GS - "I have heard it taught that mere mental assent is not faith, faith is heart knowledge as has been posted. Would not "non-saving faith" then be mere mental assent?"
Understand what you mean about mental ascent but a "non-saving faith" seems an oxymoron. IMO, mental ascent is a recognition of a truth but not a faith - trust - of any kind. Like; my granny believed airplanes were safe but she would not trust enough to ride one so she never derived any benefit from her belief. Many people "believe" Jesus is the Son of God but refuse to put themselves in his hands as Lord of their life so their belief avails them nothing. (THAT'S why the demon's personal knowledge means nothing good.)
People can have strong or weak faith but faith is faith. A strong faith is one that has been tested in the fires of life and comes out stronger from the test; Peter's actions on the night of the trial is an example. Those with an untested weak faith, like Peter's, will live in fear or defeat but it's still faith - I think.
"Matthew 7-22 tells us of that day when some will speak of how they worked miracles in His name yet He knew them not."
Mt 7: "…21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’…
How can good deeds be called "lawlessness"? That 22nd verse describes people who actually believe and do works as good as works can get but they are still rejected. Ergo, their works counter those with shallow belief and that's untrusting. It also shows that "good works" cannot contribute anything at all to salvation.
The salvation of God is by the unconditional grace (aka, the loving favor) of Father God for our faith/trust in Jesus ... period. Works that spiritually matter follow salvation, works are not at all intermingled with obtaining OR maintaining salvation. A changed life and good works are proofs of the believer's new birth in Christ but they do not, indeed cannot cause the new birth! The real rewards for our good works will be received in heaven but works do not pay any part of the price of heaven's entry. Jesus fully paid that price for each of us on the cross. He paid for ALL of our sins, past, present and future, therefore there is no purgatory and there will be no boasting or shared glory in heaven.
Eph 2 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Note that we are expected to DO GOOD WORKS but it specifically says we are NOT SAVED BY GOOD WORkS! I can't fathom why some folk refuse to accept that.
I don't have a Phd, not even a BA. But I do have a DD214.
Common sense is an uncommon virtue
Last edited by wncchester; 02-10-2017 at 04:06 PM.