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Why is salvation based through faith alone?

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Ephesians 2:8     For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.

* John 14:6             Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me".

 

Non-Christian people who love, serve, donate, care for various communities and sacrifice their life for the benefit of others in a good cause has no right of entering the kingdom of God. Good Men, Women, and children living a humble life in isolated parts of the world, in result not knowing Christ's existence will suffer eternal torment wondering what have they done wrong. More than half of the people in the world regardless of their actions are cursed unless they know, worship and submit to God's will through his son Jesus Christ. Why is salvation based through faith alone?

 

If God's absolute love is unconditional, why won't he extend his salvation to those people who respect others and did good in this world but was cursed because they were born in a different way of life? I thank Jesus for providing an expensive and precious ticket to heaven which we all got for free but a huge price for others as they have to sacrifice their loving family, friends and culture which is something they would have lived for.

 

Someone who loved you unconditionally with all their heart, fed you when you're hungry, took care of you when you're sick and raise you to become a good respecting person, supported you in your very hard times and was very proud of you no matter what. Sadly, they can't give up their way of living as it is already part of their lives up to their old age and you have to leave them as they can't join you yet still supportive on your decision on how you want to live your life spiritually. Soon after they passed away and you reflecting the love they given to you but at the back of your mind "Father God have mercy on their souls"

 

I apologize for speaking out such an unpopular opinion. I have no intentions of insulting the Christian people but I'm here seeking answers, opinions, and insights on how you see and interpret the word of God based of the topic given. I also apologized for my lack of knowledge on the matter if I got it wrong and I'm open minded and I will accept my mistakes. I do request if you want reply, please quote through scriptures/ bible verses along the way so I could note them down for reference. 

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Guest JAG

Paul makes a concession for those who will be judged based on their conscience.  The problem is, if everyone were judged based on their conscience they'd still fall short.  How many times do you go against your own convictions in life?  See what I mean?

 

"(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares." - Romans 2

 

Ultimately, you're committing the logical fallacy of Argument by Outrage if you try to sit and condemn God - as if you had a better sense of justice and mercy than He does.  C.S. Lewis wrote an essay called God in the Dock, which describes this mentality.  Where you'd like to be the judge and arbitrator, while cross examining why God does this and that, as opposed to the reality - you, and everyone else, sits before the gavel.

 

The best thing to do is to simply trust that a just and loving God will bring about the most good in every situation.

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Guest JAG

Salvation is not through faith alone, but through faith and works as St. James declares.

 

^Don't let this confuse you.  James and Paul aren't contradictory. James basically says that faith, without works, is dead. i.e. if you claim you have faith, but there is no fruit coming from that faith, then your faith isn't true.  The evidence of faith is good works, but good works do not earn you salvation.

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^Don't let this confuse you.  James and Paul aren't contradictory. James basically says that faith, without works, is dead. i.e. if you claim you have faith, but there is no fruit coming from that faith, then your faith isn't true.  The evidence of faith is good works, but good works do not earn you salvation.

Summed up my post I was going to make soooo guess I got nothing to say for now. :P

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I apologize but you have misunderstood my intentions though my post would seem that way at 1st glance I would agree myself. Rather me judging the souls, I only want to understand God's love and his judgement. I want to see the true picture of God's salvation for us which I will accept. It is like tasting the food that was offered to you rather just swallowing it then answer the question "How does it taste?".

 

Jag you are correct, (James 2: 10) God give us his commandments but which we can't follow as we break one we break all. Everyone falls short and Jesus came to save "Christians" from that horrible fate.

 

Wesker your are correct, (James 2: 20) Faith without action is useless which mostly answers my 1st question in fairness and followed up by Jag's "actions without faith gains no salvation".

 

There is are interesting verses:

Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. For the false prophets and followers who claims they have faith but lacks action.

 

Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

 

From the answers I got with your help could we conclude that:

"Righteous people who do righteous things don't necessarily go to heaven, some righteous people would be found in hell"?

 

 

 

PS: Thank you for replying and participating, helping me see new teachings, verses and the effort to shed some light in me even if I seem hopeless to reason with. I would also check out "God in the Docks" it sounds interesting.

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From the answers I got with your help could we conclude that:

"Righteous people who do righteous things don't necessarily go to heaven, some righteous people would be found in hell"?

Self-righteous people who do righteous acts go to Hell. For example, the Pharisees did righteous acts, but were condemned for their motives. If it is not righteousness due to the grace of God  it is meaningless.

