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COMMENT 1A

 
I took one of your tracts in Times Square yesterday. Thank you for your desire to share Jesus with people. It seems you may be Calvinistic in your beliefs, but I still appreciate your zeal.

ANSWER TO COMMENT 1A


Dear Charles,

Thank you for your e-mail and comment. We prefer not to use non-Biblical terms like "Calvinistic" but rather to rely on Scripture and not the words of men. This is why we try to put as much Scripture into the tracts that our organization distributes. If you are interested, we have a Bible study on the doctrines of grace that deals with the bottom line issue of whether man has any part in the Salvation revealed in the Bible (an ultimate works or grace gospel) and just how great is this Salvation. You can view it on our web site (www.fofcm.com) using Google search or we can mail you a hard copy if you are interested.

By His grace,

Steve Reinert
President, Faith of Christ Ministries

COMMENT 1B


I love using the Bible too! "whosoever will may come" The "elect" are all those who are "in Christ". How do you get in Christ? Repent-Believe-Call-Receive!

Br. Charles Clark III

ANSWER TO COMMENT 1B


Dear Charles, In answer to your implication that man has the ability to become saved by his action (work), I am including some sections from our Doctrines of Grace Notes that I hope you are open to considering.

a. Is the repentance that accompanies one who has salvation a work that that individual has performed in order to become right with God?

1. We find various places in the Bible where these Hebrew and Greek words show us that God has to do the work of repentance or turning us to Him in our lives to bring us to salvation (Psalm 19:7) ‘converting’, Psalm 23:3 ‘restoreth’, Psalm 80:19 ‘turn’, Jeremiah 31:18,19, Lamentations 5:21, Malachi 2:6, 4:6, Acts 11:18 – literally repentance ‘given’ [didomai –translated as ‘granted’ in the KJV] to the Gentiles, Romans 2:4 [the word ‘leadeth,’ the Greek word ‘ago’ Strong’s #71 should be translated as ‘bring’ not implying that man cooperates with God of His own free will to repent but that God brings man to repentance], 2 Corinthians 7:10, 2 Timothy 2:25).

Repentance is a work as stated in 2 Corinthians 7:10 as is ‘faith’ mentioned elsewhere in this study. It cannot therefore be the work of man to repent (Ephesians 2:8,9, Romans 11:6). Though man is commanded to do things like believe, repent, confess, etc., it does not mean that man can do these things unless he is given the ability by the determination of God (Psalm 127:1). He gives His elect the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) ...

1. Is not salvation conditioned on our faith?

a. The faith that brings salvation is the faith of Christ – Acts 26:18, Galatians 2:16,20, Hebrews 12:2

b. It is the work of God that one believes unto salvation – John 6:29

c. We must have ears to hear which comes from the Word of God – Romans 10:17, John 10:8,26, Revelation 2:7,11

d. Examples from the Bible of man’s apparent faith falling short of the glory of God (i.e. Peter walking on water and sinking in Matthew 14:22-31, the disciples fleeing when Christ is betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane in Mark 14:50, Jonah going to Tarshish instead of Nineveh in Jonah 1:1-3)

e. Examples of God’s will overcoming an erring believer’s faith (Samson’s hair growing back giving Samson strength to pull down the columns of the house of the Philistines – Judges 16:21-30, David crying for mercy to God after falling into sin (Psalm 51), Peter being restored after denying Christ three times and used of God to preach to many that became saved – Mark 14:66-72, John 21:15-17, Luke 22:32, Acts 2:41).

f. Faith (belief to the saving of the soul) is a fruit of the Spirit of God, not from man's abilities – Galatians 5:22

g. When it says that "thy faith hath saved thee" (Luke 7:50 and 18:42), it can be translated "the faith of thee hath saved thee." Just as salvation is spoken of belonging to a person (i.e. Philippians 2:12,13), if it is true salvation, it is the gift of God that has been given to a person (Ephesians 2:8,9, Jonah 2:9, Psalm 37:39). So faith, if it is unto salvation is spoken of belonging to the believer (Colossians 1:4, 1 Peter 1:5) and it’s origin is from God alone (John 6:29, Hebrews 12:2 – Jesus is literally the beginning [arche]and ending [telios]of the faith.). Also we see that the phrase ‘our Lord’ as found in Psalm 8:1 and 1 Corinthians 1:2 cannot be saying that the Lord is our servant or that we own Him in any way. He is the Lord of the true believers, who have a relationship that is submissive and belong to Him (John 10:27, Psalm 100:3 – they are His sheep)

