by Carmen Holland

"Make a place for me, Mommy!" my son worriedly begs as he approaches me, his face full of concern and stress. It doesn't matter where I am sitting — whether in our plush chaise lounge, the small wingback by the fire, or in a single wooden chair at the table — whenever he wants to sit on my lap, he immediately starts to worry that there may not be enough room for him. He is afraid there is not a place for him here, with me. He feels doubtful about whether or not I will be able to make one, worried that their will not in fact be space for his little body. His tiny blonde eyebrows furrow together in a frown as he repeats his earnest request multiple times, "Mommy, is there a place for me? Make a place for me!"

What he doesn't know is that, no matter the seat and no matter the day, there will always be a place on my lap for him, for as long as he wants one. I would sit in any uncomfortable position imaginable or contort my body into all sorts of possible twists, for the sole joy of holding my little boy on my lap — and gladly remain that way for hours. He is concerned there might not be a place for him, but what he doesn't understand is that I would do ANYTHING at all to ensure a place for him with me.

I think my son is already learning a very Adventist way to approach God. Though we claim to be a people who believe in grace, the fears of legalism can still be found running rampant in us. Ask a group of any ten people in this church if they are saved — especially any ten teenagers — and often almost half of them will admit that they do not feel saved, clarifying that they feel this way because they have not yet cleaned up their lives. We know in our heads that we are saved by grace, but for some reason, Adventists are still afraid of measuring works. Maybe we haven't done enough, changed enough, given up enough. Maybe there won't be a place for us. Salvation is by grace through faith, but faith without works is dead, so maybe — maybe our works aren't enough…

Quite a few years ago now, we learned from our Valuegenesis studies that the assurance of grace was one of the largest problem areas in our teenagers and young people. They admitted to believing we are saved by grace, but also admitted to feeling like they had to work their way into heaven. There was a blatant discrepancy. Ten years later, when Valuegenesis conducted and published another study, the numbers had gotten better – more kids were understanding grace — but there were still so many who didn't believe there was a place for them.

I've been told by older folks that this legalism is in our church because of "what happened in the fifties," or something like that. Apparently, our church went through a time of being outrageously focused on works and behavior and rules, and this overshadowed grace in a big way. Today, many fear we are swinging the opposite direction — we are so intent on forgetting works and uplifting grace instead that we are in danger of making it seem cheap, easy, and free (it is free, by the way).

What I am wondering is, if these strands of legalism, this fear of being lost and this misunderstanding of salvation — will these things always be a part of our church? What is still perpetuating them…Why are they still here?

One clarification that might be helpful to teach — as often as we can — is the difference between justification and sanctification. When we accept Jesus Christ's sacrifice in our place, we are justified before God as if we are as righteous as He is. After this, after salvation, we continue to grow in our walk with Jesus for the rest of our lives — that's sanctification. This is the place where we choose to stop eating little shrimps, stop lusting after our married co-workers, start having a more consistent devotional life, and so on. We try to live out the Ten Commandments — keep Sabbath, clear out idols, stop stealing music off the internet, stop hating people. My professor Sylvester Case at Union College defined the Ten Commandments to us as "the standard of living for saved people." Notice the order there: We change because we want to, in grateful response to already being saved. Maybe we forget this order?

Even with all of this in mind, sometimes I wonder if it all doesn't just come down to the possibility that we have an inaccurate picture of God. When this church strives to apply the scriptures into practical-life do's and don'ts, do we somehow come to see Jesus as only a God of do's and don'ts? When we call sinners to leave their evil habits so they can enjoy the lives of freedom that Christ has made possible for us, do we instead hear that we aren't saved because of our habits? Somehow, do we still feel like we have to beg and plead and prod God, "Please! Make a place for me!!"

If so, we have forgotten perhaps the greatest core truth of Who God is: That He would stop at nothing to see us saved. He would die a horrific death and suffer unimaginable agony and loss, sparing no expense to Himself, just for the possibility and the promise of our company. For as long as we want it, there is a place in heaven for us, thanks to Jesus. I'm thinking of the thief on the cross…. "Remember me when you come….make a place for me…" And Jesus' answer, in short: "Okay. Done."

I know — that sounds too easy — yeah, I'm a cradle Adventist too. I'm afraid to believe it can be that simple. But people…what if it is?

Comments


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 11th, 2011 pat travis says:

Melissa,

Thanks. As a 66y.o. 5th generation SDA and one who was early taught of the dangers and presumption of saying " I am saved."

The Reformation says our justification before God is not what we become but what we are reckoned to be…by faith alone NOW!

Christ is first of all our "substitute" so that we can be "reckoned" righteousness…while we are yet but in the "journey" of being made holy…which does not arrive to completeness "till He appears and we see Him as He is."

The I.J. "theme" overpowers this hope and focuses on what we are "becoming" which while evidential of a "direction" is never good enough for assurance in the "beloved.".

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 11th, 2011 CherryAshlock says:

Find your wings and soar!

I appreciate your thoughts and questions. I am glad grace is more accepted and I wish the whole denom was more about grace then rules.

Some of the comments left on Adventist Today and other sites show me why there is still a problem with grace. Lots of judging going on. Children learn from their parents and I don't think the 'church of the 50's' has been left behind. It is alive and unwell in the current generation of grownups who are examples to our youth. Sad but true.

Continue your grace search!


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 11th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

The fallacy is not realizing that this lack of assurance is endemic in Adventism. Even those young people have been influenced by parents, who were inlfuenced by their parents that "we should never say we are saved."

It takes more time and more repetition to eradicate a position taken in Adventism by the person who wrote the above. As long as her words are considered truth, it will take more than a sermon or two to erase something in Adventists' psyche.

Simply keep assuring young people that they are accepted "Just as I Am" so that the old altar-call song will be true. Maybe another generation or two and it will be embeded in Adventism, but not as long as we still hear about a "Perfect Generation" that is required before Christ can come.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 11th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Melissa,

I don't want to spoil your pertinent 'food for thought' article by commenting on what Pat said regarding "The I.J. "theme" overpowers this hope and focuses on what we are "becoming" which while evidential of a "direction" is never good enough for assurance in the "beloved.".

There is something sinister about those who use this type of line. It clearly isn't the case and out of the Salvation by Grace alone in Christ Jesus by Faith context which Seventh-day Adventists hold dear to their hearts throughout the world.

If you preached a sermon like this at my church I would shout Amen. It is so nice to know that many still value the practical side of what Jesus came to this planet for: to redeem mankind. Yes, it is as easy as that! Jesus OK'd and Done'd me too! Praise be to Him my Rock and my Redeemer!

Blessings in Jesus name

T


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 11th, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor,

>>I don't want to spoil your pertinent 'food for thought' article by commenting on what Pat said regarding "The I.J. "theme" overpowers this hope and focuses on what we are "becoming" which while evidential of a "direction" is never good enough for assurance in the "beloved.". There is something sinister about those who use this type of line.<<

At your age you simply have not "been there done that" yet. You are experiencing the post Glacier view kinder, more loving and gentler "pre-advent judgment." If it is "sinister" it is only because it is revealing the historic truth.

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 11th, 2011 MarkR says:

More and more I am coming to realize that whatever I teach, preach, say, or demonstrate about Christian faith, it should be about (or lead to) God's radical love and His incredible forgiveness. Whatever the subject may be, and whatever the details may be (historical, theological, linguistic, exegetical, etc. etc. etc.), the goal needs to be God's love, God's grace, and God's acceptance of sinners, whether they are sinners before or after believing in Jesus for the first time.

I have often thought that if we are speaking of grace the way Paul did, then we should be getting into trouble as Paul did. I suspect that Paul learned this way of grace–and getting into trouble–from Jesus.


 Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 11th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

RE Mrs Nelson's comment: "Even those young people have been influenced by parents, who were inlfuenced by their parents that "we should never say we are saved."

I have never yet come across SDA parents who have taught, wrote, sang, spoken, enacted or alluded to what they are accused of above. The sentiments of the analogy of your son wanting a place on your lap is spot on target as far as what most parents want to teach their children regarding Salvation. The very popular childrens song 'Jesus loves me this I know' sums-up this sentiment very well. They sang this in the 50's too!

Jesus loves me! this I know, For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong, They are weak but He is strong

Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! He who died, Heaven's gate to open wide:
He will wash away my sin, Let His little child come in.

Jesus, take this heart of mine, Make it pure and wholly thine;
On the cross You died for me, I will love and live for Thee.

What SDA's have held distinct from some other denominations is that we don't teach the "once saved always saved" cliché to our kids. There is biblical support for this position.

In Jesus who loves us

T


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 11th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"What SDA's have held distinct from some other denominations is that we don't teach the once saved always saved" cliché to our kids."

Thanks, Trevor, for proving the point better than I did. You don't know Adventism of the 30s forward, nor all of Adventism even today. The statements I made have been experienced for a very long lifetime in Adventism, and are not merely a mental creation.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 11th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

RE Pat's comment: At your age you simply have not "been there done that" yet.

Trust me Pat, I've been there; done that; got the 'fed the pigs' T-Shirt!

T

P.S. – Yesterday was the funeral of my 46 year-old elder brother who was called to rest this past Friday at sunset. He fought hard against cancer for the last one year after been diagnosed. I'm two years younger than him and not too far behind you I might add. He too was a soldier of the cross who marched boldly under the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel…


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 11th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"At your age you simply have not "been there done that" yet.

When you've been in Adventism twice that long, then you may truly "have been there."

