Thursday, January 21, 2010

Biblical Evidence for the Nature of Saving Faith (Including Assent, Trust, Hope, Works, Obedience, and Sanctification)

[Abraham2.jpg]
Abraham and Isaac, Rembrandt, 1634


This started in the combox for my post, Explicit Biblical Evidence of Men Helping to Save Themselves or Participating in Their Own Salvation (Which is Always Enabled by God's Grace). My Presbyterian friend "Pilgrimsarbour" referred to a past blog post of his where faith was discussed (including discussion also on my blog), and this stimulated me to do my own study. His words will be in blue. All Bible passages are RSV (as almost always in my writings).

One can never be completely comprehensive in these treatments, because the subject is so vast, but it is yet more evidence of the Catholic position(s) and a few passages heretofore unlisted in my apologetics along these lines, were assuredly found, to my great delight. Every time I study the Bible in depth (no exaggeration here), I am exceedingly blessed by how much Catholic doctrine is inevitably and abundantly confirmed.

For that I am deeply grateful to my Calvinist friend. If not for his probing question, I would have missed out on all this blessing and further education of the biblical (= Catholic) teaching on faith, and opportunity to perhaps persuade a few unconvinced readers of the same, and to hopefully edify and encourage those who already agree with the overall position. This is the joy of apologetics. All glory and praise to God.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Trust as an Aspect of Faith and DiscipleshipII. Believing God: Implying Trust or Hope, and Faith
III. Faith in God, In the Sense of Implying Trust or Hope
IV. Hope in the Lord and in Salvation
V. Confidence in God, In the Sense of Implying Trust and Faith
VI. Waiting for God, Implying Trust and Faith
VII. The Lord as a "Rock": Implying Trust and Faith
VIII. The Lord as "My Strength" or "My Stronghold"IX. The Lord as a "Refuge": Implying Trust and Faith
X. Absence of Fear as an Aspect of Faith and Trust in God
XI. God as a "Shield"
XII. God as "My Help"
XIII. "Seeking the Lord" as an Aspect of Faith
XIV. "Looking to the Lord" as an Aspect of Faith
* * *
XV. "The Faith"
XVI. Obedience of Faith / Works of Faith
XVII. Belief in the Christian (or Earlier Jewish) Message; Acceptance of the Gospel
XVIII. "Assurance" and "Knowing" as an Aspect of Faith or Doctrinal Belief
XIX. "Faith" in the Sense of "Assent" or Acceptance of Christian Doctrine
XX. Seeking God's Statutes, Commandments, Love, and Justice as Part of Faith
XXI. "Hearkening" Unto God's Voice or Obeying or Listening to His Voice

* * * * *

Adomnan and I had a fairly lengthy discussion regarding the issue of fiducia as an element of faith in the combox of one of Dave's previous posts--I forget where--Dave may be able to find it for us. At any rate, if I understand him correctly, the absence of the word "trust" (among other things) in the NT is indicative that it is not a true element of faith. Faith, he said, is "believing in what has been revealed." Of course, Protestants have issues with the RCC over what constitutes special revelation, but we didn't follow that up in our conversation. The NT talks about faith but not trust, although the OT speaks volumes on trusting in God. As far as I can tell, Dave agreed with Adomnan that trusting in Christ is not taught in the NT and is not a requirement for salvation. I don't recall that Dave said this outright, but he didn't challenge Adomnan on the question and my request for other Catholics reading the combox to comment on the trust issue received no response. I gathered from that that official RCC policy is that faith does not require trust, although I recall perhaps quoting from the RCC Catechism that the word trust can be found there, but I think only once. Dave can speak for himself, of course, if he wishes, but he was pretty much silent during that discussion I believe (and trust ). ;-)

As a quick summary of the great many Bible passages below, one can say all of the following things about the biblical teaching on faith:

1) One cannot say faith is all or primarily trust.

2) One can't say that faith is all or primarily intellectual assent or belief or adherence.

3) One can't deny that good works (after regeneration) enabled by the grace of God are part of faith.

4) One can't deny that obedience to God's moral commands is part of faith.

5) One can't deny that justification and sanctification and righteousness are part of faith.

6) One can't deny that attainment of eschatological salvation is part of faith.

7) In fact, all of the above elements make up the biblical conception of faith, and this is rather plainly evident. See below:

I. Trust as an Aspect of Faith and Discipleship


2 Kings 18:5 He trusted in the LORD the God of Israel; . . .

1 Chronicles 5:20 . . . they cried to God in the battle, and he granted their entreaty because they trusted in him.

Psalm 4:5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.

Psalm 9:10 And those who know thy name put their trust in thee, for thou, O LORD, hast not forsaken those who seek thee.

Psalm 13:5 But I have trusted in thy steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

Psalm 21:7 For the king trusts in the LORD; and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

Psalm 22:4-5 In thee our fathers trusted; they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. [5] To thee they cried, and were saved; in thee they trusted, and were not disappointed.

Psalm 25:2 O my God, in thee I trust, . . .

Psalm 26:1 . . . I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; . . .

Psalm 31:6 . . . I trust in the LORD.

Psalm 31:14 But I trust in thee, O LORD, I say, "Thou art my God."

Psalm 32:10 . . . steadfast love surrounds him who trusts in the LORD.

Psalm 33:21 Yea, our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.

Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.

Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.

Psalm 40:3-4 . . . Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. [4] Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, . . .

Psalm 52:8 . . . I trust in the steadfast love of God for ever and ever.

Psalm 55:23 . . . But I will trust in thee.

Psalm 56:3-4 When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee. [4] In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust without a fear. What can flesh do to me? (cf. 56:11)

Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. [Selah]

Psalm 71:5 For thou, O Lord, art my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.

Psalm 78:22 because they had no faith in God, and did not trust his saving power.

Psalm 84:12 O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in thee!

Psalm 86:2 Preserve my life, for I am godly; save thy servant who trusts in thee. Thou art my God;

Psalm 91:2 will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust."

Psalm 112:7 He is not afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.

Psalm 115:9 O Israel, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. (cf. 115:10-11)

Psalm 125:1 Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides for ever.