 

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." -Isaiah 64:6

 

Quote: "The doctrine of total depravity asserts that people are, as a result of the fall, not inclined or even able to love God wholly with heart, mind, and strength, but rather are inclined by nature to serve their own will and desires and to reject the rule of God. Even religion and philanthropy are wicked to God because they originate from a selfish human desire and are not done to the glory of God." -Author uknown (wiki)

Edited by God-Sent

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Guest JAG

I apologize but you have misunderstood my intentions though my post would seem that way at 1st glance I would agree myself. Rather me judging the souls, I only want to understand God's love and his judgement. I want to see the true picture of God's salvation for us which I will accept. It is like tasting the food that was offered to you rather just swallowing it then answer the question "How does it taste?".

 

Jag you are correct, (James 2: 10) God give us his commandments but which we can't follow as we break one we break all. Everyone falls short and Jesus came to save "Christians" from that horrible fate.

 

Wesker your are correct, (James 2: 20) Faith without action is useless which mostly answers my 1st question in fairness and followed up by Jag's "actions without faith gains no salvation".

 

There is are interesting verses:

Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. For the false prophets and followers who claims they have faith but lacks action.

 

Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

 

From the answers I got with your help could we conclude that:

"Righteous people who do righteous things don't necessarily go to heaven, some righteous people would be found in hell"?

 

 

 

PS: Thank you for replying and participating, helping me see new teachings, verses and the effort to shed some light in me even if I seem hopeless to reason with. I would also check out "God in the Docks" it sounds interesting.

 

I like how you write.

 

Ok, let me break down Matthew 7:21 for you first by referencing a parallel passage in the parable of the 10 virgins.

 

The Parable of the Ten Virgins - Matthew 25

 

25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’

12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

 

You can also reference the majority of the letters written to the churches in the book of Revelation.  All of these verses are talking about persistence.  These people weren't lying when they said they did wonderful things in the name of the Lord - they failed to persist in doing so though.  By the end, their faith waned until they were met with their First Love (Jesus) again.  The 5 virgins who didn't bring enough oil, too, failed to persist - and became desperate once the Bride Groom came.

 

Jesus time and time against warns us the day He returns will be like a 'thief in the night' - we will not know when it is.  He tells us we must be vigilant.  Both your Matthew 7:21 people and the 5 Virgins were not vigilant, but became comfortable.

 

As for salvation, there will not be a single righteous soul found in hell.  Likewise, though, the only righteous soul is Christ's (Romans 3:10).  This is why He is necessary for the atonement of all our sins.  We must have faith in Him as our salvation from our own unrighteousness. We must persist in this faith until the end, and if it's true faith it will be shown by our works (is our life about building His kingdom, or our own?)

Edited by JAG

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God-sent You quoted a good verse and I was planning to quote it as well. You are correct about the Pharisees acting righteous

ex.

Matthew 6:1 Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

 

Indeed these people won't deserve the kingdom of God as your righteous actions require you to glorify God not yourself.

 

JAG Yes that verse really helps break down Mt 7:21. It is true that we should be vigilant as we would not know when Jesus 2nd arrival and it might be too late if we do fall short at that time. 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Would it be morally good for a non-christian genuinely devoting his life to help, care, love unconditionally and spread peace without any form of malice and did it all in pure compassion and selflessness? Would it be possible that there is a good person sent to hell?

 

"That person actions are meaningless without God through Jesus Christ. That person is cursed regardless of righteous actions." - summary of our discussion 

 

I'm not trying to discourage the Christian faith through this questions but to learn more about it so we could better reinforce and know how far salvation goes and limited to. God's word is Absolute, we should share this truthfully as it is so we could show them the right way to Jesus. 

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Would it be morally good for a non-christian genuinely devoting his life to help, care, love unconditionally and spread peace without any form of malice and did it all in pure compassion and selflessness? Would it be possible that there is a good person sent to hell?

It would be morally good, but morals alone is not what saves a person. This reminds me of the movie Time Changer:

 

"Bible professor Russell Carlisle (D. David Morin) confronts and lectures a boy who has stolen marbles from his neighbors, calling his action unjust. The year is 1890 and Carlisle has written a new manuscript entitled The Changing Times, which promotes good morals without discussing Christ. The book is on track to receive a unanimous endorsement from the board of the Grace Bible Seminary. That is, until colleague Dr. Norris Anderson (Gavin MacLeod) objects. Without unanimous endorsement, his book might not do so well...Dr. Anderson fears that Carlisle's book could harm coming generations, arguing that teaching good moral values without mentioning Christ is wrong. Using a secret time machine, Anderson sends Carlisle over 100 years into the future, offering him a glimpse of where his beliefs will lead."

