Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Everyone Who Believes into Him has Everlasting life. No exceptions!

Jonathan Moorhead over at his blog recently asks the question “Did Judas receive ‘Free Grace’”. These are the little hit and run offensives that he likes to traffic in. Nothing of substance, no scholorly argument that would be indicative of someone in a doctorate program at DTS. Just the usual ‘casting of aspersions’ to see if something might stick.

It is a shame that he has reduced himself to these types of attacks, but it is apparent that the comments on his blog have considerably wobbled down and the only time he can get something going is when he sings to the Traditionalist choir, giving them some straw man ‘red meat’ which they all enjoy reading, to which he, too, enjoys the back patting and ‘amens’.

Jonathan muses:
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I wonder - do Free Grace theologians believe that Judas, the betrayer of Christ, was saved?
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No. We don’t.

Jonathan continues:
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Judas would have preached the Gospel of the Kingdom with the other disciples.
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Well, Jonathan, I don’t know what this has to do with anything. You go to the school of Chafer and Walvoord, yet you do not know that the gospel of the kingdom was to national Israel proclaiming that “the Kingdom of God (and the King) is near”. This isn’t the death and resurrection. This isn’t the promise of the present possession of eternal life. Paralleling the thoughts of many in Israel concerning the Messiah, Judas supposed that Jesus was presently to deliver Israel from the tryranny of Rome and establish the promised kingdom on earth. Thinking of himself as one who would be in the kingly aristocracy, he went along with Jesus to see what would happen.

Jonathan provides more evidence:
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Additionally, when Jesus announced his betrayal, none of the disciples guessed Judas as the culprit.
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For the sake of argument, let us make this statement of his a given. Would this surprise you, Jonathan? Those who were childishly wondering who would be the greatest in the kingdom? Those who did not understand about the “leaven of the Pharisees”? Those who had to have all parables explained to them? Those who couldn’t comprehend his death or resurrection even though explained to them at least three times? What does this prove?

Jonathan continues:
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Lets take the preferred Gospel of FGers - John: “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him” (2:11).


Was Judas among the disciples at this point?
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Jonathan, it is apparent that you just don't do your homework, but leave it up to someone else (like those at Triabologue?).

According to a 'Harmony of the Gospels' by A.R. Fausset, Jesus barely met Andrew and Simon, Philip and Nathaniel at the point of His first miracle at Cana. This occurs between the inauguration of Christ's public ministry at His baptism and the first Passover.

It isn't until over a year later that Jesus ascends a hill west of the lake, and after praying all night, does He choose the 12 whom He calls apostles! (Matt 10:1-42; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-19). This event happens between His second and third Passover.

Of course He had disciples at the time of John 2:11, as the text demonstrates; but it is not at all certain that Judas was one of His disciples at this time, nor was there such a thing as "the Twelve" at this point either.

So many assumptions have to be made in order for the Traditionalist's theology to stand on its stilts lodged in the sand.

Jonathan:
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Can it be said that he “believed” in Jesus to some extent?
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It is most certain that Judas believed some propositions concerning Jesus.

Did he believe the promise of the gospel -- Jesus guarantees eternal life and resurrection to the believer in Him for it -- ? It is certain that he did not, being the son of perdition (John 17:12).

Jonathan continues to muse:
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Judas did have “remorse” (Matt 27:3) after he betrayed Christ didn’t he?
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Remorse is not a condition for eternal life.

More Jonathan rambling:
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His death could have simply been a sin leading to the death of a believer (1 Jn 5:16ff). Surely if you believe a man who curses Christ can be saved, then Judas shouldn’t be a problem. Couldn’t Judas’ “own place” (Acts 1:25; and his “perishing” [Jn 17:12]) refer to something like the FG understanding of Matt 24:51 (“will cut him [believer according to FG] in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”) being a state of heaven?
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Jonathan, do you know what we believe Jesus means when He parabolically refers to unfaithful Christians who are “cut in two”, given the “portion” (inheritance) with the unfaithful, and that there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth? I do not believe that your comment here is fair in representing the FG beliefs, but, that is never your intention anyway.

