paul taught salvation by faith alone

1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

In 1 Corinthians Paul tells Christians that “all things are lawful” for him. He is using himself as an example for others, saying “all things” are lawful for all Christians. This is in the direct context of Paul listing moral sins (as opposed to symbolic laws such as circumcision).

1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

So what does 1Co 6:12 mean? To illustrate this verse Paul then uses two examples: food and fornication:

1Co 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

Food concerns the symbolic law and fornication concerns the moral law. It is not a coincidence that Paul uses these examples. Paul says “all things” are lawful for him, and places this between two sets of verses talking about moral sins. Paul is saying that he very well can sin because he is not under the law. Both the symbolic and the moral law do not apply to him. Paul tells us not to sin because “it is not expedient”. Sinning hurts ourselves and others, but it will not lead to damnation.

So what how do modern Christians criticize “salvation by faith alone”? One way is to play on moral outrage. This takes multiple forms:

1. Pointing out that persistent sinners might go to heaven. For example: “Are you saying a serial killer that keeps killing children will go to heaven?”

2. Pointing out that there are no incentives to not sin. For example: “If that is true, then there is no reason not to sin.”

3. Pointing out that if we are shown grace by being forgiven of our sins, then the more we sin the more grace will be shown to us.

Paul was not immune to the same criticism. Paul actually spends his time addressing these concerns:

Rom 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound…
Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Paul’s critics were saying that Paul’s gospel led to the logical conclusion of continuing in sin. Paul was well aware of these criticisms as uses Romans 6 to address them. He answers and says:

Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

His point is not that people will not be saved, but that we should abandon sin. He reemphasizes this point later:

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Paul’s critics were saying that Paul was giving people licence to sin. Paul’s response is not “oh no, you do not understand me. Salvation is only to those who do not sin.” No, Paul responds by saying sin is hurtful and we should be servants of God (see also 1 Cor 6:12). It is not a matter of salvation or damnation; it is a matter of principle:

Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

In Paul’s theology there was no such thing as losing salvation due to subsequent sin. In Paul’s theology faith in a historical event was the main focus (1 Cor 15). In Paul’s theology Christians did not have to persist in good works to continue in salvation. If modern preachers are not getting the same criticisms that Paul was receiving, they might want to reevaluate what they are preaching.

About christopher fisher

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10 Responses to paul taught salvation by faith alone

  1. james jordan says:

    “If modern preachers are not getting the same criticisms that Paul was receiving, they might want to reevaluate what they are preaching.”

    Why the assumption that Paul was a real apostle of Christ? Just because Rome decided to put him in the canon to mimick Marcion and pull in more adherent than him doesn’t make it so.

    Jesus says SWEAR NOT AT ALL. Paul is constantly swearing: Behold before God I lie not. The Holy Ghost also bearing my witness. Behold, I speak the truth in Christ, I lie not!

    Why is Paul always claiming to not be lying? Isn’t that something only liars do?

    And his only claim to apostleship is having seen a talking light. He didn’t see Jesus, not Jesus’ form, but only a light that blinded him and spoke claiming to be Jesus (and how would he know, having never heard Jesus’ voice before).

    And he lies to the Sanhredring when on trial for preaching against circumcision and allegedly bringing Gentiles into the temple, knowing good and well what the real charge is, he says “I am a Pharisee” (oh really, I though you counted all that as dung to win Christ?!!!?!?!? who is he lying to? to the Sanhredin or to the churches he told that to?) “and I am on trial this day for the hope of the resurrection!” No, Paul, but you are on trial for allegedly bringing uncircumcised Gentiles into the temple and you know it.

    And he stole from the collection money, as he admits in Corinthians. He simply responds to this charge “Who goes to war on his own charges?” In other words, I’m the Obama of the ancient world — I get to steal from the collection.

    And he took about a woman, a sister, who was NOT his wife. Same chapter in Coritinhians where they are threatening to defund him and he is claiming to have an apostolic right to do these things. But why does Paul bring a sister (and he doesn’t mean biological) around with him on his missionary journeys? “I allow not a woman to teach” he says and “let your women stay silent in the churches.” He’s not bringing her with him to preach, so what’s she there for if not for fornication? The Corinthians knew this. Do you think they were deceived by his appeals to apostolic privilege? I am the Obama of the ancient world, I don’t have to keep the rules but you do. Do you think they bought it? We only have one side of the correspondence because the Marcionite Catholic Church has deemed so. But those of us who are awake can see what the other side said nonetheless by how Paul responds to it. And his responses are as weak as any politician trying to make excuses for the Obamacare website.