Psalm 143:8 Let me hear in the morning of thy steadfast love, for in thee I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go, for to thee I lift up my soul.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.

Proverbs 16:20 He who gives heed to the word will prosper, and happy is he who trusts in the LORD.

Proverbs 22:19 That your trust may be in the LORD, . . .

Proverbs 28:25 A greedy man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man lays a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD is safe.

Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."

Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee. [4] Trust in the LORD for ever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. (cf. 30:15; 32:17; 42:17)

Isaiah 50:10 Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the voice of his servant, who walks in darkness and has no light, yet trusts in the name of the LORD and relies upon his God?

Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.

Jeremiah 39:18 For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have put your trust in me, says the LORD.

Daniel 3:28 Nebuchadnez'zar said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set at nought the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.

Daniel 6:23 . . . So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of hurt was found upon him, because he had trusted in his God.

Zephaniah 3:2 She listens to no voice, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the LORD, she does not draw near to her God.

Romans 4:5 And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.

Hebrews 2:13 . . . "I will put my trust in him." . . . . (cf. 1 Peter 2:23; note, however, that Jesus could not have "faith" in terms of belief in things not seen. He trusted His Father because they were one in the first place]


II. Believing God: Implying Trust or Hope, and Faith

Deuteronomy 1:32 Yet in spite of this word you did not believe the LORD your God,

Deuteronomy 9:23 . . . you rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and did not believe him or obey his voice.

Isaiah 43:10 "You are my witnesses," says the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.

John 5:38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe him whom he has sent.

John 5:46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me.

John 8:45-46 But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. [46] Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?

John 10:37-38 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; [38] but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.

John 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.

Romans 3:22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. . . .

Galatians 2:16 yet who know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified.

Galatians 3:22 . . . what was promised to faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

1 John 5:10 He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. He who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne to his Son.


III. Faith in God, In the Sense of Implying Trust or Hope
[the phrase "faith in [God, Christ]" can imply "trust" or "belief" or both, or both plus other elements, such as obedience. But it doesn't exclude by any means the "belief" aspect of "faith"]


Psalm 106:24
Then they despised the pleasant land, having no faith in his promise.

Mark 11:22 And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God."

Acts 3:16 And his name, by faith in his name, has made this man strong whom you see and know; and the faith which is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.

Acts 20:21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance to God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 24:24 . . . he sent for Paul and heard him speak upon faith in Christ Jesus.

Acts 26:18 ". . . that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." [Paul recalling what Jesus said to him at his conversion]

Acts 27:25 So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.

Romans 3:22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. . . .

Romans 3:26 . . . he justifies him who has faith in Jesus. (cf. 4:16)

Galatians 2:16 yet who know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 3:22 . . . what was promised to faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Ephesians 1:15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints,

Ephesians 3:12 in whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in him.

Philippians 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith;

Colossians 1:4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love which you have for all the saints,

Colossians 2:5 . . . the firmness of your faith in Christ.

Colossians 2:12 and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

1 Thessalonians 1:8 . . . your faith in God . . .

2 Timothy 3:15 the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (cf. 10:22)

1 Peter 1:21 Through him you have confidence in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.


IV. Hope in the Lord and in Salvation


Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,

Psalm 33:22 Let thy steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in thee.

Psalm 69:6 Let not those who hope in thee be put to shame through me,

Psalm 119:74 Those who fear thee shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in thy word. O Lord GOD of hosts; . . .

Psalm 119:166 I hope for thy salvation, O LORD, and I do thy commandments.

Psalm 130:7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plenteous redemption.

Psalm 131:3 O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.

Psalm 146:5 Happy is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God,

Psalm 147:11 but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Jeremiah 14:22 . . . We set our hope on thee, for thou doest all these things.

Jeremiah 17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake thee shall be put to shame; . . .

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Lamentations 3:24 "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call,

1 Thessalonians 1:3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 6:11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance of hope until the end,

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (cf. 10:22)

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1 Peter 1:21 Through him you have confidence in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.


V. Confidence in God, In the Sense of Implying Trust and Faith


Job 4:6
Is not your fear of God your confidence, . . .

2 Chronicles 14:11 And Asa cried to the LORD his God, "O LORD, there is none like thee to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on thee, and in thy name we have come against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee."

2 Chronicles 16:7 At that time Hana'ni the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him, "Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you.

Proverbs 3:26 for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.

2 Corinthians 3:4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.

2 Corinthians 10:7 . . . If any one is confident that he is Christ's, let him remind himself that as he is Christ's, so are we.

Philippians 1:14 and most of the brethren have been made confident in the Lord because of my imprisonment, and are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear.

1 Timothy 3:13 . . . great confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 3:6 but Christ was faithful over God's house as a son. And we are his house if we hold fast our confidence and pride in our hope.

Hebrews 3:14 For we share in Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end,

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus,

Hebrews 10:35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. (cf. 13:6)

1 Peter 1:21 Through him you have confidence in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.

1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God;

1 John 4:17 In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world.

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence which we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.


VI. Waiting for God, Implying Trust and Faith

Genesis 49:18 I wait for thy salvation, O LORD.

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the LORD!

Psalm 31:24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!

Psalm 33:20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and shield.

Psalm 37:7 Be still before the LORD, and wait patiently for him; . . . (cf. 37:9; 37:34)

Psalm 38:15 But for thee, O LORD, do I wait; it is thou, O LORD my God, who wilt answer.

Psalm 39:7 And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in thee.

Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.

Psalm 130:5-6 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; [6] my soul waits for the LORD more than watchmen for the morning, . . .

Proverbs 20:22 . . . wait for the LORD, and he will help you.

Isaiah 8:17 I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.

Isaiah 25:9 It will be said on that day, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation."

Isaiah 26:8 In the path of thy judgments, O LORD, we wait for thee; thy memorial name is the desire of our soul.

Isaiah 30:18 . . . blessed are all those who wait for him.

Isaiah 33:2 O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for thee. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.

Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 49:23 . . . those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.

Lamentations 3:25-26 The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. [26] It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

Micah 7:7 But as for me, I will look to the LORD, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.