Some of us speak from more years of experience in Adventism than your age, 86 to be exact, and know whereof we speak. Because you have not experienced things does not mean that they do not exist.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 11th, 2011 klriley says:

Perhaps we should go back to seeing both 'justification' and 'sanctification' in their Biblical meaning. Both are things done to us, not by us. We all know we are 'justified by faith', but we forget that "by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all", "for by one sacrifice he has perfected for ever those being sanctified" (Hebrews 10:10,14). "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And it is is not your own doing, it is the gift of God" (Eph 2.8) I think two things come into play: 1) we are afraid to believe that God is as good as (or even good-er than) he says he is; and 2) we want to do something – to have some way of knowing we have done enough to rest secure. To accept that God has done, is doing, and will do all that is necessary for our salvation,and it is all there for us to accept or reject, but not to be a part of achieving, doesn't sit well with us. We like to be in control, and we don't like others to do for us if we believe we can do for ourselves. To be told we can't do it for ourselves is hard to hear. I believe the hardest command God ever gave us was "Be still and know that I am God".

Kevin


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 11th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Well Mrs Nelson Ma'am, I find that your self confessed 'rebel' outlook on many issues even from your 'young' days may have distorted the real picture of what it was like back then but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt as you have clearly pulled rank on me although I would have preferred to see something at least in writing. My Grandparents and Parents were/are anything BUT what you claim those 30's and 50's folk to be. Come to think of it they aren't much like you either!

T


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 11th, 2011 Melissa Howell says:

Melissa Howell
AToday Web Columnist

Kevin! (klriley)

Why didn't I have you proof read my article before I posted it? Ahhh – it really could sound like I am saying "God does justification, we do sanctification," and that's wrong, wrong, wrong. I'm mad it came out sounding that way, because I believe it is what you said – God's initiative on all accounts. So, if I could change and edit, here is what I would say….

Those changes that we make in the "sanctification" stage – they are changes that we make after salvation, not to be saved, as I said. But of course, OF COURSE!, of course we cannot move a millimeter on any one of those decisions without God. Initially, the Holy Spirit creates a desire in us to want to change. Then if we respond, we can't just "try" our way into a life change. The only thing we are totally in charge of is surrendering our will to Jesus, but the Holy Spirit is necessarily involved in every bit of this process as well, so it's still not just us. It is at this time, when we give over our will, when we will to let Him have His way in us, that He can begin to change our hearts, change our desires, etc. This, in turn, changes our actions. But if we simply try to bolster ourselves up and change our actions without a true change of heart and will, we will just end up falling again and again, as too many of us can attest to.

So, you are right. How we "work our our own salvation with fear and trembling" is, I believe, to give Jesus the reigns. Thank you for pointing that out! Very helpful, when can I hire you?! =)

I do think, in justification, the only thing we can do is accept or reject. In sanctification though, I think we must surrender our will. Maybe that is the same thing as accepting Jesus' work in our lives though, what do you think? Same idea, different word? We may have to surrender our will often, by the way, even on the same temptation, if it still comes around. But I believe this is part of the power of choice that God gave us. If He doesn't let us still have the choice to choose our sin, then we are not free, He's controling us. Our part is to choose freely that we surrender our will to Him, even when we don't want to, even when the sin still seems enticing. Eventually though, that glorious day comes when He has changed our hearts so drastically that we do not even desire that nasty old sin anymore, praise God!

I sometimes find I identify with the idea of wanting to do something, wanting to contribute something, but I also really feel SO relieved that it is God's work to change me, because I do such a bad job of changing me on my own!

Elaine, Wow. After everything you have seen, why do you think our legalism is still around? Do you think it's getting any better, at all? I hope it is. What can we do to make a change?

And everyone else out there – why do you think people are afraid to say with full, complete assurance that they are saved?

~Melissa Howell


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 12th, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor,

Whether one has "lived with the pigs" is not the issue of the I.J. In historical Adventism the I.J was/is continually hanging over your head as an investigation of you that every sin must be asked forgiven prior to ones personal probations close. Then there were those who worried they had forgotten some sin etc., etc. This was the setting and attitude of most's "forebearer SDA heritage" that Elaine correctly witnesses to.

If one truly has lived with the pigs and come to truly understood one's condition, oh the sweet joy to know when we come to our senses and repent our sins are forgiven and we are reckoned righteous as if we had done Christ's works…because He reckons those to us as His perfect robe of righteousness. It's simply with open hands that we "merely receive" with no good work to offer. We have then been saved from sins condemnation, we are being saved from sins power through the indwelling Spirit and at His appearing we will be saved from sin's presence when this corruptable takes on incorruptuon.

Sorry about your brother…those in Christ will rise!

—————————-

Kevin

Character change as part of sanctification/growth in holiness requires continual battles with the flesh that yet remains in the most holy saint. Sanctification is a faith that works and "being made holy" by putting to death the deeds of the flesh (Rom.8:13,14) rather than being like Justification in which it is "faith alone."

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 12th, 2011 BillCork says:

Melissa says,

I've been told by older folks that this legalism is in our church because of "what happened in the fifties," or something like that. Apparently, our church went through a time of being outrageously focused on works and behavior and rules, and this overshadowed grace in a big way. Today, many fear we are swinging the opposite direction — we are so intent on forgetting works and uplifting grace instead that we are in danger of making it seem cheap, easy, and free (it is free, by the way).

Someone in the 1890s could have written the same thing. 🙂

Fact is, the Adventist church has always had those who, like Joseph Bates, George Butler, and Sister Gertrude taught a bald salvation by works.

And it has always had those who preach the gospel. In some churches and in some periods one group is in the ascendancy, in other times, others.

Pace the doubters, the Investigative Judgment, however defined, is not the problem–it's been believed by both the legalists (George Butler and Uriah Smith) and the evangelicals (E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones).

I think the problem is more with individuals who have a control thing with others, and want others to behave as they do, and inflict guilt on them if they don't. This isn't a Conservative issue–Liberals are really good at this, too (see Al Gore's global warming propaganda). So we need to tell those people to their faces, "No." You will not destroy my freedom and joy in Christ.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 12th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

The spooky IJ rhetoric that many ‘progressives’ keep referring to is just cheap propaganda used in order to pursue their own agenda of attacking the SDA Church Fundamental Beliefs. They have issues with the IJ because of their 'own' factional narrow minded view of what the judgement is. The teachings that Mrs Nelson refers to can't even be found in any of our old 30's and 50's books. Even the songs they sang mention nothing of such a 'spooky' IJ as described on this blog. I think it is clearly nothing more than a malicious initiative to discredit what the IJ really teaches. Old personal subjective opinions are just not enough when such serious allegations are made.

Where in any of our doctrines is there a teaching that we are saved by works? There is none! Progressive’s therefore have to fabricate the notion that SDA’s teach Salvation by works. What the Bible teaches though, is that we are ‘judged’ by our works.

Righteousness by Faith in Christ (Justification) produces Righteousness by Faith in Christ (Sanctification) which is what I assumed Melissa was implying. Forgiveness, confession, repentance, victory over sin and obedience, etc., all have a place within this context. Justification isn't just a transaction of mere ‘reckoning’. It has the power to produce a transformation in the life of a sinner too. That’s what so called progressive’s tend to deviate from in order to excuse disobedience and declare sin to be non-sin.

The traditional view of the IJ is in line with what Righteousness by Faith in essence is: the sinner is saved in sin and from sin by Christ’s merits alone and the indwelling Christ produces a new transformed Sanctified life by Christ’s merits alone. The IJ celebrates the saved by Grace experience and declares the sinner Righteous. A guilty as hell sinner can walk free with the power to walk in the other direction as a result of receiving this gift of Grace. The Investigative Judgement therefore ‘amplifies’ what Righteousness by Faith in essence is.

Feeling guilty for sin when convicted by the Holy Spirit is a reality we must deal with. One simply cannot blame the IJ because we are convicted of sin. The Blood of Jesus deals primarily with sin through Righteousness by Faith.

Freedom and joy in Christ is NOT license to continue in sin. This exacerbates the "Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved" syndrome which has been mastered quite well by progressive's.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 12th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Because one cannot find works as necessary for salvation in SDA books, in no way proves that it was not taught in SDA schools. Young people's impressionable minds remember the many worries brought on by the scenarios vividly painted of one whose name would be called up in the IJ and found "wanting."

Not only did I hear it many times during the 30s, but my children also did in the 50s, 60s, and 70's. My son, and SDA student in the 70s remembers having nightmares about Jesus coming and he wasn't "ready."

Not all areas of Adventism are the same today in beliefs and practices, as anyone reading these blogs would have realized by now. There is a wide disparity, often geographically, and in certain inland regions that varies a great deal from the costs, and even overseas. Failure to realize that people's experiences may be quite different allows judgment to be made based on incomplete information. As mentioned above: EGW DID make the statement that we are never to say that we are saved; and that Jesus will not love bad children. While she may have corrected both statements, which of her contradictory statements should be considered hers?


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 12th, 2011 Tom says:

Yes Elaine, I can well remember growing up in 1960's and fearing the coming of Jesus because I thought I never measured up. While that may not have been the intent to teach us that by adults in those days, it most cerntainly was the reality of the experience of many of us. I guess they were just locked into a mindset of how they were taught before us, and passing it on, and on back before that.

It bugs me that so many people who have tried to break lose from those chains are forever looked on with suspicion by the "old time religion" crowd. I'm not talking about mainline Adventism now, but those narrow minded remnant within a remnant crowd, the frozen chosen who are always looking with suspicion at anything that isn't lockstep with EGW and circa pre 1915,

That oft repeated quote of hers about never being taught to say we are saved is way past its statute of limitation and should be disguarded, or at least replaced with a greater emphasis on quotes from her pen that uplifted the assurance of salvation.

I was too young in 1957 when the book Questions on Doctrine was published. It seems like a lot of folks put the blame for theological drift in Adventism on the publishing of that book, including our good friend Herb Douglass. I finally read the book a few years ago and some of the books, including Herb Douglass's "Fork in the Road", that disagree with it. My personal opinion is the entire controversy over that book is a tempest in a teapot and a convenient scapegoat for those who want to lay the blame for everything wrong in Adventism today on progressive thought.

