Friday, January 22, 2010

Dialogue on the Perspicuity (Clearness) of Scripture, and the Definition of "Christian" in Relation to the Holy Trinity

By Dave Armstrong (1-22-10)

Rory (nickname "Lisamck") is a Catholic who thinks that Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses are properly classifiable as Christian, and we also have different degrees of confidence in the sufficiency of Scripture for refuting heresies like Arianism (current-day Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphians, and The Way International).

He thinks my views amount to a version of sola Scriptura (or at least go down that road). I vehemently disagree on all these points, and give the reasons why (though later on we discovered we weren't as far apart on these issues as I first thought, and Rory made some important concessions). It's a good, civil discussion. The discussion occurred in the combox of a recent David Waltz post, starting with his comment. His words will be in blue.

* * * * *

1) Fr. Chilson would not probably change my mind on whether Mormons or others who deny the proclamations of an ecumenical Council should qualify as Christian. Certainly, everyone has a different definition in mind. I am inclined to accept under the broad umbrella of "Christian" anyone who can accept the historical facts of the Apostles' Creed. Of course, like most Protestants, Mormons do not give assent to belief in the holy Catholic Church or communion of saints. 2) Most Protestants and Catholics who would apply a standard that would exclude Mormons from being Christian are in my opinion, too optimistic about sola scriptura in the case of Protestants, or the material sufficiency of Scripture in the case of Catholics. As a Catholic I believe the Scriptures are materially sufficient to show plausibility of the true doctrine but not implausibility of the false doctrine.

This is a very interesting way of putting it, and I think you may be onto something; but on the other hand, if true doctrine can be shown in the Bible as plausible (as I certainly believe), are not the false doctrines shown to be implausible by virtue of being contrary to the manifestly plausible true scriptural doctrines?

In other words, to use an example, by demonstrating the Trinity (and particularly the deity of Christ), Arianism is thus shown to be false (therefore, also implausible, since false). I'm not sure one thing can be separated from the other.

My view of material sufficiency allows that without the authority of the Catholic Church to resolve biblical controversy, heretics could never be silenced because the Scriptures are intended to have a complimentary authority, not a sole authority. Apart from the Catholic Church, I think it is very unlikely that I would arrive at Catholic doctrine, and especially not the Nicene Trinity by reading it in a vacuum. Those Catholics who think the Scriptures are materially sufficient to silence studious Arians seem to forget that they had the Scriptures in 325 and they weren't sufficient by themselves. Scripture alone has not been adequate historically to resolve the major biblical controversies.

I think they are quite sufficient to disprove Arianism. I even did so myself in the early 80s (as an evangelical), as one of my first major theological research projects was studying and refuting Jehovah's Witnesses.

It is clearly not sufficient to silence or prevent heretics from being heretics. That is the aspect of formal sufficiency, and where the need of a Church comes in. But even a true Church is not capable of preventing all heresy in practice (since they will merely separate) but only to show how and where they are in error.

The Church's value (with regard to authority and in relation to Scripture) lies in interpreting Scripture, forming dogmas, and showing how the dogmas are consistent with Scripture and Tradition.

I suppose I will find myself alone among the Protestants and Catholics both who will suggest that the Arians were just wicked, stubborn, or stupid. I don't believe it is necessarily so. I think some of them were smart, sincere, and even devout. The devout would of course, have yielded to Holy Mother Church after the Council. While I hold that the Scriptures must be materially sufficient to support the plausibility of Catholic doctrine, this is not enough to withhold the title of Christian from people who believe in the birth, death, and resurrection of God's Son while having doubts about later creeds of Christendom.

I don't know enough of the particular history to make any solid claims, but in general I tend to think that people's errors are (at least quite often) brought about by false premises or illogical thinking. They have been sold a bill of goods: some false teaching, and sincerely believe in it, but the thing itself is wrong from the outset. Have we not all experienced this in our own lives?

I was perfectly sincere when I was into the occult, was pro-abortion, a sexual liberal, etc. (all that changed by the early 80s, just for the record!).

