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Faith Without Works

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posted on Oct, 29 2005 @ 04:05 PM
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Hmmmm...I'm interested. There has been some discussion on works vs. faith here recently. That passage in the link seems to add some very interesting stuff. The guy asked: "What do I have to do to get to heaven?" (I'm assuming that's what he meant by eternal life). Jesus told him to keep the commandments. When asked "Which?", the answers were of the "works" variety.
The guy said: "All that done, now what?". The reply: "Give up what (presumeably) you love most in the world". For that guy, money.

Later, when his disciples asked: "What about us?", then Jesus said that everyone who gave up for God's sake, "shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life".

Forgettting for the moment that one sec we have to honour our parents and the next we have to forsake them, there is a very interesting distinction here:

*Follow the commandments - You recieve everlasting life

*Give up everything for God's sake - You recieve everlasting life and recieve an hundredfold.

Looks to me like there are 2 levels of those who can get into heaven. Explanations would be welcome.




posted on Oct, 29 2005 @ 05:00 PM
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babloyi,

*Follow the commandments - You recieve everlasting life

All the commandments in the bible hang from one of these two fundamental truths: "Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength" or "Love your neighbor as yourself". As I mentioned briefly in my prior post, faith and works fall into these catagories as well.

*Give up everything for God's sake - You recieve everlasting life and recieve an hundredfold.

Before one can learn to love with all your heart, mind, soul and strength one cannot have an equal or greater love for material things. If one is sharing love between material things and God, then God is not receiving all one's love.

It is not the giving up; it is not the following of commandments; it is the love which motivates both which is treasured.



posted on Oct, 29 2005 @ 05:44 PM
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Here's my really brief two cents on the matter of faith and works.

Faith alone = useless. If you believe in God, but then don't do what He says in the Bible (ex: 10 commandments) you aren't going to heaven.

Works alone = useless. An atheist who does really great stuff on earth is going to have a bit of explaining to do when he meets God.

Faith + works = good. Your works are proving that you really do have faith.



posted on Oct, 30 2005 @ 04:45 AM
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babloyi

I did look at your link to the other thread, "All christians are fake?"

scienceguy94's post was about his reasoning on the passage of Jesus telling the rich man to sell all of his material possessions and give the money to the poor. Because all Christians have not given up all material things and given them to the poor scienceguy94 seems to take that as "why all christians are fake."

In that same thread I believe that dbrant answered correctly....
When he said this:

Jesus was talking to a man who was trying to find out how to gain eternal life/heaven, he was trying to work his way to heaven. This man was financially rich and the possessions he had, owned him. He didn't own his possessions, his possessions owned him. Jesus was saying I must be first in your life. To gain eternal life you must not have
anything blocking your view of me, because you must accept that I am the only way to eternal life. Jesus is to have 1st place in our life, if anything is valued more in our life than Jesus then we need to get rid of it, because it will keep you from coming to God through Christ.


babloyi I also think this answers you question about:

Forgettting for the moment that one sec we have to honour our parents and the next we have to forsake them, there is a very interesting distinction here:


My take on this is: Whatever or whoever stands in my way of coming to God through Christ needs to go. In the parable of the rich man, it was his excess material possessions. He could not give up his goods. For others it may be something else. But, I think the bottom line is I can honor my parents better if I love God through Jesus first.

Again, it is my understanding that the commandments help us to understand what Jesus is looking for when he gives us the two greatest commandments:

Matthew 22, 37-40:
He said to him, You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.

John 14: 21-24
Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him. Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, "Master, [then] what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my
words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.


Raphael_UO's post is actually saying it best here. Especially with this statement:

It is not the giving up; it is not the following of commandments; it is the love which motivates both which is treasured.


DragonsDemesne my understanding of your post is that you do get the point, but I'm not sure that the word "prove" is the right one in this case.

My thoughts on this is that I must keep the commandments (works) if I love God through Jesus (faith)


[edit on 10/30/2005 by Mahree]



posted on Oct, 30 2005 @ 07:51 AM
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Thanks for all the replies.
Hey Raphael, Mahree. I see your point about the commandents. They are all based off "Love, worship, believe God with all your being", and "Be strong in your works with other people". Very nice and logical concept showing that faith without works falls far short of faith with works.

