The Instigator
JohnSmythe
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
wmickas
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Resolved: Grace Requires that We Strive for Obedience.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/29/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 366 times Debate No: 104210
Debate Rounds (4)
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JohnSmythe

Pro

The apostle Peter, writing of Paul, said the following:

"...account that the longsuffering (alternative translation: patience) of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.

18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 15-18)

Yet many in the Christian world fall exactly into the error of the wicked (alternative greek translation: lawless), and DO fall from their steadfastness. They don`t understand what Paul was saying about the longsuffering of God and become lawless because of it.

Frankly, the German theologian and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer framed the issue better than I ever could.

"Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church's inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?...

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.

Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God."

The idea that we can be saved simply by lip-service to the name of Christ is refuted on several occasions by the Master Himself.

"
46. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great."

Coming to Christ, hearing His words and even seeking His counsel is all inadequate, as is the example of the young rich man. He had faith in the Lord to seek him out. He had faith that Jesus would know what He lacked. But in that moment of decision, to do or not to do, the young ruler declined to give all that he had to Christ (an action), and was like that man whose house was without foundation. Great was his ruin.

My opponent will now quote heavily from Paul, as Peter predicted many would, to try and wrest the scriptures to say something they do not. Yet before explaining the function of grace in Romans, inarguably the most comprehensive epistle on the subject, Paul explained the true system of salvation.

"5
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath" (Romans 2:5-7)

Those who while not being perfect are nevertheless continuing with patience to do well, seeking for glory and honour and immortality, are given eternal life. But those who are selfish (alternative translation of "Contentious") and do not obey, get indignation and wrath.

All the rest of Paul`s writing must been seen in this light. He is not writing against works and obeying Jesus`s commandments. Rather, he is writing against the doctrines of the Jews and Jewish Christians who believed that the Law of Moses could save them, or that works alone could save them. As I said before, no amount of works without Jesus` sacrifice could have saved us. Only He. And having paid the price for us, He is now in a position to demand that we do certain things, and the things He demands are those which make us better people, make us like unto Him, which is His goal. "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one." (John 17:22). If we continued in sin, never improving as people, not being patient continuers in well doing, this goal of our Master could never be achieved. We could never overcome, as He has overcome, neither sit in His throne, as He sat in His Father`s throne (Revelation 3:21).





wmickas

Con

Thanks for the challenge. I will make my own arguments and respond to some of his arguments in later rebuttles. I recently had the opportunity of debating my opponent on the subject of Mormonism. I suggested the idea for this debate. Since the subject of grace came up at the last round and did not get much chance to discuss it. This is a very important subject and debate because many Christians and non-Christians misunderstand the subject. Here is the True faith will produce works and good fruit through the grace of God. False faith is believing the grace of God is a free ticket out of hell into heaven. The issue for this debate before us "Do you have to do something to warrant the grace of God or is the grace of God free?" Since my opponent is a member of the LDS Church, I feel that we should compare the Mormon view of grace and works.

What is The Mormon view of grace and works?

2 Nephi 25:23 "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."

"The phrase 'after all we can do' teaches that effort is required on our part to receive the fullness of the Lord"s grace and be made worthy to dwell with Him. The Lord has commanded us to obey His gospel, which includes having faith in Him, repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end" (see John 3:3""5; 3 Nephi 27:16""20; Articles of Faith 1:3""4). ( True to the Faith Page 77)

Saving Ordinances
"In the Church, an ordinance is a sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood. Some ordinances are essential to our exaltation. These ordinances are called saving ordinances. They include baptism, confirmation, ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing (Wyatt's comments: As a Mormon, to perform these ordinances in the temple, you would have to get a recommend from your bishop every two years which means he judges whether or not you have been faithful to the church in tithes, church attendance and obeying the word of wisdom (no coffee, tea, tobacco, drugs or alcohol)). With each of these ordinances, we enter into solemn covenants with the Lord." (https://www.lds.org...)

Now in the context of this debate it is not my opponent's job to defend Mormon works Biblically. I do believe that it would be useful for the audience to do so.

