Saved by Keeping the Commandments

 
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Homer



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
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Location: Brownsville

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 7:36 am    Post subject: Saved by Keeping the Commandments Reply with quote

Under another thread, "Are we dead when we are dead", in the Eternal Torment category, Paidion wrote:

Quote:
Some say that Jesus wouldn’t do that. He would never use a false belief to illustrate a truth. Wouldn’t He? I remembered His encounter with the rich young man:


Matt 19:16 And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?"
And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments."
He said to him, "Which?" And Jesus said, "You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honour your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbour as yourself."
The young man said to him, "All these I have observed; what do I still lack?"
Jesus said to him, "If you would be complete, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.

If you would enter life, keep the commandments. We all know that the answer to inheriting eternal life is not keeping the commandments. But that is what the young man believed. So I realized Jesus used the young man’s belief to bring him to the real way to eternal life — leave everything and follow Him. That is the only way.

I agree we all "know" this, but did the Old Testament folks know this? Before Jesus came, how could they "leave everything and follow Him", if that is the only way to eternal life? Did not the law inform them over and over that commandment keeping was required to have a relationship with God? Was not commandment keeping an evidence of their belief in God? I realize it can also be a sign of trust in self.

Interestingly, Jesus' statement "If you would be complete, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." isn't exactly the same as His first one; He says "if you want to be complete" (teleios).

I realize the man had a problem with money that needed to be addressed, the young man is not my point of interest. My point is that if commandment keeping, under the law, was not a sign of faithfulness and a requirement for enjoying God's blessings on Israel, then it would seem that under the Old Covenant the people had no clear way of knowing this. The message seemed to be pounded into them over and over, "obey and live". And if we agree they were "saved by grace", just as we are, what are the implications for us?
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TK



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
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Location: Northeast Ohio

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question, Homer. A couple of OT passages come to mind:

Quote:
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise. (Ps. 51:16-17)

and

“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
He also has rejected you from being king.” 1 Sam. 15:22-23


it seems that some OT persons knew that the heart was what really mattered; just as we say God desires to have a personal relationship with us, it seems that at least some OT figures knew this as well. that being said, an OT figure with his heart in the right place WOULD likely keep the law, out of a desire to do so.

TK
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Paidion



Joined: 25 Jul 2005
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Location: Chapple, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt 19:16 And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?"
And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments."


Has it ever been true that anyone has received aeonion life by keeping the commandments? I don't think so.

This was my point. It wasn't through "keeping the commandments" that Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob became acceptable to God. "The commandments" had not yet been given. Paul said that Abraham was justified "by faith" just as we are.
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brody_in_ga



Joined: 23 Dec 2005
Posts: 237
Location: Richland Ga

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think(though I may be mistaken, Homer tell me if I am)where Homer is coming from is the subject of what a man must do to become regenerated, or "saved".

I have spoken with many people from the Restoration movement/Church of Christ back ground, and almost everyone of them stresses that a Christian's good works in combination with the Blood of Christ is what saves the individual. They strongly reject the notion of "Faith only", and opt for a 5-fold method of salvation:

Hear the gospel- Romans 10

Repent- Luke 11

Believe- Whole bible

Confess- Romans 10

Be baptized for the remission of sins- Acts 2:38

This is where the "works, commandments" issue is brought up. What can legitimately be considered a "work"(which those in the Church of Christ consider believing the gospel to be a work based off their interpretation of Jesus' words in John 6), and what works must the Christian do, if any to be saved.. This of course does not sit well with many of the modern institutions and denoms of the day, who stress the faith only position.

I personally believe the truth lies somewhere in between the two positions I have outlined.

I hope I understood you well Homer.
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Paidion



Joined: 25 Jul 2005
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Location: Chapple, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I don't think Homer is saying that works are a part of being saved from sin.

I, too, believe that the one way John the Baptizer, Jesus, Paul, and Peter taught to enter the Kingdom of God, was to repent and be baptized.

These acts are not "works" in the sense Paul meant. Indeed Paul makes that clear when he said:

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us: by the washing of regeneration [baptism] and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
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brody_in_ga



Joined: 23 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paidion wrote:
Personally, I don't think Homer is saying that works are a part of being saved from sin.

I, too, believe that the one way John the Baptizer, Jesus, Paul, and Peter taught to enter the Kingdom of God, was to repent and be baptized.

These acts are not "works" in the sense Paul meant. Indeed Paul makes that clear when he said:

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us: by the washing of regeneration [baptism] and renewing of the Holy Spirit.


I agree with you, but certain groups are very works oriented(not saying Homers group is) and almost seem to over emphasize the works part, and down-play the grace part. I think there has to be a balance. On one hand we must obey Christ, but the overshadowing figure is always grace. Just my 2 cents.
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