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#11385 - Mon Mar 29, 2004 6:28 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  
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Calvinists do some very odd things. They will demand that "circumcision of the heart" IS regeneration but deny that anything else is regeneration that does not suit them. The capitalize on the fact that the new birth is actually only mentioned explicitly a few times in the Bible. They then decide for themselves to define whichever other references in Scripture are references to the new birth or not by keeping one eye on their creed.


(Fred) I am curious if you can provide us with some examples of Calvinists redefining words? If regeneration is only mentioned explicitly a few times, could you please give us those explicit references also?

Quote
Of course, they will all say the "context" and "hermeneutics" determines these things. But if you watch the it is plain to see that TULIP is giving all the orders.


(Fred) Hmmm. I always understood that my hermeneutics and context was giving my TULIP all the orders. Of course, Arminians/Roman Catholics do the same thing. They will say "context" "hermeneutics" but it is painfully obvious that it is their aristotelian/Thomist philosophy giving all the orders.

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
#11386 - Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:00 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: fredman]  
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called me from my sinful existence, regenerated my spiritually dead heart


I'm not trying to be picky, but I have a question:

Does God call us and then regenerate us, or is it the other way around? I was thinking He regenerates us and then calls us.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#11387 - Mon Mar 29, 2004 9:09 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: MarieP]  

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Maybe this will help Marie. It's from Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology. I notice he uses regeneration in two senses.
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The relative order of calling and regeneration. This is perhaps best understood if we note the following stages:
(1) Logically, the external call in the preaching of the Word (except in the case of children) generally precedes or coincides with the operation of the Holy Spirit, by which the new life is produced in the soul of man.
(2)Then by a creative word God generates the new life, changing the inner disposition of the soul, illuminating the mind, rousing the feelings, and renewing the will. In this act of God the ear is implanted that enables man to hear the call of God to the salvation of his soul. This is regeneration in the most resticted sense of the word. In it man is entirely passive.
(3) Having received the spiritual ear, the call of God in the Gospel is now heard by the sinner, and is brought home effectively to the heart. The desire to resist has been changed to a desire to obey and the sinner yields to the persuasive influence of the Word through the operation of the Holy Spirit. This is the effectual calling through the instumentality of the word of preaching, effectively applied by the Spirit of God.
(4) This effectual calling, finally, secures, through the truth as a means, the first holy exercises of the new disposition that is born in the soul. The new life begins to manifest itself; the implanted life issues in the new birth. This is the completion of the work of regeneration in the broader sense of the word, and the point at which it turns into conversion.

#11388 - Tue Mar 30, 2004 5:42 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  
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Thanks!

I'll have to read more of Berkhof. grin


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#11389 - Tue Mar 30, 2004 6:15 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: MarieP]  
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I'm not trying to be picky, but I have a question:

Does God call us and then regenerate us, or is it the other way around? I was thinking He regenerates us and then calls us.


(Fred) I understand your pickiness. I can see in scripture that "God's call" and "regenerated" are synonymous terms and that they can be interchangeable, though the idea of God calling is broken down into two categories of a general call and an efficacious call. Suffice it to say, that I believe any one truly called by God's sovereign grace will come and is regenerated and believes in faith. The notion that God some how throws out this equally efficacious call to every single person in the vein of some prevenient grace, so that everyone has the chance to now believe with their own personal faith, is pure fiction.

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
#11390 - Tue Mar 30, 2004 7:34 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  

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Zion seeker, this is stock Calvinistic jibberish.

Calvinists do some very odd things. They will demand that "circumcision of the heart" IS regeneration but deny that anything else is regeneration that does not suit them. The capitalize on the fact that the new birth is actually only mentioned explicitly a few times in the Bible. They then decide for themselves to define whichever other references in Scripture are references to the new birth or not by keeping one eye on their creed.

The work of defining words however they like is also standard fare for Calvinism. Hence, "eternal life" and "world" mean whatever they want those words to mean at John 3:16. This is very common in Calvinism as I am sure you have noticed.

Of course, they will all say the "context" and "hermeneutics" determines these things. But if you watch the it is plain to see that TULIP is giving all the orders.

If you think about it, if they can define the words however they like, they can pretty much say or believe anything they like.

Let them. It's their funeral.

Passion Player


Passion Player,
You make it abundantly clear that you are not here to discuss theology, but that you are here to throw stones at Calvinists. You are accusing us of being deceitful in handling God's Word. This will not be tolerated here!

