Author Topic: Make God's path straight by being born again  (Read 195816 times)

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Offline AMM

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #990 on: October 16, 2010, 08:39:17 PM »
Jeremiah 24
Two Baskets of Figs
 1 After Jehoiachin [a] son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and the officials, the craftsmen and the artisans of Judah were carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the LORD showed me two baskets of figs placed in front of the temple of the LORD. 2 One basket had very good figs, like those that ripen early; the other basket had very poor figs, so bad they could not be eaten.

 3 Then the LORD asked me, "What do you see, Jeremiah?"
      "Figs," I answered. "The good ones are very good, but the poor ones are so bad they cannot be eaten."

 4 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 5 "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. 6 My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. 7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.

 8 " 'But like the poor figs, which are so bad they cannot be eaten,' says the LORD, 'so will I deal with Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the survivors from Jerusalem, whether they remain in this land or live in Egypt. 9 I will make them abhorrent and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword, an object of ridicule and cursing, wherever I banish them. 10 I will send the sword, famine and plague against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their fathers.' "

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #991 on: October 16, 2010, 09:06:36 PM »
So many words, and still I am clueless, not having received the clue I asked for.

You have claimed erroneously that birth is an event, implying a brief encounter or happening that is perfect within itself.  More than one of us have demonstrated that birth is not an event, but is rather a process.  If you still cannot put the pieces together, then I don't know what to tell you: when Christ says we (via Nicodemus) must be born again from above of water and the Spirit, the reference to birth is very telling.

Does your view of salvation have the person saved when they believe, or at the resurrection?

I answered this question very directly in the post following the one you quoted.  Why didn't you read it?  This is exactly why I've mentioned that "dialogue" with you is about as edifying as speaking to an inanimate object.

Or is it in hell that you are saved, or purgatory or whatever you call the intermediate state?

In the Orthodox belief, grounded in Scripture and the Saints of the Church, there is no intermediate state.

Why not give me a clue? Can't spare it?

I could give you a snapshot of Mr. Green killing Mr. Body in the Conservatory with the lead pipe, and you still would insist that it's Mrs. White.
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Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #992 on: October 16, 2010, 09:52:26 PM »


The best refutation would have been supply me with the clarification.

Now four posts later, I'm still asking the Orthodox what they believe and none of you answer me.

Is that Christian?

Fr. George did answer your question.  Theosis isn't something we can answer in one pithy sentence.  You're still looking at salvation as an event.  You seem to want us to stick a thumbtack on a timeline to tell you when it happens in someone's life. 

Thank you for the answer
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #993 on: October 17, 2010, 12:20:57 AM »


The best refutation would have been supply me with the clarification.

Now four posts later, I'm still asking the Orthodox what they believe and none of you answer me.

Is that Christian?

Fr. George did answer your question.  Theosis isn't something we can answer in one pithy sentence.  You're still looking at salvation as an event.  You seem to want us to stick a thumbtack on a timeline to tell you when it happens in someone's life. 

Thank you for the answer

Alfred, I suggest that you reconsider the views you have expressed on this forum.  You can disagree with us, which is fine and you can reject us, which is fine.  Just bear in mind that a past post of mine on a controversial topic resulted in a subsequent response which was named Post of the Month.  In this thread, there are many people worthy of that award based on how strongly they defend their Orthodox Christian faith against the falsehoods you spouted here.  You may want to stop empowering those who vehemently disagree with you.   :)

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #994 on: October 17, 2010, 10:54:38 AM »

Evidently a clarification is beyond the intellectual capacity of the Orthodox posting here.

Is that right?

Or perhaps none of you know the answer?
Quite frankly, Alfred, that response is just plain rude. Unless there is a sincere apology and rethinking of that statement, it is not worth continuing to try to interact with you.

Your insults are unbecoming to someone who claims to be a Christian.

Matthew 15:18 (NKJV) "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man."

You have shown us your heart.

The best refutation would have been supply me with the clarification.

Now four posts later, I'm still asking the Orthodox what they believe and none of you answer me.

Is that Christian?
Yes, we're following the advice of our Savior on this. See Matthew 7:6.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 10:55:55 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #995 on: October 17, 2010, 05:20:54 PM »
To be clear on this, I ask following questions.

Are any of you saved now?

If you sinned just before you died, are you eternally lost?

Must you wait for the Day of Judgment to learn if you are saved?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 05:21:28 PM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #996 on: October 17, 2010, 07:44:23 PM »
To be clear on this, I ask following questions.

Are any of you saved now?

If you sinned just before you died, are you eternally lost?

Must you wait for the Day of Judgment to learn if you are saved?
Why do you want to know?
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #997 on: October 17, 2010, 08:00:32 PM »
Are any of you saved now?

I've already answered this.

If you sinned just before you died, are you eternally lost?

Um, our eternal salvation will be based on more than a momentary lapse of judgment, we hope.  Of course, it depends on what you're talking about - if your dying breath is cursing God, there may be a different answer to this.

Must you wait for the Day of Judgment to learn if you are saved?

Not necessarily.
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Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #998 on: October 17, 2010, 09:17:06 PM »
To be clear on this, I ask following questions.

Are any of you saved now?

If you sinned just before you died, are you eternally lost?

Must you wait for the Day of Judgment to learn if you are saved?
Why do you want to know?

Its self contradiction a man say he isn't saved, yet is a Christian.

 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." (Rom 10:11 NKJ)

If its possible you will be put to shame later, then you do not believe on Him now, for the promise is believing now, no shame later.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #999 on: October 17, 2010, 09:20:51 PM »
Are any of you saved now?

I've already answered this.

If you sinned just before you died, are you eternally lost?

Um, our eternal salvation will be based on more than a momentary lapse of judgment, we hope.  Of course, it depends on what you're talking about - if your dying breath is cursing God, there may be a different answer to this.

Must you wait for the Day of Judgment to learn if you are saved?

Not necessarily.

Curious...how do you reconcile that, with this:

 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
 (Eph 1:3-7 NKJ)

Salvation appears to have been won, before the founding of the world, by God's grace, according to the good pleasure of His will.


« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 09:22:43 PM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1000 on: October 17, 2010, 09:38:24 PM »
To be clear on this, I ask following questions.

Are any of you saved now?

If you sinned just before you died, are you eternally lost?

Must you wait for the Day of Judgment to learn if you are saved?
Why do you want to know?

Its self contradiction a man say he isn't saved, yet is a Christian.

 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." (Rom 10:11 NKJ)

If its possible you will be put to shame later, then you do not believe on Him now, for the promise is believing now, no shame later.


So you just want to continue the usual business of trashing our beliefs in the vain hope that you might just rope a couple of us into your heresy. Sorry, not playing your game.
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Offline bogdan

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1001 on: October 17, 2010, 10:00:55 PM »
To be clear on this, I ask following questions.

Are any of you saved now?

If you sinned just before you died, are you eternally lost?

Must you wait for the Day of Judgment to learn if you are saved?

Mind your own business.

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1002 on: October 18, 2010, 12:34:49 AM »
To be clear on this, I ask following questions.

