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         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Do all men hate God prior to hearing the gospel?


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7 minutes ago, BrotherTony said:

The Bible clearly tells us that some Gentiles "followed the law" without having the law...They were trying to do right even though they didn't have the knowledge of God's law passed down like the Jews did.

Romans 2:14 Context

 

11For there is no respect of persons with God. 12For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. 17Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,

That shows that the Holy Spirit influences and convicts all men as in John 16: 8, yet when it comes to regeneration they have to hear the word of God (James 1: 18).  Such as the case of Cornelius must have heard already and were under conviction of the Spirit that led him to the preacher.  I would like to know what is your interpretation of John 3: 19-21.

1)  All men are sinners and rebellious to God, hates God and the truth until convicted by the Spirit and the truth of God's word.  

2)  Some sinners love God and the truth even without the influence and conviction of the Spirit and the Word.  

 

Please select which represent your position 1 or 2 for better understanding and communication.  

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12 minutes ago, Jerry said:

The Bible teaches that ALL the lost are at enmity with God before salvation. Certainly not obeying the Lord (which Jesus defines as how we show our love to Him); and definitely not having the live of God in us. I’m sure the religious lost may have fluctuating emotions for or against God at various times; however, that is not Biblical love.

Brother Tony, that is referring to saved Gentiles - ie. how they were after salvation - not how some might have been before salvation.

That the point they do not have the love of God in their hearts, when people say I love God, they are just being religious hypocrites for how can they love God without knowing Him. We only love God when we understand God's love for us, 1 John 4: 19.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

That shows that the Holy Spirit influences and convicts all men as in John 16: 8, yet when it comes to regeneration they have to hear the word of God (James 1: 18).  Such as the case of Cornelius must have heard already and were under conviction of the Spirit that led him to the preacher.  I would like to know what is your interpretation of John 3: 19-21.

1)  All men are sinners and rebellious to God, hates God and the truth until convicted by the Spirit and the truth of God's word.  

2)  Some sinners love God and the truth even without the influence and conviction of the Spirit and the Word.  

 

Please select which represent your position 1 or 2 for better understanding and communication.  

I believe the verses I posted before fit what you want to know. Some of the Gentiles lived as if they had the law...they did good...and they tried to do what was right. It seems like you're dealing with hypotheticals, which is what I found in the Missionary Baptist movement. It's very common there, and it's one reason my wife and I left. Too many hypotheticals to try and develop a doctrine, or to make the Bible fit mans ideology.

You might want to define the word "hate" as well. There are different definitions of hate, and it would be nice to know what you are using as your defintion.

Edited by BrotherTony
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On 8/9/2021 at 12:54 AM, mbkjpreacher said:

But there is a condition in which sinners can respond in love and faith to God, that is at the point they hear the gospel.  

We love him, because he first loved us.
(1 John 4:19)

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
(Galatians 5:5-6)

What can you say about these verses 

Brother MBKJPreacher,

I do not believe that either 1 John 4:19 or Galatians 5:5-6 within their immediate context are intended to teach the truth that you trying to build upon them.  Rather, I believe that contextually both 1 John 4:19 and Galatians 5:5-6 are intended to teach to those who are already believers concerning our ongoing life of faith and love.

On the other hand, I believe that John 3:19-21 and 2 Thessalonians 2:10b are more contextually appropriate to teach the truth that you are seeking to promote -

8 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
(John 3:19-21)
 

So what is your position on John 3: 19-20, Are all men in a state of rebellion and hatred for the truth yet loving sin, or some men by nature love God and the truth prior to the conviction of the Spirit? 

John 3:13-21 is clearly a gospel context.  Involved in that gospel context -

1.  John 3:13 teaches the deity of God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
2.  John 3:14 & 16 teach the sacrificial death of God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
3.  John 3:15-16 & 18 teach the need for faith on God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
4.  John 3:15-18 teaches the gift of salvation, eternal life, and justification for believers.
5.  John 3:18 presents a warning and judgment unto those who refuse faith in God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Then John 3:19-20 provides the reason why some refuse faith in God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; while John 3:21 provides the reason why others come in faith unto God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as personal Savior. 

According to John 3:19-20 the reason why some refuse faith in God the Son is because "men loved darkness rather than light."  Furthermore, we learn the reason that "men loved darkness rather than light" is "because their deeds were evil."  Finally, we learn the reason that men hate and reject the light is lest their "deeds should be reproved."  

On the other hand, according to John 3:21 the reason why others come in faith unto God the Son as personal Savior is because they "do truth," such that their "deeds might be made manifest" in order to reveal that God Himself is doing His saving work in their lives.

