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Romans 10: 7-12 is a wonderful text, but it is not the core of the doctrine of "Justification."Romans 10:7-12 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
7"or 'Who will descend into the deep?'[a]" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."[c] 12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentilethe same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
This wonderful verse breaks down why we are saved. The change of heart is the requirement for justification, confession before men is necessary unto salvation. But, it isnt the work of a change agent, instead the Word of God.
Yes Acts chapter 2 is clear, but Romans 10 is also clear.
Reducing Baptism to a process, instead of seeing that the change of heart
is why the folks were Baptised leaves so much out of the radical life change that is repentance of sin and heart.
They were lining up to be baptised because they were clearly told the One they had rejected was the one who had been prophesied to be the Messiah.
I'm sure those folks never pointed to their baptism, but by being baptised were pointing to the One who Saves, the Christ.
Maybe the reason some leave is that their Church focus on THEMSELVES and their processes, and how they are the only ones, more an they focus on the risen Savior. Some leave because they actually have been born again, and dont find any spiritual depth where they are.
<font size=4 color=indigo>An army of younger church members are clamoring for change in the worship, faith and practices of our churches. They have naught but criticism for the efforts of the past and are certain they have discovered a far superior way of "doing church" as they are fond of saying. They leave the impression on immature and gullible disciples that those of us over 50 are stubborn, close-minded and impervious to change, no matter how beneficial it might be. In this they are less than honest. Some ultra-conservative types might well be that intractable, but for the majority of us it is not change that we reject, it is unlawful departure from God's authorized Word and way.
--- We are willing to change such things as the hour, the length or the order of our services, but we are not willing to change the nature and substance of them. God has specified singing, praying, communing, offering and instruction as acceptable aspects of his worship.
--- We are willing to try new songs or new hymnals, but not a new kind of music. Only singing did the Spirt authorize (Eph. 5:19). Instruments, other than the voice and heart, we will not, we cannot accept.
--- We are willing to consider different methods of observing a communion service, but we cannot mix the sacred meal with a common meal (I Cor. 11:20-22). Nor can we observe the feast on a day not ordained by God (Acts 20:7).
--- We are willing to accept any or all Biblical names for the church, but we will not brook those who seek to dismiss or discredit the Biblical name "church of Christ" used by Paul (Rom. 16:16). It is never wrong to give due glory and honor to Christ the founder and head of the church.
--- We are willing to change our methods of evangelism but not the gospel message given by Christ. Methods flourish and grow obsolete but the message is divine, perfect and eternal (Rom. 1:16).
--- We can tolerate those who prefer other reputable translations than the King James Version but not those who reject the authority of the Bible.
--- We can adapt to modern improvements in our meeting houses but we cannot be party to those who would "modernize" the church which Christ built, which is revealed in Scripture.
--- We can admit our failures to measure up to the divine pattern for faith and practice, but we can never admit the church which Christ built is any less than perfect.
--- We can preach salvation by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9), but we will never be able to preach salvation by grace alone or faith alone (Jas. 2:24).
Change in non-essentials, in matters of judgment and expediency our people have been making for the last 200 years. Changes in the God-given faith and practice of Christianity apostates have been engaging in for the same period of time. Sydney Rigdon's changes took him into Mormonism. Dr. John Thomas' changes led him into the Christadelphians. The changes of instrumental music and missionary societies took their promoters into Disciples of Christ/Christian Church denomination Changes regarding the doctrine of the kingdom of Christ and His return lead Robert H. Boll into Premillennialism. Changes in the teaching of the role of miraculous gifts of the Spirit led Don Finto and the Belmont Church of Christ into Pentecostalism. Changes in the government of the church and the doctrine of Christian liberty led Chuck Lucas and Kip McKeen of the Boston church into the International Church of Christ cult. The changes proposed by the "change agents" centered in Abilene, Texas are leading toward a new denominational body with which we want no part.