Great comment. You stimulated much thought in me; hence my three replies.

* * *

What I have never understood is why Catholics . . . seem inclined to disregard Restoration movements such as Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Islam, or Bahai, as though they are even less tenable then Protestantism. If I weren't Catholic, I would consider the Restorationists as more viable candidates for my religious affiliation than any Protestant group that believes the Nicene Creed, but rejects the right reason for believing it.

It's a trifling, minor matter called the Holy Trinity. In other words, the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian.

My comment . . . which favored Islam, Mormonism, or Bahai claims were regarding the viability of Restoration vs. Reformation claims. My presumption was for the searcher who is for one reason or another, not considering the Catholic claim.

I find it an extraordinary position, especially having studied Jehovah's Witnesses in great depth (without ever dreaming of joining them), and having familiarity with evangelicalism and Catholicism both, from firsthand allegiance.

My reply intended no disrespect to the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity. I am glad that most thoughtful Protestants accept it.

That's good to know. Yet by taking this position, you appear to lower the relative importance of the Trinity. That is what baffles me about it.

What I was saying is that if I was similarly seeking the true faith, I would have to dismiss Protestantism because of the way they claim to arrive at Nicene dogma.

Since when is the way we arrive at a truth more important than attaining to the truth itself? It's more important to accept and understand trinitarianism than it is to possess some semblance of tradition in one's view. One has to do with the very nature of God Himself; the other with a rule of faith and authority. To me, it is no contest between the two., if I am not mistaken, I recall that you would be in agreement with them, that even apart from Catholic authority, you would arrive at Nicene dogma from Scripture alone.

I didn't say exactly that. This is a complex issue. I've written more about it than anything else, including a book recently, critiquing sola Scriptura.

My position, briefly stated, is the following:

1) Scripture, is, by and large, clear, in its treatment of theological doctrines. The truth can be obtained by proper study. I've done this myself, many times, in Scripture study on various topics, and my experience has always been the same, for thirty years now.

2) Scripture is materially sufficient: it contains all Christian doctrines, either explicitly, implicitly, or by direct deduction from doctrines in the above two categories.

3) But Scripture is not formally sufficient (i.e., it is not alone the rule of faith). Formal sufficiency is the position of sola Scriptura; material sufficiency is distinct from that.

4) Massive use of Scripture in apologetics or systematic theology is not identical to sola Scriptura (making it the only formal and infallible authority). I specialize in biblical evidences for Catholic doctrine. But it is a serious mistake to assume that by dong this, somehow I am adopting anything remotely like the principle of sola Scriptura. Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm doing what the fathers did: they usually argued from scripture first, in fighting heresy, but ultimately they appealed to tradition and the Church and apostolic succession as their ace in the hole. I don't appeal only to Scripture in my apologetics, because I also specialize in development of doctrine, history of doctrine, and have written books about the fathers, Luther, and Calvin also.

5) Though I think Scripture is clear on doctrine, for the most part, and definitely I think Arianism and other errors of that sort can be amply refuted from it, alone, nevertheless on the practical level of folks having different interpretations of Scripture, the Church is also necessary to authoritatively interpret. And this is done in the framework of tradition and apostolic succession.

6) With regard to, e.g., Arianism, clearly, many people through history have misinterpreted Scripture and have come to that conclusion. They can be refuted from Scripture (I have done so, and would be happy to do so again here, if someone wishes to defend Arianism), but because Scripture Alone has proven to be a failure through history, the Church also has to proclaim orthodoxy.

7) I also acknowledge that we all come to Scripture via a preexisting grid or bias, and that we benefit from hindsight. We have 2000 years of apostolic succession and Catholic pronouncements. Someone in the third or fourth century was much less equipped to know all that we know now. Trinitarianism was far less developed, so when they approached Scripture, it was that much more likely that they would come to an erroneous conclusion. And so they did. Arianism was refuted by Nicaea and the few councils afterwards.

