Friday, May 09, 2008

Romans 10:9-13: Are "Confess" and "Call" Post-Justification? part 3

Are the "confess" of Romans 10:9-10 and the "call" of Romans 10:13 pre or post justification? Or in other words, is there a "sinner's prayer" in Scripture? I'm not talking about a 1-2-3 pray-with-me easy-believism, but a legitimate cry for spiritual deliverance from sin and Hell through Jesus Christ?

Our friend and brother in Christ, Thomas Ross, says "no" to the above questions. I say "yes." What says Scripture?

So far, we've mainly looked at how the context of Romans 10:9-13 supports the pre-justification confess or call. Now we'll get into the actual text of the verses.

A pivotal point for the post-justification confess or call, one that buttresses its entire argument, is that "saved" in these verses is ultimate salvation, not immediate salvation. When I say "ultimate," I mean final salvation, that is, deliverance from the penalty and presence of sin, from God's eternal wrath and punishment at His judgment (Mt. 10:22; Mk. 13:13; 13:20; 16:16; Acts 15:11; Rom. 5:9-10; Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 3:15; 1 Cor. 5:5). When I use "immediate," I mean the deliverance the very moment that someone believes in the Lord from a position outside of Christ, a position of sinfulness, and from the power of sin unto the sure prospect of ultimate salvation (Lk. 8:12; 9:56; 17:19; John 3:17; Acts 4:12; 16:30-31; Rom. 11:14; 1 Cor. 7:16; 9:22; 2 Thess. 2:10; 1 Tim. 1:15; 2:4).

It is true that the word translated "saved" (sodso) can be something other than immediate salvation. When the term is used in the past tense (aorist; Rom. 8:24; Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5) or the present tense (1 Cor. 1:18; 15:2) it isn't ultimate salvation.

Here in Romans 10:9-13, we see the future tense, so the question here is whether the future tense is immediate or ultimate salvation. Some times the future tense is speaking of immediate salvation and other times it is talking about ultimate salvation. Some of those times it is easy to tell from the context which it is, but other times it is more difficult.

As do I, Thomas Ross hates easy-prayerism. He starts into this passage looking through the lense of that hatred, resulting, I believe, in a rush to judgment. He misses what I am about to show you that obliterates his position. In his paper, An Exegesis and Application of Romans 10:9-14 for Soulwinning Churches and Christians, he misses the key grammatical issue to determine whether Romans 10:9-13 are ultimate or immediate salvation. My hope is that his sincere desire for the truth will cause him to abandon his post-justification confess or call position.

The verb form for "saved" (sodso) in this verse is future indicative passive. This form occurs twenty times in the New Testament. The twenty occurrences can be divided into the two categories of ultimate and immediate salvation. Romans 10:9 has a conditioned statement as its dependent clause, which contains the third class condition (ean) and two subjunctive verbs ("shalt confess" and "shalt believe"). Four other references share the same construction and clearly refer to immediate completion of the main verb upon the fulfillment of the condition (cf. Matthew 9:21; Mark 5:28; John 10:9; and 1 Timothy 2:15). Six of the references use the future indicative passive form of sodso and clearly speak of final salvation. However, each of those six is communicated with an aorist participle (cf. Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13; 16:16; Romans 5:9-10). The five references with the aorist subjunctive are always immediate. If Romans 10:9-10 is ultimate, it would be an exception. What we have here, however, are two patterns. The aorist subjunctive pattern is immediate salvation. The aorist participle pattern is ultimate salvation.

Against the grammatical pattern, in a completely exceptional way, Thomas Ross identifies "thou shalt be saved" as ultimate salvation. Because of the grammatical construction, it can't be. It must be immediate salvation. If you read his above paper, you will see that he misses this in his study. I have more evidence to come for immediate salvation, but in the meantime, I call on him to abandon his ultimate salvation position for the immediate salvation view of Romans 10:9.

24 comments:

Stephen Garrett said...

Dear Brother B.

I will be reading the article by Tom. I am interested in this issue and how it relates to the ongoing debate over the "ordo salutis."

I think "shall be saved" may refer to regeneration, justification, sanctification, and to final glorification.

I am also interested in this topic of "easy believism" and the praying of the sinner's prayer.

I think people are going way too far in decrying the sinner's prayer and condemning "easy believism."

God bless

Stephen

Thomas Ross said...

DEAR PASTOR BRANDENBURG AND ALL OTHER READERS,

LET ME SAY IN MY REPLY THAT I HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF RESPECT FOR PASTOR BRANDENBURG AS A GREAT MAN OF GOD, A GREAT FRIEND, MY ACTING “DAD” IN MY BETROTHAL AND MARRIAGE TO MY WIFE (NOW), AND SOMEONE WHO HAS DONE MUCH MORE PREACHING AND TEACHING THROUGH THE BIBLE THAN I HAVE. IF I WERE READING THIS, ESPECIALLY IF I WAS IN THE CHURCH THAT HE PASTORED, I WOULD HAVE A BIAS IN FAVOR OF WHAT HE SAYS AND AGAINST WHAT I SAY. I AM ALSO GLAD THAT WE CAN DISCUSS THIS ISSUE, AS IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US ALL TO BE AS ACCURATE AS POSSIBLE WITH THE GOSPEL, FOR THE GLORY OF GOD.
I WILL COMMENT IN ALL CAPS BELOW WITHIN PORTIONS OF PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S PREVIOUS WORK. MY COMMENTS ARE FOR ALL THREE OF THE PREVIOUS ENTRIES ON ROMANS 10 AND THE SINNER’S PRAYER. (THE REASON I AM IN ALL CAPS IS TO DISTINGUISH WHAT I WROTE WITH WHAT HE ORIGINALLY SAID. IT DOES NOT MEAN I AM YELLING, MY KEYBOARD HAS GLUE UNDERNEATH THE CAPS LOCK KEY, ETC.)

I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT SOMEONE WHO READS PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S COMMENTS FIRST READS MY WORK: “Romans 10:9-14: Sinner's Prayers for Salvation?” AT:
HTTP://THROSS7.GOOGLEPAGES.COM/HOME (NOTE NO HTTP AT THE FRONT OF IT). AFTER ALL, MY ANALYSIS IS WHAT IS GETTING RESPONDED TO.

The Pre-Context

Romans 10 comes in a context of salvation and especially the salvation of the Jews. We are obviously seeing a Jewish antagonist who thinks that God doesn't want to save Israel. This isn't unusual for Israel. They complained about this repeatedly in the Old Testament. God regularly argues that He is able and willing to save, but that the problem is Israel herself. We see the same in Romans 9-11.

ROMANS 9-11 IS A THEODICY JUSTIFYING THE WAYS OF GOD WITH ISRAEL AND EXPLAINING HOW THE PROMISES OF ROMANS 8 CAN BE TRUE WHEN A JEWISH PERSON, DISAGREEING WITH PAUL, MIGHT ARGUE THAT GOD CANNOT BE TRUSTED BECAUSE HE DID NOT SAVE THE ENTIRE NATION OF ISRAEL. ROMANS 9 SHOWS THAT GOD ONLY PROMISED TO SAVE THE BELIEVING JEWISH REMNANT, ROMANS 10 THAT GOD OFFERED ETERNAL LIFE TO ALL WHO MET THE CONDITION, AND ROMANS 11 SPEAKS OF THE ULTIMATE SALVATION COMING TO THE WHOLE NATION IN THE MILLENIUM.

At the beginning of Romans 10, we can see that this antagonist also was saying that Paul didn't care if Israel was saved. Paul answers that in v. 1. It wasn't true. He cared as much as he could.

I’M NOT SURE ABOUT THE ANTAGONIST SAYING PAUL DIDN’T CARE ABOUT THE NATION, BUT IT DOESN’T INFLUENCE ROMANS 10:9-14 IN ANY CASE, AS FAR AS I CAN TELL WITH MY LIMITED AND FALLIBLE UNDERSTANDING.

I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING ELSE THAT IS SAID IN PASTOR BRANDENBURG'S #1. I WILL REPLY TO #2 SOON, LORD WILLING.

Thomas Ross said...

THIS IS MY REPLY TO PASTOR BRANDENBURG'S #2.

In the first part of this series, I dealt with the pre-context of Romans 10:9-13. You can see from the pre-context that Romans 10:9-13 is not talking about living the Christian life but about the simplicity of the plan of salvation, the gospel message. The pre-context gives no clue as to the prayer life of an already justified individual. The immediate pre-context is about the accessibility of salvation to the Jews.

CAN WE SAY THAT “THE PLAN OF SALVATION” DOES NOT INCLUDE THE FRUITS OF REGENERATION? PAUL ONLY PROMISES ETERNAL LIFE TO THOSE WHO ARE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE AND CONSEQUENTLY ARE RADICALLY TRANSFORMED BY THE GOSPEL, WHETHER JEW OR GENTILE (ROMANS 2:6-11).

Paul references Deuteronomy 30:11-14 in the verses preceding Romans 10:9-13. At the time of Deuteronomy God had already delivered to the nation Israel through Abraham the Abrahamic covenant. God promised the seed of Abraham blessing, which included the land. That blessing is represented by the blessings of Mt. Gerizim and Deuteronomy 28. However, individual Jews (and Gentiles because God would bless all nations through the seed of Abraham) would not experience the fulfillment of those blessings without obedience. It is prophetically clear in Deuteronomy 30:1-3 that Israel would fail at obedience.

IF THE QUOTE IN DEUTERONOMY 30 INVOLVES ISRAEL’S OBEDIENCE OR DISOBEDIENCE, IS THE CONTEXT OF DEUTERONOMY 30, WHICH PAUL IS QUOTING IN ROMANS 10, FOCUSING ONLY UPON THE MOMENT OF JUSTIFICATION, OR DOES IT INCLUDE THE OBEDIENCE THAT FLOWS FROM THAT AS WELL? DOES NOT DEUT 30:8 SAY, “And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day”? IS NOT THIS POST-JUSTIFICATION?

I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING THAT IS SAID BELOW AND SEE NO NEED OF COMMENT BEFORE THE QUOTE BELOW.

His blood could take away sin and this new covenant could change someone in a way that would allow for obedience---a new heart.

With this change on the inside and the forgiveness of sins, a man could practice obedience necessary to experience the blessing of the Davidic and Abrahamic Covenants. A man who is born again will enter the kingdom of God, which will be the land, the blessing, and the King provided through those two Old Testament salvific Covenants.

PLEASE NOTE THAT GETTING THE LAND IS VERY DEFINTELY ULTIMATE SALVATION, NOT JUSTIFICATION.

AGAIN, I AGREE WITH WHAT I DID NOT REPRINT BELOW.

Thomas Ross said...

Is the "confess" of Romans 10:9-10 and the "call" of Romans 10:13 pre or post justification? Or in other words, is there a "sinner's prayer" in Scripture? I'm not talking about a 1-2-3 pray-with-me easy-believism, but a legitimate cry for spiritual deliverance from sin and Hell through Jesus Christ?

Our friend and brother in Christ, Thomas Ross, says "no" to the above questions. I say "yes." What says Scripture?

I DO NOT BELIEVE THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH A LOST PERSON PRAYING (LUKE 18:13), OR READING THE BIBLE, COMING TO CHURCH, OR DOING ANYTHING ELSE THAT IS GOOD. IF A LOST PERSON IS CRYING FOR SPIRITUAL DELIVERANCE FROM SIN AND HELL THAT IS GREAT. HOWEVER, HE WILL NOT BE SAVED UNLESS HE BELIEVES. THE MOMENT HE BELIEVES, HE IS SAVED. IF HE DOES NOT BELIEVE, HE WILL NOT BE SAVED, NO MATTER HOW HARD HE CRIES. IF HE BELIEVES WITHOUT PRAYING, HE WILL BE SAVED. THE PROMISE HUNDREDS OF TIMES IN SCRIPTURE IS “BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED.”

I WOULD TEND TO THINK THAT A MORE ACCURATE WAY OF STATING THE QUESTION AT HAND IS AS FOLLOWS:

DOES THE BIBLE PROMISE THAT EVERYONE WHO, HAVING PREVIOUSLY INTELLECTUALLY UNDERSTOOD THE FACTS OF CHRIST’S DEATH AS THE SOLE PAYMENT FOR SIN, SINCERELY ASKS TO BE SAVED WILL BE SAVED AS A RESULT OF ASKING?

I WOULD ANSWER NO. I BELIEVE PASTOR BRANDENBURG WOULD ANSWER YES, ALTHOGUH I DO NOT WANT TO MISREPRESENT HIS POSITION, SO I’LL SEE WHAT HIS REPLY IS.

I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN SALVATION BY WORKS AND ASK TO BE SAVED, ETC. (ALTHOUGH ARE THEY NOT CALLING ON THE LORD WHEN THEY PRAY? AS I DEMONSTRATED IN MY PAPER ON MY WEBSITE (HTTP//THROSS7.GOOGLEAPGES.COM/HOME), CALLING ON THE LORD IS ANY KIND OF PRAYER IN SCRIPTURE, NOT A LOST PERSON SPECIFICALLY ASKING TO RECEIVE PARDON).

I BELIEVE REPENTANT FAITH IS THE SOLE INSTRUMENTALITY THROUGH WHICH THE WORK OF CHRIST IS RECEIVED SAVINGLY BY THE SINNER, PRAYER OR NO PRAYER. SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER IS A DIFFERENT ACT THAN BELIEVING ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND GOD DOES NOT PROMISE THAT ONE WHO SAYS SUCH A PRAYER WILL GET ETERNAL LIFE AS A CONSEQUENCE.

PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

A pivotal point for the post-justification confess or call, one that buttresses its entire argument, is that "saved" in these verses is ultimate salvation, not immediate salvation. When I say "ultimate," I mean final salvation, that is, deliverance from the penalty and presence of sin, from God's eternal wrath and punishment at His judgment (Mt. 10:22; Mk. 13:13; 13:20; 16:16; Acts 15:11; Rom. 5:9-10; Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 3:15; 1 Cor. 5:5). When I use "immediate," I mean the deliverance the very moment that someone believes in the Lord from a position outside of Christ, a position of sinfulness, and from the power of sin with the sure prospect of ultimate salvation (Lk. 8:12; 9:56; 17:19; John 3:17; Acts 4:12; 16:30-31; Rom. 11:14; 1 Cor. 7:16; 9:22; 2 Thess. 2:10; 1 Tim. 1:15; 2:4).

It is true that the word translated "saved" (sodso) can be something other than immediate salvation. When the term is used in the past tense (aorist; Rom. 8:24; Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5) or the present tense (1 Cor. 1:18; 15:2) it isn't ultimate salvation.

Here in Romans 10:9-13, we see the future tense, so the question here is whether the future tense is immediate or ultimate salvation. Some times the future tense is speaking of immediate salvation and other times it is talking about ultimate salvation. Some of those times it is easy to tell from the context which it is, but other times it is more difficult.

As do I, Thomas Ross hates easy-prayerism. He starts into this passage looking through the lense of that hatred, resulting, I believe, in a rush to judgment. He misses what I am about to show you that obliterates his position. In his paper, An Exegesis and Application of Romans 10:9-14 for Soulwinning Churches and Christians, he misses the key grammatical issue to determine whether Romans 10:9-13 are ultimate or immediate salvation. My hope is that his sincere desire for the truth will cause him to abandon his post-justification confess or call position.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND WORDS ABOUT MY SINCERE DESIRE FOR THE TRUTH. I BELIEVE LIKEWISE FOR YOU.

The verb form for "saved" (sodso) in this verse is future indicative passive. This form occurs twenty times in the New Testament. The twenty occurrences can be divided into the two categories of ultimate and immediate salvation.

I THINK IT IS NOTEWORTHY THAT ALL THE OTHER REFERENCES TO SODZO AS A FUTURE INDICATIVE PASSIVE IN THE BOOK OF ROMANS REFER TO ESCHATOLOGICAL DELIVERANCE. FOR EXAMPLE,
Rom. 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
NOTE THAT THE ONE WHO IS NOW JUSTIFIED IS YET TO BE SAVED FROM WRATH (NOTE ALSO THE GREEK ARTICLE IN ROMANS 5:9 ON “WRATH.”) ANYWAY, PASTOR BRANDENBURG CONTINUES:

Romans 10:9 has a conditioned statement as its dependent clause, which contains the third class condition (ean) and two subjunctive verbs ("shalt confess" and "shalt believe"). Four other references share the same construction and clearly refer to immediate completion of the main verb upon the fulfillment of the condition (cf. Matthew 9:21; Mark 5:28; John 10:9; and 1 Timothy 2:15). Six of the references use the future indicative passive form of sodso and clearly speak of final salvation. However, each of those six is communicated with an aorist participle (cf. Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13; 16:16; Romans 5:9-10). The five references with the aorist subjunctive are always immediate. If Romans 10:9-10 is ultimate, it would be an exception. What we have here, however, are two patterns. The aorist subjunctive pattern is immediate salvation. The aorist participle pattern is ultimate salvation.

