't found consistently in the New Testament, which lends me to believe I was wrong. Not only that, I had something on my conscience telling me something was getting out of order with my understanding of faith and works and salvation. Thank you.
Spiritual wrote: Faith alone can never accomplish anything in Abigail's scriptural list.
I believe so when that faith manifests itself in fruit and good works.
[QUOTE]We preach always that obedience is possible only by grace but we also hold that without it "no man shall see the Lord."So you are saying without obedience, no man shall see the Lord, right? The Apostles say if even one point of the whole law is broken, one is guilty of the entire law(James 2:10). Does this not apply also to Abigail's list? So if one fails just once, what happens? Is Christ by faith sufficient for forgiveness or is this forever held against the person and heaven is only a dream while hell is the eternal reality? Some things to think about. All for now.
If we're doing all those things to get saved or keep saved, how often do they need to be done? Is once in a lifetime enough? Have you already done them and now can do nothing and expect God to say OK? I'd ask those who believe in salvation by works how often have you done those? Do you know for sure you will do them all? However, if we look at it from the aspect of those already saved doing it, then it becomes much more clear. It's the bearing of fruit, and the pruning done by God. "It is God who worketh in you..." Spiritual, dead faith has no works, but there are different ministries and gifts given to believers so I will look at it in that context and not judge somebody who isn't doing the whole list. All those works show yet again the need of a savior to carry us. "Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling...."
Spiritual, I think we're seeing this differently. The saved will do those because they are saved. Faith alone is the basis for both actual and practical righteousness. Obedience is the natural expression of that faith. Righteous by faith is what it is. Many put works before faith or the "cart before the horse" and this is what feel is implied from you and Abigail. Like with the list below, it's like "Ok, now you're born again, now here's list to make sure you follow. If you don't you're on the way to hell." Is that the correct interpretation of the Gospels and Epistles? I don't think so, unless there's room for growth and forgiveness when one stumbles. The law points us to Christ and shows we need a savior. True believers will do what Christ requires because of faith, not to get saved, but because they are saved and have the Spirit residing in them. Without faith it's impossible to please God. Faith alone will accomplish Abigail's list and a lot more All for now.
Thanks Spiritual. Oh yes, I agree that without the Holy Spirit, it's impossible. So we agree here. All those can be accomplished in one who has saving faith in the heart. Yes, I believe one who is truly saved will make it all the way. They are preserved in Jesus Christ and He is able to keep them from falling Jude 1 and Jude 24. Preservation of the Saints. It's biblical. Jude believed it and confessed it. If one stumbles along the way, they have an advocate with the Father who forgives(1 John 1). Not an excuse to sin but a remedy for the flesh.