 

Good in human terms or good as defined by God the standard?

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^Don't let this confuse you.  James and Paul aren't contradictory. James basically says that faith, without works, is dead. i.e. if you claim you have faith, but there is no fruit coming from that faith, then your faith isn't true.  The evidence of faith is good works, but good works do not earn you salvation.

 

I am not claiming that St. Paul and St. James are contradictory. I am claiming that neither St. James nor St. Paul taught sola fide. I do not know how it can be any clearer than when St. James writes, "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." The whole point is that faith and works are two sides of the same coin. The Protestant obsession with favoring one side of the equation as superior is beyond me. We are saved by faith and works. I could do the greatest humanitarian deeds known to mankind, but if my soul, my faith is not in it, my works are meaningless. I could have the greatest faith in justice and God, but if my material actions do not bear them out, my faith is meaningless. 

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It would be morally good, but morals alone is not what saves a person. 

 

I could do the greatest humanitarian deeds known to mankind, but if my soul, my faith is not in it, my works are meaningless. I could have the greatest faith in justice and God, but if my material actions do not bear them out, my faith is meaningless. 

 

Yes, you are both right

Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

"Good people don't necessarily go to heaven"  conclusion

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I read your OP as questioning extra ecclesiam nulla salus, so I'm going to ignore the biblical stuff and focus on that:

Salvation for all mankind was given to us by the Cross. But we need to agree to partake of it. So, imagine it like this: Jesus opened a Pizza Hut large enough to give pizza to mankind for eternity. But you can't just automatically get the pizza, you have to go in and order it. Going in and ordering it is the "being a Christian" part. You can't expect Jesus to just throw the pizza at you, you have to go get it. Oh, and you can only get the pizza if you're Catholic, since that is the franchise Jesus himself founded, and is the only place, therefore, where you can get authentic Jesus-Pizza. But that's for another, probably angrier, thread.

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Very Interesting :)

Out of Topic - Pizzahut does deliver pizza to your home by ordering online or through phone, no membership required but no worries I do get your point though.

 

I  already got the answers I want with earlier posts but you opened a very interesting topic that I would like to discuss.

 

Yes, You need to be part of the Christian Family to enter the Kingdom of God but Salvation only caters to a specific denomination of Christianity which is Catholicism? Why so?

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Yes, you are both right

Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

"Good people don't necessarily go to heaven"  conclusion

 

I believe you misunderstood what I wrote. I was not referencing good people, but those whose actions do not reflect their inner being. Mafia members, for instance, attend Mass even thought they do not believe in Love and Mercy, but are beholden to Thanatos. Some rich people donate millions of dollars and conduct philanthropy not out of the goodness of their heart (faith), but rather for social esteem and other selfish motives.

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Oh I see, you are talking about people with good actions but bad intentions. Mostly like those politician donating money for someone's hospital bills while the media and press are present for sole purpose of popularity and votes.

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Oh I see, you are talking about people with good actions but bad intentions. Mostly like those politician donating money for someone's hospital bills while the media and press are present for sole purpose of popularity and votes.

 

Verily, you have got it.

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The bible is very clear that it is through faith alone that one is saved, but good works are signs of salvation, and the bible never actually says if people who don't know Christ. are saved or not. Also God is very loving, and that's why he gives us free will, and a extremely easy way to be saved, so even if someone is good, they still denied Gods love

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Thank you for the insight! In my studies a genuine faith and relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved.

 

* John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me".

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.

 

Could there be another way to be saved if not Christ? Does Ignorance of Christ save you? I know this is something hard to swallow... but this is God's standards. God is loving but remember that God is Almighty, Absolute and our Supreme Ruler. Faith in Christ is the basis of Christianity, If there was another way to be saved or enter the kingdom of God other than Jesus Christ the messiah "Our Savior" then Christianity is mostly defeated then we will go back to the "laws of Moses" which is Judaism and Jesus will be seen as a mere prophet of Allah as stated in Islam. 

 

In Human standards (how we normally see it), You can't judge someone who has no knowledge of their actions or their actions being manipulated by another force. God's Standards are beyond Human Standards.

 

As "Extreme Christians" see it, our world is already experiencing a Global Disaster spiritually as we are trying to ride the right boat (SS. Jesus Christ) and some people doesn't know such boat exist.

