Final salvation

I am understanding from some of the contributions to this thread that the terms "salvation" and "justification" are not coterminous.
True, but the wording does get confusing, especially with those who do not study the nuances very well.

When I hear "salvation maintained/preserved by works", the idea that comes to mind is, "then by failing to complete x, y, or z work, my salvation is undone."

Which would beg the question, "Which part of my salvation? Am I no longer justified?" Etc.

I just think the wording is very unhelpful, at best. At worst, it is very dangerous.

Edit: Remember there are a lot of newcomers to deep theological issues that are listening to Piper.
 
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True, but the wording does get confusing, especially with those who do not study the nuances very well.

When I hear "salvation maintained/preserved by works", the idea that comes to mind is, "then by failing to complete x, y, or z work, my salvation is undone."

Which would beg the question, "Which part of my salvation? Am I no longer justified?" Etc.

I just think the wording is very unhelpful, at best. At worst, it is very dangerous.
Yes, this is where I am trying to learn what is correct, incorrect, or unhelpful.
 
Apologies if it seems like I am beating a dead horse and re-asking questions in lightly varied ways - it really does help me get these things into my own thick head.

I am understanding that the line between Reformed orthodoxy and neonomianism comes, then, not necessarily from including works in our salvation - but from including works in our justification or in some way making them antecedent to God's work in regenerating and justifying is. So it is fine to speak of our salvation being maintained or preserved by our works, or to state that there is no salvation apart from works - so long as they remain consequent to justification and so long as the distinction between justification and sanctification is preserved. Have I more or less grasped this? I was pretty convinced prior to this that it was quite patently wrong to speak as Piper did, so am having to adjust my mental framework... gets harder with age!
Right. We also have to clearly state that works are never meritorious. Bernard's words are very frequently cited by the Reformed Orthodox (William Perkins, to mention one example). Bernard said the following:
"Good works are the way to the kingdom, not the cause of reigning."
At the final judgment God will testify to every man's works and declare in keeping with them whether that man was just or unjust, and he will reward him with eternal life or death, but the good works of the righteous are evidences of being in Christ, not merits that merit for us eternal life.
It's like how if I testify that my neighbor didn't kill someone, my testimony doesn't merit his exoneration. It's a vehicle or instrument, but not the basis for the judgment.
 
Right. We also have to clearly state that works are never meritorious. Bernard's words are very frequently cited by the Reformed Orthodox (William Perkins, to mention one example). Bernard said the following:
"Good works are the way to the kingdom, not the cause of reigning."
At the final judgment God will testify to every man's works and declare in keeping with them whether that man was just or unjust, and he will reward him with eternal life or death, but the good works of the righteous are evidences of being in Christ, not merits that merit for us eternal life.
It's like how if I testify that my neighbor didn't kill someone, my testimony doesn't merit his exoneration. It's a vehicle or instrument, but not the basis for the judgment.
Indeed.

I, and probably you as well, have seen a lot, in order to get around this, discard the idea of 'merit' to smuggle in works, ironically.
 
Right. We also have to clearly state that works are never meritorious. Bernard's words are very frequently cited by the Reformed Orthodox (William Perkins, to mention one example). Bernard said the following:
"Good works are the way to the kingdom, not the cause of reigning."
At the final judgment God will testify to every man's works and declare in keeping with them whether that man was just or unjust, and he will reward him with eternal life or death, but the good works of the righteous are evidences of being in Christ, not merits that merit for us eternal life.
It's like how if I testify that my neighbor didn't kill someone, my testimony doesn't merit his exoneration. It's a vehicle or instrument, but not the basis for the judgment.
Agreed. I think this is a much better way to describe our works - a testimony/testament of our faith. It also helps to always make clear that good works (in order of operation) follow or flow from faith and justification. Our good works are really Christ's good works; He is the source of the living water and if we live, it is because we live in Him.
True, but the wording does get confusing, especially with those who do not study the nuances very well.

When I hear "salvation maintained/preserved by works", the idea that comes to mind is, "then by failing to complete x, y, or z work, my salvation is undone."

Which would beg the question, "Which part of my salvation? Am I no longer justified?" Etc.

I just think the wording is very unhelpful, at best. At worst, it is very dangerous.

Edit: Remember there are a lot of newcomers to deep theological issues that are listening to Piper.
Agreed. It would perhaps be much more accurate (and glorifying to God, I believe) to phrase it in a way that communicates that our ability to produce good fruit/works is maintained by our state of being justified.
 
We need to remember that all evangelical graces flow out of union with Christ, our Mediator. Sanctification is one of these graces: It is the aspect of "being saved"

CHAPTER XIII.​

Of Sanctification.

I. They who are effectually called and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection, by his Word and Spirit dwelling in them; the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened, in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

II. This sanctification is throughout in the whole man, yet imperfect in this life: there abideth still some remnants of corruption in every part, whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.

III. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail, yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome: and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Remember that Christ unites us to Himself, justifies us as He is our righteousness, and frees us from sin's dominion. It is important to remember that Christ unites SINNERS to Himself who still have corruption remaining in them.

This corruption is unholy. It is what we are in constant battle against. The flesh battles against the Spirit, and the Lord is continually saving us from the remaining corruption by us, more and more, overcoming it. We await the day of ultimate deliverance from this corruption.

Good works are the outflowing fo this battle as the Spirit unites us to Christ and enables us to overcome the flesh and obey the Word of God and do works that are imperfect but pleasing to God.

Look at it this way, In Christ we are saved from sin's guilt and are holy. In Christ, He is saving us by overcoming our remaining corruption and enabling us to perform good works. Ultimately, Christ will subdue all of His and our enemies (including sin) and we will one day be vindicated not by the good works we perform, but because the Mediator 's work in us will be vindicated and we will rejoice that sin and death will be put down like a dog.
 
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