Did Christ die for the sins of the whole world, and when He rose from the dead, did God forgive the sins of the whole world apart from and prior to my personal faith in Christ? Did Christ die for the sins of the whole world, and when He rose from the dead, did God forgive the sins of the whole world apart from and prior to my personal faith in Christ? Is God's work of salvation in Christ "complete," or do I "complete" God's work of salvation in Christ by believing in Him? Is the Gospel of Christ "conditional" upon my faith in Christ? If Christ did not die for all people, and if God has not already forgiven the sins of the whole world apart from and prior to my personal faith in Christ, then what is the "contents" of the Gospel? Yes, my personal faith in Christ is a gift of God (Eph 2:8-9, ) but since that faith operates in me and not in God, is my faith a "good work" which "merits" God's forgiveness and which separates me from those who don't believe in Jesus? By believing in Christ, do I "cooperate with God" in the accomplishment of my own salvation and thus become at least in part my own savior? Am I "saved by (my) faith," or am I saved "by (God's) grace through faith"? My questions are based upon the controversy over the distinction which is made between "Objective Justification" and "Subjective Justification." In "Objective Justification" God forgave the sins of the whole world in Christ when Christ rose from the dead; God is therefore already "reconciled" to the world, but we need to be personally "reconciled to God" in order to be saved. That takes place in "Subjective Justification" when the Holy Spirit works faith in Christ in our hearts through the Gospel and we "subjectively" receive by that faith the personal forgiveness of our sins. God's forgiveness of the world in Christ prior to and apart from my personal faith in Christ is the "contents" of the Gospel of Christ to which the Holy Spirit brings me to personal faith.
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Good questions! Let's take them one by one. 1) "IF you believe, THEN you are saved" or "You're saved! Believe it!"!" If you believe, -then- you are saved! (John 11:40, John 3:16, John 5:24, John 12:44-50, Mark 16:16, Rom 10:9-13, Acts 2:21, Acts 16:29-31 etc) "...He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” - Acts 16:29-31 2) Did Christ die for the sins of the whole world? Yes! "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2) Also Mark 12:24, 1 Tim 2:6, etc 3) When He rose from the dead, did God forgive the sins of the whole world apart from and prior to my personal faith in Christ? No. What Christ did was become the 'atoning sacrifice' (covering sacrifice), 1 John 4:10, that allows man to be reconciled to God. Man, under condemnation, goes before the righteous judge (God). We then plead before the judge that Jesus paid our penalty, and the judge imputes to us the righteousness of Christ. Our debt is then wiped clean! (Rom 3:25). 4) Is God's work of salvation in Christ "complete," or do I "complete" God's work of salvation in Christ by believing in Him? Both, depending on how you define 'complete'. Salvation is deliverance out of bondage and into safety. Jesus did everything on the cross required for our deliverance. We still have to let him deliver us and remain where He takes us! This is the covenant between God and man, which Christ mediates. His blood enforces it, allows it, and completes all terms; however unless you enter into the covenant contract, you cannot receive its promises (Gal 3:23-29, Heb 9:15-22, I Tim 2:5). Furthermore, when Christ said 'it is finished' upon the Cross, he was not referring to the individual salvation of souls, but referring to the eternal plan of salvation which God had ordained before time; that God would bring salvation by His own right arm! (Isaiah 63:4-5, II Timothy 1:9) 6) Is the Gospel of Christ "conditional" upon my faith in Christ? "Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent." John 6:29. When we believe (faith) we are not doing a 'work of man'. We cannot obey God or abide with Christ without faith. 7) If Christ did not die for all people...then what is the "contents" of the Gospel? Christ did die for all men, and acted as the propitiation for our sin to appease God's wrath. The gospel contents are that man must accept that sacrifice and believe on Jesus Christ (Yahweh brings salvation + the anointed one) to have eternal life. (John 3:16-18) That is the summary of the gospel! Those who do not believe are condemned; those who believe are not condemned but saved through the sacrifice of Christ. 8)...faith in Christ is a gift of God (Eph 2:8-9,)...is my faith a "good work" which "merits" God's forgiveness and which separates me from those who don't believe in Jesus? See above (John 6:29) - faith is a work of God. Faith is being persuaded of what is trustworthy/credible. It is not an outward act or a ritual or a work of man of any sort. In Eph 2:8 faith is not the gift, but rather salvation http://ebible.com/answers/24715?ori=167400 9) By believing in Christ, do I "cooperate with God" in the accomplishment of my own salvation? No more than accepting a gift means you "gifted yourself" in any part, or accepting a pardon on death row means you "saved yourself". The first depends entirely on the grace of a giver, the second on the grace and mercy of someone in authority. You played no part except receiving their offer with humility - like receptive soil. (James 1:21, Mark 4:20, etc). 10) Am I "saved by (my) faith," or am I saved "by (God's) grace through faith"? We are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8), by which faith we have access into grace (Rom 5:2, Rom 4:16).
Well, what it boils down to is that you must confess your sins and accept Jesus in heart as your savior. Bingo, you are saved.
