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Paul Never Says Believers Have Been Saved . . .


consiglieri

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Although the title of this thread sounds like a blow at evangelical soteriology, it is not my invention, but is rather a statement from The Oxford Bible Commentary on Paul's 1st epistle to the Corinthians.

Specifically, it deals with 1 Corinthians 1:18, which in the KJV says that the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness, but to them that are saved, the power of God.

The NRSV changes that to read, "but to them that are being saved." (Note that the New International Version also follows this reading.)

The full quote from the Oxford Bible Commentary, p. 1112 is as follows, emphasis in original:

In 1:18 Paul introduces the twin antitheses of wisdom/foolishness and power/weakness, which undergird this whole section, and he embraces the apparent absurdity of his message of Christ crucified--absurd, however, only to those "who are perishing." The division of humanity into two groups--"those perishing" and "those being saved" (he never says believers have been saved)--is similar to the dualistic spirit of apocalyptic literature, as also are the pejorative nuances in phrases like "this age" (1:20) and "the world (1:21).

Any thoughts?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Although the title of this thread sounds like a blow at evangelical soteriology, it is not my invention, but is rather a statement from The Oxford Bible Commentary on Paul's 1st epistle to the Corinthians.

Specifically, it deals with 1 Corinthians 1:18, which in the KJV says that the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness, but to them that are saved, the power of God.

The NRSV changes that to read, "but to them that are being saved." (Note that the New International Version also follows this reading.)

The full quote from the Oxford Bible Commentary, p. 1112 is as follows, emphasis in original:

Any thoughts?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

i really do like the statement made from this oxford thing, but on the other hand

its only someones interpritation and opinion? to bad its not irrefutable proof of somekind.

:P

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Which would at least make his message consistent under the Oxford Bible commentary!

I'm sure Paul would be thrilled by this if he were still alive. 'Tis nothing greater than to have your Pauline theology (especially if you are Paul) agree with the Pauline theology of Oxford.

The enemy of my enemy is my....

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if you limit salvation to eternity with God, then you can argue that grammatical construct, as we are not yet dead...

but that is not what salvation is

salvation is our being adopted into God's family. Where once we were His enemies now we are His children.

Here the divide is great. As we don't hold that we are procreated children of God, becoming His children is different to the "EV" than it is to the LDS

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if you limit salvation to eternity with God, then you can argue that grammatical construct, as we are not yet dead...

but that is not what salvation is

salvation is our being adopted into God's family. Where once we were His enemies now we are His children.

Here the divide is great. As we don't hold that we are procreated children of God, becoming His children is different to the "EV" than it is to the LDS

And there is the key that Evangelicals miss... we are not "Adopted" into Gods family until we are ressurected...

Rom. 8: 23

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

and made perfect as Christ was.

Heb. 5: 9

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Philip 3

12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

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Although the title of this thread sounds like a blow at evangelical soteriology, it is not my invention, but is rather a statement from The Oxford Bible Commentary on Paul's 1st epistle to the Corinthians.

"Paul never says believers have been saved."

Actually, Paul had written nearly exactly that phrase in Ephesians 2.8:

τῇ γὰρ χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι διὰ πίστεως / te gar chariti este sesosmenoi dia pisteos

"For~in faith you [pl.] are having been saved through faith."

σεσῳσμένοι (sesosmenoi) here is, in form, a perfect passive participle, denoting the past accomplishment of an action ("having been saved") whose results carry forward into the present (emphasized, apparently, in this verse by the use of the present tense este ["you are"]).

Note KJV:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

ESV:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

NIV:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faithâ??and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of Godâ??

NASB:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

YLT:

for by grace ye are having been saved, through faith, and this not of you -- of God the gift,

Perhaps the commentator meant that the Paul never says such in 1 Corinthians?

Best.

CKS

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They also miss the point...

Heb. 9: 11

11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

Heb. 11: 40

40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Heb. 12: 23

23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

We can't be made perfect without our dead?