Zephaniah 3:8 "Therefore wait for me," says the LORD, . . .

1 Corinthians 1:7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ;

James 5:7 Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it until it receives the early and the late rain.

Jude 1:21 keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.


VII. The Lord as a "Rock": Implying Trust and Faith


2 Samuel 22:2-3
He said, "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, [3] my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence. (cf. God as "Rock": Gen 49:24; Deut 32:4, 15, 18, 31; 1 Sam 2:2; 2 Sam 22:32; 23:2; Ps 18:31; 28:1; 42:9; 78:35; 89:26; 92:15; 95:1; 144:1; Is 30:29; 44:8; Hab 1:12; Rom 9:33; 1 Cor 10:4; 1 Pet 2:8)

2 Samuel 22:47 The LORD lives; and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation,

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (cf. 144:2)

Psalm 18:46 The LORD lives; and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation,

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 31:2-3 Incline thy ear to me, rescue me speedily! Be thou a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! [3] Yea, thou art my rock and my fortress; for thy name's sake lead me and guide me, (cf. 71:3)

Psalm 62:2, 6-7 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved. . . . [6] He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. [7] On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Psalm 94:22 But the LORD has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.

Isaiah 17:10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge;


VIII. The Lord as "My Strength" or "My Stronghold"

Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.

2 Samuel 22:3 . . . my stronghold . . .

Psalm 9:9 The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Psalm 18:1-2 I love thee, O LORD, my strength. [2] The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; . . .

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength . . .

Psalm 59:9 O my Strength, I will sing praises to thee; for thou, O God, art my fortress. (cf. 59:17)

Psalm 94:22 But the LORD has become my stronghold, . . .

Psalm 118:14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. (cf. Is 12:2)

Psalm 144:2 . . . my stronghold . . .

Proverbs 10:29 The LORD is a stronghold to him whose way is upright, but destruction to evildoers.

Isaiah 25:4 For thou hast been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the blast of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,

Isaiah 49:5 . . . my God has become my strength

Jeremiah 16:19 O LORD, my strength and my stronghold, . . .

Joel 3:16 But the LORD is . . . a stronghold to the people of Israel.

Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; . . .

Habakkuk 3:19 GOD, the Lord, is my strength;

Zechariah 9:12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.


IX. The Lord as a "Refuge": Implying Trust and Faith


2 Samuel 22:31, 33
This God -- his way is perfect; the promise of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. . . . [33] This God is my strong refuge, and has made my way safe. (cf. 22:3)

Psalm 2:12 . . . Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in thee rejoice, let them ever sing for joy; and do thou defend them, that those who love thy name may exult in thee.

Psalm 7:1 O LORD my God, in thee do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers, and deliver me, (cf. 11:1; 14:6; 16:1; 18:2; 25:20; 31:19; 34:8, 22; 36:7; 43:2; 46:1, 7, 11; 61:3; 64:10; 71:1, 7; 73:28; 94:22; 118:8-9; 141:8; 142:5; 143:9; 144:2)

Psalm 18:30 This God -- his way is perfect; the promise of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

Psalm 28:8 The LORD is the strength of his people, he is the saving refuge of his anointed.

Psalm 31:1-2, 4 In thee, O LORD, do I seek refuge; let me never be put to shame; in thy righteousness deliver me! [2] Incline thy ear to me, rescue me speedily! Be thou a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! . . . [4] take me out of the net which is hidden for me, for thou art my refuge.

Psalm 37:39-40 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their refuge in the time of trouble. [40] The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked, and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

Psalm 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in thee my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of thy wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.

Psalm 59:16 . . . For thou hast been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.

Psalm 62:7 On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Psalm 71:3 Be thou to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for thou art my rock and my fortress.

Psalm 91:4, 9 he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. . . . [9] Because you have made the LORD your refuge, the Most High your habitation,

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Isaiah 57:13 . . . But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain.

Jeremiah 16:19 O LORD, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble, . . . (cf. 17:17; Joel 3:16; Nah 1:7; Zeph 3:12)


X. Absence of Fear as an Aspect of Faith and Trust in God


Exodus 20:20 And Moses said to the people, "Do not fear; for God has come to prove you, and that the fear of him may be before your eyes, that you may not sin."

Numbers 14:19 . . . the LORD is with us; do not fear them."

Deuteronomy 1:21 Behold, the LORD your God has set the land before you; go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has told you; do not fear or be dismayed.

Deuteronomy 3:22 You shall not fear them; for it is the LORD your God who fights for you. (cf. 20:1, 3)

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them: for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. (cf. Josh 8:1; 10:8, 25; 11:6)

Job 11:15 Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure, and will not fear.

Psalm 3:6 I am not afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about.

Psalm 27:3 Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Ps 78:53 He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. (cf. 112:8)

Psalm 118:6 With the LORD on my side I do not fear. What can man do to me? (cf. Ps 46:2; 91:5; Is 54:14)

Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (cf. Lk 12:4; Rev 2:10)

Deuteronomy 7:18 you shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt,

2 Chronicles 32:7 Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him; for there is one greater with us than with him. (cf. 2 Ki 19:6; 25:24; Is 10:24; 37:6; Jer 42:11)

Nehemiah 4:14 And I looked, and arose, and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes."

Isaiah 44:8 Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.

Jeremiah 1:8 Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD. (cf. 46:28; Ezek 2:6)

Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful; and they were not afraid of the king's edict.

Hebrews 11:27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king; for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.


XI. God as a "Shield"


Deuteronomy 33:29 Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph! . . . (cf. 2 Sam 22:3, 31)

2 Samuel 22:36 Thou hast given me the shield of thy salvation, and thy help made me great.

Psalm 3:3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. (cf. 5:12; 18:2, 30; 28:7; 33:20; 59:11; 84:9; 91:4; 115:9-11; 144:2; Prov 2:7; 30:5)

Psalm 7:10 My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.

Psalm 18:35 Thou hast given me the shield of thy salvation, and thy right hand supported me, and thy help made me great.

Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly. (cf. 119:114)


XII. God as "My Help"

Exodus 18:4 and the name of the other, Elie'zer (for he said, "The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh").