Christ is called the faithful one – Revelation 19:11 In regards to calling on the name of the Lord, one must have a pure heart as opposed to a sinful wicked heart (2 Timothy 2:22, Jeremiah 17:9). Does an elect person have a pure heart before he/she is given eternal life? They were dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-6) and enemies against the true and living God (Romans 5:10) and went astray going their own way (Isaiah 53:6). They had to be snatched/turned from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of Christ (Acts 26:18, 2 Timothy 2:26, Colossians 1:13). In regards to 'receiving salvation' one must be first born from above of God (John 1:12,13, 3:3,7,27) and made a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Can anyone create himself? See also Matthew 19:11 where one must be given (the ability) to receive a Biblical truth by God's determination; not man's. Finally, in Revelation 22:17 there are at least two items that must be studied. First, the phrase "whosoever will" is one Greek word 'thelo' and should be translated as "he that wills, take of the water of life gift." Thelo is found in Matthew 19:17 and 19:21 translated as 'wilt.' The idea of God wanting everything from a sinner to be destroyed/discarded that is of this world shows us that God has to break us down to the point that he must draw us (John 6:44) that we can take no credit for. Would you agree that all sinners who are not saved but involved in some sort of religious system are likened to this rich young ruler? If the rich young ruler could enter into life by his free will, then he would have no problem with selling all that he had and giving it to the poor (he would not have to be sorrowful). Where was his free will to accept Christ's command? See also Romans 9:16 and 18 that has the word ‘thelo’ with God showing His will to be merciful to sinners, not the other way around. The phrase "He that wills" must be those who are already "in Christ" as you refer to and as the apostle Paul in Romans 7:15-21 describes that he wills to do good (after becoming saved) but his sinful body brings him hardship. He now serves the law of God with his mind (Rom. 7:25). Second, the word for 'take' is the Greek word 'lambano' which is found in John 3:27 (no one can receive anything unless it is given from heaven) and found in Matthew 23:14 where those under a particular judgment of God will receive the greater condemnation. They will not be able to refuse it or not accept it. The word 'let' as is found in the King James Version is almost always not in the original texts (Hebrew and Greek). The free will salvation plan is based on the works of man ultimately to accomplish/have assurance of salvation. Faith, repentance, coming to Christ, confessing, etc. are all works that can only be done by God if it is to bring true salvation. Otherwise, we should boast in our accepting, believing, repenting, etc. when it says that it is not of works (Ephesians 2:8,9). An unworthy sinner drawn to the Savior, Steve Reinert - FOFCM

COMMENT 2


Hello,

My wife received a pamphlet from your organization during an outdoor event (Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park Washington Heights NYC) called "God's Salvation From The Bible." In this pamphlet on the second page is the heading --The faith of Christ saves a person from eternal death and the judgment of God; and then a scripture quote from Galatians 2:16, 20. Because "..The faith of Christ" is mentioned several times, I decided to check the bible since this was not my understanding. My bibles (NKJV, NASB) declares that it is faith in Christ that saves. I recommend that you consider using the translations I listed above, since these maintain the conservative nature of the scriptures, while using language that is more contemporary instead of "Old Elizabethan English" that most don't speak with anymore.