Are any of you saved now?

I don't know.   ???

If you sinned just before you died, are you eternally lost?

I don't know.   ???

Must you wait for the Day of Judgment to learn if you are saved?

I don't know and we'll find out when that day comes before the dreaded Judgment Seat of Christ.   ;)

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1003 on: October 18, 2010, 12:37:57 AM »
To be clear on this, I ask following questions.

Are any of you saved now?

If you sinned just before you died, are you eternally lost?

Must you wait for the Day of Judgment to learn if you are saved?
Why do you want to know?

Its self contradiction a man say he isn't saved, yet is a Christian.

 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." (Rom 10:11 NKJ)

If its possible you will be put to shame later, then you do not believe on Him now, for the promise is believing now, no shame later.


So you just want to continue the usual business of trashing our beliefs in the vain hope that you might just rope a couple of us into your heresy. Sorry, not playing your game.

I've trashed nothing, pointing out inconsistency with scripture (or self contradiction) is not trashing, its apologetics.

Scripture says those who truly believe in Christ NOW will NEVER be put to shame, therefore if you believe its possible you will be put to shame, it follows you do not truly believe NOW.

For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." (Rom 10:11 NKJ)

I happened upon Salvation In the Orthodox Concept By His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
http://www.suscopts.org/stgeorgetampa/salvation_in_the_orthodox_1.html

The first text he cites is clearly inconsistent with Paul's meaning:

St. Paul sates, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  Philippians 2:12

Paul did NOT say "work FOR your salvation," he said "WORK OUT," that is a big difference.

To illustrate the difference, You "work for food" but NOT "work out food." One can "work out their own diet" by living in accordance with it.

Paul is using "Salvation" ethically, not soteriologically. Believers already saved are WORKING OUT the salvation God has graciously given them, in the community, with fear and trembling. They are to live consistent with their profession, work out the teachings of Christ, before all, knowing they are unworthy to be so blessed by God.

Paul goes on to completely contradict His Holiness Pope Shenouda III:

for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phi 2:13 NKJ)

So they cannot be working FOR salvation when its God who works in them to both the will and do His good pleasure, they must be WORKING OUT, letting the will of God be done through them,  in full realization of our unworthiness to be so highly honored by God.

for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phi 2:13 NKJ)


Context proves this, the verse begins with "So then," pointing to Christ's example of Holy Living, "just as you have always obeyed in my presence, obey in my absence, live holy lives in the community working out your great salvation before the eyes of all the people:



Peter said the same thing, using different words:

 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
 (2Pe 1:10-11 KJV)

We make our calling and election sure, i.e., establish the fact God has called and elected us, when we can be known by our fruits He is our Father. THEN we will never fail, and our entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of Christ will be glorious...We will be rewarded for our faithfulness, with a glorious entrance into the Kingdom, perhaps a heavenly announcement of our names to everyone gathered!


« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 12:59:33 AM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1004 on: October 18, 2010, 12:54:23 AM »
I happened upon Salvation In the Orthodox Concept By His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
http://www.suscopts.org/stgeorgetampa/salvation_in_the_orthodox_1.html

You may want to take His Holiness' advice when you proof text:

Quote
Introduction: The Danger of Using “One Single Verse!”

If you want to cite Oriental Orthodox Hierarchs merely to repudiate Orthodox Christianity, you may want to take a glance at this article from His Grace, Bishop Youssef, of the Coptic Southern US Diocese:

Quote
The armor of God is both defensive when others attack and offensive ready to launch an attack on Satan and army. Doubtful thoughts of many kinds can occupy the mind. For example:

    * Does God really exist?
    * Does God really forgive and forget?
    * Why should I pray if God sees and knows everything before hand?
    * Why should I read the Holy Bible if it is full of errors?
    * How can we be so sure that Jesus was not just a man?
    * Who can prove the authenticity of the Holy Bible?
    * Why is God not taking care of me in times of trouble?

If you feel guilty about a certain sin and you are doubtful and fearful; it could be because you are not wearing the protective armor of God that he has provided for you in order to achieve victory and happiness. In order to be able to defeat and overcome such satanic thoughts, we need to put on the armor of God.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 12:59:33 AM by SolEX01 »

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1005 on: October 18, 2010, 12:57:48 AM »
I happened upon Salvation In the Orthodox Concept By His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
http://www.suscopts.org/stgeorgetampa/salvation_in_the_orthodox_1.html

You may want to take His Holiness' advice when you proof text:

Quote
Introduction: The Danger of Using “One Single Verse!”

Who's using one verse? I've dozens of them, but we must discuss them one at a time. There are at least three in the post you are responding to.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1006 on: October 18, 2010, 01:00:21 AM »
I happened upon Salvation In the Orthodox Concept By His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
http://www.suscopts.org/stgeorgetampa/salvation_in_the_orthodox_1.html

You may want to take His Holiness' advice when you proof text:

Quote
Introduction: The Danger of Using “One Single Verse!”

Who's using one verse? I've dozens of them, but we must discuss them one at a time. There are at least three in the post you are responding to.

You deny using "one single verse" in your proof texts?   :o

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1007 on: October 18, 2010, 01:21:56 AM »
To be clear on this, I ask following questions.

Are any of you saved now?

If you sinned just before you died, are you eternally lost?

Must you wait for the Day of Judgment to learn if you are saved?
Why do you want to know?

Its self contradiction a man say he isn't saved, yet is a Christian.

 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." (Rom 10:11 NKJ)

If its possible you will be put to shame later, then you do not believe on Him now, for the promise is believing now, no shame later.


So you just want to continue the usual business of trashing our beliefs in the vain hope that you might just rope a couple of us into your heresy. Sorry, not playing your game.

I've trashed nothing, pointing out inconsistency with scripture (or self contradiction) is not trashing, its apologetics.
I'm sorry, Alfred, but when you're rude to your hosts and, after two of our posters confront you about it, you justify your rudeness without offering anything resembling an "I'm sorry, please forgive me," your claim that what you're doing here is nothing more than apologetics rings hollow. Until you offer a sincerely penitent apology for your act of rudeness, I'm not sure your "apologetics" will be seen as anything more than trashing our faith.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 01:24:18 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1008 on: October 18, 2010, 01:25:27 AM »
To be clear on this, I ask following questions.

Are any of you saved now?

If you sinned just before you died, are you eternally lost?

Must you wait for the Day of Judgment to learn if you are saved?
Why do you want to know?

Its self contradiction a man say he isn't saved, yet is a Christian.

 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." (Rom 10:11 NKJ)

If its possible you will be put to shame later, then you do not believe on Him now, for the promise is believing now, no shame later.


So you just want to continue the usual business of trashing our beliefs in the vain hope that you might just rope a couple of us into your heresy. Sorry, not playing your game.

I've trashed nothing, pointing out inconsistency with scripture (or self contradiction) is not trashing, its apologetics.
I'm sorry, Alfred, but when you're rude to your hosts and, after two of our posters confront you about it, you justify your rudeness without offering anything resembling an "I'm sorry, please forgive me," your claim that what you're doing here is nothing more than apologetics rings hollow. Until you offer a sincerely penitent apology for your act of rudeness, I'm not sure your "apologetics" will be seen as anything more than trashing our faith.

