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Author Topic: Grace Alone/Faith Alone  (Read 8519 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 08, 2012, 08:45:34 PM »

Can someone please explain to me how we are not saved by grace/faith alone?
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2012, 08:54:08 PM »

It is completely through grace, but cooperative acts are part of salvation. So, traditionally, baptism saves, communion saves, etc., not that these things save in themselves or by themselves, but as part of a process, and through grace. It is not enough that you have faith, but the actual working out of that faith contributes. If you think of it in terms of salvation=healing, then they are part of the treatment. If salvation is simply an either/or thing, either you're saved or you're not, then this makes little sense. At most you are simply sanctifying that which is already saved. If, on the other hand, salvation is a life-long process, even an eternal process, then it makes sense that it is not just something going on in your head that salvation is totally about, but (since we are physical beings) it is also what we do.
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 09:27:35 PM »

faith alone?

Scripturally speaking, faith that can move mountains without love is nothing and faith without works is dead. Faith can never be alone if it is going to save us. It also says that it is impossible to please God without faith. It's kind of like air, we need it to live, but it does no good without food or water, and the air we breathe needs to be composed of the right amounts of the right elements, without pollution, and within the proper temperature range.

One thing I find funny about the "sola"s is that if they are all "alone", why is there five of them?
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2012, 10:09:31 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Can someone please explain to me how we are not saved by grace/faith alone?

Since you've been playing "Protestant's Advocate" lately, I will give just the Scriptures.

Quote
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that —and shudder.

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,
James 2:14-26

or

Quote
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
Titus 3:4-8

Notice the Apostle Paul clarifies what James was saying, that is that Grace operates through works.  Faith is made real through works.  Faith without having been manifested is simply non-existent.  What are works? Charity, almsgiving, prayer, celebrating the Saints' days or the holidays of Our Lord, going to Church on Sunday, honoring the commandments, loving our neighbors, going the extra mile, basically anything which do in the verb sense out of our relationship with God.

The works do not earn the Grace, rather the works manifest the Grace into reality.

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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2012, 10:28:32 PM »

Our definition of salvation is different from the Protestant view of salvation, therefore, this topic becomes extremely hard to discuss. The Protestant view of salvation--which is also the view that most people have--is that being saved means going to Heaven when you die, so it is a one-shot deal basically. On the other hand, the Orthodox view is that we are being saved; Theosis is our salvation; it means growing closer to God and becoming more like Him in the process. It is not a one-shot thing but a gradual process that lasts unto eternity. Of course, beating death and going to Heaven is definitely a part of salvation, but it is in no way salvation itself. Therefore, according to us, salvation comes about from both faith and works. Faith means nothing if we do not act upon it and likewise, if one truly had faith then wouldn't you think that they would act upon it? And actions/works without faith are pointless because they mean nothing if they are not directed toward Christ or our spiritual welfare. Therefore, keeping them mutually exclusive seems unsound to me, as faith and works generally go hand in hand.
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2012, 11:38:09 AM »

Interesting discussion at Internet Monk by Fr. Ernesto (cf. the comment section also): http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/fr-ernesto-obregon-an-orthodox-view-of-the-issues-in-sola-fide
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2012, 12:35:45 PM »

Quote
One thing I find funny about the "sola"s is that if they are all "alone", why is there five of them?

this.
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2012, 05:30:42 PM »

The Protestant solas were part of a conversation about justification, sanctification, and predestination in which the Orthodox never participated.  Hence it is difficult for the Orthodox either to understand the conversation or to enter into it at this late date.  Yet they must.

The Protestant solas are all about the unconditionality of God's love and mercy. 

From an Orthodox perspective, the unconditionality of God's love is uncontroversial and beyond debate:  we do not need to earn God's love; we can never merit God's love; there is nothing we can do to persuade God to love us more than he already does. In Christ God desires and wills the salvation of every human being.  So the only thing left is our acceptance and response to the God's unmerited offer of salvation through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Of course works are not insignificant; but Orthodox miss the point if they think they are the point. 