Against the grammatical pattern, in a completely exceptional way, Thomas Ross identifies "thou shalt be saved" as ultimate salvation. Because of the grammatical construction, it can't be. It must be immediate salvation. If you read his paper that we have linked previously in this series, you will see that he does not do this study. I have more evidence to come for immediate salvation, but in the meantime, I call on him to abandon his ultimate salvation position for the immediate salvation view.
PASTOR BRANDENBURG HAS STATED THAT HIS ARGUMENT ABOVE IS “the key grammatical issue to determine whether Romans 10:9-13 [IS] ultimate or immediate salvation.” AND THAT HIS ARGUMENT “OBLITERATES” MY POSITION. HE STATES THAT “BECAUSE OF THE GRAMMATICAL CONSTRUCTION [MY POSITION] CANNOT BE.” I NOW RESPOND TO THIS.
MATTHEW 9:21 DOES INDEED HAVE AN EAN CONDITION FOLLOWED BY A FUTURE PASSIVE OF SODZO. MARK 5:28 REFERS TO THE SAME VERSE AS MATTHEW 9:21. BOTH VERSES REFER TO THE PHYSICAL HEALING OF THE WOMAN IMMEDIATELY UPON TOUCHING CHRIST’S GARMENT. 1 TIM 2:15 REFERS TO THE WOMAN BEING DELIEVERED FROM SHAME AND THE UNIQUE DIFFICULTIES OF THE CURSE OF GENESIS 3 BY BEARING CHILDREN. (INTERESTINGLY, IT DOES NOT REFER TO ANYTHING INSTANTANEOUS, BECAUSE THE WOMAN IS ONLY SAVED FROM SHAME THROUGH CHILDBEARING AS THE CHILDREN CONTINUE IN FAITH AND HOLINESS AND SOBRIETY, SO IT DOES NOT FIT THE ALLEGED GRAMMATICAL POINT MADE BY PASTOR BRANDENBURG.) JOHN 10:9 IS THE ONLY VERSE OF THE FOUR THAT DEALS WITH SPIRITUAL SALVATION, AND, WHILE I DON’T SEE WHY IT CANNOT REFER TO GOING TO HEAVEN RATHER THAN JUSTIFICATION, I DON’T SEE A NEED TO ARGUE ABOUT IT AT THIS TIME.
NONE OF THESE FOUR VERSES HAS SYNTAX IDENTICAL TO ROMANS 10:9, OR EVEN A PATTERN OF EAN + AORIST SUBJUNCTIVE VERB + KAI + AOR SUB. VERB + FUTURE PASSIVE INDICATIVE VERB.
AS FOR THE SECOND SET OF VERSES, I DON’T SEE THE SYNTACTICAL CONNECTION IN MATTHEW 10:22 TO ROMANS 10:9-10. THERE IS NO EAN IN THE VERSE AT ALL. THERE IS A SUBSTANTIVAL AORIST PARTICIPLE FOR THE ONE WHO ENDURES TO THE END. I DON’T SEE HOW THIS PROVES ANYTHING FOR ROMANS 10:9-10 OR RELATES TO THAT TEXT. THE SAME IS TRUE FOR MATTHEW 24:13 AND MARK 13:13. NOR DOES MARK 16:16 HAVE A CONSTRUCTION THAT IS AT ALL SIMILAR TO ROMANS 10:9-10. ALL OF THESE VERSES HAVE SUBSTANTIVAL AORIST PARTICIPLES, “THE ONE WHO ENDURES TO THE END,” ETC. ROMANS 5:9 HAS AN AORIST PARTICIPLE BECAUSE WE ALREADY HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIED BY HIS BLOOD.
I HONESTLY DO NOT SEE HOW THE VERSES IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH, NONE OF WHICH HAVE AN EAN, NONE OF WHICH HAVE A 3RD CLASS CONDITIONAL IF/THEN CONSTRUCTION, TELL US ANYTHING ABOUT ROMANS 10:9-10’S SYNTAX. THERE IS NOT A PARALLEL STRUCTURE THAT I CAN SEE. I DON’T SEE HOW THERE IS ANY KIND OF CONTRASTING PATTERN AT ALL. THE AORIST PARTICIPLES ARE SIMPLY SUBSTANTIVES THAT ARE NOT RELATED. I DON’T SEE HOW SUCH A SMALL SAMPLE SIZE FOR THE FIRST ALLEGED AORIST SUBJUNCTIVE PATTERN (4 VERSES WITH MATTHEW 9:21, ETC. OF WHICH TWO ARE THE SAME EVENT—SO THREE INDEPENDENT VERSES—AND ONE OF THOSE THREE, 1 TIM 2:15, DOES NOT FIT THE “PATTERN” SINCE IT DOES NOT REFER TO ANYTHING INSTANTANEOUS, BUT ONLY TO SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS SOME TIME AFTER CHILDBEARING WHEN THE CHILDREN ENDURE AND ARE FAITHFUL AND SOBER—SO A “PATTERN” IS ESTABLISHED WITH TWO EXAMPLES AND ONE EXCEPTION?) AND A HANDFUL OF VERSES WITH AORIST PARTICIPLES THAT ARE VERY DIFFERENT THAN ROMANS 10:9-10 PROVE ANYTHING. THE FIRST “PATTERN” DOES NOT HAVE GREEK LIKE ROMANS 10:9-10, WITH EAN + AOR SUB. VERB + KAI + AOR SUB. VERB. THE SECOND “PATTERN” I HAVE A HARD TIME DISCERNING AS A PATTERN AT ALL. FURTHERMORE, ROMANS 10:10 DOESN’T EVEN HAVE AORIST TENSES IN IT. IT HAS PRESENT TENSES.
I DID NOT DO THE STUDY MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE I AM RESPONDING TO BECAUSE I DO NOT SEE HOW THERE IS ANYTHING IN GREEK GRAMMAR THAT WOULD INDICATE THAT AN AORIST SUBJUNCTIVE VERB AND AN AORIST PARTICIPLE WOULD SOMEHOW MAKE IT SO THAT A FOLLOWING FUTURE PASSIVE VERB MEANS TWO RADICALLY DIFFERENT THINGS. I AM NOT SURE WHAT THE SYNTACTICAL BASIS IS FOR THIS CONCLUSION, NOR DO I SEE HOW, IN THE FIRST ALLEGED PATTERN, THREE VERSES, TWO OF WHICH ARE NIGH IDENTICAL, AND ONE EXCEPTION, CONSTITUTE A PATTERN, WHILE, CONCERNING THE SECOND ALLEGED PATTERN WITH PARTICIPLES, I HAVE A HARD TIME EVEN SEEING WHAT THE PATTERN IS SUPPOSED TO BE. DOES THIS CONSTITUTE “OBLITERATION”?
ONE WHO CONSTRUCTS A SEARCH FOR:
EAN [FOLLOWED BY] [VERB subjunctive] [FOLLOWED BY] kai [FOLLOWED BY] [VERB subjunctive] [FOLLOWED BY] [VERB future] WILL COME UP WITH 19 VERSES. SOME OF THEM, LIKE MATTHEW 5:19, DO NOT HAVE THE FUTURE TENSE VERB TAKING PLACE IMMEDIATELY UPON THE ACTION OF THE SUBJUNCTIVE VERBS:
Matt. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them [SUBJUNCTIVES], the same shall be called [FUTURE] great in the kingdom of heaven.

HERE, CLEARLY, THE FUTURE TENSE HAPPENS AFTER THE SUBJUNCTIVES. ANYONE WHO HAS GOOD BIBLE SOFTWARE CAN CONDUCT THE ABOVE SEARCH FOR HIMSELF AND LOOK FOR PATTERNS, IF HE THINKS THEY ARE THERE.
IN MY OPINION, THOUGH, WE ARE TRYING TO FIND PATTERNS THAT ARE NOT REALLY THERE IN ALL OF THIS. THE REASONS THE CONFESSION IS POST-JUSTIFICATION IN ROMANS 10:9-10 ARE VERY SIMPLE, AND ONE CAN SEE THEM WITHOUT KNOWING ANY GREEK (ALTHOUGH I AM OBVIOUSLY IN FAVOR OF GREEK, SINCE I TEACH IT.). HOWEVER, BEFORE I STATE THEM, I BELIEVE I SHOULD DEFINE WHAT I MEAN BY CONFESSION IN ROMANS 10:9-10. (I THINK WE SHOULD DISCUSS THIS PASSAGE IN ORDER, SO I AM GOING TO FOCUS ON THOSE TWO VERSES NOW, AND LEAVE V. 13 FOR AFTERWARDS. THIS COMMENT WILL BE LONG ENOUGH AS IS).
I BELIEVE THE CONFESSION IS EXACTLY WHAT THE FOLLOWING COMMENTATORS SAY. (MY POINT HERE IS NOT NECESSARILY TO TRY TO GET A THOUSAND COMMENTARIES AND PROVE A POSITION BY WEIGHING WHO HAS MORE; BUT SINCE THESE MEN MAKE MY CASE VERY WELL, I SEE NO NEED TO REINVENT THE WHEEL.)

Matthew Henry correctly states on Romans 10:9-10:
First, What is promised to us: Thou shalt be saved. It is salvation that the gospel exhibits and tenders--saved from guilt and wrath, with the salvation of the soul, an eternal salvation, which Christ is the author of, a Saviour to the uttermost.
Secondly, Upon what terms.
a. Two things are required as conditions of salvation:--
(a.) Confessing the Lord Jesus--openly professing relation to him and dependence on him, as our prince and Saviour, owning Christianity in the face of all the allurements and affrightments of this world, standing by him in all weathers. Our Lord Jesus lays a great stress upon this confessing of him before men; see Mt 10:32-33. It is the product of many graces, evinces a great deal of self-denial, love to Christ, contempt of the world, a mighty courage and resolution. It was a very great thing, especially, when the profession of Christ or Christianity hazarded estate, honour, preferment, liberty, life, and all that is dear in this world, which was the case in the primitive times.
(b.) Believing in the heart that God raised him from the dead. The profession of faith with the mouth, if there be not the power of it in the heart, is but a mockery; the root of it must be laid in an unfeigned assent to the revelation of the gospel concerning Christ, especially concerning his resurrection, which is the fundamental article of the Christian faith, for thereby he was declared to be the Son of God with power, and full evidence was given that God accepted his satisfaction.
b. This is further illustrated (Ro 10:10), and the order inverted, because there must first be faith in the heart before there can be an acceptable confession with the mouth.
(a.) Concerning faith: It is with the heart that man believeth, which implies more than an assent of the understanding, and takes in the consent of the will, an inward, hearty, sincere, and strong consent. It is not believing (not to be reckoned so) if it be not with the heart. This is unto righteousness. There is the righteousness of justification and the righteousness of sanctification. Faith is to both; it is the condition of our justification (Ro 5:1), and it is the root and spring of our sanctification; in it it is begun; by it it is carried on, Ac 15:9.
(b.) Concerning profession: It is with the mouth that confession is made--confession to God in prayer and praise (Ro 15:6), confession to men by owning the ways of God before others, especially when we are called to it in a day of persecution. It is fit that God should be honoured with the mouth, for he made man's mouth (Ex 4:11), and at such a time has promised to give his faithful people a mouth and wisdom, Lu 21:15. It is part of the honour of Christ that every tongue shall confess, Php 2:11. And this is said to be unto salvation, because it is the performance of the condition of that promise, Mt 10:32. Justification by faith lays the foundation of our title to salvation; but by confession we build upon that foundation, and come at last to the full possession of that to which we were entitled. So that we have here a brief summary of the terms of salvation, and they are very reasonable; in short this, that we must devote, dedicate, and give up, to God, our souls and our bodies--our souls in believing with the heart, and our bodies in confessing with the mouth. This do, and thou shalt live. For this (Ex 4:11) he quotes Isa 28:16, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed . . . That is,
[a.] He will not be ashamed to own that Christ in whom he trusts; he that believes in the heart will not be ashamed to confess with the mouth. It is sinful shame that makes people deny Christ, Mr 8:38. He that believeth will not make haste (so the prophet has it)--will not make haste to run away from the sufferings he meets with in the way of his duty, will not be ashamed of a despised religion.
[b.] He shall not be ashamed of his hope in Christ; he shall not be disappointed of his end. It is our duty that we must not, it is our privilege that we shall not, be ashamed of our faith in Christ. He shall never have cause to repent his confidence in reposing such a trust in the Lord Jesus.
Handley C. G. Moule [The Epistle to the Romans. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Klock & Klock, 1982 (reprint ed.), Chapter 21.] writes:

“Faith” is “unto righteousness”; “confession” is “unto salvation.” Why is this? Is faith after all not enough for our union with the Lord, and for our safety in Him? Must we bring in something else, to be a more or less meritorious makeweight in the scale? If this is what [Paul] means, he is gainsaying the whole argument of the Epistle on its main theme. No; it is eternally true that we are justified, that we are accepted, that we are incorporated, that we are kept, through faith only; that is, that Christ is all for all things in our salvation, and our part and work int eh matter is to receive and hold Him in an empty hand. But then this empty hand, holding Him, receives life and power from Him. The man is vivified by his Rescuer. He is recused that he may live, and that he may serve as livign. He cannot truly serve without loyalty to his Lord. He cannot be truly loyal while he hides his relation to Him. In some articulate way he msut “confess Him”; or he is not treading the path where the Shepherd walks before the sheep.
The “confession with the mouth” here in view is, surely, nothing less than the believer’s open loyalty to Christ. . . . It is the witness of the whole man to Christ, as his own discovered Life and Lord. And thus it means in effect the path of faithfulness along which the Saviour actually leads to glory those who are justified by faith.

John Murray [Pg. 55, The Epistle to the Romans, vol. 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1980 reprint ed.] writes:

We are not to regard confession and faith as having the same efficacy unto salvation. The contrast between mouth and heart needs to be observed. . . . Confession with the mouth is the evidence of the genuineness of faith and sustains to the same the same relation which good works sustain. . . . In verse 10 the order is inverted; faith is mentioned first and then confession. This shows that verse 9 is not intended to announce the order of priority whether causal or logical. Obviously there would have to be belief with the heart before there could be confession with the mouth. This verse is explanatory of the preceding.

Frederick Godet [Pg. 383, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. Trans. A. Cusin, rev. & ed. Talbot W. Chambers. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1956 (reprint ed.)] writes:

“[W]hile faith suffices to take hold of the finished expiation, when this faith is living, it invariable produces profession. . . . [When the] idea of salvation is analyzed[,] it embraces the two facts: being justified and being saved (in the full sense of the word). The former is especially connected with the act of faith, the latter with that of profession. . . . There is in [Paul’s] eyes a real distinction to be made between being justified and being saved. We have already seen again and again, particularly in chap. 5:9 and 10, that justification is something of the present; for it introduces us from this time forth into reconciliation with God. But salvation includes, besides, sanctification and glory. Hence it is that while the former depends only on faith, the latter implies persevering fidelity in the pforession of the faith, even to death and to glory. In this ver. 10, Paul returns to the natural and psychological order, according to which faith precedes profession. This is because he is here expounding his thought, without any longer binding himself to the order of the Mosaic quotation.
The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary states, in relation to Romans 10:9-10, that “the confession of the mouth, of course, comes, in point of time, after the belief of the heart . . . [t]his confession of Christ’s name, especially in times of persecution, and whenever obloquy is attached to the Christian profession, is an indispensable test of discipleship.” The idea that confessing Christ with the mouth was saying a sinner’s prayer as a pre-requisite to justification is not even mentioned.
Jonathan Edwards wrote that confess “is the word commonly used in the New Testament, to signify making a public profession of religion. So Rom 10:9-10, ‘If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’ Where a public profession of religion with the mouth is evidently spoken of as a great duty of all Christ’s people, as well as believing in him; and ordinarily requisite to salvation; not that it is necessary in the same manner that faith is, but in like manner as baptism is. Faith and verbal profession are jointly spoken of here as necessary to salvation, in the same manner as faith and baptism are, in Mark 16:16, ‘He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved.’ [In other words, faith is a prerequisite to justification, and confession, as baptism, is evidence of the new birth; faith is absolutely necessary to salvation, while confession and baptism have a necessity of precept, not an absolute necessity.] And I know no good reason why we should not look on moral profession and covenanting with Christ, in those who are capable of it, as much of a stated duty in the Christian church, and an institution universally pertaining to the followers of Christ, as baptism. And if explicit, open covenanting with God be a great duty required of all, as has been represented, then it ought to be expected of persons before they are admitted to the privileges of the adult in the church of Christ.” [An Humble Inquiry into the Rules of the Word of God concerning the Qualifications Requisite to a Complete Standing and Full Communion in the Visible Christian Church, Part 1, pgs. 442-443, quoted from the Encyclopedia Puritannica, CD ver. 3.0, 2006; www.puritannica.com.] Elsewhere Edwards wrote that “confess . . . in the apostle’s language, signifies the same as making open and solemn profession of Christianity. Rom 10:9-10, ‘If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, [etc.].’” [Notes on the Bible (Old Testament), pg. 730, cited in ibid.] J. C. Ryle wrote, “Confession of Christ is a matter of great importance. Let this never be forgotten by true Christians. . . . Then can we not confess Christ before men? Can we not plainly tell others that Christ has done everything for us,—that we were dying of a deadly disease, and were cured,—that we were lost, and are now found, that we were blind, and now see? Let us do this boldly, and not be afraid. Let us not be ashamed to let all men know what Jesus has done for our souls. Our Master loves to see us doing so. He likes His people not to be ashamed of His name. It is a solemn saying of St. Paul, ‘If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.’” [Expository Thoughts on Luke, vol. 1, pgs. 282-283, cited in ibid.]


LIKE THESE MEN, I BELIEVE THAT THE CONFESSION WITH THE MOUTH IS LITERAL CONFESSION WITH THE MOUTH OF CHRIST BEFORE MEN AFTER ONE HAS BEEN JUSTIFIED. IT IS LIKE MATTHEW 10:32-33:
32* Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33* But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