Jonathan continues:
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If you own the Hodges/Wilkin brand of FG, can you not seriously consider the possibility of Judas as a brother?
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Jonathan, it is the unfortunate case that those who receive the absolutely free gift of eternal life can, nevertheless, fail to persevere until the end in faithfulness and good works. I am sure that there are saved people who in many ways could parallel Judas. That Judas did not have eternal life, I believe is clear. But this is just a side from what the true issues are.

Jonathan and the Traditionalists believe that a condition for final salvation is that a man persevere in faithfulness and good works until the end of life. If there is no works, there is no heaven, in their theology. Therefore, faith is not enough in Jonathan’s theology. His gospel is that faith that is not apart from works saves. Faith + works = final salvation.

Jonathan finishes:
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What do I think? I do think Judas believed in Jesus, just as those in John 2:23-4 did (“Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them”). However, his "belief" was not salvific. Judas was interested in a conquering Messiah, not a suffering Messiah. His remorse was not a true repentance (cf. 2 Cor 7:9ff) and his fate was to “perish” in an eternal hell. Surely, “it would have been good for that man if he had not been born” (Mk 14:21).
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Jonathan has begged the question. Does he show by exegesis that those in John 2:23-24 were not saved? What is his reason for believing that they weren’t? His imported theology of perseverance.

Jonathan and the Traditionalist do not have a theological leg to stand on in this instance. You see, the gospel of John was written for evangelism purposes. John uses the technical expression "believes, believing, believed, believe" plus "eis" with the objects “him”, “me” “his name” as the one and only requirement for eternal life. John does not know of anyone who “believes in His name” who is not saved! In every place in John’s gospel where the technical expression “believes” (or its cognates) “into (eis)”, such as “episteusan eis”, is used it refers to genuine faith. John nowhere makes any qualifications that something in addition to “believing in” Jesus is necessary for eternal life. He emphatically states that this is the way that eternal life is appropriated, and makes it clear that the one who “believes in” Jesus has eternal life (John 6:47)

John 1:12
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name [tois pisteuousin eis to onoma]

Does this verse qualify the “belief in His name” to include the idea of obedience, good works or perseverance, or any of the other qualifications that the Traditionalist imposes on the simple appropriation of eternal life?

Those who “believe in His name” become children of God; there is no qualifier! Those in John 2:23 did just this, believed “into His name”!

John 2:11
This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in [episteusan eis] Him.

John 3:18
He who believes in Him [pisteown eis auton] is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name [pepisteuken eis to onoma] of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:36
He who believes in the Son [ho pisteuwn eis ton huion] has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

John 6:29
Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in [pisteusete eis] Him whom He sent."

John 6:35
And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me [ho pisteuwn eis eme] shall never thirst”

John 6:40
And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him [ho pisteuwn eis auton] may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

John 6:47
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me [ho pisteuwn eis eme] has everlasting life.

John 7:38-39
He who believes in Me [ho pisteuwn eis eme], as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him [oi pisteuontes eis auton] would receive

John 8:30
As He spoke these words, many believed in Him [episteusan eis auton].

John 9:35-36
Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God [pisteueis eis ton huion tou theou]?" He answered and said, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him [pisteusw eis auton]?"


John 10:41-42
Then many came to Him and said, "John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true." And many believed in Him [episteusan eis auton] there.

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me [ho pisteuwn eis eme], though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me [ho pisteuwn eis eme] shall never die. Do you believe this?"

John 11:45
Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him [episteusan eis auton].

John 12:44
Then Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me [ho pisteuwn eis eme], believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me.

John 12:46
I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me [ho pisteuwn eis eme] should not abide in darkness.

The Traditinalist’s claims cannot stand in light of the overwhelming testimony of the Apostle John. John does not qualify his statements. Anyone who:

“believes in His name” (1:12)
“believes in Him” (John 3:18)
“believes in the Son” (John 3:36)
“believes in Me [Jesus]” (John 6:35)
“believes in the Son of God” (John 9:35)

HAS everlasting life. This is the clearly apparent contention of the apostle John in his gospel!