Your replies will be seen as consistent ad hominem...why not address the exegesis of the texts?

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1009 on: October 18, 2010, 01:27:00 AM »
To be clear on this, I ask following questions.

Are any of you saved now?

If you sinned just before you died, are you eternally lost?

Must you wait for the Day of Judgment to learn if you are saved?
Why do you want to know?

Its self contradiction a man say he isn't saved, yet is a Christian.

 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." (Rom 10:11 NKJ)

If its possible you will be put to shame later, then you do not believe on Him now, for the promise is believing now, no shame later.


So you just want to continue the usual business of trashing our beliefs in the vain hope that you might just rope a couple of us into your heresy. Sorry, not playing your game.

I've trashed nothing, pointing out inconsistency with scripture (or self contradiction) is not trashing, its apologetics.
I'm sorry, Alfred, but when you're rude to your hosts and, after two of our posters confront you about it, you justify your rudeness without offering anything resembling an "I'm sorry, please forgive me," your claim that what you're doing here is nothing more than apologetics rings hollow. Until you offer a sincerely penitent apology for your act of rudeness, I'm not sure your "apologetics" will be seen as anything more than trashing our faith.

Your replies will be seen as consistent ad hominem...why not address the exegesis of the texts?


No, I will not, and I will encourage everyone else on this thread to follow my lead until we receive a sincere public apology for your rudeness in Reply #982.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 01:33:04 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1010 on: October 18, 2010, 02:25:06 AM »
Plus, calling birth an event instead of a process won't score points with the ladies, let me tell you ;)

Right on.  Even my quickest labor & birth -- which was one hour from the time I new I was really in labor to when the baby was in our arms -- was a process.  Looking back I realized the contractions I'd been having for the previous week, which I thought were "braxton-hicks" contractions (i.e., "practice" ones) must have been real ones getting me ready for a quick delivery.  But even once she was in our arms it was 10-15 minutes before the cord was cut, another 30-45 minutes before the afterbirth was delivered, and six weeks until the healing in my body was complete.  

PLUS -- the birth is a wonderful bringing forth of the new life, but it's actually not what's important in the bigger picture of things. Goodness, no. It's just the end of the beginning. NOW we have nourishment, physical growth, getting to know our makers (parents), the development of wonder and gratitude, training in the virtues, learning to obey, etc. And this is true life -- growing and becoming the people we were designed to be. A continued process that goes until we die -- and while no analogy is perfect, this can be thought of spiritually as well. "He who endures to the end will be saved." That surely sounds like salvation being a process to me.  


Evidently a clarification is beyond the intellectual capacity of the Orthodox posting here.

Is that right?

Or perhaps none of you know the answer?
Alfred, most of your taunting on this thread has been within the bounds of permissible trash talk (i.e., focused on arguments and on puffing yourself up, not on tearing others down), but that comment about our intellectual capacity is just plain rude. We do not tolerate such personal insults on this forum; therefore, you are receiving this warning to last for the next three weeks. Do this again, and you will be placed on post moderation, a status where every one of your posts will need to be approved by a moderator before it will appear on the forum. If you think this warning unfair, please feel free to appeal it via private message to Fr. George.

- PeterTheAleut

I apologize for being rude
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1011 on: October 18, 2010, 03:37:28 AM »
To the OP:

In the odd chance that this hasn't been posted in this thread yet (it probably has, but I'm not willing to fish through 20+ pages to find out), here is a youtube video which provides a rather succint answer to the question: "Are you saved?" from an Orthodox perspective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAlCze3ZFjA

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1012 on: October 18, 2010, 04:26:33 AM »
Plus, calling birth an event instead of a process won't score points with the ladies, let me tell you ;)

Right on.  Even my quickest labor & birth -- which was one hour from the time I new I was really in labor to when the baby was in our arms -- was a process.  Looking back I realized the contractions I'd been having for the previous week, which I thought were "braxton-hicks" contractions (i.e., "practice" ones) must have been real ones getting me ready for a quick delivery.  But even once she was in our arms it was 10-15 minutes before the cord was cut, another 30-45 minutes before the afterbirth was delivered, and six weeks until the healing in my body was complete.  

PLUS -- the birth is a wonderful bringing forth of the new life, but it's actually not what's important in the bigger picture of things. Goodness, no. It's just the end of the beginning. NOW we have nourishment, physical growth, getting to know our makers (parents), the development of wonder and gratitude, training in the virtues, learning to obey, etc. And this is true life -- growing and becoming the people we were designed to be. A continued process that goes until we die -- and while no analogy is perfect, this can be thought of spiritually as well. "He who endures to the end will be saved." That surely sounds like salvation being a process to me.  


Evidently a clarification is beyond the intellectual capacity of the Orthodox posting here.

Is that right?

Or perhaps none of you know the answer?
Alfred, most of your taunting on this thread has been within the bounds of permissible trash talk (i.e., focused on arguments and on puffing yourself up, not on tearing others down), but that comment about our intellectual capacity is just plain rude. We do not tolerate such personal insults on this forum; therefore, you are receiving this warning to last for the next three weeks. Do this again, and you will be placed on post moderation, a status where every one of your posts will need to be approved by a moderator before it will appear on the forum. If you think this warning unfair, please feel free to appeal it via private message to Fr. George.

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I apologize for being rude

I don't believe you.
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Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1013 on: October 18, 2010, 08:26:09 AM »
Plus, calling birth an event instead of a process won't score points with the ladies, let me tell you ;)

Right on.  Even my quickest labor & birth -- which was one hour from the time I new I was really in labor to when the baby was in our arms -- was a process.  Looking back I realized the contractions I'd been having for the previous week, which I thought were "braxton-hicks" contractions (i.e., "practice" ones) must have been real ones getting me ready for a quick delivery.  But even once she was in our arms it was 10-15 minutes before the cord was cut, another 30-45 minutes before the afterbirth was delivered, and six weeks until the healing in my body was complete.  

PLUS -- the birth is a wonderful bringing forth of the new life, but it's actually not what's important in the bigger picture of things. Goodness, no. It's just the end of the beginning. NOW we have nourishment, physical growth, getting to know our makers (parents), the development of wonder and gratitude, training in the virtues, learning to obey, etc. And this is true life -- growing and becoming the people we were designed to be. A continued process that goes until we die -- and while no analogy is perfect, this can be thought of spiritually as well. "He who endures to the end will be saved." That surely sounds like salvation being a process to me.  


Evidently a clarification is beyond the intellectual capacity of the Orthodox posting here.

Is that right?

Or perhaps none of you know the answer?
Alfred, most of your taunting on this thread has been within the bounds of permissible trash talk (i.e., focused on arguments and on puffing yourself up, not on tearing others down), but that comment about our intellectual capacity is just plain rude. We do not tolerate such personal insults on this forum; therefore, you are receiving this warning to last for the next three weeks. Do this again, and you will be placed on post moderation, a status where every one of your posts will need to be approved by a moderator before it will appear on the forum. If you think this warning unfair, please feel free to appeal it via private message to Fr. George.

