IMG_1723
Kenneth Howell- by Kenneth J. Howell  (former Presbyterian pastor), Director, Pastoral Care and Resident Theologian In the recent issue of the CHNewsletter, Kathy McDonald shares her journey from traditional Lutheranism to the Catholic Church (available on our blog). Kathy’s story resonated with mine on many levels but one was her background in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. When I converted to Catholicism in 1996, my wife could not in good conscience follow me. She became a Missouri Synod Lutheran. Both our new affiliations were a change from our Presbyterian heritage but at least the Presbyterians and Lutherans hold the doctrine of justification by faith alone in common. For fourteen years, Sharon attended Mass with me and I attended her Missouri Synod congregation until in October 2010 she became a Catholic. Sharon and I had many conversations over the years about the doctrine of justification. Still today there remains much confusion among Catholics and Protestants over this question. Martin Luther said that justification was the one doctrine on which the church stands or falls. If the church got this doctrine wrong, nothing else could be right. The purity of the gospel of Jesus Christ was at stake. Convinced Lutherans still hold this standpoint today. To understand why, we need to review the history.

“Martin Luther said that justification was the one  doctrine on which the church stands or falls. If the church got this doctrine wrong, nothing  else could be right.”

“Martin Luther said that justification was the one
doctrine on which the church stands or falls. If the church got this doctrine wrong, nothing
else could be right.”

The protest of the sixteenth century that became known as the Reformation was a complex historical movement with many facets but, from the point of view of doctrine, one of Martin Luther’s most famous declarations stands out above all. Sinners are justified by faith alone as they trust in Jesus Christ. As a Presbyterian minister, I preached many sermons in which I gloried in the righteousness of Christ as our only hope of salvation. For a knowledgeable Protestant, salvation can only come through Christ alone (solus christus) by the grace of God alone (sola gratia) and only through the instrumentality of faith (sola fide). This excluded any help from human resources, be they the living or the dead (saints). It excluded any work on our part. Works are important in the Protestant faith but they make no contribution to our salvation; they only give evidence that we have been justified. It is God’s favor alone that saves (sola gratia). Most important of all, it must be only by faith because to add anything else to faith would cause our salvation to revert back to human effort. Protestant Christians loathe the idea that human power could save us. Trusting in human effort was the pernicious error of Romanism. Rome compromises God’s grace by making works a part of salvation. Or, so I thought. The Reality of the Incarnation  The true differences between the Reformation and Catholic view become clear through patient and deliberate study. The Catholic view of justification is rooted, like everything else in Catholicism, in the reality of the Incarnation. When the Holy Spirit came upon the Virgin Mary in her womb and brought the Eternal Logos to her, God became flesh (Jn 1:14). The purpose of the Incarnation was to unite divinity with humanity forever. As St. Athanasius would put it, “the Son of God became the Son of Man that the sons of men might become the sons of God” (cf. Jn 1:12). Both Protestants and Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is, after the Incarnation, forever the God-Man but it is only in Catholicism that the Incarnation fits into the plan of salvation in the fullest way. The Reformation doctrine of justification does not include, or at least does not emphasize, the union of human beings with God. Its doctrine is one of imputation, a legal declaration in which human beings are declared righteous before God’s presence. In this view, it would have been sufficient for the Eternal Logos to become man, to suffer, to die on the cross, and to rise from the dead so that the merits of His death could be imputed to the sinner’s account. There does not seem to be any further need for Christ to remain a man in heaven. He could have simply shed His humanity and returned to heaven in His divinity. In fact, I recall hearing Protestant Christians say occasionally that Jesus was no longer a man in heaven. I don’t think this was just a matter of bad catechesis. Their system of thinking doesn’t seem to require His continuing humanity. Infused with Grace The Catholic view of justification is infusion, a process in which God fills the human soul with His presence and therefore with His mercy, grace, and power. The permanence of the Incarnation makes more sense because the goal of God’s redemptive plan is not just legal imputation but the uniting of Himself with human beings forever. A union took place first in Jesus Christ and it is that union which He shares with human sinners so they can grow into the fullness of their humanity by being made increasingly divine. In this view, the sacraments acquire a more direct relation to salvation. Beginning with baptism, the sacraments infuse God’s grace into the human soul and make it conformed to the image of Christ. Christ’s merits are not accounted to the sinner’s account but poured into the soul of the sinner. Infusion implies a process, not a one-time act. In the Protestant creeds, justification is defined as an act of God’s grace since it is an imputation of righteousness. In the Catholic view, God’s grace is gradually poured into the soul of the believing Christian. The Angelus, a standard Catholic prayer, expresses it well, “Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an angel, may through His passion and cross, be brought to the glory of His resurrection.” So, salvation is a process of growing in God’s grace over a lifetime. One can be more or less justified whereas in Protestantism, one is either justified or not justified. In Protestant theology, sanctification is a process of growing in holiness but that process does not affect the state of one’s justification. In Catholic theology, justification and sanctification are two biblical words describing the same process. The process of sanctification or justification is, in the Catholic view, one of constant purgation, illumination, and union. Purgation is the removal of sin and the inclinations to sin known as concupiscence. As the Christian receives more and more grace, he grows less inclined to sin and more inclined to obey God. If this purgative process is not complete at death, there remains a final purgation after death for those who die in a state of grace and are destined for heaven. Purgatory makes perfect sense from the Catholic view but absolutely no sense from the Protestant view. The removal of sin and the accompanying propensities to sin are not enough; a person on the spiritual journey needs illumination, an infusion of the knowledge of God. As a person becomes holier through purgation, their vision of God, the world, and themselves becomes clearer through illumination. Paul used such language in praying for the Ephesians, namely, “that the eyes of their hearts might be enlightened” (Eph 1:18; see also Col 1:9-11). The final end of this process is complete union with God known by the medieval theologians as the Beatific Vision. It is what Jesus spoke of when He said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God” (Mt 5:8). Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 12.21.50 PMEn route to the Beatific Vision, the ordinary Christian engages in works of grace, that is, works motivated by grace. And here is where Protestants are likely to misunderstand the Catholic view. In Protestantism, works are evidence of genuine faith. They are necessary because without works one cannot know whether one is saved. Works are motivated by grace but they do not contribute to one’s justification since that act has already been completed by God. Works only show us whether that act has occurred or not. In the Catholic view, good works are motivated by grace and open up our hearts to receive more grace being poured into our souls. Grace does not come from us; it comes from the merits of Christ. Christ alone can merit heaven and our final union with God but He must communicate those merits for us to have any hope of the Beatific Vision. Good works are the ongoing means of Christ communicating His merits; works can include prayer, obedience, sacrifice, sufferings, and acts of charity. They help us cooperate with God by expanding our hearts to receive more of God. The Eucharist This all explains the importance of the Eucharist in the Catholic view of justification. If justification is a process of becoming more and more just through the infusion of grace, there has to be a means by which that grace is continually infused into our souls. The answer lay in the sacraments and preeminently in the greatest of the sacraments, the Eucharist. All the sacraments give grace but only the Eucharist gives the Author of grace. The Eucharist gives grace not only in a generic sense; it gives Christ Himself in the fullness of His humanity and divinity. As is often said in Catholic life, it gives the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ. Here too is the reason for Jesus being forever the God-Man. In the Incarnation, divinity was united with humanity in the Person of Jesus Christ. The union of divinity and humanity is communicated to the Christian through the holy Eucharist. The fundamental mistake of justification by faith alone is that it transfers the once-for-all-ness of Jesus’s death — the objective part of redemption — to God’s act of forgiveness in response to our faith, the subjective part of redemption. If you believe that all sins — past, present, and future — are forgiven in one act of declaration made by God at the moment of faith, then there is little reason to ask for forgiveness in the future. Why ask forgiveness for sins already forgiven? Yet Protestant Christians do ask forgiveness for their daily sins. Something is wrong in either their theory or their practice. I think their practice is right but their theory is wrong. In the end, the Protestant view of salvation is insufficient, lacking the fullness of the Christian Faith. While not everything in the Protestant view needs to be rejected, the Catholic understanding represents better the teaching of the whole New Testament (plena fides). If the Catholic view had been what most Protestants thought it was — salvation by works or faith plus works — I would have rejected it and still be a Protestant today. The Catholic view is truer to the New Testament and agrees with the Church Fathers better than the imputation view. To relinquish justification by faith alone (sola fide) and embrace the fullness of the faith (plena fides) is not to reject everything in one’s Protestant past. It is to find a fuller and richer context in which to put that past into practice. This all has an important practical application. The doctrine of salvation and heaven does make a difference. I never saw in the Protestant Christians the yearning for holiness I have observed in some Catholics. I didn’t have yearnings to such a degree nor do I think I saw it in others. I have seen a life of prayer and holiness in some Catholics that borders on the phenomenal. I now think I know why. If you view yourself as already saved, then there may be less reason to pursue a life of prayer and holiness. Since Catholics view their salvation as an ongoing project of conversion, consisting of justification and sanctification, they are motivated to pursue holiness to a much greater degree. GO DEEPER: Read paragraphs 1987-2029 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn more about the Catholic doctrine of justification.

