The Instigator
JonHouser
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
kwagga_la
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Faith is active and visible, not something that just occures "in your heart".

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/3/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 382 times Debate No: 99563
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
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JonHouser

Pro

Many people quote Eph 2:8 to say that we are saved when we believe, and no action is required on our part.

I find this contradictory to other Scripture.

I would challenge my opponent to prove that Scripture indicates no action is required on our part to fulfill the faith portion of the passage referenced above.

I, on the other hand, will prove that Scripture is very clear that there are certain actions commanded of us before we are united with the cleansing power of the Blood of Christ (saved).

Please do not accept this debate unless you believe in: the fundamental truth of the Word of God, our need for a savior because of our fallen nature, and that Jesus is that savior. Con may begin debate arguments in round 1 along with acceptance of the debate.
kwagga_la

Con

Thank you for initiating the debate.

Many people quote Eph 2:8 to say that we are saved when we believe, and no action is required on our part. I find this contradictory to other Scripture.

Rebuttal:

I would like Pro to define "action". The Bible does not state you do not need to take action unless Pro calls works action. In that case the verse quoted is better to be read with the next verse:

Eph 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. The second verse contradicts what you say because it states it is not by works if of course that is what you refer too.

I would challenge my opponent to prove that Scripture indicates no action is required on our part to fulfill the faith portion of the passage referenced above.

Rebuttal:

To rebut what Pro is saying I would like him to first clarify what the action is he refers too. Can a lame man be saved? What action is he supposed to take for salvation? What about people without arms or legs? Or some senior citizens who are not physically capable of doing anything anymore? Is there salvation for them in what you believe?

I, on the other hand, will prove that Scripture is very clear that there are certain actions commanded of us before we are united with the cleansing power of the Blood of Christ (saved).

Rebuttal:

Please do.
Debate Round No. 1
JonHouser

Pro

Con, "I would like Pro to define "action". The Bible does not state you do not need to take action unless Pro calls works action. In that case the verse quoted is better to be read with the next verse:"

Answer: The actions I am referring to are not "works" in terms of something for which we can boast. He is correct that Eph 2:9 does say that we cannot earn our salvation by "works", otherwise we could boast that we saved ourselves. However, we are told that it is through faith that we receive grace. That begs the question, what is faith?

Hebrews 11:1 gives us the Biblical definition of faith. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Thus faith is the visible that shows us the invisible. Faith is trees bending (visible faith) before the wind (invisible belief). If the trees did not bend, we would not know that there was wind.

Further, James 2:14-26 tells us that faith without works is dead, and that we are justified by our works (vs 24).

So then, if faith is visible, and requires works to be living and effective, then there must needs be something we are required to do to receive the grace that washes our sins away. This statement is vindicated when we look through Scripture, because we find several actions which we are told lead to our salvation. For example, 2 Cor 7:10 says that repentance leads to salvation. Matt 10:32 indicates that without confessing that Jesus is the Son of God we will not be saved, and this is backed up by Rom 10:9. These are just a few of the passages which speak of salvation, and the actions required by us to receive it.

Con, "Can a lame man be saved? What action is he supposed to take for salvation? What about people without arms or legs? Or some senior citizens who are not physically capable of doing anything anymore? Is there salvation for them in what you believe?"

Answer: Yes, the lame can be saved, the mute can be saved, people with missing or malformed body parts can be saved. I do not buy into this argument that many people make about "senior citizens who cannot move", or "death's bed" confessions negating the Biblical requirement for any action on our part for salvation. These people are not condemned because they didn't do something before they died. They are condemned because they rejected God in the first place. Everyone does at some point in their life. That is why Jesus came, to open a door back to God. These people had plenty of opportunity to believe and take action on their belief during their lives, but they neglected to until it was too late. You have heard the saying that "it is never to late to...." Well that is nonsense. There is a too late. It is too late to make up with your estranged parents when they are dead. It is too late to forgive your child if they die before you do. It is too late to protect that precious glass gift when it has fallen to the floor and broken. There is a too late. But these people can still "obey the Gospel" (2 Thes 1:8). They can still Hear the Word (Rom 10:14), Believe It (John 3:16, Rom 10:9, Mark 16:16), Repent of their sins (2 Cor 7:10, Acts 2:38), Confess that Jesus is the Son of God (Matt 10:32, Acts 2:38), and be Baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of their sins (1 Pet 3:21, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38). None of these actions are outside the ability of even the oldest and most feeble people I have ever known, or of whom I have ever heard.
kwagga_la

