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All About GOD - Growing Relationships with Jesus and Others

I like to read all the replies here, they are very insightful and thoughtful.  

The reason for this question, is that I've read more than one reply that states that there is nothing left for us to do regarding salvation.  Is this biblical?  

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We are to believe, repent and receive. Those are part of the Salvation formula if you will.

 

NO one, absolutely no one is saved without believing that God is Lord, Repenting of their sin and receiving the gift of salvation. We must believe that Jesus is Lord, died and was raised on the third day. Those are the things we are commanded in Scripture to do to be save.

 

So the answer to your question is a simple - yes. One must be obedient to God's decretive/appointed  will for salvation.

But those things only happen once you are born of the Spirit. John 3

 

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

 

You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d]

 

Everyone born of the Spirit can believe, repent and receive ,for the Spirit blows unto Salvation where it pleases. Jesus could have told Nic, pray this prayer or do this thing to be born again, BUT HE doesn't, He talks to him about the Sovereignty of God through the Spirit to save, going and coming like the wind.

 

The issue is that we don't like this. We like having the say so of being saved or being lost. We think God is sovereign over EVERYTHING, BUT NOT man's salvation. Our flesh doesn't like it. We have a worldly view of the will of man and we think we have free will, when such a thing is fiction. No one but God has free will. Our will is slaved to sin before being born again and it belongs to God after we are born again.

Grace to you,

Good response, Amen!

JB

Grace,

 

You are either  not understanding my comments, choosing to ignore them or so shocked by them that they are keeping you from grasping what they are conveying. :)

 

Free will is FICTION at best, but I don't mean by that statement that we don't have a "will", liberties or the ability to choose. We have all those things, but we do not have free will as many believe it to be. We are free to choose, but not to choose good that brings God glory, because the human will is in bondage until God saves the person.  The bible doesn't teach that our will is free. Have you ever done a study on what free will is? It's worth doing. The way most Christians understand our ability to choose as free will is a very pagan way of understanding it. The bible speaks of the human will over and over and over and over again, as enslave to sin. So is a will that is enslave, free? No, of course not. It's enslaved, it cannot do anything good, as in good that brings God glory. It is capable of doing moral good, but the motives are self righteous ones etc, but not to bring God glory. The human will is not free. Once we are born from above, born again, then and only then (Romans 6) is the POWER of sin broken.

 

Then our will belongs to God, who bought us with the blood of Christ. Our will is then able to do good. But God has every right before we are born from above, born again, and after to trump our will. We should all want that. God keeps us in him by doing that very thing at times.  

 

>>That our repentance doesn't matter, nor our obedience, choices, loves, etc., it's all God?

 

Grace - no one here is teaching or saying that all the above things you mentioned don't matter. God calls all men to repentance, we see that in multiple places in scripture, but that doesn't mean that people choose God outside of God electing them. 

 

>>So if I choose not to love God, that is because He doesn't want my love nor me?  

 

Nope- that is saying something that the bible doesn't say. That is saying something the word of God doesn't teach. God loves his creation, but his creation doesn't have the ability of choosing God apart from God given them the ability to choose him, in the born again experience. This is not so because God is holding people back, but because we LOVE DARKNESS OVER LIGHT. All of humanity is condemned because humanity will never choose God. You did not choose God, God chose you. the whole world chooses not to love God because is born in enmity with God, but is not because He doesn't want you or love you, that is to add to scripture and to go against scripture that teaches us that God loves his creation. He is under no obligation to choose anyone unto salvation apart from those that were redeemed by Christ atonement. 

 

>>I'm finding this subject very difficult to understand.  

 

It is not easy to accept and understand it, when by nature we like to think that it is God and human will at work in salvation, but we don't see that in scripture. We see that the Spirit makes us born again, that God chooses us, that He elects us by His will and good pleasure alone, Not by human will.  

 

 

>>...as offering us the gift of salvation, but if He offers that gift, why do only some take it.