I could go on and on about this, but that will suffice for now, as a summary of my position. I vehemently reject sola Scriptura, and perspicuity in the exact form that Protestants conceive it. But I think Scripture is pretty clear overall. If it were not, systematic theology would be very difficult for anyone to do.

It is becoming clearer to me why most faithful Catholics, including you, think Reformation movements are more viable options than the Restoration movements. It is because of a shared belief in a higher degree of confidence than I currently have regarding the clarity of Sacred Scripture, when Apostolic Tradition and the Catholic magisterium are set aside.

You may lack confidence in Scripture. Perhaps you have studied it relatively less (I don't know), but in any event, you have not properly understood my own position (and so perhaps you may possibly be misunderstanding other Catholics on this score). I haven't lowered tradition and the magisterium at all. I simply specialize in use of Scripture in my apologetics.

I'm a student of the Bible. I love it. Nothing gives me more joy than studying it, in greater and greater depth. I was collecting this very day, passages about the general resurrection. It's wonderful. I wouldn't trade my life as a writer and apologist for anything. I have the luxury of the time to study the Bible a lot as part of my vocation.

For my part, I have already expressed how I deny that we can prove the implausibility of heresy except with Scripture and Tradition (ratified by the authority of Christ's Church).

I believe in ratifying through Church authority, as I stated last time. But people can reject the Church, just as they reject Scripture. They are both authorities, and people want to often go their own way. David Waltz has now rejected the Church as infallible because it doesn't interpret theology and history (or ecclesiology or whatever) in the way that he thinks it should.

Having adopted the position that the Church had true authority, and was higher than individuals in determining the truth, and protected by God so as to be able to be infallible, now for some odd reason he has put himself higher than the Church. He has adopted private judgment. So what will be his standard of truth and orthodoxy now? Scripture? Arians believe in sola Scriptura. But I digress . . .

I thought I spotted an internal inconsistency in your own position (that you have not addressed). You stated:

I believe the Scriptures are materially sufficient to show plausibility of the true doctrine but not implausibility of the false doctrine.

And I replied:

if true doctrine can be shown in the Bible as plausible (as I certainly believe), are not the false doctrines shown to be implausible by virtue of being contrary to the manifestly plausible true scriptural doctrines? In other words, to use an example, by demonstrating the Trinity (and particularly the deity of Christ), Arianism is thus shown to be false (therefore, also implausible, since false).

If this is true (as I think it is), then the doctrine of Arianism can indeed be disproven by Scripture. But like I said, heretics will reject a correct reading of Scripture, and they will reject a Church if the Church tells them otherwise. So you and I can agree that the Church is necessary as the safeguard, but it can't stop heretics, either, if they are intent to leave the Church and no longer be under her infallible guidance.

In any event, I don't see how you can hold that Scripture can teach truth, but not by the same token condemn error, when that error is directly contrary to the truth that is able to be proved therein. You can't have one thing and not the other, if these conditions hold.

It would be difficult I think to persuade me that it is infidelity to deny the Nicene Trinity, the Assumption and Immaculate Conception of our Lady, pedo-baptism, or Transubstantiation from the Scriptures alone.

I disagree in the case of the Trinity. It is too obvious, from literally hundreds of Scriptures. The divinity of the Holy Spirit is relatively more difficult to establish, but it still is able to be demonstrated, with enough cross-referencing. I did it myself, as I said, way back in 1982:

The Holy Trinity: Biblical Proofs

Jesus is God: Biblical Proofs

I agree that the Assumption and Immaculate Conception are very difficult to see in Scripture Alone, but I have constructed wholly biblical arguments for both [follow the links in this sentence]. It takes some doing, but it is not impossible.

Infant baptism is not that hard to show (from the baptism of entire families and the analogy to circumcision).Transubstantiation is a much higher development of Real Presence, which is itself easy to demonstrate in Scripture: especially from John 6.

For me, your position draws too near to sola scriptura.

Then you have not understood it properly. Perhaps (hopefully) you better understand it now, after I have clarified. Protestants don't "own" Scripture, and I will refuse to my dying breath, to adopt the notion that anyone who concentrates on Scripture study must necessarily adopt sola Scriptura or even elements of it. Even thinking in these terms plays into Protestant errors.

