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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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peppermint

Is it superficial to say "I am saved"?

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The lyric says "Christ you know I love you. Did you see I waved? I believe in you and God so tell me that I'm saved" and some teach that saying a sinner's prayer will open the gates of heaven and the one who says it - believing it in his/her heart - and he/she shall be saved. Is that what holy scripture teaches?

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God does not forgive us on the basis of saying we are "Sorry." I can not find anyone being told to pray "a sinner's prayer" to be saved, though that is a practice in some churches. I can mouth the words to a prayer and not believe in God at all. Act 16:31, 32 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. Faith in a prayer is not the same as believing in Christ. Some have a head knowledge of Him, that He existed, but not that Jesus is Deity. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Col 1:12-14 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. God must give life to one dead in their sins for them to be able to understand the things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

 

 

 

 

 

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I agree that there is no passage in holy scripture telling the sinner to pray "a sinner's prayer" to be saved. But many people believe that such a prayer is effective for the salvation of souls when it is prayed in sincerity from the heart.

And some may question its efficacy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flegO51nOsw

 

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I still wonder if it may not be superficial to say "I am saved". Why express this confidence in your own salvation? If you rely on the promises of God the reply is so do we all, If you reply that the holy scriptures say "He that believeth on him is not condemned" we all read those words in holy scripture and believe them to be true. Are you absolutely sure that you are saved and if so then why?

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1 John 5:13 explains that these things are written to believers that we know that we have eternal life... meaning that we may know right here and now. It is not guesswork as to whether we think we are saved or not. We are to know that we are, if so we believe on the name of the Son of God.

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1 John 5:13 explains that these things are written to believers that we know that we have eternal life... meaning that we may know right here and now. It is not guesswork as to whether we think we are saved or not. We are to know that we are, if so we believe on the name of the Son of God.

Yes, saint John wrote those things so that those who believe on the name of the Son of God might know that they have eternal life. Christians know this verse and believe it is the truth. The question I raised is "how do you know that you believe?" Is it because you are confident that you do believe? But has your faith been tested? It is easy to be confident when one lives a life of ease. The Lord commented that "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." (John 15:6 KJV) And again he said "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." (John 15:10 KJV) And in another passage the Lord says "... Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." (Matthew 25:45-46 KJV) And also "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:22-23 KJV) So saint John encourages those who do believe yet the Lord Jesus Christ warns that many will confess that they believe and do not. How does your doctrine deal with the warnings since it is evident that you take comfort from the encouragement and rightly so, if it is encouragement spoken to you.

Edited by peppermint

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Believe in those things which comprise the Gospel. You know within yourself if you believe them or not. We can't speak so easily about somebody else's beliefs, but can certainly know our own without reservation.

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Believe in those things which comprise the Gospel. You know within yourself if you believe them or not. We can't speak so easily about somebody else's beliefs, but can certainly know our own without reservation.

 

I am not so confident that an individual Christian really does know his or her faith fully until it is tested. Saint Peter observed

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away,
reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time
. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith
, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire,
might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ
: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls
. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into." (1 Peter 1:3-12 KJV)

I know that some of my quotes seem long winded but I quote at length so that the context may be seen and I hope it does not annoy my readers too much but if it does I try to help by using underlining to highlight the most relevant part of the quote. So bear with me.

 

Saint James also observes "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." (James 1:2-4 KJV)

 

These two saints testify to the value of a tested faith. And in my previous post I pointed to the warning that the Lord Jesus Christ gave on several occasions; namely, that one may well think that his or her faith is strong and even work some mighty works with it yet find at the last judgement that the faith was not truly in Christ and that he will disavow any knowledge of the miracle workers who relied on a faith that was not true.

 

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I think people who have not been tested are very rare. One good test for receiving the saving faith through grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) is that after conversion, we are a new man, and that the change made in us is manifested outwardly and inwardly. Faith comes from God, not from ourselves. How we use the gift God gives us is according to trials a tribulations we will go through, as Jesus says we will. How much we trust in the Lord determines our level of faith, which God gave us.

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Hi peppermint,

For response #10

You used James 1:2. I know for me that when I received Christ, I didn't "feel" like a "new creature." In fact I became worst! But the seed was planted and over time this very question kept haunting me. "How can I be apart of Christ with these awful things I do?" Where's the change? But I think that that line of questioning in myself was the conviction of the Holy Spirit (looking back now). I would be far worst off if I had never questioned my faith I think. But like any seed, it takes time (patience) as James says. As Paul to used this same example, one plants, another waters, but God gives the growth. Change than takes place, "the fruit of The Spirit" begins to produce all kinds of fruit, like patience, peace, kindness, confidence, etc. etc...

Edited by Jason T V

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We all start out our Christian walks from different paths, starting from different points from each other. My testimony is no greater or less than Jason TV, for example, just different. The important thing is that change is made over time as we repent and grow in the Lord.

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Amen Stratcat!

Our spiritual growth is not unlike our bodily growth, It takes time. Eventually though, we mature into our bodies and minds. In order to "see the kingdom" and eventually "enter the kingdom of God" one must be "born again." As we grow there is an increase of confidence of our faith. In fact "Faith is the assurance (confidence) of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen."

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I feel confident to affirm the promises of God and I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ but like the man who came to the Lord asking for a mercy and proclaimed "Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief" I am acutely aware that my faith is far from perfection and sometimes I need God's grace to bolster my flagging faith.

And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them? And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief
. When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it. For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him. (Mark 9:14-32 KJV)

It is right and proper to be confident in God and his fidelity yet it seems that confidence in one's own strength of belief may be misplaced. Believe in God by all means and in his Son Jesus Christ but always remember that one stands only because the Lord is able to make one stand.

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