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Author Topic: Saved by work and faith ( some challenges from my Protestant Friends)  (Read 1907 times) Average Rating: 0
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walter1234
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« on: December 01, 2012, 07:28:42 AM »

Today , I discuss with some Protestant Christians. I say that men cannot be saved by simply believing the Gospel. We have to cooperate with His grace , build a good relationship with God and have communion with Him,love Him and love men, and keep his commendents and work out a Christ- like life.Then, they start to challenage me.

1)They asked me to explain Luke 23:40- 43. They said that one of the criminal had just believed Jesus and done nothing, Why can he still be saved?

2) They also asked me if I just hear and beleive the gospel and Jesus, 3 minutes later, a car strike me and I die. I have no chance to build relationship and have communion with him, work out a holiness life. How can I save?

3) They also challenged me that if we have to  build a good relationship with God and have communion with Him,love Him and love men, work out a Christ-like life, or if we are saved by  faith and work(not just faith), then nobody is in the heaven now.


So, How should I reponse the these three questions?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 07:31:30 AM by walter1234 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 07:43:35 AM »

1)They asked me to explain Luke 23:40- 43. They said that one of the criminal had just believed Jesus and done nothing, Why can he still be saved?

Nobody 'earns' his way into heaven. The thief was saved by God's grace.


2) They also asked me if I just hear and beleive the gospel and Jesus, 3 minutes later, a car strike me and I die. I have no chance to build relationship and have communion with him, work out a holiness life. How can I save?

God's grace.

3) They also challenged me that if we have to  build a good relationship with God and have communion with Him,love Him and love men, work out a Christ-like life, or if we are saved by  faith and work(not just faith), then nobody is in the heaven now.

 Huh

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walter1234
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2012, 08:29:29 AM »

1)
Quote
Nobody 'earns' his way into heaven. The thief was saved by God's grace.
That's what they ask. The thief could be saved by grace ,simply believed in Christ and then done nothing else(including have communion with God).. So, all other Christians can also be saved by grace ,simply believed in Christ and do not need to do anything else(including have communion with God). Thus, Protestant 's doctrine of ' justified by faith alone' is correct.



2)
Quote
God's grace.
That's what they asked. They asked that if Christian are only saved by grace (we do not need to cooperate with God's grace,just like what you say ),why do we still have to communion with GOd and have a Christ-like life?
IF Christians have to cooperate with God's Grace in their salvation ,then, when I just hear and beleive the gospel and Jesus, 3 minutes later, a car strike me and I die. I have no chance to build relationship and have communion with him.How can I save?



3)
Quote
Huh
Protestant do not think that men can be Christ- like. Because according to Book of Roman 3:20, 3:23. All men in this world are the sinners and imperfect . It is impossible for a man to be Christ- like in this life.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 09:01:19 AM by walter1234 » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2012, 09:15:29 AM »

3) And since it is impossible for us to have communion with God and be Christ-like in this life.Why do we still have to pursue them in our salvation?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 09:19:40 AM by walter1234 » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2012, 06:33:26 PM »

Believing is manifested in doing.

The wise thief believed AND HE rebuked the other and asked the Lord to remember him, confessing his faith.

Either way, it's a very limited question rooted in Western pathology.

Some want to boast of their faith, but real faith is a gift of God, so they have no cause for boasting. Others don't want to do anything themselves, so they declare it isn't necessary to do anything, but that's not at all what Scripture says. St. Paul was speaking of works of the law, not works in general. Heresy only believes its own thoughts and doesn't see a larger picture.
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2012, 06:34:13 PM »

3) And since it is impossible for us to have communion with God and be Christ-like in this life.Why do we still have to pursue them in our salvation?

Who told you it was impossible? They lied. See the Apostle John's first letter.
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2012, 07:32:08 PM »

Today , I discuss with some Protestant Christians. I say that men cannot be saved by simply believing the Gospel. We have to cooperate with His grace , build a good relationship with God and have communion with Him,love Him and love men, and keep his commendents and work out a Christ- like life.Then, they start to challenage me.

1)They asked me to explain Luke 23:40- 43. They said that one of the criminal had just believed Jesus and done nothing, Why can he still be saved?
Ask them why they try to make the exception the norm. Jesus Christ and the Apostles all taught us the way to salvation. This is the way we are to follow. Christ's decision to save the wise thief on the cross was truly an exceptional act. Who are we to judge how God decides to act in such extraordinary circumstances? And who are we to somehow declare this normative, as if this one act alone outweighs everything else the Gospel teaches us? Our God is in heaven and on earth. He does whatever He pleases. We, however, are bound to follow His commandments.

2) They also asked me if I just hear and beleive the gospel and Jesus, 3 minutes later, a car strike me and I die. I have no chance to build relationship and have communion with him, work out a holiness life. How can I save?
You mean, "How can I be saved?"? This is for God to judge. We know not one way or the other how God will judge such circumstances. Your job is to follow the commandments of the Gospel in whatever time God permits you. If you simply aren't given enough time, then let us pray that God will be merciful to you and understand your circumstances.

3) They also challenged me that if we have to  build a good relationship with God and have communion with Him,love Him and love men, work out a Christ-like life, or if we are saved by  faith and work(not just faith), then nobody is in the heaven now.
It is not our works that save us, but we must cooperate with God's grace by doing the works He asks us to do to be saved.
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2012, 09:15:22 PM »

1)They asked me to explain Luke 23:40- 43. They said that one of the criminal had just believed Jesus and done nothing, Why can he still be saved?