Anyone who believes “into (eis)” Jesus has eternal life. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. There are no qualifiers. This is the technical language of John to express how one appropriates eternal life. John does not know of anyone who has “believed into” (episteusan eis) Him who is NOT saved, for everyone who believes into the name of Jesus becomes a child of God (John 1:12). No. The contention is that EVERYONE who believe into (eis) Jesus has everlasting life, without exceptions!

Bob Wilkin of the Grace Evangelical Society:
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A failure to understand the secret believer motif results in a failure to understand the Gospel itself. The Gospel of John is not merely about how one can be saved. The one who believes in Jesus receives the life of God, a life which is full of potential. In order to grow and mature in this life, one must walk in fellowship with Christ and become one of His "friends": "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you" (15:14).

Jesus only commits (or entrusts) Himself to those who obey Him (John 14:21). Openly confessing one's faith in Christ is a central aspect of obedience. The Gospel of John tells of people who believe in Jesus and yet who are afraid of the Jewish leaders and who keep their faith in Him secret. Compare 12:42-43 and 19:38.

There was a great deal of pressure, especially in Jerusalem, to keep secret one's belief that Jesus was the Christ. This pressure was so great that when Jesus restored the sight of a man in Jerusalem who had been blind since birth, his parents were unwilling even to mention that Jesus had been the One who did it "because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed that if anyone confessed that He was the Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue" (9:22).

John doesn't come out directly and indicate what it was about these new believers that led Jesus not to commit Himself to them. However, he does make the problem clear. Jesus "knew what was in man" (2:25). The word man forms an unmistakable bridge between 2:23-25 and 3:1ff, "Now there was a man…" (3:1).

Nicodemus illustrates the problem these men had. Nicodemus is the ultimate example of the secret believer in John. That he first came to Jesus "by night" is mentioned not once, but three times in the Fourth Gospel (3:2; 7:50; 19:39). Precisely when Nicodemus comes to faith in Christ is not made clear in John. Most likely it happened the very night he came to Jesus and the Lord told him that he would be "born again" if he believed in Him for eternal life (see 3:1-21).

Facing the Sanhedrin, Nicodemus slightly cracks the door on his faith in Christ (John 7:45-52). While he doesn't openly confess his belief, he does challenge his fellow rulers regarding their judgment of Jesus, and receives a stinging rebuke for his efforts (8:52). After the crucifixion, Nicodemus is there with Joseph of Arimathea, openly claiming Jesus' body for burial (19:38-42). John clearly indicates that Joseph was "a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews." The fact that Nicodemus and Joseph are linked together in the text indicates that Nicodemus himself had also been a secret disciple of Jesus.

Even before these new believers of v. 23 had done anything, Jesus knew what was in them. He knew they were or would be afraid to confess Him for fear of the Jews. He knew that they weren't ready to be His friends. They weren't worthy to learn more about the Father and about following Jesus. Therefore, Jesus "didn't commit Himself to them." This has nothing to do with eternal life. Nowhere in John or in the entire NT is there any suggestion that only those whom Jesus commits Himself to have eternal life. In fact, this verse clearly shows the opposite, that Jesus doesn't commit Himself to all believers.

The objection that this faith was a result of the miraculous signs Jesus did during Passover in no way puts down their faith. The reason John included signs in His book was to lead people to faith in Christ (20:31). While there is a special blessing on those who believe without seeing attendant signs (20:29), this in no way invalidates the faith that results from signs (see Hodges, "Untrustworthy Believers," Bibliotheca Sacra (April-June 1978), pp. 141-43). If that were the case, then John certainly would not have included any signs in his book!
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Spurious or Secret Saints: John 2:23-25 By Bob Wilkin of the Grace Evangelical Society www.faithalone.org

26 Comments:

Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

Antonio, it looks like you are still adamant upon slandering me as you have in the past. As much as I would like to engage your arguments, particularly your confidence that Judas did not join the disciples until the “calling of the twelve,” I think it is best to keep silent as to prevent you from further outbursts. Antonio, I think we could have some really good debates, but your behavior prohibits me from engaging you. Regards.