Ours is a pick-and-choose society. On a restaurant menu, we may choose between Combo #1, Combo #2, and Combo #3. When purchasing insurance, we may select Plan A, Plan B, or Plan C. Even the tests in our schools often are of the multiple-choice type: from four or five possibilities, Choose the single best answer. Likewise, society demands to choose which portions of the New Testament it will embrace and which portions it will reject. A typical pick-and-choose biblical subject is salvation.Romans 10: 7-12 is a wonderful text, but it is not the core of the doctrine of "Justification."
The question must be asked:
Does biblical justification make us righteous or does it declare us righteous when we, in fact, are not?
The Bible teaches that there are two possible ways to be just. Romans 10:1-3; Philippans 3:9.
a. By law. To be declared righteous when and because one actually is righteous. This was the righteousness of Christ.
b. By grace. To be declared righteous even though we are not and can never hope to be. Romans 4:5.
The Bible teaches that the GROUND of justification, the DEATH of Jesus (Romans 5:9; 3:21-26). The righteousness of Christ was not only His perfectly sinless life, it culminates in His perfect obedience to the Father in voluntary submission to the cross on our behalf.
The announcement of this way of justification is the heart or foundation of the Gospel (Romans 1:16,17; 1 Cor. 1:18-25). In this plan He takes our sins (on the cross) and we take His righteousness (2 Cor 5:21).
The righteousness of Jesus is imputed to the obedient sinner (James 2:23,24). This righteousness that has been attributed to us in Christ must be understood as the way God see us in Christ, not as what we actually are.
To this I might add to the finger pointers in the church of Christ who have become so self righteous, that in their own mind have seated themselves at the Lord's right hand: take note of the term "imputed righteousness!"
Acts 22:16 must be understood in the light of Old Testament ceremonial purification. When ceremonial sprinkling was done, it did not miraculously change the person, only his standing before God and the people.
The Bible teaches: the MEANS of our justification, FAITH, (Romans 3:28; 4:3).
Faith is the sinner's response. The act of faith does not contribute to the righteousness that makes us acceptable to a righteous God.
That is Christ's alone. The reception of the free gift does not detract from its gracious character.
The ESSENCE of our justification, GRACE (Romans 3:24,25;5:2).
GRACE is a state we are in (in the mind of God).
The Christian life is an expression of FAITH. and is a means of expressing gratitude to God for His gift.
We need to keep in mind: Salvation is ever by grace!
If we live the most consistant Christian life possible, God would still not owe us a thing.
We are made free from not only the Old Testament Law, but we are free from salvation by law in general.
We are free from self-centeredness.
We are moved, in the principle, from the realm of "having to" to that of "get to."
Salvation is free to us, but not free to God (1 Peter 1:18,19).
John, you keep hammering "law," to those who have obeyed Peter's words at Pentecost: man is "justified," in the mind of God, not in your mind!<font size=4 color=indigo>SCENES IN THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH</font>
<font size=3 color=indigo face=times new roman>To help readers understand what is currently happening to our brotherhood, we offer a bit of historical review. A. W. Fortune, preacher, historian and professor of the liberal wing of the restoration movement, published a small book in 1924. It was entitled, The Origin and Development of the Disciples. From this book (pp. 158-168), we have gleaned the following important information. Keep in mind that these quotations are from a spokesman for the liberal point of view.
Scene One looks back to the beginning and early days of our "Back to the Bible movement."
Scene Two looks at how progressive changes resulted in apostasy and abandonment of the restoration concept:
- "Their sloganwhere the Scriptures speak, we speak' led them to criticize those practices which seemed to them unscriptural."
- "They did not regard themselves as a new denomination; they considered themselves to be a movement for the restoration of the New Testament Church..."
- "They were convinced that union could only come by the restoration of the New Testament church..."
- "They felt they had in a measure restored the apostate church and they regarded themselves as a peculiar people."
- "They refused to co-operate with the denominations and their call to the individual was to come out from among them."
- "At first there was a period of comparative uniformity in doctrine."
- "For a long time the music of the churches consisted entirely of congregational singing."
- "Instrumental music was not thought of in connection with the worship of the church."
- "A characteristic feature fo the worship of the Disciples for many years was simplicity and lack of formality. The service was spontaneous and free from all ritualistic elements.