Con

Rebuttal:

You state that trees bending are visible faith and that the wind is the invisible belief. You state that if the trees did not bend then we would not know there is a wind. This statement is not entirely correct. A light wind will not bend the tree. The size and strength of a tree can also be a factor whether a tree will be able to withstand being bent by the wind. In short, the bending of the tree is not a requirement for the wind to exist. Faith is seated in the heart/mind as a belief. The belief was the result of considering something to be true based on faith. Acting upon a belief may demonstrate the belief but it is not a requirement for the belief to be true or evidence that it is there. After all, God knows and search our hearts. He is able to tell if one"s belief is there and true without having to see any actions to confirm it for Him.

James is a book that is a favorite with people who believe we have to somehow earn our salvation. Some say that we are saved by faith but then we have to do the works to remain saved. Strange that Christ came to redeem us from the law to be saved and then place us back under bondage to the law after you believed. Perhaps you can also clarify your position? James 1:25 says why faith without works is dead and why there must be works. The verse says: But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be BLESSED IN HIS DEED (my emphasis). Faith qualifies you for heaven (getting saved) and works qualifies you for rewards (believers will be rewarded differently in heaven). I am yet to see where in James it says that faith without works CANNOT save you. Faith may be dead without works and alone but it is enough to save you all by its lonesome self and that is something works cannot do.

James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Yes, faith can save him.

1 Peter 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (not the end of your faith and works or actions)

2 Tim 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace,

Matt 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

I disagree with your interpretation of Matt 10:32. Verse 32 & 33 says "Whoever" - that can be a saved or unsaved person and it is not mentioned in connection with obtaining salvation. This can apply to an unsaved or SAVED person who makes themselves guilty of denying Christ. I have met many people who confess Christ but also believe in other gods or pray to saints. Are they therefore saved because they also confessed Christ? If your interpretation is correct then it seems they are. I do not believe that. Secondly, you mention "WHITHOUT (my emphasis) confessing that Jesus is the Son of God we will not be saved" but in the same rebuttal you also state that a mute person can be saved. How does a mute person make a confession of faith? How about babies? Do all babies go to hell because they are unable to make a confession? They are also not able to believe too. Obviously there is more to the Gospel that contradicts your one sided dogmatic interpretation.

2 Cor 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

It leads you to the point where salvation is obtained. The verse says that "worketh repentance TO salvation" The means by which salvation is obtained is by faith.

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Salvation is a work of God Himself. You cannot assist or earn it. You can only accept it by believing. It should be clear from the verse because the AGENT of renewing (a new life that begins when you are saved) who does the work is the Holy Spirit and not man.

You state "There is a too late". It is only to late when you die in your sins. The Bible says after death is the judgement, not before.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

If what you say is true then God"s salvation is conditional. It means you can do something while alive that can exclude you from being saved. If it is therefore conditional then it is not mercy or grace anymore. Mercy and grace is a FREE gift but if you are correct then mercy and grace is an EARNED gift because there are conditions that need to be fulfilled.

Perhaps you can clarify something for me. Based on the verses you quote can you tell me if someone must be baptized to obtain salvation? It seems to me that you make a distinction to agree when the Bible talks about works is not required but then do not regard the "actions" you claim is necessary for salvation to be what is referred too when speaking of works.
Debate Round No. 2
JonHouser

Pro

Ahh, the trunk of the tree may require a massive wind to bend, but the branches and leaves move under even the lightest breath of wind. You are correct that God searches the heart and knows our inmost being, but consider the parable of the brothers. Both are told to go and do. One says "No.", but he does. The other says "OK.", but he does not. Jesus then asks, "Which of the two did the will of his father?" Matt 21:28-32 Obviously, the one who said no, but later went, is the one who did his father's will. So Jesus finishes, "...and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him." Did they not believe, or did they not follow the actions demanded by obedience? Both. They did not believe, so they did not obey.

