A Response to the Neo-Circumcision

I debate on a number of Forums with those of the Neo-Circumcision. These are they who have a soteriology that's one's salvation is contingent upon one's ongoing performance, advocating a salvation by works idea. The reject the concept of Eternal Security being an inseparable part of the gospel and advocate the idea that you can lose your salvation (LOS) - a revolving door type of scenario.

Below is an example of a argument I had with a Neo-Circumcision type.
bcbsr
As I understand it the LOS crowd are of the opinion that one's potential to be saved is contingent upon one's ongoing performance. Falling short of that performance one loses their potential to be saved and have to gain it back again through confession and the pledge to change one's behavior.

I've seen a bit of diversity among the LOS types as to what constitutes falling short. The Catholics, for example distinguish between "venial" sins, as they define them, which bring the consequence of purgatorial suffering, and "mortal" sins which bring eternal condemnation in hell fire. And I've seen those of the Charles Finney holiness type of soteriology whereby any sin will cause one to lose their potential to be saved.

It's those in particular I would question as to how that is actually lived out. But other LOS run into the same issue.

Namely if, for example, at a point in time you envy your neighbor's property, and thus sin and as such lose your potential to be saved, but you forget that you sinned and consequently end up not confessing it, doesn't that make any such sins as you overlook, unpardonable sins, seeing as no confession follows?

Or is it that such people hold that one is only accountable for sins of which they "feel" guilty for?
 LOS RESPONSE:
Consider three key examples.

Romans 11 "you stand only by your faith.. you should fear for if He did not spare them neither will He spare you"
Matt 18 - forgiveness revoked. "I forgave you ALL that debt..." then the one forgiven all - has his full debt returned.
Ezekiel 18 - forgiveness revoked

other texts to consider include 1 Cor 6 where Paul argues that certain behaviors get you booted from the camp of the saints.

Romans 2
4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who will render to each person according to his deeds: 7 tothose who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13 for it is not the hearers of the Lawwho are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my Gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
BCBSR RESPONSE:

What you are saying shows that you clearly do not believe the gospel but advocate a salvation by works soteriology as did also the Circumcision in their day. What you fail to realize about Romans 2 is that Paul is speaking of salvation through the works of the Law. But in Romans 3 he concludes that it doesn't work. And therefore in Romans 3:20-24 he says, "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

You interpret Romans 2 to be saying that the gospel is that the doers of the Law will be justified. Paul says - doesn't happen, and that the gospel presents a DIFFERENT WAY to be justified APART FROM LAW. No one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law  As such you're saying that you reject the gospel and opt for the Law. Now consider also Rom 2:7 in this light, as you quoted. Yes to those who PERSEVERE in doing good, they will be granted eternal life. But Paul concludes there are no such people who persevere in doing good.

Thus Paul writes of the curse of the Law. All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." Gal 3:10 You're living under a curse.  "You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace." Gal 5:4

In contrast to your soteriology, "We (who have been saved by faith apart from works) know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." Gal 2:16

As for Romans 11, he's not talking about individuals but categories of people - Jew and Gentiles. You yourself are outside the faith, and thus should fear. The gospel is a stumbling point to you. You reject the gospel. Reading Romans 11 you overlook Romans 10 and the rest of what Paul said prior to that. "Since they (you) did not know the righteousness that comes from God and (you) sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man (you) who does these things will live by them." But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’" (that is, to bring Christ down)  "or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."" Romans 10:3-11

Ezek 18 again is talking about the righteousness of the Law. In fact the words "faith" and "believe" are absent from the entire book of Ezekiel. Maybe you should stick with the New Testament where things are stated EXPLICITLY rather that reading your soteriology into obscure passages.

