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Author Topic: Knowing you are saved  (Read 6169 times) Average Rating: 0
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truthstalker
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« Reply #45 on: April 14, 2009, 08:00:53 PM »

Is it possible for an Orthodox to be sure they will go to heaven?

I look at David in the psalms. He repeatedly expressed his surety in God's salvation. "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever," etc. 

The problem right out the gate is that you have misquoted David here in Ps. 27.  It is "that I may dwell..."  David is not presuming his salvation either.

We should always be careful not to fall into the sin of phariseeism (sp?), but should cry out with hope in a loving Savior "God be merciful to me, a sinner!" 

Well, no, actually, to your first point.  The problem is more complex than that, and it has to do with the nature of the use of the future.  In some languages the indicative future and the subjunctive are identical in form. I know know Hebrew, and I really don't know if "I might go to heaven" = "I will go to heaven."   I think I was reading the LXX when David's apparent certainty struck, but when I read your post it occured to me that I really don't know how much certainty there was in his statement.

I don't believe anyone can utter a sinner's prayer, believe they then have a free ticket and are then free to live like Fyodor Karamazov hell in the security that God will save them regardless.  To use Reformed terminology, justification and sanctification are inseparable except from an analytical standpoint.  Those God justifies He sanctifies (Romans 8 ).  Those God takes for Himself He disciplines.
Repentance is a gift of God, as is faith.  There is presumption if we think God will not discipline us or punish us.  He disciplines His children as a good Father, but those without faith are punished. There is more to this than this, but I am now in a hurry and I anticipate someone will come along and mutter about reformed concepts of election and predestination.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 08:01:28 PM by truthstalker » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2009, 08:15:16 PM »

You have no guarantee, Truthstalker, that you will go to heaven, and I have no guarantee that I will either.  But we do know for sure how we will be judged on Judgement Day - by our love.  When the twilight of this life comes, we shall be judged on love.

Our Saviour is crytsal clear that the two greatest of the commandments are those of love - firstly, to love the Lord our God with our whole heart and our whole mind and whole soul.... and secondly, to love our neighbour as ourselves.

All the commandemts are summed up in these.  And our arrival in heaven will depend on how well we loved.  Heaven seems to have no place for those who do not love.

If you want to have some certainty that you will go to heaven, then.. love....!     
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« Reply #47 on: April 14, 2009, 10:05:23 PM »

Post 32 on this thread.

Ah.  Thanks.  Well, maybe Seraphim has a specific example.  I don't know of one.  All the great Desert Fathers seemed to fall under the "I have not even begun to repent" camp.

Seems to me that it is, indeed, presumptuous to say that you are, for sure, saved and will indeed, without a doubt, "go to heaven" (you may or may not be aware that our view of heaven/hell is quite different from that of most western Christians).

There is presumption if we think God will not discipline us or punish us.

Discipline?  Yes, for our salvation.  Punish in the sense of senseless harm without the motivation of reform?  No, for such would not be love, and God is love, as Irish Hermit said.  Even His "everlasting punishment" which comes from the presence of the Lord is His loving presence experienced by those filled with hate, while those filled with love experience "times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord."  This is heaven and hell to the Orthodox, not spiritual polar opposites into which a soul is "placed" by a ticked-off or placated deity.
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« Reply #48 on: April 15, 2009, 12:04:36 AM »

An Athonite hermit said: "What guarantees a safe journey to eternity is effort, dignity, the sense of being unworthy before God, hope - the spiritual oxygen, consolation, and certainty. Not misery and compelled obedience and forced prayer; not tears and sadness - these all come from Satan. Yes, I ought to weep for my sins, but all the while hoping in Gods love. But I cannot stand it if I cry because the Devil wants me to despair. Many times Satan crushes a person with despair and the devil becomes the victor. But this does not happen when one is like a child on his fathers arm - trusting. Our trust in God is a ceaseless prayer that brings positive results. Despair comes from the Devil. Dont say, Oh, what has happened to me? But give yourself to God totally and hope in Him."

from an Athonite Gerontikon

I coulda sworn I had posted this already....
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« Reply #49 on: April 15, 2009, 03:19:22 AM »

13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. -from Ephesians 6 (biblegateway.com , I woul appreciate if you give me a link with orthodox bible in english thanks in advance) .

 4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. - 1Thessalonians 5 .

What does it mean to "take the helmet of salvation" ? And verse 8 from 1Thessalonians 5 "and the hope of salvation as a helmet" . In my romanian orthodox bible translations is "punând coiful nădejdii de mântuire" wich means putting the helmet wich is the confidence of Salvation , the security of Salvation. Can anyone please explain what this means?
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« Reply #50 on: April 15, 2009, 08:25:00 PM »

13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. -from Ephesians 6 (biblegateway.com , I woul appreciate if you give me a link with orthodox bible in english thanks in advance) .

 4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. - 1Thessalonians 5 .

