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)

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Content of Saving Faith

All that is theologically required for the immediate reception of eternal life is that the sinner understand to be true the sufficiency of the name of Jesus to guarantee the eternal well-being of every believer.

Jesus is uniquely qualified to dispense eternal life by virtue of His name. On this authority He may dispense it to whomever He wishes. It is through His wisdom and council with God the Father that they have decided to dispense eternal life to those and only those who believe in Jesus for this gift.

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

Acts 4:12
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

1 John 3:23
And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ

Matt 12:21
And in His name Gentiles will trust.

John 3:18
He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God

Acts 10:43
To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.

18 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Just to be awkward, what if an evangelist only refers to our Lord as 'Christ' and does not mention the name of Jesus?

August 04, 2007 1:28 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Then their is not enough information. There needs to be 3 elements:

1) Jesus
2) faith (or believe)
3) eternal life

Believe in Jesus for eternal life.

August 04, 2007 7:53 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

But what if somebody had a tract with John 3:16 and no other information.

If they believed JOhn 3:16, but did not know our Lord's name, woudl they be lost?

August 05, 2007 4:31 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Matt, the three elements that I posted earlier are essential. The name of Jesus is essential.

August 05, 2007 7:46 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

So if a person trusts in Christ for eternal life, they might still go to hell if they are unaware that His name is Jesus?

Why are you arguing that faith in the name of Jesus is an essential component of saving faith?

August 05, 2007 2:27 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Matthew,

The term 'Christ', as men are not so accustomed to use it, is an office, role, function, rather than a title.

You see, Jesus IS THE Christ. And anyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born again (1 Jn 5:1).

Christ come to be known as merely a title. But not so for Johannine purposes. The Christ is the one who guarantees everlasting life to the believer. Jesus so happens to be that Person. John is specific:

that you may believe THAT Jesus IS the Christ...

Antonio

August 05, 2007 4:29 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

It seems to me that this leads to a separation between trusting in His person and trusting in His name.

Let us say a person believes that she has received eternal life through a person who:

1) Is revealed int he Bible.
2) Was the Jewish messiah.
3) Is the incarnate Logos.
4) was born of a virgin.
5) Died on a cross paying the penalty for sin.
6)Rose from the dead.

However, through the carelessness of a missionary she is under the mistaken impression that the name of the Son of God is Christ and is unaware of the name Jesus.

Unless we buy the 'different Jesus' argument or rather, 'a different Christ' argument, it seems she is trusting in the same Jesus we believe in, even though she knows not His name.

Can a person really be lost while trusting in the true Son of God for eternal life?

August 06, 2007 12:05 AM  
Blogger Jon Lee said...

Antonio -

The name "Jesus" means "Jehovah is salvation" - I don't think you can separate the name Jesus from knowing He is God....

JL

August 06, 2007 6:35 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Jon, I think you can.

The meaning of the name Jesus does not necessarilly imply that He is God; after all Jesus was a common name.

But I think you are right that the actual name that our Lord was given was higly significant and may have a bearing on this issue.

Perhaps if one affirms that our Lord is the guarantor of eternal life, one has in fact affirmed His name 'Jehovah is salvation'.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

August 06, 2007 6:43 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

I sense your dillemma here, Matt. I would reserve such a case for the wisdom and judgement of God.

But, for our purposes here, the Scriptures are clear, and therefore I must insist, that one must believe that JESUS is the Christ, in the Johannine sense, IOW, That JESUS is the Guarantor of eternal life to the believer in Him for it.

The Scriptures are clear, it is "through His name" and it is "believ[ing] in His name".

John does not give us any indication that any of the three elements that I have listed can be ommitted.

When you say, "believing in His Person" this necessarily must be shorthand for something, Matt.

The name Jesus identifies that person.

The formula for eternal life to to "believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God" whereas the specific import of those terms (NOT NAMES) is that as the Christ, Jesus guarantees eternal life to all who believe in Him.

The GoJ does not budge. It doesn't allow any wiggle room here. The name of Jesus is essential to Johannine soteric thought.

Antonio

August 06, 2007 1:40 PM  
Anonymous danny said...

Hey Antonio. Technically, His name is Iesous in the Greek, Yeshua in the Hebrew. Someone can argue that believing in His name requires believing either the Greek or Hebrew, not an English translation. What do you think?

August 06, 2007 2:34 PM  
Blogger Jon Lee said...

Danny -

That's a really good point.... never heard that argument before!

JL

August 06, 2007 2:58 PM  
Anonymous danny said...

Thanks Jon. We really need to consider this one.

August 06, 2007 3:00 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Since the New Testament sets the precedent in translating Jesus' Hebrew name Yeshua into Greek's Iesous, the requirement would be His name in the home language.

It is doubtful that He was called Iesous by his family and disciples, but that is the Greek equivalent. In other words:

πας ό πιστεύων ότι Ιεσούς εστιν ό Χριστός εκ του Θεου γεγεννημενον

Every one believing that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God

Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the writers of the New Testament did not transliterate but translate. Now if it would have been transliterated a case could be made that a specific form be used. But since it was not transliterated but merely translated, the key is the name in one's specific language.

I have believed into the name of God's only begotten Son, Jesus.

Antonio



In English His name is Jesus.

August 06, 2007 3:36 PM  
Anonymous danny said...

Excellent response Antonio. I'm sure his family called Him Yeshua. You're right though, since Iesous is a translation of Yeshua, and not a transliteration, then all other translations of Yeshua are acceptable. So yes, Jesus is acceptable. Again, good response.

August 06, 2007 4:54 PM  
Blogger Jon Lee said...

Antonio -

Can a guy know Jesus the auto mechanic in Tijuana, read the book of John --- understand the Jesus in the book of John to be speaking of the auto mechanic and put his trust in him for eternal life?

Not being facetious - just wondering how you would respond.

In Christ,

JL

August 06, 2007 8:05 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Jon,

1) I don't believe that anyone who can read the book of John with comprehension is capable of making that mistake.

2) The illustration is essentially absurd, and I would venture to guess that in the history of the world infinity times over that such a cicumstance would never happen.

3) How such a one would become convinced that his car mechanic in TJ is the one who taught and spoke the wonderful words in the GoJ more than escapes me.

4) I personally would let God sort out that situation.

Is attributing Christ's words to a living being, a TJ mechanic, an error precluding eternal life? Possibly. It no longer is a misconception about the Person of Jesus, but essesntially a case of mistaken identity.

There are too many variables to work out. What if the man believed that Jesus was reincarnated into the mechnic? This may be a different scenario.

But how ever these patently ridiculous, and virtually impossible hypotheticals works out, in the end, God knows the heart, and He is quite qualified to sort through such a mish-mash.

:)

Antonio

August 06, 2007 8:28 PM  
Blogger Solifidian said...

Antonio,

I was wondering if you have any thoughts on the content of saving faith in the Old Testament. Thanks.

August 10, 2007 7:02 AM  

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