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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012, 08:50:19 AM »

Grace alone through Faith alone is one of the clearest most consistent themes in the New Testement. James 2 when read in its entirety is discussing the fruit of faith. How anyone who has true faith not to do works is ridiculous. However you can see the theif on the cross and know he didn't have works.

Saying that what are the most important works? "love your Lord God with all your heart" and "believe in Jesus Christ and you will be saved". So the most important works equate to faith.
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 09:01:14 AM »

AFAIK much of the difference between RC/EO/OO/Assyrian vs. Lutheran/Protestant viewpoints of justification is difference of perspective. Protestants are looking things from a perspective of a single moment of justification whereas the traditional Christendom is looking things from a perspective of whole life of Christians.

We all agree in the sense we all are saved through faith alone, say, at baptism and we all agree that after being born-again we all need to repent our sins and do good works in order to be saved. We all agree that we cannot earn our salvation.
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2012, 07:49:17 PM »

faith alone?

Scripturally speaking, faith that can move mountains without love is nothing and faith without works is dead. Faith can never be alone if it is going to save us. It also says that it is impossible to please God without faith. It's kind of like air, we need it to live, but it does no good without food or water, and the air we breathe needs to be composed of the right amounts of the right elements, without pollution, and within the proper temperature range.

One thing I find funny about the "sola"s is that if they are all "alone", why is there five of them?

I asked this of someone the other day and got no response.
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 08:13:21 PM »

If I believed in the five solas (which I don't), I'd say that they are addressing different things, or with regards to faith/grace/christ, I might say that they are simply looking at one thing from different angles. So, if I said that we are saved by faith alone, through grace alone, and by Christ alone, that wouldn't mean I was contradicting myself. I would just mean that, in the category that faith fits into, (faith, experience, reason, works, secret knowledge, etc.), it is faith alone that saves, not those other things; in the category that Christ fits (Christ, Socrates, Moses, etc.) it is only Christ that saves, not those other people; and so forth. Admittedly I think this falls apart upon further examination, but only because I don't think it makes sense (practically or otherwise) to believe in scripture alone or faith alone, and not because five different alones are somehow contradictory.
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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2012, 09:04:57 AM »

The 5 Solas are really one overall statement of faith.

By Gods GRACE we are saved by our FAITH in JESUS CHRIST. We know this because of SCRIPTURE and we give all the GLORY TO GOD because there isn't any way we can earn it.

Saying that as a Lutheran we believe we need to strengthen and renew that faith daily. I have a great respect for the Orthodox view of Theosis.
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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2012, 09:39:59 AM »

Can someone please explain to me how we are not saved by grace/faith alone?

On one hand we are. Praise God in all things, as all things are by the Grace of God. To my understanding, from what I have been taught/believe that includes faith itself.

Ironically this came up (it is often repeated) in Church last night. By God's Grace we receive faith. By God's Grace and Faith we, by our own free will, enter the process of repentance. By our 'cooperation' with God's Grace and through Faith in Christ our Lord we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. In that respect it is by 'faith alone' we walk toward salvation.   

However, the key word is Holy. It is the Holy Spirit that resides within us (as a guest in our hearts some might say). We should not expect Holiness to rein in our hearts if we ourselves are not living (attempting at least with all of our mind, body, and spirit) a Holy life. The 'coined phrase' our Pastor likes to use is familiar to most on here I'm sure; Faith without works is dead, faith with works... works! Faith and works it might be said are inseparable. Works does not bring upon salvation it is by the Grace of God, Faith in Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit that resides within us. Yet, how can something Holy reside in a heart that is willfully and stubbornly corrupt?

There are many that would disagree and claim 'faith alone', as in 'I am saved' is a one time event and once saved always saved regardless. I would caution accepting that view as it conflicts with Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Christian Experience. Faith and Repentance, as it has been revealed to me, is only the beginning of a life long process that is for the purpose of refining us into the Image of God for the Glory of God.

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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2012, 10:42:00 AM »

Can someone please explain to me how we are not saved by grace/faith alone?

