What must a Man Do to Be Saved? A Look at Justification

What must a Man Do to Be Saved? A Look at Justification

By Matt1618

This is a response to an email from a Mr. Dwayne Farr, who sent a detailed paper which attempted to prove that the Bible teaches Faith as the only instrument of salvation and that Catholicism is wrong on many issues. I have responded to only a portion of his whole paper. That is because I like to be thorough in my responses to such papers and if I took the time to respond to the whole paper, this would be much too long. My responses are extensive. This response of mine does respond point by point to some essential issues that he has brought up. I have italicized his words. I respond with analysis and Scripture. He asked that I respond with Scripture, and so I do in this response. I respond that the Catholic Church is correct on the issues, and point out from the Bible why I find him and his theology to be incorrect. Although I have this, as part of the whole paper, each issue can stand on its own. Thus, I also have this piece on justification as its own url. Here is my response on justification.

The Lord has indeed bestowed His grace and mercy upon undeserving sinners, allowing a way by which one can be saved according to the work of Christ on the cross. What is this Gospel of grace? Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

That question is answered not only in Acts 16, but in many places in Scripture. But in Acts 16 Paul does respond:

31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family.
Notice that Paul says that if one believes in Jesus one will be saved. Now, he does not pour into that answer the presumptions that I see that Dwayne will pour into his answer. Notice that he believes, and only his belief, will save the whole household, and the whole household is immediately baptized. Thus, infant or child baptism is implied, as the passage says that if you believe, the whole household would be saved. Also, when he says 'you must believe', he gets immediately baptized. Thus, this answer reflects Jesus comments when he said how one will get saved, Mk. 16:16:
16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
We thus see that baptism is part of the package of salvation. Actions speak louder than words. When Paul says believe in Jesus, he takes as an a priori assumption that baptism is a necessary step of salvation. Undergoing baptism, as a believing adult, the jailer showed that he believed. Paul did not make him wait to demonstrate to others that he was already saved by faith only. He immediately gets baptized in order to achieve salvation. Thus, Paul here in Acts 16 is putting into practice Jesusí commission. Besides Acts 16 also showing that the jailerís belief would save the whole household, this reflects Paulís own understanding of how he was saved, as he recounts in Acts 22:16:
16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.'
Paul knew that his own sins were washed away by baptism, so surely he was aware that in order for the jailerís sins were to be washed, when he said Ďbelieveí, part of that belief included washing away his sins via baptism. That is why in Acts 16, when he says believe and you will be saved, it goes without saying that baptism is done immediately, at the time of salvation. This is done in the middle of the night, with no other people to witness, so it is not merely a demonstration that one already has been saved.

Also, we see that there are other things necessary for salvation. Peter was asked 'what must I do?', in Acts 2:37, and in Acts 2:38 he responds:

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In Mt. 19:16 Jesus is asked that question and in Mt. 19:17 Jesus responds as below:
16 And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" 17 And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments."
Jesus was again asked, in Luke 10:25-28:
25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 26He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" 27 And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." 28 And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."
So thus, the question is asked of others, and their answers are just as inspired as Paulís answer in Acts 16. One says in order to be saved one must repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38). One says to believe, and he was baptized immediately (Acts 16:31-33). One says believe and be baptized (Mk. 16:16). One says that one must keep the commandments (Mt. 19:17). One says that one must love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as well (Lk. 10:26-28). Jesus says that if you do this, you will live. Not one of these people said, 'well, you can not keep the commandments', or 'you can not love your neighbors enough' or something to that effect. These answers are not exclusive. It is not one or the other. It is both/and, not either Paul or Peter, or Jesus' answer, but Paul and Peter and Jesusí answer. Belief, baptism, repentance, keeping the commandments, and love of both God and neighbor, are all necessary to achieve salvation. When the individual people are told the answers, it was not meant to be that the other actions were not necessary. Individuals were given answers that specific aspects were focused on, but were not meant to be all exclusive answers, as these other items were necessary as well, and would be taught as necessary means of justification. Not faith alone. When Paul said believe, it is obvious that he did not mean belief alone, but belief would bring with it all the other necessities, which are also necessary means of justification. Paul does indeed include works within his explanation elsewhere as well (Rom. 2:6-13, 1 Tim. 6:18-19, Gal. 6:8-9, etc.)

1. Realize you are a Sinner:

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Yes, we fall short of the glory of God and need his grace. No problem there. We need to receive his grace.

Isaiah 64:6 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 is speaking as representing Israel. Israel had turned their back on God and had denied his sovereignty over them. It says in the very previous verse that God meets joyfully him that works righteousness. However, Israel sinned and remains in sin. The iniquities have caused the nation of Israel to be destroyed. Isaiah is talking about a specific occasion. This passage, is nowhere quoted in the New Testament, and nowhere does it say that of those who follow Christí their righteousness amounts to filthy rags. Now to the immediate context of Isaiah 64, we see that God will meet with righteous people:

5: Thou meetest him that joyfully works righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways. Behold, thou wast angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved 6: We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7: There is no one that calls upon thy name, that bestirs himself to take hold of thee; for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast delivered us into the hand of our iniquities.
We see here that God does meet those who joyfully work righteousness. Obviously then, there are some people who are truly righteous. However, the people of Israel have sinned for a long time, and their righteousness in toto, do amount to filthy rags. Notice that he uses the term 'we, 'us', showing that he is speaking of an apostate Israel corporately. They have abandoned him. The people of Israel have been delivered into the hand of their iniquities. The kingdom has been destroyed. The temple has been destroyed. They have become subjects. This is speaking to a local situation and is nowhere meant to be a categorization of the whole human race. It is certainly not meant to pertain to Christians, who are filled with the Holy Spirit to walk in holiness. This passage, is never quoted in the New Testament at all, let alone to be counted as the standard of how filthy the works of Christians are. In fact, if Christian acts were purely filthy in Godís eyes, then the apostle Paul is a pile of contradictions, as we will see further down below.