Scene Three: Readers are urged to take a careful look at the congregation of which they are a part. Into which of these two categories does you congregation fit? Until the last 25 years all churches of Christ were very similar to those in Scene One. With the emergence of the change movement, more and more of our churches are more like those in Scene Two. In the early days faithful brethren would have said to those in worldly, apostate churches, "Wherefore come ye out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord" (II Cor. 6:17). So do we. </font>
- "During the last fifty years the spirit of co-operation with other communions has been growing among Disciples."
- A "growing spirit of toleration has been very pronounced..."
- "They have co-operated wit the other communions in religious gatherings and evangelistic campaigns."
- "Union cannot come until the churches abandon the traditional elements that divide."
- "Disciples have had no creed which...has made it comparatively easy for them to change."
- "Congregations were divided over this (the organ) question, and it was an important contributing factor to the final division of the church."
- "The controversies over missionary societies and the use of the organ in worship were manifestations of a different attitude of mind"
- "Those who insisted on a thus saith the Lord' for the missionary society and the organ were literalists in all their doctrinal interpretations. Those who favored these expedients in worship and in the management of the affairs of the church had a more liberal attitude in their interpretation of doctrine generally."
- "The tendency of the Disciples at the present time to towards a greater liberality In the interpretation of religion."
- "The Bible is emphasized as the spiritual guide of the race rather than as a code of laws."
- "Gradually the churches adopted instrumental music."
- "With the introduction of special music, trained singers were sought for the choir."
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
Since Allan has manifested a less-than-convivial attitude to my responding to him in the third person, I'm willing to strike a deal. First of all, I look with much disfavor upon anonymity, either partial or total. So if Allan is willing to reveal not only his full name but also the faith which he embraces, I will respond in the first person in any future exchanges that we may have.Dr Crump in reading your post I hear you assumming that I am a rebel that seeks to manipulate the loop holes in the legal code to not have to follow Christ but still gain something( I am not sure what). If I do not want to follow Christ, I believe that makes me not a Christian.
I know that my greatest desire is to follow Christ with eavery breath. Christ is the source of all truth(John 1:17). I seek to test all and, by His grace ,my eyes will be open to the complete truth. The reason I come to you for fellowship through this site is seeking the truth. I listen to you, I take your words to the Bible, I pray about it and I share what I have experienced with you.
The goal of our discourse is not for me to convince you, it is not for you to convince me but, together as brothers, we are convinced of a third thing- the truth.
As you discuss with others, you have to keep them talking. If you talk down, patronize, do not listen to what others have learned and experience you will never have Christian fellowship. If you quickly pull out the pieces of what others share for which you think you have a banner retort, you will fail to share much of your Christian adventure with anyone else. Except, for those few that have the same experience as you. You view of God will remain what it is. You will not continue to grow in all fullness(Eph 4:7-16).
Also, you fail to address my point of the post. Do you believe that we must discern all of Christ's commands and then keep them perfectly before I can receive salvation through grace?
I agree following Christ is a tall order. It is one that I fail but get back up and keep on going. Again, my point is that I have faith in Christ that He is not giving up on me.
I you are telling me that as soon as I believe a wrong doctrine He is going to quit on me. In honest seeking after God, if my own fallable humaness leads me astay on one point, I am toast. That is no gospel of hope. That is self-suficient modern legalism. It is the idolitry of the worldly, logical mind.
Is that what you believe? Do you believe that God will give you no grace on doctrinal mistakes? Do you believe that if by some unseeable reason you have pieced the pauline epistles together incorrectly there is no hope. What if... The spirit of the young adult who led "Nearer to the Cross" during the passing of the bread that you crushed and failed to gently disciple was more important that your doctrine of orderly worship.
My point is that we have to humbly give grace as we discuss to find God's truth. Do you really believe that you are right on all points and all I need to do is openly agree with you? If you do then you are saying you are with out sin because only one without sin can fully understand the ways of God. The only person I converse with like that is the Christ. I blindly follow Him in my own feeble, peculiar and eternally loved by God way.