What is the Biblical view of Grace and works?
Matthew 11:28 " Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Philippians 3:3-9 (I believe Paul's commentary on the previous verse) For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

The Biblical assessment is that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. The doctrine of regeneration teaches us that we were born not desiring or seeking God and God by his grace changes us to seek him and to seek to please him.

Based on this you might be asking, "If salvation is a free gift from God through Jesus's death, should we keep sinning since we get into heaven anyway?"

The apostle Paul gave us the answer to this question, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Romans 6:1-2) This means that the evidence of our salvation is that we stop rebelling against God and seek to obey his word.

Christians are called as ambassadors of the faith because Christ has reconciled us to him and now our job is to be ambassadors.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ"s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

I hope this debate will be edifying to both believers and nonbelievers alike.
Debate Round No. 1
JohnSmythe

Pro

We split hairs therefore on this point, but what an important point it is!

My opponent asserts that our mere faith can save us, but that anyone with faith will also have good works, and if they don`t have works, they don`t have faith. This is not scriptural in my view; James 2:16 says the following:

"19. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." Demons, knowing that Christ is Lord, having dare I say more faith in the traditional sense of "belief" that you or I, do not obey Him, and therefore are not saved. All the belief in the world did not motivate them to action.

"20. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only."

James supports the view I am espousing. Faith is perfected by works. "Faith without works" as James said "is dead."

I assert that one who has faith can work, and his good works (which Jesus` sacrifice capacitates him to do, along with the Holy Ghost), over a near infinite amount of time, will make him like unto Jesus ("Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect" "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us") and overcoming as Jesus did will permit us to sit in His throne, as he overcame, and sat in His Father`s throne.

I know that nobody but He was perfect. Fortunately, all Jesus is expects it that we, as I quoted earlier, "by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality" and He will give us "eternal life:"

To round off this argument, I would like my opponent to flesh out his beliefs so that a contrast can be drawn. Not much of what he said needed to be rebutted, so I would like to understand his position before critiquing it.

1. Is baptism by immersion necessary for salvation? Can anyone be saved who having sinned was not baptized?
2. Is orthodoxy (belief in correct doctrine) necessary for salvation?
3. Is belief on the Lord Jesus necessary for salvation? If not, what of those who never learned of Him?
4. What sins can a Christian commit before his faith is invalid? What, if any, are sufficient sins to make someone lose their salvation? 5. Why aren`t the demons saved, even though they believe in the One True God and confessed that Jesus was the Son of God?
6. Is confession needed for forgiveness of sin?
7. Is repentance needed for forgiveness of sin? If so, how should one repent?
8. Is it possible for someone who has some small sins they are aware of but don`t find worth changing and so keep repeating, but nevertheless avoids the large sins such as murder, theft, and fornication to have sufficient faith to be saved?
9. If someone who has faith will naturally do works, how does this doctrine differ materially from the doctrine I believe, which is that our works amount essentially to our consent and a vehicle for Christ to help us be better people? How would someone who believes as you act differently from someone who believes as I do on this point?

wmickas

Con

Thank you. This response from James 2 brought back memories because I used to argue this way when I was a Mormon.
I will answer your questions first and come back to James 2 later in this rebuttle
1. Is baptism by immersion necessary for salvation? Can anyone be saved who having sinned was not baptized?

The answer to this question is no. Baptism is a method for walking in obedience. To be brief I will share an experience with the thief on the cross, "And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:39-43). Pardon my sarcasm here but we would agree that the thief was not in any position to get baptized. The only thing required for salvation is having the (Hebrews 11:1 defined) faith in Christ (Acts 16:31 and Romans 10:9-10). Paul had discussed baptism in 1 Corinthians 1:14-17, "I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect." My question to my opponent is why would Paul say he is glad he did not baptize all but a couple of people if baptism is required for salvation?

2. Is orthodoxy (belief in correct doctrine) necessary for salvation?

Again I the answer is no for the same reason that the only thing required for salvation is faith in Christ.

3. Is belief on the Lord Jesus necessary for salvation? If not, what of those who never learned of Him?

Yes, even the Book of Mormon would say this Mosiah 3:17, "And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent." This echos Acts 4:10-12, "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." The Bible and The Book of Mormon agree on this. The second question is hard and am still looking for an answer for it.