Even so, this passage clearly speaks about the matters of love and hate in relation to the gospel of faith in God the Son as Savior.  The second line of John 3:19 states the fact that "light is come into the world."  Based upon the teaching of John 1:4-5 (as well as other passages in the Gospel of John), this seems to be a reference unto God the Son Himself as Savior.  Thus when John 3:19-20 states that "men loved darkness rather than light" and that they hate the light, and will not come to the light, this appears to reveal a hatred and rejection by lost individuals against God the Son as Savior.  From this would be implied the truth that those who do come in faith unto God the Son as personal Savior are those who no longer love darkness rather than light, but who now love light and truth rather than darkness (which from my perspective appears to be the moment of Biblical repentance).  

I would further contend that the second half of 2 Thessalonians 2:10 corresponds to this understanding -- "Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."  Herein we learn that those who receive "not the love of the truth" are those who will not be saved.  From this is implied that in order to be saved an individual must receive "the love of the truth."  I believe that this corresponds with the teaching of John 3:21 that those who are saved are those who "do truth" and thus come "to the light."  

So then, I would contend that there IS an aspect of love which is necessary in coming through faith unto God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as personal Savior from the darkness of our sinfulness.  Scripture appears to teach that those who actually come in faith unto God the Son as Savior are those who:

1.  Cease to love the darkness of evil more than the light.
2.  Turn from hating the light unto some manner of love for the light.
3.  Receive the love of the truth and thus "do truth" such that they come to the light.

So then also, I would contend that this describes the Biblical repentance that leads unto faith for salvation.

________________________________________

Yet the title question of this thread discussion is as follows:

On 6/1/2021 at 10:07 PM, mbkjpreacher said:

Do all men hate God prior to hearing the gospel? 

To the question as given, I would answer - Yes.  I would contend that an unbeliever cannot receive "the love of the truth" until they have encountered the truth.  However, if the question is intended to imply that simply "hearing the gospel" is that which immediately moves an unbeliever from love for darkness to love for the light, I would say - I cannot agree.  Many hear the gospel and yet continue to love "the darkness rather than the light."  Rather, I would contend that the moment of change from hate of the light to love for the light is the moment of Biblical repentance in the heart.  Indeed, I would contend that even Holy Spirit conviction itself is NOT the moment of this change.  Certainly the Holy Spirit's work of conviction is intended to convince a lost sinner unto Biblical repentance; however, lost sinners can and do resist the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.  It is only when a lost sinner yields to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, that he or she comes to Biblical repentance, receives the love of the truth, and places faith in God the Son as Savior.

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There has never been a lost person that kept the law of God before salvation. That is what the book of Romans teaches: all have sinned, all are guilty before God, all need salvation - whether Jew or Gentile. The controversy Romans speaks to the Jews about was that they could not accept a Gentile as being saved and now righteous in God’s eyes (not that they were righteous prior to receiving the Saviour and being credited with His righteousness, but that now those who were not Jewish were now fulfilling the Law through faith in Christ).

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On 8/10/2021 at 11:50 PM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Brother MBKJPreacher,

I do not believe that either 1 John 4:19 or Galatians 5:5-6 within their immediate context are intended to teach the truth that you trying to build upon them.  Rather, I believe that contextually both 1 John 4:19 and Galatians 5:5-6 are intended to teach to those who are already believers concerning our ongoing life of faith and love.

On the other hand, I believe that John 3:19-21 and 2 Thessalonians 2:10b are more contextually appropriate to teach the truth that you are seeking to promote -

John 3:13-21 is clearly a gospel context.  Involved in that gospel context -

1.  John 3:13 teaches the deity of God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
2.  John 3:14 & 16 teach the sacrificial death of God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
3.  John 3:15-16 & 18 teach the need for faith on God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
4.  John 3:15-18 teaches the gift of salvation, eternal life, and justification for believers.
5.  John 3:18 presents a warning and judgment unto those who refuse faith in God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Then John 3:19-20 provides the reason why some refuse faith in God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; while John 3:21 provides the reason why others come in faith unto God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as personal Savior. 

According to John 3:19-20 the reason why some refuse faith in God the Son is because "men loved darkness rather than light."  Furthermore, we learn the reason that "men loved darkness rather than light" is "because their deeds were evil."  Finally, we learn the reason that men hate and reject the light is lest their "deeds should be reproved."  

On the other hand, according to John 3:21 the reason why others come in faith unto God the Son as personal Savior is because they "do truth," such that their "deeds might be made manifest" in order to reveal that God Himself is doing His saving work in their lives.

Even so, this passage clearly speaks about the matters of love and hate in relation to the gospel of faith in God the Son as Savior.  The second line of John 3:19 states the fact that "light is come into the world."  Based upon the teaching of John 1:4-5 (as well as other passages in the Gospel of John), this seems to be a reference unto God the Son Himself as Savior.  Thus when John 3:19-20 states that "men loved darkness rather than light" and that they hate the light, and will not come to the light, this appears to reveal a hatred and rejection by lost individuals against God the Son as Savior.  From this would be implied the truth that those who do come in faith unto God the Son as personal Savior are those who no longer love darkness rather than light, but who now love light and truth rather than darkness (which from my perspective appears to be the moment of Biblical repentance).  

