Post Number: 71
|Posted on Sunday, July 08, 2012 - 4:55 pm: || |
I was gutting some old binders full of school stuff yesterday, throwing out the old and keeping what I needed to in some smaller folders while keeping the binders for reuse, when I came across my binder from a New Testament class I took at an SDA university. At the time I had some questions about salvation, the whole "faith vs. works" thing, and the professor did not point me to the Bible but printed me out an excerpt from something called Faith and Works by Ellen White. Only then some explanation of Eph. 2:8 via James 2:24-26 followed, with the "lesser light" of EGW shining the way, of course.
I found my notes from that short meeting while cleaning and the words "saved by faith, lost by works" jumped out at me. I was so mad that I threw it in the trash before I read what else I had written.
Saved by faith, lost by works?! If I were lost by my own works, then it seems like I would have no need for Jesus in the first place given that I'd be responsible for my salvation in the end anyway. I believe that it's all faith, and the works are a result of a true spiritual rebirth.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV
Thank God that I'm not responsible for works-based upkeep on my salvation. I would be totally, utterly lost if that were the case. And thank God for yanking me out of a religion that believes such a thing, because I would be spending my days miserably cognizant of my many faults and worried about my standing with God. I know that I am saved and I know that I am free.
Post Number: 231
|Posted on Sunday, July 08, 2012 - 9:27 pm: || |
Rain, that is a great way to put it, though, when talking to current SDAs! It really emphasizes what being saved by faith/grace means to the Adventist, and even other protestant churches.
I don't think it is a unique viewpoint of Adventists. I'm church shopping right now, and I'm finding that I'm crossing churches off my list because of their emphasis on works being part of the salvation equation.
**The following paragraphs are just my musings on the topic, not meant for anyone in particular...
But works ARE important. Works are not a requirement of our salvation, they are a result of our salvation. The difference sounds subtle, but it is huge! I think if, after you are saved, you are trying to follow a checklist of do's and do not's then something is missing from your spiritual life, or rather, someONE. When we are baptized with the Holy Spirit, He is our teacher, the voice inside our heads that guides us and teaches us what is right, true, and Holy. When the love of Jesus is in our hearts, how would it be possible to hurt someone else, or to take something that isn't ours? Or pass by someone who needs our help?
I'll take an analogy from the Bible: Imagine that I am a dead branch from a fruit tree. I don't produce fruit (good works) because I am dead. But then, I am grafted onto a living tree (the true Vine, Jesus). I am now alive (Saved!), with life, or sap, (and love!) from the tree flowing through me. Perhaps I am damaged from being dead and broken from lying on the ground as a dead branch for so long, so perhaps I will never actually bear much fruit (until my sinful flesh is made new at the resurrection). But the fruit I do bear had absolutely nothing to do with my being grafted onto the tree in the first place. The fruit I bear is the result and the evidence of my salvation.
If instead of being grafted onto the Living Tree I had merely been tied to it with ropes, I would continue to be a dead branch, and the lack of fruit would be evidence of that. By their fruits you shall know them. And the analogy starts to break down here, but if a dead branch were to lie on the ground trying to make its own fruit, it would be stinking icky fruit, because there wouldn't be any true life in it. No matter what the dead branch tries to do, it can not graft itself onto the tree.
Post Number: 13818
|Posted on Sunday, July 08, 2012 - 10:05 pm: || |
Rain, yes! You have completely articulated the way Adventists think about salvation. You're right, Katarain; asking them if they can be lost by their works does help identify the issues when talking with them.
It's so wrong...salvation is ALL of God.
Post Number: 156
|Posted on Monday, July 09, 2012 - 12:21 am: || |
Saved by grace, through faith, Amen Rain
Great analogy Kata!
Colleen: I've noticed with all these different denominations like on CARM etc I have to keep bringing up Jesus Christ, whether it's a works pet peeve or some other pet peeve, the denomination/sect and its hangups takes their eyes off of Jesus Christ, I think that's the biggest tragedy. Him ransoming me and me not giving Him all the glory for it would be the real horror, and is just contrary to the working of the Holy Spirit.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:2
Post Number: 421
|Posted on Monday, July 09, 2012 - 7:14 am: || |
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus"
Amen & AMEN!
That is what God has been asking me for over 10 years:
What is your focus?? Where is it?
Anywhere but Jesus - that is where it WAS.
NOW - It is all about HIM.
Anything else leads to legalism & loss of love.
Post Number: 9794
|Posted on Monday, July 09, 2012 - 12:55 pm: || |
It is all about Jesus. Nothing more.
Post Number: 2716
|Posted on Sunday, July 15, 2012 - 11:30 am: || |
It's impossible for unsaved people to understand this concept. For them it's a vicious circle of: "I'm an SDA, so I got to have works. But I'm not saved by my works. But if I don't have any works, it shows I'm not saved - ur, EGW said we can't know we're saved until Jesus comes back... so, I gotta have works or I'm not a CHRISTIAN. Gruuuuuunnt! THERE! YEA! I kept myself from thinking that secular thought on Sabbath, so I have works! Uh, I hope I'll be saved!
They don't understand that if a person accepts Jesus as their Savior (and SDAs cannot because they have to have WORKS), they are saved THEN, and then the Holy Spirit changes their hearts, but they don't understand that the changes the Holy Spirit makes, does NOT KEEP them saved!
(Message edited by Asurprise on July 15, 2012)
Post Number: 1
|Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 5:09 pm: || |
You quoted one of my favorite pieces of scripture. Thanks
Post Number: 2732
|Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 6:57 pm: || |
I had to scroll up to Rain's post and I agree, that is one of my favorite quotes also.
Post Number: 9804
|Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 7:08 pm: || |
Welcome to FAF Capross.
Like Phil, I had to scroll up to Rain's post. That is one of my favorites also.