Salvation was expressed by my Priest as follows.

God Saves, in the Son, who saves, through the Holy Spirit, who saves, by grace, in the church (Body of Christ), we respond by our life in Christ.

Life in Christ is initiated by Grace which is a gift from god, which is responded to with the gift of Faith, which is also a gift of God, resulting in good works, which is the outcome.  Not one of these alone saves but the journey to God saves.

A AFR podcast that I really liked on Salvation: http://ancientfaith.com/specials/missions_and_evangelism_conference_2008/to_heaven_together_or_to_hell_alone
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« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2012, 02:15:15 PM »


One thing I find funny about the "sola"s is that if they are all "alone", why is there five of them?

Love it!
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2012, 02:19:27 PM »

The 5 Solas are really one overall statement of faith.

By Gods GRACE we are saved by our FAITH in JESUS CHRIST. We know this because of SCRIPTURE and we give all the GLORY TO GOD because there isn't any way we can earn it.

Saying that as a Lutheran we believe we need to strengthen and renew that faith daily. I have a great respect for the Orthodox view of Theosis.

We KNOW this because Jesus Christ was INCARNATE, BAPTIZED, TAUGHT, CRUCIFIED, DIED, BURIED, RESURRECTED, ASCENDED, SENT THE COMFORTER, AND WILL COME AGAIN TO JUDGE THE WORLD (see how annoying CAPS are) and Scriptures are a WITNESS to the REVELATION of the MAN-GOD (Θεανθρπος).  Scriptures are part of holy tradition but not the holy tradition itself (one of Lutheranism's big fallacies).
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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2012, 02:44:21 PM »

Can someone please explain to me how we are not saved by grace/faith alone?

Can you explain how we are saved by any one thing? What excludes cooperation between man and God?
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2012, 03:05:28 PM »

Can someone please explain to me how we are not saved by grace/faith alone?

We are saved by Grace alone, we just disagree with the Protestants about how that Grace works and what it is.

We are not saved by Faith alone because in the only place in the bible that says "by faith alone" it comes after the word "not", see James 2:24.

Hear St. Paul, who says:

"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love...

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” -Epistle to the Galatians 5
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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2012, 03:11:54 PM »

By Gods GRACE we are saved by our FAITH in JESUS CHRIST.
Yes, but faith doesn't mean intellectual and emotional assent to Christ.

The word means faithfulness. Abraham wasn't made righteous because he had intellectual and emotional confidence that God would do the right thing. He was made righteous through his faithfulness to God, carrying out His will.
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« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2012, 03:36:08 PM »

The 5 Solas are really one overall statement of faith.

By Gods GRACE we are saved by our FAITH in JESUS CHRIST. We know this because of SCRIPTURE and we give all the GLORY TO GOD because there isn't any way we can earn it.

Saying that as a Lutheran we believe we need to strengthen and renew that faith daily. I have a great respect for the Orthodox view of Theosis.

 (see how annoying CAPS are)

Relax I only capitalized the 5 Solas for anyone that didn't know what they were rather than saying alone after each one.

Plus I was only explaining to the people who asked why 5 if they are suppose to be alone not diving into some deep theological debate
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« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2012, 06:45:34 PM »

Yeah, the "why five Solas if they're all 'alone'" argument is a clever one-liner, but that's about it. The Protestants say we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, according to Scripture alone, for which all glory goes to God alone. I don't agree with all of that, but it's not inherently contradictory. Note the differing prepositions.  Wink
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« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2012, 07:39:59 PM »

I recently asked a group of varying Protestants to define Sola Scriptura.  None were able, but the few who tried had wavering ideas of what it actually means.  Then, when non-Protestants provided definition, it turned ugly, but they still never provided a clear understanding of what it meant.  I was eventually told it was undefinable, which really surprised me because I was always able to define it as a Baptist.  When I provided my definition, I was told I didn’t understand Sola Scriptura.  Apparently not.

