Want Some Answers ???
>>Dear Dr. Mark, You claim that Christadelphians believe in salvation by works. You are in error. If that is what they truly believed then they would indeed be a false system. If there is something you can do to "earn" your salvation, then salvation is something owing to you. Grace means unmerited favour. Christadelphians understand this. Let's be very clear about this. There is nothing Christadelphians or anyone else can do to earn their salvation. To claim that CD's teach this false doctrine is to misrepresent them which is what is frequently done.<<
This is the standard denial to something true. I thought you read my website as claimed? Maybe you just started? Or do I know something about CD doctrine you don’t? I have so many quotes from CD’s regarding these things it questions your claim.
Perhaps you live in an isolated place and don’t know what CD’s teach? “Let's be very clear about this”, Christadelphians do think they can “earn their salvation”. A few CD quotes from my website
“You must study hard to learn the gospel in all its fullness…”
“You will NOT be saved without them (works) - this is God's decree...”
“Salvation is a process….”
“I do believe that something is required of us…”
“So we learn that faith and works must necessarily be combined…”
“Requires a bit from us……..faith without works is dead”
“You turn from your ways and become a serial killer and rapist for the rest of your life? Is your salvation unconditional??” (The answer is ‘no’)
"We have to do something towards our salvation……"
“Without works faith is dead, and we cannot please God…”
“This work of salvation continues throughout the life of the disciple. He is saved finally because he has held fast to the lifeline secured in Christ.."
(Note the CD Webpage Clause 16) “Doctrinally, the Christadelphian’s ….are unique in Christendom in our understanding of the nature of Christ, and the way in which we are redeemed by his death. We reject as unbiblical the idea that Christ could die as a replacement sacrifice for us, thus covering all our sins forever with that one act. Certainly it is through his sacrifice that we may be forgiven, but only if we walk the path of self-denial that he marked out for us”.
Clause 16 contradicts Scripture which teaches “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” [1 Jn.1:7]. And that Christ is our substitution. 1 Pt.2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree”. 1 Pt.3:18 "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins” 1 Jn.4:10 God send - sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins”. 1 Cor.15:3 “Christ died for our sins”. 2 Cor.5:21 “He was made sin for [instead of] us” .
Clause 16 is a clear reference to “works” that Christadelphians deny they teach. It says salvation is “only if we walk the path”. This is the error of “Synergism”, the teaching that we cooperate with God in our efforts of salvation. Cults are synergistic in that they teach that God's grace, combined with our efforts are what makes forgiveness of sins possible. Note the sentence, “but only if we walk the path of self-denial.” If our eternal salvation was on the basis of works and we could earn it successfully, God would be our debtor: He would owe us something [Rom.4:1-3]. The Bible teaches that God owes no man anything and our righteousness is as filthy rags [Isa.64:6].
>>I am sure you would not intentially wish to misrepresent what CD'd truly teach.<<
As you can see from their own words, without “works” you can’t be saved. So they do ‘teach’ that they earn salvation by ‘works’. They say "I will not be saved by my good works, but I will not be saved without them". Only one word describes this - contradiction. If it's not then it’s inconsistent. I suggest that CD’s have not understood the gospel properly. You wrote,
>>Well what do they teach then? CD'd teach that we are saved by grace through faith. Is it Faith alone? No. That is Lutherism. That is what the apostacy teaches. Is it grace alone? No! We are saved by grace through faith. I have heard the apostacy claim we are saved by faith alone through grace alone through Christ alone. That is an absurd statement. If they said we are saved by grace through faith through Christ well that makes sense. So can we be saved by grace alone? No. There is something you have to do before grace will be bestowed upon you. What do you have to do. You have to believe!<<
Here you have said everything BUT “what do they teach” (or what they don’t teach).
>>What did Jesus say - "This is the work of God that ye believe on him whom he hath sent" Can believing help you to deserve salvation. No. None of us deserve salvation. We can never merit salvation. That is why it is called grace. But what must we believe in order to obtain grace? The Gospel. What is the Gospel? It is the "things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. It is the same gospel which was preached to Abraham.<<
The great contradiction in Christadelphianism is the doctrine of salvation. They say one thing and teach another. After they insist salvation relates to belief, faith, grace, then they say, but that’s not all, there’s more, we need to do something. They fool people, those who haven’t read and studied CD doctrine. There is one word that really sums it up – ‘conditions’. Robert’s when answering the question ‘What must we do to be saved? challenges the inquirer with the, ‘conditions which are required to fulfil, in order to (have) a participation in the great salvation when Christ returns’ (pg.226 Christendom Astray).