July 10, 2006 6:05 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Jonathan,

your posts on Free Grace are slanderous. If I have spoken falsehoods about you, please call me on it.

I never stated that "Judas did not join the disciples until 'the calling of the twelve'".

I pointed out that Jesus had just met Simon, Andrew, Philip, and Nathaniel and then went to Cana to perform His first miracle. I pointed out that this miracle was very early in His ministry (even before His first passover). I pointed out that there was no concept of "the twelve" for between 1 and 2 years after John 2:11.

Matthew Waymeyer identified verse 2:11 with the twelve. He was wrong to do so.

Any argument that you make that Judas was a disciple of Jesus this early will be a genuine "argument from silence".

The actual facts concerning the matter overwhelmingly mitigate against this view.

The fact still remains, Jonathan. Whenever the Apostle John expresses belief "into" (eis) Jesus, such is salvific. When it comes to the understanding of the gospel of John, in general, and the terms of salvation, in specific, the Traditionalist religion is on sinking ground.

I wish that you would respond to my arguments.

In all the posts that we have had the opportunity to share in, I have really yet to see you dialogue with me in an astute and scholory manner. You seem to want to relegate the dirty work to others like Steve Hays or Matthew Maymeyer.

It would be beneficial if you could attempt to understand what the Free Gracer believes, rather than the bold caricatures and misrepresentations you make of it.

Antonio

July 10, 2006 7:27 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Excellent response, Antonio.

July 11, 2006 12:45 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Antonio,
I think it is a good response, too, except you probably offended J. by the first paragraph.

I think if you read something like this, "Antonio says he teaches a Bible College class and he touts himself as a teacher but all he ever says is nonsense." .... you would probably be offended too. I think it is the personal-ness of it.

Then again, this was not all that dissimilar. You two have a history, don't you?

Too bad, becuase I would have liked to see him engage your arguments too.

Again, I agree, John does not present any "false" faith.

John does not know of anyone who has “believed into” Him who is NOT saved, for everyone who believes into the name of Jesus becomes a child of God (John 1:12).

Great statement.

July 11, 2006 5:05 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Antonio, I think Rose has a point...Jonathan is a bit sensitive to personal criticism.

Seeing that he is reluctant to come and debate you head on, I think you'll need to use some creativity to get him to state his case clearer.

Perhaps John should have prefaced his writing as follows..."But as many as received...to those who unspuriously believed on His name"...

"He who sincerely believes in Him"...

"This is the work of God, that you really believe"...

"whoever sees the Son and genuinely believes in Him may have everlasting life"...

Poor John, he didn't realize that believing was so complicated. :)

July 11, 2006 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Ten Cent said...

Antonio,

You said, "Did he believe the promise of the gospel -- Jesus guarantees eternal life and resurrection to the believer in Him for it -- ?"

So from that statement (not to mention others from previous posts), I can garner this statement: The promise of the gospel is that Jesus guarantees eternal life and resurrection to the believer in Him [Jesus] for it [eternal life]. That's a correct statement, right?

Then, later on, you say, "John nowhere makes any qualifications that something in addition to “believing in” Jesus is necessary for eternal life. He emphatically states that this is the way that eternal life is appropriated, and makes it clear that the one who “believes in” Jesus has eternal life (John 6:47)"'

Then you quote John 1:12
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name."


So is "receiving" the same as "believing"? And is the "right to become children of God", the same as "eternal life"?

And in John 2:11, John says that the disciples believed on Him. It doesn't say that they believed on Him for eternal life.

So did they have eternal life? Or are we assuming that they believe in Him for eternal life?

And then in John 3:18, John says that those who believe in Christ are not condemned.