1Jo 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

The first step in realizing that you need a Savior is acknowledging that you are indeed lost to begin with. Many of us try to take inventory of our lives and count up all of the good deeds and kind words we've ever offered our fellow man. But with regard to our eternal destination, as Isaiah states above, our good deeds (righteous acts) amount to nothing more than rags compared to the righteousness of God. Indeed, you may have done some praiseworthy things in life. But no man can stand alone against the holiness and righteousness of God. The Bible describes Him as a "consuming fire", sovereign, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. Up against that, and by the standard of perfection that God demands, we realize that the shiny crown of goodness consists of nothing but sand. Have you ever lied? Ever stolen? Looked lustfully at another person other than your spouse? Then you have done enough to deserve eternal judgment for your sins.

Dwayne refers us to the passage in 1 Jn 1:8 which says that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, as supposed proof of the filthy rags righteousness of Christians. But he is mistaken on several counts. First, the immediate context of 1 John shows the exact opposite of what Dwayne is saying. Just like he is misusing Isaiah 64, he is also misusing 1 John. A look at the immediate context is telling:

7 but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 2 1 My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He who says "I know him" but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him:
The immediate context destroys all of the concepts that Dwayne pours into 1 John 1:8. First, Catholics acknowledge that we are sinners, even after being totally cleansed when justified in baptism. We have a sacrament of confession which acknowledges that. So looking at 1 Jn 1:8 only shows what we acknowledge, that we are sinners. However, does that mean that we are filthy rags? By no means. A look at the previous and following verses shows the exact opposite. We are in fellowship with God only if we walk in the light . Thus, Christians must do the action of walking in the light, in order for the blood of Christ to cleans us. This 100% perfection standard put by Dwayne is nowhere found in the gospels, in order for one to be justified. He is a loving Father, who does not demand such perfection to stay in his grace. However, we must in other words really be righteous, even if not to the perfection of Jesus. Next it says that if we confess our sins (and Jesus specifically make a sacrament in John 20:22-23, where he says to the apostles: 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.") the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. Thus, in justification, and sanctification, the blood of Jesus does not merely cover over us while we are still filthy rags, but that very blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Thus, if we do sin, we have access to this cleansing through the sacrament of confession. We are made pure when the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. That is thus, only done when we walk in the light, and confess our sins. This is an ongoing process. It is not a one-time thing. We are thus, not filthy rags, but through confession and walking in the light we are really made righteous via the cleansing from sin. We are not made filthy rags. We see this as John shows the condition of our salvation. Just as Jesus said if we want to enter life we must keep the commandments, John says the same thing in 1 Jn 2:2-5.

Dwayne said that God has a standard that in order to be in his grace, we must have an absolute standard of perfection, and that is why we need to be covered up with an imputed righteousness of Christ, because we are just filthy rags. However, John writes something totally opposite. He writes that if we sin, we have an advocate with the Father. That means that if we do sin, if we confess our sins, we do really get cleansed from them. However, notice that the passage back in 1 Jn 1:7, 9, refers us to an ongoing cleansing. Now, we are in a fellowship with God, where we are his adopted sons. Thus, small sins will not debar us from fellowship with him. (John further clarifies the distinction between mortal (or major) from venial (lesser) sins (1 Jn. 5:16-17). However, as adopted sons, we must keep the commandments, even if we acknowledge that we do not perfectly keep them. However, we still can and must keep the commandments. This reflects the teaching of Jesus. In fact, not only does Jesus say that in order to enter like one must keep the commandments, he elsewhere verifies the possibility elsewhere when he says in John 14:15:

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
In fact, if we do not keep the commandments, we are liars, as John himself writes. We can keep and must keep the commandments, even if not perfectly. As the relationship with the Father is a filial relationship with him, he does not demand a perfect keeping of those commandments, but we still must keep them, in order to be in communion with him.

2. Acknowledge that you can't save yourself.

Ok. Yes, Catholics do not say that we can not save ourselves outside Godís grace. However, in communion with him, and by his grace, we can work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12-13). To say that we have no part in our own salvation denies clear Scripture. Part of salvation is holding the correct doctrine. For example, Paul writes in 1 Tim. 4:16.

16 Take heed to yourself and to your teaching; hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
We see that we can save ourselves, though it must be within God's grace. So even the introductory sentence of his second point is incorrect. But within the context of grace, and the acknowledgement that what we do to merit before God is Godís own work within us, we do save ourselves. To say otherwise is to contradict Paulís very words.

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

What is the context of this quote, and what is Paul speaking of? Is he saying that we are all filthy rags, and are unrighteous? Or is there a larger context from which this is coming? Let us see the immediate context, Romans 3:9-13.