But my point is, when the the man asked Jesus what he should do, Jesus didn't tell him to worship God with all his heart, soul and strength. He told him the 2nd part of the commandents (love your neighbour's part) was enough to achieve everlasting life. It's only when the guy asked "What else?" is that Jesus told him that he must have God come first in all (including money). Jesus than clarified it with his disciples, that if you love God so much that you are willing to put God before all else, you will inherit everlasting life, and recieve hundredfold. The recieve hundredfold part is the only difference.

I am not sure how to interpret this though, hence the discussion. Perhaps good works (2nd part of the commandents) naturally lead towards love of God (1st part of the commandents), thus showing the relationship between Faith and works. That is - Good works lead to faith, and those with faith naturally do good works. That would mean that if one claims to have faith, but does not do good works, then the claim is false.


[edit on 30-10-2005 by babloyi]



posted on Oct, 30 2005 @ 10:35 AM
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Originally posted by babloyi
Thanks for all the replies.
Hey Raphael, Mahree. I see your point about the commandents. They are all based off "Love, worship, believe God with all your being", and "Be strong in your works with other people". Very nice and logical concept showing that faith without works falls far short of faith with works.

But my point is, when the the man asked Jesus what he should do, Jesus didn't tell him to worship God with all his heart, soul and strength. He told him the 2nd part of the commandents (love your neighbour's part) was enough to achieve everlasting life. It's only when the guy asked "What else?" is that Jesus told him that he must have God come first in all (including money). Jesus than clarified it with his disciples, that if you love God so much that you are willing to put God before all else, you will inherit everlasting life, and recieve hundredfold. The recieve hundredfold part is the only difference.


Good point Babloyi. I hadn't noticed the difference in the order of His reply.


by Babloyi:I am not sure how to interpret this though, hence the discussion. Perhaps good works (2nd part of the commandents) naturally lead towards love of God (1st part of the commandents), thus showing the relationship between Faith and works. That is - Good works lead to faith, and those with faith naturally do good works.


I don't think the conclusion can be "Good works lead to faith, and those with faith naturally do good works."

People without faith do good works also. I guess some could be thought of as trying to "work their way into heaven." Others do not seem to care about God or heaven at all but do good works anyhow.


by babloyi: That would mean that if one claims to have faith, but does not do good works, then the claim is false.


I would think that this statement is correct based upon my understanding.

Perhaps we could get some input from others in answer to your particular question. The order Jesus names for the rich young man...good works to neighbor first and then worship of God above all else.

Anyone care to comment?



posted on Oct, 31 2005 @ 02:47 AM
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At the end of the first part (Mat 19:19) was "... and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." The young man replied "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?" The young man was not being honest with neither Jesus nor himself. The rest can be seen as a clarification of "love thy neighbor as thyself."

Thus the order of the statements to the young man.



[edit on 31-10-2005 by Raphael_UO]



posted on Oct, 31 2005 @ 11:34 PM
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Originally posted by Raphael_UO
At the end of the first part (Mat 19:19) was "... and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." The young man replied "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?" The young man was not being honest with neither Jesus nor himself. The rest can be seen as a clarification of "love thy neighbor as thyself."

Thus the order of the statements to the young man.

[edit on 31-10-2005 by Raphael_UO]


Raphael_UO, Am I understanding this correctly?

At the beginning of Matthew 19: 16,17, Now someone approached him and said, "Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?" He answered him, "Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.

It is here that Jesus has referenced the first commandment. "There is only One who is good." faith. With this love in our hearts for the Holy One then we are to keep the commandments.

The young man has not understood the reference about "good". He seems to think that Jesus meant to do good, as in works.

Jesus then lists the commandments concerning "neighbor". works . The young man answers that he has done all of those. Now is where we see that the young man has not performed his "works" with faith and Jesus tells him to give up his material possessions and follow him.

The young man's riches were keeping him from loving and giving in love for the Lord.



posted on Nov, 1 2005 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by Mahree
Raphael_UO, Am I understanding this correctly?