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The bible is very clear that it is through faith alone that one is saved, but good works are signs of salvation, and the bible never actually says if people who don't know Christ. are saved or not. Also God is very loving, and that's why he gives us free will, and a extremely easy way to be saved, so even if someone is good, they still denied Gods love

 

If this sola fide is in the biblical literature, I have certainly never seen it. St. Paul gives us the metaphor of the athlete in his First Letter to the Church at Corinth. "Know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but one receiveth the prize? So run that you may obtain. And every one that striveth for the mastery, refraineth himself from all things: and they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible one. I therefore so run, not as at an uncertainty: I so fight, not as one beating the air: But I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway." I find it exceedingly difficult to fit such language into a sola fide framework.

 

Generally, it appears to me that sola fide is based upon an analytical proof-text, as opposed to a hermeneutical holism. That is, it seems to me that the proponents of sola fide de-contextualize the passages about faith, mechanically separating them from the passages where St. Paul preaches the necessity of works.

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If this sola fide is in the biblical literature, I have certainly never seen it. St. Paul gives us the metaphor of the athlete in his First Letter to the Church at Corinth. "Know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but one receiveth the prize? So run that you may obtain. And every one that striveth for the mastery, refraineth himself from all things: and they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible one. I therefore so run, not as at an uncertainty: I so fight, not as one beating the air: But I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway." I find it exceedingly difficult to fit such language into a sola fide framework.

 

Generally, it appears to me that sola fide is based upon an analytical proof-text, as opposed to a hermeneutical holism. That is, it seems to me that the proponents of sola fide de-contextualize the passages about faith, mechanically separating them from the passages where St. Paul preaches the necessity of works.

I don't claim to hold to Sola Fide, but Sola Fide is solely referring to Justification. It is Faith that justifies man, but works are evidence of Faith. An analogy would be that God fuels the fire of faith, justification, and from that fire heat is brought forth, works. Faith then is the source of salvation and good works. Fire without heat is dead, and probably unheard of, even so faith without good works is likewise.

 

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."-Romans 5:1

 

I can see your argument though if you're applying sola fide in a Calvinistic framework.

 

The verse you quoted then falls smoothly in line with the notion of Sola Fide

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I don't claim to hold to Sola Fide, but Sola Fide is solely referring to Justification. It is Faith that justifies man, but works are evidence of Faith. An analogy would be that God fuels the fire of faith, justification, and from that fire heat is brought forth, works. Faith then is the source of salvation and good works. Fire without heat is dead, and probably unheard of, even so faith without good works is likewise.

 

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."-Romans 5:1

 

I can see your argument though if you're applying sola fide in a Calvinistic framework.

 

The verse you quoted then falls smoothly in line with the notion of Sola Fide

 

The problem is that St. James 2:21 asks rhetorically, "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?" and St. James 2:24 reads, "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." There is a very good reason why Martin Luther did not consider the Epistle of James to be a part of Sacred Scripture. All of these problems melt into air when you adopt the Roman Catholic understanding. We are initially justified by faith, but justification is not an external legal degree. Justification is the ontological process of becoming holy. We receive an original grace through faith, but that is only the beginning of the process of justification. Truly good works complete the process of our justification.

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The problem is that St. James 2:21 asks rhetorically, "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?" and St. James 2:24 reads, "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." There is a very good reason why Martin Luther did not consider the Epistle of James to be a part of Sacred Scripture. All of these problems melt into air when you adopt the Roman Catholic understanding

I think the main issue comes down to scripture tends to make prima facie paradoxical statements or teachings. Works vs. Faith, God's Love vs. Hate for the Wicked, and so forth causing most people to fall into one ditch or the other rather than viewing them as a synergy, two sides of the same coin. The reasons you brought up are the reasons I have an issue at times with how many who hold to Sola Fide interpret certain passages of Scripture. They have a framework already in their mind of what must be causing them to interpret eisgetical.

 

 

. We are initially justified by faith, but justification is not an external legal degree. Justification is the ontological process of becoming holy. We receive an original grace through faith, but that is only the beginning of the process of justification. Truly good works complete the process of our justification.

 

It's been a while since studying the RCC's atonement paradigm, but I'm assuming your definition of Justification is stemming from there. The ontological process of becoming holy for Protestants is considered a separate event that occurs after one has been Justified. This process is known as Sanctification within Protestant teachings. The specifics of each regarding Justification and Sanctification though can vary among Protestants as to when they occur, how, etc...I need to read up again on the differing atonement paradigms. *time to look for my class notes* :)

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After a while of thinking, my opinion has changed, i believe that Salvation is granted through faith that Jesus died for humanities sins, but faith is dead without the acts of kindness (works) present.

 

James 2:26 "For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead."

 

Although justification of salvation is granted by Christ

 

Romans 2:28  "For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law."

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