9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all; for I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, 10 as it is written: :"None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands, no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one. 13 "Their throat is an open grave, they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."
Paul in Chapter 1 of Romans had shown that the Gentiles are sinners (Rom. 1:18-32). He also shows that the doers of the law (under grace) will be justified, whether Jew or Gentile (Rom. 2:6-15, 25-29). He also shows that those who are justified must be circumcised in the heart can be either Jew or Gentile. In Romans 3, he shows that the Jew is just as much a sinner as the Greek. Before God, a Jew is a sinner, just as the Greek is. Just being a Jew does not make you righteous. That is how Romans 3:9 leads into Romans 3:10-13. The sinner, be it Greek or Jew needs Godís grace. That is all he is saying. He does not mean that one can not be righteous, or otherwise his definition of what justification does, makes no sense at all. I will show that shortly, but for now, we can see that Paul is showing that Jews are just as prone to sin as Greeks. That does not mean that one in Christ can not be righteous. When he quotes Romans 3:10, he is quoting from Psalm 14. Let us take a look at the Psalm that Paul is taking this from. One thing we know, as Paul is an inspired writer, he would not have a totally different meaning from what the inspired writer of Psalm 14 meant.
1: The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good. 2: The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. 3: They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good, no, not one. 4: Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon the LORD? 5: There they shall be in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. 6: You would confound the plans of the poor, but the LORD is his refuge. 7: O that deliverance for Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores the fortunes of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, Israel shall be glad.
We thus see in this Psalm that David is not speaking about all people worldwide not being able to be righteous. David is talking specifically about Ďfoolsí who in their heart who say that there is no God. He is also talking of 'evildoers.' They do not seek after God. All people who do abominable deeds, who donít seek after God, of course are not righteous. That is where Paul is drawing this from. Even if one is a Jew, they can do abominable deeds, and even reject God. Of course even Jews can be that way, and none of those people are righteous. He is specifically speaking about evildoers. He is not saying all people are evildoers. Because we see him go to verse 4, where he says that those unrighteous evildoers, eat up my people. Who are my people? These are people that do not say, 'there is no God.' These people do not get corrupted. He then says in verse 5, that God is with the generation of the righteous. Thus, the people who Paul is referencing are in contrast to those who are righteous. Thus, there are righteous people, but being born a Jew doesnít make one righteous. Paul eventually shows us that all of us need Godís grace to make us righteous, to make us like the people of Psalm 14:4-5, not Psalm 14:1-3. Paul does the very same thing in Romans 3:13. He quotes Psalm 5:9, where it says ítheir throat is an open grave, they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips.í However, we see in the very same Psalm, 5:11-12:
11: But let all who take refuge in thee rejoice, let them ever sing for joy; and do thou defend them, that those who love thy name may exult in thee. 12: For thou dost bless the righteous, O LORD; thou dost cover him with favor as with a shield.
In Psalm 5, there do exist righteous people who indeed are blessed by God. Thus, Paul knows very well the background to these citations. If he is proving Dwayneís point, that even under Godís grace one is unrighteous, he is totally twisting Scripture to mean the exact opposite of the context of what the Psalmist actually meant. If Paul is an inspired writer, then he can not possibly mean that. In these passages, he is referring to Jews who are unrighteous. Indeed the Psalms that Paul points us to show that Jews are the ones spoken of as being unrighteous. All Paul is showing is that we need Godís grace to be found righteous, and ultimately that in order to be righteous, this grace is only found in Jesus Christ, as the rest of Romans 3 shows. Jews need this grace just as much as Gentiles.

Just a sample of other Psalms, written by David, show that there are generations of righteous people, who are indeed judged by their own righteousness, favorably by God:

Psalm 7:8-10: 8: The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me. 9: O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish thou the righteous, thou who triest the minds and hearts, thou righteous God. 10: My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.

Psalm 1:1-3, 61: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2: but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3: He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 6: for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Psalm 119:1-3:1: Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! 2: Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, 3: who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!

The Psalmist actually asks God to judge according to his own righteousness, according to the integrity that is within him (Psalm 7). God saves only those who are upright in the heart. According to Dwayne, there would be no such people, who can be judged on their own righteousness. The Lord establishes the righteous. The very first Psalm also shows that there are those who can refuse to walk in the counsel of the wicked. The Lord knows those who are indeed righteous. In other words, the righteous' works are not filthy rags. In Psalm 119, we see that there are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. According to Dwayne, there can be no such people, they need an imputed righteousness. This is shown throughout the Psalms, although there are many indeed who act in rebellion against God. Those who are in covenant with God, actually are righteous, but it is only by Godís grace that they are righteous. In Romans 3, Paul shows that even the Jew needs the grace that is found only in Jesus Christ.

Paul shows that in justification, one is made righteous in Jesus Christ. Not with an imputation of Christís righteousness, but that we are made righteous. We see this in Romans 5:16-19:

16 And the free gift is not like the effect of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. 17 If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. 18 Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous.
Through the sin of Adam, sin came into the world, but through the free gift justification comes by Jesus Christ. What does he do in this justification? We get an abundance of grace, where we reign in life with this free gift of righteousness. Just as Adamís sin really caused sin to come on our soul, where we are truly bent towards sin, and even are unclean, through Christís obedience he undoes the process. We are truly unclean, until we are justified in Christ. Once we are justified, we are made righteous. Thus, for Paul, justification equals being made righteous. If we become ontologically unrighteous, we can become unjustified. God makes us righteous, he does not make us filthy rags.

As we saw above, compared to the holiness of God our shiny works are sand. Thus, we cannot do anything to redeem ourselves, and do not possess the righteousness to satisfy God's justice. We are all unrighteous. Our sinful nature separates us from the Lord and makes us objects of His wrath.

Of course we can not redeem ourselves. However, through the grace of Christ, he came to redeem us from all iniquity. Paul specifically says that this is what the purpose of Christ coming for us was, Tit. 2:11-14:

11 For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, 12 training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, 13 awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
How does Christ redeem us? Salvation is giving through renouncing irreligion and worldly passions. Salvation is through living soberly, uprightly and godly. Christ's very purpose was to redeem us from all iniquity, and through Godís grace purifies us to be zealous for good deeds. This is our salvation, not an imputation of Christ's righteousness.