SINCE ONE DOES NOT NEED TO CONFESS CHRIST PUBLICALLY BEFORE MEN, OR SAY ANYTHING WITH ONE’S MOUTH, IN ORDER TO BE JUSTIFIED, BUT ONE IS JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE, THE CONFESSION IS POST-JUSTIFICATION. (AS A. T. ROBERTSON TERSLY SAYS ON ROMANS 10:9, “Faith precedes confession, of course.”) BUT ONE WHO DOES NOT CONFESS WILL NOT GO TO HEAVEN, BECAUSE ALL THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIED HAVE BEEN GIVEN A NEW HEART AND SO THEY WILL CONFESS CHRIST BEFORE MEN. THOSE WHO REFUSE TO DO SO WILL BE DENIED BY CHRIST AND BE ETERNALLY DAMNED, MATTHEW 10:32-33. THOSE WHO DO NOT DO GOOD WORKS WILL NOT GO TO HEAVEN, ROMANS 2:6FF. HOWEVER, GOOD WORKS ARE NOT A PREREQUSITE TO JUSTIFICATION, BUT A CERTAIN FRUIT OF REGENERATION.
OFTENTIMES THOSE WHO USE ROMANS 10:9-10 FOR A SINNER’S PRAYER SEEM TO TREAT “CONFESS WITH THE MOUTH” AS “SAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER.” I DO NOT SEE ANY VERSE ANYWHERE IN SCRIPTURE WHERE THE VERB “CONFESS,” ESPECIALLY WITH THE SPECIFIC ADDITIONAL PREDICATE “WITH THE MOUTH,” REALLY MEANS “SAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER.” FURTHERMORE, FEW WHO USE ROMANS 10:9-1O TO PROVE A SINNER’S PRAYER SAY THAT ONE MUST SAY LITERAL WORDS WITH THE MOUTH OR ONE IS NOT SAVED; THEY SAY ONE CAN SAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER IN THE HEART WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING WITH ONE’S MOUTH, TONGUE, AND LIPS AND STILL BE SAVED. BUT WHY DO WE GET TO SPIRITUALIZE “WITH THE MOUTH”? WHY NOT CONCLUDE ROMANS 10:9-10 IS LITERAL CONFESSION WITH ONE’S LITERAL MOUTH?
MANY SINNER’S PRAYER ADVOCATES SAY THAT “CONFESS” IN THESE VERSES MEANS “PRAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER.” IF SOME OF THEM BELIEVE IT IS SOMETHING ELSE, I WOULD BE INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT WHAT EXACTLY IT IS SUPPOSED TO MEAN, AND HOW IT SUPPORTS SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER, RATHER THAN BEING LITERAL CONFESSION WITH THE LITERAL MOUTH.
TO QUOTE MY PAPER, IN MY VIEW, THIS IS WHAT ROMANS 10:9-10 MEANS:
One notes that the passage does not say, “prayer is made unto salvation,” but “confession is made unto salvation.” The verb rendered “confess,” homologeo, is found 24 times in 21 New Testament verses. (Matthew 7:23 (“profess”); 10:32; 14:7 (“promised”); Luke 12:8 (2x); John 1:20 (2x); 9:22; 12:42; Acts 23:8; 24:14; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Timothy 6:12 (“professed”); Titus 1:16 (“profess”); Hebrews 11:13; 13:15 (“giving thanks”); 1 John 1:9; 2:23 (“acknowledgeth”); 4:2, 3, 15; 2 John 1:7.) In at least 23 of these 24 verses, a believer’s public confession before men by is in view, not private prayer. The sole likely exception, 1 John 1:9, unlike the other passages, does in fact deal with the Christian’s prayer to God for forgiveness and restoration of fellowship. The context and the use of the Greek present to indicate continuing action, however, make it clear that no reference to a lost man saying a sinner’s prayer is found in 1 John 1:9. Thus, no homologeo passage refers to a lost man asking God to save him and consequently receiving forgiveness. The specification in Romans 10:9-10 that the confession is “with the mouth” necessitates that the act referred to in these verses is actually confessing Christ with the mouth before men, not praying for justification. Christians who claim that prayer is found in Romans 10:9-10 typically affirm that, although the sinner’s prayer is the way one receives forgiveness, no affirmation that one must speak certain words with his lips or be eternally damned is made in Romans 10:9-10, since adding vocal prayer to the gospel is plainly a corrupting addition of the gospel of justification by faith alone. However converting Romans 10:9-10 into a declaration about prayer in the heart without words contradicts the plain affirmation of the verses that the confession under consideration is “with the mouth,” and spiritualization or dismissal of this plain Scriptural statement cannot be justified on sound principles of literal Biblical interpretation. The confession here referred speaks of a public confession of Christ before men, similar to that mentioned in Matthew 10:32; Luke 12:8; John 9:22; 12:42; Acts 24:14; or 1 Timothy 6:12. Such a confession is a mark of a true believer in Christ; it is a not a prerequisite to justification, but an aspect of the regenerate life that marks the saint of God. In the same way that every saved man purifies himself and does righteousness (1 John 3:3, 7, etc.), so the saint of God characteristically confesses his Lord before men. The confession in Romans 10:9-10 is not to “justification,” but to “salvation,” for it is not a prerequisite to the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, but a surely appearing mark of conversion that typifies the saint’s life before his future and ultimate salvation at glorification; it is part of his progressive sanctification that begins at the time he believes the gospel and is positionally set apart for Christ, and that ends at his final and ultimate sanctification. Note that Romans 10:9-10 specify that with the heart one believes “unto righteousness,” namely, the imputation of Christ’s righteousness in justification. The verses do not say “confession is made unto righteousness,” for “confession” is made unto ultimate salvation. Standing for the Lord Jesus before men cannot be a prerequisite for justification, “for Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom 10:4), not to every one that prays a sinner’s prayer or confesses anything with his mouth. Until a man has been justified by believing in Christ, his prayer is an abomination, sinful, unacceptable, and hated by God, just like all his other works, including confessing things with his mouth (Psalm 109:7; Proverbs 28:9; cf. Romans 8:8; 14:23; Titus 1:15-16; Hebrews 11:6). God hears the prayers of His people who have been clothed in Christ’s righteousness (Proverbs 15:8; 29, etc.). They only have a Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) who is able to bring their petitions before the Father. The “confession” of Romans 10:9-10 is not the petition to God of a lost sinner to receive justification, but the public testimony before men of the justified saint, a part of his growth in holiness, his progressive salvation from the power of sin.
WHY, THEN, IS CONFESSION MENTIONED BEFORE BELIEF IN V. 9? V. 10 PUTS THE BELIEVING FIRST, THEN THE CONFESSING. THIS IS THE EXPLANATION:
The fact that verse nine begins with “if” and verse ten with “for” demonstrates that the temporal order is given in the latter verse; verse nine follows the order given in the quotation in 10:8. To take verse nine to mean that one must pray out loud or do some other work which is equated with confessing with the mouth before one can believe and be justified is not only to misinterpret the word “saved” in this verse, but to miss the “if” which begins it and the “for” in the following sentence. It is true that “if” one confesses, even at one point in time, with his mouth, and truly believes at one point in time in his heart, he will be saved. Why? “For (because) with the heart man believeth unto righteousness (he receives imputed righteousness and is justified when he believes with his heart—and he will continue to believe, since he is a new creature, 2 Cor 5:17, and Christ preserves all who truly are partakers of Him, Heb 3:6, 14; Jn 10:27-30) and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (the one who has been justified confesses before men and will receive future salvation upon his death or the return of Christ).” It is true that you will be saved if you believe and confess, just like you will be saved if you believe and are baptized (Mark 16:16), but only the belief is prerequisite for justification. Romans 10:11 demonstrates this—the point made in verse 10 is proved, “For (because) the Scripture saith, ‘Whosoever believeth in him shall not be ashamed.’” Verse 10 is true, Paul proves, because (“for”) the Scripture states that those who believe shall not be ashamed. (Note that there is no mention of confession in this verse at all; belief, and that alone, is all that is needed for justification).
I CONCLUDE WITH A LITTLE HISTORY:
The fact is, there is neither any specific formula found in Scripture for a Sinner’s Prayer nor is there any biblical example of such a prayer being recommended in the salvation experience.The modern usage of the Sinner’s Prayer originates in the 19th Century and was popularized by the experience-oriented evangelistic style of Charles Finney. . . . There is no mention [in the Bible] of altar calls or sinner’s prayers or requesting for Christ to enter one’s heart. [“Sayings Not Found in Scripture,” Blue Letter Bible CD-ROM, version 2.11. Sowing Circle, 2006.]


I APPRECIATE PASTOR BRANDENBURG AND HIS DESIRE TO STUDY THE BIBLE AND HONOR THE LORD IN HIS EVANGELISM. IT IS GREAT THAT WE CAN TALK ABOUT THESE THINGS, INSTEAD OF SIMPLY DOING WHATEVER WE HEARD SOMEONE ELSE DO SOMEWHERE AND JUST COPYING IT. IT IS A BLESSING THAT WE WANT TO FOLLOW AND EXEGETE THE BIBLE, INSTEAD OF JUST FOLLOWING TRADITION OR GETTING MAD IF SOMEONE VIEWS A TEXT DIFFERENTLY. PRAISE THE LORD!

Kent Brandenburg said...

I'll have several more parts to this series, but at this point we're talking just about a grammatical point regarding immediate and ultimate or final salvation, which buttresses Brother Ross' point. I still think he has a problem, but you the reader will have to determine that.

I would rather he just answer my post and then refer to his article, assuming people will read it that want to know, instead of cutting and pasting a tremendous amount of commentary. I haven't even gotten to a historical doctrine issue, and he's already counting commentaries, which seems to show desperation. It really is off the point of the post here. I hadn't decided whether I would include commentary materials, but it may be necessary to show this is historic doctrine.

If we were debating this, we would really need to come with an affirmation. I believe that I worded my questions well. He says that he has no problem with unbelievers praying before they are saved. That is rather extraneous and a strawman. I'm asking here if confess and call are pre or post justification, something very specific. If "saved" is immediate, then his argument falls at this point. This is where all his verbiage, which forms a gigantic cloud here tends toward confusion.

Then he speculates that I might believe that some can be saved if they ask the Lord for salvation minus faith. That isn't the point I'm talking about here. Our goal should be to answer what I'm writing, not start a new debate. I don't believe someone is saved without faith. The better question would be: Is saving faith one that does not confess Jesus as Lord? Brother Ross says that making confessing Jesus as Lord a prerequisite to justification means salvation by works. I will deal with this, however, all in future posts, as I had already planned.

Regarding the sole argument here, of course, Brother Ross, who is a Greek teacher, poo-poos the Greek. He shows zero curiosity as to why Paul used an aorist subjunctive with ean. These were the words God gave Paul and for a particular purpose, or is our Greek lesson for today that these tenses and moods mean nothing to interpretation for the verse.

We're talking about the future tense of sodso (shall be saved). Does it mean anything that we have an aorist subjunctive of sodso with ean as a condition for shall be saved? There are five examples. Brother Ross says this is too small a sample size. He also tries to cloud the issue by bringing in physical deliverance, which wasn't the point. The question is: was it immediate or was it ultimate? In John 10:9, it must be immediate salvation or what is 'going in and out and finding pasture.' The person is already saved before he dies or else he wouldn't be doing the later going in and out and finding pasture.

He's dead wrong on 1 Timothy 2:15. This isn't talking about anything that is ultimate or final. She ("a woman" or "the woman") receives her salvation before she dies, she receives it in this lifetime through godly practice of her children (unless Brother Ross wants to argue for the justification by works of the children she bore). Her childbearing saves her during her life, not after she dies. It is in the future, like all of these are, but it is upon the condition being met. When in the aorist, meno speaks of a state. The condition is a state of faith, charity, etc. that they arrive at in a point in time (which is why it is an aorist subjunctive and not a present subjunctive).

All four are clearly immediate (as defined), so the one in Romans 10:9 would be an exception to those four. He says there isn't enough sample size to make that determination and we have 100% of the samples.

Regarding the aorist participle with the future of sodso, the point was: here is an example of a construction that always is ultimate salvation. All other constructions are varied.

This does mean something. He's just cherry picking to say it doesn't. Read his paper and see how much he uses his Greek to make a point. He needs to be consistent here.

Finding future verbs that are ultimate occurrences (not sodso) with the aorist subjunctive and ean as a condition and comparing that are specifically sodso are apples and oranges.

Notice that Mr. Ross says that "repentant faith" is the sole instrumentality for the work of Christ to save a sinner. Where does the NT anywhere say "repentant faith?" Is Mr. Ross saying that faith alone will not save someone? So when Philip told the Eunuch and Paul told the jailer "believe" and left out repentant faith, were they not saved because they didn't get the repentant faith? Or should we assume that true faith is repentant and that true faith also confesses Christ as Lord?

Let's not take this off the point. The point is: is confession in Romans 10:9, 10 and the call of Romans 10:13 both pre-justification or are they both post-justification. If they are pre, then God does call for a "sinner's prayer." No one is saying that it isn't faith. We believe that it is faith.

Thomas Ross said...

ONCE AGAIN, I AM THANKFUL FOR PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S DESIRE TO STUDY THE BIBLE AND COME TO CONCLUSIONS BASED ON IT. TOO MANY MEN WOULD JUST SAY “I’M RIGHT BECAUSE ALL THE FELLOWSHIP TRACT LEAGUE TRACTS HAVE PRAYERS AT THE END” INSTEAD OF TRYING TO EXEGETE SCRIPTURE TO PROVE THE POINT. PRAISE THE LORD THAT WE CAN HAVE THIS DISCUSSION AND SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES TO SEE IF THESE THINGS ARE SO.

I'll have several more parts to this series, but at this point we're talking just about a grammatical point regarding immediate and ultimate or final salvation, which buttresses Brother Ross' point. I still think he has a problem, but you the reader will have to determine that. 

I would rather he just answer my post and then refer to his article, assuming people will read it that want to know, instead of cutting and pasting a tremendous amount of commentary. I haven't even gotten to a historical doctrine issue, and he's already counting commentaries, which seems to show desperation. It really is off the point of the post here.

MY MAIN POINT IN INCLUDING THE COMMENTARIES WAS TO MAKE IT CLEAR EXACTLY WHAT I BELIEVE THE CONFESSION IS IN ROMANS 10:9-10, NAMELY, CONFESSION WITH THE MOUTH BEFORE MEN, A CERTAIN FRUIT OF SAVING FAITH. THE VALUE OF BEING CLEAR EXACTLY WHAT WE MEAN BY “CONFESS” WILL BE CLEAR, I BELIEVE, IN SOME COMMENTS I WILL MAKE NEAR THE END OF MY RESPONSE WHERE THE LACK OF CLARITY ON “CONFESS” IN THE PRO-SINNER’S-PRAYER FOR JUSTIFICATION POSITION MAKES AN IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE.

I hadn't decided whether I would include commentary materials, but it may be necessary to show this is historic doctrine.

If we were debating this, we would really need to come with an affirmation. I believe that I worded my questions well. He says that he has no problem with unbelievers praying before they are saved. That is rather extraneous and a strawman. I'm asking here if confess and call are pre or post justification, something very specific.

YES, THAT IS SPECIFIC. HOWEVER, THE ORIGINAL STATEMENT IN THE POST, “a legitimate cry for spiritual deliverance from sin and Hell through Jesus Christ,” DID NOT HAVE THIS KIND OF SPECIFICITY, AND I WAS RESPONDING TO THE POST, AS THE CLARIFICATION NOW MADE HAD BY PASTOR BRANDENBURG HAD NOT YET, OF COURSE, BEEN WRITTEN. I AM FINE WITH LOST PEOPLE CRYING OUT “WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED,” AND THE LIKE. I NEEDED TO STATE WHAT I STATED BECAUSE IT WAS AFFIRMED IN THE ORIGINAL POST THAT I WOULD ANSWER “NO” TO THE QUESTION OF WHETHER LOST PEOPLE DO WELL TO CRY FOR SPIRITUAL DELIVERANCE. I BELIEVE THEY WOULD DO WELL TO DO SO, AS THEY WOULD TO COME TO CHURCH, READ THE BIBLE, LISTEN TO PREACHING, ETC. HOWEVER, I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT SUCH A PRAYER IS THE OR AN INSTRUMENTAL CAUSE OF THEIR JUSTIFICATION. I BELIEVE FAITH IS THE SOLE INSTRUMENTAL CAUSE OF JUSTIFICATION, AND THAT FAITH AND PRAYER ARE DISTINCT ACTS. I AM NOT SURE EXACTLY WHAT POSITION PRAYER OCCUPIES IN THE ORDO SALUTIS ESPOUSED BY PASTOR BRANDENBURG. CLARITY WOULD BE HELPFUL.

If "saved" is immediate, then his argument falls at this point. This is where all his verbiage, which forms a gigantic cloud here tends toward confusion.

Then he speculates that I might believe that some can be saved if they ask the Lord for salvation minus faith. That isn't the point I'm talking about here. Our goal should be to answer what I'm writing, not start a new debate. I don't believe someone is saved without faith. The better question would be: Is saving faith one that does not confess Jesus as Lord?

NO, SOMEONE DOES NOT POSSESS SAVING FAITH WHO IS NOT WILLING TO CONFESS CHRIST AS LORD WITH HIS MOUTH BEFORE MEN. NOR CAN ONE COME TO CHRIST IN SAVING FAITH IF HE IS NOT WILLING TO TAKE A STAND FOR THE LORD BEFORE THE WORLD IN HIS SUBSEQUENT LIFE. HOWEVER, CONFESSING THINGS WITH THE MOUTH IS NOT A PREREQUSITE TO JUSTIFICATION. ONE DOES NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING AT ALL WITH ONE’S MOUTH TO BE JUSTIFIED.

Brother Ross says that making confessing Jesus as Lord a prerequisite to justification means salvation by works. I will deal with this, however, all in future posts, as I had already planned.

Regarding the sole argument here, of course, Brother Ross, who is a Greek teacher, poo-poos the Greek. He shows zero curiosity as to why Paul used an aorist subjunctive with ean.

I BELIEVE PAUL USED AN AORIST SUBJUNCTIVE WITH EAN BECAUSE HE WISHED, UNDER INSPIRATION, TO STATE THAT ANYONE WHO CONFESSES AND BELIEVES (WHICH WILL HAPPEN IN THE ORDER OF V. 10) WILL RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE. TO QUOTE PG. 554 OF WALLACE’S GREEK GRAMMAR BEYOND THE BASICS,:
The aorist tense “presents an occurrence in summary, viewed as a whole from the outside, without regard for the internal make-up of the occurrence.”

AN AORIST SUBJUNCTIVE FOLLOWS EAN MORE THAN JUST ANY OTHER TENSE. IT OUTNUMBERS THE PRESENT C. 2:1. THE AORIST SUBJUNCTIVE SIMPLY STATES THE FACTS OF ROMANS 10:9 WILL HAPPEN, AND THE RESULT OF V. 9 WILL HAPPEN.

These were the words God gave Paul and for a particular purpose, or is our Greek lesson for today that these tenses and moods mean nothing to interpretation for the verse.

We're talking about the future tense of sodso (shall be saved). Does it mean anything that we have an aorist subjunctive of sodso with ean as a condition for shall be saved?

SODZO IS NOT AN AORIST SUBJUNCTIVE IN ROMANS 10:9. IT IS A FUTURE PASSIVE INDICATIVE.

There are five examples.

AS I MENTIONED ABOVE, THESE EXAMPLES ARE NOT SIMILAR TO ROMANS 10:9. IF ONE WANTED TO SEE THAT KIND OF STRUCTURE IN THE NT, HE COULD DO THE STUDY I MENTIONED IN MY EARLIER REPLY.

Brother Ross says this is too small a sample size. He also tries to cloud the issue by bringing in physical deliverance, which wasn't the point. The question is: was it immediate or was it ultimate? In John 10:9, it must be immediate salvation or what is 'going in and out and finding pasture.' The person is already saved before he dies or else he wouldn't be doing the later going in and out and finding pasture.


THE “AND”’S IN JOHN 10:9 ARE NOT NECESSARILY TEMPORALLY SUBSEQUENT. DO WE REALLY THINK THAT JOHN 10:9 SAYS: FIRST IN TIME, BE SAVED. SECOND IN TIME, GO IN AND OUT. THIRD IN TIME, FIND PASTURE? THEY EACH ARE CONNECTED WITH “AND.” SO THE SHEEP DON’T HAVE PASTURE UNTIL THEY GO IN AND OUT A FEW TIMES? HOWEVER, IF ONE WANTS TO SAY THAT “SAVED” IN JOHN 10:9 IS SIMPLY JUSTIFICATION, IT IS NOT A BIG DEAL, SINCE I, AT LEAST, SEE VERY LITTLE CONNECTION BETWEEN JOHN 10:9 AND ROMANS 10:9.


He's dead wrong on 1 Timothy 2:15. This isn't talking about anything that is ultimate or final. She ("a woman" or "the woman") receives her salvation before she dies, she receives it in this lifetime through godly practice of her children (unless Brother Ross wants to argue for the justification by works of the children she bore).