James is very clear that we cannot earn our salvation. Only God can forgive sin, and only Jesus' Blood will wash it away (1 John 1:7). That then demands the question, "How do we come in contact with Jesus' Blood?" I will answer that later. First I will continue answering Con's comments.

Can the dead build a house? Can the dead do anything at all? NO!! The dead cannot cause anything to happen. Thus "dead faith" is worthless and ineffectual at doing anything. Dead faith is not faith at all, and cannot save anyone or anything. An example I have heard is that a person believes that a chair will hold his weight if he sits on it. He then acts on that belief (thus has faith) by sitting on the chair. If he has no faith in the chair, he will remain standing. Thus faith is in the action of sitting (putting his fate as it were) in the strength of the chair. In this example, only the seated will be saved, because the Bible says that only those who are in Christ will be saved (Acts 4:12).

NO!! James is asking a rhetorical question. The answer to the question is obviously, NO. His question tells us the correct answer. What profit is there in saying you have faith, but have no works? None. He then goes on to give an example. I ask you Con, if you have a friend who is living on the street and starving, but you stay in your home (warm and fed), and pray that your friend be warmed and fed, is he warmed and filled by your prayer? NO!! He is still hungry and cold, unless you bring him food and blankets, and bring him into your home. Action is required to help your friend. The same is true of faith. You can believe all day that your friend will be warmed and filled, but if you do nothing, he will not be.

1 Peter 1:9 says that salvation of your soul is the "end of your faith". This presumes that this is a living faith. If this faith were dead, then the end would not be salvation. It would be death.

2 Timothy 1:9 says we were saved according to His purpose and grace. We did not "earn" our salvation by our works. But we did earn Hell by our works. Thus our actions do have consequences. If we do nothing in response to God's calling, we will remain in our lost state. Rev 3:21 says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." Does Jesus say here that anyone who hears His voice and sits quietly in his home? No, He says "and OPENS THE DOOR." How do we open the door? Again, I will get to that in a minute.

You are correct that "Whoever" COULD mean the saved or unsaved, but continue reading the verse. "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven." This means that if you refuse to confess that Jesus is the Son of God, He will refuse to recognize you as "His". Thus you will be lost (not saved) no matter that you thought you were saved or not. Confession of Jesus MUST take place before we are saved, because Jesus says that He will not confess us if we have not already confessed Him.

Now, this verse does not say that confession is the only thing you have to do to be saved. It simply says that it is something that MUST be done before you are saved. I would agree with you that someone who has confessed that Jesus is the Son of God but still prays to gods or the saints would not be saved. They are like the demons mentioned in James 2:19. Even though the demons not only believe but KNOW that God is one, and Jesus is His Son, they will not be saved. The same is true for these people. Mute people are still able to "speak" through sign language, the lame are still able to move with the help of friends, etc. Nothing prevents people who need God's salvation from doing the things He requires of us if they are willing.

While not part of this debate, I will answer this question, because I believe it is relevant to understanding. Babies do not need salvation. They are born SAFE. By this I mean that they are not born with what some call "original sin". We know this because God told us in the Old Covenant, "The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself." (Eze 18:20) The child is not guilty of the sins of his father. He will only be held guilty of his own sin. Therefore, if he dies before he knows what sin is, he remains safe in the Arms of God. I do not know what the "age of accountability" is (I believe it is different for each person), but once we reach it we are LOST. Once lost, a person's only hope is Jesus.

You are absolutely correct about 2 Cor 7:10. Repentance leads to salvation, but without it, there can be no salvation.

Again you are right (and I have never disputed) that God is the power behind our salvation. You are correct that we have to believe. But we also have to obey. Without obedience, we will not be saved.