Psalm 22:19 But thou, O LORD, be not far off! O thou my help, hasten to my aid!

Psalm 27:9 Hide not thy face from me. Turn not thy servant away in anger, thou who hast been my help. Cast me not off, forsake me not, O God of my salvation! (cf. 30:10)

Psalm 40:17 As for me, I am poor and needy; but the Lord takes thought for me. Thou art my help and my deliverer; do not tarry, O my God!

Psalm 42:5 . . . I shall again praise him, my help (cf. 42:11; 43:5; 54:4; 63:7; 70:5; 94:17; 121:1-2; Heb 13:6)


XIII. "Seeking the Lord" as an Aspect of Faith


Deuteronomy 4:29 But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.

1 Chronicles 16:10-11 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! [11] Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually!

1 Chronicles 22:19 Now set your mind and heart to seek the LORD your God. . . .

1 Chronicles 28:9 the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever.

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 11:16 And those who had set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the LORD, the God of their fathers. (cf. 12:14; 14:4; 15:2, 12-13; 16:12; 19:3; 20:3-4; 26:5; 30:19; 34:3)

2 Chronicles 31:21 And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered.

Ezra 8:22 . . . "The hand of our God is for good upon all that seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all that forsake him." (cf. Job 5:8; 8:5)

Psalm 14:2 The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. (cf. 9:10; 10:4; 22:26; 24:6; 27:8; 53:2; 69:6, 32; 77:2; 83:16; Rom 3:11)

Psalm 34:10 . . . those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Psalm 40:16 But may all who seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee; may those who love thy salvation say continually, "Great is the LORD!" (cf. 70:4; 105:3)

Psalm 63:1 O God, thou art my God, I seek thee, my soul thirsts for thee; my flesh faints for thee, as in a dry and weary land where no water is.

Psalm 105:4 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually!

Psalm 119:2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,

Isaiah 9:13 The people did not turn to him who smote them, nor seek the LORD of hosts. (cf. 11:10; 26:9; 51:1; 65:1)

Isaiah 55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; (cf. Jer 29:13; 50:4; Lam 3:25)

Daniel 9:3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.

Hosea 3:5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to his goodness in the latter days. (cf. 5:6, 15; 7:10; 10:12; Amos 5:4, 6; 8:12; Zeph 1:6; 3:12; Zech 8:21-22; Mal 3:1)

Matthew 7:7-8 "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. [8] For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (cf. Lk 11:9-10; Jn 5:44)

Acts 15:17 that the rest of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,

Acts 17:27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us,

Hebrews 11:6 . . . For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.


XIV. "Looking to the Lord" as an Aspect of Faith

Psalm 123:2 . . . our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he have mercy upon us.

Psalm 145:15 The eyes of all look to thee, and thou givest them their food in due season.

Isaiah 17:7 In that day men will regard their Maker, and their eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel;

Isaiah 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the LORD!

Micah 7:7 But as for me, I will look to the LORD, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.


Now I'd like to highlight Bible passages that bring out the aspects of assent, intellectual or doctrinal belief, obedience and works as aspects of faith and following God: the "other side of the coin," so to speak (besides the trust and hope aspects)

* * *

XV. "The Faith"

Acts 6:7; 13:8; 14:22; 16:5; Gal 1:23; 6:10; Eph 4:13; Phil 1:25, 27; Col 1:23; 2:7; 1 Tim 1:2; 3:9, 13; 4:1, 6; 5:8; 6:10, 12, 21; 2 Tim 4:7; Titus 1:1, 13; 3:15; Jas 2:1; Jude 1:3, 20; Rev 14:12.


XVI. Obedience of Faith / Works of Faith


John 3:36
He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.

John 6:29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."

Acts 5:32 . . . the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him

Romans 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

Romans 10:3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel; for Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?"

Romans 15:18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has wrought through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed,

Romans 16:19 For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you,

Romans 16:26 but is now disclosed and through the prophetic writings is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith --

2 Corinthians 9:13 Under the test of this service, you will glorify God by your obedience in acknowledging the gospel of Christ, and by the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others;

Galatians 5:6-7 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love. [7] You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?

1 Thessalonians 1:3 . . . your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:8, 11 inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. . . . [11] To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power,

Hebrews 5:9 and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,

James 2:18, 22 Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. . . . [22] You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, . . . [24] You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

1 Peter 4:17-18 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? [18] And "If the righteous man is scarcely saved, where will the impious and sinner appear?"


XVII. Belief in the Christian (or Earlier Jewish) Message; Acceptance of the Gospel


Genesis 15:6 And he believed the LORD; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness. (cf. Ex 4:1, 5, 8-9, 31; Rom 4:3, 11, 17-18; Gal 3:6; Jas 2:23)

Exodus 14:31 And Israel saw the great work which the LORD did against the Egyptians, and the people feared the LORD; and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.

Numbers 14:11 And the LORD said to Moses, "How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs which I have wrought among them? (cf. 20:12; Deut 1:32; 9:23; 2 Ki 17:14; Ps 78:32)

2 Chronicles 20:20 And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Teko'a; and as they went out, Jehosh'aphat stood and said, "Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed."

Isaiah 43:10 "You are my witnesses," says the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. (cf. 28:16)

Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

Jonah 3:5 And the people of Nin'eveh believed God . . .

Mark 1:15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel."

Mark 5:36 But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe."

Mark 9:42 Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

Luke 22:67 "If you are the Christ, tell us." But he said to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe;

Luke 24:25 And he said to them, "O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

John 1:12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; (cf. 3:15-16, 18, 36; 5:24, 38, 44, 46-47; 6:29, 35-36, 40, 47, 64, 69; 7:5, 31, 38-39; 8:30, 46; 9;35-36, 38; 10:25-26, 37-38, 42; 11:25-27, 45; 12:42, 44, 46; 13:19; 14:1, 10, 12; 16:30-31; 17:8, 20-21; 19:35)

John 2:11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

John 8:24 . . . you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.

John 8:31-32 Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, [32] and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

John 8:42-43 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. [43] Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.

John 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.

John 16:27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father.