Paul also shows us that not only that in his definition of justification we are made righteous (Rom. 5:19), but that we ourselves do meet the righteous requirement of the law, Rom. 8:2-4:

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
We are set free from the law of sin and death. The law and commandments only shows us how we are supposed to live. It does not provide the power to do so. It only brings death outside of Christ, because without his grace, we are unable to meet his standard of holiness. But in Christ, we are adopted sons, and we are in the law of the Spirit. Notice that Paul specifically says that in Christ, we ourselves meet the just requirement of the law. Notice also that Paul does not say that we can not meet this requirement and because Jesus met it, we get imputed with his righteousness and that meets the standard. He says instead that we meet the righteous requirement of the law. Any look at Romans which ignores this significant passage which shows that we ourselves meet the righteous requirement of the law, is an insufficient look at that book.

In addition in Romans 8, it shows that in order to achieve justification, we must do an active part, otherwise we would lose our justification. For example, Romans 8:12-13, 17:

12 So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- 13 for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live...
17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
We see that justification is thus an ongoing process. One must put off the deeds of the flesh in order to live. If we live by the flesh, we will cut ourselves off from him, i.e. we will die. As children we are adopted sons, and we will only inherit the kingdom with Christ if we suffer with him.

3. See what we deserve.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. That is right. Death. While we are slaves to our sin natures, we are standing dead in our sin. This does not denote a physical death, but rather a spiritual one. One that is marked by separation from God.

In one sense, yes, sins separate us from God and yes, we earn our damnation with sins. If we live in obedience to sin, we earn our damnation. That is what Paul is saying here. The gift that God gives us is eternal life. However, how do we get that eternal life? Is it separate from our own obedience? No. Our obedience is a necessary cause of our justification. We even see this in the verses immediately prior to Romans 6:23 that Dwayne quotes for us. For example in Romans 6:16-18, Paul writes:

16 Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
What God gives us is eternal life, which is indeed a gift. Now what is this gift? That we are free from its bondage. Under Christ, we are no longer a slave to sin. This is another indication that our obedience and works are not filthy rags. It is not as though Dwayne indicates, that though we will do good works, those works only count as filthy rags. As Romans 6:16 shows us, our obedience leads to our justification. If we disobey, we earn our damnation. However, the fact that we can obey is indeed a gift from God. It is thanks to God that our obedience leads to our justification.

Paul points out that what we do when we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, is a gift from God to us, Phil. 2:12-16:

12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out the word of life--in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.
We must continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, and note that this is salvation. Thus, justification is a continuous process. That is God's gift to us. If one says, 'well, this is a byproduct of being saved,' Paul declares to the contrary. He is writing to fellow believers. If one does not do this work, it says he would have labored in vain. If one was guaranteed salvation once in his grace, it would be impossible for Paul to have labored in vain, because at least they would have achieved salvation. One must hold fast to the word of life in order for that salvation to be achieved.

But God does not leave us here without any hope for anyone in this world. Rather, God has made a way for His justice to be satisfied through the death of Christ Jesus on the cross. His holy blood secured a purchase for sinners, and His act was one of complete redemption for those whom the Lord would call to Himself. None of us deserve the mercy of the Lord. None of us deserve forgiveness. But yet God, in His great mercy, came down to earth in the form of a man and made the way for man and God to be reconciled. Nothing we could do on our own can save us. Neither can anything we do add to our salvation. God's grace alone saves us, through faith alone in Christ alone. But how do we become followers of Christ?

Jesus was a perfect sacrificial offering on behalf of us sinners. His death on the cross was done to enable us to purify us from all iniquity, as stated in Titus 2:11-14. However, the scenario that Dwayne gives us, that God punished Jesus in our place, so that our salvation is not dependent upon our obedience, is not the gospel at all. He was a sin offering, to cleanse us from sin, on an ongoing basis. Yes, God's grace alone does save us. Faith is of course an important instrument of salvation. However, as we have seen, it is not the only instrument of salvation. As we have seen from the Bible, this salvation does not come through faith alone. So the premise is already mistaken as we approach the very important question that he asks.

4. Repent of Your Sin
Eze 14:6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. Luk 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. The word "repent" means to "turn away from". So, when we see the Biblical admonishment to "repent" of our sins, it means that we are to turn away from them. Salvation is not fire insurance that gives you the ticket to go on and continue to disobey God. Rather, as Paul states in Romans: Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. May it never be!" Rather, the desire to be forgiven of our sins by God should be met with a sorrowful heart which desires to obey God and submit to Him. Does this mean that you never will sin again. No, sadly not. As long as we are still on Earth, we will face temptation. But those who truly love the Lord and are redeemed by Him will seek to obey Him and repent when they stumble. "1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. "

Thee is nothing in here that I disagree with, although it is an insufficient and incomplete answer, and even contradictory to what he stated earlier. As far as insufficient, I will say that as we saw earlier, Peter was asked this question, on what one must do. It would be good to see what Peter says, when he says ĎRepentí. This is in Acts 2:37-38:

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" 38 And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, we must repent of our sins. We must wholeheartedly turn from our sins to be saved. But what is necessary to get our sins forgiven? What is necessary to get the Holy Spirit? Peter is speaking to a multitude. At least 3000 heard and responded to this message. They heard, Ďrepent and be baptizedí. Thus, in order to get their sins forgiven, they must repent get baptized. Baptism brings both the forgiveness of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thus the desire to be forgiven sins, is met when we both repent and are baptized. Not repent and you get forgiven and get the Holy Spirit, and then afterward you demonstrate your salvation by being baptized, but repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins and only then will you receive the Holy Spirit. Dwayne forgets to mention that point. That is why his answer is insufficient.