I would further contend that the second half of 2 Thessalonians 2:10 corresponds to this understanding -- "Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."  Herein we learn that those who receive "not the love of the truth" are those who will not be saved.  From this is implied that in order to be saved an individual must receive "the love of the truth."  I believe that this corresponds with the teaching of John 3:21 that those who are saved are those who "do truth" and thus come "to the light."  

So then, I would contend that there IS an aspect of love which is necessary in coming through faith unto God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as personal Savior from the darkness of our sinfulness.  Scripture appears to teach that those who actually come in faith unto God the Son as Savior are those who:

1.  Cease to love the darkness of evil more than the light.
2.  Turn from hating the light unto some manner of love for the light.
3.  Receive the love of the truth and thus "do truth" such that they come to the light.

So then also, I would contend that this describes the Biblical repentance that leads unto faith for salvation.

________________________________________

Yet the title question of this thread discussion is as follows:

To the question as given, I would answer - Yes.  I would contend that an unbeliever cannot receive "the love of the truth" until they have encountered the truth.  However, if the question is intended to imply that simply "hearing the gospel" is that which immediately moves an unbeliever from love for darkness to love for the light, I would say - I cannot agree.  Many hear the gospel and yet continue to love "the darkness rather than the light."  Rather, I would contend that the moment of change from hate of the light to love for the light is the moment of Biblical repentance in the heart.  Indeed, I would contend that even Holy Spirit conviction itself is NOT the moment of this change.  Certainly the Holy Spirit's work of conviction is intended to convince a lost sinner unto Biblical repentance; however, lost sinners can and do resist the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.  It is only when a lost sinner yields to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, that he or she comes to Biblical repentance, receives the love of the truth, and places faith in God the Son as Savior.

I do agree with you especially in this statement: 

 

Quote

Rather, I would contend that the moment of change from hate of the light to love for the light is the moment of Biblical repentance in the heart.  Indeed, I would contend that even Holy Spirit conviction itself is NOT the moment of this change.  Certainly the Holy Spirit's work of conviction is intended to convince a lost sinner unto Biblical repentance;

First there is the intellectual knowledge of the gospel truth which becomes clearer as he humbly listen through the conviction of the Holy Spirit shedding light about the love of God, (Titus 3: 4) that his heart is moved to believe and respond in love (1 John 4: 19), Thus changing his mind about sin, from the love of sin to the love of God, from unbelief to belief, that is repentance of sin, admitting that he is a condemned sinner, undeserving, and worthy of eternal punishment, thus trusting in Jesus for his salvation.  

 

That the 3 faculties of the soul are affected by the gospel:

Intellect -> Emotion -> Will 

The will does not refer to physical action but decision in the mind and heart.  

That faith is not repentance but that repentance precedes faith , Acts 20: 21, Mark 1: 15; Heb. 6: 1.  

That repentance is implied in John 3: 16, Eph. 2: 8 just as humility is implied. 

With regards to 1 John 4: 19 here is my question: 

1. Is it your proposition that this 1 John 4: 19 is not applicable to the first time a person hears and understood the love of God? 

2. Could this not refer to the first time we responded to the love of God to love him? 

3.  Are there not instances where the writer is writing to believers yet talking about the time they heard the gospel such as James 1: 18 and were born again?   

4.  Couldn't James be talking about the principle of regeneration in James 1: 18 yet written to the believers?  

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10 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

With regards to 1 John 4: 19 here is my question: 

1. Is it your proposition that this 1 John 4: 19 is not applicable to the first time a person hears and understood the love of God? 

2. Could this not refer to the first time we responded to the love of God to love him? 

3.  Are there not instances where the writer is writing to believers yet talking about the time they heard the gospel such as James 1: 18 and were born again?   

4.  Couldn't James be talking about the principle of regeneration in James 1: 18 yet written to the believers?  

Brother MBKJPreacher,

In the questions above, you present two passages for consideration: 1 John 4:19 & James 1:18.  You presented 1 John 4:19 as the primary passage under question and presented James 1:18 as an illustration of your point (as per question #2).  Allow me to begin with questions #3-4 concerning James 1:18.

3.  Yes, there are such times; and yes, James 1:18 is an example thereof.

4.  Yes, in James 1:18 God's Word is speaking to believers about the principle and event of their regeneration by God's gracious will through the power of God's Word (the gospel of faith in Christ).  In fact, in James 1:18 the principle and event of our regeneration is employed as a motivator for us believers to grow further in spiritual maturity through the truth and wisdom of God's Word (as per James 1:19-ff).  (Note: Referencing elements from the event of our salvation as a motivator for further growth is a common practice in the New Testament Scriptures.)

So then, what about 1 John 4:19?

2.  1 John 4:19 presents a general spiritual principle - We sinful humans have not initiated the relationship of love with God.  The Lord our God is the one who has initiated that relationship of love.  Sinful humans only ever engage in a love relationship toward God because He Himself first chose to demonstrate love toward us.  Indeed, according to the teaching of the New Testament, God's demonstration of "First Love" is the giving of His Son as a sacrifice for the salvation of us sinners.  Even so, the PRINCIPLE of 1 John 4:19 can be applied to any aspect of our relationship of love toward and with God.  