John 20:31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

Acts 2:44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common; (cf. 4:4, 32; 5:14; 9:42; 10:43, 45; 11:17, 21; 13:48; 14:1, 23; 15:7; 16:34; 17:12, 34; 18:8, 27; 19:2, 4; 21:20, 25; 22:19)

Romans 4:24 . . . It will be reckoned to us who believe in him that raised from the dead Jesus our Lord,

Romans 6:8-9 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. [9] For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.

Romans 9:33 as it is written, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall; and he who believes in him will not be put to shame."

Romans 10:9-11 because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. [11] The scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." (cf. 10:14, 16; 1 Cor 1:21; 3:5; 15:2; 2 Cor 4:13; Gal 2:16; Gal 3:22; Eph 1:13, 19; Phil 1:29)

Romans 13:11 Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed;

1 Corinthians 15:11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

Philippians 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1 Thessalonians 4:14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (cf. 2 Thess 1:10; 2:12)

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

1 Timothy 4:6 . . . the good doctrine which you have followed.

2 Timothy 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it

James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe -- and shudder.

1 Peter 1:8 Without having seen him you love him; though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. (cf. 2:6-7)

1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.

1 John 5:5 Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (cf. 5:1, 10, 13)

2 John 1:4 I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children following the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. (cf. 3 John 1:3-4)


XVIII. "Assurance" and "Knowing" as an Aspect of Faith or Doctrinal Belief

Exodus 8:10 And he said, "Tomorrow." Moses said, "Be it as you say, that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God." (cf. 8:22; 9:14; 10:2; Deut 29:6)

Exodus 31:13 Say to the people of Israel, "You shall keep my sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you."

Joshua 4:23-24 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, [24] so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty; that you may fear the LORD your God for ever."

1 Kings 8:60 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other. (cf. 1 Sam 17:46-47; 1 Ki 18:37; 2 Ki 19:19; Ps 59:13; Is 37:20; 43:10; 45:3, 6; Ezek 12:16; 20:20; Dan 4:17)

Proverbs 11:21
Be assured, an evil man will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will be delivered. (cf. 16:5)

Luke 1:4 that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed.

Acts 2:36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.

Acts 17:31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead.

Ephesians 1:18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

Philippians 3:10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in love, to have all the riches of assured understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, of Christ,

Colossians 4:12 . . . that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.

Hebrews 6:11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance of hope until the end,

Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

1 John 5:13 I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.


XIX. "Faith" in the Sense of "Assent" or Acceptance of Christian Doctrine


Acts 6:3, 5
Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. . . . [5] . . . they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit,

Acts 20:21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance to God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On the principle of works? No, but on the principle of faith.

Romans 12:3 For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.

Romans 14:1 As for the man who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions.

1 Corinthians 2:5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (cf. 2:7)

2 Corinthians 10:15 We do not boast beyond limit, in other men's labors; but our hope is that as your faith increases, our field among you may be greatly enlarged,

Ephesians 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

1 Timothy 1:4 the divine training that is in faith (cf. 1:16; 3:16)

1 Timothy 2:7 For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. (cf. 4:3, 10; 2 Tim 1:12)

Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: . . .

2 Peter 1:1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.


XX. Seeking God's Statutes, Commandments, Love, and Justice as Part of Faith

Genesis 18:19 No, for I have chosen him, that he may charge his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice; so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.

Leviticus 18:4
You shall do my ordinances and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the LORD your God. (cf. Gen 26:5; Ex 15:26; 16:4; Lev 26:3, 14-15; Num 15:22, 39-40; 36:13; Deut 4:2, 13, 40; 5:33; 10:12; 28:9)

Deuteronomy 4:30
. . . you will return to the LORD your God and obey his voice, (cf. 9:23; 13:4; 30:2; Jer 40:3)

Deuteronomy 4:40 Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you this day, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD your God gives you for ever. (cf. 5:10, 29; 6:2, 17)

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, (cf. 8:2, 6, 11; 10:13; 11:1, 13, 27-28; 13:4, 18)

Deuteronomy 10:18 He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. (cf. 16:19-20; 24:17; 27:19; 1 Ki 10:9; Ps 33:5; 82:3; 99:4; 106:3)

Deuteronomy 26:17 You have declared this day concerning the LORD that he is your God, and that you will walk in his ways, and keep his statutes and his commandments and his ordinances, and will obey his voice; (cf. 26:18; 27:10; 28:1, 9, 13, 15, 45; 30:8, 10, 16; 1 Ki 8:58)

Joshua 22:5 Take good care to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave to him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. (cf. Jud 2:17, 22; 3:4; 1 Ki 2:3; 3:14; 6:12; 8:58, 61; 9:6; 11:34, 38; 14:8; 2 Ki 10:31; 17:13; 18:6; 21:22; 23:3; Ps 81:13; 86:11; Eph 2:10; 5:2)

1 Chronicles 28:8
Now therefore in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, observe and seek out all the commandments of the LORD your God; that you may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children after you for ever. (cf. 28:7; 29:19; 2 Chron 6:16, 31; 7:19; 17:4; 31:21; 34:31; Neh 1:5, 7, 9; 9:13-14, 16, 29, 34; 10:29)

Psalm 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Psalm 38:20 Those who render me evil for good are my adversaries because I follow after good.

Psalm 119:10 With my whole heart I seek thee; let me not wander from thy commandments! (cf. 25:10; 78:7; 89:31; 103:18; 105:45; 112:1; 119:1-3 [+ many more verses])

Psalm 119:155
Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek thy statutes.

Proverbs 2:1 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, (cf. 3:1; 4:4; 7:1-2; 10:8)

Proverbs 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but he loves him who pursues righteousness. (cf. 8:20)

Proverbs 21:21 He who pursues righteousness and kindness will find life and honor. (cf. 21:3, 15; 28:5)

Proverbs 28:5 Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.

Isaiah 1:17 learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. (cf. 2:3; Jer 6:16; 7:23; 26:4; 32:23; 44:23; Ezek 11:20; 20:13, 16, 19, 21; 36:27)

Isaiah 1:27 Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness.