Let me define a couple of words for you. Mercy is not giving someone a punishment which they have earned. Grace is giving someone a good thing that they do not deserve. Thus, mercy is not executing a murderer for his crimes, but setting him free of any punishment. Grace could be exemplified by not only not punishing him, but also giving him a million dollars. But you are wrong. There is nowhere that we are told it is a "free" gift. There are things we have to do to receive salvation. The New Covenant is the Testament (Will) of Jesus. The will left by a dying man frequently contains conditions. If those conditions are met, the living relative will receive the inheritance. If the conditions are not met, then the inheritance goes to someone else. It is the same with the New Testament. Jesus left us conditions to receive the gift of salvation. Those are minor, insignificant things in our eyes. But they are HUGE in the eyes of God. He says He will not save us if we don't do them.

How do we come in contact with the Blood of Christ? How do we open the Door that Jesus created with His Blood? Romans 6-11 tells us. We are buried with Jesus IN BAPTISM, and thus into His death, so that we can be raised from the dead with Him at the Judgement. When did the "old man" die? IN BAPTISM. When were we united with Jesus? IN BAPTISM. Gal 3:26-27 repeats this when it says, "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." When did we put on Christ? When we were baptized INTO Him.

Now I will explain why baptism, repentance, confession etc do not earn our salvation yet still must be done to receive it.

Luke 17:6-10 says, "So the Lord said, "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, "Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea," and it would obey you. And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, "Come at once and sit down to eat"? But will he not rather say to him, "Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink"? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, "We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do."

What does this mean? Among other things, it means that even when we have done everything that we are commanded, we still don't even deserve a "thank you" from God, much less salvation. Yet,if we do not do what is commanded, then we are not just unprofitable servant, we are unfaithful servants. Unfaithful servants will not be saved. They will be cast out where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

My question to you is, have you obeyed the commands of the Most High God? He tells you clearly that you will not be saved unless you have obeyed all of His commands. Yes we will continue to sin after we are saved, but that is where the continual cleansing of the Blood comes in. But for It to continually cleanse us, we must first be washed in It. We are not washed in the Blood until we are buried in it in baptism. I know it is unpopular in today's society, but then the Bible tells us that the road to Hell is wide and easy, but the road to Heaven is narrow, and there will be few who are willing to walk it.
kwagga_la

Con

1. Ahh, the trunk of the tree may require a massive wind to bend, but the branches and leaves move under even the lightest breath of wind.

Not necessarily. In the winter most of the trees do not have leaves to be moved.

2. Can the dead build a house? Can the dead do anything at all? NO!! The dead cannot cause anything to happen. Thus "dead faith" is worthless and ineffectual at doing anything. Dead faith is not faith at all, and cannot save anyone or anything.

If dead faith is not faith at all then why is it called dead "FAITH"? Dead faith can apply to some aspects and not to others. In the book of James the context is with regards to blessings. It is stated explicitly and I challenge you to show me explicitly where it says faith cannot save you. The inference is based on what is explicitly stated and not the other way around. Your inference draws a conclusion that is nowhere explicitly stated and contradicts that which was explicitly stated. Mine is based on James 1:25 as already pointed out.

3. You Say: 1 Peter 1:9 says that salvation of your soul is the "end of your faith". This presumes that this is a living faith. If this faith were dead, then the end would not be salvation. It would be death.

No, it says the salvation of your soul is the END OF YOUR FAITH. It does not address the question whether the faith is alive or not because it can ONLY apply to someone who believes already. It is addressed to someone who already has a "living" (to use your expression) faith because it refers to someone who IS saved. If it was not only faith then saying "the END" would be a contradiction. The end of faith excludes anything else. It does not presume anything like you say because, as I said before, it refers to someone who is saved already. The faith that is referred too in the verse is the correct faith required to be saved. I believe it is only you who are presuming.

4. The answer to the question is obviously, NO. His question tells us the correct answer.

The answer is not as obvious as you state or else we would not have this debate. I already addressed this point before and above regarding the context of James.

