Saturday, August 2, 2014

Made perfect by the flesh?

An Acts 28er wrote the words in red, my reply in green.

Note: Translating "katergavzomai" as "work out" is a perfectly accurate translation. This 28er proved nothing. This 28er is just trying to Greek their way out of submitting to a final authority.

It is not true that Paul taught salvation by believing alone. We read in Phil 2:12, “……work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”.
The Greek word “katergazomai” is translated here “work out”. It is translated seven different ways. That tells us that there are shades of meanings, but it also tells us that the basic meaning of the word may be difficult to grasp. In order to ascertain the basic meaning I will suggest one word which, although may not be correct English Grammar, and will not show the shades of meanings, it will help us to see how the Holy Spirit means for us to understand it’s basic meaning. That one word is “accomplish”. Let us see if this word will fit every occurrence.(The word in bold and italicized lettering is the word that is used in the KJV that translates “katergazomai”.)
Rom. 1:27, ” men with men working (accomplishing) that which is unseemly…….”.
Rom. 7:8, “But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought (accomplishes) in me all manner of concupiscence”.
Rom. 7:15, “…..for to will is present with me; but how to perform (accomplish) that which is good, I find not”.
Rom. 7:17, “Now then it is no more I that do (accomplish) it, but sin that dwelleth in me”.
Rom. 7:18, “…..but how to perform (accomplish) that which is good, I find not”.
Rom. 7:20, “….it is no more I that do (accomplish) it, but sin that dwelleth in me”.
I Peter 4:3, “For the time past of our life, may suffice us to have wrought (accomplished) the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts,…….”.
May I point out that the Greek word is never translated to include the word “out” except in Phil. 2:12.

Let me list what we have learned in this word study. As we have seen, every occurrence of the word “katergazomai” can be translated with the word “accomplish”.
The most logical conclusion is that Paul wrote in Phil. 2:12, “Accomplish your own salvation with fear and trembling”. But again, we know that we are saved by grace through faith and not by works. This is not a contradiction to that fact. This is the exact same principle that James spoke of when he wrote that “faith without works is dead”.
Another verse that tells us the place of works in God’s plan of salvation in the dispensation of the mystery is II Tim. 2:10 which reads, “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory”. Note the word “obtain”. Webster’s Dictionary defines “obtain” as, “to get hold of by effort“. Again, Paul is obviously not suggesting that salvation is by works, but I believe that God’s plan of salvation is a universal one, i.e. it is the same for all dispensations. Again, that plan is that one is saved by grace through faith, and that faith is completed by works.

Ok, I am not very pleased with your view of salvation. I just don't see the scripture to back that up. Salvation is by believing ALONE, anything other than that is a false gospel. (for this dispensation).

Romans 4:5​ But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Romans 4:
[22] And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
[23] Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
[24] But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
[25] Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification

Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Acts 13:
[38] Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
[39] And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses

Ephesians 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,

Our salvation is not a promise, we do not complete it by works..... "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"

As soon as we believe the gospel we are "COMPLETE IN CHRIST" (Col. 2:10) and we are not "made perfect by the flesh". What you stated, I'm afraid, is a false gospel. I can't complete my salvation because it is already completed....

Colossians 2:
 [10] And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
[11] In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
[12] Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
[13] And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses

As for works, we are created in Christ made complete in Him (Eph. 2:10, Col. 2:10) UNTO good works.

Ephesians 2:
[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.
[10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them

Titus 3:
[4] But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
[5] Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
[6] Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
[7] That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
[8] This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men

And as for Philippians 2:12, "work out your own salvation" does not mean "work to complete your salvation" nor "work for your salvation".

When I lift weights, I am WORKING OUT muscles that already exist. I already have them, but working them out will help me to be healthier, stronger, and in a better condition than I was before....--but no muscles are created.

Likewise we that are saved should "maintain good works" to be "profitable" christians because we have been "bought with a price" and we are "not our own" and should therefore "glorify God" in our body. (1 Cor. 6:15-20). As we have received Christ, so we should walk in Him (Col. 2:6). We already have our salvation ("created in Christ Jesus") and we should work that out ("unto good works") PRACTICALLY, our WALK. But as far as our spiritual standing is concerned, we are "complete in Him" and are not "made perfect by the flesh".

I hope you are trusting Christ and His finished work alone for salvation and not any supposed completing of salvation that you did yourself. Paul calls that "foolish" (Galatians 3:1-3).

Please don't take that offensively, but the gospel is not something we can negotiate on (Gal. 2:5).


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