a reply to: AlephBet
A word from the Bible that is relevant here is being double-minded. This is duplicity, or doing
something good expecting a reward.
This is the first time I have seen it defined like that, and have no idea of how you came up with that.
"Double-minded", looking it it up, turns out to be in the New Testament, only in the Book of James.
I'm looking at the commentary on James by Ralph Martin and he is saying that the term doesn't seem to be a common Greek usage and was probably a way
of translating the phrase from the Old Testament about being of two minds, giving as an example the verse in Deuteronomy to not be of two minds when
you come to pray to the Lord.
The reward that it is talking about is the mental capacity to persevere, it isn't about going to heaven or being given eternal life.
What it looks like to me that you are doing is setting up a system of salvation by the work of your own doing of not being double-minded.
The other place where this term comes up is in James 4.
There, it is talking about how problems come up because of the desire for the things of this world.
Double-mindedness in this context means not focusing on the spiritual things that we should be asking God for.
It also shows up in Psalm 119:113, where the context is, according to the NIV:
Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law.
The wicked have set a snare for me,
but I have not strayed from your precepts.
Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
My heart is set on keeping your decrees
to the very end.
I hate double-minded people,
but I love your law.
You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word.
Away from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commands of my God!
This does not seem to be saying that these people he is thinking of who were double-minded were too busy keeping the Law, but more likely the
opposite, where they will at one point put on an act as if they cared about the Law, then in their actions, showed that they were actually quite
So, looking at the Bible, there is no indication that it means anything like what you are trying to say that it does.
The Bible does not use the word, reward, with the idea that there is something wrong with the idea of hoping for one, but to the contrary, uses it as
an encouragement to do the right thing in order to get it.
Also the Bible does not put wanting to avoid punishment
in a negative light.
Again, quite the contrary.
However, being double-minded is not the process. As Peter 3 points out, it is baptism (flood of Noah) that saves
you, not your own work.
The people who were destroyed in the flood, were, because of their evil works.
Peter does not phrase it like that, where there is a dichotomy between your works, and baptism, as a means of salvation.
God is the one doing
the work to save us. Our own good works are a shadow of the true nature of God. Faith in God saves us, and as a manifestation of this faith, we do
Whether we are ultimately saved or lost is dependent on if we are good or bad, which is determined by our deeds.
What you (meaning everyone) need to do is get over the idea that the terminology of the Letter to the Ephesians and the terminology of the Letter to
the Romans is interchangeable.
In Romans, we are nor saved by works, meaning following the Law as if you were a Jew, even if you were a Christian convert from Judaism.
double mind is involved. We simply do good because we see the need in others. This is suffering by choice rather than suffering a consequence of
Being double-minded has nothing to do with wanting to have a better afterlife, but is about the failure to actually focus on that
aspect of our life, being distracted by the material things of this world.
There is no warning in the Bible against wanting a better reward after we die.
It warns about wanting too much of what this world has to offer.
Peter, and also Paul, talk about literal persecution for being a Christian.
People could have just participated in all the Roman style cultural activity of the day and avoided persecution, but they would not have been doing
right according to how God directs us.
In Ephesians, we are saved, meaning gathered into the church which represents the congregation of the saved which serves the role formerly filled by
That "salvation", the church, is not something that we did, meaning an invention by men, but was made by God and Jesus.
When we are "saved", meaning entering into that church that Jesus made, we are brought into it specifically to do good works, not meaning the works of
following the old Law, but a Christian behavior which is doing good, rather than bad, such as sinning.
If you can see the truth in this, then
you can see the difference between giving and taking for self. Salvation comes from giving, or suffering for others. Reward is simply a byproduct,
just as faith has the fruit of charity for no hope of repayment.
You are putting this into human terms, removing God from the equation,
outside of just this entity who facilitates our passage into the afterlife.
What you need is to get in touch with the concept of what you do
not being optional.
You MUST be good, or else!
Now think . . how on earth can you do that?
Hmm, let's see . . how about on my own power, as a choice, and based on just my feelings of good will, I give someone something?
Can't you see how you are actually basing salvation on not just works, but on your self-empowered, human works, while ascribing greatness to God only
for being strong enough to hold open the door to Heaven long enough for you to just walk on through?
Real Christianity is connecting with God by having Christ in you that empowers good works, not to "save" your skinny little hide, but to save the
world by making it a place where you would actually want to live in.
edit on 3-10-2014 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)