5. 2 Timothy 1:9 says we were saved according to His purpose and grace. We did not "earn" our salvation by our works. But we did earn Hell by our works.

I agree but that is why there is grace. When you believe you do not get what you deserve although your works call for it. That is why faith saves you.

6. Mute people are still able to "speak" through sign language, the lame are still able to move with the help of friends, etc. Nothing prevents people who need God's salvation from doing the things He requires of us if they are willing.

Mute people cannot confess in the way it is referred to in the passages you quote. Can I write my confession on paper? Is that the same as speaking? SIGN language after all leans more to writing so it should be acceptable right? And with that we end up with a different type of "confession" altogether. It also does not say anywhere in the Bible that God does not have a wife. I prefer a literal translation because if we go down this road we can believe anything we want. The lame and disabled cannot do the works a "normal" person can do. They will be saved obviously lacking a testimony of good works they performed the same way a "normal" person can do good works. Do you believe the absolute correct mode of baptism is necessary to save you? How can a lame person comply with that? Going in and out of the water by him/her self? That is the only way we read about how it was done in the Bible.

7. While not part of this debate, I will answer this question, because I believe it is relevant to understanding.

The point was that even now all people do not get saved by faith or calling on the name of God. You said it was the ONLY way because you said "WHITHOUT (my emphasis) confessing that Jesus is the Son of God we will not be saved". Here you contradict yourself acknowledging salvation without confession in certain circumstances.

8. But you are wrong. There is nowhere that we are told it is a "free" gift.

Another contradiction, this time you contradict the Bible.

KJV - Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16: And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
18: Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

The verses nullify your whole argument. Not only your contradiction saying "free" gift appears nowhere but also saying we must do some actions in order to be saved. The very definition of the word implies it must be "free" to qualify as a gift. If you can give compensation for it, meaning it is not free, then it is not a gift. "something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation" https://www.merriam-webster.com...

9. I am really getting confused. You state:

"James is very clear that we cannot earn our salvation".

But in answer to James"s question: What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? You state: "The answer to the question is obviously, NO". If so then you are saying we must do something apart from faith to gain salvation and doing something to get salvation in return IS earning it.

10. I agree that a believer in Christ must live a life based on the principles found in the Bible. James also addressed a point where he says faith is dead without works because saying you believe but living in away that do not resemble that nullifies you TESTIMONY and not your salvation. The Bible also states that it is because of believers that the unbelievers blaspheme. In this respect I agree but saying deeds somehow save us I do not agree. If I can do some work then I earn it. Faith is not the same as a work because it is something that takes place within the heart or mind of a man that no one else can see. I can say I believe but lie. How will you know? I can even say I believe and do good works and still lie. How will you know?

To perform some physical work or executing some physical action is the same. Trying to use different words for something that produces the same end result is semantics. I call it semantics because one of the "actions" you try to distinguish from "works" comes from the Law. It was required of Israel to pass under the cloud from which baptism came. Your choice of words does not change this fact.

11. I obeyed what God requires from us in the Scriptures. I believed and still confess Christ as my Savior and was baptized in water. And that is a very short summary. Remember something; the New Covenant was given to Abraham. The Abrahamic covenant is concurrent with the Testament of Jesus Christ. Abraham was justified by faith before there was a law or any action to undergo or keep. There was no circumcision yet but still his faith was accounted to him for righteousness. We are under that covenant. If we earn something we are under the Mosaic covenant and not the Abrahamic covenant.
Debate Round No. 3
JonHouser

Pro

I will skip point 1, because you missed my point all together.

2. "If dead faith is not faith at all then why is it called dead "FAITH"?" When a man dies, we still call him a dead man, but we know that he is not capable of doing anything anymore. to be able, and effective, he must be alive. Faith is the same way. We say dead faith, to denote what is dead. It is inactive and worthless, and is not really faith at all.