Isaiah 26:9 My soul yearns for thee in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks thee. For when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

Isaiah 58:2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God. (cf. 58:13-14)

Ezekiel 45:9 Thus says the Lord GOD: Enough, O princes of Israel! Put away violence and oppression, and execute justice and righteousness; cease your evictions of my people, says the Lord GOD.

Daniel 9:10 and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God by following his laws (cf. 9:4-5)

Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain salvation upon you.

Hosea 12:6 So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.

Amos 5:15 Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. [15] Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; . . .

Amos 5:24 But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Zephaniah 2:3 Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, who do his commands; seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the wrath of the LORD. (cf. Mic 4:2)

Matthew 5:16-18 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. [17] Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. [18] For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

Matthew 5:19-20 Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. [20] For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 6:32-33 For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. [33] But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.

Matthew 19:17 And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments."

Matthew 23:2-3 The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; [3] so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice.

Matthew 23:23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. (cf. Lk 11:42)

Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Luke 6:27 But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.

John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (cf. 14:12)

John 14:21 He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.

John 15:10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.

Romans 2:7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;

Romans 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Romans 13:9 The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

1 Corinthians 7:19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.

Galatians 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.

1 Timothy 6:18 They are to do good, to be rich in good deeds, liberal and generous,

2 Timothy 1:13 Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus;

Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their deeds; they are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good deed.

Titus 3:8 The saying is sure. I desire you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to apply themselves to good deeds; these are excellent and profitable to men.

Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. (cf. 2:3-4; 3:22, 24; 5:2-3)

2 John 1:6 And this is love, that we follow his commandments; this is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you follow love

Revelation 2:19 I know
your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.

Revelation 12:17
Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.. . .

Revelation 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.


XXI. "Hearkening" Unto God's Voice or Obeying or Listening to His Voice


Ex 15:26; 23:21-22; Lev 26:14, 18, 21, 27; Num 14:22; Deut 1:43, 45; 7:12; Josh 5:6; 1 Sam 12:14-15; 15:1; 1 Ki 11:38; 12:24; 2 Chron 11:4; Ps 81:8, 11, 13; 95:7; Prov 1:33; Is 46:3, 12; 48:12, 18; 51:4; Jer 6:10; 7:13, 26; 13:11; 16:12; 17:24, 27; 25:7; 26:4; 29:19; 34:14; 35:13-15; 37:2; 44:16; Ezek 20:8, 39; Hos 9:17; Zech 7:11; 1 Cor 14:21.

14 comments:

Frank said...

I wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog. I have yet to find a more comprehensive study on some of the topics you address. I am not a catholic, I try not to identify with any denomination but i currently attend and am involved in an Evangelical church. I do not like being put in a box with other evangelicals. I noticed that on your blog's comments you take a lot of irrelevant retorts to Catholicism. Please note, that is not my intent. My question is sincere and backed by extreme curiosity:
I noticed that you view man's "works" as essential to salvation. (My understanding is that all Catholics do)This gets interpreted by many evangelicals that Catholics believe they need to "earn" their way into heaven.

Your view on the role of works seems "softer" then I presumed a catholic's view would be. (You previously wrote that salvation is a collaborative effort between God and man)Have I been brought up misunderstanding the catholic teachings in this arena, or are your beliefs an aberration?

Dave Armstrong said...

Hi Frank,

Thanks for reading and for your kind words.

The subject of salvation or soteriology can get extremely involved but there are basic principles in play that differentiate Catholics and Protestants.

Catholics don't believe in works-salvation, or the heresy of Pelagianism, whereby man can do anything to initiate his own salvation or even cooperate initially with God to begin the process. For both Catholics and Protestants, God begins the process by Himself. He moves us to accept His free gift of salvation.

The second thing is the relationship of justification and sanctification. Protestants separate these, so that a man is justified and saved at one point in time, and then whatever good works he does have nothing to do with salvation, and are placed under sanctification. Most Protestants teach that these are absolutely necessary as a sign of authentic justification, but they are separated from salvation itself.

Catholic theology disagrees with regard to this separation. We believe that justification and sanctification are together in a process. God moves our wills by grace and then we must cooperate with Him. Works show that this faith is active. What we call merit is "God crowning His own gifts," as St. Augustine put it.

God gives us the ability to cooperate along with Him in the road of salvation and we do so and gain merit. God crowns His own gifts.

Catholics also believe in predestination of those who are saved (but not those who are damned). A lot of people are unaware of that.

That's the basic difference; it's fleshed out in dozens of papers of mine that you can consult if you wish.

What I teach on this blog is, as far as I know, 100% in conformity with Catholic dogma. This is Catholic teaching. No one has ever shown otherwise (and my material is indirectly monitored in many ways (publishers, magazines, Coming Home Network) by bishops and priests and theologians. I back everything I contend up with official Catholic sources.

So my statements on salvation issues are neither an "aberration" nor even "soft." They represent Catholic teaching: from the councils and popes and catechism. I back up the official teachings with a great deal of Scripture, because that is the source that we all agree upon as inspired and infallible.

Dave Armstrong said...

If you have further questions about any of this you are wondering about, feel free!

Ken said...

Catholics don't believe in works-salvation, or the heresy of Pelagianism,

Not officially, but practically, it does. (with the emphasis on what you have to do to keep it up and be good enough and have to get through purgatory, there is not much emphasis on Paul's message in Galatians or Romans or "believe" in John.

Adomnan, another RC was unashamed to say that the RC teaches that you "earn your salvation".

Adomnan even denied that RCC taught that faith was "trusting" and said faith in RCC means something like "assenting to the doctrines and dogmas of the RCC creeds."

The RCC does teach Semi-Pelagianism, (officially condemned at the Council of Orange in 529 AD; but came back into the church and officially sanctioned in different words at Trent, even though it denies that it is Semi-Pelagianism) in a round about way, through the sacramental system, and loosing one's state of grace by mortal sin after initial justification at infant baptism. Officially, this is denied; but the system of penance, indulgences, treasury of merit, purgatory, and not knowing for sure if one is justified, does seem contradictory to Semi-Pelagianism.


whereby man can do anything to initiate his own salvation or even cooperate initially with God to begin the process. For both Catholics and Protestants, God begins the process by Himself. He moves us to accept His free gift of salvation.