Who am I to know? You speak of faith and works, I speak of love. Loving one who loves you is easy. Loving one with all your heart is easy to say. Loving one who hates you, teaches you the meaning of the word all.


[edit on 1-11-2005 by Raphael_UO]



posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 08:13 AM
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Junglejake asks in the first post of this thread:


Can an individual be saved by faith alone? This is a hotly contested issue in the Christian community, and actually caused a schism in the Church several hundred years ago. James proposes this very question in James 2:14: "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no
deeds? Can such faith save him?" Therein lies the debate. In my study of scripture, I would say it is possible such faith could save them.


Jake has made a good argument that at times one can be saved by faith alone. as in the good thief converting on his deathbed. From scripture we understand that by believing in a prophet, or receiving a righteous man we can also receive the same reward.

Jake has also made the argument that there are various levels in Heaven. I also believe this. When we get to heaven I believe we will be eternally happy at what ever level we achieve. No jealousy in heaven.

Jake has also said:

There are no guarentees, though. On top of that, if your plan is to repent on your deathbed and live life today ignoring God...What are the chances that you'll be faithful to that idea?
.

Saint4God asks:

If it were the other way, I'd have to ask (yet again on this thread) how many "good deeds" does it take to "earn" your way into heaven?


I don't believe there is any magic number of good deeds. Living our life as best we can by loving God and obeying the commandments and repenting of any sins asking Jesus our Saviour for forgiveness.

Saint also quotes James:

Yeah, you may have your guarantee, but how are you going to explain to God that you were hording the gift of eternal life?


Saint says James is saying "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations."?

Wait a minute Saint....Do you not consider "make disciples" a work? Or what about the commandments, are they not "works"?

Raphael_UO posts:

My friends, it is not about faith; it is not about works. It is about divine love (agape).

Faith and works are too often thought of as different aspects of a spiritual life, but they are both reflections of God's perfect love cultivated within our hearts.

Faith is nothing more than loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. It is through God's love for us and our love for Him that we are saved.


I don't know as I have made my point about all of us believing the same, only in different words, or not.

From the above quotes by other posters it seems to me that I have. And it is all pulled together in the following scriptures:

Matthew 22, 37-40:
He said to him, You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.

John 14: 21-24
Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him. Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, "Master, [then] what happened that you will real yourself to us and not to the world?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.

Jesus did not come to deny the law he came to add to it. The commandments are really hard to keep all of the time. So God sent His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for our sins. (not obeying the commandments and loving God as we should).

Jesus is my Savior. When I cannot be perfect I know that I can repent and be forgiven and try again to Love God and my neighbor.



posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 09:58 AM
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Originally posted by Mahree
Saint4God asks:

If it were the other way, I'd have to ask (yet again on this thread) how many "good deeds" does it take to "earn" your way into heaven?


I don't believe there is any magic number of good deeds. Living our life as best we can by loving God and obeying the commandments and repenting of any sins asking Jesus our Saviour for forgiveness.


I think if there was a number of deeds needed to "acheive" salvation, it'd be in God's word, would it not? Another passage that's lacking in the Bible is anything that says something to the effect of, "As children of God you are required to do good deeds all your life to earn salvation." In fact, John 3:16 says quite the opposite. Ephesians 2:8-9 says opposite. Act 16:31 says opposite. There's a pattern here, about what grace is and how salvation is achieved. We should do good works as thanksgiving for God, for the gift that we already possess - eternal life. We obey God's command in gratitude, which is the right heart to help one another, not fear of eternal hell.


Originally posted by Mahree
Saint also quotes James:

Yeah, you may have your guarantee, but how are you going to explain to God that you were hording the gift of eternal life?


Saint says James is saying "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations."?

Wait a minute Saint....Do you not consider "make disciples" a work? Or what about the commandments, are they not "works"?


Indeed they are works. Without faith though, the works mean nothing because we're doing the right things for the wrong reasons. Works without faith means we're expecting a gain or a reward for what we do. Being a saint is a thankless job. If it's not, it should be because we do them to say "thank you" to God, not for personal gain or recognition.

Pray, train, study,
God bless.



posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 11:53 AM
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Saint4God

OK..guess I continue to miss your point. Please help me to understand.