Who said he did nothing? Rebuking the other criminal's criticisms of Jesus is something. It is an example of him using works in accordance with his faith.

Quote
They also asked me if I just hear and beleive the gospel and Jesus, 3 minutes later, a car strike me and I die. I have no chance to build relationship and have communion with him, work out a holiness life. How can I save?

God's grace. In other words, if you were WILLING to do all of those things, and thus, the only thing holding you back from doing those things was your early death--which was out of your control, then God can "save" you through His grace and you can work out those things in the afterlife. Remember salvation is an eternal process for us. It doesn't stop once we get to "heaven" but continues forever as we grow closer and closer to God.

Quote
They also challenged me that if we have to  build a good relationship with God and have communion with Him,love Him and love men, work out a Christ-like life, or if we are saved by  faith and work(not just faith), then nobody is in the heaven now.

So Jesus was lying when He said that with God ALL things are possible?
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 08:46:34 AM »

1)They asked me to explain Luke 23:40- 43. They said that one of the criminal had just believed Jesus and done nothing, Why can he still be saved?

Who said he did nothing? Rebuking the other criminal's criticisms of Jesus is something. It is an example of him using works in accordance with his faith.
Good point. The thief did all that he could do under the circumstances. Likewise, we should do all that we can do in our circumstances.
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walter1234
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2012, 08:47:54 PM »

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Ephesians chapter 2
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.

Ephesians 2:8-9 is another Scripture verse that Protestant Christians like to use to against " saved by faith and work". How to explain Ephesians 2:8-9?
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2012, 09:16:54 PM »

Quote
Ephesians chapter 2
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.

Ephesians 2:8-9 is another Scripture verse that Protestant Christians like to use to against " saved by faith and work". How to explain Ephesians 2:8-9?

I would direct them towards James 2:14-17 which says:

Quote
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 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? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

If we interpret both of these Scriptures at face value--as Protestants do with the Ephesians verse, then we would have a contradiction on our hands. HOWEVER, if we interpret them to mean works WITHOUT faith and faith WITHOUT works, then we do not have a contradiction. The non-contradictory way is obviously superior. That being said, I would argue that St. Paul was referring to works that were done WITHOUT faith--as the Pharisees were notorious for, and that St. James was referring to faith WITHOUT works. In which case, this proves the Orthodox point that both faith and works go together and that one is not superior to the other. Also fair to mention that the typical Protestant definition of faith as being just "belief" or some abstract "acceptance of God" is actually UNBIBLICAL, if you read the epistles, you will see that faith is always described as being something ACTIVE and DYNAMIC--even St. Paul says that the righteous would LIVE BY faith--suggesting that it is not just belief but a dynamic lifestyle. Protestants lose either way.
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You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
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walter1234
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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2012, 10:20:41 PM »

Quote
Ephesians chapter 2
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.

Ephesians 2:8-9 is another Scripture verse that Protestant Christians like to use to against " saved by faith and work". How to explain Ephesians 2:8-9?

I would direct them towards James 2:14-17 which says:

Quote
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 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? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

If we interpret both of these Scriptures at face value--as Protestants do with the Ephesians verse, then we would have a contradiction on our hands. HOWEVER, if we interpret them to mean works WITHOUT faith and faith WITHOUT works, then we do not have a contradiction. The non-contradictory way is obviously superior. That being said, I would argue that St. Paul was referring to works that were done WITHOUT faith--as the Pharisees were notorious for, and that St. James was referring to faith WITHOUT works. In which case, this proves the Orthodox point that both faith and works go together and that one is not superior to the other. Also fair to mention that the typical Protestant definition of faith as being just "belief" or some abstract "acceptance of God" is actually UNBIBLICAL, if you read the epistles, you will see that faith is always described as being something ACTIVE and DYNAMIC--even St. Paul says that the righteous would LIVE BY faith--suggesting that it is not just belief but a dynamic lifestyle. Protestants lose either way.

I've just got some inspiration:

Ephesians Chapter 2:
8.For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
 
9.Not of (man's) works( e.g.how powerful a man is), lest any man should boast.

The salvation of a man is not of man's works ,or how powerful a man is , but of God's works / the power  or help of God


Man can be saved when they have  communion with Christ,defeat their sin ,love God ,show love or forgiveness to and help the others ,etc.Man can do so not because  he/she can,or because of  how powerful he or she is, but because of God's works( because God helps him or her).

Without God's grace, faith ( e.g. relying on God), the help of God(e.g God's work), men cannot have perfect communion with Him,defeat their sin,love God ,show love or forgiveness to and help the others ,etc . Men cannot be saved as well.This verse does not say not men do not need to have any works in their salvation.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 10:51:55 PM by walter1234 » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2012, 10:25:58 PM »

We have to act on our faith. There was nothing more that the thief on the cross could do or say other than express his belief in words and ask Christ to remember him. Salvation isn't a checklist that must be filled out in order to get into heaven once you've completed the bare minimum requirements.
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2012, 10:57:38 PM »

We have to act on our faith. There was nothing more that the thief on the cross could do or say other than express his belief in words and ask Christ to remember him. Salvation isn't a checklist that must be filled out in order to get into heaven once you've completed the bare minimum requirements.

So what your saying is that we have to give everything we can, we gotta put it all on the line at the feet of Christ and we don't know if we succeed till the end. Lord have mercy!