I think this apparent disagreement between us about the perspicuity of Scripture alone on the subject of the Blessed Trinity

It would be interesting to me to see exactly what you think Scripture does teach about the Blessed Trinity, if you think it is so unclear on the matter. Do you think it is difficult to find explicit proofs even of Jesus' divinity, wit passages like, e.g., John 1:1 and Colossians 2:9, along with many others, and every attribute of God the Father also attributed to Jesus (excepting, of course, the possession of a body)?

explains why, if we put the Catholic Church out of the equation, I could more easily be LDS, while you could more easily be Methodist (or whatever). It is probably also at the root of why I would consider Mormons Christian, and you wouldn't. I find their radical departure from Catholic teaching to be a more likely scenario if I am looking for the one true church, than the Trinitarian Protestant who rejects the reason I am Trinitarian.

Okay. But again I see an inconsistency in your position. You're telling me we need the Catholic Church to proclaim dogmas, that we supposedly couldn't find ourselves in the Bible without her aid. So in that sense you grant to Holy Mother Church a profound authority. Yet you don't want to follow her guidance when it comes to the definition of what a Christian is. It is clear that trinitarianism is indispensable in that regard.

It is not Mormons who were referred to as separated brethren: that was Protestants. There is an essential difference. Protestants remain Christians because they have the correct theology of God, and they have true sacraments (baptism and marriage). Mormons have an incorrect doctrine of God, and their baptisms are invalid, because (as the Church has now made more clear) they have an erroneous understanding of trinitarianism.

So what makes you think that you can arbitrarily reject how the Church defines "Christian" and "separated brethren" on the one hand, yet claim to follow her tradition and authority all down the line, over against a fellow like me who is supposedly too close to the Protestant position, in how I approach Scripture? You're still picking and choosing what you will believe (from the Church) and what you will not believe, by her authority.

Even the WCC and NCC, as I understand it, didn't allow Mormons for many years, to be members, precisely because they were not trinitarian (I think they do now; I briefly looked some of that up). It's not as if only we Catholics have been saying this through the years.

Perhaps I have arrived at my position too subjectively.

Objectivity does have its place!

As a Protestant, I had always been able to be persuaded favorably of multiple theological systems reasoning from the Bible alone.

I think each false system can be decisively shown to be so, from the Bible. The fact that you were persuaded of many things, proves neither that:

1) Scripture is in fact unclear, nor

2) that the reasoning employed in each case was not shot through with self-contradiction, nor

3) that the ones arguing in each case were doing so fairly; taking all relevant Scripture into account.

I had been everywhere from ultra-dispensationalism to Wisconsin Synod Lutheran (and other stuff in-between). I was tossed to and fro by every wind, and I can still in my opinion defend the plausibility of the beliefs I once held from Scripture alone.

I think if we as individuals find ourselves being in five, ten, twenty different camps, then we have to start looking at ourselves: we may indeed qualify as one whom Paul described as being "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles" (Ephesians 4:14; RSV). Scripture is not to be blamed because a thousand different competing claims are supposedly derived from it. In effect, then, we would be blaming Scripture for our own shortcomings in discernment of theological truth.

It was in great part, the frustration of trying to discern between the claims of Hodge and Calvin, over against Spurgeon and Chafer, over against Luther and Chemnitz. Sola scriptura decided nothing for me. It drove me into the arms of Holy Mother Church as it offered a way of discerning truth that did not depend on my own abilities to expose the errors of biblical exegetes whose work seemed and still seems plausible, cut off from Catholic Tradition.

There is a lot of truth in that; I agree, but it still doesn't follow that Scripture is not clear. People simply need to become more familiar with it, and learn how to properly interpret it, within the framework of Holy Mother Church and supernatural faith.

I am willing to reevaluate my position. I will renounce my position if anyone can demonstrate that my negative view of the perspicuity of Scripture is incompatible with what the Catholic Church has proclaimed regarding the relationship between Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

The Church relates those two to each other. What it doesn't do is require a given interpretation for every passage in Scripture. There are only seven such passages.