Well... looks like EVs will never be made perfect. They have no way to redeem their dead.

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Perhaps the commentator meant that the Paul never says such in 1 Corinthians?

Best.

CKS

Perhaps that is what he meant.

On the other hand, perhaps he meant that Paul never says such in the epistles that are commonly attributed to Paul.

My understanding is that Ephesians falls under the Pseudo-Pauline epistles, due at least in part to the fact that he there appears to espouse a doctrine he denounces in 1 Corinthians (and elsewhere); i.e., the doctrine that believers can achieve a saved status in mortality.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

P.S. Do traditional Christians tend to prefer Corinthians or Ephesians in this regard?

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Perhaps that is what he meant.

On the other hand, perhaps he meant that Paul never says such in the epistles that are commonly attributed to Paul.

My understanding is that Ephesians falls under the Pseudo-Pauline epistles, due at least in part to the fact that he there appears to espouse a doctrine he denounces in 1 Corinthians (and elsewhere); i.e., the doctrine that believers can achieve a saved status in mortality.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

P.S. Do traditional Christians tend to prefer Corinthians or Ephesians in this regard?

Hi Consig--

I suppose he might have meant that. That thought crossed my mind as well. Is the article by-lined?

I'm actually just chasing rabbits here. Zakusa's Will Smith-inspired ramblings aside ("Eevies Just Don't Understand"), I happen to agree with many of the LDS sentiments posted above.

Best.

CKS

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Eph 1:13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

my favorite scripture, when God seals you with His Spirit , you will know it, no questions asked.

redeemed

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Eph 1:13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

my favorite scripture, when God seals you with His Spirit , you will know it, no questions asked.

redeemed

Yep.... He's coming back to pick up what he has placed on Layaway.

BUT... theres going to be a lot of Items he's not happy with.

Matt. 7: 21

21

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Although the title of this thread sounds like a blow at evangelical soteriology, it is not my invention, but is rather a statement from The Oxford Bible Commentary on Paul's 1st epistle to the Corinthians.

Specifically, it deals with 1 Corinthians 1:18, which in the KJV says that the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness, but to them that are saved, the power of God.

The NRSV changes that to read, "but to them that are being saved." (Note that the New International Version also follows this reading.)

The NIV:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us
who are being saved
it is the power of God.

New American Standard Bible:

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us
who are being saved
it is the power of God.

The Message:

The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for
those on the way of salvation
it makes perfect sense.

Amplified Bible:

For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us
who are being saved
it is the [manifestation of] the power of God.

New Living Translation:

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we
who are being saved
know it is the very power of God.

English Standard Version:

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us
who are being saved
it is the power of God.

Contemporary English Version:

The message about the cross doesn't make any sense to lost people. But for those of us
who are being saved
, it is God's power at work.

New King James Version:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us
who are being saved
it is the power of God.

New Century Version:

The teaching about the cross is foolishness to those who are being lost, but to us
who are being saved
it is the power of God.

21st Century King James Version:

For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who perish; but unto us
who are saved
, it is the power of God.

American Standard Version:

For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us
who are saved
it is the power of God.

Young's Literal Translation:

for the word of the cross to those indeed perishing is foolishness, and to us --
those being saved
-- it is the power of God,

Darby Translation:

For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but to us
that are saved
it is God's power.

New Life Version:

Preaching about the cross sounds foolish to those who are dying in sin. But it is the power of God to those of us
who are being saved
from the punishment of sin.

Holman Christian Standard Bible:

For to those who are perishing the message of the cross is foolishness, but to us
who are being saved
it is God's power.

New International Reader's Version:

The message of the cross seems foolish to those who are lost and dying. But it is God's power to us
who are being saved
.

Wycliffe New Testament:

For the word of the cross is folly to them that perish; but to them
that be made safe
, that is to say, to us, it is the virtue of God.