Wew!!!!! I should have counted to see if I had enough to finish before I stated building my house.
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walter1234
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2012, 06:49:24 AM »

Quote
1 Corinthians 3 :10-15

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  

Protestant Christians also like to use 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15 to support that a man can be saved by only believing in Jesus. According to 1Cor 3: 11, Protestant says that when a man believes in Jesus, the foundation (of salvation ) is built and so he must be saved.For 1 Cor 3:14, If a man does good works and have a good relationship with God after he is saved, they will receive a reward.
And Base on 1 Cor 3:15, if a man does poor work and poor relationship with God after he is saved, he will not recevie a reward ( or suffer loss). However,  He himself can still be saved .  And he would be the one who do not have any rewards and simply escapes through the flames.(e.g Final judgment).


1) The Protestant interpretation on 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15 directly contradict with other bible verse and the teaching of Jesus and His Apostles, especially on 1 Cor 3:11 and 3:15. How should we interpret 1 Cor 3:10-15 correctly? Any suggestion?

2) If Protestant uses 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15 to support their doctrine of ' saved by faith alone'.How should I  reponse ?
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 07:06:03 AM by walter1234 » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2012, 07:58:27 AM »

my favourite page on this topic:

http://www.stpaulsirvine.org/pdf/Faith%20Alone%20and%20Faith%20and%20Works.pdf

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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2012, 09:13:29 AM »

There is only one place in the entire Bible where the words "faith" and "alone" are found together: "You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith alone." [James 2:24]

As for the examples of the thief on the cross or others who are "saved" just before they die, well, the act of receiving Christ is still an act. Our Lord's parable of the worker and the wages may be helpful. The workers who came at the last hour were paid the same as those who had worked all day. But they still came to work. And that is the point. But apart from the grace and mercy of Our Lord, all our works are in vain. Just as St. James tells us that "faith without works is dead." [James 2:20]



Selam
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2012, 09:58:34 AM »

They also like to stop before they get to the part they do not want to read.

Ephesians 2
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.

In other word we were were created in Christ Jesus to do good works. God planned for these good works to be the way that we live our lives.
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« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2012, 07:24:36 AM »

Quote
1 Corinthians 3 :10-15

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  

Protestant Christians also like to use 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15 to support that a man can be saved by only believing in Jesus. According to 1Cor 3: 11, Protestant says that when a man believes in Jesus, the foundation (of salvation ) is built and so he must be saved.For 1 Cor 3:14, If a man does good works and have a good relationship with God after he is saved, they will receive a reward.
And Base on 1 Cor 3:15, if a man does poor work and poor relationship with God after he is saved, he will not recevie a reward ( or suffer loss). However,  He himself can still be saved .  And he would be the one who do not have any rewards and simply escapes through the flames.(e.g Final judgment).

Many Protestant CHristians and pastors  tell people that simply beliving Jesus without any good works can still be saved by these verses(e.g 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15).

How Do Orthodox Christians interpret 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 07:25:45 AM by walter1234 » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2012, 08:00:44 AM »

Quote
1 Corinthians 3 :10-15

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  

Protestant Christians also like to use 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15 to support that a man can be saved by only believing in Jesus. According to 1Cor 3: 11, Protestant says that when a man believes in Jesus, the foundation (of salvation ) is built and so he must be saved.For 1 Cor 3:14, If a man does good works and have a good relationship with God after he is saved, they will receive a reward.
And Base on 1 Cor 3:15, if a man does poor work and poor relationship with God after he is saved, he will not recevie a reward ( or suffer loss). However,  He himself can still be saved .  And he would be the one who do not have any rewards and simply escapes through the flames.(e.g Final judgment).

Many Protestant CHristians and pastors  tell people that simply beliving Jesus without any good works can still be saved by these verses(e.g 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15).

How Do Orthodox Christians interpret 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15?


It's simple. Faith and works are symbiotic and inseperable aspects of salvation. On Judgment Day, good works apart from faith in Christ will not withstand the fire, and faith without works will be revealed to be fraudulent.


Selam
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« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2012, 08:43:06 AM »

Quote
1 Corinthians 3 :10-15

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  

Protestant Christians also like to use 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15 to support that a man can be saved by only believing in Jesus. According to 1Cor 3: 11, Protestant says that when a man believes in Jesus, the foundation (of salvation ) is built and so he must be saved.For 1 Cor 3:14, If a man does good works and have a good relationship with God after he is saved, they will receive a reward.
And Base on 1 Cor 3:15, if a man does poor work and poor relationship with God after he is saved, he will not recevie a reward ( or suffer loss). However,  He himself can still be saved .  And he would be the one who do not have any rewards and simply escapes through the flames.(e.g Final judgment).

Many Protestant CHristians and pastors  tell people that simply beliving Jesus without any good works can still be saved by these verses(e.g 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15).

How Do Orthodox Christians interpret 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15?


It's simple. Faith and works are symbiotic and inseperable aspects of salvation. On Judgment Day, good works apart from faith in Christ will not withstand the fire, and faith without works will be revealed to be fraudulent.


Selam
1 Corinthians 3:14-15
14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures(e.g good works), he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned(e.g.poor works) ,he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  


How to interpret and understand' 'but he himself will be saved'?
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« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2012, 08:58:30 AM »

Quote
1 Corinthians 3 :10-15

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  

Protestant Christians also like to use 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15 to support that a man can be saved by only believing in Jesus. According to 1Cor 3: 11, Protestant says that when a man believes in Jesus, the foundation (of salvation ) is built and so he must be saved.For 1 Cor 3:14, If a man does good works and have a good relationship with God after he is saved, they will receive a reward.
And Base on 1 Cor 3:15, if a man does poor work and poor relationship with God after he is saved, he will not recevie a reward ( or suffer loss). However,  He himself can still be saved .  And he would be the one who do not have any rewards and simply escapes through the flames.(e.g Final judgment).