Also, we see that good works must accompany repentance, or one would not achieve salvation. We see this, for example in Revelation 2, where Jesus is speaking to the Church in Ephesus:

2 I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.'
Scripture thus shows that the people he was speaking to were in God's grace but were about to lose their justification before God unless they both repent and do good works. Thus, this passage shows again that justification is ongoing and could be lost if one sins mortally against God. As he is only repenting because of lack of good works!!! It says in verses 2 and 3 that they are rejecting evil. They were not doing the works that they did at first. They must repent from only the lack of good works or else they can lose their salvation!! And not only repentance but good works were necessary. He must also conquer to be in communion with God. Thus, these actions of both repentance and good works are necessary to attain eternal life.

The Scriptures he quotes I fully agree with but do not lay the foundation for what he believes in. Yes, he quotes Romans 6:15, which says we are under grace, not under law. Yes, law does not save us, in and of itself, as only grace does. Grace purifies us. But the quote of Romans 6:15, precedes verses 16-18, which shows that obedience to righteousness is a condition of salvation. Of course Dwayne just said that this is not a prerequisite. Yes, he teaches that one will attempt to live in a holy way, but he admitted at the top of his essay that this cleansing only leaves us so that our works are only filthy rags.

The quotation of 1 John 1:9 shows that Christís blood really cleanses us. He does not cover us over with the righteousness of Christ in an imputed, legal manner. And again, we must confess and continually get cleansed of sins, as this very quote of 1 John 1:9 does show. However, what kind of cleansing is this, where our own holiness and works amount to being filthy rags? This surely does not fit what he says at the beginning of his essay. Filthy rags are not clean. This true, ongoing cleansing, is absolutely necessary for our justification!!! In fact, this passage in 1 Jn. 1:9, precedes John's comments that we looked over earlier which says that we must do and keep the commandments in order to achieve salvation (1 Jn. 2:2-5). How come Dwayne doesnít quote immediately after 1 Jn. 1:9 the absolute necessity of keeping the commandments? Because it doesnít fit his theology. How come Dwayne doesnít quote Jesus when he is asked how to be saved, he says íto enter life you must keep the commandments?í (Mt. 19:17)?

5. Realize what Jesus did for you
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
The death of Christ 2000 years ago was no accident, and did not catch Him by surprise. Rather, Christ's sole mission on earth was to redeem those the Lord would call to forgiveness. And His resurrection demonstrates His victory over death and sin, and His power and might as God the Son. Realize that only this sacrifice from God saved us and acknowledge that it is only by His death that we become righteous before God. Christ was our substitute when He died on the cross, and His death satisfied the demands of God's justice. The Bible tells us that "Act 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."" So it is only through His death that we can be forgiven.

The quotations from Romans 5 and 6 leave out other things that are of utmost importance in the very same chapters. Now what they do say is that we are justified by his blood. But how is that applied for our justification? Romans 5 does not say 'through faith alone are you justified by his blood'. We saw earlier in 1 Jn. 1:7 that the blood cleanses us from sin, when we 'walk in the light.' Thus, what we do in his grace, is how that blood cleanses us. Next, as we have seen earlier, in Paulís definition of justification, one is made righteous (Rom. 5:19), not covered over with an imputed righteousness of Jesus. And two, Romans 6 shows the answer to the question of how one puts on Christ, in addition to faith, Romans 6:3-7:

3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For he who has died is freed from sin.
Notice that it is by baptism that we are baptized into his death. It is baptism which makes us put on the newness of life. We must die to sin. We are freed from sin (v. 7). Right after telling us that in justification, we are made righteous, he tells us the means of that justification includes baptism. This is in the very chapter that Dwayne points us to, (but excludes in his analysis or Romans 5 & 6).

Next, in the passage of Romans 10, which speaks of having to confess Jesus as Lord and one will believe unto salvation. Paul does not say that confession of him is a onetime thing, nor does he say that if at one time you confessed him, that one's salvation is guaranteed. One must continually confess him. Paul writes, for example in 1 Cor. 15:1-2 says that: "I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, 2 by which you are saved, if you hold it fast--unless you believed in vain.". Paul understands that a onetime belief does not guarantee salvation because one must hold fast to that gospel. It is possible to have believed in vain (just as Jesus says in Luke 8:13). In addition, Paul in this passage (in Romans 10:5-9) he is quoting from a passage in Deuteronomy 30:6-16 which includes the necessity of keeping the commandments, when Dt. 30:16 says: If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you this day, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live . Surely Paul would not use a Scriptural quote that teaches one thing, and conclude something totally different from the context of this Deuteronomy passage.

6. Submit Yourself to Christ
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Mat 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Once again, salvation is by no means insurance from hell. Rather, it is a demonstration of God's glory that He can redeem sinners and His mercy, that He chose to forgive these sinners and save them from His wrath through Christ. As a result of this, we die to ourselves and to our sinful nature. Christ's righteousness makes us righteous before God, and as we walk and grow in His truth, we are to continually die to that sin nature and become more like Jesus...until, we no longer live, but Christ lives in us. We take up His cross, and follow Him, as He tells us "Mat 11:30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."" Consider the burden of carrying our own sin apart from God and compare that to the lightness of submitting to Jesus and nailing our sins to the cross of Christ.