 

God calls All of humanity to repentance to show He is just and that He loves his creation, but none come to him to be save unless he saves them. then and only then do we see our need for him and this happenes simultaneously and hidden from human consciousness for the majority of us, so we think it was us, haha when it is God saving us. Yes, we repent, but because he has changed our heart already. Yes, we believe, because our eyes are opened. Yes, we receive him, because we see our need for him, but that is only possible because we are now born from above. Those actions in our part are essential and necessary, but they are in response to the quickening of the Spirit in us. He made us alive, so we believe, repent and receive.

 

>>In the Bible it states that He calls ALL MEN to salvation...

 

That is absolutely correct, but it doesn't say that He will save every person, but it does say that He will show mercy to who He wants to, in multiple ways and places.

 

>>wouldn't this make God a respecter of persons?  

 

God Calls every person to repentance, so He is no respecter of persons.

 

>>When Jesus talked to the Rich young lawyer and asked him to follow Him, to give away all of his material goods to the poor and follow Him, why would He allow the Holy Spirit to write that in the Bible as tho he had a choice?  

 

We all have the ability to choose, but I never known or heard of a man who chose God, holiness, Christ, to die to self and this life apart from God saving them. We all have the ability to choose, that is not the issue, what we do not have is the inclination or the will to choose God apart from God saving us. It is by GRACE through faith and even that faith is not from us, but it's the gift of God so we can trust in him/believe in him. The problem is not in us being able to choose or not being able to choose God with our faculties, the problem is that not one, no, there is not even one who seeks God, we have all gone after our own passions.  

 

Tell me Grace, what is the problem you have with the fact that God saved you. That He chose you. That He elected you apart from your will or doing, shouldn't that make you joyful and grateful? He saved you. Shouldn't you just be forever grateful that He saved you from your self?

 

The rich young ruler is in the bible to show us multiple things, among them that God has done all He can, to give us a way out of our sin, but people don't want God, so this shows how "just" He is when He passes judgment over such ungrateful creatures. Paul spends 5 chapters in Romans, really much more than that and Galatians as well explaining how God can be "just" (this is an important topic, the justice of God") through his actions when it appears that He is not by forgiving sinners. Actively choosing some unto salvation while not others. He provides a way out for all, but only changes the heart of some. How can He be just? He is God - He will have mercy and compassion on who He wills. He is perfect and holy, He knows what He is doing, even if He may appear unjust at doing his will and good pleasure He is not.

 

>>Why didn't Jesus just say, I didn't open his heart to receive me?

  

Because that was not the primary teaching of that exchange. It was to established the fact that even when God reveals our heart to us and tells us what's keeping us from choosing him, we do not choose him, unless He changes our heart.

 

Love right back at you sis. It is because I love you that I take the time to explain what you haven't been explained before. There is another way to interpret the verses that most of us have been taught and that way is actually the most biblical and accurate one. By God's grace it is making is way back to the church in tremendous leaps and bounds. The teachings of Pelagius and Arminius infiltrated the church far too long, but the truth that was defended by Paul in the first century, Augustine in the 4th century and Luther in the 16th century is once again being heard. It has never gone away, but it just hasn't been the most widely accepted for a couple of centuries, but that has not always been the case. The doctrines of Sovereign Election were taught by God himself and explained more clearly by Paul. They have been defended against the heresy of Pelagius and many others. Great men of God as Wesley have believed in free will.  These doctrines are not new, they have been defended throughout the centuries, by the brightest minds God has given us. Paul, Augustine, Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Spurgeon, Knox, Pink, RC Sproul, Pipper etc etc etc...

 

>>if I knew that I had someone to blame for my non acceptance of Christ, this would make me very happy...seriously, any sinner you approached and they rejected Christ and it's because Christ Jesus chose not to open their hearts and eyes?  