Many Protestant CHristians and pastors  tell people that simply beliving Jesus without any good works can still be saved by these verses(e.g 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15).

How Do Orthodox Christians interpret 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15?


It's simple. Faith and works are symbiotic and inseperable aspects of salvation. On Judgment Day, good works apart from faith in Christ will not withstand the fire, and faith without works will be revealed to be fraudulent.


Selam
1 Corinthians 3:14-15
14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures(e.g good works), he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned(e.g.poor works) ,he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  


How to interpret and understand' 'but he himself will be saved'?

This question is ultimately answered by the Orthodox doctrine of Theosis.


Selam
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« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2012, 09:03:46 AM »

Quote
1 Corinthians 3 :10-15

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  

Protestant Christians also like to use 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15 to support that a man can be saved by only believing in Jesus. According to 1Cor 3: 11, Protestant says that when a man believes in Jesus, the foundation (of salvation ) is built and so he must be saved.For 1 Cor 3:14, If a man does good works and have a good relationship with God after he is saved, they will receive a reward.
And Base on 1 Cor 3:15, if a man does poor work and poor relationship with God after he is saved, he will not recevie a reward ( or suffer loss). However,  He himself can still be saved .  And he would be the one who do not have any rewards and simply escapes through the flames.(e.g Final judgment).

Many Protestant CHristians and pastors  tell people that simply beliving Jesus without any good works can still be saved by these verses(e.g 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15).

How Do Orthodox Christians interpret 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15?


It's simple. Faith and works are symbiotic and inseperable aspects of salvation. On Judgment Day, good works apart from faith in Christ will not withstand the fire, and faith without works will be revealed to be fraudulent.


Selam
1 Corinthians 3:14-15
14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures(e.g good works), he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned(e.g.poor works) ,he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  


How to interpret and understand' 'but he himself will be saved'?

This question is ultimately answered by the Orthodox doctrine of Theosis.


Selam

Can you explain it in detail?

(Protestant often says that a man himself in Christ who has poor works and does not keep God's commandents will still be saved and get into the heaven, but will have no rewards in Heaven and just like simply pass or escape the fire / final judgment  by 1 Cor 3:10-15. )
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« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2012, 09:47:36 AM »

Quote
1 Corinthians 3 :10-15

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  

Protestant Christians also like to use 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15 to support that a man can be saved by only believing in Jesus. According to 1Cor 3: 11, Protestant says that when a man believes in Jesus, the foundation (of salvation ) is built and so he must be saved.For 1 Cor 3:14, If a man does good works and have a good relationship with God after he is saved, they will receive a reward.
And Base on 1 Cor 3:15, if a man does poor work and poor relationship with God after he is saved, he will not recevie a reward ( or suffer loss). However,  He himself can still be saved .  And he would be the one who do not have any rewards and simply escapes through the flames.(e.g Final judgment).

Many Protestant CHristians and pastors  tell people that simply beliving Jesus without any good works can still be saved by these verses(e.g 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15).

How Do Orthodox Christians interpret 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15?

I think you've very likely seen our interpretation of this passage, since we're not likely to interpret one passage of Scripture in separation from the others. We don't make a dichotomy between faith and works as if one can be saved by one without the other.

IOW, why would we take the passage to mean that we need only exert the minimum possible effort to be saved? How is that laziness praiseworthy, especially after Jesus told the rich man that if he would be saved he needed to sell all he had, give to the poor, and follow Him?
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« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2012, 10:02:43 AM »

Per St John Chrysostom:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/220109.htm

5. “If any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble.” For after the faith there is need of edification: and therefore he says elsewhere, “Edify one another with these words.” perhaps 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 4:5 For both the artificer and the learner contribute to the edifying. Wherefore he says, “But let every man take heed how he builds thereon.” 1 Corinthians 3:10 But if faith had been the subject of these sayings, the thing affirmed is not reasonable. For in the faith all ought to be equal, since “there is but one faith;” Ephesians 4:5 but in goodness of life it is not possible that all should be the same. Because the faith is not in one case less, in another more excellent, but the same in all those who truly believe. But in life there is room for some to be more diligent, others more slothful; some stricter, and others more ordinary; that some should have done well in greater things, others in less; that the errors of some should have been more grievous, of others less notable. On this account he says, “Gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble—every man's work shall be made manifest:”— his conduct; that is what he speaks of here:— “If any man's work abide which he built thereupon, he shall receive a reward; if any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss.” Whereas, if the saying related to disciples and teachers, he ought not to “suffer loss” for disciples refusing to hear. And therefore he says, “Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor” not according to the result, but according to “the labor.” For what if the hearers gave no heed? Wherefore this passage also proves that the saying is about actions.