- PeterTheAleut

I apologize for being rude

I don't believe you.

Its your motives that are suspect. You have never answered any scriptural issue with sound exegesis.

I apologized for any offense, but as you do with scripture, so also with my apology, you don't accept it.

I knew the time of my banning is always near, as I said, my apologetic is irrefutable because its the truth and truth cannot be subverted by error.

Do what you have been planning to do all along, what you do, do quickly.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 08:27:40 AM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline recent convert

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1014 on: October 18, 2010, 09:03:38 AM »
Plus, calling birth an event instead of a process won't score points with the ladies, let me tell you ;)

Right on.  Even my quickest labor & birth -- which was one hour from the time I new I was really in labor to when the baby was in our arms -- was a process.  Looking back I realized the contractions I'd been having for the previous week, which I thought were "braxton-hicks" contractions (i.e., "practice" ones) must have been real ones getting me ready for a quick delivery.  But even once she was in our arms it was 10-15 minutes before the cord was cut, another 30-45 minutes before the afterbirth was delivered, and six weeks until the healing in my body was complete.  

PLUS -- the birth is a wonderful bringing forth of the new life, but it's actually not what's important in the bigger picture of things. Goodness, no. It's just the end of the beginning. NOW we have nourishment, physical growth, getting to know our makers (parents), the development of wonder and gratitude, training in the virtues, learning to obey, etc. And this is true life -- growing and becoming the people we were designed to be. A continued process that goes until we die -- and while no analogy is perfect, this can be thought of spiritually as well. "He who endures to the end will be saved." That surely sounds like salvation being a process to me.  


Evidently a clarification is beyond the intellectual capacity of the Orthodox posting here.

Is that right?

Or perhaps none of you know the answer?
Alfred, most of your taunting on this thread has been within the bounds of permissible trash talk (i.e., focused on arguments and on puffing yourself up, not on tearing others down), but that comment about our intellectual capacity is just plain rude. We do not tolerate such personal insults on this forum; therefore, you are receiving this warning to last for the next three weeks. Do this again, and you will be placed on post moderation, a status where every one of your posts will need to be approved by a moderator before it will appear on the forum. If you think this warning unfair, please feel free to appeal it via private message to Fr. George.

- PeterTheAleut

I apologize for being rude

I don't believe you.

Its your motives that are suspect. You have never answered any scriptural issue with sound exegesis.

I apologized for any offense, but as you do with scripture, so also with my apology, you don't accept it.

I knew the time of my banning is always near, as I said, my apologetic is irrefutable because its the truth and truth cannot be subverted by error.

Do what you have been planning to do all along, what you do, do quickly.
Salvation is from Christ in whom we must abide in love, faith, & hope as St. Paul states. It is only through this that there is (by the grace of God) justification and for us living it will be justification as the just must live by faith. It is in the church of Christ where we live this, what is the mystery here? You are in some sort of delusion so you say this or that & claim justification on your own terms.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 09:18:34 AM by recent convert »
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Offline bogdan

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1015 on: October 18, 2010, 09:26:03 AM »
St. Paul sates, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  Philippians 2:12

Paul did NOT say "work FOR your salvation," he said "WORK OUT," that is a big difference.

To illustrate the difference, You "work for food" but NOT "work out food." One can "work out their own diet" by living in accordance with it.

We don't believe salvation is a legal fiction, that's for certain.

Offline bogdan

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1016 on: October 18, 2010, 09:27:59 AM »
Its your motives that are suspect. You have never answered any scriptural issue with sound exegesis.

I apologized for any offense, but as you do with scripture, so also with my apology, you don't accept it.

I knew the time of my banning is always near, as I said, my apologetic is irrefutable because its the truth and truth cannot be subverted by error.

Do what you have been planning to do all along, what you do, do quickly.

Your martyr complex is showing. But you're no martyr.


Offline Fr. George

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1017 on: October 18, 2010, 10:57:00 AM »
Are any of you saved now?

I've already answered this.

If you sinned just before you died, are you eternally lost?

Um, our eternal salvation will be based on more than a momentary lapse of judgment, we hope.  Of course, it depends on what you're talking about - if your dying breath is cursing God, there may be a different answer to this.

Must you wait for the Day of Judgment to learn if you are saved?

Not necessarily.

Curious...how do you reconcile that, with this:

 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
 (Eph 1:3-7 NKJ)

Salvation appears to have been won, before the founding of the world, by God's grace, according to the good pleasure of His will.

I need you to answer a question before I can give an appropriate answer: do you believe that all are/will be saved?
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Offline Marc1152

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1018 on: October 18, 2010, 11:05:53 AM »
I think this lecture covers most everything we have been debating in this thread about Protestant confusion over Tradition. It's easy to listen to and IMHO gets very good after part one ( which is a bit basic).


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ7Y_eFq6l8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNyJhbD9LRc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJMVCGm0iVs&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gd2eFCqR3r8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMXOzjdd32c&feature=related
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 11:08:09 AM by Marc1152 »
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1019 on: October 18, 2010, 12:33:12 PM »
This is where the conversation left off:

Scripture says those who truly believe in Christ NOW will NEVER be put to shame, therefore if you believe its possible you will be put to shame, it follows you do not truly believe NOW.

For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." (Rom 10:11 NKJ)

I happened upon Salvation In the Orthodox Concept By His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
http://www.suscopts.org/stgeorgetampa/salvation_in_the_orthodox_1.html

The first text he cites is clearly inconsistent with Paul's meaning:

St. Paul sates, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  Philippians 2:12

Paul did NOT say "work FOR your salvation," he said "WORK OUT," that is a big difference.

To illustrate the difference, You "work for food" but NOT "work out food." One can "work out their own diet" by living in accordance with it.

Paul is using "Salvation" ethically, not soteriologically. Believers already saved are WORKING OUT the salvation God has graciously given them, in the community, with fear and trembling. They are to live consistent with their profession, work out the teachings of Christ, before all, knowing they are unworthy to be so blessed by God.

Paul goes on to completely contradict His Holiness Pope Shenouda III:

for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phi 2:13 NKJ)

So they cannot be working FOR salvation when its God who works in them to both the will and do His good pleasure, they must be WORKING OUT, letting the will of God be done through them,  in full realization of our unworthiness to be so highly honored by God.

for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phi 2:13 NKJ)


Context proves this, the verse begins with "So then," pointing to Christ's example of Holy Living, "just as you have always obeyed in my presence, obey in my absence, live holy lives in the community working out your great salvation before the eyes of all the people:



Peter said the same thing, using different words:

 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
 (2Pe 1:10-11 KJV)

We make our calling and election sure, i.e., establish the fact God has called and elected us, when we can be known by our fruits He is our Father. THEN we will never fail, and our entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of Christ will be glorious...We will be rewarded for our faithfulness, with a glorious entrance into the Kingdom, perhaps a heavenly announcement of our names to everyone gathered!



« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 12:34:15 PM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline recent convert

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1020 on: October 18, 2010, 12:43:32 PM »
This is where the conversation left off:

Scripture says those who truly believe in Christ NOW will NEVER be put to shame, therefore if you believe its possible you will be put to shame, it follows you do not truly believe NOW.

For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." (Rom 10:11 NKJ)

I happened upon Salvation In the Orthodox Concept By His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
http://www.suscopts.org/stgeorgetampa/salvation_in_the_orthodox_1.html

The first text he cites is clearly inconsistent with Paul's meaning:

St. Paul sates, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  Philippians 2:12

Paul did NOT say "work FOR your salvation," he said "WORK OUT," that is a big difference.

To illustrate the difference, You "work for food" but NOT "work out food." One can "work out their own diet" by living in accordance with it.

Paul is using "Salvation" ethically, not soteriologically. Believers already saved are WORKING OUT the salvation God has graciously given them, in the community, with fear and trembling. They are to live consistent with their profession, work out the teachings of Christ, before all, knowing they are unworthy to be so blessed by God.

Paul goes on to completely contradict His Holiness Pope Shenouda III:

for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phi 2:13 NKJ)

So they cannot be working FOR salvation when its God who works in them to both the will and do His good pleasure, they must be WORKING OUT, letting the will of God be done through them,  in full realization of our unworthiness to be so highly honored by God.

for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phi 2:13 NKJ)


Context proves this, the verse begins with "So then," pointing to Christ's example of Holy Living, "just as you have always obeyed in my presence, obey in my absence, live holy lives in the community working out your great salvation before the eyes of all the people:



Peter said the same thing, using different words:

 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
 (2Pe 1:10-11 KJV)

We make our calling and election sure, i.e., establish the fact God has called and elected us, when we can be known by our fruits He is our Father. THEN we will never fail, and our entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of Christ will be glorious...We will be rewarded for our faithfulness, with a glorious entrance into the Kingdom, perhaps a heavenly announcement of our names to everyone gathered!




You continually justify yourself and distort St. Paul's teachings. Why must we abide in love, faith, & hope if all is already a done deal. "If ye continue in the faith grouded & settled , and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel..." (Colossians 1:23). You preach self assured heresy.
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Offline Papist

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1021 on: October 18, 2010, 12:44:58 PM »
This is where the conversation left off:

Scripture says those who truly believe in Christ NOW will NEVER be put to shame, therefore if you believe its possible you will be put to shame, it follows you do not truly believe NOW.

For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." (Rom 10:11 NKJ)

I happened upon Salvation In the Orthodox Concept By His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
http://www.suscopts.org/stgeorgetampa/salvation_in_the_orthodox_1.html

The first text he cites is clearly inconsistent with Paul's meaning:

St. Paul sates, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  Philippians 2:12

Paul did NOT say "work FOR your salvation," he said "WORK OUT," that is a big difference.

To illustrate the difference, You "work for food" but NOT "work out food." One can "work out their own diet" by living in accordance with it.

Paul is using "Salvation" ethically, not soteriologically. Believers already saved are WORKING OUT the salvation God has graciously given them, in the community, with fear and trembling. They are to live consistent with their profession, work out the teachings of Christ, before all, knowing they are unworthy to be so blessed by God.

Paul goes on to completely contradict His Holiness Pope Shenouda III:

for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phi 2:13 NKJ)

So they cannot be working FOR salvation when its God who works in them to both the will and do His good pleasure, they must be WORKING OUT, letting the will of God be done through them,  in full realization of our unworthiness to be so highly honored by God.

for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phi 2:13 NKJ)


Context proves this, the verse begins with "So then," pointing to Christ's example of Holy Living, "just as you have always obeyed in my presence, obey in my absence, live holy lives in the community working out your great salvation before the eyes of all the people:



Peter said the same thing, using different words:

 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
 (2Pe 1:10-11 KJV)

We make our calling and election sure, i.e., establish the fact God has called and elected us, when we can be known by our fruits He is our Father. THEN we will never fail, and our entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of Christ will be glorious...We will be rewarded for our faithfulness, with a glorious entrance into the Kingdom, perhaps a heavenly announcement of our names to everyone gathered!




"See how a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone." - James 2:24
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline genesisone

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1022 on: October 18, 2010, 01:01:01 PM »

Paul is using "Salvation" ethically, not soteriologically.

Alfred, I'm going to accept your earlier apology and reenter this conversation.

I spent enough years (+50) as an Evangelical Protestant, so I really do understand why much of what we say seems so contradictory. In most cases, you will find that reconciliation is easily done once an understanding of terms is clarified.

Because I do understand where you are coming from in the post of which I quoted just a very brief excerpt, I don't have a reason to try to work through it bit by bit.

I do think that if you can better understand Orthodox terminology, you will better understand Orthodox teaching.

Please understand that this is a "conversation starter question", and not an argument: Just exactly, in your way of thinking, are we as Christians saved from? Please try to be as brief as possible, but not as simplistic as "from our sins"  :). Once I see your response, I trust that you will be kind enough for me (and others if they see fit) to show you any differences in our use of the words "saved, salvation," and all their variants. If we don't understand each other's language, we'll be wasting our time.

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1023 on: October 18, 2010, 01:44:49 PM »
This is where the conversation left off:

Scripture says those who truly believe in Christ NOW will NEVER be put to shame, therefore if you believe its possible you will be put to shame, it follows you do not truly believe NOW.

For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." (Rom 10:11 NKJ)

I happened upon Salvation In the Orthodox Concept By His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
http://www.suscopts.org/stgeorgetampa/salvation_in_the_orthodox_1.html

The first text he cites is clearly inconsistent with Paul's meaning:

St. Paul sates, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  Philippians 2:12

Paul did NOT say "work FOR your salvation," he said "WORK OUT," that is a big difference.

To illustrate the difference, You "work for food" but NOT "work out food." One can "work out their own diet" by living in accordance with it.

Paul is using "Salvation" ethically, not soteriologically. Believers already saved are WORKING OUT the salvation God has graciously given them, in the community, with fear and trembling. They are to live consistent with their profession, work out the teachings of Christ, before all, knowing they are unworthy to be so blessed by God.

Paul goes on to completely contradict His Holiness Pope Shenouda III:

for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phi 2:13 NKJ)

So they cannot be working FOR salvation when its God who works in them to both the will and do His good pleasure, they must be WORKING OUT, letting the will of God be done through them,  in full realization of our unworthiness to be so highly honored by God.

for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phi 2:13 NKJ)


Context proves this, the verse begins with "So then," pointing to Christ's example of Holy Living, "just as you have always obeyed in my presence, obey in my absence, live holy lives in the community working out your great salvation before the eyes of all the people:



Peter said the same thing, using different words:

 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
 (2Pe 1:10-11 KJV)

We make our calling and election sure, i.e., establish the fact God has called and elected us, when we can be known by our fruits He is our Father. THEN we will never fail, and our entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of Christ will be glorious...We will be rewarded for our faithfulness, with a glorious entrance into the Kingdom, perhaps a heavenly announcement of our names to everyone gathered!