So could I not believe in Christ to appropriate "non-condemnation"?

I write these things, not to tear you down, but to try to reveal to you that the very things you accuse others of, you're doing yourself -- importing your system into your reading of scripture.

Do I deny that whoever believes in Christ has eternal life? Certainly not. I whole-heartedly agree. But I would probably phrase it like this, "If someone believes in Christ it results in eternal life." It also results in the believer being a child of God. And no longer being under condemnation. Isn't that what the Gospel, the Good News, is all about? It isn't just about eternal life, is it?

1 Thessalonians 5:11,15

11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.

May you, Antonio, and all of us grow in the knowledge of and in love for our Lord Jesus Christ and the brotherhood of saints.

In Christ,
Ten Cent

July 11, 2006 11:17 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Matthew C.

Thank you for your encouragement.

Rose,

I feel I am just calling a spade a spade concerning Jonathan's posts.

We do have a history that spans a few years back onto the Message Boards at www.faithalone.org (GES's website).

I believe you are right on with your assessment of the Apostle John.

Jim,

I have to say that your comment made me laugh, but in a scholorly way :)

You are absolutely right. There are no modifiers to "believe" or any of its cognates. John does not know of anyone who "believes into" Jesus and who is not saved. He definitely uses this formula as a technical phrase denoting saving faith. Obviously it has a content, which is the promise of the gospel.

Your comments with the "Traditionalist" qualifiers aptly shows the bankruptcy of their soteriology.

Thank you for your incisive comment!

Antonio

July 11, 2006 3:57 PM  
Blogger Pastor Jim said...

Did Judas "believe" in God???

Take a look at Matthew 14 and pay very close attention to the last line.


22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance[a] from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.

27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

28"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

29"Come," he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

It is very obvious that Judas was one of the people in the boat worshipping Jesus saying, "Truly you are the son of God."

July 11, 2006 4:03 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Ten Cent, thank you for your participation and your questions. There are relevent and germane.

You write:
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Then you quote John 1:12
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name."

So is "receiving" the same as "believing"? And is the "right to become children of God", the same as "eternal life"?
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Good question. John 1:12 says, in effect, that as many as receive Christ--that is, as many as believe in Him--become children of God. Those who reject Christ and His message, as most of His countrymen of His day did, do not believe (John 1:11). Those who accept Him and His message do believe in Him (John 1:12). It's that simple. Receiving Christ is simply a synonym for believing in Him. It has nothing to do with praying a prayer, feeling a feeling, turning from sins, or promising to be good.

Receiving is believing.

You continue:
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And in John 2:11, John says that the disciples believed on Him. It doesn't say that they believed on Him for eternal life.

So did they have eternal life? Or are we assuming that they believe in Him for eternal life?
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To John, who wrote this evangelistic treatise, to “believe into” Jesus was a technical phrase denoting saving faith. John imports into this phrase the content of faith that is salvific. To believe “into” Jesus was to take Jesus at His word concerning His promise, His guarantee to the believer eternal life and resurrection. Note His assertions and question to Martha:

John 11:25-26
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
NKJV

John uses throughout his gospel the phrase “zoen aionia”, eternal life. This is his catch phrase for eternal salvation, eternal well-being. The idea is of all being well with one’s eternity, without any exception, and with no possibility of loss.

When I use the phrase “believe in Him for eternal life”, it is shorthand for taking Jesus at His word concerning His promise to guarantee eternal life to the believer. It is meant to qualify the content of faith; it is purposeful faith, that has a specific content. I use the phrase “for eternal life” to limit the content of saving faith to Christ’s gospel promise. It guards against a spurious understanding of my position that someone may claim that I assert that anyone who merely has any convictions about Jesus whatsoever is saved. No. Only the one who believes Jesus’ promise to guarantee eternal life to the believer is saved. Not someone who believes that Jesus is God, or that He existed. It is denotes specific content, in the form of propositional truth, viz. the gospel promise of Christ to guarantee eternal life to the believer.