There is not much that I or Catholicism would disagree with in the above analysis, but again it is incomplete. The passage in Galatians 2 shows that we live our life in Christ, not merely by our own power, but by God working within us. This is similar to the Phil. 2:12-16 passage which says that it is Godís will and work within us that enables us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. The passage of Matthew 16:24-25, is a partial quotation. We must deny oneself, and follow him. No disagreement there. However, Dwayne leaves out the verses immediately following the verses he chose:

26 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
In the passage that Dwayne points us to is the question of whether we want to follow Jesus, and end up with him, or against him. Thus, in the balance is our salvation or damnation. And immediately in the mix, Jesus tells us he rewards us according to our works. Thus, these works that we do either lead to our damnation or salvation. Good works lead to salvation, bad works lead to damnation. This again reflects what Jesus himself taught in another passage, John 5:28-29:
28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.
Those who have done good go to heaven, those who do evil go to hell. Now, of course Jesus does teach that apart from him we can do nothing (Jn 15:5-6). Nonetheless, good works are indeed grounds of justification, as shown in Mt. 16:26-27 and Jn. 5:28-29.

Then Dwayne concludes this sixth point by saying that the burden is easy and the yoke is light (Mt. 11) by arguing that our sins are Ďnailed to the crossí. If by that he means that our sins gets transferred to Christ and Christ gets punished for our sins, and Godís justice is Ďsatisfiedí, then that is not the gospel. If he the thinks that our own holiness is not grounds for our justification, and the yoke is easy because that holiness is not a necessary grounds for justification, then he is wrong. Of course Jesus himself says that we are judged on everything we do, whether good or bad (Mt. 12:36-37). Dwayne then concludes that the yoke is light, because we donít get punished for our sins. That is false. Jesus of course is the one who said that to enter life we must keep the commandments (Mt. 19:17). He says that if we love him, we will keep the commandments (Jn. 14:15). As a Father he does not cast us out over small sins (Heb. 12:5-12), but if we turn our back on him, we do get cast out (Heb. 12:15-17). In fact, keeping the commandments is both a condition for our salvation, but is also not too burdensome, Rev. 14:12-13, Rev. 12:17, and 1 John 5:3:

Rev. 14:12-13 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!"

Rev. 12:17 Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.

1 Jn. 5:2-4 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.

With the grace that God gives us through Christ, we can keep the commandments so we can attain eternal life, as Jesus himself said (Jn. 14:15, cf., Mt. 19:17). And it is not too burdensome.

Also, Dwayne leaves out the necessity of the Church, because how do we submit to Christ? Is it by reading the Bible on our own and figuring out on our own how we submit to him? When Jesus gave a commission to his disciples to preach he said:

Lk. 10:16 He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.

Mt. 28:18-20 18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."

He thus gave a commission which included the fact that the preachers of the gospel are the ones we must follow if we are to submit to him. Who has had the gospel since the foundation of the gospel, who have the authority to teach us how to submit to him? The Church that has existed for 2000 years. With that said, the Church is Christís instrument of salvation. This me and Jesus mentality which excludes the Church as of importance to our own salvation is belied by the gospel. For example, see Hebrews 13:17:
17 Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you.
7. Consider the Consequences of Rejecting Christ
Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
2Pe 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
2Pe 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.
We all stand accountable for our sins before God, but we stand with a suitcase full of sin. Every lie, every time you stole, every time you sinned, every transgression sits in our suitcase that we carry to our judgment. The fact of the matter is that, essentially, we are born with a sin nature... born needing forgiveness. "Psa 130:3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? Thus, we are sinners in need of a Savior! But what if we reject that Savior?

Yes. Those who have heard the gospel of salvation but have rejected it will not achieve that salvation, which is shown through his quotation of Mt. 7:26. However, his quotation of Mt. 7:26 is insufficient in the larger context. He leaves out a part which tells us that faith alone does not suffice, Mt. 7:16-21:

16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. 18 A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will know them by their fruits. 21 "Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
What is the ground for entering the kingdom of heaven, according to Jesus? Those who bear good fruit, are the only ones who enter the kingdom of heaven. Now of course Dwayne would say that of course that those who bear good fruit would go to heaven, but he says that that fruit is only unclean rags before Godís holiness. Jesus doesnít seem to see it that way. We see here that this fruit, is the cause of one going to heaven. Directly upon saying that good fruit is necessary, the fact of us bearing good fruit becomes the grounds of entering the kingdom of heaven. Doing the will of the Father, which includes doing good works, reaps the benefit of entrance into his kingdom. This passage again refutes any idea of faith alone. It is not Ďbelieve, and is this is your only grounds of justification before me, but these good works are only extra, and you get extra crowns.í That is what Dwayne may say, but that is not what Jesus says. The bearing of the fruit in the passage that Dwayne points us to, is the cause of entering the kingdom of heaven.

Those who do not do works before God, and are not obedient to him, are the ones who get the punishment that the verses in 2nd Peter points us to. Yes, we are born needing forgiveness, and we do have a sin nature, and we are accountable to God, but the solution that Dwayne gives us is not the gospel message. We get our sins washed away by repentance and baptism, just as Paulís sins were washed away (Acts 22:16), and Peter told them to (Acts 2:38) get their sins forgiven. After we are put in his grace, any further sins would get washed away by the sacrament of confession that Jesus established (Jn. 20:22-23). Matthew 26:27-28 shows also that partaking of his true Body and Blood gets remission of sins:

27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
We saw earlier that we also get our sins cleansed by walking in the light as he is in the light (1 Jn. 1:7) and confessing our sins on an ongoing basis (1 Jn. 1:9). Thus, we need this forgiveness continually. That is how we get our sins forgiven after one is justified. However, Dwayne puts out the idea, passed on to him from his Protestant Ďtraditioní that once one is forgiven, one really does not have to account for sins before God in an eternal way. The only result is that one gets less rewards in heaven, because God only looks at Christ's perfect righteousness imputed to our account. So although he says we are accountable for sins, in actually his idea is that Christians do not have to account for sins in an eternal sense, because Christians are guaranteed salvation, and there is no such thing for purgatory to cleanse. Now of course those who reject God, will indeed suffer eternal damnation, and in that respect he is correct, but Dwayne is in no position to tell us who gets to heaven or hell because he is wrong in telling us what the grounds of the salvation/damnation is.

"Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." If Christ died for our transgressions (or sins), and we reject Him, then we still stand with our suitcase full of sin. Only now, we stand without an advocate, and stand on our own righteousness. Because our righteousness can never come close to the righteousness of God, and against His holiness our good deeds are filthy rags, then we fall under the judgment and wrath of God. Our sentence is eternal damnation.

Well, some of his analysis, some is wrong. First, of course the rejection of Christ does lead to oneís eternal damnation. On the other hand, the Isaiah passage shows that he was offered on our behalf as a sin offering. However, it does not imply that our sins were transferred to Christ, and he got punished for those sins. In the Old Testament, the goats and calves were sin offering, for cleansing purposes. The sins were not actually transferred to the goat or calves themselves. We saw that was the purpose for his redemption when we examined Titus 2:11-14. His purpose was to cleanse us from all iniquity. It was not merely to cover us over with an imputed righteousness. This explanation also fits the New Testament passage on what the sacrifice of Jesus was for:

Eph. 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Heb. 9:12-14 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

1 Jn. 1:7-2-3 7 but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1 John 2 My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

We see in the above passages several things. First, we see in Ephesians that he is indeed a sin offering. We see that the purpose of God sending his Son was to make him a sin offering. His purpose was to cleanse us from sin, not cover us with an imputed righteousness. Sins were not transferred to Jesus, and Jesus got punished for those sins. He was a sin offering, made so a true cleansing from sin can take place for those he intercedes for. The purpose of the goats and bull sacrifices were to not have sins transferred to them, and the old covenant people get covered over with an imputed righteousness, but the purpose was to cleanse those people from their sins. The only problem was that the blood of the goats and bulls were insufficient to cleanse. In the New Testament, Christ's perfect sacrifice accomplishes the cleansing from those sins, which he does on an ongoing basis. That is what both the Hebrews passage shows and 1 John 2 shows. Jesus was a sin offering which expiates sins. That means his purpose was to remove our sins, not cover them over. That is why, immediately after showing that Jesus sacrifice was expiatory, right after saying that his blood cleanses us (1 Jn. 1:7, 9), he then says that if we are in Christ we must keep the commandments. That is, if this blood is truly expiatory, we are thus enabled to cooperate and keep the commandments. If we don't we become liars and are no longer with him. This perfectly fits in with the idea that to enter life we must and can keep the commandments (Mt. 19:17, Jn. 14:15, 1 Cor. 7:19, Rev. 12:17)

Thus, the idea that Dwayne puts out that our works are only filthy rags, is not only a misreading of the Isaiah passage, but a misreading on what the purpose of sending Jesus his Son. He did not send his Son to die for us so we can become filthy rags, as Dwayne states again, covered over with only an imputation of righteousness. John doesn't say that. Paul doesn't say that. Jesus doesn't say that. Peter doesn't say that. He infuses us with true righteousness, as the passages I have given show.

While many people feel as though hell's just the cozy hangout of non-Christians or just metaphorically spoken in the Word of God. Hell is a real place. In the Word of God we see hell described as such:

Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
( Note: This not a parable as some would like to think, Christ did not use names in any parable He ever spoke.) Look at the words use to describe hell: torment and agony. And look at the finality of death..."between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us". Once you are condemned, you are condemned.

I have no problem with his comments on this one, except that his analysis is again incomplete. Yes, hell is a real place. This very well may not be a parable. But something is here that Dwayne is missing. Notice that the rich man did nothing for Lazarus the poor man. Notice that he gives grounds for his nonentrance into heaven. The grounds are that he did not show compassion to Lazarus on earth. He didn't help him at all. Thus, he showed a lack of charity. He doesn't say, 'Well, you didn't believe, and get Christ's righteousness imputed to your account.' instead he says that you received all these good things, but didn't do anything with them, to help those such as Lazarus. This shows again that good works, or lack of them, are grounds of justification. This reflects the passage in Matt 25:31-46, where Jesus rewards eternal life to those who fed the hungry, and denied those who did not help those destitute. This reflects Paul who said that the rich would only enter eternal life if they did the following, in 1 Tim. 6:17-19:

17 As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches but on God who richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good deeds, liberal and generous, 19 thus laying up for themselves a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life which is life indeed.
Thus, if the rich man in the Luke 16 passage had comforted the poor (in grace), had been rich in good deeds, he would have been able to take hold of eternal life. However, he was not. Thus, Dwayne's reference to the Luke passage shows that if he would have had these good deeds, and helped people such as Lazarus, and had faith in God, he would have achieved eternal salvation. The necessity of good deeds and the condemnation of living in luxury without charity towards the poor was reflected in the Old Testament as well, cf. Deut. 26:13; Is 58:5-8, Amos 6:4-6.

8. See That the Offer of the Gospel is Available to Anyone Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

The wonderful thing about this offer of salvation is that it is not for "the best and the brightest" but for all. While not all will be saved, the gift of God has nothing to do with your status and stature. Rather, the proclamation of the Gospel is for all men.

If God has called you and is drawing you to Himself then the Holy Spirit is probably also convicting you of your sin. In our guilt, we think that we are so vile that God would want nothing to do with us. But He does. It gives Him joy to bring us to Himself and to forgive us of sin. None of us deserved to be forgiven, but yet He forgives us, in His mercy and His compassion.