"See how a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone." - James 2:24


Your perspective is wrong,  a man's works justifies his claim he is a Christian, by his works, and not by his profession only. Then James lists examples:

 18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe-- and tremble!
 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God.
 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

 (Jam 2:18-1 NKJ)

James is arguing with a Jew (1:1) who believes he has caught James in a logical inconsistency. James says we are under a law of liberty, salvation by grace through faith, and not by works, "You have faith." BUT James also says faith without works accomplishes nothing for anyone, not the community at large, or the "believer", it is completely dead:

 14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
 16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
 (Jam 2:14-17 NKJ)

Just as a dead body lacks animating spirit, so also faith without works is a dead faith, not the "living faith" that is able to save.

He is not saying works can animate the corpse, he is saying "if there is no light radiating from the light bulb, there is  no electricity in it."

Regardless of the profession, we can know them by their fruits.

The logical inconsistency? As James cannot prove "saving faith" exists without works, saving faith cannot exist without works...and the Jew is arguing for works of law, not works of charity.


 18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works [of law]." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

When you show me your "saving faith" exists by its effects, my argument faith must have works is proved."

It is clear from your showing me your faith by your works, that faith without works does not exist.

This is rabbinic argumentation, the premises are in the symbols. James' rebuttal is two fold:


You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe-- and tremble! (Jam 2:19 NKJ)

1)Orthodox belief alone cannot save, the belief in Orthodox Monotheism does not save them.
2)Faith can exist without works, Demons have no works according to their faith, yet their faith in Him is so strong they tremble.

Then James returns to his thesis, Christian faith without works of charity indicates the person has a dead faith, and a dead faith cannot save:

 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? (Jam 2:20 NKJ)

He therefore is foolish arguing intellectual assent to a particular truth can save...it cannot. One must radiate works of love to their fellow man, otherwise they do not have the "saving faith" of Christ. Their faith is a counterfeit that cannot save.

Then James shows how a good tree is known by its fruits, these were "declared righteous" (ἐδικαιώθη)(by observers) by their works, that they had saving faith is proved by their righteous acts of faith:

 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God.
 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
 (Jam 2:20-26 NKJ)

God's divine plan for faith is "completed, perfected" when the faith He implants in a believer, radiates the works God ordained he do in the community:

for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
 (Phi 2:13 NKJ)

 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:8-10 KJV)

Our divinely implanted faith is perfected in our realm of existence, when its works are manifest to the community.



The last verse proves this is James' intention, just as a body without spirit is dead, so also faith without works is a dead faith unable to save, a counterfeit the children of the devil have...while they persecute real believers.



« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 02:14:57 PM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1024 on: October 18, 2010, 02:31:34 PM »
This is where the conversation left off:

If the entire post that follows is in response to my question, it doesn't answer my question, which is, worded differently:

You have stated, "Salvation appears to have been won, before the founding of the world, by God's grace, according to the good pleasure of His will."  Do you believe that all were, are or will be saved?  (There are two affirmations required: 1. were, are, or will be, and 2. Do you believe that all {insert choice here} saved?)
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Offline recent convert

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1025 on: October 18, 2010, 02:44:36 PM »
This heretic keeps justifying himself, portraying himself as undergoing persecution, hurling scriptures as definition of faith but fails to express how one shoukd live it, has not identified what group (or perhaps synagogue of satan?) he is associated with, wants to keep trying to prove himself right (perhaps most other Protestants let alone Orthodox & Catholics?). Most of us were, have known, & still know other non Orthodox Christians & would loathe to render their theology as being against Christ as the vile heresy on this thread spews against Orthodoxy.
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Offline Tzimis

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1026 on: October 18, 2010, 03:52:07 PM »
Giving one's self over to the church is a leap of faith usually. When we are at odds with it's teachings it's only because of our own sinfulness that we see it as such. In order to overcome you must pray and fast.

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1027 on: October 18, 2010, 04:11:55 PM »

Paul is using "Salvation" ethically, not soteriologically.

Alfred, I'm going to accept your earlier apology and reenter this conversation.

I spent enough years (+50) as an Evangelical Protestant, so I really do understand why much of what we say seems so contradictory. In most cases, you will find that reconciliation is easily done once an understanding of terms is clarified.

Because I do understand where you are coming from in the post of which I quoted just a very brief excerpt, I don't have a reason to try to work through it bit by bit.

I do think that if you can better understand Orthodox terminology, you will better understand Orthodox teaching.

Please understand that this is a "conversation starter question", and not an argument: Just exactly, in your way of thinking, are we as Christians saved from? Please try to be as brief as possible, but not as simplistic as "from our sins"  :). Once I see your response, I trust that you will be kind enough for me (and others if they see fit) to show you any differences in our use of the words "saved, salvation," and all their variants. If we don't understand each other's language, we'll be wasting our time.

That's good advice, I realize the need, hence my requests for orthodox commentary etc.

I noticed theosis has parallels to the new birth, but the idea of a process of salvation is incompatible, hence I asked for clarification to be sure our differences weren't semantic only.

So what precisely made you doubt evangelical Protestantism?

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1028 on: October 18, 2010, 05:08:54 PM »
This is where the conversation left off:

If the entire post that follows is in response to my question, it doesn't answer my question, which is, worded differently:

You have stated, "Salvation appears to have been won, before the founding of the world, by God's grace, according to the good pleasure of His will."  Do you believe that all were, are or will be saved?  (There are two affirmations required: 1. were, are, or will be, and 2. Do you believe that all {insert choice here} saved?)

I asked what you believe on these texts...given your belief one doesn't know if they are saved till _____.

What I believe is stated in the texts, God chose before creating the world, who would be saved, according the good purpose of His will = according to criteria He didn't reveal to us, and evidently never will.

We do know it wasn't according to anything in us now or anything we do now:

 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
 (Eph 2:4-10 NKJ)

Its an act of divine creation that put us "in Christ Jesus", therefore man's skill, strength, desire or will weren't used.

While God evidently feels its none of our business why He elected us, He did make it clear our salvation was according to His will, His mercy, and "not of ourselves," but is a gift. Rightly understood, we then work out our salvation, obey the Spirit of God in us who inspires us to good works,  in genuine fear and trembling for realize just how unworthy of His grace we really are...

Therefore we are to do the good works God ordained we do, thus the "saving Faith" He implanted in us has its completion, God's purpose for implanting it is fulfilled, as the good works God ordained we do manifest themselves in the sphere of the creature----before the eyes of both angels and men, and testify to God's glory, who was able to make what was crooked, straight:

 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
 14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,
 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
 (Phi 2:12-16 NKJ)



« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 05:17:45 PM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline genesisone

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1029 on: October 18, 2010, 05:10:42 PM »
If we don't understand each other's language, we'll be wasting our time.

That's good advice, I realize the need, hence my requests for orthodox commentary etc.