 

We (humanity) have no excuse, that is abundantly taught in scripture. You and I have no one to blame but our self. Let any sinner go to God and tell him that it is his fault that he did not choose him. I don't know what God would do and tell such a person, but I imagine He will say something like, depart from me you worker of iniquity, did I not give my son for you? Did I not give you intelligence, the ability to choose and to reason? What did you do with the will I gave you? You choose to sin and to never choose me, though I gave you the faculties to be able to do so, but unless I change your heart you were content in your passions, so who's fault is it?

 

>>Wonderful, then you are no longer at fault.  This in my mind is ludricrous and far from the teaching of Scriptures.  

 

Not at all, there is nothing wonderful in that misunderstanding of what scripture is saying, when it teaches that unless God changes the heart, no man will come to him, but not because God is holding them back, but because people choose sin over God every time. How then can anyone be not at fault? Don't forget that all humanity is already condemned.

 

>>We like the say so of being saved or being lost...NO WE DON'T,

 

Grace, you are arduously arguing, not much with the bible, but primarily with your logic, that we have the final say so in our salvation or condemnation. Give me bible. I have posted many verses on this and the other discussion dealing with this topic and no one has come back with solid biblical scripture to debunked how I and millions in the body interpret scripture. Yes you like the say so in salvation just like all of humanity, but God says is not due to human will or doing, but by his good pleasure and will.

 

 >>But to say that we don't have free will and that is fiction, is an assault to the Bible, face to face assault.

 

Actually beloved,  what you are saying, that we have "Free will" is not found in scripture. Again - study what free will is. Read the bondage of the will by Luther. Read the many and I mean many verses in the bible where it speaks of the human will being enslaved and dead in transgressions and sins. So it is your believe that is very against scripture. You believe that your will is free, when before Christ all you could do is sin. You were dead in transgressions and you did not have the free will to do what it's pleasing to God. Your will was enslave according to scripture. Captive to it's strongest inclinations and ALWAYS subservient to its sinful ways, biases, fears, insecurities, strongest inclinations (which were sinful), prejudices etc.... Do you still think your will is free? I don't think so beloved. Humans do not have free will. They have a will that is slaved to sin before God saves them and a will that belongs to God after salvation.

 

>>You can find it in the beginning of Genesis, that God gave Adam and Even the right to every single tree in the Garden except one.  He GAVE them a choice.  

 

 

Yes, amen beloved, but guess what? Adam and Eve fell and after the fall, men lost the ability to choose good and evil, all the intentions of their heart were evil all the time. Their will was enslaved to sin. That my sister is a quote from scripture. Show me Grace, where does scripture teach that your will is free?

 

 

Question: "Do human beings truly have a free will?"


Answer: 
If “free will” means that God gives humans the opportunity to make  choices that genuinely affect their destiny, then yes, human beings do have a  free will. The world’s current sinful state is directly linked to choices made  by Adam and Eve. God created mankind in His own image, and that included the  ability to choose.
However, free will does not mean that mankind can do  anything he pleases. Our choices are limited to what is in keeping with our  nature. For example, a man may choose to walk across a bridge or not to walk  across it; what he may not choose is to fly over the bridge—his nature  prevents him from flying. In a similar way, a man cannot choose to make himself  righteous—his (sin) nature prevents him from canceling his guilt (Romans 3:23). So, free will is limited by nature.
This limitation does not mitigate our accountability. The Bible is clear that  we not only have the ability to choose, we also have the  responsibility to choose wisely. In the Old Testament, God chose a nation  (Israel), but individuals within that nation still bore an obligation to choose  obedience to God. And individuals outside of Israel were able to choose to  believe and follow God as well (e.g., Ruth and Rahab).
In the New  Testament, sinners are commanded over and over to “repent” and “believe” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Acts 3:19; 1 John  3:23). Every call to repent is a call to choose. The command to believe  assumes that the hearer can choose to obey the command.
Jesus identified  the problem of some unbelievers when He told them, “You refuse to come to me to  have life” (John 5:40).  Clearly, they could have come if they wanted to; their problem was they chose  not to. “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians  6:7), and those who are outside of salvation are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20-21).
But how can man, limited by a sin nature, ever choose what is good? It is only  through the grace and power of God that free will truly becomes “free” in the  sense of being able to choose salvation (John 15:16).  It is the Holy Spirit who works in and through a person’s will to regenerate  that person (John  1:12-13) and give him/her a new nature “created to be like God in true  righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians  4:24). Salvation is God’s work. At the same time, our motives, desires, and  actions are voluntary, and we are rightly held responsible for them.