We never did get around to Sola Fide and Sola Gratia.
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« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2012, 07:54:42 PM »

Yeah, the "why five Solas if they're all 'alone'" argument is a clever one-liner, but that's about it. The Protestants say we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, according to Scripture alone, for which all glory goes to God alone. I don't agree with all of that, but it's not inherently contradictory. Note the differing prepositions.  Wink

I never heard it put that way before. Thanks.
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« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2012, 08:23:24 PM »

"And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books."  -Revelation 20:12
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« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2012, 08:25:41 PM »

I could agree with the principle of Sola Scriptura, provided that Scriptura does not just mean Bible.  there was no concept of Bible in the early church.  Every time the word Scripture (γραφαι) are used in the NT, it refers to the OT same with the early fathers of the 1st-3rd centuries.  By the time of the Cappadocians and even St. John Chrysostom, γραφαι referred to the OT as well as some of the NT (usually excepting the Apocalypse of St. John) and even various non-"canonical" (at least by today's standards) writings of other fathers such as the Shepherd of Hermas.  By the late fifth century through the eighth century, Scripture included not only OT and NT, but also writings of the holy fathers and the canons of councils and the prayers and liturgies of the church.  St. Isaac the Syrian uses the term Scripture precisely in that way.  
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« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2012, 08:36:37 PM »

All clever one-liners aside...

Faith alone - As I said (quoting scripture) earlier faith without love is nothing and without works is dead. If our faith is to save us, it must be acted on by us. It can't be alone. We do believe that we are saved by faith, just not alone.

Grace alone - We believe that God's grace is made available to everyone. We must actively receive it and positively respond to it in order for it to save us. We believe we are saved by grace, just not alone.

Christ alone - "We are told to "save" ourselves (1 Timothy 4:16) by following Christ, and that by drawing others closer to Christ, we can "save" them and "hide a multitude of sins" (1 Corinthians 7:16, 9:22, James 5:20, Jude 1:23) by bringing them closer to Christ, Who is the only salvation." (I stole that from my blog) It is also designed to undermine the sacramental authority that Christ gave to His Church to remit sins. "And when we fall to temptation after having been baptized into Christ and His Church, we are to seek his forgiveness from Him in His Church. We are to follow the example of David who while seeking forgiveness from the Lord also confessed his sin to the prophet Nathan. James tells us to confess our faults one to another, and pray one for another, that we may be healed. Christ told His apostles that "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained" which we see exercised by the apostle Paul  when he writes to the Corinthians "To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ"." (The only reason I'm quoting my blog is because I've already written down thoughts that might relate to the subject) We believe we are saved by Christ, but we believe that He is the one mediator because He alone is fully God and Fully man, it is his death alone that "condemns sin in the flesh", and it is His resurrection alone that raises us up to new life. We believe that those who receive love, grace, forgiveness, and life from Christ are to share that with others. We also believe that God hears and answers our prayers for others and that death is not stronger than the unity we share in Christ.

Glory to God alone - This is a denial that God is glorified in His saints because of the work that He has done and continues to do through them. We give glory to God by honoring His saints who are made holy by Him. We also give reverence to those appointed in His Church to preside over and exercise authority within His Church. We glorify God above all things, but we recognize His work that is done in His saints and honor them as being made Holy by Him. We also recognize their dedication to Christ as a model for how we could better serve Him by loving God and neighbor.

Scripture alone - We do not believe that scripture is the only means by which our faith is transmitted or that any one person's personal opinion on how it should be interpreted should be held as true when it becomes mutually exclusive to how that passage has always been continuously and consistently interpreted. We do believe scripture to be divinely inspired, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. We also believe our prayers, hymns, liturgies, icons, writings from our teachers of all ages, and contemporary teaching to be profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. We do believe that our teaching should be in line with scripture, but we also believe that scripture should be interpreted in a manner which is consistent with the other means by which we transmit our faith.
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« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2012, 11:08:57 PM »

All clever one-liners aside...

Faith alone - As I said (quoting scripture) earlier faith without love is nothing and without works is dead. If our faith is to save us, it must be acted on by us. It can't be alone. We do believe that we are saved by faith, just not alone.