Now his meaning is this: If any man have an ill life with a right faith, his faith shall not shelter him from punishment, his work being burnt up. The phrase, “shall be burned up,” means, “shall not endure the violence of the fire.” But just as if a man having golden armor on were to pass through a river of fire, he comes from crossing it all the brighter; but if he were to pass through it with hay, so far from profiting, he destroys himself besides; so also is the case in regard of men's works. For he does not say this as if he were discoursing of material things being burnt up, but with a view of making their fear more intense, and of showing how naked of all defence he is who abides in wickedness. Wherefore he said, “He shall suffer loss:” lo, here is one punishment: “but he himself shall be saved, but so as by fire;” lo, again, here is a second. And his meaning is, He himself shall not perish in the same way as his works, passing into nought, but he shall abide in the fire.
6. He calls it, however, “Salvation,” you will say; why, that is the cause of his adding, “so as by fire:” since we also used to say, “It is preserved in the fire,” when we speak of those substances which do not immediately burn up and become ashes. For do not at sound of the word fire imagine that those who are burning pass into annihilation. And though he call such punishment Salvation, be not astonished. For his custom is in things which have an ill sound to use fair expressions, and in good things the contrary. For example, the word “Captivity” seems to be the name of an evil thing, but Paul has applied it in a good sense, when he says, “Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 And again, to an evil thing he has applied a good word, saying, “Sin reigned,” Romans 5:21 here surely the term “reigning” is rather of auspicious sound. And so here in saying, “he shall be saved,” he has but darkly hinted at the intensity of the penalty: as if he had said, “But himself shall remain forever in punishment.” He then makes an inference, saying,

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« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2012, 12:07:48 PM »

Still a bit confuse! Huh

What is  the 'Orthodox doctrine of Theosis'? And what is  "ill life with a right faith"?

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« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2012, 12:15:54 PM »

Still a bit confuse! Huh

What is  the 'Orthodox doctrine of Theosis'? And what is  "ill life with a right faith"?



I think if you read 2nd Peter 1:4-9 & then 2nd Peter 3:18, these passages can answer much of your question.
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« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2012, 01:56:08 PM »

 Theosis assumes that humans from the beginning are made to share in the Life or Nature of the all-Holy Trinity. By Gods grace man can continually become like God forever, in an ever fuller union with Him, but never reach full identification with Him; he will be able to reflect God more and more, but he will not become what God is.
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« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2012, 02:03:12 PM »

Quote
1 Corinthians 3 :10-15

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  

Protestant Christians also like to use 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15 to support that a man can be saved by only believing in Jesus. According to 1Cor 3: 11, Protestant says that when a man believes in Jesus, the foundation (of salvation ) is built and so he must be saved.For 1 Cor 3:14, If a man does good works and have a good relationship with God after he is saved, they will receive a reward.
And Base on 1 Cor 3:15, if a man does poor work and poor relationship with God after he is saved, he will not recevie a reward ( or suffer loss). However,  He himself can still be saved .  And he would be the one who do not have any rewards and simply escapes through the flames.(e.g Final judgment).

Many Protestant CHristians and pastors  tell people that simply beliving Jesus without any good works can still be saved by these verses(e.g 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15).

How Do Orthodox Christians interpret 1 Corinthians 3 :10-15?


It's simple. Faith and works are symbiotic and inseperable aspects of salvation. On Judgment Day, good works apart from faith in Christ will not withstand the fire, and faith without works will be revealed to be fraudulent.


Selam
1 Corinthians 3:14-15
14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures(e.g good works), he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned(e.g.poor works) ,he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  


How to interpret and understand' 'but he himself will be saved'?

This question is ultimately answered by the Orthodox doctrine of Theosis.


Selam


Theosis assumes that humans from the beginning are made to share in the Life or Nature of the all-Holy Trinity. By Gods grace man can continually become like God forever, in an ever fuller union with Him, but never reach full identification with Him; he will be able to reflect God more and more, but he will not become what God is.

How does 'Theosis' relate to 1 Cor 3:14-15?
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« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2012, 03:33:40 PM »

When Paul says we are saved "without" works I believe he means "without". Saying that a sincere faith will result in good works. I don't see how it's possible to have true faith and not have works, that is what faith without works is dead means.
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« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2012, 03:45:40 PM »

When Paul says we are saved "without" works I believe he means "without". Saying that a sincere faith will result in good works. I don't see how it's possible to have true faith and not have works, that is what faith without works is dead means.

So basically you're saying that faith without works saves yet that faith without works cannot save?
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« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2012, 03:52:08 PM »

yet that faith without works cannot save?

I'm saying I don't believe in such a thing as faith without works.
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« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2012, 04:22:38 PM »

yet that faith without works cannot save?

I'm saying I don't believe in such a thing as faith without works.

Sounds about right
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« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2012, 11:04:02 AM »

Since English is not my first language, I afraid I misunderstand the essay that is shown by recent convert in reply 24. If misunderstand anything about this essay, please tell me.

Quote
5. “If any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble.” For after the faith there is need of edification: and therefore he says elsewhere, “Edify one another with these words.” perhaps 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 4:5 For both the artificer and the learner contribute to the edifying. Wherefore he says, “But let every man take heed how he builds thereon.” 1 Corinthians 3:10 But if faith had been the subject of these sayings, the thing affirmed is not reasonable. For in the faith all ought to be equal, since “there is but one faith;” Ephesians 4:5 but in goodness of life it is not possible that all should be the same. Because the faith is not in one case less, in another more excellent, but the same in all those who truly believe. But in life there is room for some to be more diligent, others more slothful; some stricter, and others more ordinary; that some should have done well in greater things, others in less; that the errors of some should have been more grievous, of others less notable. On this account he says, “Gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble—every man's work shall be made manifest:”— his conduct; that is what he speaks of here:— “If any man's work abide which he built thereupon, he shall receive a reward; if any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss.” Whereas, if the saying related to disciples and teachers, he ought not to “suffer loss” for disciples refusing to hear. And therefore he says, “Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor” not according to the result, but according to “the labor.” For what if the hearers gave no heed? Wherefore this passage also proves that the saying is about actions.