Warren, I thank you for this question because most do not believe this. Let me fill this out by giving some scripture. In the OT God said that Christ would save everyone (all should read everyone because in the Hebrew it is a personal pronoun) - Isaiah 53:6. Jesus, himself, said he came to save the unbeliever or the world - John 12:47. John confirmed this when he said Jesus is the propitiation of the sins of the whole world - I John 2:2. Now, about my personal faith. I disagree that my personal or subjective faith produces my what you said i.e. "...when the Holy Spirit works faith in Christ in our hearts through the Gospel and we "subjectively" receive by that faith the personal forgiveness of our sins." Faith addresses justification. 1) Everyone is justified (J) by Jesus blood - Rom 5:9 (Rom chap 2-5 also addresses Abraham's faith). 2) J by grace - Heb 4:12-16 (Jesus' grace saved everyone, my grace must produces something). 3) J by faith - Rom 3:28 - (Jesus' faith saved everyone, my faith must produce something). 4) J by works - James 2:18-26 - (Jesus' works saved everyone, my works produce something). 5) J or condemned by my own words - Rom 3:1-4. What does my personal grace and faith produce or what are the works that I must produce? 1) I first must obey Father's voice to follow Jesus - Deut 28:1-14 and I must give up my life to do that - Luke 9:23-24. To subjectively save my life I MUST give up MY life. 2) This personal obedience is the circumcision of my heart - Genesis 17:1-27, which is what the Holy Spirit does in my heart - Rom 2:25-29. 3) This circumcision by grace and faith will produce the fruit of the Spirit (all glory to Father) - Gal 5:22-26. 4) This circumcision by grace and faith also produces the "good works" that my Father had planned and predestined that I should walk in the - Eph 2:8-10. Most Bible "teachers" leave out verse 10. 5) This circumcision also produces a tongue (see 5 above) completely controlled by my Father - James 3:1-2. The wise and foolish virgins are about to wake up to love - Rom 13:8-14 and there "personal righteousness" - I Cor 15:34. The revelation that those who "say" they follow Jesus is not from the Bible (last 150 years to the masses) but it is the revelation of the destiny that Father God has predestined them to accomplish. Matthew 7:13-29 tells of the few that are on the difficult path I have just described. The multitude follow the wolves in sheep's clothing that devour their destiny and the fruit of the Spirit. Read it! To get to heaven we MUST be a good tree bearing good fruit (V 16-20) AND good works (V21). Warren keep seeking the truth because you at least understand that most who "teach" the word have made the love of Christ (Lamb) and the Father a conditional love based on our acceptance. Christ's "job" was to defeat Satan and get back the keys to hell and death (Rev 1:18) and this is what is complete. What is not complete is the Lord (Lion) is still making disciples who willingly give up their lives to follow him. The Lion is about to come and judge the wolves (Mat 7:13-29, the tares (Mat 13:24-30, 36-42) and the goats (Mat 25:31-46). Are you ready for THE judgment? It begins in our house of God (body of Christ - Lamb) - I Peter 417.
What does the bible say? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Salvation is already done, but we have to believe it to receive the gift of salvation by grace. Romans 11:6 When we receive the gift by faith, we are given eternal life. We are not given eternal life until we believe we have it. IT is to everyone that BELIEVETH, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16. So everyone that has ever believed John 3:16 is saved and has eternal life. John 6:40 And this is the will of Him who sent me, that all that seeth the Son, and BELIEVETH on Him, may have eternal life, and I will raise Him up on the last day. I used to believe it is so easy to be saved that everyone should believe and be saved. But I was young and believed the gospel when I was about 5 years old. It is so easy to believe it when you are young, and wonder why everyone does not believe it and be saved. As I got older I realized that something so simple and easy is hard for people to believe. If it was as easy to be saved as the bible says it is, Why do people not believe it and be saved? It makes no sense to me. Salvation is a free gift of God, and yet, people will not believe it. They just do not believe that all you have to do to be saved is believe it. it is easier to believe the gospel and be saved forever, than to drink a glass of water, but I guess it is to easy and people will not believe it. But, Jesus said it would be this way.
Mark 16:16, Jesus said "all those who believe and are baptized will be saved". Acts 2:38 "believe AND be baptized FOR the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit". If a sincere believer studies the first century believers, this is what they believed. Scripture says that the time will come when SAVAGE WOLVES will come from your own number and rob you of the truth. Follow the multitudes or follow the scriptures, He gives us the free will to choose. And Ananias said to Paul "Get up and go and be baptized and wash away your sins". This had importance to my choice of belief. I did the scriptural exegesis and also studied what the Christians of the first 200 years believed and came to my personal conclusion. He gave us all free will so I pray that on THAT day we ALL, no matter what we choose to believe, what our brothers and sisters believed THEN or what is being taught now, that we will all be among the sheep and not the ones who Jesus said too, "get away from me, I never knew you". May He bless us all with His wisdom and revolatio and protect us from the new teachings of MEN. Chuck Roae As for me and my house, I will follow The Lord!! Chuck Roae
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