  • John Radice

    In all my 40 years a Christian, the strange talk of ‘imputed righteousness’ never made any sense. Or rather tt made an unsatisfying, very cerebral sense; which seemed far removed from the passionate engagement, through sinning and repenting, which characterizes the witness of Scripture. Where did it get me? I needed to be changed, transformed, more saved. In practice, many devoted protestants ignore such theorizing, and do truly experience great graces and surrender of heart. I did. But ever since I recently came home to the Church, everything has become fullness! Fullness of grace, of His presence, of the Spirit, of His Body, of His possession of me, of freedom to adore and be cherished. It is wonderful beyond words. The big difference between then and now? The Eucharist. I eat His flesh and He gives me Himself, and lays me too down with Himself on the altar, for the salvation of the world.

  • Betsy Kallmeyer

    Excellent article, thank you. I will share. But the last paragraph, where the devotion of “most” Christians in the Protestant faith compared to “most Catholics”, doesn’t carry as much weight as the rest of the article. One could easily argue that they have seen the opposite, that Protestants appear to seek holiness more than Catholics, which doesn’t carry much weight either. Folks on both sides are dedicated in varying degrees, regardless of their church’s’ teachings, having much to do with an individual’s revelation, mental, physical, and emotional capabilities, and the opportunities and circumstances in their lives.

  • M. Reyes

    Thank you for this explanation. This has answered my question regarding the Sola Fide. I am a cradle catholic and I will forever be a catholic.

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      Question, M.Reyes: What is the difference between forever being a catholic and forever being a Christian?

      • MarcAlcan

        To be forever a Catholic to be forever fully Christian because in the Catholicism is the fullness of faith and truth.

      • M. Reyes

        Need I answer this question? The difference being that a Catholic is a Christian. But a Christian may not be a Catholic. The Catholic church was established by Christ through Peter but the other Christian denominations are all man-made and founded by people who think differently than the CC.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Yeah…I’m sure you feel comfortable blindly echoing the catholic party line, Mr.Reyes, but so what? Christian is actually a Biblical designation, so obviously a Christian is not required to be a catholic in the sense of which YOU mean it. (What the what is a”cradle catholic”, anyway? )

          • M. Reyes

            If you mean NOT required to be a catholic based on the biblical designation..did you forget that your BIble was originally produced by the Catholics and it was them who decided what books to put there. yeah thanks to them you have a Bible to call.. If you base your faith on the Bible, why not be a catholic when Jesus himself said He will build his Church upon Peter. Many catholic-haters forget what Jesus said..he never said “any bible-based believer is a christian”. No, He said very clearly, I will build my CHURCH. He meant only ONE Church…not 33 thousand churches of today.

  • Katie Rose

    Thank you for this article. I really appreciate it. I understand Sola Fide much clearer! I am a recent convert to the Church from Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) as well. I was born+raised in the; ELCA, Non-Denominational, and Baptist church but then switched to the NALC at 18 y/o. I then found out the NALC is partnered with the ELCA when I was 20. I ended up reluctantly hopping on into LCMS once I found that out. It seems I was following the moral structure of Lutheranism, getting warmer and warmer to the origins of it within the Catholic Church. Thank you Jesus I’m home 4 years later. Too many denominations and sub-denoms…

  • clayton3120 clayton3120

    Glad you got it. Works are a manifestation of God in us, and we in God. As James tells us, ,Without works, our faith is dead.

  • rdrift1879

    Explains the catholic view very well, the Protestant view…not so much. Was Kenneth really a Presbyterian pastor and never studied the role of sanctification beyond being an evidence of justification? He was never taught the remarkable significance of our adoption as sons, or the theology concerning our union with Christ? Hmmm.

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      Thank you, rdrift1879…what this individual failed to realize is that when one asks for forgiveness for sins committed AFTER one is saved, one does so out of love for The Saviour, NOT to be “re-saved”; one does so in order to restore and maintain communion and fellowship with Our Father, NOT in order to become his child again; one does so in order to enjoy the relationship one has with the Triune God, a relationship that unconfessed sin mars and disrupts, resulting in discipline and often painful chastisement. Just like in the father-child relationship, but to an infinite degree, if you will, when a child does something to displease their parents, even if it’s blatant disobedience, that child doesn’t suddenly cease being the parents child; those blood-ties can NEVER be severed-EVER!! Hello! My Saviour said in His Word…”I WILL NEVER LEAVE NOR FORSAKE YOU”…(Hebrews13 : 5b), and I believe that 1,000percent.When it comes to where I stand with Almighty God, I NEVER quote men who speculate or theorize about what they THINK Scripture is saying; I ALWAYS trust what thus saith the Lord-PERIOD.My foundational mantra is Proverbs 3 : 5-6, and I have NEVER been disappointed. The Holy Spirit as teacher, guide and mentor has NEVER, EVER failed me in all my 38 years of being a born-again, blood-bought, Spirit-filled child of Almighty God in Christ Jesus, and He NEVER will. Isn’t that what Our Saviour said? -PEACE IN HIM!

      • MarcAlcan

        AFTER one is saved, one does so out of love for The Saviour, NOT to be “re-saved

        Great then. A hypothetical.
        A man was SAVED. And he was pretty good at following the Lord for a while. Then he backslides and commits grave sins. Example would be a homosexual who accepted Jesus as his Lord and saviour who tried to live a chaste life for a while then ends up going to gay bars again and have multiple homosexual sex.
        During one of the orgies he was involved in, he was shot.
        So, is he saved? Does he go to heaven or to hell?

        • rdrift1879

          If a man was saved, that means he is born from above. There is no indication in Scripture that a man can become un-born again. As Peter says, ” Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

          Paul says the man born in Christ is “raised up with Him, and seated with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus….For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God,not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. ”

          Now let’s take up the poor soul who lapsed into a decadent lifestyle. If he was born again, God will discipline him, and possibly take his life, as I have seen happen to some who won’t give up their sin (exactly the scenario in your hypothetical). So they will, if saved by grace and born anew, in Paul’s words, “suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

          • Laurence Charles Ringo

            Thanks again, rdrift1879! The very one that the catholics appropriate as their first”pope”makes the case inre salvation/eternal life for them. You don’t even need the Scriptures to realize that which is eminently logical:How indeed can one born of God be unborn? Since the other poster posited a hypothetical assumption with no Biblical basis, any attempts to answer it would be fruitless. My challenge to the”lost salvation”adherents is this:Prove from the Scriptures the concept that eternal life is in fact NOT eternal, and your case will be made.In fact, ask your self this:Why is the phrase”lost salvation”NEVER uttered by ANYONE in the Word of God? You’ve NEVER heard it said of anyone, …”how sad.He/she lost their eternal life.Pity.”…Why is that? Again, make your case from Scripture, NOT hypotheticals, assumptions, and man-centered speculations—GO!

          • MarcAlcan

            The very one that the catholics appropriate as their first”pope”makes the case inre salvation/eternal life for them.

            Not quite in the way you think.

            How indeed can one born of God be unborn?

            All depends on what you mean by to be “born again”.

            Also, Paul speaks of working out your salvation. Why would you need to do that if a once off being born again, is all that is needed.

            And another point, rddrift1879 still have not really addressed the case of the lapsed.

            My challenge to the”lost salvation”

            But we are not arguing for “lost salvation”. We are challenging your understanding of salvation in the first place, how it takes place and what is involved.

            Take for example your belief that all you have to do is to recite the sinners prayer to be saved. Where in the Bible does it say that that is what you need to be born again?

          • MarcAlcan

            If a man was saved, that means he is born
            from above. There is no indication in Scripture that a man can become un-born
            again.

            How is a man saved? How
            is man born from above? Are these two the same?

            What does it mean to be saved?

            Now let’s take up the poor soul who
            lapsed into a decadent lifestyle. If he was born again, God will discipline
            him, and possibly take his life, as I have seen happen to some who won’t give
            up their sin (exactly the scenario in your hypothetical). So they will, if
            saved by grace and born anew, in Paul’s words, “suffer loss; but he
            himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

            So let me get this. A man is SAVED and he lapses into a gravely sinful lifestyle.

            Suppose that he gets killed at the point of him committing the very grave act. What is the state of his soul?

            There is no point of repentance for him anymore, he is dead.

            You quote Paul “suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

            At what point does this happen? It cannot be before he dies. It cannot be at the moment of death. It must be after death then.