The meaning of this paragraph:
Foundation means the right faith. After we have the right faith, edification is still necessary in Church. Both true preachers/ teachers and the learners who follow the teaching of true preachers/ teachers can still be earn some good rewards. Even the learners do not listen and follow the teaching of the true preacher and teachers, the true preachers and teachers can still be rewarded if he teaches and preachers with a right heart..

And Gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble, etc are the type of works that we perform for Christ. And the type of workare not determined by the result of their works, but by the disposition of their heart. All these will be manifested in last judgment

Quote
Now his meaning is this: If any man have an ill life with a right faith, his faith shall not shelter him from punishment, his work being burnt up. The phrase, “shall be burned up,” means, “shall not endure the violence of the fire.” But just as if a man having golden armor on were to pass through a river of fire, he comes from crossing it all the brighter; but if he were to pass through it with hay, so far from profiting, he destroys himself besides; so also is the case in regard of men's works. For he does not say this as if he were discoursing of material things being burnt up, but with a view of making their fear more intense, and of showing how naked of all defence he is who abides in wickedness. Wherefore he said, “He shall suffer loss:” lo, here is one punishment: “but he himself shall be saved, but so as by fire;” lo, again, here is a second. And his meaning is, He himself shall not perish in the same way as his works, passing into nought, but he shall abide in the fire.

The meaning of this paragraph:
The right faith of men is just the foundation, that is not enough for our salvation.We still need to consider the type of work in our salvation. The essential of Salvation is the right faith and the good work. One have right faith but poor type of work still cannot be saved.

For those who have right faith and good work, when they pass the river of fire, their foundation / faith and their reward from the good works (e.g gold, silver, costly stone) will protect them and they will become brighter. For those who have right faith but poor work,. When they pass the river of fire, their foundation and all the rewards from their his poor works (e.g.wood, hay, stubble )will be disappear. But their soul would still exist in the fire and would not disappear like wood, hay, stubble

Quote
He calls it, however, “Salvation,” you will say; why, that is the cause of his adding, “so as by fire:” since we also used to say, “It is preserved in the fire,” when we speak of those substances which do not immediately burn up and become ashes. For do not at sound of the word fire imagine that those who are burning pass into annihilation. And though he call such punishment Salvation, be not astonished. For his custom is in things which have an ill sound to use fair expressions, and in good things the contrary. For example, the word “Captivity” seems to be the name of an evil thing, but Paul has applied it in a good sense, when he says, “Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 And again, to an evil thing he has applied a good word, saying, “Sin reigned,” Romans 5:21 here surely the term “reigning” is rather of auspicious sound. And so here in saying, “he shall be saved,” he has but darkly hinted at the intensity of the penalty: as if he had said, “But himself shall remain forever in punishment.” He then makes an inference, saying,
The meaning of this paragraph:
but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. ‘ means for the soul of the men who have right faith but poor work will not simply disappear ,like wood,hay, stubble in the river of fire.  He will be forever saved (e.g. perserved and exised) in river of fire. Since nothing protect him in the river of fire, the river of fire will burn and torture the men who have right faith but poor work forever.
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« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2012, 11:14:23 AM »

Since English is not my first language, I afraid I misunderstand the essay that is shown by recent convert in reply 24. If misunderstand anything about this essay, please tell me.

Quote
5. “If any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble.” For after the faith there is need of edification: and therefore he says elsewhere, “Edify one another with these words.” perhaps 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 4:5 For both the artificer and the learner contribute to the edifying. Wherefore he says, “But let every man take heed how he builds thereon.” 1 Corinthians 3:10 But if faith had been the subject of these sayings, the thing affirmed is not reasonable. For in the faith all ought to be equal, since “there is but one faith;” Ephesians 4:5 but in goodness of life it is not possible that all should be the same. Because the faith is not in one case less, in another more excellent, but the same in all those who truly believe. But in life there is room for some to be more diligent, others more slothful; some stricter, and others more ordinary; that some should have done well in greater things, others in less; that the errors of some should have been more grievous, of others less notable. On this account he says, “Gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble—every man's work shall be made manifest:”— his conduct; that is what he speaks of here:— “If any man's work abide which he built thereupon, he shall receive a reward; if any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss.” Whereas, if the saying related to disciples and teachers, he ought not to “suffer loss” for disciples refusing to hear. And therefore he says, “Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor” not according to the result, but according to “the labor.” For what if the hearers gave no heed? Wherefore this passage also proves that the saying is about actions.

The meaning of this paragraph:
Foundation means the right faith. After we have the right faith, edification is still necessary in Church. Both true preachers/ teachers and the learners who follow the teaching of true preachers/ teachers can still be earn some good rewards. Even the learners do not listen and follow the teaching of the true preacher and teachers, the true preachers and teachers can still be rewarded if he teaches and preachers with a right heart..

And Gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble, etc are the type of works that we perform for Christ. And the type of workare not determined by the result of their works, but by the disposition of their heart. All these will be manifested in last judgment

Quote
Now his meaning is this: If any man have an ill life with a right faith, his faith shall not shelter him from punishment, his work being burnt up. The phrase, “shall be burned up,” means, “shall not endure the violence of the fire.” But just as if a man having golden armor on were to pass through a river of fire, he comes from crossing it all the brighter; but if he were to pass through it with hay, so far from profiting, he destroys himself besides; so also is the case in regard of men's works. For he does not say this as if he were discoursing of material things being burnt up, but with a view of making their fear more intense, and of showing how naked of all defence he is who abides in wickedness. Wherefore he said, “He shall suffer loss:” lo, here is one punishment: “but he himself shall be saved, but so as by fire;” lo, again, here is a second. And his meaning is, He himself shall not perish in the same way as his works, passing into nought, but he shall abide in the fire.