I'm wondering what the result would have been had that book not been published. Would today's youth still be left to feel as unsure about salvation as we were? Would there even be any youth left to indoctrinate. I know I'm sounding a bit too negative here, but memories of all this still conjure up strong emotions.

I figure you were in your early 30's when the above mention book was published. Care to share any of your thoughts with us on it, if any, with us.

I already know how you feel about a lot of things in Adventism, Elaine. I wish you could somehow rise above it and try to find some common ground in Adventism instead of clinging to such bitterness from from your experiences of yesteryear.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 12th, 2011 Seminarystudent1 says:

Seminary Student ,

This is so complicated or at least it seems that way , We as Adventists have not done a good job in explaining and experiencing " assurance of Salvation " We don't have job in our lives . I speak for my own experience . It all depends which Ellen white do we use , do we want the one from steps to christ or the one from Great controversy .


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 12th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Elaine, Tom and others.

Show me where the Seventh-day Adventist Church has stated that we are 'saved by works'?????????????????????

You've all made a very big accusation so no ducking please! Show me where?

Are all your other 'progressive' accusations the same, baseless rhetoric?

No ducking Please! show me where there is a statement that 'we are saved by works'?

T


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 12th, 2011 pat travis says:

Seminary Student,

There are some wonderful EGW quotes on JBF…unfortunately there are also some vague…and a few … horrible statements.

I became very comfortable with sola scriptura and about 30 yrs. ago and gave up my personal need to defend her less than desirable quotes to others.

Take the good… release the bad…and…place limits on her authority to your soul. Let no one take your joy and freedom in Christ from you…as Bill Cork properly stated above.

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 12th, 2011 pat travis says:

T,

Show me where the RCC says one is saved by works and not "grace."

No ducking please…then perhaps you will see the fleshing out of the IJ as possible works with the perfecting of the soul temple.

This is why Luther and Calvin and the Prot. Creeds were so explicit in JBF "alone" regarding the grace concerning the article of Justification.

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 12th, 2011 Danny Bell says:

I think this article doesnt quite have it right, just like the Valuegenesis kids who may have been confused at the questions asked.

When coming to the topic of 'Total Salvation' we are not "saved" because redemption hasnt been completed until we arrive in heaven translated. In this sense we need to clarify what we mean about being "saved". Saved from a past life of sin? – yes, saved from current sinning? – yes, saved eternally? – no – not yet.

We do well to heed Pauls advice when he says "we are saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope, for why does one still hope for what he sees. But if we hope for what we do not see, then we eagerly wait for it with perseverance" (Rom. 8:24,25). In a literal sense, we do not have total salvation in its entirety yet. Paul is playing the devils advocate by saying, 'if you already posess it, then there is no motivation to keep it'. All we have is a hope and this hope is based on our relational faith to Jesus Christ. The stronger the faith the more the hope – but that is all it is – hope, not the actual thing we hope for. Our hope is not confident knowlege of our own future status in heaven but confidence in Jesus' status and that IF we are faithful, we will join him – thats something to hope for.

Even Paul said that he had not already attained, so why do we continually harp on at our people about the need to express their faith by the words, "I am saved". EGW warned of our people saying this and we do well to heed it as cheap grace is one of the hallmarks of the end time Laodicean christian.

Yes salvation is free but it has and always will be conditional.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 12th, 2011 pat travis says:

Danny,

Thanks for confirming why without JBF "alone" many adventist are still "wondering."

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 12th, 2011 klriley says:

So many of these arguments come back to the question 'what is salvation?'. If it is 'the restoration of all things' as Ellen White says somewhere (and all the church Fathers agree) then we are not saved until all is restored. If Justification by Faith is indeed 'it' and no more is needed, then we can all rejoice that we are saved. I personally go with the older Christian tradition, and believe that we are not fully saved until all is finished. I think it is in that context that the IJ was developed. What we need is not just to be justified, but to be restored to what we were before sin. I may be wrong, but I believe that it is Biblical to believe that there is still more to come, and therefore we are not ultimately saved.

But that is God's work, and as long as I accept it, I can rely on the fact that He does not fail. From Eve's first temptation to eat through to when the last vestige of sin is gone, it is the grace of God that saves us. Even in the IJ – whatever we may finally decide that entails – it is God's grace that gets us through. Justification, sanctification, redemption, atonement, glorification, healing – all are just words to describe the one reality: in the life, death and resurrection of Christ, and through his continuing ministry, God is doing what is necessary to restore the creation back to what it was intended to be. We can accept that and be a part of it, or we can reject it. But it is God's work for, in and through us, not our work. I have sometimes wondered about whether I have really accepted it, and whether my acceptance will last, but I have no doubt God will see it through to the end.

Kevin


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 13th, 2011 pat travis says:

Kevin,

God's grace is the initiator and cause of fallen mankind's salvation.

Justification is the grace of Christ becoming an offering of atonemnet for sin by His fulfillment of covenant. We accept this obedience as ours by "faith alone" having been prompted of the HS to do so.

Sanctification and growth in holiness also could not proceed without the promised Grace of the indwelling HS. However this growth in character (our progress in growth of overcoming present sin in our life) can not take place without our co-effort…it is not quietism and letting go of the wheel and letting Jesus drive. We are to with the Spirits aide " be putting to death the deeds of the flesh." Rom.8:13,14.

So Heb.10:14 is saying by one sacrifice Christ has reckoned perfect (Just.) forever those who are in the "process of being made holy."(sanc.)

The former is accepting Christ's works and righteounsess as ours by "faith alone" while the latter- sanctification occurs only as we are co-workers with the HS in subduing our flesh.

The RCC soteriology and all other false understandings of the gospel confuse these aspects and rob one of the present knowledge of "Ihave been saved in Christ's merits" from sin's condemnation while I am in the process of being saved through the indwelling Spirit of the power of sinful deeds and attitudes in my life and ultimately… at His coming I will be saved from sins actual presence in my life.

All of these are different aspects of Grace that are a part of mankinds salvation. The first is by "faith alone" the second by "faith plus work/effort in cooperation with the HS" the last is not by faith because it will be seen at His appearing.

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 13th, 2011 klriley says:

The Bible uses 'sanctification' to mean 'being set apart by God'. I don't know of any place where it uses it in the theological meaning of 'growth in holiness'. That is definitely a Biblical concept, but other terms are used. What we mean by sanctification is definitely something in which we participate. What the Bible means by sanctification is God's work of setting us apart. In Hebrews 10:14 the sanctiification is comtemporaneous with the perfecting. The offering perfects and sanctifies. As the passive participle is dependent on the passive verb, both can be seen as things done to us, not things we do. The problem of translating a present passive participle dependent on a perfect passive verb is demonstrated in the variety of translations. What matters to me is that, because of Christ's sacrifice, we are in a state (not a process) of perfection and holiness. In Christ it is a reality now, and in the future it will be a tangible reality.

I do agree with your final point – that salvation has different aspects and is not completed until the second coming. If we had more faith in God's willingness and ability to get us through the whole process, we would have less anxiety about our final fate. We may not make it easy for Him, but I believe in the end God will save anyone who wants to be saved.

Kevin


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 13th, 2011 pat travis says:

Kevin,

It would be useful to your understanding if you understood Greek. You see not only does the word for sanctify mean “to separate” but it also means “holy” as a state or an action as in the following examples .

Rev.22:11- ἁγιάζω- Holy- "one who is holy keep himself holy."

Heb.10:14. ἁγιαζομένους- is a PPPart. Meaning -being made holy.

Heb.9:3- From "ἅγιος” is Ἅγια Ἁγίων meaning "Most Holy place."

One way to distinguish holy and sanctify and “sanctification” from “Justification” is that justification/righteousness come from the Greek root dik whereas the former concerning holy and sanctify come from – ἁγιάζω and ἅγιος as in the above examples.

So Heb.10:14 is literally saying one is perfect while being made holy. How can that be except to be reckoned so? It cannot be.

We in Christ are only reckoned to be in a state of holiness and righteousness as He is Holy while we "are being made holy."

I hope I have answered your objections. Questions?

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 13th, 2011 klriley says:

Yes, I understand the Greek. I just disagree with your understanding of it. As I find the major Greek lexica I have (L&S, BDAG) agree with my understanding, I am happy to stand by it: sanctified = set apart and sanctification = God's act of setting apart. As I said, the perfecting and sanctification is contemporaneous. That is why the present particple is used – unless the understanding of participles has changed since I last read a Greek grammar. I certainly wouldn't discount that possibility. As the the NASB translated as 'those who are sanctified', I assume it hasn't. I don't have time to drag out a grammar, so I'll assume there has been no change and both the 'perfect' and 'holy' refer to present states.

Kevin


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 13th, 2011 Hansen says:

In Hebrews 10, the important thing is to understand what perfection means.

Hebrews 10 expains that perfection meant that the worshippers would have no more "conscience" of sins. In the context, conscience means memory. The worshipers would not have to recall their sins on the DoA, as was customary in the OT service.

Hebrews 10 says this, The sanctified will never again be confronted by their sin, as the Jews were each year on the DoA . The sanctified are defined as "those who draw near" and "worshipers" in verses 1 and 2.

In order to understand Hebrews 10:14, it is essential to understand verses 1-3.

Say "by by" to a false understanding of the IJ when you understand this passage.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 13th, 2011 pat travis says:

Kevin my friend,

Don't want to press the Issue but the literal Greek reads as the NIV translates it. If you don't believe me get a Greek interlinear if you can not parse the text yourself and also see that the meaning is "holy.".

"because by one sacrifice he has made perfect(mature/complete) forever those who are being made holy.".(NIV) of 10:14.

If you are going to debate Greek you must have experience and an understanding of the language…I had 8 Quarters of Greek in my M.Div.