          • rdrift1879

            Yes, it is after death, before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10). There, if he has been a poor witness and an inconsistent Christian, he will suffer loss.

            The state of his soul? As we have seen, if he is born again, he has “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Or, as Jesus Himself promised, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

            Salvation is an act of divine mercy wherein God turns a
            sinner into a son. It is to be reconciled to God by Jesus’ saving work on the cross (Rom 5:10). It is all of grace
            (read Eph 2:1-10 carefully). There are many facets to this wondrous salvation. There is justification by which we are counted as righteous because Jesus paid for all our sins (2 Cor 5:21, Rom 4:3-5, Rom 5:1). Even lapses into debauchery, if someone struggles with such sin, were born by Christ on the cross. He is an all-sufficient Savior. His saving work is complete, and does not require that every sin we have committed be remembered and confessed. Such confession is good, and maintains a healthy relationship with the Father, but it does not diminish Christ’s saving work which is God’s free grace put into action.

            The new birth is another facet of God’s gracious work. It is the “being made alive together with Christ” described in Eph. 2. It is the imparting of new life by the power of the Holy Spirit who makes the dead alive to Christ. It is a fulfillment of the promise of the New Covenant that God would write His law on our hearts (Jer. 31:33,2 Cor 3:3). It is not a grace imparted through the church (no such teaching exists in the New Testament), but by the Spirit Himself.

            Our poor homosexual that has slid back into an immoral
            lifestyle, if he has been born by the Spirit, will certainly feel the reality of his inconsistent lifestyle. The law,
            written on his heart, will weigh upon him (Psalm 32:3-4). His church may deliver him “to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor 5:5) to encourage his repentance.

          • MarcAlcan

            Yes, it is after death, before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10). There, if he has been a poor witness and an inconsistent Christian, he will suffer loss.

            So therefore you believe in a purging of sins after death? You believe in purgatory?

            The state of his soul? As we have seen, if he is born again, he has “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

            Sorry but you are not making any sense here. Are you trying to say that once you are born again and your soul is cleansed you can never again dirty it with your sins?
            It seems to me you have a deficient understanding of what sin is and what it does to you.

            Or, as Jesus Himself promised, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

            Excellent citation. It says that all who behold the Son. Well other than those who lived with Him while he was on earth, no one else has beheld the Son. So what happens then to you and me?

            Salvation is an act of divine mercy wherein God turns a sinner into a son.

            How does one become a son of God and what is the nature of this sonship?

            It is to be reconciled to God by Jesus’ saving work on the cross (Rom 5:10).

            But what is the effect on the soul of Jesus’s salvific death?

            There are many facets to this wondrous salvation. There is justification by which we are counted as righteous because Jesus paid for all our sins (2 Cor 5:21, Rom 4:3-5, Rom 5:1).

            So you go by the understanding that we are dung heap but covered with snow?

            Even lapses into debauchery, if someone struggles with such sin, were born by Christ on the cross.

            Well if Jesus saved us from sin on the cross, then how come, those who have been ‘SAVED’ according to your understanding still sin. How can it be sufficient considering so many “SAVED” evangelicals still sin?

            The new birth is another facet of God’s gracious work. It is the “being made alive together with Christ” described in Eph. 2. It is the imparting of new life by the power of the Holy Spirit who makes the dead alive to Christ.

            Then how come one who has been made alive in Christ and imparted with new life still sin?

            Our poor homosexual that has slid back into an immoral lifestyle, if he has been born by the Spirit, will certainly feel the reality of his inconsistent lifestyle. The law, written on his heart, will weigh upon him (Psalm 32:3-4). His church may deliver him “to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor 5:5) to encourage his repentance.

            But my question to you was what happens if he dies during the homosexual act. After death there is no longer a chance for repentance. So what happens to him?

          • rdrift1879

            Yes, it is after death, before the judgment seat of Christ(2 Cor 5:10). There, if he has been a poor witness and an inconsistentChristian, he will suffer loss.

            So therefore you believe in a purging of sins after death? You believe in purgatory?

            No, of course I don’t believe in purgatory. What is purgatory supposed to accomplish? “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The “loss” is a loss
            of reward. Many of Jesus’ parables speak to this issue.

            The state of his soul? As we have seen, if he is born again, he has “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for
            you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

            Sorry but you are not making any sense here. Are you trying to say that once you are born again and your soul is cleansed you can never again dirty it with your sins?

            How did you possibly get this idea from what I said? I said
            Christ has paid for those sins.

            It
            seems to me you have a deficient understanding of what sin is and what it doesto you.

            Enlighten me from
            Scripture. Are you saying you have lost your salvation every single time you
            sin?

            “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through
            Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal
            life. This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who
            have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds.”

            Did you notice what justifies us?

            Or, as Jesus Himself promised, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

            Excellent citation. It says that all who behold the Son. Well other than those who lived with Him while he was on earth, no one else has beheld the Son. So what happens then to you and me?

            You really don’t understand what it means to behold the son by faith? “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” Do you really understand Jesus’ words that “All that the father gives me…” refers only to people standing around at the
            time?

            “Salvation is an act of divine mercy wherein God turns a sinner into a son.”

            How does one become a son of God and what is the nature of this sonship?

            One becomes a son by faith. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:26)

          • rdrift1879

            But what is the effect on the soul of Jesus’s salvific death?

            You will have to define “effect on the soul” since you are stepping outside of biblical categories.

            There are many facets to this wondrous salvation. There is justification by which we are counted as righteous because Jesus paid for all our sins (2 Cor 5:21, R om 4:3-5, Rom 5:1).

            So you go by the understanding that we are dung heap but covered with snow?

            We still have sin, absolutely. You don’t? But grace is a
            teacher of righteousness (Titus 2: 11-14) and the Holy Spirit works in us to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

            Well if Jesus saved us from sin on the cross, then how come, those who have been ‘SAVED’ according to your understanding still sin. How can it be sufficient
            considering so many “SAVED” evangelicals still sin?

            He saved us from the PENALTY of sin. He has not made us
            sinless. I have never met anyone, Evangelical or Catholic that was free from sin. The very few who claim to be sin free
            are among the worst people I know. Mother Teresa certainly was very aware of her sin, according to her own writings. We all have the “flesh” which must be “put off.” That’s called sanctification. It is a process. It will not be completed until we are glorified. Until that time, God works in us (Phil 1:6) and disciplines us as sons so that we will share His holiness (Heb 12:10-12)

            The new birth is another facet of God’s gracious work. It is the “being made alive together with Christ” described in Eph. 2. It is the imparting of new life by the power of the Holy Spirit who makes the dead alive to Christ.

            Then how come one who has been made alive in Christ and imparted with new lifestill sin?

            Because we are still in the flesh. Paul explained it quite
            well

            For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing
            the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in
            my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I
            practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin (Rom 7:14f)

            And in another place:

            “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE
            YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit,
            and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” Gal 5:13-17

            Can you relate? The state of human beings who are saved by
            Christ is that they are righteous in the eyes of God’s justice, but until they are glorified, they deal with many infirmities and sins. We are in a battle, but not a battle to be saved!

            Our poor homosexual that has slid back into an immoral lifestyle, if he has been born by the Spirit, will certainly feel the reality of his inconsistent lifestyle. The law, written on his heart, will weigh upon
            him (Psalm 32:3-4). His church may deliver him “to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor 5:5) to encourage his repentance.

            But my question to you was what happens if he dies during the homosexual act. After death there is no longer a chance for repentance. So what happens to him?

            If he was born again. He immediately enters the presence of His all-sufficient Savior, and his sinning is over.

          • MarcAlcan

            You will have to define “effect on the soul” since you are stepping outside of biblical categories.

            What does sin do to you? What does sin do to your soul? Is your soul the same whether you sin or not?

            We still have sin, absolutely. You don’t? But grace is a teacher of righteousness (Titus 2: 11-14) and the Holy Spirit works in us to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

            Quoting the Bible does not get you out of the question. Do you think that to be justified is to be the same revolting dungheap except we are covered with snow?

            He saved us from the PENALTY of sin.

            So therefore according to you, Jesus did not save us from sin but only from its repercussion? So therefore when we get to heaven we are still sinners?

            Matt 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall
            call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

            Because we are still in the flesh. Paul explained it quite well

            So according to you, sin is limited to the flesh? But did Jesus not say that those who so much as think lustful thoughts have already commited adultery every though they have not acted out the sin?

            But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, …of sin (Rom 7:14f)

            This text does not answer my question. All it is saying is that even though we have been baptized we still sin.

            “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but
            through love serve one another…(Psalm 32:3-4). His church may deliver him “to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor 5:5) to encourage his repentance.

            And neither does this address my question. Quoting long
            texts from the Bible does not get you out of addressing the problems in your exegesis. It ‘s your interpretation that
            is being questioned, not the text.