IN 1 TIM 2:15, THE WOMAN DOES NOT RECEIVE THE SALVATION IMMEDIATELY UPON CHILDBEARING. SHE RECEIVES IT ONLY AFTER THE CHILDREN MANIFEST GODLINESS. EVE WAS NOT SAVED THROUGH BEARING CAIN. “SAVED THROUGH CHILDBEARING” IS NOT IMMEDIATE. OF COURSE IT IS NOT ONLY AFTER SHE DIES, BUT IT IS NOT AS SOON AS SHE GIVES BIRTH EITHER. NO CHILD, AS SOON AS HE OR SHE IS BORN, HAS FAITH, CHARITY, AND HOLINESS WITH SOBRIETY. RATHER, ALL CHILDREN GO ASTRAY FROM THE WOMB, SPEAKING LIES.

Her childbearing saves her during her life, not after she dies. It is in the future, like all of these are, but it is upon the condition being met. When in the aorist, meno speaks of a state. The condition is a state of faith, charity, etc. that they arrive at in a point in time (which is why it is an aorist subjunctive and not a present subjunctive).


All four are clearly immediate (as defined), so the one in Romans 10:9 would be an exception to those four. He says there isn't enough sample size to make that determination and we have 100% of the samples.

 Regarding the aorist participle with the future of sodso, the point was: here is an example of a construction that always is ultimate salvation.

NEITHER “PATTERN” IS LIKE ROMANS 10:9. IF WE HAD 30 VERSES WHERE WE HAD EAN + VERB AORIST SUBJ + KAI + VERB AOR SUBJ. + VERB FUT INDIC AND ALL OF THEM HAD BOTH CONDITIONS HAPPENING AT THE SAME MOMENT, AND THE FUTURE INDICATIVE VERB HAPPENING INSTANTANEOUSLY UPON THE CONDITIONS BEING FULFILLED, THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING. BUT THE GREEK “PATTERNS” ABOVE SIMPLY ARE NOT LIKE ROMANS 10:9. WHEN ONE LOOKS UP THE PATTERN ACTUALLY IN ROMANS 10:9, NOTHING LIKE THIS ALLEGED PATTERN APPEARS.

All other constructions are varied.

This does mean something. He's just cherry picking to say it doesn't. Read his paper and see how much he uses his Greek to make a point. He needs to be consistent here.

Finding future verbs that are ultimate occurrences (not sodso) with the aorist subjunctive and ean as a condition and comparing that are specifically sodso are apples and oranges.

IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE TWO “PATTERN[S]” THAT ARE ALLEGED TO “OBLITERAT[E] MY POSITION” ARE EXTREMELY QUESTIONABLE. IF THE PATTERN REALLY EXISTED, WOULD NOT FUTURE PASSIVE INDICATIVE VERBS IN GREEK GENERALLY WHEN FOLLOWED BY AORIST SUBJUNCTIVE VERBS OR AORIST PARTICIPLES MAINTAIN THIS DIFFERENCE IN “PATTERN?” WHY IS IT THAT IF WE SEARCH FOR WHAT ROMANS 10:9 ACTUALLY CONTAINS (EAN + VERB AORIST SUBJ + KAI + VERB AOR SUBJ. + VERB FUT INDIC) THERE IS NO PATTERN? WHY IS IT THAT THERE IS NO GREEK GRAMMATICAL EXPLANATION FOR WHY AORIST SUBJUNCTIVE VERBS AND AORIST PARTICIPLES WOULD DIFFER IN WHAT FUTURE PASSIVE INDICATIVE VERBS THAT FOLLOW THEM—OR RATHER, ONLY SODZO IN THIS TENSE SINCE THERE IS NO SUCH “PATTERN” FOR OTHER VERBS—MEAN?
WOULD IT NOT BE BETTER TO LOOK AT WHAT THE WORDS “CONFESS” AND “BELIEVE” MEAN AND ALSO STUDY ROMANS 10:9-14 ITSELF CAREFULLY? WHEN WE DO THIS, WE SEE THAT THE WORD “CONFESS” IS NEVER USED FOR A LOST PERSON SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER IN ANY OF ITS MANY USES IN SCRIPTURE. WE NOTICE THAT ROMANS 10:10 GIVES THE ORDER IN WHICH THE CONFESSION AND FAITH HAPPEN, DEFINING V. 9 WITH THE WORD “FOR.” WE NOTICE THAT THE CONFESSION IS MENTIONED FIRST IN V. 9 NOT BECAUSE IT HAPPENS FIRST IN TIME, BUT BECAUSE OF V. 8. WE NOTICE THAT NO MENTION OF CONFESSING ANYTHING WITH THE MOUTH AS A PREREQUSITE TO JUSTIFICATION IS FOUND IN V. 11.



Notice that Mr. Ross says that "repentant faith" is the sole instrumentality for the work of Christ to save a sinner. Where does the NT anywhere say "repentant faith?" Is Mr. Ross saying that faith alone will not save someone? So when Philip told the Eunuch and Paul told the jailer "believe" and left out repentant faith, were they not saved because they didn't get the repentant faith? Or should we assume that true faith is repentant and that true faith also confesses Christ as Lord?

TRUE FAITH WILL RESULT IN ONE CONFESSING CHRIST AS LORD ONE’S WHOLE LIFE. TO MAKE ROMANS 10:9-10 INTO A SINNER’S PRAYER FOR JUSTIFICATION SEEMS TO EITHER DENY JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE OR REQUIRE THAT ONE CONFESSES CHRIST AS LORD BEFORE BELIEVING, AND SO WHILE STILL A REBEL IN HEART WHO HATES GOD. BOTH OF THESE OPTIONS ARE UNACCEPTABLE. DOES NOT ONE SAY THE WORDS WITH THE MOUTH (SUPPOSEDLY “CONFESS WITH THE MOUTH”) WHILE STILL LOST? AN ALREADY JUSTIFIED PERSON DOES NOT SAY “I SEE I AM ON THE WAY TO HELL FOR MY SIN. PLEASE SAVE ME LORD. COME INTO MY LIFE AND TAKE CONTROL,” OR THE LIKE. SO IF THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE CONFESSING WITH THE MOUTH, THEN THE SINNER’S PRAYER POSITION MEANS THAT CONFESSING CHRIST WITH THE MOUTH WILL HAVE AS A CONSEQUENCE SAVING FAITH, RATHER THAN (WHAT I BELIEVE IS TRUE) THAT SAVING FAITH WILL HAVE AS A CONSEQUENCE THAT ONE CONFESSES CHRIST WITH THE MOUTH BEFORE THE WORLD.



Let's not take this off the point. The point is: is confession in Romans 10:9, 10 and the call of Romans 10:13 both pre-justification or are they both post-justification.

WHILE I BELIEVE THEY ARE BOTH POST-JUSTIFICATION, I DON’T SEE WHY THE ONE NECESSITATES THE OTHER.

If they are pre, then God does call for a "sinner's prayer."

ACTUALLY, THIS DOES NOT FOLLOW EITHER. 1.) CONFESSING WITH THE MOUTH IS NEVER SAID IN SCRIPTURE TO BE A LOST PERSON PRAYING. “The New Testament verbs for prayer, such as proseuchomai or deomai, are not present in Romans 10:9-10. The passage employs homologeo, which signifies “to confess,” not “to pray.” The verb pisteuo, “to believe,” is also distinct from “to confess.” Prayer is clearly a different act from confessing, and from believing, and believing is what the Bible states is necessary to receive justification.” 2.) CALLING ON THE LORD IS NOT SAYING A “SINNER’S PRAYER.” AS ONE CAN SEE IF HE READS THE STUDY ON MY WEBSITE, ANY KIND OF PRAYER IS CALLING ON THE LORD. GIVING THANKS FOR A MEAL IS CALLING ON THE LORD. PRAYING BEFORE TEACHING SUNDAY SCHOOL IS CALLING ON THE LORD. IN FACT, IT SEEMS THAT ABEL WAS SAVED BY FAITH (HEBREWS 11) WITHOUT CALLING ON THE LORD, BECAUSE ONLY AFTER HIS DEATH DID MEN BEGIN TO DO SO, GENESIS 4:26.

No one is saying that it isn't faith. We believe that it is faith.

NOTE THAT IN THIS PARAGRAPH BEFORE HIS FINAL ONE PASTOR BRANDENBURG HAS MADE A COMPARSION BETWEEN THE CONNECTION OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH AND THE (ALLEGED) CONNECTION OF SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER TO REPENTANCE AND FAITH. THE FACT THAT REPENTANCE AND FAITH INVOLVE EACH OTHER, IT IS ARGUED, MEANS THAT A SINNER’S PRAYER IS (OR CAN BE) ALSO INVOLVED. INDEED, AT THE END OF THIS PARAGRAPH, IT HAS BEEN STATED THAT “confession in Romans 10:9, 10 and the call of Romans 10:13 both pre-justification . . . God does call for a "sinner's prayer." No one is saying that it isn't faith. We believe that it is faith.” THIS CONTENTION HAS, IN MY OPINION, SEVERE PROBLEMS.
1.) REPENTANCE AND FAITH INVOLVE EACH OTHER BECAUSE ONE CANNOT CHANGE HIS MIND (REPENT) ABOUT GOD AND SIN WITHOUT REPENTING OF UNBELIEF, AND ONE CANNOT BELIEVE IN CHRIST FOR SALVATION FROM SIN’S PENALTY AND POWER WITHOUT WANTING TO BE SAVED FROM SIN’S POWER (REPENTANCE). BOTH ARE INSTANTANEOUS ACTS WHICH INVOLVE THE WILL. AT THE VERY INSTANT ONE PLACES HIS FAITH IN CHRIST, REGENERATION TAKES PLACE.
2.) A SINNER’S PRAYER IS NOT THE ACT OF AN INSTANT. IT IS A PROCESS WHERE SOMEONE SAYS HE IS LOST AND ASKS TO BE SAVED. A PROCESS CANNOT BE SYNONYMOUS WITH AN INSTANTANEOUS ACT. ONE CAN EASILY SAY THAT REGENERATION HAPPENS AT THE SAME MOMENT THAT ONE TRUSTS IN CHRIST, BUT WHEN IN SAYING THE SINNER’S PRAYER IS REGENERATION SUPPOSED TO TAKE PLACE? “At what point in the act of saying a sinner’s prayer is the lost soul supposed to be justified, anyway? Is it when he admits that he is lost? Is it when he finishes pronouncing the words, “Lord, save me,” or perhaps somewhere in the middle of saying those words? Is it when he says “Amen” at the end? There is no place in the “sinner’s prayer” ritual for a salvation by faith before making such a prayer—an already regenerate individual is lying and displeasing God if he says, “Lord, I am lost, please save me,” for if one is saved already, it is wrong to tell the Lord that he is lost and ask for forgiveness. It is as inappropriate for one who has just believed and been justified to say he is lost and ask for justification as it is for the saint who has been born again for years. For that matter, it is as inappropriate for earthly saints, since they are eternally secure and unshakeably certain of everlasting glory, to claim to be lost and ask for justification, as it is for those who are already home with the Lord to pray so. On the other hand, to promise someone who is lost that he will be saved if he sincerely asks God for forgiveness by its very nature confuses of the gospel of salvation by faith alone. This is a powerful tool in the hands of Satan to subtily turn the needy away from Christ to a false hope and eternal hell fire. Many people ask God to save them over and over again, but never receive the peace and joy of the knowledge of the forgiveness of sin because they remain without pardon, for they have not believed the gospel through the addition of this subtle deception of prayer for forgiveness.”
3.) IF, AS PASTOR BRANDENBURG HAS ASSERTED, " God does call for a "sinner's prayer." No one is saying that it isn't faith. We believe that it is faith,” SEVERAL CONSEQUENCES FOLLOW OF NECESSITY FROM THIS AFFIRMATION.
a. SINCE ALL WHO DO NOT REPENT ARE DAMNED (LUKE 13:3). ALL WHO DO NOT BELIEVE ARE DAMNED (JOHN 3:18), BUT SAYING THE SINNER’S PRAYER IS FAITH, THEN ALL WHO DO NOT SAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER ARE DAMNED. BUT WHERE DOES THE BIBLE SAY YOU WILL GO TO HELL IF YOU DO NOT SAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER? WHY DIDN’T JESUS CHRIST IN THE GOSPELS, OR ANY OF THE APOSTLES IN ACTS LEAD A SINGLE PERSON TO SAY A SINNER’S PRAYER? WHY, IN THE ONLY SPECIFICALLY EVANGELISTIC BOOK IN SCRIPTURE, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN, IS THERE NO STATEMENT ANYTHING LIKE “YOU WILL BE DAMNED IF YOU DO NOT SAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER”? FURTHERMORE, SINCE “WITH THE MOUTH” IN ROMANS 10:9 ACTUALLY MEANS “WITH THE MOUTH,” FAITH IN THE HEART IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO BRING JUSTIFYING RIGHTEOUSNESS (CONTRA ROMANS 10:9-10!) BUT ONE MUST PRONOUNCE WORDS WITH ONE’S MOUTH OR ONE IS ETERNALLY DAMNED. WHILE EXAMPLES ARE NOT, OF COURSE, OUR AUTHORITY, THIS, POSITION WOULD CONDEMN MULTITUDES TO HELL, INCLUDING CHARLES SPURGEON, SINCE ONE WHO READS HIS TESTIMONY CAN SEE THAT HE DID NOT PRAY A SINNER’S PRAYER WHEN HE WAS CONVERTED AS HE LISTENED TO A MESSAGE ON ISAIAH 45:22. SPURGEON SIMPLY LOOKED IN FAITH TO CHRIST.
b. IF SAYING THE SINNER’S PRAYER IS FAITH, THEN ALL WHO SAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER WILL BE JUSTIFIED. THIS IS THE LOGIC OF THE HYLES-TYPE, “1-2-3 PRAY AFTER ME” EVIL THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG AND I BOTH OPPOSE. HOWEVER, I DO NOT SEE HOW ONE CAN CONSISTENTLY OPPOSE THE HYLES METHODOLOGY IF THE SINNER’S PRAYER IS FAITH, FOR EVERYONE WHO SAYS IT THEN HAS FAITH, AND EVERYONE WITH FAITH IS SAVED. (THE HYLES METHODOLOGY ALSO FITS WITH ROMANS 10:13 IF IT IS PRE-JUSTIFICATION—IT DOES PROMISE, WITH NO EXCEPTIONS, THAT ALL WHO CALL ON THE LORD WILL BE SAVED. IF THIS IS THE ACT OF THE BELIEVER, A MARK OF HIS LIFE, 1 COR 1:2, IN WHICH CASE ALL WHO EVER DO CALL ON THE LORD ARE SAVED BECAUSE NONE BUT THE JUSTIFIED CAN SO DO, ROMANS 10:13 MAKES SENSE—BUT IF IT IS THE ACTION OF AN UNBELIEVER (CONTRA ROMANS 10:14), THE HYLES METHODOLOGY IS CORRECT, BECAUSE ALL UNBELIEVERS WHO PERFORM THIS ACTION OF SAYING THE PRAYER ARE PROMISED SALVATION.)
c. IF SAYING THE SINNER’S PRAYER IS FAITH, THEN ONE WOULD EXPECT MANY VERSES, OR AT LEAST ONE VERSE SOMEWHERE, TO MAKE A STATEMENT OF THIS KIND. REPENTANCE AND FAITH ARE SO CONNECTED (MATTHEW 21:32, MARK 1:15, ACTS 20:21, ETC.) WHERE IS THE VERSE THAT SAYS THAT THE APOSTLES PREACHED REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD, FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND SAYING THE SINNER’S PRAYER?

I ACTUALLY THINK THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT ALL WHO DO NOT PRAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER ARE DAMNED, NOR DOES HE BELIEVE THAT NOBODY HAS SAVING FAITH WHO HAS NOT FIRST PRAYED A SINNER’S PRAYER (AND IN THIS HE IS TO BE COMMENDED—ALAS, TOO MANY PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO THINK THINGS OF THIS SORT, AND EVEN MORE PRACTICE AS IF THEY BELIEVED THEM). HOWEVER, IF HE DOES NOT BELIEVE THIS, I DO NOT SEE HOW TO MAKE SENSE OF HIS STATEMENT, “God does call for a "sinner's prayer." No one is saying that it isn't faith. We believe that it is faith.”

THIS ILLUSTRATES WHY I SPENT THE TIME QUOTING THE COMMENTARIES THAT TAKE MY POSITION ON ROMANS 10:9-10. MY SOTERIOLOGICAL ORDER IS CLEAR: ONE IS JUSTIFIED THE MOMENT ONE BELIEVES, IS REGENERATED AT THE SAME MOMENT, AND THEN ONE CONFESSES CHRIST WITH THE MOUTH OVER THE COURSE OF ONE’S LIFETIME. I BELIEVE THAT FAITH IS THE SOLE INSTRUMENTALITY OF JUSTIFICATION.
I DO NOT BELIEVE THE SOTERIOLOGICAL ORDER OF THE SINNER’S PRAYER POSITION IS CLEAR. IT SHOULD BE CLARIFIED HOW THE PROCESS OF PRAYING IS EQUATED WITH THE INSTANTANEOUS ACT OF PLACING FAITH IN CHRIST. IT IS NOT CLEAR WHAT THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF JUSTIFICATION IS SUPPOSED TO BE—FAITH ALONE, FAITH PLUS PRAYER, PRAYER THAT LEADS TO FAITH WHICH LEADS TO JUSTIFICATION, FAITH IS PRAYER, FAITH AND PRAYER ARE BOTH INSTRUMENTALITIES FOR JUSTIFICATION, ETC. I BELIEVE THAT SAYING “CONFESS” IS “PRAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER” HAS SEVERE PROBLEMS.
I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING WHAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG HAS TO SAY IN REPLY. I KNOW I AM NOT INFALLIBLE BY ANY MEANS.

Kent Brandenburg said...

The goal here is truth. We have men in our church with which I regularly go back and forth on some point of doctrine, but the sense with them is that we both want to get to the point the text is making. The experience is different with Brother Ross. With him, the sense is that he must win a debate. I can illustrate how he does this. We waste a lot of time in these discussions when he does this. I have too much to do tonight to give a full answer, but here are two.

I obviously slipped in a typo when I said that sodso was future indicative and later in the same sentence said the aorist subjunctive of sodso with ean. Several times I said future indicative of sodso. One time I slipped and rather than ignore it, he corrected it, as if I didn't know. He didn't acknowledge it as a typo even though it was obvious. That isn't a behavior of people working together at coming to the truth.

Second, I say "sinner's prayer" in quotes, because I recognize that it isn't a "prayer" in the same sense as the word "prayer" in the NT, but it is in a connotative type of meaning. He spends paragraphs showing how unbelievers aren't said to pray, using the word for prayer. That accomplishes nothing. That does nothing to contribute toward the discussion, because I know of no one in the world who argues for a proseuchomai type of prayer for unbelievers. By arguing against it vehemently, people assume that I have said that, and I haven't. Brother Ross has a BA in English, so he knows the purpose of quotes. Maybe I should say, he "knows" the purpose of quotes. He would definitely know what I meant when I put those quotes there. It would register with him when it was convenient for him.