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 13th, 2011 klriley says:

I had two years of NT Greek, plus some Classical Greek. I would have liked to have studied Greek as my career, but unfortunately it isn't a good way to feed a family. My first choice for university was Classics, majoring in Greek and Latin, but we don't always get our first choices in life. I am still tempted to keep it on my list as something to do in retirement. Once you retire, no one feels the need to ask "and what will you do with that when you graduate?"or "how will you make a living from that?". Fortunately I have a couple of universities to choose from that allow alumni to study for free if it isn't for a degree, so I just have to make sure I retire near one of them.

But I will bow out of this discussion as it is considered to be beyond my capabilities.

Kevin


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 14th, 2011 guibox says:

By Trevor Hammond

"Elaine, Tom and others.

Show me where the Seventh-day Adventist Church has stated that we are 'saved by works'?????????????????????

You've all made a very big accusation so no ducking please! Show me where?"

Come on, Trevor. You and I both know that nothing official exists stating such a thing, but the implication is there by the way we present and view justification by faith and what salvation is. Great emphasis is placed on 'minding the standards' and being a 'good SDA'. We have many a disgruntled anti/ex SDAs because these 'lifestyle' issues were not put in their proper place. The threat of God's strict disapproval and hell-fire have been put in the forefront for those who don't dress properly, eat the right things or who engage in secular activities when we should be in the Day of Atonment gloomy, soul searching and not having fun period of earth's history.

Many of current SDA church members have moved away from this type of legalism today and we see that it sticks in the craw of conservative Adventism. To them, this is proof that the SDA church is 'backslding' and casting aside salvation.It is not enough to be considered a good SDA by these people to say, 'I believe in Christ's atonement for my sins and salvation by grace through faith alone'. The addendum is, 'How do you observe Sabbath (if you observe it at all)? How do you dress? What do you eat? What do you listen to? It is clear that to these people, all of these things determine if you are a saved Christian or not.

Any view that says that if you go to church on the wrong day when the crunch time hits means you forfeit your salvation, or that we must stand sinless in thought and practice or we are doomed because we don't have a mediator, is salvation by works.

Darrell C


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 14th, 2011 Hansen says:

Pat, In Hebrews 10, "perfect" is defined by the context in a way which is unique in the NT.

1 for the law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.

2 otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?

3 but in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.

Verse 1 says the sacrifices can not make the worshippers perfect. Verse two says that if the sacrifices could have made the worshippers perfect they would have been stopped because they [the worshipers] would have had no more consciousness of sins. "No more consciousness of sins" in verse 2 replaces the word "Perfect" in verse 1.

So it is plain that to be perfect is to have no more consciousness [memory]of sins. What Hebrews says is that the worshippers were not free of their sin in the typical service. On the DoA, they would have to remember the sins they had confessed during the year. The excellency of Christ's sacrifice is that he has freed us forever form our sin, we will never have to recall it again, as did the Jews every year on the DoA.

When Hebrews refers to those who are perfect forever in verse 14, it is referring to those whose sin has been forever purged by the blood of Christ. This passage does more to destroy any uncertainty related to the IJ than anything else of which I'm aware. People can argue about Antiochus, 457, the 2300 days, whatever. This passage is the key to the whole issue.

Whatever happened in 1844, if anything did hapen, can not be construed to in anyway take away from the certainty of salvation in Christ to those believe.

People who prepare lexicons derive the word definitions by looking at how the words are used. I've yet to see a lexicon which recognizes the meaning of perfect in Hebrews 10. Can you show me one?

"Perfect" in Hebrews 10 has a theological/soteriological meaning which goes way beyond what most, perhaps all lexicons, realize.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 14th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

hey, guibox

RE your comment : It is not enough to be considered a good SDA by these people to say, 'I believe in Christ's atonement for my sins and salvation by grace through faith alone'.

Many who sincerely make the above profound statement (which I hold dear to my heart too) could very well use this line as a mere formality so to speak but yet blatently continue in sinfulness.

Let me put it this way, in terms of how this type of thinking has led to the opposite of the other extreme:

Someone said: "When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I realized that The Lord doesn't work that way, so I stole one and asked him to forgive me."

It's the abuse of this 'I believe in Christ's atonement for my sins and salvation by grace through faith alone' that is a huge problem in the church today… –> License to sin without accountability is the order of the day within some pockets of the Church.

T


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 14th, 2011 swall7 says:

How many saw the Adventist flash mob posted on the church's Facebook page earlier this week? Hundreds of SDA young people were chanting "Look, look, Jesus coming, I'm not ready". Sadly, that speaks volumes about what many of us have been taught regarding grace.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 14th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

hey, swall7 and some others:

Your point is noted, however, look at the message that God has for the Laodicean Church [Rev 3:14,15,16,17,18,19,20]. One can't help notice that God is not pleased with their condition and offers a remedy which 'corrects' their condition to one that is acceptable and pleasing to God. This is NOT salvation by works, although God does JUDGE them by their works.

You know very well too that Christianity is not a 'free for all' – 'do as you please' because 'I'm covered' religion. That would be an insult to Jesus death on the cross. The Ten Virgins Story Illustrates this very well. Why weren't the other 'foolish five' just 'saved by grace and let into the banquet. They did come back after all but the doors were shut. Many are not ready today because they do not fully surrender their lives to God: they have one leg in the church and one in the world…is God pleased with this compromised position? No!

Sin destroys the desire and capacity of knowing God. Period. A superficial acceptance of Grace on the pretense of forsaking sin is the real danger we face which can be seen in our unreadiness to accept Salvation on God's terms.

T


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 14th, 2011 CherryAshlock says:

Find your wings and soar!

Trevor

It's the abuse of this 'I believe in Christ's atonement for my sins and salvation by grace through faith alone' that is a huge problem in the church today… –> License to sin without accountability is the order of the day within some pockets of the Church.

I disagree mightily! If I chose a relationship with Jesus and accept the gift of grace that doesn't mean I will continue seeking out ways to knowingly sin. Gods grace is so magnificent and He is the most wonderful person to be in relationship with–why would I not want to do things to honor that relationship. I trust that God is smart enough to convict me of changes I need to make in my life without anyone else handing me a list of what they think I should be doing. Yes, there are excellent guidelines like the 10 commandments. I find most people down deep in their hearts have enough common sense to know whether their choices are eternal or not. You can't 'make' them more spiritual…..that is Gods job and also people one trusts and sees Jesus in. I do not see Jesus in judgemental rule waving fellow SDA's. If you came to me with tears in your voice and were very caring I might listen……..but if you come to me with a list of rules and are pointing out my sins then I will blow you off. Kinda like get behind me satan……


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 14th, 2011 pat travis says:

Hansen,

The NIDNTT by Colin Brown, Zondervan, deals with telos and it's cognates including it's use in the book of Hebrews in Vol.2,pp.59-65.

My issue with Kevin was not with what He said but limiting the hagios group to "separating/setting apart for holy purposes" without allowing for literally holy or a process of becoming holy such as in the participle use in vs.14. It has both meanings…and by the way these different aspects are occuring concurrently in the believer.

The telos group has some of these meanings i.e.: end, conclusion,close,goal,finish, complete,perfect,mature, come to an end

Relating this to Hebrews 10 the contrast was with the old Levitical system which could never "conclude/bring to an end" the forgiveness of sin and thus one's consciousnes of sins but by "one sacrifice of himself", Christ did. He made complete His set apart ones for holiness by completing the purposes of sacrifice. He completed the old system and it ceased bringing in the "once and for all" sacrifice of Himself…thus the remembrance of sin is not year by year.

Believers are reckoned perfect in Him just as the OT High Priest was "set apart" for "holiness unto the Lord" yet he had to offer sacrifice for his own sins.

We are reckoned perfect in Him by His once and for all sacrifice..not to be repeated…received by faith "alone."

As to Heb.10:14 this "set apart completeness and perfection through one sacrifice reckoned to us" with the "benefit" of our not having consciousness of our former sins/or future confessed sins as condemning is the saints conferred status EVEN while they are in the realized state of still "being made holy."

I hope this helps my meaning to both you and Kevin as to the meaning of Heb.10 and the NIV translation of vs.14.

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 14th, 2011 Hansen says:

Pat, No disrespect to Colin Brown, but I can myself look at every reference where telos and its cognates are used. Then, assisted by the HS, my own reasoning powers are fully capable of understanding how telos and its derivatives illuminate the plan of salvation.

Especially in the area of word studies, a tool like the Online Bible is indispensable. I'm waiting for a copy of F.F. Bruce's "Commentary on Hebrews" to arrive in the mail now, so I am not opposed to commentaries but they can be as much of a problem as EGW.

As for sanctification, here is one clear passage in the NT which defines it, 1 Thessalonians. There is defines sanctification as avoiding fornication:

3 "for this is the will of god, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;"

Hard to find a text which more clearly explains what a word means.

In Hebrews hagios, like telos derivatives, is defined by context. It is used 7 times. For instance, this passage states that to be sanctified under the ritual system was to have the flesh purified from uncleanness. In NT times, it is to have the conscience purged by Christ's blood.

Hebrews 9:13 (NRSV) For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!
In chapter 10, the context defines sanctification with a view to its definition here in chapter 9 [purging the conscience]. The sanctification of the believer in OT times pertained to the purifying of the flesh. In NT times, it pertains to the purification of the conscience.

This is elaborated upon in chapter 10. the point of verse 14 is that those whose conscience has been purged by the blood of Christ will never again be confronted by their sins. That what sanctification and perfection are in Hebrews.  


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

Hansen,

If that's what you want to believe it's fine with me.

I share with you many of the same views concerning the benefits of the Atonement. It's what you "seemingly" won't allow for…the almost interchangeability of sanctity/sanctify with holiness in areas. Sanctification "includes" more than separating or the benfits of "a clear conscience." It includes growth in holines and that by the discipline of God for His children (while they still walk with complete assurance).