Read more:  http://www.gotquestions.org/free-will.html#ixzz2eLWrXSBc

Grace,

 

Beloved- I am not into teaching biblical truths to win arguments or for any other reason than to bring God glory by trying to edify his people. As I have stated multiple times, this is a secondary issue, an important one, but a secondary one. I have also stated multiple times in this site that this means of communication is difficult, because people can attribute any tone they want to our writings. Specially when one is not an excellent communicator, like myself. :) I love God's people and I am never out to hurt or embarrass anyone here. That is not what God has called me to do. I have changed my biblical understanding about many topics throughout my short history in Christ.

 

Grace - I am not a Calvinist either, though I do not mind anyone calling me a Calvinist. I think he was a wonderful blessing from the Lord, but like all of us he put his pants on, one leg at a time, imperfect servant like the rest of us, he was. Just to clear the air and be on the same page, no one here is asking you to be a Calvinist. I am certainly not.

 

I am happy to read that you are loyal to the only one I bow my knees to, to our beautiful Jesus, but we are blessed by our Lord to have such a cloud of men, of which the world is not worthy of, as scripture teaches.

 

What books of Calvin have you read? How many of them are you familiar with? I am not asking to embarrass you or to say that they are a must read, but it's difficult for me to believe that anyone that reads such beautiful literature would be against that servant of God. Wesley was an awesome men of God as well.  No one else has to, but when I see some of the greatest minds in the history of the Church agree upon the doctrines of Grace, I for one, pay attention. They don't dictate what I believe, only the word of God has that authority in my life, but I do appreciate them.

 

Grace - I have given plenty of scripture, but you have chosen the above response, rather than to engage in a constructive edifying experience. That is your freedom to do, haha get it, freedom :), but I wish you would have come back with scripture helping me out of my misunderstanding or mis-interpretation of scripture, but the truth is that you do not have biblical evidence to show me that humans have "free will" as most understand it to be. The ability to act  upon our will, from a place of neutrality, that means a place where we are not being influence by our strongest inclinations, which place our will in a state of slavery. We do not have such free will. If you believe we do, show me with scripture. I will only love you more if you help me out of error.

 

My responses were from my heart and scripture, not from Calvin or from a desire to embarrass you. Simply to edify you. I have learn here on this site from LT, Colvy, Amanda, Char, Carla, Jenie, Bev, JB, Roy Wilson, Pilgrim, Michelle, you and so many others. Don't ever stop learning sister. A teachable Spirit is a beautiful thing to have.

 

You flatter me when you say that you felt like you were reading a Calvinist manual haha :), that is awesome. He was a beautiful man of God from what I can see in his writings. Such beauty in his bible commentaries. I am no where near such brilliant minds, but thank you for that indulgence.

 

Blessings Grace. Though I am being a bit humorous with my response, no malice or ill motive is behind them, just my old playful self. I pray you continue to bless us with your wonderful impute, I am not being sarcastic or mean beloved, I mean it, you have always bless me with your zeal and passion for our Lord.

 

Your bro. DV.

I have a question here.  You say "Believe, Repent, and Receive".  Is that all that is commanded?  What about confessing that Jesus is the Chris before men?

(Romans 10:9-10) - "9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

What about baptism?

(Acts 2:38) - "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

Mark 16:15-16 - "15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

I agree with you that we are slaves to sin, but not that we are therefore unable to seek God in our slavery to sin.  Even the Athenians were seeking God in their lost state when Paul came to them and preached the gospel of Jesus to them (Acts 17:22-33).