Jesus said that the reason not many were saved was because they did not strive to enter the narrow gate. Is strive a work? Is it a pre-justification work? Don't filibuster me. Answer the question.

Thomas Ross said...

Concerning paragraph #1:

I am thankful for Pastor Brandenburg and his willingness to go through this issue. I would definitely encourage the reader to think about if I am simply trying to win a debate, and if so, to reject what I said. Furthermore, I repeat that it would be a good idea, especially if one is a member of Bethel Baptist Church, to have a strong bias in favor of what Pastor Brandenburg says and against what I was saying.

Paragraph #2:

I don't believe I was thinking, "this is a typo, let me pounce on it," but, as I certainly have a depraved heart, it is very possible that I was unrighteous in my comment. I apologize for mentioning it. Please forgive me.

Paragraph #3:

I honestly do not understand much of what is stated in this paragraph. If the sinner's prayer is not a prayer, I really don't know what we are saying it is. I look forward to seeing what the type of prayer it is. It seems that it is not the kind using the word prosecuchomai. Is it a kind of prayer using a different word for prayer in the Greek NT? What is the specific difference? (BTW, if we are going to get into v. 13, it would be my opinion that it might be good to finish v. 9-10 first.) Furthermore, I am not sure which quotes are being discussed in this paragraph. I don't know if it is some specific words in quotes, the quotes I put in earlier from commentaries, or something else.

Paragraph #4:

Yes, strive is definitely a pre-justification work. So is hearing the Word of God, reading the Bible, and whatever else a lost person does to find out what the gospel is. An unsaved person who does not work to find out what the truth is will never trust Christ.

May you have had a wonderful Lord's Day at the House of God in El Sobrante!

Thomas Ross said...

BTW, I don't want to be halfway in my acknowledgment of error. I should have thought through the sodzo thing and either recognized or assumed it was an error. Please forgive me for my failure to do so and my lack of love and lack of respect in not assuming the best about it. I was wrong. I repent.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Before I move on to talking about the subject, perhaps sometime later today, you called me earlier, your acting "dad." You put that in quotes. I could ask, Why use the word "dad" if I'm not your dad? It is obvious. You ask why say "prayer" if it is not prayer? I said "sinner's prayer" for equally obvious reason. If someone is confessing or calling to God, he is talking to God which is very similar to prayer. It is used as an English description, not something so theological when it is put within ("") quotation marks.

Kent Brandenburg said...

I'm going to be more thorough with the answer here, and then come out of this soon with another post on this. I'm not half done.

First, regarding context, Brother Ross brings in the fruits of regeneration being the context here. He asks: "Can we say that "the plan of salvation" does not include the fruits of regeneration?" Sure, we believe that "fruits of regeneration" could be included in a presentation on salvation. Is that occurring here? No. The audience here is lost Jews and Paul isn't attempting to persuade them as non-justified people to bring forth fruits of regeneration. Nothing even hints at that. With no warning, he would be starting a whole new topic here if that were the case. We shouldn't expect that.

Because Deut. 30 is found in the context, Brother Ross asks if the focus is also obedience? We can't separate obedience to everything that God said from believing in the Lord, but Paul especially is focusing on Jesus as the end of righteousness (v. 4), not their works.

Because I mentioned the Davidic and Abrahamic covenants and thus the land, Brother Ross mentions the land as ultimate salvation. True. But this isn't about those covenants, but the new covenant, where they get forgiveness of sins and a new heart.

Second, Brother Ross says that the sinner can pray all he wants, but unless he believes, because this is what Scripture says, he won't be saved. He shouldn't assume that the person confessing Christ as Lord is not believing. Verses throughout Scripture mention only faith as a basis. One he references, Luke 18:13, doesn't mention faith. And yet Jesus says he went away justified. We shouldn't assume he didn't believe, just like when passages say "believe," we shouldn't assume it means "not confess." Since confess is given as a condition, we should assume that confession is something we should preach to sinners.

In Acts 3:19, Peter says, "Repent and be converted." We shouldn't assume he didn't mean faith.
Acts 11:18 says "Repentance unto life." We shouldn't assume he didn't mean faith.
When Jesus says only "repent" in Mt. 3:2, 4:17, 9:13, Mk. 2:17, 6:12, Lk. 3:3,5, 16:30, we shouldn't assume he didn't mean faith. We see only repent also in Acts 17:30, 26:20, Romans 2:4, etc. We assume faith. Verses with only repent are found all over Scripture.

We shouldn't assume "eat that bread" in John 6:51 doesn't mean believe. We shouldn't assume that "take the water of life freely" doesn't mean believe in Revelation 22:17 or drink the water of life doesn't mean believe in John 4;13, 14. These kinds of verses are all over Scripture.

I already mentioned his straw man when he frames the argument as "asking to be saved" without belief is enough to be saved. No one is arguing for that. The Bible is a coherent book. It's the written Word of God. That means we have to take it as a unit—follow the metanarrative, if you will. We can't lift out one facet of what the gospel is or does and pretend that component stands on its own. That's why I asked Brother Ross about "strive" of Luke 13:24. If "confess" and "call" are works, then "strive" must be a work too. And he sticks with that! He says that every single person that is justified must work to find out the truth or he won't trust Christ, so in addition to trusting Christ, a lost person, according to Brother Ross, must do works. He says that works from a lost person are a pre-requisite to justification.

I don't believe so, I believe it is faith alone that is a pre-requisite, which is confessing, is drinking, is eating, is confessing, is calling, and is repenting—those all make up the composite of faith that we see in the coherency of the gospel message. None of those are works. Those are all the grace of God. Christ also tells the unbeliever to count the cost (Luke 14:28). Jesus also says we must lose our life (Matthew 16:25). That isn't a work either, but based on Brother Ross' interpretation, these are all works that must precede justification in addition to the non-work of faith in order to be justified. This is important, because here is a clear difference on this issue from Brother Ross and me. He says that an unbeliever must work for justification. I don't believe so. I believe those are all the work of the mercy and grace of God—none of ourselves.

Brother Ross later attacks our small sampling of the five usages of the condition of the aorist subjunctive with ean used with the future indicative of sodzo, but first he says that Romans 5:9 is an "example" of one of the texts with the future indicative of sodzo. FYI, there are only four passages, including Rom. 10:9,13 that have the future indicative of sodzo in Romans (Rom. 5:9,10; 9:27; 11:26). None of them except Romans 10:9 comes with a condition attached. So we have a man who complains about a sample size of 5 and he gives us a much more general sample of a similar number.

Brother Ross says that we look for patterns. No, we looked at the aorist subjunctive with ean and the future indicative of sodzo, something he didn't even look for at all until we wrote this post. When we looked at those, something he didn't look at, we saw the pattern. He has already established that he puts credence on sample sizes of four. With this sample size of five, which is three more than the number of witnesses required to convict someone legally (2 or 3 witnesses) and send him to capital punishment, we see that upon the condition being fulfilled the saving immediately occurs—is not eschatalotical, ultimate salvation.

Brother Ross doesn't spend too much time on this. What he does spend time on is the instances of the aorist participle being used as a condition for the future indicative of sodzo. In those usages, every time the salvation is eschatological. He doesn't prove that those instances are not uniformly ultimate salvation, but he spends time ridiculing that study because it isn't the same type of condition as the aor. subj. with ean, a fact that we pointed out. Understand, however, that he just throws at you rhetoric, nothing that reveals that what we said was not true.

After that, he cuts and pastes commentators. With regards to commentaries on Romans 10:9, 10, Albert Barnes, no Finney man, who himself died in 1870, writes at the end of his segment on Romans 10:9, "Thou shalt be saved. From sin and hell. This is the doctrine of the gospel throughout; and all this shows that salvation by the gospel was easy." Adam Clarke, well before Finney, writes concerning Romans 10:13: "Whosoever shall call upon, invoke, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the saviour of sinners, shall be saved-shall have his guilt pardoned, his heart purified; and if he abide in the faith, rooted and grounded in him, showing forth the virtues of him who was called him out of darkness into his marvellous light, he shall be saved with all the power of an eternal life." There is much more to say regarding commentaries, but this debunks the Finney origination of pre-justification call or confession that Brother Ross claimed.

Then he essentially cuts and pastes his paper, which we already have linked to three times, on totally unrelated points.

In his last comment, he finally comes back to the five examples that we referenced, which is the major point of this post. He says that they don't have the same structure. Reader, he is wrong. The condition is the aorist subjunctive with ean, and the result is the future indicative of sodzo. That is the structure of Romans 10:9 and that is the structure of these others. The word order is different, but that structure is the same. All five are salvation in this lifetime, not one that is eschatological. He essentially says that the only one that isn't is 1 Timothy 2:15. Concerning this, he writes: IN 1 TIM 2:15, THE WOMAN DOES NOT RECEIVE THE SALVATION IMMEDIATELY UPON CHILDBEARING. SHE RECEIVES IT ONLY AFTER THE CHILDREN MANIFEST GODLINESS. EVE WAS NOT SAVED THROUGH BEARING CAIN. "SAVED THROUGH CHILDBEARING" IS NOT IMMEDIATE. OF COURSE IT IS NOT ONLY AFTER SHE DIES, BUT IT IS NOT AS SOON AS SHE GIVES BIRTH EITHER. NO CHILD, AS SOON AS HE OR SHE IS BORN, HAS FAITH, CHARITY, AND HOLINESS WITH SOBRIETY. RATHER, ALL CHILDREN GO ASTRAY FROM THE WOMB, SPEAKING LIES.

Brother Ross, doesn't look at this text very closely. He says that the woman does not receive the salvation immediately upon childbearing. Well, childbearing isn't the condition. The condition is in the second half of the verse. I never said that the childbearing with the condition. Childbearing is a noun with a preposition. The condition for her being saved is the second half of the verse. We know that this isn't ultimate salvation or eschatological salvation because she is getting saved through the childbearing, not through something that occurs after she dies. If her children are in the state (aorist of meno) of these things described—faith, charity, holiness—she will be saved (not from destruction, it isn't a salvation from destruction). This is a lot to have to deal with again and again, but this is the last time I will deal with it, because it is obvious that the condition in the second half of the verse, when her children come to that state of justification as a condition, the result will be salvation.

Hence, every example, five of them in all of Scripture, where the condition is an aorist subjunctive with ean, and the result is the future indicative of sodzo, it is never eschatological salvation. It would then hold true that it would not be talking about eschatological salvation in Romans 10:9 either. Brother Ross' position as it applies to Romans 10:9 is still debunked. He can list as many commentaries as he wants. And he can ridicule line upon line, but that remains the truth.

Thomas Ross said...

I'm going to be more thorough with the answer here, and then come out of this soon with another post on this. I'm not half done.

I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING YOUR EXEGETICAL THOUGHTS. I HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR YOUR BIBLICAL EXPOSITION.

First, regarding context, Brother Ross brings in the fruits of regeneration being the context here. He asks: "Can we say that "the plan of salvation" does not include the fruits of regeneration?" Sure, we believe that "fruits of regeneration" could be included in a presentation on salvation. Is that occurring here? No. The audience here is lost Jews and Paul isn't attempting to persuade them as non-justified people to bring forth fruits of regeneration. Nothing even hints at that. With no warning, he would be starting a whole new topic here if that were the case. We shouldn't expect that.

I WOULD POINT OUT THAT PAUL BEGINS ROMANS 10 WITH THE WORD “BRETHREN.” HIS AUDIENCE IS THE BELIEVERS IN THE CHURCH AT ROME. THUS, HE IS SPEAKING TO BELIEVERS IN ROMANS 10.

Because Deut. 30 is found in the context, Brother Ross asks if the focus is also obedience? We can't separate obedience to everything that God said from believing in the Lord, but Paul especially is focusing on Jesus as the end of righteousness (v. 4), not their works.

I WILL NOT COMMENT ON THIS MORE; PLEASE NOTE ABOVE RE DEUT 30:8.

Second, Brother Ross says that the sinner can pray all he wants, but unless he believes, because this is what Scripture says, he won't be saved. He shouldn't assume that the person confessing Christ as Lord is not believing. Verses throughout Scripture mention only faith as a basis. One he references, Luke 18:13, doesn't mention faith. And yet Jesus says he went away justified. We shouldn't assume he didn't believe, just like when passages say "believe," we shouldn't assume it means "not confess." Since confess is given as a condition, we should assume that confession is something we should preach to sinners.

PLEASE NOTE IN ROMANS 10:9-10 THAT THE CONFESSION IS “WITH THE MOUTH.” THEREFORE, IF WE ARE GOING TO MAKE THIS A PREJUSTIFICATION CONDITION FOR RECEIVING FORGIVENESS AND REGENERATION, ONE MUST SAY WORDS WITH ONE’S MOUTH OR ONE IS LOST. DO WE REALLY WANT TO SAY THAT IT IS ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION TO SAY WORDS WITH ONE’S MOUTH? THIS IS A SIGNIFICANTLY MORE EXTREME POSITION THAN THAT OF THE GREAT MAJORITY OF THE ADVOCATES OF SINNER’S PRAYERS FOR JUSTIFICATION—THEY SAY THAT ONE CAN PRAY IN THE HEART AND BE SAVED. IS THERE A PASSAGE THAT SAYS THAT ONE WILL BE ETERNALLY DAMNED UNLESS HE SAYS WORDS WITH HIS MOUTH? AND—ALTHOUGH THIS IS NOT SCRIPTURE—BY MAKING THIS AFFIRMATION WE HAVE CONDEMNED TO HELL MULTITUDES OF PEOPLE WHO SIMPLY BELIEVED AND WERE SAVED, INCLUDING CHARLES SPURGEON.

In Acts 3:19, Peter says, "Repent and be converted." We shouldn't assume he didn't mean faith.
Acts 11:18 says "Repentance unto life." We shouldn't assume he didn't mean faith.
When Jesus says only "repent" in Mt. 3:2, 4:17, 9:13, Mk. 2:17, 6:12, Lk. 3:3,5, 16:30, we shouldn't assume he didn't mean faith. We see only repent also in Acts 17:30, 26:20, Romans 2:4, etc. We assume faith. Verses with only repent are found all over Scripture.

We shouldn't assume "eat that bread" in John 6:51 doesn't mean believe. We shouldn't assume that "take the water of life freely" doesn't mean believe in Revelation 22:17 or drink the water of life doesn't mean believe in John 4;13, 14. These kinds of verses are all over Scripture.

I AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY THAT REPENTANCE AND FAITH ARE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN, AS I STATED ABOVE. EATING BREAD AND TAKING THE WATER OF LIFE ARE METAPHORS FOR SAVING FAITH, AND ARE SPECIFICALLY STATED AS SUCH, AS ONE SEES IF HE READ THE CONTEXT OF JOHN 6 AND JOHN 4.
AS I MENTIONED IN MY LAST REPLY, THE FACT THAT REPENTANCE AND FAITH ARE SIMULTANEOUS, INSTANTANEOUS ENACTMENTS DOES NOT BY ANY MEANS THAT CONFESSING WITH THE MOUTH OR SAYING THE SINNER’S PRAYER CAN BE EQUATED WITH THEM. SAYING A PRAYER IS A PROCESS, NOT AN INSTANTANEOUS DECISION OF THE WILL. UNLIKE REPENTANCE AND FAITH (SEE VERSES IN LAST POST), SCRIPTURE NEVER EQUATES CONFESSING WITH THE MOUTH OR SAYING A PRAYER WITH REPENTANCE AND FAITH. UNLIKE THE DRINKING WATER/EATING BREAD METAPHORS, CONFESSING WITH THE MOUTH IS NOT A METAPHOR. THERE IS NOTHING IN ROMANS 10:9-14 TO INDICATE A METAPHOR LIKE DRINKING (SPIRITUAL) WATER/EATING (SPIRITUAL) BREAD. ONE CANNOT EQUATE THE NON-METAPHOR OF CONFESSING WITH THE METAPHOR FOR SAVING FAITH OF EATING/DRINKING.

I already mentioned his straw man when he frames the argument as "asking to be saved" without belief is enough to be saved.

HERE IT APPEARS THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG IS AFFIRMING THAT ONE CAN SAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER AND NOT HAVE SAVING FAITH. HOWEVER, IT WAS STATED PREVIOUSLY THAT SAYING THE PRAYER IS FAITH. THESE TWO STATEMENTS SEEM TO ME TO BE CONTRADICTORY. I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING PASTOR BRANDENBURG EXPLAIN HOW THEY ARE NOT, AND JUSTIFYING HIS DISTINCTIONS WITH SCRIPTURE.

No one is arguing for that. The Bible is a coherent book. It's the written Word of God. That means we have to take it as a unit—follow the metanarrative, if you will. We can't lift out one facet of what the gospel is or does and pretend that component stands on its own. That's why I asked Brother Ross about "strive" of Luke 13:24. If "confess" and "call" are works, then "strive" must be a work too. And he sticks with that! He says that every single person that is justified must work to find out the truth or he won't trust Christ, so in addition to trusting Christ, a lost person, according to Brother Ross, must do works. He says that works from a lost person are a pre-requisite to justification.

