Commenting at...Ethics and Salvation
Faith Autopsy distinguishes between salvation and ethics. I replied,
I don't have references in mind right now, but the Bible itself does not seem to separate salvation and ethics. There seem to be sins that, if one partakes in regularly, one should question their salvation.I'm frequently misunderstood, so I followed up with this.
Arminians would consider this losing one's salvation and Calvinists would call it never truly having salvation.
God is good
Image by Loci Lenar via Flickr
I was thnking more along the lines of James 2. Faith without works is dead. I did not claim that every time I sin I lose my salvation, although that theology does exist. If you are a serial killer, you might not want to presume God has saved you and sealed you for salvation, if you can't stop killing. It's the ongoing bigger sins that are mentioned repeatedly in the sin lists throughout the epistles into revelation that we need to be concerned about, because God is concerned about them as well as ignoring the positive ethics repeated throughout.
I know that if I went out and lived a prodigal life, my prodigal Father would accept my repentance. What I don't want to presume though is what happens if I die in my prodigal waywardness. James seems to disagree with "once saved always saved" by saying like yourself a few words and an altar call do not mean anything. Words and deeds go hand in hand, as much as we are capable.
I don't believe in a works righteousness or an earned salvation. Nor did I suggest that earlier. But I take James to mean the ethics prove the salvation, but mean nothing without the response Peter gave to the crowd in Acts 2, Repent and be baptized, so that we'll receive the Holy Spirit.
In summary, we need to live out what we believe. If we don't believe, it doesn't matter how we live. If we don't live it out, with the Biblically-specific-NT-ethical-lists in mind, then did we ever believe?
God is good