I am glad to hear that Dwayne recognizes that Christ died for all. He is thus not a Calvinist, who going by the Bible alone, teaches that Christ did not die for all people, but only the 'elect'. It is indeed only God's grace and mercy that is the basis for our own justification. He thus does teach that all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Just as Paul came into God's grace by hearing, as stated in Acts 22:16:

16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.
Just as Paul heard that his sins were washed away by faith and baptism, and Peter taught that we must repent and be baptized to get forgiven of our sins (Acts 2:38), and that we must ongoing confess our sins to be cleansed of further sins (1 Jn. 1:9), it is truly God's grace and mercy, but that grace and mercy is a transformative grace and mercy, as we have seen from the many Scriptures that I have cited. These good works done in faith are of absolute necessity to achieve salvation. But it is not merely our own power, but God's power to transform us into true partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).

Our righteousness is indeed not filthy rags, and the idea that God will justify someone whose works are filthy rags is contrary to the whole gospel. God in his infinite holiness, will not justify anyone who is not truly righteous. As we have seen from many passages, the whole purpose of sending his Son was as an expiatory sin offering, to cleanse us from all sin. Now, as sons who are adopted by their Father, He does not cast us out over every little sin. There is a distinction between mortal and venial sins also shown in the Bible (1 Jn. 5:16-17). But ontologically we must truly be righteous before God. God will not justify those whose works are only filthy rags. In fact, that is an abomination to God, Prov. 17:15:

He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
God can not justify anyone whose works are only filthy rags. He can only justify those whose works are truly righteous. He sent Jesus whose purpose was to cleanse us from sin, not merely cover it over with an imputed righteousness.

Dwayne gives us his own creed as the standard I guess which Christians are bound to believe, with his understanding of Scripture. There are many things to critique, but I will focus on the small section that deals with this section on justification: I Hold These Truths

Man was created in the image of God, and when he sinned the race incurred both physical and spiritual death; thus man became alienated from God and incapable of remedying his sinful condition by his own means....
The Lord Jesus Christ lived a sinless and perfect life that fully pleased His Father; He died for sin on the cross, bearing the judgment demanded by God's holy justice against sin, for the demonstration of His righteousness at the present time, that He may be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
The Lord Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead, never to die again, and is ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He intercedes as High Priest and Advocate on behalf of all who believe in Him.
The ground of justification ever remains solely the righteousness of Jesus Christ. This righteousness from God is imputed to sinners by faith alone. Faith secures the righteousness of Christ for justification. Good works done in faith, even though prompted by a desire to please God, are never the ground of justification. Neither is faith itself the ground of justification. Salvation is by the grace of God (a free gift) and not through the grace of God (infused power for ethical improvement). Those who are so justified are adopted into the Family of God. They become, as children of God, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.

Here there is truth mixed in with error. Yes, Jesus lived a truly perfect and righteous life that pleased the Father. No problem. Those who are children of God are adopted into the family of God. No problem. Jesus is just and the justifier. No problem. However, mixed in there are some unbiblical notions.

1) That Jesus was punished by God himself. No. God did not punish Jesus. That was Satan's job. As we saw in Proverbs 17:15, not only does God not justify the ungodly but the other part of that verse must be looked at:

He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
It is an abomination to God to condemn the righteous. Jesus was perfectly righteous. But he was not condemned by God, and not punished for sins that were transferred from us to him. Jesus was sinless. It was not a trade of our sins to Jesus and Jesus' perfect righteousness goes to us. Jesus was a sin offering for us. He was an expiatory, cleansing sin offering. Through his death his purpose is to 'redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds' as we have seen in Titus 2:14. The purpose was not to cover over our sins, even though our own righteousness amounts to only 'filthy rags', but to make us righteous, so we can meet the righteous requirement of the law of the Spirit (Rom. 5:19, 8:4).

2. That Christ's righteousness was imputed to us. He gave absolutely no passages in Scripture which say that Christ's righteousness was imputed to our account. Both in the above, and in his whole 52 page writing, he gave us no passages which show that Christ's righteousness was imputed to our account. He starts off with the premise, which is false, that our righteousness can only be filthy rags, and just somehow thinks that Scripture teaches that Christ's righteousness must be imputed to our account. In fact, that is an undervaluing of Christ's work on the cross. His work was sufficient not merely to cover, but truly cleanse us from unrighteousness. We have seen this in many Scriptures. In fact the reason why he doesn't give us any passages that say that Christ's righteousness gets imputed to our account, is because there is nowhere any passage that teach us that. I have shown that throughout the above.

3. That faith alone is the only instrument of salvation. He says good works inspired by faith can never be any of the grounds of justification. He has not shown that at all. In fact the only time faith alone is expressed in Scripture is when it is explicitly repudiated as the sole means of justification. I have in fact shown throughout many passages which show other things as being instruments of salvation, including works done in grace. Here are some more such passages to close this section out:

James 2:20-26 20 Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, 23 and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.
Romans 2:6-13 6 For he will render to every man according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality. 12 All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
Matthew 25:31-46 31 "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' 37 Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?' 40 And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 44 Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?' 45 Then he will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
These passages explicitly contradict the assertion that works are never any of the grounds of justification. In James, Dwayne's proposition is explicitly repudiated, and works are shown to have justified Abraham. James explicitly writes this several times, and also shows that Rahab was justified by works. Paul says that only the doers of the law will be justified. Jesus shows that those who went to heaven went there because of the good works that they performed. And he said that they would inherit the kingdom, based on those good works. So thus, Dwayne is mistaken on this most vital issue.

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