You continue:
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And then in John 3:18, John says that those who believe in Christ are not condemned.

So could I not believe in Christ to appropriate "non-condemnation"?
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It is implicit within John’s import of “eternal life” that there is no condemnation to the believer. Postively, the believer into Jesus HAS eternal life, and negatively the believer will not come into condemnation. The former includes the idea of the latter, and the latter proceeds from the former.

You continue:
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I write these things, not to tear you down, but to try to reveal to you that the very things you accuse others of, you're doing yourself -- importing your system into your reading of scripture.
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I do not believe that you provided a tenable case that I imported my theology into Scripture. I believe it is a case that you do not accurately and precisely understand my position to begin with. The text of the gospel of John is clear! The one believing into Jesus HAS eternal life, there are no exceptions, qualifiers, modifiers, etc.

You finish:
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Do I deny that whoever believes in Christ has eternal life? Certainly not. I whole-heartedly agree. But I would probably phrase it like this, "If someone believes in Christ it results in eternal life." It also results in the believer being a child of God. And no longer being under condemnation. Isn't that what the Gospel, the Good News, is all about? It isn't just about eternal life, is it?
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Eternal life is God beggeting us. It is His creation of His life within us. The act of impartation, creation, of eternal life begets us as a child of God. This in turn precludes us from condemnation.

I like phrasing it like Jesus does:

John 6:47
47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
NKJV

Thanks again for your comments.

Antonio

July 11, 2006 4:49 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Pastor Jim, is Judas a case of an unbelieving believer?

If it can be shown that Judas "believed into" Jesus in the technical sense that John provides in His gospel, I will deem him saved.

But seeing that there are numerous assumptions that would have to be made, this position stands highly untenable.

The general statement that you propose "proves" something as to the nature of Judas' beliefs concerning Jesus, in reality, does nothing to prove your point.

Antonio

July 11, 2006 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Ten Cent said...

Antonio,

You said: "Eternal life is God beggeting us. It is His creation of His life within us. The act of impartation, creation, of eternal life begets us as a child of God. This in turn precludes us from condemnation."

So would you say that "eternal life" begins at the moment of belief? It's not only the hope of life with Christ after death?

And you would say that when we believe in Christ, we then are children of God, right?

In John 8:21 and following, Jesus is talking to the Jews and as He does, many believe in Him. And then it says in verse 31 that He continues to talk, but it's directed at "those Jews who had believed Him."

John 8:30-32(NAS)
As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him.

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."


In verse 37, He's still speaking to that same group that believed in Him and He's says that they're seeking to kill Him, "because My word has no place in you."

And then in verse 41 those same Jews claim that God is their Father. And in verse 42 Jesus says, "If God were your Father, you would love Me." And in verse 44 "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father."

So did those Jews actually believe in Him? Or was He not talking to those Jews that believed in Him?

And here's how Christ, Himself, defines eternal life.

John 17:3
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Thanks for the interaction and the answers to my questions.

In Christ,
Ten Cent

July 12, 2006 6:26 AM  
Blogger Pastor Jim said...

"There are no differences between “having faith in Christ” and “believing in Christ”. They are exactly the same!. And I would challenge Daniel to use his Bible and prove this assertion wrong."

Your words, antonio. You can't have it both ways. Judas said, "truly you are the son of God." Therefore he "believed in Christ." Which in your words means that he had "faith in Christ."

July 12, 2006 1:33 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

July 12, 2006 8:13 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Pastor Jim,
You need to pay better attention to Antonio. :~)
That is not what he says. He says that one must believe in Christ for eternal life. IOW, Antonio is not saying "believing in God" (as you like to say from time to time when asking him and DF questions) will guarantee entrance to God's presence. He is saying that one must believe something particular about Jesus. That is, one must believe that Jesus will guarantee him eternal life and that he does not need to work for that life because it is given by Christ and received by the believer.

You quote Judas as saying "truly you are the son of God." Antonio doesn't even believe that one must believe this about Jesus. This is not part of the equation to Antonio. (Which is one thing I differ with him on).