I may be wrong (and hope someone corrects me if I am) but becoming born again means realizing you are a sinner condemned by your sin and realizing that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, paid the penalty for those sins, and you accept Him as your substitute and in order to accept Him you must receive Jesus completely by faith, trusting in the work that He has done as your substitute. That work includes not only dying for your sins but also living a completely sinless life. He paid for your sins and He also justifies you and gives you His righteousness. 

So, to be born again, we see Who Jesus is, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior, and we see our sin and our need for forgiveness. We rest in the work He has done to save us. Matthew 11:28. May all the weary and heavy laden embrace the gift of forgiveness of their sins through the payment Jesus made by dying on the cross. 

Even though we may still sin and still feel guilt, we are truly justified when we have trusted Jesus and have taken His yoke. When we have Jesus, we have eternal life. We hate sin and we long to be free from it and to overcome it, and each time we fail, He is faithful to forgive and cleanse (1 John 1:9). We confess our sins. We need not carry any kind of guilt longterm. We are still here in the world and He doesn't carry us off immediately into heaven, and, just like others have helped us in our journey, we are to help others by sharing the good news and giving instructions for living for God. We serve out of love for God and for others. 

I have carried an incredible amount of guilt in my life because I didn't understand how to rest in Jesus. Yes, we can be born again and be children of God and still not understand the rest we have in Christ. I'm learning how to rest in Him. It isn't easy and involves erasing a lot of bad internal programming. 

Getting back on topic, being born again is realizing that one is separated from God by one's sin and believing Jesus paid the price to restore fellowship with God. We can rest in His care. Matthew 11:28 is an invitation. IMO, of course :)

Amanda,

:)

Question: "What does it mean to be a born again Christian?"

Answer:
What does it mean to be a born-again Christian? The classic passage from the Bible that answers this question is John 3:1-21. The Lord Jesus Christ is talking to Nicodemus, a prominent Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin (the ruling body of the Jews). Nicodemus had come to Jesus at night with some questions.

As Jesus talked with Nicodemus, He said, “‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’ ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again”’” (John 3:3-7).

The phrase "born again" literally means "born from above." Nicodemus had a real need. He needed a change of his heart—a spiritual transformation. New birth, being born again, is an act of God whereby eternal life is imparted to the person who believes (2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1-4, 18). John 1:12, 13 indicates that being "born again" also carries the idea of "becoming children of God" through trust in the name of Jesus Christ.

The question logically comes, "Why does a person need to be born again?" The apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:1 says, "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins" (NKJV). To the Romans he wrote, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Sinners are spiritually “dead”; when they receive spiritual life through faith in Christ, the Bible likens it to a rebirth. Only those who are born again have their sins forgiven and have a relationship with God.

How does that come to be? Ephesians 2:8-9 states, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." When one is saved, he/she has been born again, spiritually renewed, and is now a child of God by right of new birth. Trusting in Jesus Christ, the One who paid the penalty of sin when He died on the cross, is the means to be "born again." "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

If you have never trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, will you consider the prompting of the Holy Spirit as He speaks to your heart? You need to be born again. Will you pray the prayer of repentance and become a new creation in Christ today? "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God" (John 1:12-13).

If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and be born again, here is a sample prayer. Remember, saying this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. It is only trusting in Christ that can save you from sin. This prayer is simply a way to express to God your faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your salvation. "God, I know that I have sinned against you and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness—the gift of eternal life! Amen!"

Have you made a decision for Christ because of what you have read here? If so, please click on the "I have accepted Christ today" button below.

Love and blessings to you my sister.

Believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, is not being born again.  James says that even the demons believe that, and they tremble (because they know they will not be saved) (James 2:19).

You are born again when the old creature dies, and the new creation arises.  Where in scripture is it said that the old dies and the new comes to be?  Colossians 2:12-13 says, "12Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.  13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses."  Also in Romans 6:4, "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."