I noticed theosis has parallels to the new birth, but the idea of a process of salvation is incompatible, hence I asked for clarification to be sure our differences weren't semantic only.

So what precisely made you doubt evangelical Protestantism?
I know you've been frustrated with what appears to be stonewalling in your requests for commentaries. But really it's true. There is no neat little package that explains everything. Let me try with an example: during my Protestant years my family and I spent three years in Paraguay in mission work (I taught in an English-language school, but was also heavily involved in the local church). No amount of reading about Paraguay would have prepared us fully. Nothing can possibly capture the actual experience of living there. It's much like that with Orthodoxy. You can read about it in many places, but the pieces don't fit until you experience life there. So until one actually begins to live the Orthodox life, everything will seem to be piecemeal and choppy. Remember, you're dealing with a completely different culture and mindset. Orthodoxy is as organized as a Middle Eastern bazaar. You and I can't quite figure out how it works, but it does  :).

Actually Alfred, I noticed that theosis is equivalent to John Wesley's doctrine of entire sanctification. In partial answer to your last question, finding out about theosis made me very comfortable about continuing my exploration of the Orthodox faith. In recent years, Wesley's teachings have been getting much less play in my former denomination (and others in the Wesleyan/Holiness/Methodist family),  yet I'm old enough to remember some of the "good old days".

During the 1990s, I went through what I suppose could be called a mid-life crisis (though that's not how I labelled it then - it was just life). During one study, I was challenged to consider carefully the creation account in Genesis to consider how I might have been created and why. Somehow I knew that God wanted me to become the man He created me to be. Yet that concept was not part of the spiritual life I was being offered in my church. It never occurred to me to go elsewhere. Overall, I was satisfied. I had never known anything else. One other major event - in October of 1998, I had a detached retina (repaired well). On the first Sunday that I went back to church after the surgery, it was still difficult for me to see (eyes very sensitive to light). I remember sitting in the pew thinking, "How would my worship change if I were to become blind?" The answer was, "Not at all". I knew there was something wrong there. God created me with five senses. How could I not offer them all back in worship of Him Who created me? But, as I said, I had no idea of where to go, so I simply passed it off as one of those things that would be answered when I got to heaven.

Well, in late 2003, on a whim, I attended an Orthodox worship service. Really just curiosity. I had noticed in the newspaper that an English language parish was starting up. Otherwise, all Orthodox churches anywhere nearby hold services in languages other than English. I had figured that Orthodoxy was a slightly off-base form of Christianity that was focused only on people of certain ethnic groups.

What a surprise! I found immediately an answer to my questions about the use of the senses in worship. That was enough to get me started on looking seriously. I came across theosis, and as I said earlier, I really felt at home and on track with that. I continued. The Orthodox concept of salvation is that we are indeed saved by becoming the people God created us to be. We are separated from Him by a sinful condition. This separation leads us to sinful acts, which compounds the problem. God wants to deal with that root issue. That's what salvation is all about, and that's what I had been longing for.

I have nothing against my former denomination. I still have many good friends there and I appreciate all that was done for me for fifty years. But God wanted me to experience something beyond what I was finding there. So here I am. It has proven to be a rich and rewarding experience.

The main point for me has been a deeper understanding of the Incarnation, of developing a relationship with the man Jesus. Evangelicals do a good job showing His divinity, but even though they assent to it intellectually, don't get far with His humanity. Yet in the Gospels, Jesus came across to those around Him firstly as man. Once people got to know Him that way, His divinity could be declared. For example, it was the man Jesus who got into a small boat and went to sleep. It was the God Jesus who calmed the storm.

This could get long so I'll stop before boring you. I hope this answers some of your questions.


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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1030 on: October 18, 2010, 05:23:02 PM »
I apologized for any offense, but as you do with scripture, so also with my apology, you don't accept it.

I knew the time of my banning is always near, as I said, my apologetic is irrefutable because its the truth and truth cannot be subverted by error.

Do what you have been planning to do all along, what you do, do quickly.

This thread has existed for more than 1,000 posts and what have you proven ... zero, nada, zilch.   >:(

Your own escalating behavior "may" result in the pre-destined outcome you desire; otherwise, we have been very charitable to you even as you trash this forum and abuse the hospitality you have received.

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1031 on: October 18, 2010, 05:40:11 PM »
If we don't understand each other's language, we'll be wasting our time.

That's good advice, I realize the need, hence my requests for orthodox commentary etc.

I noticed theosis has parallels to the new birth, but the idea of a process of salvation is incompatible, hence I asked for clarification to be sure our differences weren't semantic only.

So what precisely made you doubt evangelical Protestantism?
I know you've been frustrated with what appears to be stonewalling in your requests for commentaries. But really it's true. There is no neat little package that explains everything. Let me try with an example: during my Protestant years my family and I spent three years in Paraguay in mission work (I taught in an English-language school, but was also heavily involved in the local church). No amount of reading about Paraguay would have prepared us fully. Nothing can possibly capture the actual experience of living there. It's much like that with Orthodoxy. You can read about it in many places, but the pieces don't fit until you experience life there. So until one actually begins to live the Orthodox life, everything will seem to be piecemeal and choppy. Remember, you're dealing with a completely different culture and mindset. Orthodoxy is as organized as a Middle Eastern bazaar. You and I can't quite figure out how it works, but it does  :).

Actually Alfred, I noticed that theosis is equivalent to John Wesley's doctrine of entire sanctification. In partial answer to your last question, finding out about theosis made me very comfortable about continuing my exploration of the Orthodox faith. In recent years, Wesley's teachings have been getting much less play in my former denomination (and others in the Wesleyan/Holiness/Methodist family),  yet I'm old enough to remember some of the "good old days".

During the 1990s, I went through what I suppose could be called a mid-life crisis (though that's not how I labelled it then - it was just life). During one study, I was challenged to consider carefully the creation account in Genesis to consider how I might have been created and why. Somehow I knew that God wanted me to become the man He created me to be. Yet that concept was not part of the spiritual life I was being offered in my church. It never occurred to me to go elsewhere. Overall, I was satisfied. I had never known anything else. One other major event - in October of 1998, I had a detached retina (repaired well). On the first Sunday that I went back to church after the surgery, it was still difficult for me to see (eyes very sensitive to light). I remember sitting in the pew thinking, "How would my worship change if I were to become blind?" The answer was, "Not at all". I knew there was something wrong there. God created me with five senses. How could I not offer them all back in worship of Him Who created me? But, as I said, I had no idea of where to go, so I simply passed it off as one of those things that would be answered when I got to heaven.

Well, in late 2003, on a whim, I attended an Orthodox worship service. Really just curiosity. I had noticed in the newspaper that an English language parish was starting up. Otherwise, all Orthodox churches anywhere nearby hold services in languages other than English. I had figured that Orthodoxy was a slightly off-base form of Christianity that was focused only on people of certain ethnic groups.