Grace alone - We believe that God's grace is made available to everyone. We must actively receive it and positively respond to it in order for it to save us. We believe we are saved by grace, just not alone.

Christ alone - "We are told to "save" ourselves (1 Timothy 4:16) by following Christ, and that by drawing others closer to Christ, we can "save" them and "hide a multitude of sins" (1 Corinthians 7:16, 9:22, James 5:20, Jude 1:23) by bringing them closer to Christ, Who is the only salvation." (I stole that from my blog) It is also designed to undermine the sacramental authority that Christ gave to His Church to remit sins. "And when we fall to temptation after having been baptized into Christ and His Church, we are to seek his forgiveness from Him in His Church. We are to follow the example of David who while seeking forgiveness from the Lord also confessed his sin to the prophet Nathan. James tells us to confess our faults one to another, and pray one for another, that we may be healed. Christ told His apostles that "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained" which we see exercised by the apostle Paul  when he writes to the Corinthians "To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ"." (The only reason I'm quoting my blog is because I've already written down thoughts that might relate to the subject) We believe we are saved by Christ, but we believe that He is the one mediator because He alone is fully God and Fully man, it is his death alone that "condemns sin in the flesh", and it is His resurrection alone that raises us up to new life. We believe that those who receive love, grace, forgiveness, and life from Christ are to share that with others. We also believe that God hears and answers our prayers for others and that death is not stronger than the unity we share in Christ.

Glory to God alone - This is a denial that God is glorified in His saints because of the work that He has done and continues to do through them. We give glory to God by honoring His saints who are made holy by Him. We also give reverence to those appointed in His Church to preside over and exercise authority within His Church. We glorify God above all things, but we recognize His work that is done in His saints and honor them as being made Holy by Him. We also recognize their dedication to Christ as a model for how we could better serve Him by loving God and neighbor.

Scripture alone - We do not believe that scripture is the only means by which our faith is transmitted or that any one person's personal opinion on how it should be interpreted should be held as true when it becomes mutually exclusive to how that passage has always been continuously and consistently interpreted. We do believe scripture to be divinely inspired, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. We also believe our prayers, hymns, liturgies, icons, writings from our teachers of all ages, and contemporary teaching to be profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. We do believe that our teaching should be in line with scripture, but we also believe that scripture should be interpreted in a manner which is consistent with the other means by which we transmit our faith.

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« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2012, 11:43:36 PM »

The Protestants say we are saved by grace alone

Despite our different ideas of salvation--which are very important to take note of--there is actually nothing doctrinally unsound about this provided it is interpreted in an Orthodox sense. After all, Theosis (Our view of salvation) is only made possible to us because God had enough grace to send Jesus Christ down.

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through faith alone

This we cannot agree with, because faith and works go hand in hand. Unless of course the Protestants are willing to change their definition of faith to include love, works and the whole nine yards etc.

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in Christ alone


It is true that Christ alone is the one who saves, but it is also fair to remember that Jesus Christ saves us through the Church; in fact, the Church is the visible body of Christ on Earth. Also, fair to remember that Jesus Christ may also use people to do His work; for example, many people were saved because of Saints who witnessed to them and everything.

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according to Scripture alone

This part we cannot accept because Sola Scriptura is heretical

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for which all glory goes to God alone

This is true, but God--being ever graceful--allows us to participate in His glory through Jesus Christ
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« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2012, 11:13:47 AM »

 Every time the word Scripture (γραφαι) are used in the NT, it refers to the OT

No it doesn't, usually yes, always no. Here are a few examples:

1 Timothy 5:18
'For the Scripture says... “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
Which references Matthew 10:10 and Luke 10:7

2 Peter 3:16 - Peter equates Paul's letters to other scripture (IE Paul's letters are Scripture.)
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« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2012, 11:55:27 AM »

One thing to remember about the five solas is that they were formulated as a polemical response to the 16th century Latin Church.  Think of them as battle cries.  They do not represent the kind of nuanced positions that one might find in the best Lutheran and Reformed theologians of the day.  Moreover, the solas have been appropriated differently by different Protestant traditions.  They certainly do not mean the same thing for a confessional Lutheran as they do for a Southern Baptist, for example. 
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« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2012, 12:30:19 PM »

we are saved alone by God's mercy.
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« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2012, 03:53:48 PM »

Such a hard topic, because as JamesR said, our views of salvation are so very different.