Blessings,

Lee :O)
Acts 4:12

ANSWER TO COMMENT 2


Dear Leroy,

Thank you for your e-mail and question concerning Galatians 2:16 and 20. The problem is that the King James is correct in this case being that the original New Testament Greek word for Christ in verse 16 twice is in the genitive case (possessive) and can only be translated "of Jesus Christ." In verse 20, it literally reads " ...I live in faith of the Son of God.." The Young's Literal Translation of the Bible has also correctly translated this in both verses as well as George Ricker Berry's Interlinear Greek New Testament. See also Philippians 3:9 and Romans 3:22 which I see the NKJV also wrongly translates this as "faith in" and not "faith of." A way to test this is to look at another phrase which has the Greek noun in the possessive case such as the phrase "grace of God" as found in Luke 2:40, Acts 11:23 and 1 Corinthians 1:4. In all three of these verses, God is also in the genitive case (possessive - 'theou' in the original Greek text). We would not translate this as "the grace in God" unless the Greek word 'en' is found in the original Greek text and the possessive form of God is not used. It is showing us that the grace is originated from and is under the ownership and authorship of God Almighty and not from man or any other of creation. In the NKJV, in these three other verses, it translates this as "grace of God." To be consistent, why doesn't it translate it as "grace in God"? The NKJV is supposedly based on the same New Testament manuscripts as the KJV while the NASB is based on the Westcott and Hort text which Faith of Christ Ministries and other conservative groups reject. If you want further information on the various translations of the Bible, if you have access to the Internet, may I suggest that you go to the Trinitarian Bible Society web site (www.trinitarianbiblesociety.org/site/articles/A123pdf). It has an extensive amount written on the new translations such as the NIV, NASB and NKJV that expose their falling behind as being trustworthy translations to the original Greek and Hebrew texts. After looking through my copy of the New American Standard Version, I discovered the following inconsistencies. In Romans 3:3, it is translated "...faith of God..." This is the same possessive form of God in the Greek text, but the NASB along with others have decided in this case when they think it is not directly talking about man's spiritually dead relationship before God and salvation, they will choose to translate it as "faith of." See also Romans 4:12,16, Philippians 1:27, 2 Timothy 2:18, Titus 1:1, Revelation 13:10. When it deals with salvation it translates the possessive form of Christ or God as 'in' with the implication that it is human faith in God or Christ that produces salvation and this is adding to Scripture what is not in the original Greek text. See Romans 3:22, Galatians 2:16,20, Ephesians 3:12, Philippians 3:9, Colossians 2:12 and Revelation 14:12 where this is done in the NASB and teh NKJV. In the margin of the NASB for Revelation 14:12, it admits that this verse can be translated as "the faith of" instead of "their faith in." Also in my copy of the old American Standard Bible in the margin notes for Romans 3:22, it states that 'in' may be translated as 'of.' Do you see the big difference? There is no where in Scripture a direction to translate anything within its pages literally unless the context of the verse will not allow it to be translated literally (not by our carnal desires). I am also adding a section from our doctrines of grace notes on the topic of faith which I hope helps. 1. Is not salvation conditioned on our faith? a. The faith that brings salvation is the faith of Christ – Acts 26:18, Galatians 2:16,20, Hebrews 12:2 b. It is the work of God that one believes unto salvation – John 6:29 c. We must have ears to hear which comes from the Word of God – Romans 10:17, John 10:8,26, Revelation 2:7,11 d. Examples from the Bible of man’s apparent faith falling short of the glory of God (i.e. Peter walking on water and sinking in Matthew 14:22-31, the disciples fleeing when Christ is betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane in Mark 14:50, Jonah going to Tarshish instead of Nineveh in Jonah 1:1-3) e. Examples of God’s will overcoming an erring believer’s faith (Samson’s hair growing back giving Samson strength to pull down the columns of the house of the Philistines – Judges 16:21-30, David crying for mercy to God after falling into sin (Psalm 51), Peter being restored after denying Christ three times and used of God to preach to many that became saved – Mark 14:66-72, John 21:15-17, Luke 22:32, Acts 2:41). f. Faith (belief to the saving of the soul) is a fruit of the Spirit of God, not from man's abilities – Galatians 5:22 (see Philippians 1:29 - it is given for one to believe) g. When it says that "thy faith hath saved thee" (Luke 7:50 and 18:42), it can be translated "the faith of thee hath saved thee." Just as salvation is spoken of belonging to a person (i.e. Philippians 2:12,13), if it is true salvation, it is the gift of God that has been given to a person (Ephesians 2:8,9, Jonah 2:9, Psalm 37:39). So faith, if it is unto salvation is spoken of belonging to the believer (Colossians 1:4, 1 Peter 1:5) and it’s origin is from God alone (John 6:29, Hebrews 12:2 – Jesus is literally the beginning [arche]and ending [telios]of the faith.). Also we see that the phrase ‘our Lord’ as found in Psalm 8:1 and 1 Corinthians 1:2 cannot be saying that the Lord is our servant or that we own Him in any way. He is the Lord of the true believers, who have a relationship that is submissive and belong to Him (John 10:27, Psalm 100:3 – they are His sheep) h. Christ is called the faithful one – Revelation 19:11 If you would like more, let me know. Also, the King James Version of the Bible is still used by many conservative Christians in our day and has withstood the test of 400 years in print, not to mention the Strong's concordance which has been in print for over one hundred years used in Bible study keyed to the KJV. In the long run. I and many others have found the KJV to be one of the better, more accurate and truer translations to the original texts which honors God's Word. A few words and phrases here and there I would translate differently, but a majority of it is finely done and as coming near to being fifty years of age in the USA, I don't have a problem with the language of the KJV. By the way. the phrase "faith of Christ" is not old Elizabethan English. One last thing, we do say however that there are instances where these newer translations make corrections to the KJV that are justified. However this instance of "faith in" is a great injustice.

Sincerely,

Steve Reinert President,
Faith of Christ Ministries