On the question of perspicuity in particular and what the Church teaches, I'd have to look up things to determine that. I don't know offhand. But I would contend that even citing a lot of Scripture (CCC, VII, any theology book or catechism or encyclical) presupposes that each verse is sufficiently clear to be cited as a more or less evident proof, without further comment.

Thanks for your consideration.

It is enjoyable discussion, though we disagree a bit. I firmly believe that dialogue can lead both participants closer to the fullness of truth.

I would like to add that between you and me, what I discussed above is an academic exercise. I think faithful Catholics can disagree until the Church further clarifies Her understanding of how Scripture and Tradition properly interact.

I think the Church has stated plenty about that. The Church will never disconnect herself from being a guide in Scriptural theology. There is no debate on that. But how relatively clear Scripture is regarded to be is probably an area where Catholics can disagree.

I do not know, but for David W., this question might have some importance as to how he was eventually led to where he finds himself now.

Perhaps. I've been waiting now for two weeks or so to see his reasons for his decision. Obviously, as Catholic apologist, in my opinion, there is no sufficiently good reason to leave the Catholic Church. And I can back up my statement with argument; I don't merely assert it as if I consider it an unarguable maxim.

I am not privy to any great details regarding my friend's departure from the faith into which I sponsored him in 2002. He kept most of it to himself and we have had only a brief but very amiable phone conversation since he broke the news. I am still wildly curious about the way he began to doubt papal/ecclesiastical infallibility.

Me, too. But I think I have a clue, with all these allusion to Arianism and Mormonism floating around, and having discovered that David has had very serious interaction with both Mormons and "anti-Mormons."

I think we could get sidetracked if we read too much into your questions he did not answer. I suggest that his reasoning for accepting Mormons as Christian might be similar to mine.

I don't see how it can stand proper scrutiny.

Further, if he is not Catholic, I tend to think he would be as I am with regard to whether we can dismiss Arianism from the Scriptures alone. I know you disagree with it, but I am hoping you can follow the line of thinking that may lead him to be open to Arianism or inclusive with a word that can be defined in multiple ways and which to my knowledge has never been formally defined by the Church.

The word "Christian"? If that is what you mean, it has been defined by direct implication of which groups are considered "brethren in Christ." Obviously Muslims are not in that category; nor are Jews. Nor are Mormons and Arians and Unitarians, etc. They are outside the parameters of Christianity.

According to CCC #818 (citing the Decree on Ecumenism, 3, 1, from Vatican II, which itself cites the Council of Florence in 1439), those who are baptized "have a right to be called Christians." Since Mormon baptism has been rejected as invalid, because of the rejection of orthodox trinitarianism, and the trinitarian formula (along with correct intention) is essential to baptism; therefore, the Trinity is a necessary element in the definition of the word "Christian."

Isn't that clear enough? Baptism is required, and legitimate baptism requires belief in trinitarianism, in the way that the Church teaches it; therefore, belief in the Trinity is essential to the definition of "Christian."

The Decree on Ecumenism in section 1 is even more explicit. It refers to "the restoration of unity among all Christians. Taking part in this movement, which is called ecumenical, are those who invoke the Triune God and confess Jesus as Lord and Saviour. They do this not only as individuals but also as members of the corporate groups in which they have heard the Gospel . . . "

Thus, again, trinitarianism is central in the definition of a Christian, and this is in a document from an ecumenical council: even within the portion that was specifically ecumenical. Being ecumenical doesn't require watering down doctrines or pretending to believe things that we don't believe.

In what sense is this insufficient to immediately resolve the question for a Catholic who is giving assent to all that the Church requires?

Thank you for your comprehensive examination of my post of a few days ago. I promise to give it a lot of thought.