My understanding of what you are saying is that once you accept Jesus as your Savior that is it. You do not have to keep the commandments, you are saved and that is all God asks from you.

If the following does not apply to you, who does it apply to? We know that it does not apply to those who do good works without faith.

Matthew chapter 25, The Judgment of the Nations:

Verses 32 and 33
and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. "

Verse 35,36: For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty
and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.

Verse 40:
And the king will say to them in reply, "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me."

Verse 45,46:
He will answer them, Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me. And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

I show my love for my God and my neighbor by obeying the commandments because I love God and my neighbor, NOT because I'm afraid of going to hell. I call the commandments "works" because God has given them to us as a road map of how to live our life to be happy here on earth and forever in the hereafter.



posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 01:25 PM
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Originally posted by Mahree
Saint4God

OK..guess I continue to miss your point. Please help me to understand.


That's okay, JJ intentionally picked a challenging subject to talk about amoung the Christian circle. That's right JungleJake, I'm calling you out, it's all you're fault
. You know I love it when you that



Originally posted by Mahree
My understanding of what you are saying is that once you accept Jesus as your Savior that is it.


On the topic of salvation, that's what the Book says per previous verses I've referenced above and surrounding context. Anyone can argue with that if they like, but the fight isn't with me.


Originally posted by Mahree
You do not have to keep the commandments, you are saved and that is all God asks from you.


I did not say that's all God asks you to do. I said that's the requirement for salvation. I HOPE those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal saviour have felt, heard, or seen what it is God wants us to do as His children. Yep, that's right, we're put to work. It may be confusing at first, we may have our resistances, but He puts us in the right places for the right reasons and it's up to us to do what He wants us to. Yeah, we may not do it (which is a sin), but our salvation is not revoked because of it because Jesus still died for our sins, rose again, paid the penalty for our sins and purchased for us a place in heaven. As long as we believe, we have salvation per those verses.


Originally posted by Mahree
If the following does not apply to you, who does it apply to? We know that it does not apply to those who do good works without faith.


These are excellent verses you've given, and I believe they apply most to those who do not have faith and do not do good works. Revelation 20:11 tells us those who do not have faith are judged "according to what they had done". So works come into play on this day for the non-believer. Being saved, is being spared this kind of harsh judgement.


Originally posted by Mahree
I show my love for my God and my neighbor by obeying the commandments because I love God and my neighbor, NOT because I'm afraid of going to hell.


Oh good! I believe your motivations are right on Mahree



Originally posted by Mahree
I call the commandments "works" because God has given them to us as a road map of how to live our life to be happy here on earth and forever in the hereafter.


Ah! You bring up a very important point. We have yet to define what we mean by "works". I see what you're saying Mahree and that helps me understand where you're coming from. I define works as what we "do" and what our "deeds" are.

Here's a scenario: A man (we'll called him Silas) kills 10 people in his neighborhood. He is arrested and goes to jail. Because of his deemed unstable mentality, he's locked into solitary confinement. One day, a minister of the Word is given 1 hour to meet with this gentleman. After hearing the gospel He accepts Jesus Christ as His lord and saviour and *slam* is thrown back into solitary, where He died of a bacterial infection a few weeks later.

The man's record book to mankind looks like this: Silas lived a normal life. At age 30 he killed 10 men. He was locked away in solitary for 5 months until he died of a bacterial infection.

Our assessment of his life is that he was a bad person, was brought to justice, and died a meaningless death. The man did no good works.

Is he going to hell? Let's see what his heavenly record book would look more like according to what scripture tells us.

The man's record book to heaven may look like this: Silas was living in sin, having impure thoughts, which led to neglect for God, and let to sinful action. After hearing the good news of gospel, accepted Christ, turning from his previous ways and his heart was prepared for the heavenly kindom. There he spends eternity with God, grateful that God is so awesome that He can forgive the greatest of our sins.

Now, that's probably gonna make a lot of people squirm in their seats, but remember what Jesus said, "You have heard that is was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder', and 'anyone who murders will be subject to judgement'. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement...But anyone who anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell." (Matthew 5:21) So how many times have we murdered people in our hearts? How many times have we put ourselves in danger of hell's fire? Thank God that He sent His son who said, " Tetelestai (It is finished, the debt is paid in full)" just before he died and was resurrected.

