Date: Fri Mar 03 2000 - 19:50:57 EST
In a message dated 3/3/2000 2:57:19 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< That there is a difference between a profession of PISTIS and a
possession of it, and that one may profess faith without having
eternal life, seems evident not only from Jn 2:23-24, but also
from Jn 8:31-34.
In that passage Jesus speaks to the Jews TOUS PEPISTEUKOTAS
AUTWi, then adds EAN hUMEIS MEINHTE EN Oi LOGWi TWi EMWi,
ALHQWS MAQHTAI MOU ESTE.
This certainly seems to suggest it is possible to believe in Christ
and not to become one of His disciples.
Lest someone argue it is possible to believe, be saved and
not to become a disciple of Christ, He adds: KAI hH ALHQEIA
ELEUQERWSE hUMAS ......PAS hO POIWN THN hAMARTIAN
There appears to be no middle ground. Either one professes faith
and becomes a disciple of Christ and is set free from sin, or he
practices sin and is a slave to it. >>
While I essentially agree with the last statement, the question in John
8:31-34 is whether the ones who respond to Jesus are actually TOUS
PEPISTEUKOTAS AUTWi. It may be that they accept what Jesus says and have no
disagreement. It is only those who reject what Jesus says that respond, as in
all the previous discourses. Also the content of faith seems to be
progressive (Son of God and King of Israel in ch1; the one who gives living
water and the Savior of the World, ch 4; the one who is sent by the Father,
ch 5, the Christ, the Holy one of God, ch 6, the light of the world, ch 8;
the resurrection and the life, ch 11, my Lord and my God, ch 20). While a
case for less than saving faith is possible in 2:23-24, it is less likely the
case in 8:31-34, in light of John's development of PISTEUW.
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