The meaning of this paragraph:
The right faith of men is just the foundation, that is not enough for our salvation.We still need to consider the type of work in our salvation. The essential of Salvation is the right faith and the good work. One have right faith but poor type of work still cannot be saved.

For those who have right faith and good work, when they pass the river of fire, their foundation / faith and their reward from the good works (e.g gold, silver, costly stone) will protect them and they will become brighter. For those who have right faith but poor work,. When they pass the river of fire, their foundation and all the rewards from their his poor works (e.g.wood, hay, stubble )will be disappear. But their soul would still exist in the fire and would not disappear like wood, hay, stubble

Quote
He calls it, however, “Salvation,” you will say; why, that is the cause of his adding, “so as by fire:” since we also used to say, “It is preserved in the fire,” when we speak of those substances which do not immediately burn up and become ashes. For do not at sound of the word fire imagine that those who are burning pass into annihilation. And though he call such punishment Salvation, be not astonished. For his custom is in things which have an ill sound to use fair expressions, and in good things the contrary. For example, the word “Captivity” seems to be the name of an evil thing, but Paul has applied it in a good sense, when he says, “Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 And again, to an evil thing he has applied a good word, saying, “Sin reigned,” Romans 5:21 here surely the term “reigning” is rather of auspicious sound. And so here in saying, “he shall be saved,” he has but darkly hinted at the intensity of the penalty: as if he had said, “But himself shall remain forever in punishment.” He then makes an inference, saying,
The meaning of this paragraph:
but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. ‘ means for the soul of the men who have right faith but poor work will not simply disappear ,like wood,hay, stubble in the river of fire.  He will be forever saved (e.g. perserved and exised) in river of fire. Since nothing protect him in the river of fire, the river of fire will burn and torture the men who have right faith but poor work forever.

Is my understand about the essay correct?
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« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2012, 01:58:29 PM »

6. He calls it, however, “Salvation,” you will say; why, that is the cause of his adding, “so as by fire:” since we also used to say, “It is preserved in the fire,” when we speak of those substances which do not immediately burn up and become ashes. For do not at sound of the word fire imagine that those who are burning pass into annihilation. And though he call such punishment Salvation, be not astonished. For his custom is in things which have an ill sound to use fair expressions, and in good things the contrary. For example, the word “Captivity” seems to be the name of an evil thing, but Paul has applied it in a good sense, when he says, “Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 And again, to an evil thing he has applied a good word, saying, “Sin reigned,” Romans 5:21 here surely the term “reigning” is rather of auspicious sound. And so here in saying, “he shall be saved,” he has but darkly hinted at the intensity of the penalty: as if he had said, “But himself shall remain forever in punishment.” He then makes an inference, saying,



I still have some confusion about the last paragraph.  'By fire / through fire/ pass through the fire' and ' perserved in the fire' are two different action, Why does the author consider them as the same things in the last paragraph of this essay ?

This interpretation of this verse ( e.g. but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. ) seems a bit far-fetched  in this essay. Any better interpretation?
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« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2012, 01:10:40 AM »

When Paul says we are saved "without" works I believe he means "without". Saying that a sincere faith will result in good works. I don't see how it's possible to have true faith and not have works, that is what faith without works is dead means.

In the end, it is ultimately a tautology though, because no matter how you want to word it, the fact still remains that both play a role in salvation and whichever one "springs from the other" is irrelevant because the point still remains that we have to have both.
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« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2012, 07:56:08 AM »

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If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

NIV is the bible which is translated by Protestant Christians. NIV even add a word 'escape' in 1 Cor 3:15. It shows that the translators have already perceived this verse mean that the believer who have poor workers can still escape the fire judgment.

This prove that  sola scriptural is not reliable again. Bible is infallible , but the translator and interrpretation is falliable. The bible translator ususally translate the verse according to the theologies they support and according to their knowledge
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« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2012, 07:17:00 AM »

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Roman 4:4-5
4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness

Protestant Christians often like to use Roman4:4-5 to support that their teaching of ' saved by grace and faith alone'.

They said that through roman 4:4, we can see that salvation is all about grace. And if we need the works in our salvation it is not grace anymore.
So, salvation does not need to involve any works

Moreover, Protestant says that,  Roman 4:4-5 support that  a men does not do any work but believe on Christ, this faith can justify a him already.

So, how do Orthodox Christians understand and interpret Roman 4:4-5?
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« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2012, 10:57:38 AM »

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Roman 4:4-5
4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness

Protestant Christians often like to use Roman4:4-5 to support that their teaching of ' saved by grace and faith alone'.

They said that through roman 4:4, we can see that salvation is all about grace. And if we need the works in our salvation it is not grace anymore.
So, salvation does not need to involve any works

Moreover, Protestant says that,  Roman 4:4-5 support that  a men does not do any work but believe on Christ, this faith can justify a him already.

So, how do Orthodox Christians understand and interpret Roman 4:4-5?
We read Romans 4:4-5 within the context of the whole Bible and of the fullness of the faith that was passed down to us. We don't come to the Bible looking for proof texts that support our own preconceived theologies. Well did Evangelical scholar Ben Witherington III address this problem with his book The Problem with Evangelical Theology, which he talked about at length in this interview with Christianity Today. Let me excerpt from this interview:

Quote
Part of the problem is the temptation to form our theology almost independently of doing our exegesis. We run to the biblical text to shore up or find proof texts for things we already believe.