In RC theology, God does not move all the way to have justification and peace with God as in Romans 5:1, so that if one dies at that moment, he would have assurance of heaven.

That is why they have to call it "initial justification". It will fail. God is not powerful enough to bring people all the way to salvation. They cannot explain Romans 8:29-34 nor John 6:37-47 and 65. (in a consistent exegetically sound way).

In their system, he only "strikes the first spark", so to speak, man is left to keep gathering kindling and blowing and blowing and blowing and adding wood -fuel (works, prayers to Mary, rituals, Eucharist, penance, confession, visiting relics, etc.) and then man can reject if he wants to, and because of sin, everyone always looses their baby baptism justification by mortal sin and so they have work and do the things and rituals in order to keep it up - confession, penance, Eucharist, good works, Hail Marys, prayers to saints, hoping that maybe they might become good to be accepted by God, and even that, it is after Purgatory, etc.

There is no present (if I died right now) peace with God (Romans 5:1) in the RC system. Justification is a long process rather than the gift and acceptance of God at a point in time.

Ken said...

Dave wrote:
The second thing is the relationship of justification and sanctification. Protestants separate these,

No, not separation, but distinction; sanctification necessarily must happen, if one is truly justified, it is the necessary result and fruit and product and evidence of justification.

"We are justified by faith alone, but that faith does not stay alone", it results in good works and fruits and change and deeper levels of repentance and growth.


so that a man is justified and saved at one point in time, and then whatever good works he does have nothing to do with salvation,

Not true, they confirm and show and prove that one is truly saved. That is what James 2:14-26 teaches.

and are placed under sanctification. Most Protestants teach that these are absolutely necessary as a sign of authentic justification,

That explanation is a little better.

but they are separated from salvation itself.

How are they separated completely when they are the results and fruits and evidence of justification? They are not completely separated.

Ken said...

oops; I left out some important words.

Officially, this is denied; but the system of penance, indulgences, treasury of merit, purgatory, and not knowing for sure if one is justified, does seem contradictory to the official denial of Semi-Pelagianism.

Randy said...

Officially, this is denied; but the system of penance, indulgences, treasury of merit, purgatory, and not knowing for sure if one is justified, does seem contradictory to the official denial of Semi-Pelagianism.

It seems that way to you? It does not and has not to many generations of Catholics. Why can't God's grace include a system of temporal rewards and punishments to help us become holy? I do that with my kids. I try and make them holy by rewarding them when they behave well and punishing them when they behave badly. That is part of the grace I extend to them as a father. It does not contradict it.

So you seeing a contradiction is simple antiCatholic bias on your part. There is nothing objectively Semi-Pelagianism about these doctrines. It is simply an unwillingness to try and resolve diffiuclties. It is a choice.

Ken said...

Randy wrote:
It seems that way to you? It does not and has not to many generations of Catholics. Why can't God's grace include a system of temporal rewards and punishments to help us become holy? I do that with my kids. I try and make them holy by rewarding them when they behave well and punishing them when they behave badly. That is part of the grace I extend to them as a father. It does not contradict it.

It does contradict Romans and Galatians and John, because you can moralize your kids into good behavior and being religious, but never have salvation from sin.

You can moralize children straight to hell.

Obviously we believe in rewards and punishments also; and in sanctification.

But the problem with RCC is that you can loose your justification with God (acceptance, forgiveness, peace, relationship with the Father) and gain it back and keep up that "off again, on again" pattern that is foreign to the Bible.

Ben M said...

Hi Ken,

But the problem with RCC is that you can loose your justification with God ...

But you never mention of the cross! Why?

Why only the endless obsession with “assurance” of salvation and the avoidance of punishment? Have you never heard Christ's gospel??

And how different the (inspired) attitude of the ‘good thief’ to those who preach only the "I'm saved" gospel!

Let us hear St. Luke:

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
But the other criminal rebuked him. "DON'T YOU FEAR GOD," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? WE AR PUNISHED JUSTLY, for we are getting WHAT OUR DEEDS DESERVE. But this man has done nothing wrong."
Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." - Luke 23:39-43

“WE ARE PUNISHED JUSTLY, FOR WE ARE GETTING WHAT OUR DEEDS DESERVE.”

Ponder those words, for they are the message of the cross, they are message of the Gospel!

The Father’s understood them. The saintly, the orthodox, the right thinking Augustine understood them.

Hear him:

“I, whom by God’s grace you see before you as your bishop, came to this city as a young man, 6 many of you know that. I was looking for a Place to establish a monastery, and live there with my brothers.

"I had in fact left behind al worldly hopes, and I did not wish to be what I could have been; 7 nor, however, was I seeking to be what I am now. I have chosen to be a nobody in the house of my God, rather than to dwell in the tents of sinners (Ps 84:10).

"I separated myself from those who love the world; but I did not put myself on an equal footing with those who preside over Churches. 8 Nor did I choose a higher place at the banquet of my Lord, but a lower, insignificant one; and he was pleased to say to me, Go up higher (Lk 14:10). So much, though, did I dread the episcopate, that since I had already begun to acquire a reputation of some weight among the servants of God, I wouldn’t go near a place where I knew there was no bishop. 9

"I avoided this job, and did everything I could to assure my salvation in a lowly position, and not to incur the grave risks of a high one. But, as I said, a servant ought not to oppose his Lord. I came to this city to see a friend, whom I thought I could gain for God, to join us in the monastery. It seemed safe enough, because the place had a bishop. 10 I was caught, I was made a priest, 11 and by this grade eventually came to the episcopate.

“I brought nothing with me; I came to this Church with only the clothes I was wearing at the time. And because what I was planning was to be in a monastery with the brothers, Father 12 Valerius of blessed memory, having learned of my purpose and desire, gave me that plot where the monastery now is. I began to gather together brothers of good will, my companions in poverty, having nothing just like me, and imitating me. Just as I had sold my slender poor man’s property 13 and distributed the proceeds to the poor, those who wished to stay with me, did the same, so that we might live on what we had in common. But what would be our really great and profitable common estate was God himself.” –

- Sermon 355:2:2

The Works of Saint Augustine, A Translation for the 21st Century, III / 10, Sermons (341-400), Edmund Hill, O.P., tr., John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., 1995, New City Press, Hyde Park, New York, ISBN 1565480287

p. 166

See also:

The Ten Good Works of The Thief

Peace.