Let him who has eyes see what is written. Let him who has ears hear what the Spirit says to the Churches. Anyone who can read English will understand that when someone asks a rhetorical question, the answer is obvious. When James asks, "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17) He answers his own rhetorical question with another that proves his point. If we say to the naked and destitute, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled.", are they filled? NO! Are they warmed? NO! It is the same with faith, James says. "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

You take James 1:25 out of context. It does not contradict James 2. It restates it. Read 1:21-24. "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was." "BE DOERS OF THE WORD, AND NOT HEARERS ONLY, deceiving YOURSELVES." If you only hear the word, but do not do what It says, you deceive yourself (about your spirituality, closeness to God, and salvation).

3. No, 1 Peter 1:9 says nothing about that faith being alive, because for it to be faith it must be alive (see point 1 above). This would be the same as saying that the Bible doesn't say that Zacchaeus was alive. It is obvious that he was alive, just as it is obvious that for the end of faith to be salvation, that faith must be living, and therefore active. Obviously this person is saved by this faith because the Word says so. But as you mention, it is the correct faith required to be saved. What kind of faith is that? The kind described in James 2 and Hebrews 11. Both say that the people were saved, not by what they thought or believed, but by what they DID.

6. Can you write your confession on paper? That, I believe, would fulfill the spirit of the command, especially if you were unable to speak.

"Going in and out of the water by him/her self? That is the only way we read about how it was done in the Bible." The way they got into the water is immaterial. The man lowered to Jesus through the roof of the house by his friends did not get to Jesus on his own power. But he left Jesus restored. The same is true of our souls. We can come to baptism being carried in a blanket if necessary, but when we are immersed in the water our soul is resurrected from its lost state. In some places in Scripture we must follow the letter of what is written. In others we must allow the spirit of what is written to be heard. For example Rev 3:20 says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." In English this makes perfect sense. But in some cultures (forgive me but I have forgotten which one(s)) if a person knocks on your door, you know you don't know them. If a person you know comes to your door, he will stand there and call you by name. Therefore, to keep the spirit of this verse intact, the verse had to be translated to say, "Behold, I stand at the door and call you by name. ..." Does this change the meaning of the verse? No. In that culture, it confirms the meaning because Jesus is our friend. He knows our name, and will meet us on our cultural terms, just as Paul said, "For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." (1Cor 9:19-22)

7. Where did I say that you can be saved without confession in any circumstances? I said if we do not confess Jesus, He will not confess us, therefore we cannot be saved without confessing Jesus (period).

8. Free can also mean open and available to anyone. But as I have said before, just as will a will and testament, conditions do not negate the freeness of an inheritance. As heirs with Christ, we must obey the Will that He left to inherit the blessings of that will.

9. You are confusing yourself. Faith includes actions in obedience to the commands of God. Without those actions, there is no faith. Therefore, we don't do something "apart from faith to gain salvation". Those commanded actions are part of the faith that brings salvation. And no, that is not earning salvation. That is being obedient to the will of our Lord and Master.

10. So you do not agree with James 2:24? "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." You do not believe in the inspired Word of God? What does justified mean? It means, "Theology. to declare innocent or guiltless; absolve; acquit." (1) So then James is saying that a man is made innocent and guiltless by works, and not by faith only. How will I know that you lie about your belief? You don't obey the commands of the one in whom you claim to believe. Just as Luke 17:6-10 concludes, "So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, "We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.'"

11. No, we are not under the Abrahamic Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant was a renewal of the Abrahamic Covenant. The same Covenant was renewed over and over again with each successive generation from Abraham through Jesus' death. At Jesus death, that Covenant was fulfilled and completed. From then on, we have been under a New Covenant. The Old Covenant is still there for us to use as a reference to see the character and personality of God, but we are no longer under any of the dictates of the it. You are right that Abraham was justified by faith before the Law of Moses was issued, but what does Hebrews 11 and James 2 say about Abraham's faith? Both say that he was justified by what he DID, not just what he believed. If he had stayed in Ur of the Chaldees when God sent him out, he would not have been the father of the promise. If he had believed God, but stayed in camp and refused to sacrifice his son, he would have been cut off from the promise. It is by what he DID that he was justified and pleasing to God.