1.  No, I am NOT proposing that the general principle of 1 John 4:19 has no application to the first time that an individual recognizes God's "First Love" and responds in love.  In fact, as I have presented in the paragraph above, the principle of 1 John 4:19 can be applied to ANY aspect of our relationship of love toward and with God.  However, I AM proposing that the general principle of 1 John 4:19 is not included in its immediate context primarily to teach the doctrine of the lost sinner's change from love of sin to love of God.  Rather, the primary doctrine of the immediate context (encompassing 1 John 4:7-21) is that we believers should love one another.  Within this immediate context, the principle of 1 John 4:19 is intended as a motivator for this doctrinal responsibility (and is somewhat of a rewording and expansion of the same principle as given in 1 John 4:10). 

Thus I would contend that 1 John 4:19 should not be presented as a primary and foundational source for the doctrine that you are seeking to build upon it, that is - the doctrine concerning a lost sinner's change from love of the darkness to love of the light, from love of sinful evil to love of God and His Savior.  I could accept if it is employed simply as a supporting principle, but I would contend that the substance of the doctrine needs to be significantly communicated from some other foundational passage first (such as I have done above with John 3:19-21).  Furthermore, I would contend that the principle of 1 John 4:19, when applied to this doctrine, really only teaches that God's "First Love" is a motivator for the lost sinner's love toward God.  It does NOT teach that a lost sinner's encounter with God's "First Love" will necessarily bring about the lost sinner's response of love back to God.  It does not teach whether a lost sinner can resist the motivation of God's "First Love" and thereby reject it.  It only teaches that whenever any given lost sinner engages in love toward God, it is only because God demonstrated love first.  (In fact, the reason that this passage does not teach these certain things is because it is written to those who are already believers, and who thus have already entered into the relationship of God's love.  Furthermore, it is written to those believers in order to motivate love toward fellow believers.  The process by which a lost sinner first engages in love toward God is NOT the issue of the context.)

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10 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Brother MBKJPreacher,

In the questions above, you present two passages for consideration: 1 John 4:19 & James 1:18.  You presented 1 John 4:19 as the primary passage under question and presented James 1:18 as an illustration of your point (as per question #2).  Allow me to begin with questions #3-4 concerning James 1:18.

3.  Yes, there are such times; and yes, James 1:18 is an example thereof.

4.  Yes, in James 1:18 God's Word is speaking to believers about the principle and event of their regeneration by God's gracious will through the power of God's Word (the gospel of faith in Christ).  In fact, in James 1:18 the principle and event of our regeneration is employed as a motivator for us believers to grow further in spiritual maturity through the truth and wisdom of God's Word (as per James 1:19-ff).  (Note: Referencing elements from the event of our salvation as a motivator for further growth is a common practice in the New Testament Scriptures.)

So then, what about 1 John 4:19?

2.  1 John 4:19 presents a general spiritual principle - We sinful humans have not initiated the relationship of love with God.  The Lord our God is the one who has initiated that relationship of love.  Sinful humans only ever engage in a love relationship toward God because He Himself first chose to demonstrate love toward us.  Indeed, according to the teaching of the New Testament, God's demonstration of "First Love" is the giving of His Son as a sacrifice for the salvation of us sinners.  Even so, the PRINCIPLE of 1 John 4:19 can be applied to any aspect of our relationship of love toward and with God.  

1.  No, I am NOT proposing that the general principle of 1 John 4:19 has no application to the first time that an individual recognizes God's "First Love" and responds in love.  In fact, as I have presented in the paragraph above, the principle of 1 John 4:19 can be applied to ANY aspect of our relationship of love toward and with God.  However, I AM proposing that the general principle of 1 John 4:19 is not included in its immediate context primarily to teach the doctrine of the lost sinner's change from love of sin to love of God.  Rather, the primary doctrine of the immediate context (encompassing 1 John 4:7-21) is that we believers should love one another.  Within this immediate context, the principle of 1 John 4:19 is intended as a motivator for this doctrinal responsibility (and is somewhat of a rewording and expansion of the same principle as given in 1 John 4:10). 

Thus I would contend that 1 John 4:19 should not be presented as a primary and foundational source for the doctrine that you are seeking to build upon it, that is - the doctrine concerning a lost sinner's change from love of the darkness to love of the light, from love of sinful evil to love of God and His Savior.  I could accept if it is employed simply as a supporting principle, but I would contend that the substance of the doctrine needs to be significantly communicated from some other foundational passage first (such as I have done above with John 3:19-21).  Furthermore, I would contend that the principle of 1 John 4:19, when applied to this doctrine, really only teaches that God's "First Love" is a motivator for the lost sinner's love toward God.  It does NOT teach that a lost sinner's encounter with God's "First Love" will necessarily bring about the lost sinner's response of love back to God.  It does not teach whether a lost sinner can resist the motivation of God's "First Love" and thereby reject it.  It only teaches that whenever any given lost sinner engages in love toward God, it is only because God demonstrated love first.  (In fact, the reason that this passage does not teach these certain things is because it is written to those who are already believers, and who thus have already entered into the relationship of God's love.  Furthermore, it is written to those believers in order to motivate love toward fellow believers.  The process by which a lost sinner first engages in love toward God is NOT the issue of the context.)