What does it mean to "take the helmet of salvation" ? And verse 8 from 1Thessalonians 5 "and the hope of salvation as a helmet" . In my romanian orthodox bible translations is "punând coiful nădejdii de mântuire" wich means putting the helmet wich is the confidence of Salvation , the security of Salvation. Can anyone please explain what this means?

Eternal security?

One Calvinist I knew insisted both that a) there is eternal security, and the number of the elect cannot be changed, and you can know if you are one of them AND b) you need to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, because you can fall.  He affirmed both eternal security and temporal insecurity and that there is an unresolvable contradiction that parallels the sovereignty of God versus the free will of man contradiction.  No, it wasn't me, but it sounds plausible.
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« Reply #51 on: April 15, 2009, 09:45:46 PM »

13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. -from Ephesians 6 (biblegateway.com , I woul appreciate if you give me a link with orthodox bible in english thanks in advance) .

 4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. - 1Thessalonians 5 .

What does it mean to "take the helmet of salvation" ? And verse 8 from 1Thessalonians 5 "and the hope of salvation as a helmet" . In my romanian orthodox bible translations is "punând coiful nădejdii de mântuire" wich means putting the helmet wich is the confidence of Salvation , the security of Salvation. Can anyone please explain what this means?

Putting on armour for battle doesn't mean that we have already won the battle. All who desire deification (theosis) wage a constant war with the forces of evil, hence the need for spiritual weaponry; the whole armour of God. We must continue to fight with all the weapons that God has given us through His uncreated divine energies. In baptism, we put on all the qualities listed as armour in verses 14-17, but these qualities must be exercised in the process of spiritual growth for without struggle there is no defiication.

On the Thessalonians passage, the Orthodox Study Bible (page 1627) states;

The Thessalonion Christians had been speculating about the return of the Lord and making their own predictions. Paul tells them, you have no need(v.1) for that kind of information (indeed, it is not available!). Does a thief in the night (v.2) announce his coming? The disciples had gotten the same kinds of answers to their questions on the Second Coming from Christ Himself (Mt 24:36; Acts 1:6,7). And suppose we know the end; what is this to us? Christians are called not to set dates but to make themselves ready to meet the Lord by being watchful and sober (v.6). Our place is to be ceaselessly aware of the primacy of God's Kingdom and to have full control over our spiritual faculties.

St Paul's advice is not to be concerned with dates of Christ's Return, but to be prepared to face Him whenever our time comes. Using the means at our disposal, given to us by God himself we fight the battle for our own salvation, so that whether we have already resposed at the time of the Second Coming of Our Lord, or are still alive, we will be counted amongst the number that will live with Him.(V.10) "For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him."


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« Reply #52 on: April 15, 2009, 10:11:00 PM »

13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. -from Ephesians 6 (biblegateway.com , I woul appreciate if you give me a link with orthodox bible in english thanks in advance) .

 4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. - 1Thessalonians 5 .

What does it mean to "take the helmet of salvation" ? And verse 8 from 1Thessalonians 5 "and the hope of salvation as a helmet" . In my romanian orthodox bible translations is "punând coiful nădejdii de mântuire" wich means putting the helmet wich is the confidence of Salvation , the security of Salvation. Can anyone please explain what this means?

Eternal security?

One Calvinist I knew insisted both that a) there is eternal security, and the number of the elect cannot be changed, and you can know if you are one of them AND b) you need to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, because you can fall.  He affirmed both eternal security and temporal insecurity and that there is an unresolvable contradiction that parallels the sovereignty of God versus the free will of man contradiction.  No, it wasn't me, but it sounds plausible.

That sounds a little Arminian (not Armenian) rather that Calvinist, was this person a Pentecostal?
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« Reply #53 on: April 16, 2009, 01:40:21 AM »

One Calvinist I knew insisted both that a) there is eternal security, and the number of the elect cannot be changed, and you can know if you are one of them AND b) you need to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, because you can fall.  He affirmed both eternal security and temporal insecurity and that there is an unresolvable contradiction that parallels the sovereignty of God versus the free will of man contradiction.  No, it wasn't me, but it sounds plausible.

So he believed that one can fall, but fall in what way?  Fall away from faith into damnation, or fall away from righteousness but maintain "security"?
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truthstalker
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« Reply #54 on: April 18, 2009, 06:58:58 PM »

One Calvinist I knew insisted both that a) there is eternal security, and the number of the elect cannot be changed, and you can know if you are one of them AND b) you need to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, because you can fall.  He affirmed both eternal security and temporal insecurity and that there is an unresolvable contradiction that parallels the sovereignty of God versus the free will of man contradiction.  No, it wasn't me, but it sounds plausible.

So he believed that one can fall, but fall in what way?  Fall away from faith into damnation, or fall away from righteousness but maintain "security"?

I don't know what he would answer.  Probably something along the lines (and here I am guessing) that it is one thing to look at it from God's perspective, another from man's. 
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