            If he was born again. He immediately enters the presence of His all-sufficient Savior, and his sinning is over.

            Indeed his sinning is over when he dies. But since the wages of sin is death and he died sinning then how can he enter the presence of His saviour? Heaven is for those who are holy. He is hardly that. Revelation states that nothing unclean will
            enter heaven. Every little bit of sin we do makes us unclean.

          • rdrift1879

            What reward is lost? The only reward
            being awaited is eternal life.

            You may wish to consult and then explain Luke 19:11-19

            So basically your conception of
            justification is a legal declaration. You are still a sinner except that Christ paid for your sin so you are declared guiltless even though you are still a sinner. That is pretty much why Luther said salvation is like dungheap covered
            with snow. Do you really think that ?

            Yes, I think that I am still a sinner. Luther is correct if you believe all sin is grave.

            Scripture. Are you saying you have lost
            your salvation every single time you sin? Not every time you sin. Only grave sins. You have a very weak conception of what sin is and what sin does.

            You, my friend, have a painfully weak conception of the
            Savior and what He has accomplished.

            The Belgic Confession on Justification may help you.

            We believe that, to attain the true knowledge of this great mystery, the Holy Ghost kindles in our hearts an upright faith, which embraces Jesus Christ, with all his merits, appropriates him, and seeks nothing more besides him. For it must needs follow, either that all things, which are requisite to our salvation, are not in Jesus Christ, or if all things are in him, that then those who possess Jesus Christ through faith, have complete salvation in him. Therefore, for any to assert, that Christ is not sufficient, but that something more is required besides him, would be too gross a blasphemy: for hence it would follow, that Christ was but half a Savior. Therefore we justly say with Paul, that we are
            justified by faith alone, or by faith without works. However, to speak more clearly, we do not mean, that faith itself justifies us, for it is only an instrument with which we embrace Christ our Righteousness. But Jesus Christ,
            imputing to us all his merits and so many holy works which he has done for us, and in our stead, is our Righteousness. And faith is an instrument that keeps us in communion with him in all his benefits, which, when become ours, are more
            than sufficient to acquit us of our sins.

            Only grave sins.

            Heaven is for those who are holy. He is
            hardly that. Revelation states that nothing unclean will enter heaven. Every little bit of sin we do makes us unclean.

            Make up your mind.

            Mortal sin (the one that the Bible says
            leads to death) is precisely that, it leads to death. If you do not repent of this before you die, then you go to hell. The wages of sin is death.

            And…”the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

            Mortal sin? Pure eisegesis.

            You are blending death and hell and reading everything from that conflated and erroneous meaning. 1 Cor. 5:5 should keep you from such hastiness.

            It seems to me you are the one who has a weak view of sin.
            Little sins are okay, and not damning…grave sins, they’re bad. Who decides what’s grave? I guess you do. The Sermon on the Mount suggests rather strongly that our little sins are grave indeed.

            One becomes a son by faith. “For you are
            all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:26)

            Not quite.

            Oh, my…

            When Nicodemus asked Him how one is to be
            born again, He told him it was through being born by water and spirit. Through Baptism.

            The washing. Regeneration. So therefore
            prior to baptism, we were dirty.

            Eisegesis. Equating regeneration with baptism. Since Christian baptism did not exist when Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, it is fairly safe to conclude He was not referring to baptism when He said “water and the spirit.” How could Nicodemus have figured that out? What is He speaking of in context? Oh, yes, regeneration. Where should
            Nicodemus have connected water and regeneration? Perhaps Ezek 36:25-27, no?

            “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you
            will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

            You see, those whom the Father has given
            Jesus will not be cast out because they eat His Body and Drink His blood. This is the problem with protestant exegesis. You pick bits and pieces and miss the context. The verses you quoted are to be read in the light of His discourse on the bread of Life.

            We have to EAT Him, and DRINK His Blood, if we want that
            promise to come true – the promise of Eternal life.

            After having said that those His Father
            has given Him will not be lost, He then proceeds to tell us what exactly He means by that. He said that unless you eat His body and drink His Blood, YOU WILL NOT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.

            You should have read just a wee bit further: when they find
            this eating and drinking talk difficult, He explains: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” When the Lord tells you when he is not being literal, you should believe Him.

            Indeed his sinning is over when he dies.
            But since the wages of sin is death and he died sinning then how can he enter the presence of His saviour? Heaven is for those who are holy. He is hardly that. Revelation states that nothing unclean will enter heaven. Every little bit of sin we do makes us unclean.

            You say if you are sinning when you die, you go to hell. Is
            this the case if you are angry with your brother at the moment of death? (Matt 5:21-22) Having a lustful thought? (Col 3:5-6, Matt 5:27-28)

          • MarcAlcan

            Part 1.
            My original reply is sitting on “pending” so I thought I’d do another one. I linked a video and that may have caused it to hand on the “pending” status.

            You may wish to consult and then explain Luke 19:11-19

            How exactly is this parable supposed to support your argument?

            Let’s get this clear. According to you what is “lost” in 2Cor
            5:10 is the “reward”. But since the only reward we are waiting
            for is heaven – eternal life, if this is the case then according to your exegesis, 2 Cor 5:10 is

            saying we lose eternal life. Please spend a few moments thinking about that.

            But 2 Cor 5:10 is clear that you do lose something but gain eternal life.

            Luke 19:11-19 does not answer that question.

            Yes, I think that I am still a sinner. Luther is correct if you believe all sin is

            grave.

            Firstly, we never said all sins are grave. In fact, it is us (and confirmed by the Bible) who

            makes the distinction between sins – mortal and venial. You are the one who label all sins

            the same – no distinction.

            So, you believe that when you get to heaven you are still a
            sinner? I just want to make that clear -that you believe that you are still a sinner even when

            you are in heaven. What is to stop you sinning in heaven if you remain a sinner when you are

            in heaven?

            Therefore we justly say with Paul, that we are justified by faith ALONE,

            And that you will not find anywhere in the Bible. Paul never said that we are

            justified by faith ALONE. That is a corruption that Luther added to the Bible.

            In fact, the only time FAITH ALONE appears in the Bible is
            in James 2:24 “You see that a man is justified by works and NOT BY FAITH ALONE”

            imputing to us all his merits and so many holy works which he has done for us,

            and in our stead, is our Righteousness.And faith is an instrument that keeps us in communion

            with him in all his benefits, which, when become ours, are more than sufficient to acquit us

            of our sins.

            And there in is the problem with your understanding of justification. You think that it is a

            merely legal transaction – that God acquits you of your sins but you remain essentially a sinner. Don’t you think that that means God is lying to Himself as to what you really are?

            Make up your mind.

            Aaah, but that is where the beauty of Catholic theology lies
            – in its coherence.

            You see, unrepented grave sins merits death – hell. However, as John says there are sins that

            result in eternal death and those that – though mars the soul – do not cause death. This-
            is what 2 Cor5:10 speaks off: the purgation of sins AFTER DEATH.

            Mortal sin? Pure eisegesis.

            Hardly.

            1 John 5:16-17 If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.

          • MarcAlcan

            Part 2

            You are blending death and hell and reading everything from that conflated and erroneous meaning. 1 Cor. 5:5 should keep you from such hastiness.

            Hmmm, another passage that you have misinterpreted.

            Paul was talking about excommunication. Here is the proper understanding of this passage:
            Deliver this man to Satan: once the sinner is expelled from the church, the sphere of Jesus’ lordship and victory over sin, he will be in the region outside over which Satan is still
            master.
            For the destruction of his flesh: the purpose of the penalty is medicinal: through affliction, sin’s grip over him may be destroyed and the path to repentance and reunion laid open.
            With Paul’s instructions for an excommunication ceremony here, contrast his recommendations for the reconciliation of a sinner in 2 Cor 2:5–11.
            (commentary from the NAB)

            It seems to me you are the one who has a weak view of sin. Little sins are okay, and not damning…grave sins, they’re bad.

            Little sins are not okay but they are little precisely because they are not what St John calls deadly sins.

            It is your view of sin that is incoherent and weak because firstly, you think you take sin to heaven with you except that it has been perfumed. Your doctrine goes like this: You are filthy but God covers you with Christ’s goodness so He can’t see the filth underneath. In effect, God is lying to Himself. He’s like a householder who maintains an apparently “clean” household by painting and cover over the dirt instead of actually removing it.

            Who decides what’s grave?

            God does. He is the only arbiter of morality. For a start, there’s the Ten Commandments.

            I guess you do. The Sermon on the Mount suggests rather strongly that our little sins are grave indeed.

            Where exactly in the Sermon on the Mount does it say that our little sins are grave enough that it can send us to hell?

            Eisegesis. Equating regeneration with baptism.

            You do not know that baptism is regenerative?