4. What sins can a Christian commit before his faith is invalid? What, if any, are sufficient sins to make someone lose their salvation? 5. Why aren`t the demons saved, even though they believe in the One True God and confessed that Jesus was the Son of God?

First question: I don't know but I would suggest to stay as far away from that line as you could get. Second question: The demons knew who Jesus was intellectually but they did not accept him as their authority and willing to turn from sin to him.

6. Is confession needed for forgiveness of sin?

This needs some defining confession to who to God or to man? I believe that,"if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

7. Is repentance needed for forgiveness of sin? If so, how should one repent?

Repentance is a willingness to turn from sin and to God. I believe it is needed

8. Is it possible for someone who has some small sins they are aware of but don`t find worth changing and so keep repeating, but nevertheless avoids the large sins such as murder, theft, and fornication to have sufficient faith to be saved?

Has the person in question serious about turning from sin and to God or was it just wanting a free ticket out of hell into heaven?

9. If someone who has faith will naturally do works, how does this doctrine differ materially from the doctrine I believe, which is that our works amount essentially to our consent and a vehicle for Christ to help us be better people? How would someone who believes as you act differently from someone who believes as I do on this point?

The difference here is the grace empowers you to do things that are pleasing to God. You would assert that "Grace requires striving for obedience" to warrant God's grace to begin with. Mormonism adds appendages that I don't believe are necessary such as earning a temple recommend they going to the temple renewing it every two years doing the same thing and all the things which I mentioned in the first round.

James is simply saying what Jesus said except applying it to the believer and Jesus applies it to false prophets. Matthew 7:15-20 says,"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." True faith will produce good works. Let me give you an example if you believe that it is snowing outside, then you will take the necessary
precautions to keep yourself warm before going outside. If you truly believe in Christ as your lord and savior you will begin changing your life to conform to Christ's teachings. The requirement for salvation is true belief in Christ.

I now give my opponent the chance to respond.
Debate Round No. 2
JohnSmythe

Pro

I will suspend the Mormon digression thus. In order to enter the Celestial Kingdom in and of itself (being in heaven, mainstreamChristian salvation), all that is needed is baptism by water and the gift of the Holy Ghost. That`s 2 Ne. 31. They are called saving ordinances because we have something greater in mind than just being an angel in God`s presence, and salvation in our view properly said includes that, but to attain mainstream Christian salvation is simply baptism and the laying of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. If you were really a former member of the Church, you`d have known that, so the fact that you`re trying to present the temple recommend process as being arbitrary and some sort of requirement for being in heaven with God shows you`re either disingenuous or else you`ve forgotten quite a bit.

The Thief
We can`t be sure the thief was never baptized. Also, the original Greek is ambiguous. There is no punctuation, so the adverb "today" doesn`t necessary apply to "thou shalt" but rather "I say". Seeing as Jesus didn`t go to God that day nor for three days after ("Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to the Father" (John 20:17)), we are left with two interpretations:

A. Paradise is not Heaven; This would make sense, considering the rest of the Bible. Jesus went to another paradise, such as Abraham`s bosom, and the thief did as well, to await his judgment (and future baptism as one who had not known Christ).
B. The verse is better punctuated "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee today, thou shalt be with me in paradise."
C. The thief had been baptized, but had fallen away.

But impermissible is the notion that Jesus was in heaven with the thief, for he had not ascended to the father that day.

1. Paul`s rejoicing at not having baptized:
This is glaringly obvious from the context. Paul is addressing those who were making sects based on ministers rather than on Christ. In your own citation he says "Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name".

The verses immediately preceeding those you cited read:

"
11. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?"

Now here`s Paul back at you.

“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ… and if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”. Galatians 3:27-29. Those who are baptized are they who become Abraham`s seed, and receive the promises.

Finally, the binding fiat of the risen Lord.
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." I know it does not say that he who believeth and is not baptized will be condemned, but I`m of the opinion that when Christ gives a suggestion, it`s best to follow it. Want to be saved? Believe and be baptized. Believe and remain unbaptized at your own peril, because Christ has established it as the way.

2. Orthodoxy. I won`t contest this one at the moment because there are stronger cases to be made. Even if you ceded on this point, it would still be belief and not works, so not worth our time.