I got into a little debate . . . Sunday night and this question of definition of Christian came up (he taking your position). I had already seen that The Catechism of Pope Pius X insists upon valid baptism. I will probably concede that this is the official Catholic definition. But then I will add some things that you still won't like. Heh. I said...I'll be thinking about your whole reply and will try to respond before Dave returns (around Saturday). I bet we'll get something by next week at this time from him. Thanks again.

Well, thanks for taking the whole thing in good spirits. Sometimes folks are offended by my vigorous style of discussion. It's just love of dialogue and debate, not intended to be "personal."

God bless.

"Will We See Each Other in Heaven?" Yes (General Resurrection and Glorified Bodies)

By Dave Armstrong (1-22-10)

A person on the CHNI forum asked the following questions, and I did my best to provide some sort of answer:

I was reading C. S. Lewis' book A Grief Observed, and he said this (my emphasis):
Unless of course, you can literally believe all that stuff about family reunions 'on the further shore,' pictured in entirely earthly terms. But that is all unscriptural, all out of bad hymns and lithographs. There's not a word of it in the Bible. And it rings false. We know it couldn't be like that. Reality never repeats. The exact same thing is never taken away and given back. How well the spiritualists bait their hook! 'Things on this side are not so different after all.' There are cigars in heaven. For that is what we should all like. The happy past restored.
It came back to my mind when I attended a recent funeral, how odd it is that we talk so much about seeing each other in heaven, but Lewis believed that nowhere in Scripture is that made absolutely crystal clear. The closest I could come to was when David's son died and he said, "I will go to him."

Is there any passage of Scripture that makes it clear that we will see and know each other in heaven?
(I can't believe I have to ask this as it's just so assumed that we will, but I'm also surprised that I can't come up with a verse that makes it sure.) I'm not doubting that we will see and know each other in heaven; it's just that I find it something we have to, in a sense, assume to be true, infer from Scripture, rather than be able to point to a specific verse and see clearly that it's true.

Perhaps there's something in Psalms?
Or... Might there be a theological reason that God did not share this with us in a clear way so that we don't put our hope in seeing each other rather than in seeing Him?

A few thoughts . . .

As I recall, Lewis saw his wife (many folks have probably seen the movie[s] Shadowlands) after she died, returned as a ghost (Catholics are permitted to believe in ghosts). I wrote a paper about ghosts and dreams. It included Lewis' description of that extraordinary experience. It has some relevance to this thread and what heaven will be like, I think:

It's the quality of last night's experience - not what it proves but what it was - that makes it worth putting down. It was quite incredibly unemotional. Just the impression of her mind momentarily facing my own. Mind, not "soul" as we tend to think of soul. Certainly the reverse of what is called "soulful." Not at all like a rapturous reunion of lovers. Much more like getting a telephone call or a wire from her about some practical arrangement. Not that there was any "message" - just intelligence and attention. No sense of joy or sorrow. No love even, in our ordinary sense. No un-love. I had never in any mood imagined the dead as being so - well, so business-like. Yet there was an extreme and cheerful intimacy. An intimacy that had not passed through the senses or the emotions at all.

. . . A Greek philosopher wouldn't have been surprised at an experience like mine. He would have expected that if anything of us remained after death it would be just that. Up to now this always seemed to me a most arid and chilling idea. The absence of emotion repelled me. But in this contact (whether real or apparent) it didn't do anything of the sort. One didn't need emotion. The intimacy was complete - sharply bracing and restorative too - without it.

. . . Once very near the end I said, "If you can - if it is allowed - come to me when I too am on my death bed." "Allowed!" she said. "Heaven would have a job to hold me; and as for Hell, I'd break it into bits." She knew she was speaking a kind of mythological language, with even an element of comedy in it. There was a twinkle as well as a tear in her eye. But there was no myth and no joke about the will, deeper than any feeling, that flashed through her.

(A Grief Observed, Toronto: Bantam Books edition, 1961, 85-88)

On seeing each other in heaven, I would say, "sure!" We are to be resurrected and have glorified bodies:

Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead shall live, their bodies shall rise. O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy! . . .

Matthew 22:29-30
But Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. [30] For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven."