            Since Christian baptism did not exist when Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, it is fairly safe to conclude He was not referring to baptism when He said “water and the spirit.”

            Or more likely He was talking about the Baptism that He will inaugurate Himself – that He is starting something new which will be the basis for becoming children of God.

            If you want a proper understandig of baptism, google the words “born again stephen ray” in youtube.

          • MarcAlcan

            Part 3

            You should have read just a wee bit further: when they find this eating and drinking talk difficult, He explains: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” When the Lord tells you when he is not being literal, you should believe Him.

            Actually the Lord was telling us that He was being literal. When the Jews complained about his very graphic language, instead of softening it, he made it worse. When previously He used the word “phagein” which is the ordinary way humans eat, He now used “trogein” which means to gnaw, to illustrate further that He means what he said.
            Furthermore, if you are to read “the flesh profits nothing” in your way, then Jesus sounds like someone who does not know what He is talking about.
            He tells every one over and over and over again that they must eat His Body and drink His Blood and then tells them it is useless. Don’t you think that makes him sound rather cuckoo?
            Furthermore, he said THE flesh profits nothing. But He is not giving us just any flesh but His flesh. He said MY flesh. His flesh profits everything for it is through the Sacrifice of His Flesh and Blood that grace we are saved.

            You say if you are sinning when you die, you go to hell. Is this the case if you are angry with your brother at the moment of death? (Matt 5:21-22) Having a lustful thought? (Col 3:5-6, Matt 5:27-28)

            Not exactly. I mean here if you die with mortal sin that you have not repented of.

          • MarcAlcan

            My original reply has come out of “pending”. I ask you to view the linked you tube video.

          • MarcAlcan

            “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The “loss” is a loss of reward. Many of Jesus’ parables speak to this issue.

            Loss of reward? What reward is lost? The only reward being awaited is eternal life. So if you suffer loss of reward after death, then the only reward you lose is eternal life. Obviously it is not loss of reward that is being spoken of here because the person
            is saved.

            Christ has paid for those sins.

            So basically your conception of justification is a legal declaration. You are still a sinner except that Christ paid for your sin so you are declared guiltless even though you are still a sinner.

            That is pretty much why Luther said salvation is like
            dungheap covered with snow. Do you really think that ?

            Scripture. Are you saying you have lost your salvation every single time you sin?

            Not every time you sin. Only grave sins. You have a very weak conception of what sin is and what sin does. Mortal sin (the one that the Bible says leads to death) is precisely that, it leads to death. If you do not repent of this before you die, then you go to hell. The wages of sin is death.

            Salvation is not a once off thing that you get . That is why this idea of being saved once and for all is wrong. It is a process. That is why Jesus warns us to keep awake and be ready because you never know when he is coming. Death comes like a thief in the night.

            This is also why Paul says to work for your salvation and that if you don’t REMAIN in God, you will still be cut off. When you sin, you do not remain in God.

            “But when the kindness of God our Savior
            and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the WASHING of REGENERATION and renewing by the Holy Spirit

            Notice the capitalized text.
            The washing. Regeneration. So therefore prior to baptism, we were dirty.
            Our souls were dirty. We were degenerate. And what causes this dirt and degeneration? Sin! Sin has a deforming and
            dirtying effect on us.

            Revelation says that nothing unclean will enter heaven.
            To properly understand scripture these are the things that you need to understand first:

            What is Christ saving us from?

            Why were we in that state that needs to be saved from?

            What is the nature of this state that we need to be saved
            from?

            What are we being saved for?

            What is the nature of this “saving”?

            Did you notice what justifies us?

            I have no issue with the text. I have an issue with your exegesis of this text. And your exegesis rest solely on how Protestants have understood the answers to the question I posed above.

            Or, as Jesus Himself promised, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

            Indeed. But did you read further? How does He keep those whom the Father has given Him? Did you even understand the whole meaning of John 6? Did you read verses 48-57?

            You see, those whom the Father has given Jesus will not be
            cast out because they eat His Body and Drink His blood. This is the problem with protestant exegesis. You pick bits and pieces and miss the context. The verses you quoted are to be read in the light of His discourse on the bread of Life.

            We have to EAT Him, and DRINK His Blood, if we want that
            promise to come true – the promise of Eternal life.

            You really don’t understand what it means to behold the son by faith? “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” Do you really understand Jesus’ words that “All that the father gives me…” refers only to people standing around at the time?

            No. But if you are going to take literally what He said, then we have not beheld him.

            Do you really understand John 6 and His requirement for
            everyone to Eat His Body and Drink His Blood?

            After having said that those His Father has given Him will
            not be lost, He then proceeds to tell us what exactly He means by that. He said that unless you eat His body and drink His Blood, YOU WILL NOT HAVE ETERNAL
            LIFE.

            One becomes a son by faith. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:26)

            Not quite. When Nicodemus asked Him how one is to be born again, He told him it was through being born by water and spirit. Through Baptism. 1 Peter 3:21 further says that it is baptism that saves us. Faith plays an important part but we need to be baptised. To say the sinner’s prayer and think that somehow that is it is not even Biblical.

    • MarcAlcan

      He was never taught the remarkable significance of our adoption as sons, or the theology concerning our union with Christ? Hmmm.

      I would be very interested to hear how that differs from Kenneth’s presentation.

  • rdrift1879

    You may wish to consult and then explain
    Luke 19:11-19

    How exactly is this parable supposed to support your argument?

    I’m disappointed you chose neither to consult nor explain Jesus’ parable. I can help you here. There are two faithful servants, and they receive different rewards. Simple really.

    But since the only reward we are waiting for is
    heaven – eternal life, if this is the case then according to your
    exegesis, 2 Cor 5:10 is saying we lose eternal life.

    No, despite your claim, just being in heaven or possessing eternal life is not the extent of the believer’s reward. “Do you not know that we will judge angels?”

    How can you miss the plain teaching of Paul in 1 Cor 3? “If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” There is a distinction between “saved” and the “reward.” What else could the loss be for a saved individual, except the loss of the reward granted to the one whose works stand the test? The very thing tested is “the quality of each man’s work.”

    Yes, I think that I am still a sinner. Luther
    is correct if you believe all sin is grave.

    Firstly, we never said all sins are grave.

    That’s why I am amazed that you say I have a weak view of sin. You don’t think all sins are grave. I do. Who has the weak view of sin?

    So, you believe that when you get to heaven you
    are still a sinner? I just want to make that clear -that you believe that you are still a sinner even when you are in heaven. What is to stop you sinning in heaven if you remain a sinner when you are in heaven?

    Oh, boy. Where did I ever say that? Do you understand what glorification is? Are you aware of the Golden Chain of salvation? — “whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

    This is the unbreakable chain of salvation. It moves from one aspect of His saving grace to the next. The justified are glorified…not purged. Glorification includes being made holy. Glorification is the response to all your silly assumptions that believers will go to heaven with sin because they are justified the moment they put their faith in Christ.

    Again, justification is one aspect of God’s saving grace. You keep confusing the word by making it equal to salvation. It is essential to salvation, but there is more to salvation. It is all a gracious gift, however.

    This chain also explains why it is erroneous to claim that dying in the midst of a “mortal sin” sends a believer to hell. Your theology is breaking the chain God Himself forged.

    And therein is the problem with your
    understanding of justification. You think that it is a merely legal transaction – that God acquits you of your sins but you remain essentially a sinner. Don’t you think that that means God is lying to Himself as to what you really are? That is not Biblical at all.

    How do you explain the aorist participle “having been justified” in Romans 5:1?

    You see, unrepented grave sins merits death –
    hell. However, as John says there are sins that result in eternal death and those that – though mars the soul – do not cause death.
    This- is what 2 Cor 5:10 speaks off: the purgation of sins AFTER DEATH.

    This is why I said “pure eisegesis.”
    You are thinking of 1 John 5:161-7, which speaks of a sin unto death, and you add in the word “eternal” to make it mean
    “eternal death.” Didn’t you just get on to Luther for adding
    “alone”? You are inventing ideas. Same with 1 Cor 5:10, which nowhere suggests or even implies “purgation.” That is made up.

    Who decides what’s grave?

    God does. He is the only arbiter of morality. For a start, there’s the Ten Commandments.

    Okay, that’s the start. What’s the end?
    If you don’t know, who has the list?

    And what if one died while in the act of coveting someone’s donkey. Is he bound for hell even though he is a Christian? Are the Ten Commandments grave or not?

    Where exactly in the Sermon on the Mount does it say that our little sins are grave enough that it can send us to hell?

    You’re the one who says to start with the 10 Commandments to identify grave sins. You are minimizing the teaching of our Lord if you deny that He taught lust was adultery and hatred murder. That’s why I say you have a low view of sin. Christ himself raised up before us the heinous nature of the sins in our hearts, and you smack it down again by calling them “venial.” That’s a theological tragedy.