Thus, after we have confessed that Jesus is the Christ, and repented of our sins, we come to baptism so that the old (sinful) person can be buried with Christ, and His blood can wash our sins away.  Then we arise out of the water a new creation, faultless in God's sight.

This is not to say that we cannot turn back to a sinful life and be lost again.  We must continually keep control of our sinful nature (we are still in the World), and strive to do God's will continually.  But we do so in the knowledge that Jesus blood continues to cleanse us of all sin if we confess it and turn back to Him (1 John 1:9).

Hi Jon,

Welcome to AAG.

I understand what you're saying, and I agree, (except with the part that we can lose salvation).  We are indeed born again when the new has come.  This is our assurance...that we see these changes, and they happen when we repent of our old ways and agree with Jesus that we need Him as a Saviour. 

Matthew 5:3 says "[b]Blessed are the [c]poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." NASB.

The NLT version says it like this "“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,[a]
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs."

Of course it stands to reason that once we realize that we are poor and we do indeed need Him, we will be changed.

Obedience is not required for salvation BUT it is evidence that we have been changed and are indeed saved.  Salvation can never be earned by the things we do.

We have to be careful with this topic because it can so easily be misinterpreted as pharisaical 'do this don't do that' salvation or  "follow the rules to earn God's pleasure and He will give you salvation." 

I'd like people to talk less about this, and talk more about what true obedience looks like.  Obedience flows from living a life of love for our Saviour and desiring to please Him out of that life of love.

We will all still fall short at times...  This is where God's grace and mercy comes in.

Blessings, Carla

Jon,

I was just listening to the news. A gentleman from North Carolina protesting a law officer's shooting of a black man. He was allowed to speak on national news. He began his address something like this: "Allah is the only true god and Mohammed is his messenger." That is his confession - his faith. Well, I want to say that even the demons know that isn't true. :)

This confession is not included in James' directive. However, you have erroneously perhaps unintentionally what James really said. He said:

James 2:19  You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder. NIV

Obviously, that is a much different statement than what you made. I don't comment often and will probably not answer if you reply to me. However, I felt this quote you made of James 2 was bad enough I felt it should be addressed. Actually, no one can say Jesus is Christ, the Son of God and mean it unless he really believes. Those who believe in Jesus as Christ and God are saved from their sins. They certainly better obey or they will suffer the consequences. Yet, God is loving, merciful and full of grace and our faith in Christ puts us in really good standing with Him. In fact, those who believe are given the power to be called His child. 

Check who James was speaking to. James was known to speak primarily to the Jewish believer even though what he said can be applied to us all. The Jews felt their belief that there was only one God or being monotheistic qualified them for God's family. Actually, James is letting his brothers know that such a belief does not save them. Some have misunderstood the address of James thinking he is calling us to provide works for our salvation. That is not what he is doing. He is saying we must provide proof of our faith especially those who were leaving the Old Covenant and coming into the New Covenant. You and I don't have this problem since we have never really been under the Old Covenant even though some do attempt to bring us under a covenant of works. The Jews must show proof of faith. They must confess Christ as Lord, God, and Savior. In order for his brothers to be saved, they had to acknowledge the person of Christ and who He was.

Yes, we are saved by believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Following our confession of faith we desire to be pleasing to God and follow His perfect ways. We fail so often but we keep trying. Sometimes we fail so often we tend to give up. He will never give  up on us. We are now His child. We belong to Him. He is in charge. Obedience to Him is very wise but does not save us. Our faith in Christ saves us from all our sin. We are made righteous by faith and not by works. 

I agree with Carla here. I don't personally believe He will ever let us go. I shudder to think what He would do to grab a hold of me and bring me back if I strayed. He loves us so much, I believe He would go anywhere necessary to get us. I love Him as well. I give Him honor and all glory for what He has done for me on the cross. I will do my best to follow Him in all I do. Our God loves us so much. No, He will never let us go. Those who believe in Him stand forgiven of all their sins. 