#11391 - Tue Mar 30, 2004 9:19 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  

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Dear Susan,

Passion Player made it abundantly clear that he was not interested in discussing anything when he threw his bombs at Murray, but declined to back them up. The Bible refers to that as false witness, talebearing, and whispering. It is not an intellectual issue, but a moral one. Intolerance of that sort of thing -- whether toward Calvinists or anyone else -- is a wise policy in my opinion. my2cents

#11392 - Tue Mar 30, 2004 8:18 PM focusing on Faith  

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Zion Seeker,
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
Quote
Z S said: But the Word can convict and awaken a lost soul, and because the Word carries faith, they can throw themselves at Christ and receive new life. They can look unto him and be saved. How does this work. I don't know. I only that this is the way the bible says it.

The Holy Spirit is the one who opens the heart and gives us ears to hear the truth of the Word so that a sinner is enabled to receive it from God and believe it. I don't think you would deny that the Holy Spirit is the one who works through the Word of God to convict the sinner whom God is drawing to Himself and to show them their desparate condition bringing them to a godly sorrow that leads to repentance..
Quote
John 6:63
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Quote
1 Thessalonians v.4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.


Your statement that the word carries faith sounds a little strange to me, but if you mean faith comes by hearing the Word, I can agree. The Word doesn't always have the effect of faith in the hearers unless God gives them ears to hear that truth.
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Romans 10: 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

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Z S said: and because the Word carries faith, they can throw themselves at Christ and receive new life

Yes, they are enabled to throw themselves at Christ if the Father has drawn them to himself and has changed their heart to desire what only He can give them.

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John 6 :44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

Z S said in the beginning of the post:
Quote
The spiritual man is alive to God in spirit, soul, and body. The natural man is dead to God spiritually. He cannot know God, because his spirit is dead. Eternal life is to know God, and his Son.

Z S said later:
Quote
A natural, soulish man, can receive the Word, and believe it.
You are still left with the question how can a natural man receive those things which are folly to him? Wouldn't he hate the Word of God? Wouldn't he think it was foolishness? Doesn't he hate the God of the Bible and the Bible?
Does it seem beyond reason that God's Spirit makes a person able to receive these things?
You may be interested in the following by C. H. Spurgeon.

Quote
How Spurgeon Learned of Grace - Charles H. Spurgeon

Well can I remember the manner in which I learned the Doctrines of Grace in a single instant.

Born as all of us are by nature, an 'Arminian,' I still believed the old things I had heard continually from the pulpit, and did not see the Grace of God. When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this.

I can recall the very day and hour when first I received these truths in my own soul--when they were, as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron: I can recollect how I felt that I had grown all a sudden from a babe into a man--that I had made progress in Scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God.

One weeknight when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher's sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me: 'How did you come to be a Christian?'--I sought the Lord. 'But how did you come to seek the Lord?'--The truth flashed across my mind in a moment--I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself: 'How came I to pray?'--I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. I did read them; but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith. It was then the whole doctrine of Grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make it my constant confession. I ascribe my change wholly to God.

#11393 - Wed Mar 31, 2004 12:31 AM Re: focusing on Faith  

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The Holy Spirit is the one who opens the heart and gives us ears to hear the truth of the Word so that a sinner is enabled to receive it from God and believe it. I don't think you would deny that the Holy Spirit is the one who works through the Word of God to convict the sinner whom God is drawing to Himself and to show them their desparate condition bringing them to a godly sorrow that leads to repentance..


Yes, I agree

Quote

Your statement that the word carries faith sounds a little strange to me, but if you mean faith comes by hearing the Word, I can agree. The Word doesn't always have the effect of faith in the hearers unless God gives them ears to hear that truth.


again, i would have to agree.

Quote

You are still left with the question how can a natural man receive those things which are folly to him? Wouldn't he hate the Word of God? Wouldn't he think it was foolishness? Doesn't he hate the God of the Bible and the Bible?


Yes, a natural man, left to himself, has no way of ever coming to God. He must be drawn. There must be something outside of him that can reach him in his fallen condition. whether that is a prevenient grace given to all in varying degrees, or whether it is a predestinating grace given only to the elect - i don't know. There is a sense in which Christ lightens every man. In this sense man must actively resist the truth which he instinctively knows inside to be true. This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, but people love darkness rather than light. People know that the gospel is true, and that Jesus is the Son of God, but still they will not respond unless God draws and calls.