    • rdrift1879

      And that you will not find anywhere in the
      Bible. Paul never said that we are justified by faith ALONE. That is a corruption that Luther added to the Bible.

      Now you do know there were Catholic translations that anticipated Luther on this: The Nuremberg Bible (1483), “allein durch den glauben” and the Italian Bibles of Geneva (1476) and of Venice (1538) say “per sola fede.” Now why did these Catholic translators insert alone? Because, as Luther points out, the text requires it. Luther agreed with them.

      Luther: “I know very well that in Romans 3 the word solum
      is not in the Greek or Latin text — the papists did not have to
      teach me that. It is fact that the letters s-o-l-a are not there. And these blockheads stare at them like cows at a new gate, while at the same time they do not recognize that it conveys the sense of the text — if the translation is to be clear and vigorous [klar und gewaltiglich], it belongs there. I wanted to speak German, not Latin or Greek, since it was German I had set about to speak in the translation…. So much for translating and the nature of language. However, I was not depending upon or following the nature of the languages alone when I inserted the word solum in Romans 3. The text itself, and Saint Paul’s meaning, urgently require and demand it. For
      in that passage he is dealing with the main point of Christian
      doctrine, namely, that we are justified by faith in Christ without
      any works of the Law. Paul excludes all works so completely as to say that the works of the Law, though it is God’s law and word, do not aid us in justification. Using Abraham as an example, he argues that Abraham was so justified without works that even the highest work, which had been commanded by God, over and above all others, namely
      circumcision, did not aid him in justification. Rather, Abraham was justified without circumcision and without any works, but by faith, as he says in Chapter 4: “If Abraham were justified by works, he may boast, but not before God.” So, when all works are so completely rejected — which must mean faith alone justifies — whoever would speak plainly and clearly about this rejection of works will have to say “Faith alone justifies and not works.” The matter itself and the nature of language requires it.”

      As Fitzmeyer pointed out, many catholic authors used Faith Alone to convey Paul’s meaning before Luther.

      Origen,
      Commentarius in Ep. ad Romanos, cap. 3 (PG 14.952).

      Hilary,
      Commentarius in Matthaeum 8:6 (PL 9.961).

      Basil,
      Hom. de humilitate 20.3 (PG 31.529C).

      Ambrosiaster,
      In Ep. ad Romanos 3.24 (CSEL 81.1.119): “sola fide justificati sunt dono Dei,” through faith alone they have been justified by a gift of God; 4.5 (CSEL 81.1.130).

      John Chrysostom,
      Hom. in Ep. ad Titum 3.3 (PG 62.679

      Cyril of Alexandria,
      In Joannis Evangelium 10.15.7 (PG 74.368 [but alludes to Jas
      2:19]).

      Bernard, In Canticum serm. 22.8 (PL 183.881): “solam justificatur per fidem,” is justified by faith alone.

      Theophylact,
      Expositio in ep. ad Galatas 3.12-13 (PG 124.988).

      There are more…

      Theodoret, Affectionum
      curatio 7 (PG 93.100; ed. J. Raeder [Teubner], 189.20-24).

      Thomas Aquinas,
      Expositio in Ep. I ad Timotheum cap. 1, lect. 3 (Parma ed., 13.588):
      “Non est ergo in eis [moralibus et caeremonialibus legis] spes
      iustificationis, sed in sola fide, Rom. 3:28:
      Arbitramur justificari hominem per fidem, sine operibus legis”
      (Therefore the hope of justification is not found in them [the moral and ceremonial requirements of the law], but in
      faith alone, Rom 3:28: We consider a human being to be justified by faith, without the works of the law). Cf. In ep. ad Romanos 4.1 (Parma ed., 13.42a): “reputabitur fides eius, scilicet sola sine operibus exterioribus, ad iustitiam”; In ep. ad Galatas 2.4 (Parma ed., 13.397b): “solum ex fide Christi” [Opera 20.437, b41]).

      And then there are…

      Theodore of Mopsuestia,
      In ep. ad Galatas (ed. H. B. Swete), 1.31.15.

      Marius Victorinus (ep.
      Pauli ad Galatas (ed. A. Locher), ad 2.15-16: “Ipsa enim fides sola iustificationem dat-et sanctificationem” (For faith itself alone gives justification and sanctification); In ep. Pauli Ephesios (ed. A. Locher), ad 2.15: “Sed sola fides in Christum nobis salus est”
      (But only faith in Christ is salvation for us).

      • MarcAlcan

        Now you do know there were Catholic translations that anticipated Luther on this: The Nuremberg Bible (1483), “allein durch den glauben” and the Italian Bibles of Geneva (1476) and of Venice (1538) say “per sola fede.” Now why did these Catholic translators insert alone? Because, as Luther points out, the text requires it. Luther agreed with them.

        Actually the text does not require it. The other translations even if they were Catholic also got it incorrectly ( as there were errors in the DRB version).
        However, as you have detailed above, Luther added the word not as an error in translation but as an insistence to change the meaning of the text.
        As you have pointed above the works that Paul mentioned are “works of the LAW” referring to Mosaic Law and specifically circumcision.
        You cited the Sermon on the Mount earlier. Well in that same sermon, Jesus said He did not come to abolish the law.
        The intent of Luther was very clear because he tried to excise James out of the Bible.
        So let me ask you, do you think someone can just go around deciding for himself to take books out of the Bible according to his theology. Suppose that someone decided that John did not suit him, and another did not particularly like Hebrews, do you think that is okay for one person to declare a new canon? Would you not think that that is the height of pride?

        • rdrift1879

          Luther did not try to excise James from the Bible. He did question for a time its canonicity. He translated the Bible into German, including James.

          1. Gift from God
          3. The big difference, of course, is that you live in fear of not cooperating sufficiently with grace, such as when you might covet your neighbor’s car, and thereby violate the 10 Commandments. What if you didn’t remember this coveting and failed to confess it?

          • MarcAlcan

            Luther did not try to excise James from the Bible. He did question for a time its canonicity. He translated the Bible into German, including James.

            I think he did. And it is precisely because of James’ teaching on faith and works. The only reason it was not excised was because he prevailed upon. What makes him think that he is above God that he would dare to label the Word of God an “epistle of straw”?

            The big difference, of course, is that you live in fear of not cooperating sufficiently with grace, such as when you might covet your neighbor’s car, and thereby violate the 10 Commandments. What if you didn’t remember this coveting and failed to confess it?

            But that does not answer the question at all. The question is how is having faith different to doing works if both are considered gifts from God?
            Regarding the coveting of your neighbours car:
            You said that all sin is grave. So therefore coveting your neighbours car is grave. According to you, God papers over your mistake by trying not to see that you are a sinner. How does that work for God.
            If sin is terrible, then how can God let sin enter His presence in heaven by just covering it?

          • rdrift1879

            Luther did not try to excise James from the Bible. He did question for a time its canonicity. He translated the Bible into German, including James.

            I think he did. And it is precisely because of James’ teaching on faith and works. The only reason it was not excised was because he was prevailed upon. What makes him think that he is above God that he would dare to label the Word of God an “epistle of straw”?

            The same sort of doubts that made Jerome unwilling to translate the lame apocryphal books he considered
            unworthy of the canon. He was “prevailed upon, too, I believe, and quickly dashed them off. He also had doubts about James.

            He wasn’t alone in that opinion, which is why the Catholic Encyclopedia says, “According to Catholic doctrine, the proximate criterion of the Biblical
            canon is the infallible decision of the Church. This decision was not given until rather late in the history of the Church (at the Council of Trent). Before that time there was some doubt about the canonicity of certain Biblical books, i.e., about their belonging to the canon.”

            Luther is in “good” company then, is he not?

          • MarcAlcan

            The same sort of doubts that made Jerome unwilling to translate the lame apocryphal books he considered
            unworthy of the canon. He was “prevailed upon, too, I believe, and quickly dashed them off. He also had doubts about James.

            But who gets to set the canon? You see, this is specifically the point. St Jerome as great as he is could not have determined the canon by himself, which is why changed his mind and translated the Deuterocanonicals.

            Martin Luther’s reasons were quite different. He was trying to excise a book of the Bible because it went against his pre-conceived theology
            Furthermore, how can one call the deuterocanonicals lame when Christ Himself referred to this. In fact, the Qumran finding attest to the fact that the Jews of Jesus’s times used the deuterocanonicals.

            According to Catholic doctrine, the proximate criterion of the Biblical canon is the infallible decision of the Church. This decision was not given until rather late in the history of the Church (at the Council of Trent).