10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness ( τῆς ἁγιότητος αὐτοῦ ) Heb.12:10.

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

I might add Hebrews 12:14, strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

The subject of being saved is rife with camps / those who promote it, but are rather negligent when it comes to spelling it out. Those of us who have heard quoted EGW's statement that we should never say that we are saved, usually are missing the side of the barn all together. Our eternal salvation is secure in and thru the righteousness of Christ received by faith. While the writer of Hebrews in chapter 4 states very clearly that we have to labor to enter / experience God's rest, because if we don't our evil hearts of unbelief that we were all born with will overcome us.

Because we will retain our sinful natures that we were born as long as we live in this world, we will have a flesh to deny, and temptations to overcome. In this way we cannot say that WE ARE saved, but much rather we are BEING saved by grace, thru faith. And not until Christ returns to give the rewards of eternal life to the faithful, immortality, and incorruption, experiencing the salvation that Christ achieved total / free / complete for all of us is maintained / experienced by faith alone.

But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:13 ESV)

Peace


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

Laffal,

Thanks..

You do realize that (Because we will retain our sinful natures that we were born as long as we live in this world) this statement will put you in strong conflict with some in the SDA "perfectionist" camp who feel we can share in a "nature" just like Christ and use certain SOP statements to support their opinion.

This is also part of the world of SOP led adventism one must encounter. It is true there is "presumption" but there is also perfectionism and there are those who deny the necessity of the atonemnent as only God's character of "love" is at issue (the last two claim SOP support). I suggest all need to be confronted by "scripture alone."

I will also state this…that while JBF "alone" may be misused by some for presumption it is STILL TRUE that no one will be justified before God any other way!

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

Your welcome.

Now, I am not one of those who fall into the camp of the "perfectionists." But I do believe that thru the grace of Christ, we can by the HS overcome ALL sin, which I believe to be the Biblical definition of perfection. I am quite aware of the conflict with the concept / term, but I must ask, what is the ultimate objective of the gospel of JBF. Rightly understood and experienced, holiness will follow. And the last time I read / heard, you can't be holy and sin. Note the following quote:

The present message–justification by faith–is a message from God; it bears the divine credentials, for its fruit is unto holiness. Some who greatly need the precious truth that was presented before them, we fear did not receive its benefit. They did not open the door of their hearts to welcome Jesus as a heavenly guest, and they have suffered great loss. There is indeed a narrow way in which we must walk; the cross is presented at every step. We must learn to live by faith; then the darkest hours will be brightened by the blessed beams of the Sun of Righteousness. {1SM 359.1}

Peace


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

Laffal,

Back to square one…

We are justified by faith "alone" without the deeds of law/"holiness."

Whenever the "law" is emphasized as the justifying factor it is as the "veil that covered Moses face." It is a guide for holiness but not the means of being accepted as holy. Simul justus et peccator.

Christ justifies the ungodly.Rom.4:5

thusly the need for "By one sacrifice He has perfected for all time those who "are being made Holy."

"When He appears we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. 1 Jn.3:2.

Unto Abraham was reckoned righteousness not for what was seen and realized "in him" but for his faith in the unseen.

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

You need to help me, where did I say anything about law keeping as a requirement for justification? EGW's statement says nothing to that effect. What's up?

Peace


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

Laffal,

Before I go out…can talk later perhaps before Monday.

You did say, "you can't be holy and sin."

Am I to then assume then you will be saved because of your "holiness" rather than "being reckoned/righteous."

In reality we are talking about the princilples of Trent…and you, respectfully, represent the same difficulties Rome had with Luther and Calvin's understanding of "reckoned/righteous/"holy" vs. "made righteous and holy." You see the RCC does not believe holiness and sin can be in the believer and one be justified/righteous.

I will speak clearly, Holiness is a "growth process" while sin yet remains a part of the redeemed nature we must sudue. It is not a "realized state" thus the need for JBF "alone."

See the fleshing out of differing views of JBF "alone." Rome could not bear it…can SDA's?

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

As far as our salvation is concerned, JBF is the only way. The quote I proved stated that holiness is the fruit of justification by faith it's the object / result. We are talking about experiencing JBF. For you and I to become holy in experience, JBF is the only way. But I still stand by my statement, one cannot be holy and sin at the same time, the Biblical terms are in direct conflict. Herein lies the tension resident in the sancified walk with Christ who justified us freely by His grace.

Peace


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

You may obtain "relative" holiness…but never complete and enough.

That's the point…it ain't all or none…and remnants of sin remain in the best saints.

Really…out the door…


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

Relative is not a Biblical term / concept.

Again, what is the ultimate object of JBF? This leads us to the Last Generation Theology.

Later


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

You are correct "last generation theology" says you will be perfectly holy…and this justifies God and His law.

you can't understand the concept at this time… but you ARE saying only the 7th day keepers of thw law will be "justified", safe to save and qualified for translation…

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

I believe when the NT speaks of perfection / maturity, it is speaking of living a life victorious over sin. Galatians 5:16 tells us that if we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh… sounds like perfection in sinful flesh is realistic, not by law / Sabbath keeping, but by walking in the Spirit. So the sanctification process, which begins when one is JBF alone, is simply a matter of learning to walk in the Spirit more and more. Sure its a fight, vs 17 is clear. But Sabbath keeping alone justifies nobody.

The righteousness of Christ qualifies us for heaven / translation. As I've said before, true Sabbath keeping is RESTING IN THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST. It is A SIGN of that rest, not the means of that rest. What preapares one for / makes one safe for translation is gaining the victory over sin, overcoming it in our sinful fallen natures. Not by law keeping, but by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. He is the source of the victory / over coming. I just choose to let Him live out His life within me. Therefore we have a song to sing:

Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise.
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled.
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.
His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God.
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind's breath,
Swept on o'er every field.
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.

On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array.
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation's helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble 'neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.

To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be giv'n.
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in Heav'n.
Then onward from the hill of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
We'll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus' conqu'ring Name.

Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

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Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:
Laffal,

I just want you to understand what you are saying…enjoying the conversation. It seems you…as many SDA's consider Righteousness by faith to mean"making righteous/holy." Now one indeed through faith and the indwelling Soirit grow in holiness and righteousness/right doing through your cooperation with the HS but this is not JBF/RBF "alone" that alone can justify us as acceptable before God. What our traditional position is saying is one is justified as being acceptable for salvation and translation in the last conflict based on 7th day worship foremost and primarily.

As a relative "aside" may I ask you if you believe "non-believing" sabbath keeping Jews, Muslims, Buddhist and those of other faiths will be lost at that time and followeres of the beast? If Preston is looking in I would also like his response.

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

1) We will not be MADE righteous until 1 Corinthians 15:52-55 becomes a reality at the return of Christ. Until then we re righteous by faith in Christ our righteousness!

2) My understanding of Sabbath keepings as it pertains to "The Last Generation" is that it does not make them acceptable before God and worthy of translation. Their faith in Christ as their righteousness, which makes anyone acceptable before God, is the sign of their faith / stand that they are relyng upon Christ and Him alone for their salvation. They would rather die then sin against Him ever again. The Sabbath at this time is simply a test; you either rely upon Christ for all things salvation, or you rely upon yourself / man to deliver you from that which is described as the time of trouble / the great tribulation. Worthy? NO! Faith? INDEED! Luke 18:8; Revelation 6:12-17

3) As to your question about "non-believing" Sabbath keepers, if Sabbath keeping saves then there would be no need for JBF. I believe when the Mark of the Beast is a real time issue, all of the religious / denominational divisions will be consolodated into 2 Groups. Those who are faithful to Christ as their righteousness, and everybody else who are by choice, rejecting Christ ultimately and trusting to themselves. By virtue of remaining an "unbeliever" there is no salvation for them in that hour. But this is why the gospel must go to the world as a witness for Christ who alone save thru His righteousness, only then will the end come. At this point no one will have an excuse for being lost. They will have only themselves to blame for rejecting their Savior. I believe this is ultimately the abomination that makes desolate.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

Laffal,

>>My understanding of Sabbath keepings as it pertains to "The Last Generation" is that it does not make them acceptable before God and worthy of translation.<<

Then why would other Christians who believe by faith that Christ is alone their righteousness be lost?


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

Then why would other Christians who believe by faith that Christ is alone their righteousness be lost?

The time that the Mark of the Beast is a reality, those to whom you refer will become Sabbath keepers, not to be saved, Christ has already accomplished that, but because they will enter His rest on His holy day. Those Christians who have believed in Christ as their righteousness and choose to continue to seek to honor God on Sunday will recieve the Mark of the Beast and be lost. Why? Because their faith is in the beast, not Christ.

The time for this is not yet, but it will come, for that matter most of the needed elements are in place for the formation of the Image to Beast, but God in His mercy knows His people are not yet ready… Read any blogs lately… were all over the map.

Peace


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

So in reality…true faith only is shown by perfect obedience to the 4th commandment and on the basis of that obedience one is worthy and justified to be saved. Obedience and the "quality of ones faith" has become the basis of justification/worthiness for translation rather than Christ in who we are reckoned righteous by "faith alone" from beginning to end.

How else can that be interpreted?

I will stick to what one does/has done with Jesus as Savior for forgiveness of sin is the final test and all things against Him—for whose name His disciples are hated by all nations— are delusion and deception. Purposed obedience to Christ goes without stating…and is evidential…but it is never perfect for by the deeds of the law shall no man be justified…now or in the time of trouble because if it is of law it is no more of Grace.

regards,—signing out

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

There comes a time when every believer will / must have his / her faith tested. That's the point. What else could the Mark of the Beast represent?