Matthew 27:52-53
the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, [53] and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Luke 14:14 . . . You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.

Luke 20:35-36 but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, [36] for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

John 5:21, 25 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. . . . [25] "Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live."

John 5:28-29 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice [29] and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.

John 6:39-40 and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. [40] For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 11:24 Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

Acts 23:6, 8
But when Paul perceived that one part were Sad'ducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead I am on trial.". . . [8] For the Sad'ducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.

Acts 24:15 having a hope in God which these themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.

Romans 4:17 . . . God . . . who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

Romans 6:5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

Romans 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you.

Romans 8:16-17
it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, [17] and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (cf. 8:30)

Romans 8:21-23 because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. [22] We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; [23] and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

1 Corinthians 15:12-13, 16 Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? [13] But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; . . . [16] For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised.

1 Corinthians 15:22-23, 26, 32 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. [23] But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. . . . [26] The last enemy to be destroyed is death. . . . [32] What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." (cf. 15:29, 35-36)

1 Corinthians 15:37-55 And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. [38] But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. [39] For not all flesh is alike, but there is one kind for men, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. [40] There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. [41] There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. [42] So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. [43] It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. [44] It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. [45] Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. [46] But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. [47] The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. [48] As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. [49] Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. [50] I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. [51] Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, [52] in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. [53] For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality.
[54] When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." [55] "O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?"

2 Corinthians 4:14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.

2 Corinthians 5:1-4 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. [2] Here indeed we groan, and long to put on our heavenly dwelling, [3] so that by putting it on we may not be found naked. [4] For while we are still in this tent, we sigh with anxiety; not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
Philippians 3:10-11 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, [11] that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 3:20-21
But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, [21] who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-16 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. [15] For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. [16] For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first;

2 Timothy 2:18 who have swerved from the truth by holding that the resurrection is past already. They are upsetting the faith of some.

Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, [2] with instruction about ablutions, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

Hebrews 11:35 Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Revelation 20:5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.

We know something about glorified and resurrected bodies from Jesus' post-resurrection appearances. He was seen by men, who could touch Him (Doubting Thomas) and even ate fish. The Transfiguration is also a related manifestation.

The Book of Revelation is set mostly in heaven, and is filled with visual things:

Revelation 1:17-18 (RSV) When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, [18] and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

Revelation 4:10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, [these "elders" are considered by most commentators, I believe, to be human beings. John saw them doing things; cf. 4:4; 5:6, 8]

Revelation 5:2 and I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?"

Revelation 5:11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, (cf. 5:14; 7:11; 11:16; 14:3; 19:4)

Revelation 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; [human beings]

Revelation 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

Revelation 8:2 Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

Revelation 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. [human beings again]

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. [human beings being judged]

Revelation 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband;

[the fact that heaven itself -- the new Jerusalem -- is described in such strikingly visual terms: see also 21:10-22, suggests that its inhabitants will also be fully visible. They will have glorified bodies. There is no reason I can think of, that these bodies and persons would not be able to be seen by others. Scripture says we will be like the angels and like Jesus in heaven; they are portrayed as being seen there; therefore, by analogy, so will we. And we've already seen proof above, of dead human beings visible to St. John's eye]

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Common Ground": An Exciting Ecumenical Venture (DVD and Book) I'm Privileged to Have Been Part Of


By Dave Armstrong 

[originally posted on 6-3-07]

Update of 1-21-10

The book that is drawn from the DVD, has now been released as well (see the amazon page). The Nineveh's Crossing website has several information pages: for the book, the DVD, user comments, and background story. I wrote the initial draft of the Study Guide (later edited by Stan & Pam Williams). The Study Guide is also available by itself in paper ($7.10) or as a free download.