As for Mt 18 and 1Cor 6, dogs go back to their vomit and pigs to their wallowing the mud, but sheep behave as sheep because they are sheep. Thus "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.  This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother." 1John 3:9,10 This is not preaching performance based salvation but salvation based performance. One's performance REVEALS rather than CAUSES one's salvation status.
Catholicism - the progenitor of the Neo-Circumcision sects, says in their Canon Law, "If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works, but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of its increase, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA" Those who align themselves with such a soteriology as Catholicism advocates are likewise of the Neo-Circumcision.
Of those types Paul writes, "This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves." Gal 2:4 The LOS - the Neo-Circumcision - wants to enslave Christians to their legalistic soteriology and slander those who believe the gospel by claiming that the gospel leads to license, licentiousness. "Why not say— as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say— "Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved." Rom 3:7 Such is the fate of those who misrepresent the gospel and those how bear fall witness against us who advocate the gospel.


RESPONDING TO ANOTHER OF THE NEO-CIRCUMCISION

LOS:
We all agree that we are a saved by grace, but grace enables cooperation with God's will.
Thei bible does not teach that we are saved by faith alone. Paul tells us that we are not saved by works of the Jewish Law. We all agree with this.
You seem to think we can be saved even if we live a life disobeying the teachings of Jesus. That is not what the bible teaches.
By what right do you ignore these crystal clear words of scripture?
Rom 2:6; Gal 6:7; Mt 7:21; Mt 25; John 15:10; Mt 6:15; James 2:24
BCBSR:
You say, "You seem to think we can be saved even if we live a life disobeying the teachings of Jesus."

Nope! You seem to misinterpret me just as you misinterpret the Scriptures.

Consider you reference to Romans 2:6, you fail to realize that Paul is setting up an argument starting with performance based righteousness, which is to be saved by being good.  But concludes, "there is no one good" Rom 3:12, "There is no one righteous, not even one" Rom 3:10. And thus no one is qualified to be justified based upon their performance. So the hypothetical idea advocated by groups like the Circumcision and today by the sects of the Neo-Circumcision that one's righteous standing with God is contingent upon one's performance is the same concept as what Paul was saying doesn't justify a person. And he contrasts the righteousness of faith with the righteous of performance based salvation.

"Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." Gal 2:15

"Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Rom 3:20-24

All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." Gal 3:11,12

In Acts 15 James  believed salvation was contingent upon one's compliance to law, but recognized that the whole Law was too burdensome, so he said, "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood." Acts 15:19,20. He tinkered with the righteousness of the Law and cherry picked his own regulations imposing them on the Gentiles as necessary conditions for salvation, rather then opting for the gospel Paul preached, where salvation is by faith apart from works. Neo-Circumcisions sects to this day follow the precedent James made, tinkering with the gospel and fabricating their own salvation by law doctrine, like the Catholics with their Canon Law.
As is evident not only from Acts 15, but from his epistle, James doesn't believe the gospel Paul preaches. He contradicts Paul point for point. The Epistle of James was inserted into the Bible by Catholicism - a Neo-Circumcision sect, who reject the clear teaching of Paul. For the origin of the Neo-Circumcision sect and its relationship to James see http://bcbsr.com/topics/Catholicism_Apostate_Church.html

Concerning the other verses you mentioned, Gal 6:7 is in the same vain as Roman 8 where by those how have the Spirit characteristically walk by the Spirit. But to take Gal 6:7 to mean that eternal life is not attainable now is to reject verses like John 5:24 "tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." or 1John 5:11-13  "And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."

Concerning Matt 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord!' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven." Those who have been born of God do the will of the Father. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27 The Neo-Circumcision don't. For example God's will is that the gospel is salvation by faith in Christ apart from works. The Neo-Circumcision preach otherwise. Among the Eternal Security verses is John 6:39  "And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day." If Jesus loses any, then he didn't do the will of the Father. Since the Neo-Circumcision believe that some lose their salvation, they believe the Jesus fails to so the will of the Father.

Likewise of the end of Mt 25, he divided them according to what they were, sheep or goats (and there's no spectrum, it's either children of God or children of the devil). No surprise that what they did was in accordance to what they were. Those born of God have fruits according to their nature and likewise the children of the devil. The salvation is by faith alone apart from works. Having been saved one is given the Holy Spirit who guarantees their inheritance and regenerates them into new creations whose lifestyle is consistent with that of children of God. The Neo-Circumcsision reject the gospel and are much the same as the religious elite of Jesus day who zealously persecuted him to death, yet reckoned themselves pious.

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

Aug 01,2016