    • james jordan says:

      “Paul’s critics were saying that Paul’s gospel led to the logical conclusion of continuing in sin.”

      And for the first 3 or 4 centuries of the church nobody paid much attention to most of Paul’s gospel (except the Gnostics of course). Even after Augustine finally took Paul seriously, most of the church didn’t take Paul that seriously still. Not until Protestantism came along was he taken seriously….and even then, really the Protestants didn’t take him that seriously until the 1900s…because they also found a way to get around faith alone a bit until then and make some works necessary to some extent. Only since the 1900s has full-on faith alonism been active, and now the world is being homosexualized and over-sexualized. Its no coincidence. Paul’s ideology is a failed ideaology, just like political liberalism and Kaynesian economics. Everywhere its been tried, its resulted in immorality. Paul is in hell.

    • I would like to see those thoughts developed with a “here is the verse, here is what is being said, here are the implications”. I would appreciate it if you did so. It is definitely food for thought.

  2. james jordan says:

    The Corinthians seeing through Paul:

    1 Cor 9:1-2 “Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.” A stange saying if all is well for him in Corinth. Remember from the first few chapters that Corinth is divded into factions saying “I follow Paul, I follow Cephas, I follow Apollos.” Apparently the other two factions did not want to recognize Paul as an apostle. Why?

    1 Cor 9:3-4 “Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, Have we not power to eat and to drink?” Only two possibilities here. Either the Corinthians are upset that Paul eats and drinks too much, or that he eats food considered unclean and/or drinks wine which they disallow…or (the more likely possibility) they believe he’s using too much of the funds they provide for his missionary journeys on his personal meals.

    1 Cor 9:5 “Have we not power to lead about a sister, a WOMAN [KJV has wife], as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?” “Wife” is a mistranslation, and clearly a purposeful one, recalling that passage where Paul urges everyone to stay single as he is (1 Cor 7:7) which clearly demonstrates he has no wife. The complaint is that Paul is bringing a woman around with him on his journeys and its not proper for him to travel with a woman, Clearly she’s not there to preach.

    1 Cor 9:6-8 “Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working? Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?”

    1 Cor 9:15 “But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.” Very odd to complain about all this if he isn’t demanding these rights. In fact, he clearly DID make use of these things, which is why the Corinithians are seeking to defund him. Verse 15 is obviously an interpolation to save Paul from scrutiny by later generations. In fact, the rest of the chapter probably is.

    Its interesting how he goes immediately from the subject of his right to everyone’s money and to a personal prostitute-sister to in chapter 10 “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;” Whoever patched this fiction together sure had a vivid imagination.

    The accusation that Paul is mishandling the moolah continues in 2nd Corinthians 12:

    2 Cor 12:14 “Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile. Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you? I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps?”

    The classic communist/Alinskyite tactic of saying that you are doing the opposite of what you are doing, and hoping your audience is stupid enough to buy it. Paul is coming to take up the collection for the third time, but he wants us to know he’s not coming for our money (despite the obvious fact that he in fact is). No absolutely not! Although he is coming to collect our money for the third time, he’s not coming for money, so much the rather he would love to spend and be spent for us. (Yet he’s still going to take our money, of course.) Did anyone that Paul sent ever take any money? Of course they did, but Paul pretends they didn’t because if you tell the lie often enough people believe it. That’s why the News Media exists. (See also 2 Cor 8; Titus did take money too. And that Paul may convince them to our of “deep poverty” abound in giving with “liberality” to his collection [2 Cor 8:2] he says in 8:9 “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” Aw….)

    That this interpretation is not entirely new, see http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/2Cor/Paul-Sends-Team-Advance-Coming: There the commenter points to these verse:

    The administration of an effort like the Jerusalem collection could easily give rise to allegations of mishandling of funds. Today a charitable organization can employ a group that independently assesses its fiscal accountability….The extra care that Paul takes is understandable. His critics were quick enough to suggest that the collection was merely a covert way of receiving financial support (12:16-18). Moreover, the money involved is a liberal amount (v. 20)…..