Worldwide English (New Testament):

When people who are turning away from God hear about the cross, they say, `That is foolish!' But for us
who are being saved
, the cross is the power God uses to save us.

New International Version - UK:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us
who are being saved
it is the power of God.

Today's New International Version:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us
who are being saved
it is the power of God.

Versions that use "are saved" or some variant thereof:

21st Century King James Version

American Standard Version

Darby Translation

Versions that use ambiguous language:

Wycliffe New Testament

All the others use "being saved" or some variation thereof.

-Smac

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Although the title of this thread sounds like a blow at evangelical soteriology, it is not my invention, but is rather a statement from The Oxford Bible Commentary on Paul's 1st epistle to the Corinthians.

Specifically, it deals with 1 Corinthians 1:18, which in the KJV says that the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness, but to them that are saved, the power of God.

The NRSV changes that to read, "but to them that are being saved." (Note that the New International Version also follows this reading.)

The full quote from the Oxford Bible Commentary, p. 1112 is as follows, emphasis in original:

Any thoughts?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

I wonder if it is a misunderstanding what what Paul meant for by the word 'saved'. We use it in many different contexted ourselves. We are not physically safed until after we die. Yet we can be spiritually saved or born again instantly. Some have contended that they have taken a life time to be born again and maybe in this context-- 'being' saved is appropriate. But others have receive their calling and election and are definitely on in the process of doing anything but fulfilling their mission here.

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I always read those complaints that EV's put no effort into trying to understand LDS doctrine and then I keep reading stuff like this

salvation is a general term

we can break it up into parts

Justification: how is my standing before a Holy God? I am justified already due to my faith in Christ's death on the cross for my sins. That is sure, 100%

sanctification: the process of becoming more holy...will I ever be perfected here on earth? ( here I think we differ from RCC as to possibility) EV say no, we will never achieve sinlessness while in our current corrupt bodies

glorification: my eternity with Him, new body, new everything...hasn't happened yet

but all these things ARE SURE to happen as my faith in Him has justified me; as He has called me and He will do the rest (keep reading through Ephesians and Galatians) I can rest assured that God won't break His promises.

This does not give me the right to be lazy or licentious. I am to work toward personal holiness and flee sin. But the power to achieve these things comes from the indwelling Spirit which I received upon placing my faith in Christ

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I would agree with paulhadik here (big surprise, right?). There are three "tenses" of salvation strewn throughout the New Testament. Past tense passages, in mainstream Christianity, are seen as referring to "justification". Ephesians 2:8-9 is one previously mentioned example. I would also put forward Jesus' words in John 3:36 and 5:24 as other instances (although 3:36 could fall under the present tense as well). There are others (2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5).

The second "tense" is the present tense, "being saved". This stage would be seen as "sanctification", the ongoing work of God in the believer to make them like Christ. (One note, I believe Catholics see justification and sanctification as almost synonymous, although they would still agree that salvation has a "past tense" element.) I Corinthians 1:18 has already been mentioned here. I would also add Hebrews 10:14, I Peter 1:8-9.

The third tense is the future tense, or "glorification". This is the end goal of the process of salvation, the recreation of men and women, becoming like Christ and living in the presence of God for eternity. Obviously there are many future tense verses, scattered all over.

I believe that all stages or "tenses" of salvation need to be given equal weight here, since overbalancing in favor of any of them leads to problems. For example, overemphasizing the past tense/justification can easily lead to the "say the prayer and then live like you want" mentality that some people have. These individuals have no clue about the ongoing saving work that God wants to do in their lives. This is harmful, obviously. On the other hand, giving the future tense/glorification too much weight also leads to problems. Here we have people constantly unsure of themselves before God, having no real hope of salvation because they haven't seen it begin in their lives and work in them in the present. Paul consistently grounds our hope of future glorification in the reality of God's work in the past, both in the life of Christ and in the life of the believer. Hence, ignoring the first two tenses is also harmful. Finally, emphasizing the middle simple leads to a more "I just have to be a good person" type religion, common in all places and religious groups. Focusing on what God is doing only in the present means no real goal or hope of eternal life, and no strength and joy derived from the work that God has already done in the past.