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead… Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"–and he was called a friend of God. (James 2:17-23 ESV)

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.(Galatians 5:6 ESV)

Peace


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

Mark of the beast? …Weather one will accept and will remain true to Jesus as our only hope and salvation when humanity scorns us and tests us…for you shall be hated of all nations because of His name. Peter initially failed the "faithfulness" test to the "person of Jesus" and of course Satan's autonomy despised Christ "from the beginning" as does humanity when Jesus is presented as God.

"over and out."

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 Hansen says:

Pat,

I don't suppose your entire paradigm is based upon the text you offered above, Heb 12:10. If you want to dwell upon sanctification as personal holiness or a growth process, you need to bring more to the table than that.

The word translated as "saints" in the NT is the base from which sanctification and its cognates are derived. While it is true that the "saints" share in the holiness of God, God is quite generous in ascribing holiness to people.

For instance, the NT thrice refers to the "holy" prophets. They were certainly growing in grace, they were "holy" because they were separated from the general population, as spokesmen for God. Balaam was a prophet but he apostasized and was destroyed. How did he do in his "growth in grace?"

Sword wielding, blood drenched Elijah was one of the "holy" prophets of old, so holy that he was translated. How many people can you hack to death with a sword and still be considered "holy" enough for translation?

Sarah is described as a holy woman (1Pe. 3:5,6), How holy was she? She provoked her husband into adultery, was jealous, vindictive, spiteful, physically abusive. Jewish legend says she dropped dead when she heard about Abe nearly sacrificing Issac.

The verse below is about the only one that can be construed into the typiclal holy unto sinlessness construct:

1 Thessalonians 5:23 "now may the god of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our lord Jesus Christ."

If you want to talk about entire sanctification, that's fine. The problem is finding other passages which refer to "entire sanctification" [channeling John Wesley a tad]

In the Heb OT, the word from which "temple prostitute," "cult prostitute," and in some translations, "sodomites," is translated has the same root שׁדק as "holy" and "sanctified." The idea is that the individuals were separated from others for a religious purpose. Holiness, in our sense of the word, is not an issue.

"Sanctification," as generaly taught among Adventists, is simply a smoke screen for legalistic perfectionism, one for which little support can be gathered from Scripture.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

Hansen,

I don't believe in "entire sanctification/holiness" as realized in the saints. The saints are "set apart " for holiness and they are to grow in holiness but their holiness and righteousness are always lacking…thus the need of a justifying savior. Hagious is both "setting apart" AND growing in holiness and it is not by mere quietism.

So is your paradigm lacking…that the saints do not grow in realized holiness and are only "set apart" and not conscious of sin's condemnation…that they do not experience all of the above?

If you hold that I suggest yes. You see even our growth in the "fruits of the spirit is lacking" and none of the fruits are contrary to law because God's law is love…but we are not…only reckoned to be loving.

Blessing and Regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 Hansen says:

Pat, I was never so holy as when I first believed. In many respects, I seem to be going backward in my sanctification process. Certainly, if I use my own experience as a measuring rod, I simply laugh at people who claim to be growing into perfection/sinlessness.

A lot of what we deem "holiness" is simply a slick personality. The guy who smiles, shuffles, demures, is certainly going to be thought "holy" compared to individuals of a more abrasive nature. Who is actually the "holy" one is best known by God.

Certainly there is a maturation process in the Christian life. The Biblical foundation for describing that as a sanctification process is weak.

The doctrine of justification is much clearer in Scripture than the doctrine of sanctification. I often consider that the justified are the sanctified. They have been separated from the condemned by Christ's blood and righteousness and are, therefore, sanctified.

I suppose that we have much more in common than in disparity.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

Hansen,

Holiness is growth in obedience to divine instruction and growth in the attitudes of the "fruits of the Spirit."

We are justified by neither…but only rekoned as Righteous and holy while we are growing in the fruits of holiness. Which of God's law is not love by the way? Is not love a fruit of the Spirit? Rom.13:8-10.

By the way these are the issues in which I disagree with Dale Ratzliff (not Justification and some other issues) and "Proclamation" that some have been sending me free of charge! :>)

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"I was never so holy as when I first believed"

Is being holy dependent on our own estimation or feeling? Many newly baptized can also say that–until the glow wears off. If holiness is one's "feeling" it is a poor evaluation.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 15th, 2011 Tom says:

I've been gone a few days so I need to get up to speed on the current vein of discussion on this blog. First I want to respond to a direct question by Trevor asking me to show him "where the SDA church has stated that we are saved by works. You have made serious accusations, so no ducking please." No one is ducking anything here, Trev. You are the one who seems to be quacking up over some of us relating our experience of yesteryear growing up in the church. No where will one find a statement by the SADA Church that we are saved by works.

I would be curious to know how old you are, Trevor. That you have not had the experience or bad memories of a heavy do's and don'ts based religion is a good news indeed. But trying to negate as baseless rhetoric the experience of some of us is about like someone born after WWII, telling a Jew whole lived through the horrors of Nazi Germany that there wasn't a holocaust. I know that is an extreme illustration but I am trying to make a point here that you keep missing.

Young people already go through all kinds of uncertainties about themselves , especially when they reach adolescence. They need reassurance and heavy does of God's love. I had the misfortune of having two Sabbath School leaders I particularly have bad memories. Small town, small church, same church run by people whose philosophy was command and control.

My perception, again I say my perception based on what was spoon fed in Sabbath School was never say you are saved, you gotta be perfect to get into heaven, read Message to Young People which is a lousy compilation of mostly negative selected statements and directives from the pen of EGW. The motive as I took it was "stay in line" don't ask question, for ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do or die.

I have vivid memories of being told about the judgment and here are some quotes from Great Controversy that I remember being particularly singled out. Check out the chapter on the IJ and you will find them there. On page 486 "Angels of God witnessed each sin, and registered it in the unerring records… Our acts, our words, even our most secret motives, all have their weight in deciding our destiny for weal or woe….. In the judgement, the use made of every talent will be scrutinized…" , Page 490 …"Though all nations are to pass in judgement before God, yet He will examine the case of each individual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there were not another being upon the earth. Every one must be tested, and found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing…In the awful presence of God our lives are to come up in review…"

That should be enough to make my point. If stuff like that wouldn't make your skin crawl enough, there was always Fox's book of Martyrs as a lat resort for bedtime stories. I've said enough, anymore at this late hour of the evening and I may have bad dreams about multiheaded beasts with 10 horns chasing me in my sleep!


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 16th, 2011 Tom says:

The issue of JBF and attaining "holiness" seems to be turning into a dog chasing tail cycle. One of the problems is that of the tendency to fall into behaviorism, when the focus is on perfection and holiness. We are never saved by works, but the Bible clearing says we are judged by our works (Revelation 22:12.) That is immediately preceded in verse 11 with the ending of judgement proclamation, " let him who is unjust be unjust still… let him is holy be holy still." So it looks like we are on the horns of a dilemma here with what appears to be an oxymoron. I use the word appear, not in an actual sense, but as a perception.

So the question is how do we make sense of all. It is not a matter of embracing one(JBF). and discarding the other (judged by works). God does not offer us a free gift of salvation and then pull the rug out from under us by then insisting on what in the fallen human mind seems like an impossible task. That would be like someone giving you a Lexus for no money down. But what good is that gesture if the monthly payments are so high that you are financially underwater trying to make them to keep the car.

That is the dilemma that I see so many SDA have with this entire business of overcoming sin and trying to attain to a state of holiness. The fact of the matter is we will never become holy by trying to be holy. Our righteousness is nothing but filthy rags, the filthiest by the way.

We become what we behold. 2Corinthians 3:18. Satan knows us better than we know ourselves. It is his determined effort to get us to focus on anything but Christ, and side track us with focusing on ourselves and our own faults, the faults of others, and to get us into such a state of frustration with it all that we are either overcome with discouragement carrying all this baggage and toss it all, or we become legalistic, naval gazing critics.

At times it does seem like the salvation process is like climbing Mt. Everest. The glorious truth is that God looks at us as already at the top, while we are still climbing it!! To me that best illustrates what Hebrews 10:14 is saying. He asks us to come to Him all who labor and are weighed down and he will give us rest. He promises that his yoke is easy and His burden it light. Matthew 11:28, 29.

But it is even better. A rope is extended from above to assist us in the climb, a rope that is anchored to The Rock that cannot move. We must hold onto the Rope and He will pull us to the top.

The outcome is certain if we will simply trust Jesus at His word and quit trying to think we can receive a passing grade by trying to take pictures of the wind. Wanna try and figure that one out.

Again, looking for a good illustration to best describe it all as I see it from the Bible,

Tom


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 16th, 2011 Hansen says:

"Holiness is growth in obedience to divine instruction and growth in the attitudes of the "fruits of the Spirit." "

Pat, I'm not familiar with the passage above which defines sanctification as you understand it. Could you provide the Biblical reference so I can study it in greater depth? Is that a quote from Sr. Ellen G. White?

I prefer passages, which, at face value, are definitive:

1 Thessalonians 4:3 for this is the will of god, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;

No question about it. Sanctification is to abstain from sexual immorality.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 16th, 2011 Tom says:

Hansen

You said "the justified are the sanctified." You hit the nail on the head there. The two go together. Justification results in sanctification, it is the warp and woof of salvation. Sort of like a sandwich. two pieces of bread with something inbetween, let's say peanut butter and jelly. Separate you have bread and a jar of jelly and one of pb. You don't have a sandwich until you take two pieces of bread and spread the p and J inbetween.

Is that too simplistic? I believe in the KISS (keep it simple stupid) method of explaining things. Not implying you are stupid. The KISS refers to me the explainer. Not trying to get fresh now either either.