    Yes, indeed, the context is about Paul taking their money, and Paul is taking “extra care” — not extra care in properly handling the money, of course, but extra care in making sure to try and convince them that while he’s taking their money he’s really not taking their money. He’s the Obama of the ancient world for sure! Can you say Obamacare?

    But we also have the fact that Paul is supposedly collecting all this money to take to Jerusalem to feed the needy saints. (1 Corinthians 16:1 “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.” Romans 15:25-26 “But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.”) Yet, in Acts (21:15 on, Paul’s final trip to Jerusalem), when he arrives, the money is all missing!!!!

    In Acts 21 James discusses with Paul how many Jewish Christians are upset by his preaching against circumcision, and James has Paul pay for the sacrifices of a few Nazirites who’ve finished their vows so they can go get their heads shaved in the temple (as a ruse to convince the angry Jewish Christians that Paul does care about the Law after all). But where is the collection???? What happened to it? He was supposed to be bringing it to Jerusalem? Ah, maybe I’ve found it!!!! In Acts 24 Felix keeps Paul around for a long time rather than releasing him or sending him on to Ceasar, because Acts 24:26 tells us “He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.” So Felix knows Paul has the “collection” money stached somewhere and can call upon Luke to go fetch it at any time. Ah, I see.

    Now Paul’s constant swearing:

    Romans 1:9 “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;”

    Romans 9:1 “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,”

    2 Corinthians 11:31 “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.”

    Galatians 1:20 “Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.

    1 Timothy 2:7 “Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.”

    Is Paul a Pharisee or Not?

    Phillipians 3:4-8 “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,”

    Acts 23:6 “But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.”

    So has he counted his Pharisee status as dung, or does he lie and claim to still be a Pharisee when its convenient?

    • james jordan says:

      Now, I must make one more point on the contribution for Jerusalem.

      Romans 15:25-26 “But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.”

      Its in Romans, probably the last Pauline epistle written, that Paul says he’s on his way to deliver this thing, Its also in Romans that Paul says this right before:

      Romans 15:23-24 “But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints…”

      What parts? Achaia and thereabout, where the collection was taken. Paul has no more part there. Peace out Achaia. He’s going to Jerusalem to deliver the collection, then he’s heading to Spain and will visit Rome on the way there (hoping that Rome will fund the rest of his journey from Italy to Spain, Romans 1, Romans 15).

      Ok fine. This means the collection is to be deliver on his LAST journey to Jerusalem. Duh. I didn’t make this clear in the above post.

      We read in Acts 11:27-30 “And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.”

      This is a lie. Paul cannot be delivering the collection before his last journey because its not until he has no more part in Achaia that he writes to the Romans saying “Yo, I’m going to deliver the collection to Jerusalem, then I’m coming to Rome and you guys can fund me on to Spain.” Acts does have him deliver the collection, but before the collection is even taken up!!!! OOOPSY!! Gotcha Catholic monks! I caught you!

  3. james jordan says:

    As for Faith Alonism

    1 Cor 10:21-23 “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”

    If it is wrong to eat of the table of devils, how is it also lawful to do so?

    1 Cor 6:9-12 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

    If no fornicator, idolator, adulterer, etc. can inherit the kingdom of God, how the hell can he say all things are lawful? Clearly these things are not lawful, or doing them would not prohibit them from inheriting the kingdom of heaven.

    So we see a massive problem. Paul is trying to have his cake and eat it too. Faith alonism always leads to immorality because its adherents believe it more than Paul himself did. He contradicted himself — they are consistent. They outlaw good. All things are lawful in their mind, except obeying God. All sin is lawful, all righteousness is unlawful as they tell it.

  4. Tom Torbeyns says:

    This sounds like dangerous easy-believism to me.

    Without holiness no one will see the Lord and the Lord sees it when we sin:

    https://crosstheology.wordpress.com/imputed-righteousness/

  5. Pingback: refuting acts 9 dispensationalism | reality is not optional

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