I don't have all the answers. These things have been argued over for centuries, and until I get some clearer light - and a better knowledge of Greek - I am shelving it, knowing that I can't get any further with it for right now. But there are just too many scriptures that attribute new life itself to faith in the clearest and most unmistakable terms. The clearest, as I have quoted again and again, is this:

Quote

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:31


We have life through his name when we believe. Jesus rebuked the pharisees, telling them that they would not come to him and receive life. There is a coming to him. There is an eating and a drinking of his flesh and of his blood, whereby we receive life. And "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." John 6:53. There is a drinking of the heavenly water which leads to an inward well springing up to eternal life. There is a purifying of our souls which comes, not prior to, but with believing. and in the hebraic style peter repeats the thought from a different angle, showing that this purification is nothing other than being born again, and the truth none other than the word of God.

Quote

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,


This is the circumcision made without hands - the putting off of the flesh and putting on of the new man, the man created anew in Christ. "buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead." Not the outward baptism of water, but the baptism into His Death, that we might, through faith, be raised into newness of life.

This is the impasse between you and me, and between myself and the people on this group. I don't see it being resolved, but I refuse to budge off of solid ground.

I do not consider faith a work of man. I consider it a God-given endowment, given by grace, resulting in new life. Since people are rebuked for their unbelief, it seems reasonable to conclude that man is given the opportunity to believe by hearing the Word of God. It is the dead who hear the voice of the Son of God. They do not need to be given life in order that they can hear and respond to the voice of the Son of God. They hear and then live.

Quote

"The hour is coming when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear WILL live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself. John 5:24-26


Whatever the working of the Lord prior to regeneration is, whether I call it awakening or calling, it cannot be regeneration. Regeneration is to be quickened with Christ, and this is through the faith of the operation of God. In qualifying this quickening ("you has he quickened"), the apostle writes "for by grace you are saved." To Paul the quickening was God's salvation. Salvation was not a result of regeneration.

Certainly, the idea that we can play nice soft music and plead with people to "accept Christ" and "invite him into your heart" is pure deception. The apostolic gospel struck men to the heart. It came, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. To the Jews it was a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called it is the power of God unto salvation. if only more calvinists (and arminians!) preached like this one,

Quote

I offer you salvation this day; the door of mercy is not yet shut, there does yet remain a sacrifice for sin, for all that will accept of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will embrace you in the arms of his love. O turn to him, turn in a sense of your own unworthiness; tell him how polluted you are, how vile, and be not faithless, but believing. Why fear ye that the Lord Jesus Christ will not accept of you? Your sins will be no hindrance, your unworthiness no hindrance; if your own corrupt hearts do not keep you back nothing will hinder Christ from receiving of you. He loves to see poor sinners coming to him, he is pleased to see them lie at his feet pleading his promises; and if you thus come to Christ, he will not send you away without his Spirit; no, but will receive and bless you.

#11394 - Wed Mar 31, 2004 9:35 PM YES!  
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BookMark when will you become Reformed? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Banghead.gif" alt="" /> Your post is Hyper-Diaper logic <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/mickey.gif" alt="" />

Just to add a quick note to what others have said: Very simply if there is no choice then there is no faith. All faith involves obedience and all obedience involves a choice (Heb 5:9, 11:8). One is enabled by God to make the choice by grace alone. When grace comes, and ONLY when it comes will one irresistibly make the choice for Christ alone. You need to study the difference in regeneration, justification, et. al. the terms and then the ordis salutis.

Hopefully when I return once again in a few months you will have become a Calvinist. Read the Institutes....for some reason John is pretty good at it. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bravo.gif" alt="" />

P.S. Thanks for the e-mail.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#11395 - Thu Apr 01, 2004 12:44 AM Re: YES! [Re: J_Edwards]  
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Welcome back Joe <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/cheers2.gif" alt="" />

Tom

#11396 - Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:04 PM Re: YES! [Re: Tom]  
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Thank you Tom. I hope you are doing well. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" />


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#11397 - Fri Apr 02, 2004 4:16 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  
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HI again, ZS,
Sorry to be so long in replying; I've been away on holiday for a few days <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" />