* * * * *

It all came about out of the blue, with a phone call from a friend of mine and fellow Catholic convert, Stan Williams, who is a filmmaker. He oversees a Catholic media and distribution apostolate called Nineveh's Crossing. Stan told me about an undertaking between a pastor and a priest, recorded onto a DVD, and called Common Ground: What Protestants and Catholics Can Learn From Each Other. See also the amazon page; it offers the following brief description:

. . . a revealing and candid conversation between the leaders of two large churches in Troy Michigan, just North of Detroit: Father John Riccardo of St. Anastasia Roman Catholic Church, and Pastor Steve Andrews of Kensington Community Church. Seeking common ground, "the priest and the pastor" respectfully examine the similarities between the two great traditions they represent. Regardless of your religious background, you'll be intrigued by their open discussion about: * Salvation * Holy Eucharist * The Virgin Mary * Confession * The Saints * Prayer & Worship * Evangelism * Christian Unity.

Timothy George, Dean of Beeson Divinity School and Senior Editor of Christianity Today, exclaimed about the film:
Here is an honest conversation between two deeply committed men of faith, an Evangelical pastor and a Catholic priest, about their shared faith in Jesus Christ. I recommend this resource to all who are interested in Christian unity, in keeping with a prayer of Jesus himself that his disciples be one as he and the Father are one, so that the world may believe.

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things magazine, praised it also:
An astonishingly honest, lucid, and winsome conversation about what unites and divides Catholics and Protestants. Father Riccardo and Pastor Andrews exemplify the kind of encounter made possible and necessary by the fact that we are, in the words of "Evangelicals and Catholics Together," 'brothers and sisters in Christ.'

As Stan told me about what was going on with these two congregations: Protestant and Catholic, I became very excited, as I have been intensely interested in ecumenism for years: especially between evangelical Protestants and Catholics. He sent me the DVD, and when my wife and I watched it last weekend, we were deeply moved and impressed. I wrote to Stan:
It's very well done. Kudos to all involved! You feel like you are sitting right there with these two real, genuine human beings. . . . You couldn't have found a better representative of a Catholic priest, . . . Pastor Steve comes off as tolerant, friendly, genuinely interested in Catholicism and in actually listening to Catholics, and in basic decency and fairness towards others; an impressive Protestant Christian man. Great job! I'm excited to have any involvement at all in this amazing endeavor.
The video was made entirely by Kensington Community Church. I wrote in another letter a few days later: "I think Common Ground is an amazing, extremely impressive piece of work: almost 'inspired'. This is a very special project indeed, and I am honored to have any part in it at all." I also wrote to Stan in another e-mail:
The sad thing about the good thing is that these sorts of projects are so rare (especially so well done as this) that it becomes extraordinary when they happen. That was behind some of my reaction, I'm sure. The extraordinary ought to be routine and ordinary, but of course it isn't, so everyone is amazed when Christians manage to rise to the level of rudimentary obedience to the Bible for the goal of ecumenical unity as much as possible. The divisions of the 16th century (and I mean emotional and irrational elements; beyond the theology) are still very much with us.
But the story may have only just begun. The video has been shown on TBN in prime time. Also, there is talk of a possible article about it in Christianity Today.

Stan thought that I could be of some assistance, and asked me to write a Study Guide for the DVD. I was happy to do so, and finished the project yesterday. I often cite some of the words of Fr. John and Pastor Steve to kick off the discussion and the Guide almost serves as a "catechism for Protestants who seek a basic understanding of Catholic doctrines and reasons why Catholics hold them." I either focused on issues or doctrines or practices where both sides agree (per the title of the DVD), or on gently presenting the biblical basis for Catholic teaching with (I hope!) no material that might be considered "polemical".

It is suited to its purpose: an ecumenical undertaking of better understanding each other, and is as ecumenical in emphasis as it is apologetic, which makes it a bit different from my usual work (and exciting to me). I'm usually (not by my choice but by necessity and "apologetic duty") writing to those who are either hostile or vigorously opposed (whether in amiable terms or not) to Catholic teaching, and at times (after ten years of online debating) that gets old and wearisome, so this is a refreshing change. As always, I am not directly trying to pressure anyone into "becoming a Catholic." I simply explain and defend Catholic teachings.

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

By Dave Armstrong (1-21-10)

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.


I. Trust as an Aspect of Faith and Discipleship
II. 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.