Maroun said...

Ken said.But the problem with RCC is that you can loose your justification with God (acceptance, forgiveness, peace, relationship with the Father) and gain it back and keep up that "off again, on again" pattern that is foreign to the Bible.
Ken,with all my respect , which bible are you talking about?where is your once saved always saved in the bible?
So you have never read all the warnings in the bible and especially in the new testament?there are sins which lead to death,and if we dont rise again by penance ,repentance and confessing those sins,then we will not inherit God`s kingdom,and what about the letter to Galatians,in which saint Paul warns everyone,that whoever lives in a certain way,that person will not inherit God`s kingdom,and i could go for hours showing you so many verses,more than a hundred just from the new testament...
So again,plz dont tell us that you cannot loose your salvation,because anyone one of us who does not remain with the grace of God faithful to the very end,then that person wont inherit God`s kingdom...
GBU

Ken said...

Maroun,
Yes, we believe in all the warnings of the NT.

The warnings are saying that if there is no change or repentance or fruit in your life, you have no assurance and cannot claim "one saved, always saved" and yet live like "the devil".

The Galatians warnings as all other warnings in the NT show that if someone "claims" to know God or Jesus or says that they have faith, but there is not change or repentance or fruit in their life, then they were never truly converted or regenerated. That is a different thing than the "on again", "off again" treadmill of sacramental RCC theology.

"one saved, always saved" is a dangerous phrase thrown about by many Evangelicals. "Perseverance of the saints" is a better fuller teaching. That those who are truly regenerated by the Holy Spirit will persevere until they die. When they sin, they hate their sin and repent and reconcile.

The "once saved, always saved" phrase gives people the false impression that if they say they were saved or walked the aisle or said a prayer, that that in itself justifies them. No. There must be evidence, fruit, good works, hatred for sin, etc. and that is what James 2 and all the warnings are talking about. They are not saying you really once had it and then can loose it; they are saying if you don't have change, you were never saved at all.

Matthew 7:23 - "I never knew you"

Maroun said...

Ken said . The Galatians warnings as all other warnings in the NT show that if someone "claims" to know God or Jesus or says that they have faith, but there is not change or repentance or fruit in their life, then they were never truly converted or regenerated.
Not true Ken , people do change , and because they do , people could for some reason or another loose their faith . The same way they accepted Jesus , they could later on deny him , and that dosent mean that they were never truly regenerated as you claim . In fact ther weord final perseverance means just exactly that,to persevere to the very end,how could you persever or not if as you claimed,he was never truly a true believer?
The parable of the sower is more than enough to prove you wrong , and i am not going to explain it,otherwise you will accuse me of misunderstanding it,read what our Lord Jesus himself who is the truth and never lies explained it to the disciples. He didnt say that all those which did not persever never did believe as you claimed,but he explained that for different reasons,some did not remain faithful ...
And this is exactly what the catholic church teaches us ,that if we do fall into temptations,if we do sin and especially a mortal sin,then we must repent and confess our sins and do penance,otherwise,it means that those which do not,did not remain faithful to the end,and they have denied Jesus...
The you said . There must be evidence, fruit, good works, hatred for sin, etc. and that is what James 2 and all the warnings are talking about. They are not saying you really once had it and then can loose it; they are saying if you don't have change, you were never saved at all.
Here again,i must disagree with you,because they are saying exactly that,whoever you are which have faith but dont have works,then your faith is dead and your faith wont save you,James didnt say you do not have faith,but said exactly,and warned that faith without works is dead.And the church teaches us , that whenever we have faith but dont have fruits,dont have works,then our faith is dead,and that if we do sin,as i said especially a mortla sin,then i must repent,otherwise,i wont as Paul said,inherit the kingdom of God,because i was an evil doer...
So plz plz plz,stop criticising the church for saying and teaching the truth...
GBU

Maroun said...

Hi Ken again . Then you quoted Mathew 7:23 , great , so Ken,who were those which prophesied in Jesus`s name?unbelievers?who did cast out devils in Jesus`s name?unbelievers?who has done many wonderful works in Jesus`s name?unbelievers?
Are you telling us,that a buddhist did that?an atheist did that?a jew did that?a muslim did that?of course not,but a believer in Jesus , but they did not remain faithful to the end and did evil things and never repented. That is why they were rebuked,and refused...
So plz Ken check also Romans 11 and especially verses 21-24,where saint Paul is warning us to continue in his goodness otherwise we also shall be cut off.So again,if he is warning us to continue otherwise we will be cut off,it means as he said a few verses before,we were grafted in,but if we do not continue we will be cut off,he didnt say we were never as you claimed grafted in...So Judas is an example for you,and Simon magus is another,and Ananias and Saphira are another...etc.etc.
GBU

Randy said...

It does contradict Romans and Galatians and John, because you can moralize your kids into good behavior and being religious, but never have salvation from sin.

You are confused here. One reason why I don't find protestant apologists the least bit convincing is they constantly mis-state the Catholic position. Is it that hard to understand the difference between temporal and eternal censequences? Leaving asside whether it is true or not. Why can't protestants understand it? You are bright enough and you have been interacting with Catholics for years. Why do you still make elementary errors? Are you afraid to deal with the true Catholic position?

One more time, temporal consequences of sin are given to us by God to make us holy. They do not effect our salvation. That is the very definition of temporal. Can a father reward and punish his children without disinheriting them? Of course he can. So why would that contradict Romans and Galatians?

But the problem with RCC is that you can loose your justification with God (acceptance, forgiveness, peace, relationship with the Father) and gain it back and keep up that "off again, on again" pattern that is foreign to the Bible.

Is that the only problem? We were talking about "the system of penance, indulgences, treasury of merit, purgatory". Are they OK now? Is "perseverance of the saints" the key difference now? Most protestants deny that doctrine so I would find that interesting.