One of the problems in Adventism is that we are so bent on distancing ourselves from a once saved always saved belief that we tend to go off the opposite extreme that glories in never being quite sure if you are saved. The truth of the matter is you will never be more saved than when you are justified by Christ. It is His righteousness that saves us at the beginning, during and the end of our spiritual walk with Him. End meaning the end of our life or the end of time when Jesus comes and we are alive and will be glorified.

Far from giving us a license to sin, the Holy Spirit dwelling within will lead us ever closer to Jesus and a sanctified life made holy only by that indwelling Comforter. We are secure in Christ. Jesus said in John 10:29 " My Father is greater than them all, and no one is able to pluck them out of My hand." But we are free at any time to walk away from it if we so choose. Dare I say that it is a "once saved always saved" with a qualifier. To stay saved we must remain in a committed relationship to Jesus. I believe if that was more clearly understood and clung to with all our hearts we would avoid the twin, but opposite, errors of cheap grace and legalism.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 16th, 2011 pat travis says:

Melissa,

We have a common friend… your grandmother, Gwen, in my SS class at FLC noticed my response on your blog…obviously she sends her love.

————-

Hansen,

Perhaps 1 Pet.1:1,2;13-23 will be relevant revelant to you concerning "growth in holiness/sanctification" for those set apart, called of God in grace.

Growth in sanctification…as it's goal is growth from the former lust that controlled us. Gal.5:16-26 describes those former fleshly lust of disobedience that we seek through the HS to be overcoming.

Likewise, God's divine instruction/law is holy given as a source of truth describing both sin and holiness in Rom.7-. We are not in bondage to the law "for justification" but it remains a source of truth.

Perhaps it is not out of order to ask you rhetorically speaking if we in sanctification are to be unholy and warring after our former fleshly lust ? Are you realy without any of your former lust now that you "have been sanctified?" Can you give me texts supporting these concepts? :>)

Again Hagios and cognates have the meaning of holiness / sanctification depending on "context" of weather pertaining to initial separation/set apart for holiness or holiness as a growth process… a process never reaching total perfection in this life…thus the need to be JBF "alone."

Regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 16th, 2011 Hansen says:

Pat, Scripture usually states clearly what something of great importance actually means. I'll provide a few example in addition to the one regarding sanctification/abstaining from sexual impurity:

The gospel: 1 Co 15 "now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,

2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

3 for I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve."

Scripture plainly states that the gospel is about the death and resurrection of Christ.

Redemption: Ephesians 1:7 "in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace"

Again, Scripture plainly states that redemption is the "forgiveness of sins."

Sealing: Ephesians 1:13 "in him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in him with the holy spirit of promise,
14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of god’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.

Definitive passage which tells us that the seal is "a pledge of our inheritance." The significance of a pledge can easily be understood by reading the story of Judah and Tamar.

Beyond the passage in 1 Thessalonians, which describes sanctification as abstaining from sexual impurity, is there another definitive passage? The passage in 1 Peter 1:14-16, defines being "holy" as not being conformed former lusts; however, as I pointed out before, holiness is generally ascribed to any and all comers to the Christian faith, regardless of their maturity or spiritual attainments. The free use of the word "saints" in the NT attests to that.

Today's paper describes the case of an immigrant who was given asylum in the USA because he was persecuted as a Christian in his home country. After arriving here and receiving asylum, he set about organizing a fake military unit. He took money from other immigrants, provided false identification, and then passed himself and his "unit" off as military veterans. He allegedly told his conscripts that this membership would aid them in their own efforts to immigrate to the USA.

Is that the work of someone being sanctified, as a Christian? Is he really a Christian at all, or simply another liar from a country where people prefer to lie rather than tell the truth about a wide range of topics?

I know a little about his country of origin. Truth telling is a difficult concept for them to grasp. Even people with a long history of Christian associations, lie to even their friends, about serious matters, when it suits them.

People with various church affiliations are members of a political party which denies the existence of God. For them to leave the party would ruin their lives. Their job, social standing, financial capabilities, and who knows what else, would be destroyed.

When Scripture talks about being holy as not conforming to our former lusts, I'm comfortable with that, in the context of the Christians daily battle against the flesh, not sinless perfection.

Nadab and Abihu as well as the sons of Eli had been sanctified as priests, yet they were hardly "holy" in the sense we think of it.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 17th, 2011 pat travis says:

Hansen,

I really am at a loss concerning what your "issue" or point with me is and wonder if you have ever heard things I have said.

Of all people, I am against the concept of sinless perfection and have been so for 40 yrs! So what's the real issue????

What have I said to make you think otherwise?

We are reckoned as righteous and holy to Him though we are not…while we are being made holy…never to reach perfect fulfillment in the present age.

I "have been saved" from the condemnation of sin…I am "being saved" from the power of sin in my life and thus growing in holiness…I "will at His appearing be saved" from sin's presence.

Your last sentence above by the way is my exact point…being sanctified "set apart for holy purpose" does not make one holy though one is reckoned to be so as one is in the process of "being made holy."

Of course the brothers presumed on God's lack of holiness as compared to theirs and lost their lives as did those who opened the "uncovered" ark upon it's return from the Philistines.

Without Christ's merits covering us the law/holiness slays.

regards,

pat


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 17th, 2011 Hansen says:

Pat, Initially I felt that your position on sanctification was a bit weak; however, as I continued to consider being holy as not conforming (4964)to our former lusts, I realized that you had actually opened a door of understanding into a topic which has long puzzled me.

I also noticed a passage in 1 Corinthins 7 which equates holiness with sanctification in a parallelism, which, for me, is highly significant:

1 Corinthians 7:14 for the unbelieving husband is sanctified <37> through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified <37> through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy <40>.

As you can see, the word holy regarding the children is used in place of sanctified regarding the parents.

So this discussion has not been fruitless. I have been blessed. Sanctification is clearer to me now than it was before. Thank you!


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 18th, 2011 pat travis says:

Hansen,

May God bless us both as we sincerely try "both as His students" to understand His word better.

One thing is for sure, having been set apart by Him, our inward growth in holiness will never replace the need of JBF "alone." And on that doctrine the true church "stands or falls."

As you, I am thankful we can say "I have been saved."

Blessings,

pat

PS. Thank you also, I had not thought of 1 Cor.7 in this application.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 21st, 2011 Doctorf says:

Trevor,

You say "They have issues with the IJ because of their 'own' factional narrow minded view of what the judgement is."

Really? How do we "know" this IJ is even going on? The whole idea of IJ is ridiculous. Why can't God just judge in an instant? Why does Christ have to be chained to the mercy seat pouring over files of our "deeds" with an angel recording names in the "book of life or death"?

The IJ is another loony EGW fantasy.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 22nd, 2011 fighterphilosopher says:

What are the odds Elaine will disagree with this comment/question?

😉


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 22nd, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Maybe I haven't discovered the question. Whose question/comment?


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 22nd, 2011 Ella M says:

Ella M

Elaine: Even though most of us aren't in our 80s, I suspect that many here do have a long history with the church. I am one of them, and have never heard the kind of "legalism" you refer to as a basis for salvation. I even got out an old text book from the 50s and couldn't find it anywhere in there. Granted, salvation by Christ alone became more emphasized later because of men like Anderson, Heppenstall, and others who started teaching in the 50s and 60s. I did not have your experience in spite of working in the church for 25 years, and I took all the theology courses offered at LLU during 1967-71 and later at CUC/WAU.

In my memory I never feared for a moment about my salvation. I didn't think about it even when I was "in the world" for a few years. I just believed that God would do the best by me. Trust is the right word here. If we constantly worry about our salvation, we neither know nor trust
God but are self-centered in thinking it is all about us.

Sometimes I heard comments about "standards" (some sounded silly to me then and now), but I never let them change my ideas about God. Examples: no jewelry– seemed like telling women they shouldn't wear panty hose! It made no sense outside the principle of simplicity. And dietary standards are for health only and not a road to heaven. (Funny how this one gets more important the older you get!) Most "standards" are obviously cultural and in keeping with the era. When I hear about them from someone, I just think "we all say dumb things at times without thinking them through."

If we believe Christ died for all people, and our part is not to reject Him and His gift, we will never worry about salvation. ( Because we can't know the future, no one could say they were beyond rejecting God, but if that time came you wouldn't believe or care anyway, let alone worry about it.)

We still do not preach the real Gospel that is Good News, and so we are fearful. My belief is that we are saved until we reject Christ (or His Way of Love if we have not heard of the real Christ).

God is more love, grace, just, fair, and caring than any of the churches are teaching (including Adventists). Until we understand the true nature of God's love and good plans for all of us, we will not be able to live it very well and tell it persuasively to others. Because it is His love that enables us to do both. But thank God, He has covered our mistakes and saved us through His sacrifice "from the foundation of the world."


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 22nd, 2011 Ella M says:

Ella M

Comment to Melissa who talks about legalism in the Adventist church: I think you will find the same sort of guilt among the religious in any conservative group when you get involved in it. Like us they are all travelers on the spiritual road assailed by doubt, guilt, and insecurity. Adventism also tends to draw people who are conservative and tend to be "perfectionists" in their ideals and behavior. (Even atheists can be perfectionists.) I know a bit about what happened in the 50s from some older scholars if you would like to discuss it.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 22nd, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Looking in textbooks for whether legalism was taught can never reveal what was taught unofficially is like judging what the "average" Adventist believed at any one time, and maybe particularly today in a variety of geographic locations. It is well known that the West Coast Adventism is not always practiced the same as the midwest or east coast. Whether known or not, Adventism varies a great deal in different locations around the world as to how it is practiced.

My experience is quite different than yours, which is no surprise to most Adventists. I lived in the South and attended academy in one of the sefl-supporting institutions where EGW was the guide for what Adventists believed. On this and other blogs many long-time SDAs have described very different Adventism in their growing years. We should learn to accept other people's experience as theirs, which does not infer the universal experience for others.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 23rd, 2011 Ella M says:

Ella M
Elaine said: I lived in the South and attended academy in one of the sefl-supporting institutions where EGW was the guide for what Adventists believed.
Now I understand–it is no wonder you feel as you do! I have heard about these folk, and we used to get critical letters from them at the GC. I would call their's a toxic religion, generally speaking. They have made more enemies for the church than those they helped.