Brother Markle, 

Yes there are cases when the writer was writing to the believers yet he is recalling past event which relates on how they were saved, such as Ephesians 2: 8-9, Paul was talking to the saved already but he was stating the fact or principle on how they were saved by grace through faith.  So still we can learn about the principle of salvation though it is written to the saved people already.  Also in James 1: 18, you have affirmed that God's word is speaking to the believers about the principle and event of their regeneration, therefore we can still learn principles of regeneration and salvation from a letter written to believers already and in fact all Epistles of Paul were written to believers and churches, yet there are many principles of salvation that we can learn from them.  

I am using 1 John 4: 19 as supporting passage to the fact that our love for God is a response when we understand God's love for us through the gospel.  It is through the knowledge of the gospel message that our heart is moved and our will is influenced to decide willingly to believe on the Lord Jesus.  The first time a person would respond to love God is when he understand God's love for him, that is when he understands the gospel message. (1 John 4: 9). There are those who believe that all men or some men love God even if they are unbelievers and have not heard yet of the gospel message, but the Bible is clear that we do not love God but that He loved us ( 1 John 4: 10).  Though one verse speaks the truth yet it is hard to convince others without supporting verses, so we need more supporting verses to prove our point and that includes John 3: 19-20.  

The reason why I am stressing 1 John 4: 19 is because there are many views and beliefs when does man respond to love God.  Calvinists believe that man cannot hear, cannot understand, cannot humble, cannot repent, cannot love, cannot believe unless regenerated.  So they place the ability to hear, repent, believe, love only after a person is saved.  The followers of Steven Anderson that I have personally encountered say that there is no emotional factor in salvation, no godly sorrow, as long as you just believe.  In fact some of them would say, that there is no heart involved only the mind to believe.  They would even twist in their video of James 2: 19 in order to support their idea of just intellectual belief for salvation.  I showed to them that believing involves the heart, Romans 10: 9.  They also say many Catholics love God, so they interpret the word believe in the book of John does not involve fear, conviction, humility, repentance or a change of mind from sinful way, and from loving  sin to loving God.  Some of them have come to a point of believing that the gospel of Matthew, Mark and Luke is different from the gospel of John because Matthew to Luke did mention repentance while John did not.   In Ephesians 2: 8-9, it mentioned that salvation is by grace through faith, but in the book of John such as John 6: 47 it does not mention grace yet it is implied in light with other passages.  Thus when we read "believe" in the the book of John, it does not mean apart from grace or without repentance or without a response of love for God for it is evident that the sinner can respond to love God when he understands God's love for him (1 John 4: 19).  It is evident that faith works by love, Galatians 5: 6.  Thus when we see the word believe in the book of John, conviction, humility, repentance are included in the word faith or believe.  

In Galatians 5: 1-6, Paul was trying to distinguish false believers to true believers.  He said whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace.  He was also talking about "righteousness by faith" and that is about justification by faith.  In verse 6, he is stating the fact that faith works by love.  Is the principle of faith works by love true only in Christian living and not true in receiving salvation?  I think this is a statement of general truth.  

The Andersonites understanding of repentance of sin is to quit sinning or to cease from sin. Thus they removed it as requisite of salvation and so they say that there is no repentance of sin when a person believes.   As consequence of their belief, there is no need to admit that one is a sinner, that he is condemned, there is no need to change his view about sin that it is displeasing to God, there is no need for a change of heart for he can love sin while believing in God.  I am not talking about hating sin all the time to be saved or believing always to be saved.  But I am talking about the moment of faith when he understands the gospel, that there must be repentance of sin when a person trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior for why will a person who loves sin and does not want to be delivered from it trust the Savior?  

It is also my belief that a person can resist the gospel.  He can even reject it before hearing it due to pride.  The unregenerate can either respond in humility and pride to the conviction of the Spirit and to the gospel.  It does not mean that the depraved sinner can come to God by himself apart from the Spirit's influence.  Rather under divine grace and the Spirit's influence the depraved sinner can come to God by faith. Humility and repentance is already included in true faith.  A sinner can understand more the gospel when he does not stop to listen with just one verse presented and then turn his back, but as he continues to humbly listen the more he is enlightened and come to a point of clearly understanding the love of God.  It matters on how he responds to the gospel presentation, if he continues to listen with humbleness of mind as the Spirit convicts through the word preached, then he will come to understand the love of God in the gospel message, but if he resist the truth in his mind by pride then the truth will not change his heart.  If his heart is not changed by the truth, his will will not decide to believe.  