Now let's all go and tell everyone the good news!
(Matthew 28:16)

Pray, train, study,
God bless.

[edit on 2-11-2005 by saint4God]



posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 03:14 PM
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As long as we believe, we have salvation per those verses.


There is nothing I can write that has not already been written in a clear and concise way for all to read.

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Take Care.



posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 03:29 PM
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Originally posted by Raphael_UO

As long as we believe, we have salvation per those verses.


There is nothing I can write that has not already been written in a clear and concise way for all to read.

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Take Care.



That's not what my James 2:19 says, but I gather your meaning from the paraphrase. Mine says, "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder." Notice it does not say believe in (which means trust in) Jesus Christ. The reason for that is, per John 3:16, believing in (trusting in) Jesus Christ for salvation is the key to eternal life. Cross-reference with 1 John 4 for validation. It says that the evil spirit will not acknowledge Jesus Christ, son of God came in the flesh.

Let's read further on to James to see what, then, this passage is meaning. James 2:20 "You foolish man, do you wnat evidence that faith without deeds is useless?" He's right, faith does not move (go anywhere on it's own) nor is benefit to others if it is not used. James 2:21 "Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the alter? You see that his faith and his action were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did."

Further on James 2:24 says, "You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone".

Where are the words: salvation, eternal life, and born-again in these passages? The answer is: nowhere. HOWEVER! James makes a powerful point. Unless that faith is put into action it doesn't "go" anywhere, and that's not what God wants. Basically it nullifies the excuse, "I'm witnessing by my lifestyle." That seems to be not good enough according to James. God wants you to use it, spread the gospel, help those in need. By doing that, your faith is strengthened. It's an endless cycle when done right. But I thought we were talking about salvation...




[edit on 2-11-2005 by saint4God]



posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 05:15 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God
As long as we believe, we have salvation per those verses.


Notice what I responded to does not say believe in?


Beleive in, trust in, have faith in-- all these are the same idea in different words. When James says Faith without works is dead, he is not saying it is not moving. He is saying it is not living.

Faith and works are both reflections of God's perfect love living within our hearts. When we pass by one in need, we are ignoring the love which lives within us. By ignoring the love which dwells within us, we are ignoring God. ... For God is love.

Faith is not faith if one ignores God.



[edit on 2-11-2005 by Raphael_UO]



posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 06:14 PM
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Originally posted by Raphael_UO
Notice what I responded to does not say believe in?


Aight, I'm down wit it.


Originally posted by Raphael_UO
Beleive in, trust in, have faith in-- all these are the same idea in different words. When James says Faith without works is dead, he is not saying it is not moving. He is saying it is not living.


Okay, but salvation is not negated due to lack of works.


Originally posted by Raphael_UO
Faith and works are both reflections of God's perfect love living within our hearts. When we pass by one in need, we are ignoring the love which lives within us. By ignoring the love which dwells within us, we are ignoring God. ... For God is love.


Woot!


Originally posted by Raphael_UO
Faith is not faith if one ignores God.


Amen.

I can agree with all you say on this post. You've got lots of great things to say here I think. Actually I think we have, it's just hard to wrap one's arms around the defintion, the integration and interaction of the concepts being discussed here.


[edit on 2-11-2005 by saint4God]



posted on Nov, 2 2005 @ 07:49 PM
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Saint4God,,, Don't forget the best one..........


Don't forget about the Cross, That is one of the very best events of all to tell of Jesus Love Ok....



posted on Nov, 3 2005 @ 07:08 AM
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Originally posted by jfdarby
Saint4God,,, Don't forget the best one..........


Don't forget about the Cross, That is one of the very best events of all to tell of Jesus Love Ok....


Excellent point jfdarby! That's what I meant by going out there and spreading the good news. I have been told by others that I'm too indirect though and can see that I am sometimes. Thanks for keeping it real!


[edit on 3-11-2005 by saint4God]



posted on Nov, 3 2005 @ 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God
Okay, but salvation is not negated due to lack of works.


Is it negated due to a lack of faith?



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