I am glad you understand they do not represent the majority. I grew up on the east coast and attended academy in my senior year (which "saved my life"). Then I went to the college here before moving to California for 15 years. We came back to help my widowed mother.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 29th, 2011 Carle says:

Hello Michelle. My prayer is that God will bless you as you to find that assurance that you obviously seeks. There is a great difference between justification and sanctification. Justification is an initial act of God in declaring us righteous when we believe in the Lord Jesus as our saviour. This belief is only in His work of death, burial and resurrection. We dont get saved by believing in any works or laws/commandments along with believing in the Lord Jesus. God in His grace and mercy gives us eternal life by simply believing /accepting the Lord as our only way. The act of Justification never changes. Therefore the assurance that we have a personal "room" on God's lap to use your example.

Sanctification however is a process, based upon our actions under the power of the Holy Spirit as we obey God's word and seek to be holy as He is holy.

I agree with you that it does seem or is contradictory to say that the Lord Jesus is the only way to get saved and then say after we believe that if we dont keep the commandments especially the Sabbath then we are in danger of not finding "room." Justification never changes…God's act to you when you belive. sanctification is your acts in living a life that is pleasing to God so when you stand before Him you will be rewarded with reigning with Him in His Kingdom. Justification guarantees you that god will always have room for you. sanctification will determine your position in His Kingdom.

I have always thought it strange why such a great negative emphasis is placed on "sunday worship' or worshippers" as asign of the mark of the beast etc, when the translations of the bible used by Adventist are thos translated by "sunday worshippers" Also nearly everyone of the hymns that are in the Adventists hymnals are hymns and music of worship written by "Sunday worshippers"

Please explain that for me. God Bless you


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 29th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

The asinine idea that all those who fail to "see" and understand the test for eternal life is in keeping the "right" day holy is an insult to our God who created us. Never did Jesus make such a statement; nor did the apostles to the new Gentile Christians.

Adventists have made worshiping on the "right" day a final test of whose "in" and whose "out" which is God's prerogative alone, which they have usurped in their teachings. Better to follow the requirements given in the last part of Matt. 25 and be assured of salvation, rather than simply making certain that the day of worship is the "correct" one.

BTW, is there ever a specific day that God set aside in which to worship Him? Aren't we to worship Him always? What difference does a day make if we honor and worship God? Does He live by man's earthly calendar? What about all the New Moons which are so important in the Bible: "From one new moon to another…..shall all flesh come before me"?


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 29th, 2011 laffal says:

Elaine,

Yes we are to worship God everyday… but the Bible is clear… the 7th day Sabbath is holy. To exercise oneself to the contrary is, at the end of the day, counterproductive.

Peace


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 29th, 2011 Carle says:

Let us say that you are right about the day of worship being the sabbath, and that it is obviously a grand doctrine of Adventist, but please tell me why do you use a Bible that has been translated be those who according to you is counterproductive because they worship on a Sunday, and sing hymns that are written by these Sunday worshippers who are supposed to have the mark of the beast. dont you see that as very inconsistent?
 

Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 29th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:
 

In the Fourth Commandment it says to KEEP the seventh day holy: an action taken by men. When God rested on the seventh day there is no mention of it being holy. There are probably a hundred times that "holy" is used in the Bible referring to places, priests as being holy, but where does the Bible call the seventh day "holy"? God is holy, but neither is there internal evidence that the Bible writers intended it to be "holy."

Man applies that to muiltiple places and things. The temple was holy. Are churches holy? Are people holy? Are days ever called holy?

Is the SDA church's main mission to convince others that the 7th day must be kept "holy" if salvation is assured? As to that success has it been very productive or could it be "counterproductive" as a necessary requirement for entering heaven?

 


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 29th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:
 

Carle,

Don't look to religion for consistency. It won't be found. The selective use of Bible texts to prove a point is a very practiced art that seminarians and many SDA have refined to an art. Consistency is for realists: scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Every church has it own favorite Bible texts, but Adventists invented the "creative selective use." There is a link (I can funish later) with hundreds of Bible inconsistencies.
 


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 29th, 2011 Hansen says:
 

Elaine asks:

"but where does the Bible call the seventh day "holy"?"

"Are days ever called holy?"

Exodus 20:11 "for in six days <03117> the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day <03117>; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day <03117> and made <06942> it holy <06942>.

Genesis 2:3 then god blessed the seventh day <03117> and sanctified <06942> it, because in it he rested from all his work which god had created and made.

Sometimes the Bible says the day is hallowed or consecrated or sanctified. The meaning is the same as holy in the Bible. Perhaps if Elaine spent more time actually reading the Bible instead of perusing sites prepared to destroy people's faith, she wouldn't ask such ….. questions.

Elaine, Why not get yourself a concordance? Even William Miller's Cruden's Concordance would help you. You could actually become informed before making such wild and irresponsible remarks.
 


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 29th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Actually, I do have a concordance and use it regularly. As I wrote, there are so many uses of the word holy, should we consider all of those once called "holy" as holy forever? There was once a "holy mountain" is that still holy today? If the seventh day was once called "holy" as were hundreds of other times, places, and things, must they all still be considered holy today?

For the Christian, the OT is not their guide, but a DEscription of life for the Hebrews, and not a PREscription for Christians today. The NT is the final guide for Christians as it is the only part of the Bible that reveals Christ, on which Christianity was established. If Paul is to be believed (and for Christians he developed and taught their beliefs as well as practices), he said "Never let anyone else decide what you should eat or drink, or whether you are to observe annual festivals, New Moons or a Sabbath day. These were ONLY palr refelections of what was coming: the reality is Christ." Is is too much to assume that Christ is the Christian's reality, instead of the OT which foretold His coming? Are shadows better than what forms the shadow?


 Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 29th, 2011 Hansen says:

Elaine, I'm glad you have a concordance. Take it and look up references to Abraham in the NT, especially Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews. If you do that, you will notice it completely destroys the nonsense you wrote in the second paragraph of your post above. Contrary to what you write, Paul frequently cites the faith of Abraham as a PREscription for salvation. He refers to Sarah's faith as well. It is also a PREscription, not a DEscription.

Ro. 4: 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.

Ro. 4: 20 yet, with respect to the promise of god, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to god,
21 and being fully assured that what god had promised, he was able also to perform.
22 therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
23 now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him,
24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in him who raised Jesus our lord from the dead,

Heb.11:11 by faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered him faithful who had promised.

What do those verses say? We should follow in the steps of the faith of Abraham. Abraham's faith is a PRE scription for imputed righteousness Those are PREscriptions, not DEscriptions. They are taken from the OT.

Where do you get this stuff from? Is it a product of your own imagination? Did you ever study the memory verses in the Sabbath school lessons? If you are "quoting" other people, they are wrong, whoever they might be. They don't know what they are saying.

Why not just say "I'm wrong. I don't know what I'm talking about"?

Once you admit that, God can begin to help you.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 30th, 2011 Carle says:

Hi Pat>

greetings in th ename of our Lord Jesus who Bore our sins and anyone who believes in Him are saved.

You are sound so dogmatic and even arrogant about those who worship on Sunday. a real; Christian would sound sorrowful yea compassionate for such a people if you are right. Right doctrine brings right attidue and actions towards those who disagree with you.

However as i said in couple other blogs and none of you will answer my query of " why does Adventist who are so adamant about Sunday worshippers getting the mark of the beast and hence are not saved, yet the Bible translations and Greek text that you use along with most of the hymns you use to "worship on Saturdays" are written by "Sunday worshippers" who according to you are not saved because they have the mark of the beast. Please answer me or else I will belive you have no answer. God Bless you.


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 30th, 2011 Tom says:

Carle

I believe that a lot of so-called Sabbath keepers of today will receive the mark of the beast in the end because they see the entire matter of the third angels message as simply going to church on the right day. Likewise I believe many Sunday keepers today will receive the seal of God in the end because the Holy Spirit will lead them into deeper knowledge from their growing spiritual experience that the Sabbath is the cap stone, if you will, of righteousness by faith.

Whether one has received the mark of beast at the present time is not even an issue. One cannot receive the mark of the beast until such time as there is a law enforcing one state sanctioned religion.

It is only when there are only two choices, follow God or follow the dictates of the state, does ones choice in the matter determine whether they receive the seal of God or the mark of the beast.

I hope what I have said her helps you understand it better.

Regards,

Tom


Re: Still Wondering Whether We’re Saved
On April 30th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Why have Adventists been so certain of their particular interpretation of Revelation? There have been many false and misleading assumptions about much of this book which have proved to be fallacious. There are so many possible explanations, and all are mere assumptions, a poor way of forming a doctrine.

When the Bible speaks of "all the world" we forget that the world that they knew then was a very small portion of our world today. There was little if any knowledge of the huge land masses either to east or west of the very small area of the Mediterranean which represented their "world." How anyone could believe that in today's very fractured relationships among the many nations could ever consolidate on one belief system is so far out as to be ridiculous. With the Muslims forming an ever-increasing number of religious, often militant adherents and eclipsing the Christians in their very public demonstrations, many of which are both cruel, volatile and suicidal, to adopt any type of universal acceptance of any proposition defies common sense. This is a product of the first centuries and extrapolating it to the 21st century is both preposterous and completely quite delusional.

This interpretation implies that all these disparate systems will, somehow, unite in a concerted effort to persecute a very minute group of people simply because they will not be swayed. This is a perfect example of the paranoia that often accompanies such peoples: the victim and martyr embodiment seen many times in the past.