Faith is not repentance and repentance is not faith, but repentance precedes faith (Acts 20: 21; Mark 1: 15; Heb. 6: 1; Matthew 21: 32).  Repentance and faith are distinct but inseparable graces.  Hearing, humility, repentance, love are implied when faith or believe is mentioned only.  Repentance is a change of mind and is not work.  If it is repentance from sin, still it is not work.  It is just a change of mind about sin.  If a driver changes his mind from wrong driving to right driving, the change of mind does not become a work.  It is the driving that is work.  

 

 

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7 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

I am using 1 John 4: 19 as supporting passage to the fact that our love for God is a response when we understand God's love for us through the gospel.  

Brother MBKJPreacher,

If I may, I wish to respond toward your above posting with small comments or changes here and there.  Some may view this as being overly "picky," but it is actually my desire to provide precision (from my perspective at least).

7 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

It is through the knowledge of the gospel message that our heart is moved and our will is influenced to decide willingly to believe on the Lord Jesus.  

I would say that it is through "the knowledge of the gospel message" AND the convicting work of the Holy Spirit that a lost sinner's heart CAN be moved and will CAN be influenced to decide willingly to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.  (I would employ the verb "can" instead of the verb "is," because the verb "is" almost makes it sound as if it is a certainty that a lost sinner will respond in faith to the knowledge of the gospel and the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  This is not certain because lost sinners can resist, refuse, and reject.)

7 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

The first time a person would respond to love God is when he understand God's love for him, that is when he understands the gospel message. (1 John 4: 9).

I would say that the first time a lost sinner would respond in love for God is when the lost sinner understands God's love for him (through the gospel message) AND actually engages in heart repentance of his or her love for the darkness.  I would contend that understanding the message of God's love is not enough, but that actual heart repentance must occur before a lost sinner has changed from love of the darkness to love of the light.

7 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

There are those who believe that all men or some men love God even if they are unbelievers and have not heard yet of the gospel message, but the Bible is clear that we do not love God but that He loved us ( 1 John 4: 10). 

Indeed, I would agree that this idea is Biblically false.  Romans 3:11 - "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God."  Romans 3:18 - "There is no fear of God before their eyes."  (And I could add more passages to this list.)

7 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

The reason why I am stressing 1 John 4: 19 is because there are many views and beliefs when does man respond to love God.  Calvinists believe that man cannot hear, cannot understand, cannot humble, cannot repent, cannot love, cannot believe unless regenerated.  So they place the ability to hear, repent, believe, love only after a person is saved. 

 

I would utterly reject the Calvinistic belief of "regeneration before faith" as a Biblical falsehood and false gospel.

7 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

The followers of Steven Anderson that I have personally encountered say that there is no emotional factor in salvation, no godly sorrow, as long as you just believe.  In fact some of them would say, that there is no heart involved only the mind to believe.  They would even twist in their video of James 2: 19 in order to support their idea of just intellectual belief for salvation.  I showed to them that believing involves the heart, Romans 10: 9.  

I would have to disagree with such a position.  Biblical repentance involves the emotion, and according to God's Word the "heart" is clearly involved in the matter of Biblical faith.  (Note: I do NOT believe that the "heart" is Biblically to be viewed as the seat of emotion, but as the seat of motivation.)

8 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

They also say many Catholics love God, so they interpret the word believe in the book of John does not involve fear, conviction, humility, repentance or a change of mind from sinful way, and from loving  sin to loving God.  Some of them have come to a point of believing that the gospel of Matthew, Mark and Luke is different from the gospel of John because Matthew to Luke did mention repentance while John did not.   

I strongly oppose this viewpoint.

_________________________________

Well, I have a scheduled obligation; so more to follow later.

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16 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

In Galatians 5: 1-6, Paul was trying to distinguish false believers to true believers.  He said whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace.  He was also talking about "righteousness by faith" and that is about justification by faith.  In verse 6, he is stating the fact that faith works by love.  Is the principle of faith works by love true only in Christian living and not true in receiving salvation?  I think this is a statement of general truth.  

I do not agree with your viewpoint concerning Galatians 5:1-6.

16 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

The Andersonites understanding of repentance of sin is to quit sinning or to cease from sin.

I would oppose this definition for repentance.

16 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

Thus they removed it as requisite of salvation and so they say that there is no repentance of sin when a person believes.   As consequence of their belief, there is no need to admit that one is a sinner, that he is condemned, there is no need to change his view about sin that it is displeasing to God, there is no need for a change of heart for he can love sin while believing in God.

I would oppose this denial of repentance as a prerequisite for salvation (although I recognize why holding the above definition for repentance would lead to such a denial).  I would contend that a Biblical definition for repentance would create NO contradiction between repentance and faith.