            That is a false reading of the declaration of Trent. The only reason the decree was necessary was because the doctrine was challenged. What happened at Trent was it affirmed what the Church had set 1200 years ago. This declaration would not have been necessary had not Luther challenged the canon.

            Luther is in “good” company then, is he not?

            Hardly, since Jerome can hardly be called “his company”. Luther is so full of hubris.

          • rdrift1879

            But that does not answer the question at all. The question is how is having faith different to doing works if both are considered gifts from God?

            Regarding the coveting of your neighbours car:

            You said that all sin is grave. So therefore coveting your neighbours car is grave. According to you, God papers over your mistake by trying not to see that you are a sinner. How does that work for God. If sin is terrible, then how can God let sin enter His presence in heaven by just covering it?

            The cross of Jesus Christ is not a papering over. You approach blasphemy with statements like that. His is an all-sufficient sacrifice that fully pays the debt of sin to divine justice. That is justification. It is very simple to demonstrate that dikaiosune is a legal term. When the penalty is paid, one has the legal standing of one that is fully acquitted. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”

            Justification deals with our legal standing before God’s justice. That is NOT ALL that salvation is. It is much, much more, but justification secures our place as having our debt of sin paid. You think justification is salvation. It is an aspect of salvation.

            Now, I will say this one last time since you simply ignored previous explanations. Sanctification necessarily follows justification because of the new birth. We are changed. We
            are new creatures in Christ. We are given a new disposition by the Holy Spirit.

            Yet, we are still sinners…grievously so. You are and I am. We violate the exalted levels of the moral law as explained by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. We often fail in basic righteousness and holy habits. That is because we
            are still in the flesh (something you crudely understand as merely our biology). You are still a sinner…a profound sinner in need of God’s sustaining grace every day. You have no merit to claim God’s favor. No human being ever has had such merit…no, not even a saint. They have no left over merit for some unbiblical mystical treasury. They are unworthy sinners. Even so, in the eyes of God’s justice, we are righteous in Christ, and already seated with Him in the
            heavenly places (Eph 2:5-8). Papered over. Incredible words. If you were destroyed financially and living on the
            street, and a friend gladly paid all your debts and set you up with an income to live comfortably, and yet he himself had to live on the streets, would you say, “Hey, bro. Thanks for papering over my financial situation.”

            The best way to describe the security of the believer in Christ who is still a sinner (like me) is best seen in the epitaph the great missionary William Carey wrote for his own tombstone: “A wretched, poor, and helpless worm on Thy kind arms I fall.” If you do not understand this, you do not understand the Gospel.

          • MarcAlcan

            The cross of Jesus Christ is not a papering over. You approach blasphemy with statements like that.

            Sorry rdt but indignation is not sufficient as a response to my question.

            Here it is again, you said that you remain a sinner but God declares you righteous – that your righteousness is a mere legal declaration but inside you remain the same filthy disgusting sinner.

            This is why I keep asking you if you really believe that when you get to heaven you are a dungheap covered with the snow of Christ? In an earlier post, your response was in the affirmative.

            This is why I keep asking you whether God lies to Himself about the true state of your soul.

            Please, no more dancing around and just answer that.

            Justification deals with our legal standing before God’s justice. That is NOT ALL that salvation is

            But according to you, you are not saved unless you are justified. So basically it goes like this, God legally declares you righteous (even though you remain a sinner through and through) and then you are saved. Now if I got that wrong please correct the misrepresentation.

            You are still a sinner…a profound sinner in need of God’s sustaining grace every day.

            Yes, but we are talking about the end of life. If you died a sinner, according to you it does not matter because all God has to do is to declare your righteous because He has covered you with the snow of His Son. So basically God is lying to Himself as to the truth of the state of your soul…

            You are the same putrid, foul person but with a new dress – His Son.

            Do you even comprehend the total incompatibility of God’s holiness with sin that you think the two can live quite harmoniously together in heaven because sin has been succesfully hidden beneath the brilliance of Jesus?

          • rdrift1879

            But according to you, you are not saved unless you are justified.

            Uh, yeah.

            So basically it goes like this, God legally declares you righteous (even though you remain a sinner through and through) and then you are saved. Now if I got that wrong please correct the misrepresentation.

            You are wrong…again. There must be some title you can merit: The Doctor of Perpetual Misunderstanding. It has to be intentional on your part, because you seem fairly literate.

            One last try…

            God declares me legally righteous by faith in Christ. (Rom
            3:24, 5:1, 5:9, 8:30-39). He is, after all, the just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Rom 3:26). In Him I have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of my trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on me (Eph 1:7-8). I have no fear of condemnation (Rom 8:1). I am already raised with Christ and seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Eph 2:6). I have an imperishable inheritance and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for me (1 Pet 1:4). I am protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Pet 1:5)

            I am a new creature in Christ by virtue of the regenerating
            work of the Holy Spirit. (2 Cor 5:17, 21; Eph 2:4-10; Titus 2:5-7)

            I am still in the flesh, so I still have sinful tendencies.(Gal
            5:13-17, Rom 7:14-25) Measured by the teachings of Jesus, I have serious deficiencies, guilty of various sins…some more overt, others internal.

            God, who began a good work in me, will perfect it until the
            day of Christ Jesus. (Phil 1:6)

            On the day of Christ Jesus, I will NO LONGER be a sinner or have sinful inclinations. I will be changed (1 Cor 15:51), I will be raised imperishable (v. 52). I will put on immortality. (v.53) I will have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (v. 56) I will be conformed into the image of God’s Son (Rom 8:29) . I will be glorified (Rom 8:30). I will be like Him, for I will see Him as he is (1 Jn 3:2).

            You don’t seem to believe God has the power to glorify His
            people. It is, somehow, a strange idea to you. You think God deficient in power in some way. It comports, I suppose, with your view of Jesus as a half-Savior. But I look at the Scripture and it says God “will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Phil 3:21).

            Well, I think I’m done now. I am confident you will once
            again claim I have not answered your question, and claim I think I am going to heaven in a sinful condition. You are simply incapable of reading others with comprehension, at least regarding simple truths from Scripture. A veil lies
            over your eyes. I will allow other readers to decide who is more engaged with the key issues in our discussion and more faithful to Scripture.

          • MarcAlcan

            Can I just say that putting heaps of citation does not help your cause because at the root of our debate is precisely how you understand justification. This is what I am trying to draw out of of you. How precisely YOU understand these verses.

            God declares me legally righteous by faith in Christ.

            And that is exactly how I presented the first point. So I understood you correctly then.
            The Scriptural citations do not say one way or another what happens to you after you have been declared righteous. Does that mean that somehow you are no longer a sinner as in no longer filthy and grimy? Did an ontological change happen to you, to your being?
            To clarify that point further, if sin is making you grimy and foul smelling, are you now cleaning and nice smelling after God has declared you righteous?
            You said it is a legal declaration. So take for example a murderer. When God declares him no longer a murderer, is he in fact no longer a murderer or is this just a legal declaration and does not change at all the state of this person’s soul.
            Perhaps it would help if you will clarify for me how you understand sin and what it means to be a sinner.
            So let’s take it one by one:
            !) What is sin
            2) When you commit sin, what happens to you? What happens to your soul?
            3) If sin changes you, how does it change you?
            4)When God declares you righteous, does it change you internally? Does God declaring you righteous make you in fact(and not just legally) righteous, that is clean and good and holy through and through in your being?
            I think settling those point will suffice for now.

          • MarcAlcan

            On the day of Christ Jesus, I will NO LONGER be a sinner or have sinful inclinations. I will be changed

            When is that day? When you are dead and in heaven?

            How do you become a non-sinner?

            As I see it, there are a lot of holes in your understanding of these verses.

            Basically this is a summary of your theology.

            1) God declares righteous but you are still a sinner.
            So at this point, God is lying to Himself about what you really are. Like declaring you good when in fact you are still bad. This is supported by your statement that we remain sinners after this declaration.

            2) You become new creatures in Christ and are regenerated.
            How precisely this happens you did not explain because all you did was quote scripture that that is what happens but no why or how

            3) On the day of Christ Jesus, you will NO LONGER be a sinner or have sinful inclinations.
            But you do not say when this will happen and how this will happen. If this happens after death in heaven well that means that you got to heaven still a sinner. So God admitted you to heaven still dirty. But Revelations is very clear that NOTHING UNCLEAN WILL ENTER HEAVEN.
            So you see, your understanding of Scripture is very weak and convoluted.
            I think you are afraid to confront these illogic in your theology and this is why you have consistently evaded my question when I asked you if we get to heaven as dung heap covered by snow. That is what you believe but you can’t really accept that that is what you believe and you try vainly to find scripture support for this and fail.
            I think your own theology does not make sense even to you.

          • rdrift1879

            The Doctor of PERPETUAL Misunderstanding. We can’t have a discussion when you don’t listen, don’t read, and don’t answer questions.