Haven't you ever seen Antonio say this:
Believe on Christ for eternal life.
?

So, just believing some things about Jesus are not enough according to Antonio.

You should try to hear what he is saying and then challenge that ... instead of aiming your arguments at that which he hasn't said.

July 12, 2006 8:14 PM  
Blogger Pastor Jim said...

Rose,

I do hear what you guys are saying. It is just that you are not consistant with what you say. This is the problem with non-biblical teachings. It is impossible to stick with them through and through when they are not backed by God. So, instead of telling me to listen, why don't you start paying attention to what God says. Don't worry about me and what I say. I just challenge you to read the Bible and pray for the understanding of what it is saying. Hopefully you will see your mistakes.

July 13, 2006 6:00 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Well, Jim,
You misunderstand me. I was telling you about what Antonio says. If you want to admonish me:
why don't you start paying attention to what God says. Don't worry about me and what I say. I just challenge you to read the Bible and pray for the understanding of what it is saying.
...then you will have to actually engage what I say. I do read the Word of God and pray for understanding. I know I have much to learn.

One thing is for sure, though:
Salvation from damnation and death is by grace through FAITH and this salvation is not merited. There is no work you or I can perform to satisfy God or to please him into allowing us into His heaven. Christ has performed all the work; we have nothing to add. The Bible refers to this as a gift - this salvation.

If you purchase a gift for your child, what can that helpless child do to earn the right to that gift? It is not a gift if he must do something to find your favor. The only thing for him is to receive the gift.

The Bible would not use the concept of gift if salvation was based on our performance. Yet, you seem sure that the verses you quote contradict that salvation is a gift.

Then again, maybe I misunderstand you.

July 13, 2006 8:43 AM  
Blogger Gummby said...

Despite your personal battles with JM, I think the question he asks is a valid one. I've wondered it myself.

Here's a question I have for you. In Paul's famous address to the men at the Areopagus (Acts 17), why does he say men everywhere have been commanded by God to repent, but nowhere does he mention anything about belief?

July 13, 2006 10:25 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Matt, because men everywhere are commanded to repent of course!

Just as they are commanded not to murder and to not make idols.

Not murdering and not making idols does not provide eternal life and neither does repentance.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

July 14, 2006 12:53 AM  
Blogger posttinebraelux said...

Antonio and FG'ers,
I certainly cannot dispute the several passages in John that point to belief on Christ as the key to salvation, but do you all incorporate the Pauline epistles into your doctrines? This is not a mean spirited question, but rather an honest question - I am, at this point fairly ignorant of the FG doctrines. Do you take the passage in Rom. 10:9 (if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.) to mean that confession is the natural response to belief and an assurance that, "you will be saved."? Also, the belief that one has "unto salvation", is that a belief that they have intellectually ascended to or is that something wrought by the Holy Spirit? And if by the Holy Spirit, is everyone given this belief? Please understand, my questions aren't meant as jabs toward you, but rather an honest curiousity of your system of theology.

Thanks for your time,

PTL

July 14, 2006 8:24 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Matt Gumm,

Thank you for reading my blog.

I would concur with Dyspraxic.

I would also add that repenting and believing the gospel promise have two different purposes and Paul is, of course, aware of the difference.

What Paul said at the Areopagus was no doubt much longer than what is written by Luke. Luke had a purpose in presenting the material he did. It only takes a few moments to read what Luke gives. What Luke includes is what he intended to use for his purposes.

No doubt though, he proclaimed the gospel promise and justification by faith alone in Christ alone, for the account ends with these words:

"However, some men joined him and believed..."

Antonio

July 14, 2006 3:41 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Rose,

you write:
----------
You quote Judas as saying "truly you are the son of God." Antonio doesn't even believe that one must believe this about Jesus. This is not part of the equation to Antonio. (Which is one thing I differ with him on).
---------

Rose, I believe that when the import of "Guarantor of eternal life and resurrection to the believer" is attached to "Son of God" then I would disagree with your assessment of my position!