3. Agreed.

4. Second question: "The demons knew who Jesus was intellectually but they did not accept him as their authority and willing to turn from sin to him."

As far as accepting him as an authority, at least in principle, they do this better than many Christians do. His every direct command is obeyed, and they in several instances worship him,

"And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, thou art the Son of God." Mark 3:11. Jesus didn`t make them do that. On the contrary, He often told them to hold their peace rather than testify of His divinity. The next verse is 12, "And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known." They, of their own volition, made a confession of the Lord Jesus. When imposters came and tried to cast one out in the name of Jesus, they said "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?" (Acts 19:15), so they obviously recognized him as an authority. Every direct command given by Jesus to a demon was obeyed. The problem is, they don`t use their own agency to seek to do good. They obey only when directly commanded, and all their confessions and all their faith didn`t save them. You said it correctly, they have to be willing to turn from sin. In other words, they needed works, which they would never do. It`s not enough to believe, to confess with your lips the Lord Jesus, or obey when Christ appears in front of you and commands you.

6. That`s another work you`ve agreed to. We need to confess. Confessing our sins to God is an act.

7. Agreed.

8. This person is serious about serious sins and not doing them, but doesn`t find his small vices (a white lie every now and again, for example) to be worth changing.

9. Grace unto salvation does indeed require work, however, God pours out grace to many, and it is His prerogative to determine how and when we get it. Our Father maketh his sun to rise upon the just and the unjust. I am unworthy of all the many blessings He has given me, but I still get His grace because He knows I am trying. I am not like Peter. I am not yet certain of my salvation, I have not made my "calling and election sure" at this moment. I am still doing as Peter said, adding to my faith, virtue, and to virtue, knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and so on so forth.

"If you truly believe in Christ as your lord and savior you will begin changing your life to conform to Christ's teachings."

Here`s the rub. If I (speaking in the general sense and not of me personally) know that Christ loves me so much that he will save me as I sin, perhaps I won`t go out of my way to sin, but I will a lot more readily justify myself in its commission. I will think "Jesus knows this very is hard for me. Good thing I`ll be saved, even if I indulge this one time". Or else, "I am doing a lot better than a lot of Christians, and they are going to be saved just like me. I don`t drink, I`m not violent, I`m not a thief like that guy on the cross with Jesus. This one little white lie surely won`t keep me from salvation."

wmickas

Con

Thank you.
The thief: I believe this might be grasping at straws here. What we know is that the thief next to Jesus was on the cross and died shortly thereafter. There is no evidence of a baptism but it is possible.

Paul: The question is what was the conclusion of that dialogue? "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect." (1 Corinthians 1:17) You can see here that Paul distinguishes the gospel and baptism. Lets be a little more through here and lets see how Paul defines the gospel, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."(Romans 1:16) The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation. How does Paul define the gospel. "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) How is baptism defined? While there is no specific definition of baptism in the scriptures, I found a definition that I believe would suit this discussion well, "Christian baptism is the means by which a person makes a public profession of faith and discipleship. In the waters of baptism, a person says, wordlessly, 'I confess faith in Christ; Jesus has cleansed my soul from sin, and I now have a new life of sanctification.'" https://www.gotquestions.org... The difference between my opponent and I is not the importance of baptism but the role of baptism.

Paul back at me Galatians 3 as a chapter is speaking about the freedom from the law in Christ. Again We both agree that people that have been baptized have put on Christ. The difference is is this needed for salvation.

Mark 16:16 I don't have an answer to this except by pointing out a parallel verse from John 3, "" He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

4. I believe likewise with little variation, that they have not had the grace granted to them to seek to do the things that are pleasing to God.

6. This is the start of turning from sin and to God.

8. Two options, the person has been mislead or does not yet understand seriousness of sin.

9. In salvation, you have assurance and there is no need to worry if you have been truly saved, read Philippians 1.

"Here`s the rub. If I (speaking in the general sense and not of me personally) know that Christ loves me so much that he will save me as I sin, perhaps I won`t go out of my way to sin, but I will a lot more readily justify myself in its commission. I will think 'Jesus knows this very is hard for me. Good thing I`ll be saved, even if I indulge this one time'. Or else, 'I am doing a lot better than a lot of Christians, and they are going to be saved just like me. I don`t drink, I`m not violent, I`m not a thief like that guy on the cross with Jesus. This one little white lie surely won`t keep me from salvation.'"
I actually agree with this point. I have a similar confession of faith.