DO WE REALLY WANT TO SAY THAT EVERYTHING THAT A LOST PERSON DOES THAT RESULTS IN HIM HEARING THE GOSPEL AND GETTING SAVED ARE NOT WORKS? IN THE CONTEXT OF ROMANS 10:13-15, ONE MUST HEAR FIRST, AND ONE MUST LISTEN WHILE SOMEONE PREACHES. SO LISTENING TO THE GOSPEL IS NOT A PREREQUISITE TO GETTING SAVED? OR THAT IS NOT A WORK? IF IT IS NOT WORKING, I WOULD BE VERY MUCH INTERESTED TO FIND OUT WHAT WE ARE GOING TO CALL IT. A LOST PERSON DOES NOT HAVE TO READ THE BIBLE, OR READ A GOSPEL TRACT, OR COME TO A CHURCH HOUSE AND HEAR PREACHING, ETC. TO GET SAVED? HOW WILL HE HEAR THE GOSPEL, THEN? ARE WE GOING TO SAY DRIVING TO CHURCH IS NOT WORKING? IF NOT, THEN WHAT IS IT? CAN WE REALLY SAY GETTING TO CHURCH OR LISTENING TO SOMEONE PREACH THE GOSPEL IS “WORKETH NOT BUT BELIEVETH”? BUT HE HAS NO FAITH WHILE DRIVING TO CHURCH AS A LOST PERSON. IF WE ARE GOING TO DEFINE JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ALONE IN SUCH A SENSE THAT “FAITH” INCLUDES DRIVING TO CHURCH, LISTENING TO SERMONS, READING THE BIBLE, ETC. THEN WHY DO WE GET TO USE EPHESIANS 2:8-9 AGAINST THOSE WHO SAY THAT GOING TO CHURCH AND READING THE BIBLE ARE PART OF HOW THEY GET SAVED? “HIM THAT WORKETH NOT, BUT BELIEVETH” OF ROMANS 4:5 REALLY GETS TO INCLUDE ALL KINDS OF GOOD WORKS IN “BELIEVETH”? IN JOHN 9, AN UNSAVED GUY STANDS UP FOR CHRIST AGAINST THE PHARISEES, AND GETS CAST OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE, AND AS A RESULT CHRIST COMES TO HIM (BECAUSE HE IS RESPONDING TO LIGHT), TELLS HIM TO BE SAVED BY FAITH, AND THEN THE MAN GETS SAVED IN JOHN 9:35-38. IF HE HAD REFUSED TO TAKE A STAND AND GET CAST OUT, BUT HAD REJECTED THE LIGHT HE HAD, HE WOULD NOT HAVE FOUND OUT THE TRUTH REQUIRED AND HE WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN SAVED. SO GETTING CAST OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE IS NOT A WORK, BUT IS FAITH ALONE? NICODEMUS CAME TO THE LORD JESUS BY NIGHT (JOHN 3). IF HE HAD NOT COME AND HEARD THE GOSPEL (WHICH, AS EVERY TIME CHRIST PREACHED IT, DID NOT INVOLVE SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER IN JOHN 3), HE WOULD NOT LATER HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE. SO COMING TO THE LORD JESUS BY NIGHT IS NOT WORKING? WHAT IS IT? IS NOT WHAT NICODEMUS DID, AND WHAT THE MAN IN JOHN 9 DID, STRIVING TO ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM? BUT ARE THESE THINGS THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF JUSTIFICATION, OR IS JUSTIFICATION TO “HIM THAT WORKETH NOT, BUT BELIEVETH ON HIM,” AND BY THAT INSTRUMENTALITY ALONE?


I don't believe so, I believe it is faith alone that is a pre-requisite, which is confessing, is drinking, is eating, is confessing, is calling, and is repenting—those all make up the composite of faith that we see in the coherency of the gospel message. None of those are works. Those are all the grace of God.

WE HAVE A FALSE DICHOTOMY HERE, I BELIEVE. THE FACT THAT GOD’S GRACE IS AT WORK DOES NOT MEAN THAT SOMETHING IS NOT A WORK. FOR EXAMPLE, FOR A SAVED PERSON IT IS EXPLICITLY STATED THAT GOOD WORKS ARE A RESULT OF GOD’S GRACE (EPHESIANS 2:8-10). A LOST PERSON ONLY RESPONDS TO LIGHT IN A POSITIVE WAY BECAUSE HE IS BEING DRAWN BY GOD (JOHN 6:44). GRACE ENABLES US TO WILL AND DO WORKS (PHILIPPIANS 2:13), BUT WORKS ARE WORKS. THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO WOULD SAY THAT WE CAN DO ANYTHING THAT RELATES TO GOD APART FROM GRACE ARE PELAGIANS, AND WE KNOW THAT NEITHER I NOR PASTOR BRANDENBURG IS A PELAGIAN. EVEN CATHOLIC THEOLOGY AND CULTS SUCH AS THE SDA’S SAY THAT GOOD WORKS REQUIRE GRACE FOR THEM TO BE PERFORMED, AND THE BIBLE CERTAINLY DOES SO (PHILIPP 2:13—AND, OF COURSE, WITHOUT THE CULTIC DISTORTIONS). THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT WORKS ARE NOT WORKS, BECAUSE GOD WORKS IN US TO DO THEM.

Christ also tells the unbeliever to count the cost (Luke 14:28). Jesus also says we must lose our life (Matthew 16:25). That isn't a work either, but based on Brother Ross' interpretation, these are all works that must precede justification in addition to the non-work of faith in order to be justified.

COUNTING THE COST IS SOMETHING ONE DOES THAT LEADS TO REPENTANCE, JUST LIKE GODLY SORROW (2 COR 7:10). GODLY SORROW “WORKETH REPENTANCE,” IT LEADS TO REPENTANCE, BUT IT IS NOT OF ITSELF REPENTANCE. THE SAME IS TRUE FOR COUNTING THE COST. LOSING THE LIFE IS A SYNONYM FOR REPENTANCE, AND SO IT IS NOT A WORK, BECAUSE THE INSTANTANEOUS DECISION OF FAITH/REPENTANCE IS CONTRASTED WITH WORKS IN SCRIPTURE, ROMANS 4:5.

This is important, because here is a clear difference on this issue from Brother Ross and me. He says that an unbeliever must work for justification. I don't believe so. I believe those are all the work of the mercy and grace of God—none of ourselves.

THESE WORKS ARE NOT SOURCED IN OURSELVES. NO GOOD THING IS SOURCED IN OURSELVES. WE ARE NOT PELAGIANS. BUT GOOD WORKS AFTER CONVERSION ARE ACTUAL ACTS THAT WE DO. THEY ARE WORKS. AND AN UNSAVED PERSON DRIVING TO CHURCH IS WORKING. AN UNSAVED PERSON READING THE BIBLE IS WORKING. A MAN IN JOHN 9 ARGUING WITH PHARISEES AND GETTING CAST OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE IS WORKING. SOURCED IN HIMSELF? NO, SOURCED IN GOD’S DRAWING HIM. BUT WE WILL HAVE MAJOR THEOLOGICAL PROBLEMS IF WE SAY THAT GETTING CAST OUT THE SYNAGOGUE IS A SYNONYM FOR FAITH ALONE.

Brother Ross later attacks our small sampling of the five usages of the condition of the aorist subjunctive with ean used with the future indicative of sodzo, but first he says that Romans 5:9 is an "example" of one of the texts with the future indicative of sodzo. FYI, there are only four passages, including Rom. 10:9,13 that have the future indicative of sodzo in Romans (Rom. 5:9,10; 9:27; 11:26). None of them except Romans 10:9 comes with a condition attached. So we have a man who complains about a sample size of 5 and he gives us a much more general sample of a similar number.

PLEASE NOTE THAT I ONLY GAVE INSTANCES IN THE BOOK OF ROMANS. IF PAUL HAD THREE OTHER EXAMPLES WITH EAN + AOR SUB + KAI (AND) + AOR SUB + FUT INDIC/SODZO IN ROMANS AND THEY ALL HAPPENED AT THE SAME MOMENT, THAT WOULD ALSO BE IMPORTANT, SINCE ALL THE INSTANCES ARE IN THE SAME BOOK. TAKING SOMETHING THAT DOES NOT EVEN HAVE TWO VERBS IN A ROW JOINED BY “AND”—WHICH ROMANS 10:9 DOES HAVE—AND SAYING SOMETHING WITHOUT THE STRUCTURE OF ROMANS 10:9 IS THE SAME AS THAT VERSE IS NOT THE SAME THING AT ALL— ESPECIALLY WHEN NONE OF THE INSTANCES ARE IN ROMANS. WHEN, FURTHERMORE, THE “PATTERN” DOES NOT HOLD UP FOR OTHER GREEK VERBS, AND THERE IS NO EXPLANATION THAT HAS BEEN GIVEN IN THE GREEK LANGUAGE FOR WHY AORIST SUBJUNCTIVES AND AORIST PARTICIPLES WOULD ACT RADICALLY DIFFERENTLY, BUT ONLY WHEN THEY HAVE A FUTURE PASSIVE INDICATIVE OF SODZO AFTER THEM (OTHER VERBS DON’T HAVE THIS “PATTERN.”). FURTHERMORE, I WOULD DRAW OUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT THE EXAMPLES IN THIS “PATTERN” DON’T EVEN ALL SUPPORT THE PATTERN; JOHN 10:9 IS NOT THREE THINGS TEMPORALLY FOLLOWING EACH OTHER, UNLESS WE SAY THAT ONE HAS TO “GO IN AND OUT” A FEW TIMES BEFORE ONE FINDS PASTURE.

I BELIEVE THAT IF YOU ARE READING THIS, AND YOU DO NOT KNOW GREEK, YOU SHOULD NOT TRY (AND FAIL BECAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW IT) TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS GOING ON IN A LANGUAGE THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW, BUT YOU SHOULD STICK TO WHAT IS CLEAR IN THE LANGUAGE YOU DO KNOW. I AM HAPPY TO REFER WHAT I HAVE SAID TO THE CONSIDERATION OF THOSE WHO HAVE TAKEN ENOUGH GREEK TO UNDERSTAND SYNTAX (2-3 YEARS MIN+KEPT UP WITH IT). FOR THOSE WHO KNOW GREEK, PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON, IN MY OPINION, IN THE GREEK OF ROMANS 10:9, 13. I QUOTE FROM MY PAPER WITH THE FOOTNOTES IN THE TEXT IN BRACKETS. THE GREEK IS GOING TO GET GARBLED. IF YOU WANT TO READ IT IN GREEK, PLEASE SEE MY PAPER AT MY WEBSITE. I BELIEVE IT IS ALMOST CERTAIN THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG IS GOING OFF AN OLDER VERSION OF THIS PAPER THAT DID NOT INCLUDE THIS INFORMATION (WHICH WOULD EXPLAIN HOW HE COULD SAY “He shows zero curiosity as to why Paul used an aorist subjunctive with ean”—THIS PART OF THE PAPER WAS NOT IN THERE YET IN THE VERSION OF THE ROMANS 10:9-14 ANALYSIS BEFORE HIM), SO HE UNDERSTANDABLY MAY SAY THAT I DID NOT DEAL WITH THE GREEK.
The “whosoever shall call” structure of v. 13, like the “if . . . thou shalt confess” of v. 9, are indefinite relative clauses [“An indefinite relative clause contains a verb in the subjunctive mood plus the particle a‡n (or e˙a¿n) and refers to an unspecified individual or group, or to an event or action (e.g., o§ e˙a»n hØ\\ di÷kaion [whatever is right] in Matt 20:4; o§ß a·n qe÷lhØ e˙n uJmi√n ei•nai prw◊toß [whoever wants to be first among you] in Matt 20:27)” (pg. 661, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, Daniel Wallace)] with an aorist subjunctive verb. This construction indicates a gnomic [A gnomic idea is a general, timeless fact; it is atemporal in that it is true at any time. Romans 10:13 is a general statement of something that is true at any time. “A gnomic verb typically takes a generic subject or object” (Wallace, pg. 524). Formulaic statements including pas are frequently gnomic. Thus, one would expect a gnomic notion in Romans 10:13.] general, generic notion for the promise mentioned—anyone, Jew or Gentile, who is a worshipper of God, who is one who calls on Him, will enter the kingdom of God, just as anyone who has been given a new heart and consequently confesses Christ before men will go to heaven. A one-time or once-for-all action is not the point of the verses—they simply present a summary statement that all those who stand for Christ before men, and worship or call on God, will be received by Him at the end. An analysis of the other uses of the Greek structure found in Romans 10:9 [See Luke 12:8; John 9:22; 1 John 4:15. These verses all have a similar gnomic reference to confessing Christ, employing an/ean and an aorist subjunctive verb. Not surprisingly, these are the only instances of the an/ean + aorist subjunctive structure with confess in the New Testament, and they are all timeless or gnomic. Note also the ean + aorist subjunctive uses of believe (cf. Romans 10:9) in John 8:24; 12:47.] and 10:13 demonstrates the verses possess a gnomic or general emphasis, rather than a “once for all” idea. [Romans 10:13 has the structure relative pronoun + a·n + aorist/2nd aorist subjunctive verb. There are 45 other verses in the New Testament which contain this structure (a few of these verses contain it more than one time). These are: Matthew 5:19, 21-22, 31-32; 10:33; 12:32, 50; 15:5; 16:25, 28; 18:6; 19:9; 21:44; 23:16, 18; 26:48; Mark 3:29, 35; 8:35, 38-9:1; 9:41-42; 10:44; 11:23; 14:44; Luke 9:4, 24, 26-27; 10:35; 12:8; 13:25; 20:18; John 1:33; 2:5; 4:14; 14:13; 15:16; Acts 2:21; 3:23; 8:19; James 4:4; 1 John 4:15. The very strong majority of these references present a gnomic notion. The pa◊ß . . o§ß a·n e˙pikale÷shtai of Romans 10:13 is gnomic, not a “once for all” structure. Would anyone want to affirm that those who do and teach God’s commandments only one time will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:19), or that whoever denies Christ once in his life is certain of eternal damnation (Matthew 10:33—in which case the apostle Peter is in hell, Matthew 26:34, 70, 72, 74-75)? If not, is it wise to make the Greek structure of Matthew 5:19 and 10:33 an affirmation, in Romans 10:13, that a one-time sinner’s prayer brings a lost man justification?] Romans 10:13 is not a promise that a lost man who prays a “sinner’s prayer” will be justified. Romans 10:9 is not a reference to prayer at all. The verses are promises that anyone, Jew or Gentile, who boldly confesses Christ in the world, and who is a person of prayer—both of which are impossible apart from a prior regeneration at the moment of justification by faith alone, as nobody can call on the Lord without having already been justified by faith, Romans 10:14, and confession is a fruit of justifying faith, Romans 10:10—will enter the everlasting kingdom of God.

I BELIEVE THE RELEVENCE OF THE ANALYSIS ABOVE FOR THE GREEK IS FAR MORE GREATLY RELEVANT THAN WHAT I BELIEVE IS A NON-EXTANT “PATTERN” ALLEGED TO PROVE OTHERWISE.
PLEASE NOTE THAT IT HAS NOT BEEN CHALLENGED THAT EVERY SINGLE TIME THE WORD “CONFESS” APPEARS ELSEWHERE IN SCRIPTURE, IT NEVER, EVER REFERS TO A LOST PERSON PRAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER. THIS ALSO SEEMS MUCH, MUCH MORE RELEVENT THAN THE ALLEGED “PATTERN.”


After that, he cuts and pastes commentators. With regards to commentaries on Romans 10:9, 10, Albert Barnes, no Finney man, who himself died in 1870, writes at the end of his segment on Romans 10:9, "Thou shalt be saved. From sin and hell. This is the doctrine of the gospel throughout; and all this shows that salvation by the gospel was easy."

IF ONE HAS BARNES’ COMMENTARY, I WOULD MENTION THAT I AM IN AGREEMENT WITH WHAT HE SAYS ON ROMANS 10:9-10. PLEASE NOTE HE SAYS THE FOLLOWING ON ROMANS 10:10:

With the mouth confession is made, etc. That is, confession or profession is so made as to obtain salvation. He who in all appropriate ways professes his attachment to Christ shall be saved. This profession is to be made in all the proper ways of religious duty; by an avowal of our sentiments; by declaring on all proper occasions our belief of the truth; and by an unwavering adherence to them in all persecutions, oppositions, and trials. He who declares his belief makes a profession. He who associates with Christian people does it. He who acts with them in the prayer-meeting, in the sanctuary, and in deeds of benevolence, does it. He who is baptized, and commemorates the death of the Lord Jesus, does it. And he who leads a humble, prayerful, spiritual life, does it. He shows his regard to the precepts and example of Christ Jesus; his regard for them more than for the pride, and pomp, and allurements of the world. All these are included in a profession of religion. In whatever way we can manifest attachment to it, it must be done. The reason why this is made so important is, that there can be no true attachment to Christ which will not manifest itself in the life. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. It is impossible that there should be true belief in the heart of man, unless it should show itself in the life and conversation. This is the only test of its existence and its power; and hence it is made so important in the business of religion.

THIS IS IN ACCORD WITH WHAT BARNES SAYS ON ROMANS 10:9: “To profess a thing with the mouth is to speak of it; to declare it; to do it openly and publicly.”
SO IF WE WANT TO SAY CONFESSING IS A PREREQUSITE TO JUSTIFICATION—WHICH IS NOT WHAT BARNES IS SAYING AT ALL—THEN COMING TO PRAYER MEETING, GETTING BAPTIZED, AND ALL ELSE THAT BARNES PUTS IN—AND WHICH I AGREE WITH IS CONNECTED TO CONFESSION—IS A PREREQUSITE TO JUSTIFICATION.
BARNES AGREES WITH MY POSITION. HE DOES NOT THINK ROMANS 10:9-10 IS A LOST PERSON PRAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER.

Adam Clarke, well before Finney,

BY THE WAY, WHILE THIS IS NOT A BIG POINT, CLARKE PUBLISHED HIS COMMENTARY IN 1832, AND FINNEY, WHO WAS BORN IN 1792, WAS ORDAINED IN 1824 AND WAS CONDUCTING “REVIVALS” FROM THENCEFORWARD. THUS, HE WAS ALREADY CONDUCTING “REVIVALS” BEFORE CLARKE’S COMMENTARY. THUS, CLARKE IS NOT “WELL BEFORE FINNEY,” BUT IS POST-FINNEY. WHILE THIS IS A MINOR POINT, I MENTION IT FOR ACCURACY, AND ALSO SINCE CLARKE’S “WELL BEFORE FINNEY” COMMENTARY WAS SUPPOSED TO “DEBUNK” MY ARGUMENT, BUT CLARKE WAS ACTUALLY NOT PRE-FINNEY.

writes concerning Romans 10:13: "Whosoever shall call upon, invoke, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the saviour of sinners, shall be saved-shall have his guilt pardoned, his heart purified; and if he abide in the faith, rooted and grounded in him, showing forth the virtues of him who was called him out of darkness into his marvellous light, he shall be saved with all the power of an eternal life." There is much more to say regarding commentaries, but this debunks the Finney origination of pre-justification call or confession that Brother Ross claimed.

I WOULD DRAW THE READER’S ATTENTION TO TWO THINGS I SAID ABOUT ROMANS 10:13 AND COMMENTATORS FIRST:
Commentators in times past considered that Romans 10:13 related to the act of Christians, not of the unconverted. Matthew Henry concluded that the verse related to the prayer of the saints as an act that indicated that they already had been justified by faith. He viewed such prayers as evidence that believers will receive ultimate salvation. Prayer was not considered the means for the justification of the unconverted. Henry stated in his commentary:
That the promise is the same to all (v. 13); Whoever shall call—one as well as another, without exception. This extent, this undifferencing extent, of the promise both to Jews and Gentiles [Paul] thinks should not be surprising, for it was foretold by the prophet, Joel 2:32. Calling upon the name of the Lord is here put for all practical religion. What is the life of a Christian but a life of prayer? It implies a sense of our dependence on him, an entire dedication of our all from him. He that thus calls upon him shall be saved” (Comments on Romans 10:12-21, Matthew Henry’s Commentary, unabridged).
Other instances in commentaries could be multiplied. C. E. B. Cranfield writes on Romans 10:14-15, “[Men] can only call upon Christ in the sense of vv. 12 and 13, if they have already believed on Him . . . [the order of conditions in 10:14-15] are put in the opposite order to that in which they have to be fulfilled.” Robert Haldane (Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans) comments on Romans 10:13, “In thus calling upon the Lord, a believer, like Enoch, walks with God. It is not only that he prays to God at stated seasons; his life is a life of prayer.”