Something to keep in mind is that Protestants are guarding against works-righteousness -- the notion that we are saved because of something we do, as if whatever the "thing" we do is the efficient cause of our salvation.  This, in turn, is largely because the same Protestants view salvation as God declaring us righteous -- salvation is unmerited favor which saves us from God's wrath and offended sense of justice.  Thus, to them, if we are saved because of something we do, we are earning our own salvation and salvation ceases to be a gift.

To us, we are saved because of the love of God, His grace.  In this sense, we are very much "grace alone."  But salvation is being united to Christ, having death defeated, restoring the communion that was lost in the fall, and grace is not unmerited favor, but the operation of God, sending His energies to unite to ours in His Son (this is why communion is such an important notion in Orthodoxy).  It is more existential than forensic, and so for us, there is nothing we can do to "earn" salvation, because salvation is a problem we are incapable of solving -- how can my good works restore in humanity the energies of God?  So we are free to talk about our works and our faith and our love and our lives, because we are not viewing these things as earning the favor of a God whose justice is offended, but we see these things as doing the will of the Father who for our sake sent His Son so that we might live the life He has given us to live.

Put simply, in the Orthodox view, we do not do good works because they please God, but because they are good for us.  Good works do not earn our salvation, they are what we were saved to do.  In that sense, good works are salvation being lived out.
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« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2012, 05:00:04 PM »

 Every time the word Scripture (γραφαι) are used in the NT, it refers to the OT

No it doesn't, usually yes, always no. Here are a few examples:

1 Timothy 5:18
'For the Scripture says... “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
Which references Matthew 10:10 and Luke 10:7

2 Peter 3:16 - Peter equates Paul's letters to other scripture (IE Paul's letters are Scripture.)
Epistles, not scripture. The apostles did not know that they were writing scripture. If they thought they were, that is the height of hubris.


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« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2012, 05:44:19 PM »

 Every time the word Scripture (γραφαι) are used in the NT, it refers to the OT

No it doesn't, usually yes, always no. Here are a few examples:

1 Timothy 5:18
'For the Scripture says... “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
Which references Matthew 10:10 and Luke 10:7

2 Peter 3:16 - Peter equates Paul's letters to other scripture (IE Paul's letters are Scripture.)

You're wrong.  With regards to 1 Timothy, St. Paul uses the term γραφη to refer to the quote from Deuteronomy, but it is not used for the line of the laborer.  What is more is that St. Paul's epistle predates both the Gospels according to St. Luke and St. Matthew.  How can he be equating with Scripture something that does  not exist yet in written form (which is the basis of the whole Lutheran sola scriptura)?  Besides, the phrase is pretty proverbial and Christ's use of it reflects that it was probably well known.  We Orthodox speak much of Scripture in Tradition and that applies right here. 

With regards to the quote from 2 Peter 3:16, I'll have to concede on that γραφη is not that way. But to come away from that passage that St. Peter is equating what St. Paul wrote as being as authoritative as the OT, there's no evidence in the context to support it.
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« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2012, 05:44:55 PM »

Epistles, not scripture. The apostles did not know that they were writing scripture. If they thought they were, that is the height of hubris.