This may have been a bit off topic, but I think it is important anyway. I see too many LDS ignoring the past and present tenses, which seems to lead many people to burnout, never knowing where they stand before God. Indeed, there are LDS who explicitly reject the idea of a past tense to salvation at all, despite the biblical testimony to the contrary! Likewise, I see too many of my fellow co-religionists going in the opposite direction, thinking that the beginning is all one needs to run a good race; might as well do whatever we want! This is just as bad! There needs to be balance. I think that the imbalance in evangelicalism is not a fault of bad doctrine, but bad discipleship and emphasis and what we already teach. Unfortunately, I think the LDS reticence to balance the future tense with the past and present is a more systemic, doctrinal problem.

Just my opinion on that last bit. Take care, everyone :P

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I see too many LDS ignoring the past and present tenses, which seems to lead many people to burnout, never knowing where they stand before God

We simply use different terms such as 'born again', 'straight and narrow path', and 'iron rod' instead of worrying about tenses of 'saved'. The problem between LDS and EV understanding I think may lie in the unBiblical notion of OSAS. Hence when an EV claims they are saved, an LDS person thinks OSAS which is rejected by verses such as 2 Peter 2:20.

Of course there are very few EV's in my long experience (Bible Belt) who even know and understand the tenses of 'saved' and indeed automatically go into OSAS mode. I simply look at the Lexicon which has it as an ongoing process not finished until after death.

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I see too many LDS ignoring the past and present tenses, which seems to lead many people to burnout, never knowing where they stand before God. Indeed, there are LDS who explicitly reject the idea of a past tense to salvation at all, despite the biblical testimony to the contrary!

I don't. I think when we repent and do as the Lord asks, we are in a saved state. If a person dies while in that state, they don't have anything to worry about. My major objection is the "once saved, always saved." If Joe is in a river and he starts drowning and is pulled out of the river by Jack, Joe has been "saved" both in the present tense when the rescue occurs and in the past tense as days and weeks pass. However, if Joe decided to jump back in the river, he runs the risk of drowning again. Thus whatever work that Jack did for Joe when he saved him earlier has pretty much gone to waste. I love the scripture that says "I the Lord and bound when ye do what I say. When ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." This is very true in the salvation process. LDS can always know where they stand before God simply by self evaluation. God does not ask the impossible from us. He knows our abilitites and we basically know them to.

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I can at least appreciate the OSAS concept if you consider a individual that has accepted Christ, repented of his sins, and dies but right before he dies in a car accident yells an obscenity. Since no unclean thing can enter the Kingdom of God is the individual cut off from God because of that last sin? I think the OSAS concept answers this.

Is that right EV's?

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I don't. I think when we repent and do as the Lord asks, we are in a saved state. If a person dies while in that state, they don't have anything to worry about. My major objection is the "once saved, always saved." If Joe is in a river and he starts drowning and is pulled out of the river by Jack, Joe has been "saved" both in the present tense when the rescue occurs and in the past tense as days and weeks pass. However, if Joe decided to jump back in the river, he runs the risk of drowning again. Thus whatever work that Jack did for Joe when he saved him earlier has pretty much gone to waste. I love the scripture that says "I the Lord and bound when ye do what I say. When ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." This is very true in the salvation process. LDS can always know where they stand before God simply by self evaluation. God does not ask the impossible from us. He knows our abilitites and we basically know them to.

It's more like Jack dries up the river.

I can at least appreciate the OSAS concept if you consider a individual that has accepted Christ, repented of his sins, and dies but right before he dies in a car accident yells an obscenity. Since no unclean thing can enter the Kingdom of God is the individual cut off from God because of that last sin? I think the OSAS concept answers this.

Is that right EV's?

It does.

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