What a surprise! I found immediately an answer to my questions about the use of the senses in worship. That was enough to get me started on looking seriously. I came across theosis, and as I said earlier, I really felt at home and on track with that. I continued. The Orthodox concept of salvation is that we are indeed saved by becoming the people God created us to be. We are separated from Him by a sinful condition. This separation leads us to sinful acts, which compounds the problem. God wants to deal with that root issue. That's what salvation is all about, and that's what I had been longing for.

I have nothing against my former denomination. I still have many good friends there and I appreciate all that was done for me for fifty years. But God wanted me to experience something beyond what I was finding there. So here I am. It has proven to be a rich and rewarding experience.

The main point for me has been a deeper understanding of the Incarnation, of developing a relationship with the man Jesus. Evangelicals do a good job showing His divinity, but even though they assent to it intellectually, don't get far with His humanity. Yet in the Gospels, Jesus came across to those around Him firstly as man. Once people got to know Him that way, His divinity could be declared. For example, it was the man Jesus who got into a small boat and went to sleep. It was the God Jesus who calmed the storm.

This could get long so I'll stop before boring you. I hope this answers some of your questions.



Thank you for your reply, it certainly did explain it.

I agree theosis is an interesting concept, a perspective I never heard as a Protestant...not to say it isn't taught, only that I never heard it...except as you mentioned, Wesleyan soteriology  and the new birth. I will study it further.

You might be surprised I don't criticize you...in fact I am happy you are happy, that you find fulfillment where you are.

Evidently Orthodoxy satisfies some of your needs...I tend to see Christendom like that, in the variety of churches, more needs are met than if all were precisely alike ...1 Cor 3:10-15 proves to me all Christian churches built upon the One foundation of Christ (Nicene Trinitarianism) are the One Holy Catholic Church. I don't say individual members (=denominations by extension) of the one body of Christ, aren't necessary.

While I would never be satisfied relying upon a spiritual experience without seeing it precisely in Scripture...that is me, not something I insist others must do. I do insist spiritual experience from God will be consistent with scripture, and if it isn't, its not from Him.

Thanks again for your thoughtful reply, and God bless.




« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 05:45:32 PM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Thankful

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1032 on: October 18, 2010, 08:08:14 PM »
I tend to see Christendom like that, in the variety of churches, more needs are met than if all were precisely alike ...1 Cor 3:10-15

I, also a former protestant of 23+ years, used to think this as well; that the different denominations were different parts of the body, some being legs, some being mouths, some being fingernails, etc.  Another way I looked at it was that they showed different parts of God's personality, as it were.  Some were outgoing and charismatic, others more quite and retrospective, etc.  

But, truly, Alfred (and according to the Scripture we all love and hold dear), there can only be ONE body.  

Ephesians 4: 1-6:
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

The myriad of denominations -- some with beliefs and practices that are diametrically opposed -- are NOT of God.  Is He working through them?  Sure, He sees and knows the people who are seeking Him with pure hearts.  Is denominationalism His plan?  No, absolutely not.    

1 Cor. 1:13:
Is Christ divided?  

So, if what we see in the post-Great Schism world is not of God, then what was His plan?  Where is the Church?  Did it die out?  Did it have to be re-formed?  Re-vived?  Or did it survive?  Is it still with us?  Can we find it, can we go there?  

These are questions my husband and I asked ourselves when we converted from a half-of-a-lifetime (me) and a lifetime (him) of Protestantism earlier this year.  We looked at a timeline (http://www.bible.ca/orthodox-church-historical-timeline.gif), did some more research, talked to a priest or two, talked with Orthodox people, and came to realize that the eastern Orthodox church is historically, spiritually and, well, really, the Body of Christ.  And if it still exists -- even if He *does* work through denominations -- why would we not want to be a part of it? 
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 08:23:38 PM by Thankful »

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1033 on: October 18, 2010, 08:11:03 PM »
I asked what you believe on these texts...given your belief one doesn't know if they are saved till _____.

Yes, I know what you asked, and in order to give an adequate response I need to know about your presuppositions, since terminology is important when describing faith and terminology is understood differently amongst different groups.

What I believe is stated in the texts, God chose before creating the world, who would be saved, according the good purpose of His will = according to criteria He didn't reveal to us, and evidently never will.

So is it sufficient to say that you believe that God predestined some to be saved, and others not to be saved?

We do know it wasn't according to anything in us now or anything we do now:

 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
 (Eph 2:4-10 NKJ)

Yes, Salvation is through God's grace - but is God's grace a gift received by free-will, or is it imposed on those who are predestined to be saved?

Its an act of divine creation that put us "in Christ Jesus", therefore man's skill, strength, desire or will weren't used.

While God evidently feels its none of our business why He elected us, He did make it clear our salvation was according to His will, His mercy, and "not of ourselves," but is a gift. Rightly understood, we then work out our salvation, obey the Spirit of God in us who inspires us to good works,  in genuine fear and trembling for realize just how unworthy of His grace we really are...

Do all humans have the ability, through confession of faith & acceptance of God's Will and Word, to become members of the elect?  Are only those who have been predestined to be saved drawn to the Salvific faith in Christ Jesus?  Is it possible to have someone drawn to the faith who will not be saved because he was not amongst the elect that the Lord selected before creation?

Therefore we are to do the good works God ordained we do, thus the "saving Faith" He implanted in us has its completion, God's purpose for implanting it is fulfilled, as the good works God ordained we do manifest themselves in the sphere of the creature----before the eyes of both angels and men, and testify to God's glory, who was able to make what was crooked, straight:

 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
 14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,
 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
 (Phi 2:12-16 NKJ)  

I find it funny that you insist on a non-process model of salvation, and when quote from Philippians 2, where 14-15 describe a process. :)
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Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1034 on: October 18, 2010, 11:49:43 PM »
Actually Alfred, I noticed that theosis is equivalent to John Wesley's doctrine of entire sanctification...

What scripture contradicts the idea theosis is a reference to our "heavenly tabernacle," the "body that is spiritual" that we receive at the last trump, when the dead in Christ rise, and we who are alive are changed, in a twinkling of an eye, in the first resurrection, meeting our LORD in the air (where we are safe from the wrath of God to be poured out upon all the earth, in the great and fear inspiring Day of YHWH the Eternal Son):

NKJ  2 Peter 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

1Jo 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  

In a twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, we are changed into the glorious image of His Son:

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--
 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

 (1Co 15:50-53 NKJ)

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
 (1Th 4:14-17 NKJ)

6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Rev 20:6 NKJ)

Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  

Rom 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

1 Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.

2 Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 2 Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

1Jo 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  

Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  

Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:  

Heb 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.  


Theosis seems to me a reference to our resurrected bodies, that are incorruptible:

40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.
 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
 45 And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
 (1Co 15:40-45 NKJ)

These resurrected bodies are organically connected to the body that was sown, but have Spirit as their animating principle, not blood, and changed so that now they are "bodies that are spiritual" LIKE Christ's resurrected body...Hence He is the firstborn of many brethren...and it is in this sense we become partakers in divine nature, being raised up like Christ, who is God the Eternal Son.


Hence salvation occurs when we believe...theosis is a consequence of God's predestining us to be conformed to the image of His Son.

« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 12:19:39 AM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)