The Apostle John says he wrote his epistle so that people would believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and thus have life. John gives this phrase his peculiar content in John 11:25ff with Jesus' dialogue with Martha.

Jesus tells Martha that He is the resurrection and the life. He asks her if she believes "this". She responds, yes, i believe you are the Christ, the Son of God. This was her affirmative to His question, her answer parallelling John 20:31.

What I have a problem with is sincere Christians adding an additional requirement to taking Jesus at His word in His gospel promise, namely, the addition of belief in His deity.

Antonio

July 14, 2006 3:48 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

posttinebraelux,

I am sorry to see that you deleted your comment.

I just wanted to say that I appreciate you dropping by.

Antonio

July 14, 2006 3:51 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Er your first comment, lol.

posttinebraelux,

you write:
----------
Antonio and FG'ers,
I certainly cannot dispute the several passages in John that point to belief on Christ as the key to salvation, but do you all incorporate the Pauline epistles into your doctrines?
----------
Yes I do. But we must start from the only explicitly written evangelistic treatise in the entire canon: the Gospel of John.

Paul, from all his epistles, is writing to "saints". Of course he has alot of soteriological content. And rightly understood, none of it at all contradicts the simple gospel expressions in John.

You write:
----------
This is not a mean spirited question, but rather an honest question - I am, at this point fairly ignorant of the FG doctrines. Do you take the passage in Rom. 10:9 (if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.) to mean that confession is the natural response to belief and an assurance that, "you will be saved."?
----------
For my answer to this question, I would rather direct you to this article:

Why Confess Christ: The Use and Abuse of Rom 10:9, 10

(For a shorter article on this passage from a Free Grace perspective, click here:)

Romans 10:9, 10

You write:
----------
Also, the belief that one has "unto salvation", is that a belief that they have intellectually ascended to or is that something wrought by the Holy Spirit? And if by the Holy Spirit, is everyone given this belief?
----------
For an answer to this question, please click on this link to an article from my blog:

Faith is the Passive Result of being Persuaded

In a nutshell, the Holy Spirit, in conjunction with the Word of God, ministers to the considerate and open listener to the gospel. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit perform a ministry of conviction.

You write:
----------
Please understand, my questions aren't meant as jabs toward you, but rather an honest curiousity of your system of theology.
----------
No problems, just let me know if you have any more questions. There are links to articles on the right border of my blog's main page.

God-bless!

Antonio

July 14, 2006 4:02 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Antonio, I guess I am just a little confused, then. So you are saying that belieivng that Christ is the Son of God is necessarily implied in the "guarantor of eternal life" but that belief in His deity is not? I am not sure what the difference between the understanding of the term "Son of God" and the concept of deity are. I guess I am just confused by your last comment to me, and it is not deliberate on my part. :~)

July 15, 2006 8:08 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

Antonio, I must say that it is quite ironic that you have been caught plagiarizing ONCE AGAIN, this time at my blog. You criticize me for not being worthy of doctoral work and needing others to do my homework while you yourself plagiarize consistently! At accredited institutions, students are expelled for plagiarizing. Do you accept your unethical behavior from your students when they write?

July 16, 2006 9:54 AM  
Blogger Berean said...

John 2 :24 says that Jesus knew the hearts of all men.
John 6 : 64 says that Jesus knew from the beginning who it was that was going to betray him.
John 6 : 70,71 Jesus states that one of his disciples is a devil, and verse 71 makes it clear that the one who Jesus is speaking of is Judas.
John 17 : 12 Jesus states that one of his disciple was lost and Jesus refers to that disciple as " the son of perdition".
Finally Jesus says of the disciple that betrayed him in mark 14 : 21 " good it were for that man if he had never been born. "
Seem pretty conclusive to me that Jesus, at no time, considered Judas to be a genuine believer.
If Jesus didn't accept Judas as a Believer I see no reason why I or anyone else should.

July 17, 2006 2:29 PM  

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