THUS, I DIDN’T THINK UP MY VIEW ON ROMANS 10:13 OUT OF NOWHERE. THERE ARE MANY MORE SIMILAR DECLARATIONS BY STANDARD WRITERS. I DIDN’T CITE THE MANY OTHERS I PUT IN MY WORK BECAUSE I WANTED TO AVOID “BROTHER ROSS CUT AND PASTE TOO MUCH” ARGUMENT (TO QUOTE PASTOR BRANDENBURG ON ME “he's already counting commentaries, which seems to show desperation”). MUCH MORE THAN THE ABOVE IS ON MY ANALYSIS ON MY WEBSITE.
SECOND, PLEASE NOTE I STATED THE FOLLOWING:

It should be noted that the view advanced in this analysis is not the only one advocated among either older or modern commentaries. Calvinist commentators, believing regeneration proceeds faith, often employed Romans 10:13 as a basis for the unconverted to beg God to regenerate them, hoping that at some point He would give them faith and then they would be saved. Since regeneration does not proceed faith, but is the logical consequent of faith, this interpretation of Romans 10:13 is invalid. Furthermore, even the Calvinist practice of lost people seeking God regularly in prayer and begging for God to give them faith is very different from the modern “sinner’s prayer.” The “sinner’s prayer” assumes that if one sincerely asks to be saved, and means it, God will certainly answer such a one-time petition. The (false) Calvinist view of Romans 10:13 assumes regular, repeated seasons of asking for regeneration.
Some other Calvinists also employed Romans 10:13 as a verse that evidences that anyone who calls on the Lord has already been regenerated, and so will be saved on that basis. This view also does not support the modern “sinner’s prayer” practice.
One can also find commentaries that support receiving forgiveness of sins through prayer, and affirm this doctrine in Romans 10:13. Since this is the doctrine of Rome and of other sacramentalists in Christendom, and a common confusion of the means which Christians employ to have their sins remitted for fellowship purposes (1 John 1:9) and the means the unconverted employ to receive justification, the existence of commentators advocating prayer for justification is not surprising. Commentaries whose comments are vague enough that one cannot determine what their particular position is may also be located.

PASTOR BRANDENBURG CITED ADAM CLARKE TO SUPPORT HIS VIEW THAT ROMANS 10:13 TEACHES JUSTIFICATION BY PRAYER. PLEASE NOTE THAT CLARKE, THE ARMINIAN, BELIEVES THAT ONE PASSES FROM DEATH TO LIFE WHEN ONE PRAYS AND ASKS FOR FORGIVENESS, THEN ONE PASSES FROM LIFE TO DEATH WHEN HE SINS AND LOSES SALVATION, THEN PASSES FROM DEATH TO LIFE AGAIN WHEN HE CONFESSES HIS SINS, ETC. ONE CAN SEE THIS EVEN FROM THE QUOTE FROM CLARKE PASTOR BRANDENBURG PUT IN HIS COMMENT. CLARKE BELIEVES THAT IF SOMEONE REMAINS “rooted and grounded in him, showing forth the virtues of him who was called him out of darkness into his marvellous light, he shall be saved with all the power of an eternal life,” BUT IF NOT, HE WILL LOSE SALVATION AND BE DAMNED (CF. CLARKE ON HEBREWS 6:4, WHERE HE STATES IN PART, “apostasy from the highest degrees of grace was possible; and that those who were highest in the favour of God might sin against him, lose it, and perish everlastingly.”) CERTAINLY ONE CAN FIND COMMENTATORS WHO BELIEVE IN THE ARMINIAN HERESY THAT ADAM CLARKE ESPOUSED, AND ONE CAN FIND COMMENTARIES BY CALVINISTS AND OTHERS, AS I MENTIONED IN MY PAPER ABOVE ON ROMANS 10:13, THAT MAKE PRAYING PART OF HOW ONE RECEIVES JUSTIFICATION. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS KIND OF SUPPORT ASSISTS PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S POSITION, HOWEVER, AS CLARKE’S ARMINIAN HERESY INFLUENCES HIS VIEW OF PRAYER AS A PREREQUISITE TO GOING TO HEAVEN, AND THUS HIS VIEW DIFFERS RADICALLY FROM PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S. CLARKE DID NOT BELIEVE LIKE PASTOR BRANDENBURG ON ROMANS 10:13, AND BARNES DID NOT BELIEVE LIKE PASTOR BRANDENBURG ON ROMANS 10:9-10—AND NEITHER OF THEM WAS PRE-FINNEY.

Brother Ross' position as it applies to Romans 10:9 is still debunked. He can list as many commentaries as he wants.

I THINK IT IS WORTH CONSIDERING IF SOMEONE WHO WROTE ONE OF THE STANDARD GREEK GRAMMARS OF OUR CENTURY, A. T. ROBERTSON, SAYS “Faith precedes confession, of course.” ON ROMANS 10:9-1O. NOT ONLY DO THE LARGE MAJORITY—THE VERY LARGE MAJORITY—OF COMMENTATORS SEE NO REFERENCE TO SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER AS A PREREQUISITE TO JUSTIFICATION IN ROMANS 10:9-10, BUT THIS “CONSTRUCTION” THAT PROVES IT SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN MISSED BY THE FOREMOST GREEK SCHOLARS OF OUR AGE. NOT ONLY HAVE THESE ALL SEEM TO HAVE MISSED IT, BUT THEY DON’T EVEN DISCUSS PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S VIEW OF THE PASSAGE AS A LIVE OPTION.

And he can ridicule line upon line, but that remains the truth.

PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR ANYTHING I SAID THAT WAS RIDICULE. I DO NOT INTEND TO RIDICULE.

THIS IS A LITTLE BIT OFF TOPIC, BUT LOOKING AT ISAIAH 28:10-13:
10* For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
11* For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12* To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
13* But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE “LINE UPON LINE” IS ACTUALLY BAD, BECAUSE IT LEADS THOSE WHO VIEWED SCRIPTURE IN THAT WAY TO “FALL BACKWARD, AND BE BROKEN, AND SNARED, AND TAKEN.” THEN AGAIN, I HAVEN’T PREACHED AN EXPOSITORY SERIES THROUGH ISAIAH, AS PASTOR BRANDENBURG HAS, SO IF THAT UNDERSTANDING IS INCORRECT, I AM EAGER TO BE CORRECTED.

I THINK IT IS NECESSARY TO COMMENT ON PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S PREVIOUS POST AS WELL:

You ask why say "prayer" if it is not prayer? I said "sinner's prayer" for equally obvious reason. If someone is confessing or calling to God, he is talking to God which is very similar to prayer. It is used as an English description, not something so theological when it is put within ("") quotation marks.

PASTOR BRANDENBURG ALSO STATED:

Second, I say "sinner's prayer" in quotes, because I recognize that it isn't a "prayer" in the same sense as the word "prayer" in the NT, but it is in a connotative type of meaning.

IT APPEARS FROM THIS STATEMENT THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG IS ESPOUSING THE POSITION THAT A SINNER’S PRAYER IS NOT A PRAYER IN THE THEOLOGICAL SENSE OF THE TERM, IN THE SENSE OF THE WORD PRAYER IN THE NT, BUT ONLY IN THE ENGLISH DESCRIPTION SENSE OF THE TERM, WHICH IS THE CONNOTATIVE TYPE OF MEANING. I WOULD BE VERY INTERESTED TO FIND OUT WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT IS BEING MADE, AS I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THIS DISTINCTION BEFORE. FUTHERMORE, IF I WERE TO ADOPT PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S POSITION, AND TRY TO CONVINCE SOME THIRD PARTY OF MY NEW VIEW, BUT THIS PERSON WERE TO SAY TO ME, “YOU ARE SAYING THAT THE SINNER’S PRAYER REALLY ISN’T A PRAYER? WHY ISN’T IT A PRAYER? WHAT IS IT IF IT ISN’T A PRAYER?” I REALLY WOULD HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO REPLY. I LOOK FORWARD TO FINDING OUT WHAT THE CONNOTATIVE TYPE OF MEANING IS THAT THE SINNER’S PRAYER HAS, AND HOW IT ISN’T THE SAME SENSE OF PRAYER AS THE WORD PRAYER IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.

I WOULD SAY AT THIS TIME THAT, NOT, AS OF YET, HAVING BEEN CONVINCED THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S POSITION IS CORRECT, BUT HAVING LOOKED AT EVERY SINGLE REFERENCE TO “CALL + NAME” IN SCRIPTURE, CALLING ON THE LORD SURE LOOKS LIKE PRAYER TO ME. ALL THE REFERENCES ARE IN MY STUDY, AND I ENCOURAGE THE READER TO LOOK AT THEM FOR HIMSELF. I WILL GIVE ONLY ONE EXAMPLE:

1 Kings 18:24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

WHAT ELIJAH DID AFTER THIS WAS THE FOLLOWING:
36* And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
37* Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

THIS REALLY LOOKS LIKE A PRAYER TO ME IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD.

PASTOR BRANDENBURG WROTE:

He would definitely know what I meant when I put those quotes there. It would register with him when it was convenient for him.

IF, AS IT APPEARS, PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S USE OF QUOTE MARKS AROUND THE WORDS “SINNER’S PRAYER” IS IMPORTANT TO PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S POSITION BECAUSE A SINNER’S PRAYER IS NOT A PRAYER IN THE THEOLOGICAL SENSE, BUT ONLY IN THE ENGLISH DESCRIPTIVE SENSE, I AGAIN SAY THAT I LOOK FORWAD TO FINDING OUT WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IS, AND SEEING HOW IT IS DEFINED IN SCRIPTURE. I REALLY DO NOT HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THE DISTINCTION IS THAT IS BEING MADE. IT IS NOT A MATTER OF IT SIMPLY REGISTERING WITH ME WHEN IT IS CONVENIENT. I KNOW THAT OFTENTIMES WE ALL SAY THINGS THAT ARE VERY CLEAR TO US, BUT ARE NOT AT ALL CLEAR TO THOSE TO WHOM WE ARE SPEAKING (I CERTAINLY DO THIS). I WOULD SUGGEST THAT THIS DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE CONNOTATIVE TYPE OF MEANING OF PRAYER/THEOLOGICAL NT MEANING OF PRAYER FOR THE WORD PRAYER IS NOT SOMETHING THAT I AM DELIBERATELY SUPPRESSING, BUT SOMETHING I DO NOT UNDERSTAND, AND, INDEED, HAVE NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE IN MY CHRISTIAN LIFE.

IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS I POSED BEFORE IN MY COMMENTS COULD, IN MY VIEW, YET REQUIRE AN ANSWER AT THIS TIME. AT LEAST IN MY OPINION, I HAVE NOT FOUND THEM ANSWERED TO THIS POINT, OR IF THEY HAVE BEEN ANSWERED, I HAVE NOT CAUGHT THE ANSWERS (WHICH, OF COURSE, IS VERY POSSIBLE. I CANNOT PERCEIVE THINGS QUICKLY OFTENTIMES).

IT SEEMS THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG HAS BEEN ARGUING IN FAVOR OF THE POSITION THAT ONE MUST CONFESS WORDS WITH ONE’S LITERAL MOUTH OR BE DAMNED, BUT I AM SURPRISED THAT HE WOULD DO SO, SO I WOULD LIKE CLARITY ON THE QUESTION OF “WITH THE MOUTH.” DOES ONE NEED TO SAY WORDS WITH ONE’S MOUTH IN ORDER TO BE JUSTIFIED?

IS THERE ANY VERSE IN SCRIPTURE, OTHER THAN THOSE IN QUESTION, ROMANS 10:9-10, WHERE THE WORD “CONFESS” IS USED FOR A LOST PERSON PRAYING ANYTHING AT ALL, OR PRAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER? HERE ARE THE RERFERENCES:
Matthew 7:23 (“profess”); 10:32; 14:7 (“promised”); Luke 12:8 (2x); John 1:20 (2x); 9:22; 12:42; Acts 23:8; 24:14; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Timothy 6:12 (“professed”); Titus 1:16 (“profess”); Hebrews 11:13; 13:15 (“giving thanks”); 1 John 1:9; 2:23 (“acknowledgeth”); 4:2, 3, 15; 2 John 1:7.


IF THE WORD “CONFESS” MEANS “PRAY A SINNER’S PRAYER” IN ROMANS 10:9, AND A REFERENCE TO A LOST PERSON PRAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER IS SEEN BECAUSE OF THE AORIST TENSE ON CONFESS (WHICH I DO NOT BELIEVE IS THE REASON FOR THE AORIST; SEE ABOVE), DOES THE USE OF THE SAME WORD “CONFESS” IN V. 10 IN THE PRESENT TENSE REFER TO A CONTINUING ACTION OF A SAVED PERSON PRAYING THE SINNER’S PRAYER OVER AND OVER AGAIN HIS WHOLE LIFE? IF NOT, WHY IS CONFESSING WITH THE MOUTH IN V. 9 SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER, BUT IN V. 10 IT IS NOT SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER?

AN ALREADY JUSTIFIED PERSON DOES NOT SAY “I SEE I AM ON THE WAY TO HELL FOR MY SIN. PLEASE SAVE ME LORD. COME INTO MY LIFE AND TAKE CONTROL.” INDEED, IF A SAVED PERSON SAYS HE IS LOST AND NEEDS TO BE JUSTIFIED, IT IS FAITHLESSNESS, NOT FAITH. IF A LOST PERSON SAYS THESE WORDS, IT APPEARS PASTOR BRANDENBURG IS AFFIRMING THAT HE IS CERTAIN TO BE SAVED, AS HE HAS STATED THAT THE SINNER’S PRAYER “IS FAITH.” AT WHAT POINT DURING SAYING THIS PRAYER IS HE REGENERATED? IF WE EQUATE FAITH AND SAYING THE SINNER’S PRAYER AS SYNONYMS, WHICH CERTAINLY APPEARS TO BE WHAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG HAS BEEN ARGUING FOR, THEN SAVING FAITH IS NOT AN INSTANTANEOUS DECISION TO TRUST IN CHRIST, BUT A PROCESS, LIKE SAYING A PRAYER. IS REGENERATION ALSO A PROCESS, OR IS IT INSTANTANEOUS? IF IT IS A PROCESS, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PERSON WHO IS PARTIALLY REGENERATED AND PARTIALLY NOT? IF IT IS INSTANTANEOUS, WHEN IN SAYING THE SINNER’S PRAYER DOES ONE ACTUALLY RECEIVE JUSTIFICATION?

WHY IS CALLING ON THE LORD SAYING A SINNER’S PRAYER? IF WE LOOK AT ALL THE INSTANCES OF THE PHRASE “CALL” AND “NAME,” AS I DID IN MY STUDY, ISN’T IT ANY KIND OF PRAYER AT ALL, SUCH AS GIVING THANKS FOR A MEAL, ASKING FOR HELP WITH A TEST, ASKING TO BE STRENGTHENED PHYSICALLY WHEN ONE HAS A DISEASE, ETC.? IF IT IS ANY KIND OF PRAYER AT ALL, CAN A LOST PERSON WHO GIVES THANKS FOR HIS FOOD BE JUSTIFIED BY THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF SAYING GRACE BEFORE A MEAL? IF IT IS NOT ANY KIND OF PRAYER, BUT “CALLING ON THE LORD” IS SPECIFICALLY SAYING “LORD I AM LOST, I NEED TO BE SAVED, PLEASE COME INTO MY LIFE AND SAVE ME” OR SOMETHING OF THAT NATURE, WHAT IS THE EXEGETICAL BASIS FOR SAYING THAT THIS IS WHAT “CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD” MEANS? WHEN BELIEVERS ARE CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD IN 1 CORINTHIANS 1:2, ARE THEY SAYING SINNER’S PRAYERS?

PASTOR BRANDENBURG HAS STATED, “" God does call for a "sinner's prayer." No one is saying that it isn't faith. We believe that it is faith,” AND, WHEN I ASKED FOR MORE CLARITY ON THIS, PASTOR BRANDENBURG SEEMS, IN MY (UNDERSTANDABLY LIMITED) UNDERSTANDING, TO HAVE CONTINUED TO AFFIRM THAT THIS IS HIS POSITION, AS FAR AS I HAVE UNDERSTAND HIM. SINCE ALL WHO HAVE FAITH ARE JUSTIFIED, AND ALL WHO DO NOT HAVE FAITH ARE GOING TO BE DAMNED, HE SEEMS TO BE LEFT WITH THE DIFFICULTIES BELOW, WHICH I WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT THE ANSWERS TO:

a. SINCE ALL WHO DO NOT REPENT ARE DAMNED (LUKE 13:3). ALL WHO DO NOT BELIEVE ARE DAMNED (JOHN 3:18), BUT SAYING THE SINNER’S PRAYER IS FAITH, THEN ALL WHO DO NOT SAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER ARE DAMNED. BUT WHERE DOES THE BIBLE SAY YOU WILL GO TO HELL IF YOU DO NOT SAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER? WHY DIDN’T JESUS CHRIST IN THE GOSPELS, OR ANY OF THE APOSTLES IN ACTS LEAD A SINGLE PERSON TO SAY A SINNER’S PRAYER? WHY, IN THE ONLY SPECIFICALLY EVANGELISTIC BOOK IN SCRIPTURE, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN, IS THERE NO STATEMENT ANYTHING LIKE “YOU WILL BE DAMNED IF YOU DO NOT SAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER”? FURTHERMORE, SINCE “WITH THE MOUTH” IN ROMANS 10:9 ACTUALLY MEANS “WITH THE MOUTH,” FAITH IN THE HEART IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO BRING JUSTIFYING RIGHTEOUSNESS (CONTRA ROMANS 10:9-10!) BUT ONE MUST PRONOUNCE WORDS WITH ONE’S MOUTH OR ONE IS ETERNALLY DAMNED. WHILE EXAMPLES ARE NOT, OF COURSE, OUR AUTHORITY, THIS, POSITION WOULD CONDEMN MULTITUDES TO HELL, INCLUDING CHARLES SPURGEON, SINCE ONE WHO READS HIS TESTIMONY CAN SEE THAT HE DID NOT PRAY A SINNER’S PRAYER WHEN HE WAS CONVERTED AS HE LISTENED TO A MESSAGE ON ISAIAH 45:22. SPURGEON SIMPLY LOOKED IN FAITH TO CHRIST.
b. IF SAYING THE SINNER’S PRAYER IS FAITH, THEN ALL WHO SAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER WILL BE JUSTIFIED. THIS IS THE LOGIC OF THE HYLES-TYPE, “1-2-3 PRAY AFTER ME” EVIL THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG AND I BOTH OPPOSE. HOWEVER, I DO NOT SEE HOW ONE CAN CONSISTENTLY OPPOSE THE HYLES METHODOLOGY IF THE SINNER’S PRAYER IS FAITH, FOR EVERYONE WHO SAYS IT THEN HAS FAITH, AND EVERYONE WITH FAITH IS SAVED. (THE HYLES METHODOLOGY ALSO FITS WITH ROMANS 10:13 IF IT IS PRE-JUSTIFICATION—IT DOES PROMISE, WITH NO EXCEPTIONS, THAT ALL WHO CALL ON THE LORD WILL BE SAVED. IF THIS IS THE ACT OF THE BELIEVER, A MARK OF HIS LIFE, 1 COR 1:2, IN WHICH CASE ALL WHO EVER DO CALL ON THE LORD ARE SAVED BECAUSE NONE BUT THE JUSTIFIED CAN SO DO, ROMANS 10:13 MAKES SENSE—BUT IF IT IS THE ACTION OF AN UNBELIEVER (CONTRA ROMANS 10:14), THE HYLES METHODOLOGY IS CORRECT, BECAUSE ALL UNBELIEVERS WHO PERFORM THIS ACTION OF SAYING THE PRAYER ARE PROMISED SALVATION.)
c. IF SAYING THE SINNER’S PRAYER IS FAITH, THEN ONE WOULD EXPECT MANY VERSES, OR AT LEAST ONE VERSE SOMEWHERE, TO MAKE A STATEMENT OF THIS KIND. REPENTANCE AND FAITH ARE SO CONNECTED (MATTHEW 21:32, MARK 1:15, ACTS 20:21, ETC.) WHERE IS THE VERSE THAT SAYS THAT THE APOSTLES PREACHED REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD, FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND SAYING THE SINNER’S PRAYER?