In addition, we are all children of the Enlightenment, so we've tended to treat the Bible as if it were a history of ideas, where topics like soteriology, justification, the new birth, sanctification, going on to perfection, and glorification were the main themes, and our job was to link one idea to another. But in Scripture, we're not talking about a history of ideas but about spiritual realities in people's lives, about people who have stories and encounters with God. If you read the Bible carefully, on or below the surface of all of these texts is narrative, especially the story of Christ, but also the Old Testament stories of Adam and Moses and Abraham, and the story of Christians as recounted in Acts and elsewhere in the New Testament.

I think part of the problem is that we are still doing theology in an Enlightenment frame of mind, as if it were a string of ideas that we should logically link together, and once we've produced a nice logical circle, then we're home free. The truth is that life is a lot messier than that, and the Bible is more about stories than the history of ideas that are embedded in the stories.
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« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2012, 11:03:56 AM »

If I could just say one more thing about Ben Witherington III, he is awesome. On his blog he deconstructed "Forged" by Bart Ehrman, chapter by chapter. He's a bright scholar but I haven't read him since I started exploring the Resurrection almost 3 years ago.

Good stuff, though, Peter.
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« Reply #41 on: December 07, 2012, 11:08:46 AM »

As pertains particularly to Romans 4:4-5, we believe that St. Paul was talking not about works in general, but about the works of the [Jewish] Law. We are not accounted righteous by following every precept of the law of the Old Covenant, as the Pharisees were wont to do; rather, we are justified by our faith in the promises of Christ. However, just as Abraham performed works that demonstrated his complete obedience to God, such that he would not have been accounted faithful without those works, so also must our faith manifest itself in works to be true faith. We make no distinction between faith and works as Protestants do in setting them against each other. For us, faith in Christ is total trust in His lordship of our lives and obedience to His every commandment, which means we do the works He calls us to do, just as Abraham did when he obeyed God to the point of sacrificing his son and heir Isaac on the altar.
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« Reply #42 on: December 07, 2012, 08:21:40 PM »

I forget the priest's name, but someone said in a homily (which was in a podcast), "We are saved by grace, through faith, for works." God gives you the faith and because of this, you can do works.
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« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2012, 06:50:26 AM »

I think that the main issue lies in our different views on Salvation. In western Christianity--especially Protestantism--the concept of Salvation is watered down and reduced to mere legalism. In other words, Salvation in their eyes is generally just means to be forgiven and to be allowed to enter a place called Heaven when you die. It is akin to being acquitted by a judge. And I think this is the reason why Protestants understandably have such a taboo over works. With this view of Salvation in mind, they seem to view works as being done to attain forgiveness--to be able to earn forgiveness, to be able to look God in the face and actually deserve Salvation, as if God actually owed you something, defeating the concept of Grace. But Salvation is not like that for us at all, and neither are works done for those reasons. In Orthodoxy, we see Salvation as being MORE than just forgiveness. Forgiveness is indeed a part of Salvation--but not the whole thing. Concerning forgiveness, we would agree with the Protestants that forgiveness is granted to us purely out of God's grace--not something that we can earn via works. But there is more. We also believe that Salvation is a dynamic, lifelong process which consists in allowing God to make us more like Him--this is called Theosis. The epistle to the Romans says "For whom He (God) foreknew, He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (Jesus), that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (us)". The epistles of St. Peter also describe us as continuously BEING SAVED, and being called to a higher purpose.  St. Athanasius states that "God became man so that men may become god," (On the Incarnation). God isn't JUST going to forgive us, but God is going to transform us into Icons of Himself--we are going to become like Him. This is where works come in. Becoming like God won't come about just from believing in Him--which is the typical Protestant definition of faith--but will come from BOTH believing in Him AND making an effort--AKA "works". God will open the doors for us and prescribe us the medicine for our souls to bring about our deification, but ultimately, it is still up to us to walk through the doors and to take the medicine, doing what God prescribes to us to do so that we could be deified. This is what we mean when we say that works are a part of our Salvation. Just saying that you believe in God won't achieve none of this--you need to accept His treatment and deification of your soul--which consists in works. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that if you proclaim to believe in Him, but refuse to cooperate with Him and make an effort to allow Him to deify you, then--as Happy Lutheran earlier said--you probably never even really believed in Him in the first place. When you DO cooperate with God--using both your Faith and your Works in accordance with each other until they become one, being deified and growing in your relationship with Him--something I have unfortunately been neglecting because of my nihilistic empiricist streak--you enter a state of inner bliss and pleasure--this is called Heaven. This is Heaven to us--to be on good terms with God, to delight in His love and be deified by it.
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« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2012, 09:41:45 AM »

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Protestant often says that a man himself in Christ who has poor works and does not keep God's commandents will still be saved and get into the heaven, but will have no rewards in Heaven and just like simply pass or escape the fire / final judgment  by 1 Cor 3:10-15.

So, if a person believe in Christ, but daily cheats his wife, daily kills innocent victims, daily rapes, daily beats his children in their face and who is daily a cannibal, he will still enter heaven only because he has "faith" in Christ??! Shocked. That's so ridiculous.
The protestant definition of faith is reduced in one sentence: Believe (only with the intellect!) that Jesus is our saviour, Son of God. They deny the role of the heart! The more faith you've the more good works you'll do. Only a saint has reached the zenith of faith!
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