I think what we need here is an Ordo Salutis, an Order of Salvation. As I've said before, regeneration is not an instantaneous event. If we think of it as the New Birth, then our first birth took nine months from conception to delivery, and I suggest that the second birth can also take a length of time. This was the view of most of the Puritans. William Perkins, in his book, A Golden Chaine, suggested that there was an elongated process both before and after regeneration. He proposed ten stages, which Peter Masters summarizes thus:-

Stage 1. The ministry of the word comes to an unbeliever along with some trial or crisis, which subdues the sinner's stubborn nature, making it pliable to the will of God.
Stage 2. God brings the mind of the sinner to think about His holy laws.
Stage 3. God makes the sinner see and feel his own sins and how he offends God.
Stage 4. God smites the sinnser's heart with fear of punishment and hell, and makes him despair of attaining salvation by his own efforts.
Stage 5. The mind is stirred up to serious consideration of the promises of the Gospel.
Stage 6. God kindles a spark of faith, or a will or desire to believe, and gives grace to strive against doubt and despair.
Stage 7. A combat takes place in which that measure of faith fights with doubt despair and distrust. In this battle, the sinner fervently and constantly calls upon God for pardon, and this desire prevails.
Stage 8. God mercifully quietens and settles the conscience, to feel more sure of salvation, and the soul rests on the promise of life.
Stage 9. The sinner truly repents with sorrow at having offended such a merciful and loving God, and yields his life, his love and his behaviour to his Saviour.
Stage 10. He manifests a new obedience, in which he conscientiously obeys the commands of God, and walks in newness of life.

Perkins held that the first 5 stages could occur in the lives of people who do not come to salvation (eg. Felix 'trembled' and Agrippa was 'almost persuaded'). But Perkins taught that in the case of the Elect, the Holy Spirit worked in such a way that the first 5 stages humbled them in preparation for full regeneration.

Under this view, Justification is the final stage of regeneration. This explains those texts that you have quoted which say that one has life by believing. But regeneration started long before when God first opened the sinners heart to think on ternal matters. Perhaps the Ordo Salutis looks something like this:-

Foreknowledge
Election
Particular call (Start of Regeneration)
Awakening
Conviction of sin
Repentance and faith in Christ
Justification (Completion of regeneration)
Sanctification
Glorification

I think that if you consider this, it allows for your position whilst cofessing that 'salvation is of the Lord' from first to last.

Every blessing,
Steve


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#11398 - Fri Apr 02, 2004 7:50 PM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav [Re: grace2U]  

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Hi again,
That order of salvation seemed a little 'metcalfian' to me <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> At least in some points. But yes, overall, with a few modifications, I think it does allow for my position within a framework which acknolwedges the preceding work of the Holy Spirit.

I guess as long as you can acknowledge that actual new life is a result of believing, then I agree that the work of the Spirit begins prior to believing, with an awakening, conviction etc. I would say that this work leads up to regeneration, because I see regeneration as the point of receiving a new heart, spiritual life, a cleansed heart etc - the washing of regeneration, rather than all the work leading up to that. But the crucial truth which I believe is critically important to understanding the gospel is the liberating truth that life comes from believing, even if that believing is a result of the inward call of the Holy Spirit. I think Calvinism has gotten itself into a dead end by teaching that faith is a result of life.

Has Masters weathered the controversy he stirred by inviting Robert Reymond to London?
Take care
ZS

Last edited by ZionSeeker; Fri Apr 02, 2004 7:53 PM.
#11399 - Sat Apr 03, 2004 1:12 AM Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav  
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I don't want to add to any unpleasantness, but in the interests of accuracy I must say that the translation of a Greek aorist participle into the pluperfect is not uncommon in the NT.

Consider Luke 4:17:-
'Kai anaptuxas to bibliov, heure ton topon hou en gegrammenon.' Literally, 'And having opened ('unrolled') the book he found the place where it was written....'.
[Sorry, I don't know how to get a Greek font on this board]

'Anaptuxas' is an aorist participle. 'Heure' is an aorist verb. What is happening here? First, the Lord Jesus opens the book, then he finds the place. In English we tend not to use aorist participles; we would be more likely to use a temporal clause. That is why the NKJV translation, with absolute correctness, renders the passage, 'And when He had opened(pluperfect) the book, he found the place where it was written....'.

This is by no means rare in the NT. Check it out.

Blessings to all,
Steve


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