In conclusion, I know it is unpopular to believe that we have any responsibility to do anything to receive salvation. The vast majority of people believe, as you do, that there are no actions required on our part to receive salvation. But that does not change the Word of God. If, as we must do, we take every verse (in context), and read the Word with an open mind without our own preconceptions, the only conclusion we can come to is that before God will save our immortal souls, we are required to obey His commands that He says lead to salvation. These acts in particular are to Hear the Word, Believe It, Repent of our sins, Confess our belief that Jesus is the Son of God, and to be Baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the remission of our sins.

Rom 10:14 - Hear, Believe
John 3:16 - Believe
2 Cor 7:10 - Repent
Matt 10:32 - Confess
1 Pet 3:21 - Baptized
Rom 10:9 - Believe, Confess
Mark 16:16 - Believe, Baptized
Acts 2:38 - Believe, Repent, Baptized

As you can see from the list above and reading the associated verses, these actions are commanded to be done before salvation is given. They do not earn salvation, any more than flying to France to be at the reading of the will of a French relative that required you to be at the reading to inherit earns the inheritance. It is simply something that must be done to qualify to receive the gift. If you don't open the door, you cannot walk through it. If you don't unwrap the gift, you cannot use it. If you do not obey the command of God, you will not receive the salvation He has reserved for those who are faithful servants.

References:
1. http://www.dictionary.com...
kwagga_la

Con

1. I will skip point 1, because you missed my point all together.

You should not have skipped it. You should correct me since I missed it. At first it was the wind bending trees, then when I point out that is not necessarily the case all of the sudden the leaves appear that is moved. When I point out that is also not always the case then all of the sudden I missed it. The only point I am getting is that you conveniently change your story.

2. "If dead faith is not faith at all then why is it called dead "FAITH"?" When a man dies, we still call him a dead man, but we know that he is not capable of doing anything anymore. to be able, and effective, he must be alive. Faith is the same way. We say dead faith, to denote what is dead. It is inactive and worthless, and is not really faith at all.

Your analogy is not very logical because faith continues after the body dies. The dead man ceases to exist as a man. Faith is not dependent on a person. So faith does not end when the man dies. So in fact, the "dead" faith keeps on exiting.

3. Anyone who can read English will understand that when someone asks a rhetorical question, the answer is obvious.

I did not think you would resort to insulting a person"s intelligence: Anyone who can read English". As for James, he did not answer his own rhetorical question the way you say he did.

4. You take James 1:25 out of context. It does not contradict James 2. It restates it.

I never said it contradicts James 2. It contradicts YOUR interpretation of James 2. You quote verses where faith and works were mixed but that changed when the Gospel we are saved under was revealed unto Paul. Before Paul the Gospel of the grace of God was not known to ANY of the disciples. Do you know what that means? It means all the scriptures about being baptized and receiving the Spirit and so on is not valid any more because the Gospel of the grace of God teaches that you cannot do any works. And again, you conveniently ignored my point that baptism was a requirement of the law and your word games do not change that. You site baptism as an "action" required for salvation when in fact it is a WORK. While Christ was on earth you could receive the Spirit by works and be saved by works. Paul says we receive the Spirit by faith without the works of the law (do I need to mention again that baptism is a requirement by law therefore a work of the law and not an "action"?). It contradicts the favorite scripture: "be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit (my paraphrase)". And this is the reason why. It is because the one replaced the other one.

Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

1 Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

5. Read 1:21-24. "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness " I agree but to what end? It does not say do this to be saved.

6. Can you write your confession on paper? That, I believe, would fulfill the spirit of the command, especially if you were unable to speak.

So in other words, other people can do something for you to perform the "actions" and you do not have to do it by yourself like you repeatedly stated when you say "we" have to do this or that in order to be saved.

7. Where did I say that you can be saved without confession in any circumstances? I said if we do not confess Jesus, He will not confess us, therefore we cannot be saved without confessing Jesus (period).