Should have read your reply before I typed mine. +1
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« Reply #36 on: June 12, 2012, 06:20:42 PM »

Every time the word Scripture (γραφαι) are used in the NT, it refers to the OT

No it doesn't, usually yes, always no. Here are a few examples:

1 Timothy 5:18
'For the Scripture says... “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
Which references Matthew 10:10 and Luke 10:7

2 Peter 3:16 - Peter equates Paul's letters to other scripture (IE Paul's letters are Scripture.)

You're wrong.  With regards to 1 Timothy, St. Paul uses the term γραφη to refer to the quote from Deuteronomy, but it is not used for the line of the laborer.  What is more is that St. Paul's epistle predates both the Gospels according to St. Luke and St. Matthew.  How can he be equating with Scripture something that does  not exist yet in written form (which is the basis of the whole Lutheran sola scriptura)?  Besides, the phrase is pretty proverbial and Christ's use of it reflects that it was probably well known.  We Orthodox speak much of Scripture in Tradition and that applies right here.  

With regards to the quote from 2 Peter 3:16, I'll have to concede on that γραφη is not that way. But to come away from that passage that St. Peter is equating what St. Paul wrote as being as authoritative as the OT, there's no evidence in the context to support it.

I disagree, the text in 1 Timothy it shows " The laborer is worthy of his wages" in red as Christ speaking which makes it clear, at least in this translations view it's a direct quote from Christ. Also according to the translation Luke and Matthew were written in 50's-early 60's AD and 1 Timothy in 62-64 AD so the Gospels according to this translation were written before.

1 Timothy 5:18
New King James Version (NKJV)
18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”

Luke 10:7
New King James Version (NKJV)
7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house.

As for Peter I don't have great knowledge of Greek but in this version the words "also" and "rest" would seem to indicate he considered them scripture.

2 Peter 3:14-16
New King James Version (NKJV)
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
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« Reply #37 on: June 12, 2012, 06:22:07 PM »

My compliments for a fine post.

Such a hard topic, because as JamesR said, our views of salvation are so very different.

Something to keep in mind is that Protestants are guarding against works-righteousness -- the notion that we are saved because of something we do, as if whatever the "thing" we do is the efficient cause of our salvation.  This, in turn, is largely because the same Protestants view salvation as God declaring us righteous -- salvation is unmerited favor which saves us from God's wrath and offended sense of justice.  Thus, to them, if we are saved because of something we do, we are earning our own salvation and salvation ceases to be a gift.

To us, we are saved because of the love of God, His grace.  In this sense, we are very much "grace alone."  But salvation is being united to Christ, having death defeated, restoring the communion that was lost in the fall, and grace is not unmerited favor, but the operation of God, sending His energies to unite to ours in His Son (this is why communion is such an important notion in Orthodoxy).  It is more existential than forensic, and so for us, there is nothing we can do to "earn" salvation, because salvation is a problem we are incapable of solving -- how can my good works restore in humanity the energies of God?  So we are free to talk about our works and our faith and our love and our lives, because we are not viewing these things as earning the favor of a God whose justice is offended, but we see these things as doing the will of the Father who for our sake sent His Son so that we might live the life He has given us to live.

Put simply, in the Orthodox view, we do not do good works because they please God, but because they are good for us.  Good works do not earn our salvation, they are what we were saved to do.  In that sense, good works are salvation being lived out.
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« Reply #38 on: June 12, 2012, 06:38:37 PM »

Also, wouldn't have the Apostles known they were being guided by the Holy Spirit in their writtings which would make it scripture? I guess I don't see if they understood that how it would be hubris.
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« Reply #39 on: June 12, 2012, 10:34:42 PM »

Also, wouldn't have the Apostles known they were being guided by the Holy Spirit in their writtings which would make it scripture? I guess I don't see if they understood that how it would be hubris.
I don't think the Apostles came equipped with Holy Spirit dictation detectors. Nor were they writing a Quran
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« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2012, 10:55:23 PM »

Also, wouldn't have the Apostles known they were being guided by the Holy Spirit in their writtings which would make it scripture? I guess I don't see if they understood that how it would be hubris.
I don't think the Apostles came equipped with Holy Spirit dictation detectors. Nor were they writing a Quran

