Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Salvation - Has Always been by Faith

Interestingly, I spoke at length with a pastor who believes as I do, that the Bible teaches salvation by grace alone. Then he said something that seemed odd to me. He believes that salvation was not always by faith. He believes that during the time of Moses, salvation was by faith AND works.

So I pondered this for a while, and did some study, and though I know what I believe, sometimes I believe God allows me to be challenged to be a Berean and make sure that what I believe really is what God teaches.

This brought me to Hebrews Chapter 11 – that great chapter that speaks of faith. I found what I knew in my heart to be true – salvation has ALWAYS been by faith, not of works, and never a mixture of faith and works.

Surley most Christians know Hebrews 11:1 by heart.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Probably most are at least familiar with the passage in Romans that says “…Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”

But what about those before Abraham?

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith
.”

And midway through the chapter it says, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

God doesn’t change. The way of salvation doesn’t change. It’s always been by faith. Never by works.

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7 Comments:

At 11:38 PM, Blogger Edwin Drood said...

Ms Green, I too have wondered whether the early Old Testament believers are saved by works.

Then I thought about my own perception, my linear existence where my life is a timeline that I am forced to travel at one speed and in one direction.

Our Lord however lives in all time at the same time. He is here right now and at the same time he is with Noah on the ark. I believe that all people are saved by grace, Jesus's sacrifice was fitting to God as God was there even before it happened in our linear existence.

 
At 6:22 AM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Edwin, that's a very perceptive way of looking at it. I think the people before Jesus was crucifed were looking forward to His sacrifice, and we look back on it.

 
At 8:41 AM, Anonymous matthew said...

Going to James, we learn that:

> Works can be evidence of Faith.
> That Faith which does not cause Works is dead.

And in Corinthians 13 we can extrapolate that Works can be done without Faith (or love in the context) and be worse than nothing, or as Revelations says, lukewarmness (the act or Work of being Christian without the accompanying Faith).

So the Old Testament believers' Works are cited as evidence of their Faith, not the substance of it.

 
At 10:14 AM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

"So the Old Testament believers' Works are cited as evidence of their Faith, not the substance of it."


Exactly. Works justify us before men. Faith justifies us before God.

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger Dave said...

You probably were talking to a Mid Acts Dispensationalist that taught faith and works in the OT. Most of them believe too that the people in the OT could lose their salvation but only in this dispensation of grace today that a believer cannot.

 
At 10:10 AM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

You probably were talking to a Mid Acts Dispensationalist ...

Dave:
That's the first time I've ever heard that term. What groups generally espouse this belief, do you know?

 
At 5:52 AM, Blogger Dave said...

The people that uses those words, "Mid Acts Dispensationalists" actually call themselves that. They are distinguishing themselves from Acts 2 dispensationalists. Almost every MAD church website will have 2nd Timothy 2:15 and they quote only the last part of the verse that says, "Rightly dividing the word of God."

They believe that the church began with Paul between Acts 9-13. Everything outside of Paul (Romans thru Philemon) were primarily for the Jews as it related to Israel and not us.

They also believe the gospel given to Paul was different from the gospel we receive today. They also do not believe that baptism is for today but was for the Jew as a requirement to be saved. Few even teach that the Lord's table is not to be observed by us believers today. That position is held mostly by Acts 28 dispensationalists that only hold to the Pauline prison epistles.

Most MAD's believe that salvation before Paul could be lost. They only believe that in this dispensation that a person is eternally secure who believes.

Almost all of them are KJV onlyists too. You will find them at many Bible forums arguing and name calling others. This movement is very disturbing. One tried to spread that teaching at my blog but was immediately stopped.

You can read more about them by visiting their main website:

http://bereanbiblesociety.org/

They do have some wonderful articles but as well as some bad ones too.

Hoped this answered your question.

 

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