You are misquoting me. This is what I said: The point was that even now all people do not get saved by faith or calling on the name of God. You said it was the ONLY way because you said "WITHOUT (my emphasis) confessing that Jesus is the Son of God we will not be saved". Here you contradict yourself acknowledging salvation without confession in certain circumstances.

Did you notice? I said CERTAIN not ANY circumstances like you claim.

You said in Round 3 " "Babies do not need salvation". If babies do not need salvation but go to heaven then they CAN be saved without confession.

8. Free can also mean open and available to anyone. But as I have said before, just as will a will and testament, conditions do not negate the freeness of an inheritance. As heirs with Christ, we must obey the Will that He left to inherit the blessings of that will.

First you deny that "free gift" is in the Bible and now you want to conveniently change its meaning just a little bit to cast doubt that it might not be free. Again you use semantics. If something is open then you do not have to do anything to open it now do you? If it is available then it means you do not have to do anything to make it available. In all instances you are free from doing something.

9. You are confusing yourself. Faith includes actions in obedience to the commands of God. Without those actions, there is no faith.

You mean works right? not actions as I pointed out before. Remember baptism? A law requirement? And just one other thing, when I mentioned free gift you said the word "free" is not in the Bible. The absence of the word was the reason you said I was wrong in saying that you do not have to do anything to get the gift. So here is my question, based on your logic, show me in all the verse you quoted where the word "ACTION" is written. Not the inference of action but where the word "action" is physically written. After all, if actions are required the Bible will not be silent about it right? If the word "action" is absent then it is not required. Your logic not mine.

10. Therefore, we don't do something "apart from faith to gain salvation". Those commanded actions are part of the faith that brings salvation. And no, that is not earning salvation. That is being obedient to the will of our Lord and Master.

You do something to gain something and then it is not counted as earning it? How about receiving compensation for doing something? Or getting a reward for doing something? Is that better? The fact is you are still doing something for it and therefore the gift is not a gift. It is conditional. Conditional based on something you can do.

11. So you do not agree with James 2:24? "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only."

I never said I do not agree. I have explained to you the context and I see it of no use to explain it to you again. I already addressed this in the beginning of this rebuttal as well.

12. How will I know that you lie about your belief? You don't obey the commands of the one in whom you claim to believe.

I can do the commands and fake it. Observable works is no guarantee that someone is saved.

13. No, we are not under the Abrahamic Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant was a renewal of the Abrahamic Covenant.

Abraham was told that ALL the nations, not just Israel, will be blessed in him. When was this covenant fulfilled? It was fulfilled when the new Covenant through Jesus Christ came. It is through Jesus Christ that ALL nations can now become adopted sons of God. It was not a one time event because people from ALL nations are still being saved based on Abraham"s covenant. That is why I said it is "CONCURRENT" with the New. You have serious issues to sort out claiming we are not "under" the Abrahamic Covenant because the New is a fulfillment of it.

14. Here we go again. You State:

"As you can see from the list above and reading the associated verses, these actions are commanded to be done before salvation is given. They do NOT EARN salvation""(my emphasis)

"It is simply something THAT MUST BE DONE TO QUALIFY to receive the gift".

If you do something in order to qualify for something then you earned it.

Definition of earn
transitive verb
1 a : to receive as return for effort and especially for work done or services rendered
b : to bring in by way of return
2 a : to come to be duly worthy of or entitled or suited to
b : to make worthy of or obtain for
https://www.merriam-webster.com...

Thank you for the debate, I wish you all the best!
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by kwagga_la 11 months ago
kwagga_la
@ JonHouser I apologize. I should have chosen my words better. Instead of writing: your one sided dogmatic interpretation I should have stated something like: instead of your interpretation that narrows things down to rules that do not cover all the aspects.
Posted by JonHouser 11 months ago
JonHouser
Thank you Cosmo. I will correct in future uses.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 11 months ago
CosmoJarvis
You spelled "occurs" wrong, Jonny.
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