            I will, however, point out something someone once said, “You neither understand the Scriptures, or the power of God.”

            (It’s in the Bible, but you don’t like answers from there, so we’ll leave it general).

      • rdrift1879

        the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
        When the Lord tells you when he is not being literal, you should believe Him.

        Oh but Jesus did not say He was not being literal. In fact, He was very literal that is why the others left. They knew he was being literal and they left. Same way you did over this
        teaching.

        You see when He started teaching and they started feeling revolted about this, instead of watering it down, He stressed it and made it harder. The first time he said “eat” the word was phagein – which is the normal way people eat. But the next
        time – when they complained – he reiterated it using the word –trogein – which is to “gnaw”.

        Do you “gnaw” your communion wafer? It’s a metaphor, isn’t
        it?

        So, Jesus is followed by people impressed with his ability to make bread. He tells them “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which
        the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” They must work for it, He says. They ask: what men must do to work the works of God? Jesus answers, “”This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” Period. Believe in Him.

        They ask for a sign, “”Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘HE GAVE THEM BREAD
        OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.’”

        Perfect opportunity to explain what He means by believe. “”Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”

        Sounds awesome: “Lord, always give us this bread.” Perfect. “”I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”

        Let’s stop for a moment. He is the bread of life. How will people obtain life from this sort of bread, who is not a loaf, but a person? His words are “Come to Me” and “Believe in Me.” I don’t know…sounds something like a Baptist minister mocked by a Catholic might say.

        His hearers have a problem. They aren’t believers. They see Him, but they don’t believe (Jn 6:36)

        So He explains, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

        So, the Father gives certain people to the Son. Who are they? The ones who “come” to Him. What does this mean? All who behold the Son and BELIEVE in WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.” Remember, those who believe will never thirst.

        These unbelieving folks grumble about THIS — “”I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?” (Why are they grumbling? Because He says He came down out of heaven. That’s what they don’t believe.)

        Jesus understands this. The Father has not drawn them. They cannot “come” to Him without having been taught of the Father. He says, “Everyone who has heard and learned from
        the Father, comes to Me.” What does it mean to come to Him? He explains it again, “”Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.” So, to
        partake of the Bread of Life, and possess life, one must do what? Believe.

        It is at only at this point, after He has established what the work of God is (to believe), He extends the metaphor of the Bread of Life into consuming Him.

        By claiming that what they rejected was the doctrine of Transubstantiation, an esoteric sacramental doctrine
        regarding a ceremony that had, at the time, not even been established, is to strain all credulity. “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of
        it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

        Since we already were clearly told that believing in Him results in eternal life, is it possible, no, likely, that eating the bread of life is a metaphor for “coming to Him” and “believing
        in Him”? When He speaks of giving His flesh for the life of the world, is this a reference to a ceremony in church, or His death on the cross as our sacrifice of atonement? And, is that sacrifice what we are to accept and believe in?

        As some else has said, “He means that we cannot have everlasting life without also “eating,” believing, accepting, assimilating, His voluntary, vicarious death by crucifixion for us. The Father gives the Son, and the Son gives Himself. Apart from this sacrifice, Christ ceases to be bread for us in
        any sense.”

        The entire Gospel of John supports the latter view.

        BELIEVE “But as many as received Him, to them He gave
        the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name”1:12

        BELIEVE “For God so
        loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life…He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not
        believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” 3:16

        BELIEVE “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” 8:24

        BELIEVE “I am the resurrection and the life; he who
        believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” 8:25

        BELIEVE “While you have the Light, believe in
        the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.” 12:36

        BELIEVE “…but these have been written so that you may
        believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” 20:31

        You nullify all of this for Rome’s doctrine of grace by sacrament.

        For myself, I will rely on my faith to rejoice in my standing as a child of God, and to know He has delivered me from my deserved punishment, from dying in my sins, and that by faith I possess the eternal life He gives me by His grace. I will cling to these clear promises.

        Consuming Him as the Bread of Life is coming to Him, and
        believing in Him, as He Himself says. I “eat Him” as I take Him to myself as my Lord, just as I “pass through” Him as the gate to the sheepfold, am illuminated by Him as the Light of the World, and abide in Him as the True Vine. All beautiful metaphors, just as eating and drinking Him are.

        Eating is a common metaphor in the Bible by the way.

        Proverbs 1:29-31 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD. “They would
        not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices.

        Prov 4:17 “For they eat the bread of wickedness And drink the wine of violence.”

        Prov 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.

        Isa 55:1-3 “Ho!
        Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy. Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David. (Eating is a metaphor for receiving, isn’t it?)

        Yes, at the last supper, as He inaugurated the New Covenant, He said as He broke the bread, “”This is My body which is given for you.” Again, a symbol, made clear by His own words; “do this in remembrance of Me.” Not “do this to receive grace from Me.” Just a remembrance of what He would accomplished in the true giving of His body and the shedding of His blood, which, when apprehended by faith, brings us eternal life.

        • MarcAlcan

          Do you “gnaw” your communion wafer? It’s a metaphor, isn’t it?

          Who said it is a metaphor? Certainly not Jesus. The only reason He changed from phagein to trogein was to drive home the fact, that He means what He said. You need to eat His Body and drink and His blood. And that is exactly what we do.

          Let’s stop for a moment. He is the bread of life. How will people obtain life from this sort of bread, who is not a loaf, but a person? His words are “Come to Me” and “Believe in Me.”

          Sorry but that is not what Jesus said. After He said come to me and believe in me He said: I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and THE BREAD which I shall give for the life of the world IS MY FLESH.

          So basically it goes like this, If you COME to me, and BELIEVE in Me, you will eat my flesh and drink my blood. If you come to Jesus and truly believe in Him THAT is what you will do.

          Eating and drink of Jesus is not a metaphor. He was quite adamant about that.

          He extends the metaphor of the Bread of Life into consuming Him.

          It was never a metaphor. He made sure of that by repeating it 7 times. He is the food that you need to eat to gain eternal life. Your belief will be tested on whether you do that. And the belief of many were tested on verse 66 they fall away from him. It is interesting that that this falling away from Jesus happened are John 6:66.

          The entire Gospel of John supports the latter view.

          Not in the least. In fact, this very protestant belief did not come about til the 12th century with Berengarius. From the beginning this is what the Church has always believed.
          The people who do not believe are like those who left Jesus at 6:66 and walked with him no longer.

    • MarcAlcan

      I’m disappointed you chose neither to consult nor explain Jesus’ parable. I can help you here. There are two faithful servants, and they receive different rewards. Simple really.

      But I did check the parable -hence the reason for my query. This explanation of getting different rewards, how does that apply to my question about the eternal life?

      1) Did one get eternal life (heaven) and the other something different?

      2) If yes, then what is this different reward since according to your theology there are only two options : heaven or hell.

      You see that is the part that you did not think through when you gave the reference.

      No, despite your claim, just being in heaven or possessing eternal life is not the extent of the believer’s reward. “Do you not know that we will judge angels?”

      What has that got to do with anything. If we are going to judge angels then obviously we would already have the reward of eternal life, which means we would already be in heaven.

      So again, what reward is lost?

      This is the unbreakable chain of salvation…… This chain also explains why it is erroneous to claim that dying in the midst of a “mortal sin” sends a believer to hell. Your theology is breaking the chain God Himself forged.

      But RD, you are dancing around the question. You still have not answered what reward is lost. At the end of life, there are only two options: heaven or hell. If you lose the reward, you go to hell. It is that simple.

      So again, what reward is lost?

      How do you explain the aorist participle “having been justified” in Romans 5:1?

      So you think asking that answers my question. How about you answer my question first then I will answer that.

      Here it is again: you think that justification is a mere legal declaration where God says you are clean but you are in fact a stinking dung but just covered with snow. Do you really believe that God would lie to Himself about your true state?

      I give you a hint to my answer to 5:1- proper understanding of our state of sin, justification and sanctification.

      You are thinking of 1 John 5:161-7, which speaks of a sin unto death, and you add in the word “eternal” to make it mean “eternal death.”

      Well what else is sin supposed to cause but that? There are only two deaths we speak of: body and soul. Bodily death, well everyone goes through that whether saint or sinner. So the only other death in question is eternal death.

      Okay, that’s the start. What’s the end?
      If you don’t know, who has the list?

      It’s not a matter of who has the list but who has the authority to discern – to whom Christ gave that power.

      And what if one died while in the act of coveting someone’s donkey. Is he bound for hell even though he is a Christian? Are the Ten Commandments grave or not?

      Yes, they are grave but for them to be deemed deadly there has to be full knowledge and consent.
      Take for example thou shalt not kill. Well if you kill someone accidentally, you will still have killed someone but you could hardly be sent to hell for something you did not intend.