Jon, I trust I have not offended you. Yet, I do disagree strongly with you on your first paragraph. Also, I believe our death, burial and resurrection is also through Christ and our faith in Him and then followed by our symbolizing what we believe has happened through water baptism. I must confess that the body you go down under water with is the same body you come up with. It is still going to fight with you to the very end to do the wrong things. It is faith in Christ that ignites all the good that happens with us. It is faith and faith alone in Christ that saves us and makes us a part of His family. 

Roy,

I agree that the gentleman you heard on tv is incorrect.  Mohammed is a false prophet and the muslim  people will not be saved.  You are also correct in the quote from James, but you are incorrect in saying that they don't believe that Jesus is the Son of God.  They know it.  Satan knows that Jesus is God's son.  He was in Heaven with God and Jesus before the creation of the world.  Satan KNOWS Jesus.  Yet Satan will not be saved.  Why not?  Because he wants to be part of the Godhead.  He  wants to be God (one with the Father just as Jesus is one with the Father) (Isaiah 14:14)(Ezekiel 28:14-19).

So saying that believing that Jesus is the Son of God will save us is proven false.

You are correct, the physical body going into baptism and coming out of the water is the same.  But the spiritual body (the one that counts for eternity) is made new.  Jesus body was the same after he arose from the grave as it was before he was crucified.  But He was then our savior where before he had only been our Lord.  

I say "only" as if His Lordship were a small thing, but it is the most powerful thing in the world.  We in America don't understand the concept of lord (for the most part).  But what did it mean to be a lord over someone in the first century?  A lord had the power of life and death over anyone under his power.  His word was their law.  The lord could give or take at his whim.  He could sell the person, he could beat them, kill them.  Or he could give them money and possessions and freedom.  And he had to be obeyed in everything he said.  So if Jesus is our LORD, what does that mean about how we treat Him?  We must obey what he says.  What does Jesus say in Mark 16:16?  "He who BELIEVES and is BAPTIZED will be saved."  Now what does that mean?  If you believe you will be saved, and later you can be baptized to show your salvation?  That is what you are trying to say, but that is not what Jesus said.  I will listen to Him and trust Him rather than you.  After all, He died for me.

Carla,

Read the following verses:

John 3:16

Luke 13:3

Matt 10:32

1 Peter 3:21

Romans 10:9

Mark 16:16

Acts 2:38

In these 7 verses are listed 4 things that must be done BEFORE salvation, or forgiveness of sins, or delivery from the wrath of God, is received.  What are those things?

Believe - John, Romans, and Mark

Repent - Luke and Acts

Confess that Jesus is Lord - Matthew and Romans

Be Baptized - 1 Peter, Mark and Acts.

Now I ask you, does turning away from sin pay the price of the life of a man (let alone the Son of God)?  Not in any way!  Does confessing that Jesus is Lord pay the price?  Again, no.  Does getting wet and being dunked under water pay God back for His Son?  A third time, NO.  But it is in obedience to His commands that we must do these things in order to have our name written in the Book of Life.  

We must get away from this false teaching that started with Martin Luther.  He was the first to say that "faith only" will save us.  But James says, "Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith." (James 2:24)  Nowhere, in all of Scripture is any blessing given without obedience, and with disobedience is the blessing taken away and punishment given instead.  Reread Deuteronomy.  Everywhere it is written that IF you do this, I (God) will bless you.  But if you don't do this, I (God) will not bless, but will curse you.

Let us take all of Scripture together, and not take this verse and that verse and piece together our own version of salvation.  Let us read all of what God has told us to do to become His children and obey Him.  After all, He is the judge.  He is the one we have to satisfy on the day of Judgement.

Yet if you don't do this, "we have an advocate with the Father--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One."No matter how hard we try, we're gonna fail at times and God's not going to curse us for it as Christ, who having been a man can sympathize with us, who is there beside Him interceding on our behalf.

This is why God looks at the heart. He knows those who truly believe. They want to please Him, but sometimes fails. Then there are the professing believers who don't think we need to obey His commands.

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