16 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

It is also my belief that a person can resist the gospel.  He can even reject it before hearing it due to pride.  The unregenerate can either respond in humility and pride to the conviction of the Spirit and to the gospel.  It does not mean that the depraved sinner can come to God by himself apart from the Spirit's influence.  Rather under divine grace and the Spirit's influence the depraved sinner can come to God by faith. Humility and repentance is already included in true faith.  A sinner can understand more the gospel when he does not stop to listen with just one verse presented and then turn his back, but as he continues to humbly listen the more he is enlightened and come to a point of clearly understanding the love of God.  It matters on how he responds to the gospel presentation, if he continues to listen with humbleness of mind as the Spirit convicts through the word preached, then he will come to understand the love of God in the gospel message, but if he resist the truth in his mind by pride then the truth will not change his heart.  If his heart is not changed by the truth, his will will not decide to believe.  

Faith is not repentance and repentance is not faith, but repentance precedes faith (Acts 20: 21; Mark 1: 15; Heb. 6: 1; Matthew 21: 32).  Repentance and faith are distinct but inseparable graces.  Hearing, humility, repentance, love are implied when faith or believe is mentioned only.  Repentance is a change of mind and is not work.  If it is repentance from sin, still it is not work.  It is just a change of mind about sin.  If a driver changes his mind from wrong driving to right driving, the change of mind does not become a work.  It is the driving that is work.  

Although I might not word things precisely the same way, I believe that we are agreed here.

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13 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

I do not agree with your viewpoint concerning Galatians 5:1-6.

I would oppose this definition for repentance.

I would oppose this denial of repentance as a prerequisite for salvation (although I recognize why holding the above definition for repentance would lead to such a denial).  I would contend that a Biblical definition for repentance would create NO contradiction between repentance and faith.

Although I might not word things precisely the same way, I believe that we are agreed here.

Brother Markle, I need a clarification which of the statement you do not agree with Galatians 5: 1-6? 

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Brother Markle, I did use Galatians 5: 6 to prove that 

FAITH WORKS BY LOVE 

I have three questions for this phrase "Faith which worketh by love":

1.  Is such phrase applicable only to saved people already?  

2. Can unsaved people exercise faith prior to salvation? 

3.  Would a person exercise faith if there is no love at all, but his heart is full of hatred for God?  - I think you have answer for this already.  

4.  Whose love is mentioned here, Love of God or both God and man?  

My understanding is that God's love being understood by man motivates him to love God and to exercise faith.  

 

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On 8/15/2021 at 7:27 AM, mbkjpreacher said:

Brother Markle, I need a clarification which of the statement you do not agree with Galatians 5: 1-6? 

Brother MBKJPreacher,

In order to answer this, allow me to begin with some introductory context - I believe that the primary concern (doctrinal point) for the epistle to the Galatians is the truth that our sanctification as believers is through faith by the power of the Spirit, not through the law by the power of the flesh.  I believe that the false teaching which the epistle Galatians was primarily written to combat was the teaching that our daily sanctification is through the works of the law.  I believe that the apostle Paul establishes this primary concern for the epistle in Galatians 3:1-3.  In Galatians 1 & 2 the apostle Paul substantiated his credibility as an apostle and the credibility of the message that he taught.  Then in Galatians 3:1-3 he focused attention upon the primary concern of the epistle, saying, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?  This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?  Are ye so foolish?  Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect [sanctified] by the flesh?

The apostle is clearly concerned for the believers of Galatia that they are being "bewitched" by false teaching.  Thus he asks them a set of two question, with the second being built upon the first.  The first question is whether they received the gift of eternal salvation and of the indwelling Holy Spirit "by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?"  The apostle assumes that they will answer aright with the answer - "By the hearing of faith."  Then upon this foundational truth the apostle presents his second question - "Are ye so foolish?  Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"  With his opening exclamation ("Are ye so foolish?"), the apostle reveals that this is the area of doctrinal concern wherein the believers of Galatia were being "bewitched" from the truth by false teaching.  What is that doctrinal concern - that they were foolishly following the false teaching of sanctification "by the flesh" through the works of the law.  Indeed, the apostle asked if having begun their Christian lives "in the Spirit" through faith, they should now be perfected in daily sanctification "by the flesh" (through "the works of the law").  To this question the apostle intends the answer of an emphatic - NO!  

Even so, with the remaining four chapters in the epistle, the apostle Paul substantiates his assumed answers to the above set of two questions.  In Galatians 3 & 4 the apostle substantiates the foundational truth that eternal salvation and the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit are received THROUGH FAITH, not through the law.  Then in Galatians 5 & 6 the apostle builds upon that truth the matter of primary concern (to combat the primary falsehood by which the believers of Galatia were being "bewitched") - that we believers are "made perfect" in daily sanctification THROUGH FAITH IN THE POWER OF THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT, not through the law in the power of our flesh.  Thus in Galatians 5:1-6 the apostle is providing a transition from the foundational truth of chapters 3 & 4 to the primary concern of chapters 5 & 6.  

_____________________________________________

With this introductory context in mind, allow me to proceed with the teaching of Galatians 5:1-6.  