I quote from Mormon literature on any subject that Mormonism deals. As a former Mormon I would say that I do have background into their teachings I agree that the Mormon view of salvation is quite different than the traditional Christian view of salvation which I do not wish to go in depth on but will if need be. I really was a former member of the LDS Church. https://www.mormon.org...
Debate Round No. 3
JohnSmythe

Pro

""Here`s the rub. If I (speaking in the general sense and not of me personally) know that Christ loves me so much that he will save me as I sin, perhaps I won`t go out of my way to sin, but I will a lot more readily justify myself in its commission. I will think 'Jesus knows this very is hard for me. Good thing I`ll be saved, even if I indulge this one time'. Or else, 'I am doing a lot better than a lot of Christians, and they are going to be saved just like me. I don`t drink, I`m not violent, I`m not a thief like that guy on the cross with Jesus. This one little white lie surely won`t keep me from salvation.'"
I actually agree with this point. I have a similar confession of faith."


This is my entire problem with the doctrine of salvation by faith alone and so I close my argument. We are never justified in committing a sin. We will punished in some way for it. It may not be a sin unto death, we may recover afterwards, but unless we repent deeply and change, and continue "with patient continuance in well doing" to "seek eternal life" that sin will condemn us, our professions of faith notwithstanding. Our actions reflect our choices better than anything else. If we choose not to follow Christ even by holding back part of the offering (Acts 5), there will be no salvation.

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption"

We will be enemies and rebels towards God just as the demons are unless we repent.

Remember what Bonhoeffer taught about getting grace.

"Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God."

I close with the words of the Savior of the world himself. Luke, chapter 13.

"1. There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?

5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down."

Jesus is that dresser of the vineyard. His grace puts off the reckoning and strengthens us, giving us time and power to bear fruit we would not otherwise have. But bear fruit we must, for

"Now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."


wmickas

Con

Thank you.
To respond to his problem with grace by faith alone, please refer to round 1.

He quotes Bonhoeffer

"Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God."

Here's my theory. Indeed grace is costly and it cost Jesus his life to pay our sin debt. Recall what I said in the previous round that God requires a willingness for us to turn from our sins and turn to God. Let me give you an example that Ray Comfort gave. If you claim to believe that a parachute will save you from a death from a crashing airplane and you don't put it on before you jump, you will still die. If you really believe the parachute will save you, you will put it on before you jump and pull the chute before too long. If you believe that Jesus will save you, you will conform your life to his teachings.

Luke chapter 13 basically says that you will know true faith vs false faith by the fruit it produces.

In conclusion, if you want to experience the hope that you can only find in Christ go to http://blazeofhope.weebly.com.... If you want me to be a guest speaker go to http://blazeofhope.weebly.com.... If you want to debate me on another format other than debate.org, go to http://blazeofhope.weebly.com.... Thank you to my opponent for engaging with me in this debate
God bless!
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by JohnSmythe 8 months ago
JohnSmythe
I'd be willing to take you up on this debate, bigdebate.
Posted by bigdebate 8 months ago
bigdebate
Well, Con is debating the correct position as both Peter and Paul both state that grace does not require works. But Paul says it the most clearly here:
"But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace." - Romans 11:4
Here, Paul states that for a gift to be a gift, it cannot require any sort of work or payment.
Now, this does not mean that Christians are to live however they please. The Bible is very clear that we have not shown a repentant heart if we continue to live as though God does not matter. However, our works are not what gave us our forgiveness. Our faith did, and this faith is trust in God. Think Genesis 15:6. Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." It is on the basis of faith that forgiveness is afforded, not works. Striving for obedience implies that grace is only given as a payment for our striving. However, it would then cease to be grace and begin to be payment if that were the case!
Posted by JohnSmythe 9 months ago
JohnSmythe
For sure.
Posted by wmickas 9 months ago
wmickas
Thank you for the chance to debate you again. I pray that this was edifying to both believers and nonbelievers alike. Despite our theological differences, I hope we could become friends. God bless!
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