‘Conditions’ becomes the key word, there’s a number of doctrines to reject and others to accept. Once you start looking at the conditions they become cluttered with hidden conditions. Finally the whole thing turns into a maze where salvation so gabled it turns into a life-long effort. You wrote,
>>But what about the Scriptures which say "he that endures to the end shall be saved" "he who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life? Sounds like work does it not? Do these scriptures make void the gospel of grace? By no means!<<
CD’s emphasize enduring, overcoming and faith with works. And often quote “he that endures to the end shall be saved” (Mt.24:13). Please read the chapter first. This verse is commonly understood to refer to the destruction of Jerusalem. To apply this to the salvation Christians enjoy today is to do violence to the context. But interpreted in the light of its setting and is clear the Lord is not referring to spiritual salvation but rather to physical preservation, “the end” referring to the end of that period and not the end of life.
‘He who overcomes’, who are the “over-comers”? John says, “everyone born of God overcomes the world.” [See 1 Jn.2:13-14]. One does not overcome Satan with human strength and earn salvation. They overcome by ‘the blood of the Lamb’, not by a life long effort of what CD’s call ‘faith and works’. Good works are important, but insufficient for salvation. You wrote,
>>Well what is the answer then. We do not have to guess. The scriptures provide all the answers and can make us wise unto salvation "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works" And "faith without works is dead" In other words the works are the fruit of your faith. If there are no works it proves that you do not believe.<<
Yes scripture has 'the answers'. But we must ‘rightly divide the Word of truth’ (2 Tim.2:15). The “faith” James speaks of is a faith that a person claims to have. Many claim they are Christians but have no evidence in their life and actions. Their ‘faith’ is not real. Jas.2:14 “though a man say he hath faith”. James is a Jewish epistle not written merely to believers but also to those who profess to believe. They were "brethren" after the flesh [Cp. Rom.9:3-4]. They needed to be saved. James is saying, "I will show thee my faith by my works" [2:18]. Otherwise you will have James is conflict with Paul. Works (and many things) can indicate one is saved, but only the saved can work, for all others, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (Jn.6:29). You wrote,
>>When God told Noah to build an ark because he was going to send a flood, Noah believed God. How do we know? He built the ark. If he did not build the ark he would have drowned! His building of the ark proved he believed God. For us there is no better proof of our faith in God than to obey him. Therefore we do. Are we saved by works? No! Like James we show our faith by our works. Where is the error? It is all most logical and scriptural is it not? Where is the delusion? Yours Truly, Paul<<
Yes ‘no better proof of our faith in God’ than to obey the Lord’s command to be ‘born again’. Why don’t you accept that Christ died for you in your place. He took the punishment you deserve. When we trust Christ and His work alone, that’s faith. Because Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient we can be saved. But only those ‘born again’ are “saved” (Titus 3:5 2 Tim.1:0 Eph.2:5,8 1 Cor.15:2).
True it's not works that save. No one serves God and is therefore 'saved'. None are accepted with God based on works. There's only One Way to come to God, His terms, His appointed way. There's no other way to be made good enough, but through Christ's work for us.
When reading the Hebrew’s account regarding Noah, we learn that Noah’s faith is the principle or ground of his righteousness. Salvation was the consequence of His faith, not his work in building an ark (See also Gen.6:8-9).
If his work building the ark was part of a salvation work, he could have boasted. Paul realized that about Abraham, “If in fact Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about--but not before God. What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Both Noah and Abraham were said to be righteous before obedience. Both justified by believing; in other words, they were justified by faith. It is not till some time afterwards in their life that we find a work demonstrated their faith.
The Bible says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph 2:8-9 see also Rom.4:5, 5:8-11,17,19. 2 Tim.1:9. Tit.3:4-8. Jn1:29 6:44. Rev.13:8. Heb.9:22. 1 Pet.2:24. Col.1:20). Your faith should be in God, not in your works or the doctrines of Christadelphianism. Surely we both agree faith should be in God, not the doctrines and interpretations of men. Because, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt.7:21). It’s possible to think we have a good ‘relationship’ with God and yet be very wrong.
When I realized my helpless state and knew God wanted to wash my sin away. I thanked Him for dying for me and received Christ as Saviour. I asked Him into my heart and He made me His child and a new person. That's when I was 'born again'. As a little baby I needed to grow, by feeding on His Word, with prayer, confession, Christian fellowship, effort, etc. But my salvation rests on what He did, not on me, and I'm firmly in His hands (Heb.13:5). Isn't He wonderful!!
I realize this is hard to understand, the Bible says, "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor 2:14). The Holy Spirit is a teacher who reveals the 'truth' and instructs (Jn.14:16-17, 26). Until you are born of the Spirit (Jn.1:13 3:8) you won't grasp the 'deep things of God' (1 Cor.2:10). But 'seek the Lord with all your heart' and you shall find Him.