Galatians 5:1 - "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."  Herein the instruction is given to those who are already believers concerning their continuing stance in daily sanctification.  We believers are instructed to "stand fast" in and not be moved from "the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free."  What liberty is this?  In accord with the preceding context of Galatians 4:21-31, it is the liberty of the covenant of promise; and according to the teaching Galatians 3 & 4, this promise is the promise of life by the Spirit through faith.  So then, we believers are instructed continually in our daily sanctification to "stand fast in the liberty" of life by the Spirit through faith, and to not be "entangled again with the yoke of bondage."  What "yoke of bondage" is this?  According to the teaching of Galatians 3 & 4, this "yoke of bondage" is the bondage of the law, which could NEVER provide or produce spiritual life.

Galatians 5:2 - "Behold, I Paul [whose ministry and message was validated in chapters 1 & 2] say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."  Considering the contextual teaching of verse 1, it appears that some were teaching that circumcision was a necessary work of the law for a believer's spiritual sanctification.  Even so, the apostle is presenting the warning that pursuing such a focus on circumcision and the works of the law will cause us believers to lose "the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free" and will entangle us again "with the yoke of bondage."  If we pursue daily sanctification through the law, Christ and His life in us will become spiritually unprofitable to us.  

Galatians 5:3-4 - "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."  Herein the apostle shifts back to the foundational truths of Galatians 3 & 4 - that if an individual teaches and believes that eternal justification is "by the law," then such an individual would have no part in eternal salvation through Christ by God's grace.  Rather, such an individual would be required (a "debtor") to take hold of eternal justification through an absolutely perfect obedience to "the whole law" (which no individual can actually accomplish, as per Galatians 3:10-12).

Galatians 5:5 - "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith."  Herein the apostle returns to the matter of our daily sanctification as believers, emphasizing that the believers daily walk is a focus upon the Spirit, rather than a focus upon the law.  Specifically the apostle speaks concerning our daily hope as believers for the promise of our eternal future in glory.  Each day as believers we wait in hope "through the Spirit" (not through the law).  Each day as believers we wait in hope "for the hope of righteousness."  What is this "hope of righteousness"?  It is our glorification and reward in the life to come.  Each day as believers we wait in hope by means of faith.  Grammatically in this verse the prepositional phrase "by faith" does not modify the word "righteousness."  Rather, in this verse the prepositional phrase "by faith" modifies the verb "wait."  How do we believers wait in hope through the Spirit?  We do so "by faith."  The power of our patient waiting is "through the Spirit;" the object of our patient waiting is "for the hope of righteousness;" and the means of our patient waiting is "by faith."

Galatians 5:6 - "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."  Herein the apostle continues his teaching concerning our daily sanctification as believers.  In the matter of our daily sanctification as believers, circumcision or uncircumcision will avail nothing.  Rather, what will avail something in our daily sanctification is to walk by FAITH.  Just as we began by faith, so we must walk daily by faith.  Furthermore, this daily walk of faith will work itself out and demonstrate itself "by love."  In the phrase "faith which worketh by love," it is not the love which motivates the faith.  Rather, it is the faith which is actively working by showing love.  Yet how is this love to be defined?  For whom is this love to be administered?  Within the context of Galatians 5, this love is a love for one another (not a love for God).  Consider Galatians 5:13-15 - "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."  In fact, Galatians 5:14 teaches us that such a godly love for our neighbor will cause us to fulfill the righteousness of the law.  By walking in the Spirit through faith, we will be spiritually sanctified to bring forth the godly fruit of love for others; and this godly fruit of love itself will be a fulfillment of the righteousness of the law.  Thus in the matter of daily sanctification, by pursuing the influence of the Spirit through faith, rather than pursuing the works of the law, we still fulfill the righteousness of the law through the power of the Spirit.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

Brother Markle, I did use Galatians 5: 6 to prove that 

FAITH WORKS BY LOVE 

I have three questions for this phrase "Faith which worketh by love":

1.  Is such phrase applicable only to saved people already?  

2. Can unsaved people exercise faith prior to salvation? 

3.  Would a person exercise faith if there is no love at all, but his heart is full of hatred for God?  - I think you have answer for this already.  

4.  Whose love is mentioned here, Love of God or both God and man?  

My understanding is that God's love being understood by man motivates him to love God and to exercise faith.  

 

Having presented my posting above, I believe that I have provided sufficient context for my answers to your above questions -

1.  Yes, because Galatians 5:6 is talking about how our daily faith as believers will work itself out in love for others.

2.  In order to answer this question, I will need you to be more specific - Can they exercise faith in what or whom?

3.  No.  A lost sinner must turn in repentance from loving the darkness more than love of the light to love of the light more than love of the darkness, in order to come in faith unto Christ for salvation.

4.  Love for others as a fruit of walking in the Spirit through faith.  (For this reason I do not believe that Galatians 5:6 has any application at all to the matter of a lost sinner's decision of love and faith.)

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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