The Apostles spent 3 years with Jesus Christ, witnessed him after the Resurrection and were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). The Apostle Paul specifically speaks on behalf of the Lord (1 Corinthians 7: 10). Hebrews 10:9 speaks of abolishing old and establishing new covenant. I think it's an odd point of view they didn't feel their writings as scripture and we needed a council 300 years later to say so.
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« Reply #41 on: June 12, 2012, 11:13:21 PM »

Every time the word Scripture (γραφαι) are used in the NT, it refers to the OT

No it doesn't, usually yes, always no. Here are a few examples:

1 Timothy 5:18
'For the Scripture says... “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
Which references Matthew 10:10 and Luke 10:7

2 Peter 3:16 - Peter equates Paul's letters to other scripture (IE Paul's letters are Scripture.)

You're wrong.  With regards to 1 Timothy, St. Paul uses the term γραφη to refer to the quote from Deuteronomy, but it is not used for the line of the laborer.  What is more is that St. Paul's epistle predates both the Gospels according to St. Luke and St. Matthew.  How can he be equating with Scripture something that does  not exist yet in written form (which is the basis of the whole Lutheran sola scriptura)?  Besides, the phrase is pretty proverbial and Christ's use of it reflects that it was probably well known.  We Orthodox speak much of Scripture in Tradition and that applies right here.  

With regards to the quote from 2 Peter 3:16, I'll have to concede on that γραφη is not that way. But to come away from that passage that St. Peter is equating what St. Paul wrote as being as authoritative as the OT, there's no evidence in the context to support it.

I disagree, the text in 1 Timothy it shows " The laborer is worthy of his wages" in red as Christ speaking which makes it clear, at least in this translations view it's a direct quote from Christ. Also according to the translation Luke and Matthew were written in 50's-early 60's AD and 1 Timothy in 62-64 AD so the Gospels according to this translation were written before.

1 Timothy 5:18
New King James Version (NKJV)
18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”

Luke 10:7
New King James Version (NKJV)
7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house.

As for Peter I don't have great knowledge of Greek but in this version the words "also" and "rest" would seem to indicate he considered them scripture.

2 Peter 3:14-16
New King James Version (NKJV)
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.


Disagree all you want, but until you can argue with me using the original languages instead of quoting interpretative translations, your argument has failed.  Saying that because something is marked in red proves your point is laughable.   You want to say that the quotation is considered Scripture because it's also in Matthew and Luke which were NOT EVEN written yet.  Talk about putting a cart before the horse. 

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« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2012, 11:23:35 PM »

I used the New King James Version which is the version used in the Orthodox Study Bible. Again, it states Luke and Matthew were written before, argue with them, not me.
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« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2012, 11:46:27 PM »

I think it's an odd point of view they didn't feel their writings as scripture
I believe they thought God was working through them in their teaching, preaching, liturgizing, AND letters and writings. I do not believe they knew that after their deaths, the Jews would canonize the Old Testament in a new, absolute way. They also didn't know that after that, their own letters would be bound and copied together in a collection deemed authoritative, as the Jews did.

And, finally, they did not know that eighteen some-odd centuries after they lived, some American protestants would start referring to "scripture" as a category, throwing their letters in there and some of their Old Testament.

For us, there is no "scripture, this is scripture, is this according to scripture, here's a scripture". There are the Scriptures. The plural entity, not an abstract infallible category.
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« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2012, 07:22:11 AM »

I used the New King James Version which is the version used in the Orthodox Study Bible. Again, it states Luke and Matthew were written before, argue with them, not me.
That's strange. My OSB (© 2008) says on page 1632 for the date of the writing of 1 Timothy: "Probably AD 64-65"; p. 1265 for St Matthew's Gospel: "Matthew could have been written as early as AD 50, but is more likely that it was written after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70"; p. 1359 for St Luke's Gospel: "He probably wrote his gospel either from Greece or from Asia Minor in AD 70-80." Please explain why you think AD 70 precedes AD 65.

The logical solution to this is that St Paul and the Evangelists drew from the same oral tradition or unpublished written source. It seems reasonable to believe that not every word written by an Apostle became part of the New Testament.
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