BEFORE, WHEN I HAD ASKED THESE QUESTIONS, I HAD STATED:

I ACTUALLY THINK THAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT ALL WHO DO NOT PRAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER ARE DAMNED, NOR DOES HE BELIEVE THAT NOBODY HAS SAVING FAITH WHO HAS NOT FIRST PRAYED A SINNER’S PRAYER (AND IN THIS HE IS TO BE COMMENDED—ALAS, TOO MANY PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO THINK THINGS OF THIS SORT, AND EVEN MORE PRACTICE AS IF THEY BELIEVED THEM). HOWEVER, IF HE DOES NOT BELIEVE THIS, I DO NOT SEE HOW TO MAKE SENSE OF HIS STATEMENT, “God does call for a "sinner's prayer." No one is saying that it isn't faith. We believe that it is faith.”

HOWEVER, IT SEEMS THAT HE DEFENDED THE STATEMENT, AND SO PERHAPS HE DOES INDEED BELIEVE THAT SAYING THE SINNER’S PRAYER IS THE SAME THING AS JUSTIFYING FAITH. IN THAT CASE, IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE QUESTIONS ABOVE IN A, B, AND C ALL ARE VERY MUCH IN NEED OF ANSWERS. IT ALSO MEANS THAT MANY, MANY PEOPLE ARE IN HELL TODAY BECAUSE THEY DID NOT SAY WORDS WITH THEIR MOUTH AS PART OF THEIR CONVERSION, INCLUDING ABEL, SINCE HE DID NOT CALL ON THE LORD BUT WAS SAVED BY FAITH (HEB 11), SINCE CALLING ON THE LORD BEGAN AFTER HIS DEATH (GENESIS 4:26)

I HOPE THAT I HAVE MADE WHAT I BELIEVE IS THE SOTERIOLOGICAL ORDER OF EVENTS CLEAR. I STILL THINK THE FOLLOWING ABOUT THE SINNER’S PRAYER ORDER OF SALVATION:

I DO NOT BELIEVE THE SOTERIOLOGICAL ORDER OF THE SINNER’S PRAYER POSITION IS CLEAR. IT SHOULD BE CLARIFIED HOW THE PROCESS OF PRAYING IS EQUATED WITH THE INSTANTANEOUS ACT OF PLACING FAITH IN CHRIST. IT IS NOT CLEAR WHAT THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF JUSTIFICATION IS SUPPOSED TO BE—FAITH ALONE, FAITH PLUS PRAYER, PRAYER THAT LEADS TO FAITH WHICH LEADS TO JUSTIFICATION, FAITH IS PRAYER, FAITH AND PRAYER ARE BOTH INSTRUMENTALITIES FOR JUSTIFICATION, ETC. I BELIEVE THAT SAYING “CONFESS” IS “PRAY THE SINNER’S PRAYER” HAS SEVERE PROBLEMS.

THOSE ARE MY NEW QUESTIONS AS A RESULT OF OUR PREVIOUS DISCUSSION, WITHOUT REFERENCE TO OTHER QUESTIONS I ASKED EARLIER IN THIS REPLY TO HIS POST.

I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING WHAT PASTOR BRANDENBURG HAS TO SAY IN REPLY. I AM ALL THE MORE CONVINCED, AS I GROW IN GRACE THROUGH THE GREAT MERCY OF OUR GOD, THAT I AM NOT INFALLIBLE BY ANY MEANS, AM FAR TOO LIKELY TO DEPEND ON MYSELF AND PROUDLY GO MY OWN WAY, AND TO DEMONSTRATE MY WRETCHED SINFULNESS IN TOO MANY OTHER WAYS. ALL PRAISE, HONOR, AND GLORY TO THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST, FOR THE MIGHTY GRACE OF GOD IN LOVING AND REDEEMING MY SOUL THROUGH THE BLOOD OF MY GLORIOUS SUBSTITUTE AND SACRIFICE!
AND I AM STILL GLAD FOR PASTOR BRANDENBURG’S GREAT RESPECT FOR AND LOVE FOR THE WORD OF GOD.
WITH THIS I CONCLUDE MY REPLY. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”

Kent Brandenburg said...

I said I wouldn't come back here, and I'm not going to answer everything that he said here in the comment section. I'll try to deal with it in the posts. There is plenty here to deal with, but I make one point about Brother Ross' defense, and that is, it is difficult to debate if he keeps holding up strawmen. We have to keep dealing with that instead of what I have written.

One example as I skimmed this. He says I hold up Adam Clarke as someone to buttress my point of view. I clearly did not say that. I clearly said (go back and read it) that I quoted Barnes and Finney to debunk the idea that Finney originated a pre-justification call or confess. He says I'm looking to Clark as my commentary---no. We will waste a lot of time if he keeps doing this kind of thing.

Some of this, you'll have to wait for the rest of my series and then decide. We can't debate it all like this.

Brother Ross admirably confesses his sinfulness and pride, but I would rather he take the energy of that confession and stop the strawman kind of activity and work at some brevity.

You may wonder why I am debating this. I kept getting emails that were essentially saying that anyone that believed like we do were preaching false doctrine and that unfortunately there was no one who could answer him. One time I did answer him and he purposeflly left out what I said in a public email and said he was getting hundred percent support except from someone who didn't read his paper. I'm pretty sure that no one has read Thomas Ross, other than himself, more than me.

I had to answer his paper. IMO, this is the biggest amount of work that he has done on anything and it requires a lot to stop and discuss it with him.

Thomas Ross said...

These were the replies I received from what I sent out about my Romans 10:9-14 paper from those who said they read it. I received a few replies, as I recall (this was a good while ago) from those who said they did not read it. I did not include any of these. Pastor Brandenburg did not agree with what I had written, but I did not include his comments in what I got as responses because he stated in his reply that he "did a search on your pdf to see if a few concepts were included in your paper" and said "I think I could easily go through this paper and point out where you skew the understanding of passages to get your position." From these comments, I came to the conclusion that he had not read the work. He stated that he had not done this because he had already discussed it with me in person at various points in the past. I did not include his comments, just as I did not include the comments of others who wrote back and said they had not read it. I can see why he could conclude that I was trying to leave him out, but I simply did not reproduce his or any one else who replied who said they had not read it. The comments below were from those who, as far as I could tell, said they had read it.


1.) Response from strong Independent Baptist pastor
and seminary/college professor:

Bro Ross, Greetings. I read your exegesis on Romans
10:9-14 while attending the conference at - - - --
I appreciated it and agree with you. I thought it was
a bit wordy though and could use some condensing. Your
point could, perhaps, be made quickly then argued in
the remaining.
BUT, I agree with you totally.

2.) Godly independent Baptist pastor:

I have read your treatise on Romans 10 and I agree
with you 100%.

3.) Strong independent Baptist seminary professor:

Dear Brother Ross,

I have read your exegesis of Romans 10:9-14.

I believe you are correct in your understanding of
what you have said. I agree with your exegesis. More
use could have been made of John 3:16. Anytime anyone
gets a bit confused on salvation, all he has to do is
remind himself that whosoever believeth in him should
not perish but have everlasting life. Yet, many aim
their soulwinning efforts at getting people to pray
the prayer when they should be aiming their
soulwinning efforts at getting people to believe the
gospel. I have said this for many years.

Also, many people date the instant of their salvation
by the time they called on the Lord when, in fact, if
they are really saved, they believed at some time
prior to their calling. . . .
I appreciate what you have written.

4.) Very scholarly independent Baptist seminary
professor in a somewhat different "circle" from some
of the others above:

Thomas,

Good to hear from you. I agree completely with the
position you so effectively articulated and defended
here. The only thing I would add, which further
supports this, is that a lost person cannot "really"
communicate with God (pray effectively) until he/she
does believe in Him according to the truth, as
revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (i.e., "Believe
and ye shall be saved"). . . .

I understand where the misunderstanding on what I did came from. I hope this clears it up. I impute no bad intentions to Pastor Brandenburg--I believe we simply had a misunderstanding about what happened and what replies I put in, and why.

Kent Brandenburg said...

I've received five or six or even more versions of this particular paper through the years. One of them is read and marked all over. I've had discussions about it long. As a matter of fact, a good chunk of the arguments against, that Thomas argues against, came from me. He didn't get those from books. It isn't a misunderstanding about my not having read it. It is at the best careless. There is a reason someone won't write to disagree. They know they'll need about 50-100 hours to debate it, and they will get muddy in the process. People who agree will get posted and moved to a high degree of exaltation. Someone like myself, who disagreed, and said why, is said not to have even read it. I gave at least two or three arguments in my email back. I didn't elaborate, but they were not included in the "polling" of men, just unanimous consent from men who read it. It isn't true. It misrepresents the truth.

Anonymous said...

So, Kent
Exactly when did you loose your Blog??

So much time...so little to do!!

Be blessed,
ILA

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks ILA.

I would look for retractions from Brother Ross when I point out errors in what he has said. I didn't say that Clarke buttressed my point about pre-justification call. I clearly wrote that I included him to debunk the historic point that Finney originated a pr-justification call. The right thing to do would be to retract that point. That would indicate that this is about coming to the truth and not about a debate, even as Brother Ross says that we should all ignore him if this about a debate.

Thomas Ross said...

I definitely had a large post, and sometimes I can write sentences that are hard to understand. It is possible that this is what happened with my comment on Adam Clarke. Furthermore, Pastor Brandenburg is a busy man, leading his church, and he may have not had time to evaluate some things in my post. Please note that I demonstrated that Clarke:

1.) Did not hold the same view as Pastor Brandenburg about prayer as a means of justification. Thus, saying he believed in a "pre-justification call" employs an ambiguity about the word "call," since he did not believe Pastor Brandenburg's position, and I fail to see how proving that someone who held neither my nor Pastor Brandenburg's position on Romans 10:13 assists his case. I do not dispute that many people believed prayer was a prerequsite to justification far before Finney. Catholicism, for example, held that view for many centuries before Finney came alone. I don't see how it helps Pastor Brandenburg's position at all.

2.) I demonstrated that Clarke actually wrote his commentary after Finney, while Pastor Brandenburg said he was "well before Finney."

I had not responded before this because I had thought it was relatively clear in my post that I had proven these things, but I must not have written as clearly as I thought I had.

I also did not comment again since Pastor Brandenburg had written, "I said I wouldn't come back here."

If we are going to continue discussing the article on this post, I would look forward to Pastor Brandenburg's answering the questions I brought up in my article.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Does Catholicism really say that "confessing with your heart the Lord Jesus" and "believing in your heart that God hath raised Him from the dead" are the only prerequisites for salvation? I hadn't heard that. See, I thought they also required confessing sins to a priest, transubstantiation, last rights, as well as infant sprinkling, among other things.

This isn't a debate technique? To connote Catholicism even with what Adam Clarke wrote in his commentary? Is this what we do when we want to know the truth about a text?

My only point with the Clarke quote was to show that Finney didn't originate the "sinner's prayer" methodology. I haven't really even begun to show that. Bro. Ross makes the point that Clarke wrote after Finney. Adam Clarke's commentary was published in 1832. Finney didn't have anything published of note until 1840. Clarke didn't get his view of Romans 10:9,13 from Finney. His Systematic Theology didn't come out until 1851. Clarke died in 1832. But why quibble about Clarke, because I'll be showing that this isn't true with plenty of other books and writings.

Thomas Ross said...

I apologize for not being clear with what I intended with my reference to Catholicism. All I intended to say was that there were plenty of people who believed that prayer was a prerequisite to justification before Finney, but that the view of saying a sinner's prayer as the instrument of justification, the modern common fundamentalist view, was not supported by Adam Clarke. I did not intend to employ an unjust "debate technique," as, alas, it seems I did. Both the Arminian non-Catholic Clarke and many other heretics of all sorts held that prayer was a prerequisite to justification far before Finney.

I would say in general that it is easy to misunderstand the way things are intended in writing. I would ask the reader of this blog to assume the best (1 Cor 13) when he reads what I have written, and the way that I have written it, recognizing that tone of voice, facial expression, etc. are not available in a written format and things are thus more easily misunderstood.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Mussolini was nice to his dog. What should I do? Certain Moslems don't drink alcoholic beverages. How should I react? The Catholic confession to a priest, Catholic "Hail Marys," so how does this relate? I'm trying to figure that out. It's simply a cheap rhetorical device logically fallacious.

What good is there to assume about Brother Ross' example? If there was anything good about it, I would think it, hope it, and believe it. I don't see anything good in it. That doesn't mean that I don't think highly of Brother Ross. I love him. I hate his example.

Victor said...

Romans 10:9 is about immediate salvation BUT not about salvation from hell but from the POWER OVER SIN. How can a person be justified but still remain unsaved? Please compare Romans 5:9. Once a person is justified he gets qualified to get into heaven (after regeneration of course). But to get power over sin we need to confess Jesus with our mouths. The best example is a Christian have faith in his/her heart but that cannot cast out any demon but if he/she confesses with the mouth power is released. Immediate deliverance!!! Also what if a person gets justified but does not confess with mouth - will the the effect of justification vanish?
If so how long the effect of justification will last. It does not make any theological sense to assume that a justified person could go to hell by not confessing Jesus as Lord.

http://www.tillhecomes.org/Text%20Sermons/Romans/Rom%2010%209-10.htm

Victor said...

What did John Calvin, John Wesley and Charles Spurgeon say about Romans 10:9 & 10
John Calvin:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom38.xiv.ii.html

And surely, he who is justified has already obtained salvation: hence he no less believes with the heart unto salvation, than with the mouth makes a confession. ... excerpt from Calvin's commentary!

Charles H. Spurgeon:

http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/1325.htm

Now, mark that the connection of our text assures us that being righteous we are saved; for what does it say here, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." He who is justified is saved, or what were the benefit of justification? Over thee, O believer, God hath pronounced the verdict "saved," and none shall reverse it. You are saved from sin and death and hell; you are saved even now, with a present salvation; "He hath saved us and called us with a holy calling." Feel the transports of it at this hour. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God."

John Wesley:

Notice here John Wesley saying final salvation. Wesley never took Romans 10:9 & 10 to lead the unsaved into salvation. Once thing I am convinced of is, all these great men of God had an understanding that Justification itself is equal to Salvation (initial).

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/wesley/notes.i.vii.xi.html?scrBook=Rom&scrCh=10-10&scrV=9-9#i.vii.xi-p0.2

9. If thou confess with thy mouth - Even in time of persecution, when such a confession may send thee to the lions.

10. For with the heart - Not the understanding only. Man believeth to righteousness - So as to obtain justification. And with the mouth confession is made - So as to obtain final salvation. Confession here implies the whole of outward, as believing does the root of all inward, religion.

A.W. Tozer never used this method either. Using Romans 10:9 caused a lot of confusion in Christianity.
Oswald J. Smith warned about conversion without regeneration. He even asked "you have accepted Jesus but has God saved you?"

Gen. William Booth warned:
“In answer to your inquiry, I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.”

These dangers have already crept into the modern day Church and Romans 10:9 is unfortunately used to fulfil Gen. Booth's predictions.


http://www.faithalone.org/journal/1999ii/J23-99b.htm

Anonymous said...

Romans 10:9-10 is wrongly used to lead lost people to Christ. In context Paul is provoking the Jews to emulation as the nation israel was diminishing. Besides the said verse does not contain "blood" hence theres is no justification. God is dealing with sin issue with a lost sinner. Besides God says that all are guilty before him, so every man Jew and Gentile is under condemnation because of the sin issue and that every mouth is to be stopped in Romans 3:19. Justification is deliverance from penalty of sin and sanctification is from power of sin. Also note thar the Jews salvation programme has always been a faith+works one requiring them to call and confess out the name of the Lord - see John 12:42-43 and Acts 9 where Paul was saved on the road to Damascus - the first word he as a Jew uttered was "Lord" (Acts 9:6) because he certainly believed in his heart that jesus was raised from the dead which surely coincides with Romans 10:9-10. The salvation programme in the present dispensation of grace we are living in irrespective if a person is a jew or gentile is faith alone in the blood of Christ in the all sufficient atonement of Christ work on calvary and this is found in Romans 3:24-26. In the Gospel about Christ Paul also reminds corinthian believers of How that Christ died for our sins and his death, burial and resurrection (1 Cor 15:1-4). So if a lost sinner's mouth in stopped/pronounced guilty (Romans 3:19) he cannot call on or confess the name of the Lord which is a "Work" that Romans 10:9-10 teaches. The only requirement now is by faith alone Romans 3:24-26. Faith/Believe is the only requirement the Bible says is NOT a work. How can you reconcile Ephesians 2:8-9 with Romans 10:9-10? Satan is very smart to subtley insert "a work" element to damn a soul and what such a good way to pull it out of Romans 10:9-10 - the great book of Justification. All those who peddle gospel tracts that end with Romans 10:9-10 are truly deceived and are deceiving the lost too. A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin - Proverbs 26:28