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The Role Of Works In Our Salvation (2) #17834
Sun Sep 26, 2004 11:43 AM
Sun Sep 26, 2004 11:43 AM

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Pilgrim said:
What the Scriptures teach, Calvinism upholds and which I believe is that all men are "free agents", i.e., they are capable of making free decisions within the bounds of their nature. Thus all men are responsible for their "free" decisions and will be held accountable for them.


What "free" decision is a man who is in total bondage to Satan capable of making? Man is condemned because he is utterly corrupted and willfully rejects Christ.

Last edited by Pilgrim; Sat Oct 02, 2004 4:40 PM.
Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation #17835
Sun Sep 26, 2004 11:57 AM
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I would to correct three statements of catholicsoldier regarding Reformation doctrine:

1. Baptism is not a human work. By Word and Sacrament (Baptism), the Holy Spirit works faith, when and where it pleases God in them that hear the gospel.
2. Good works are not an obligation for the believer. When a man has been liberated from the law and saved by grace alone, he does good works with the help of the Holy Spirit from a free and cheerful spirit.
3. Unregenerate man has no free will either to do good and omit evil or to do evil and omit good.

Last edited by speratus; Sun Sep 26, 2004 12:04 PM.
Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation #17836
Sun Sep 26, 2004 12:24 PM
Sun Sep 26, 2004 12:24 PM
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speratus writes:
What "free" decision is a man who is in total bondage to Satan capable of making? Man is condemned because he is utterly corrupted and willfully rejects Christ.

First of all, [Linked Image] to The Highway Discussion Board!

Perhaps you didn't read what I wrote and you quoted carefully? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratchchin.gif" alt="" /> Here is what I wrote: "they are capable of making free decisions within the bounds of their nature." This is exactly that which the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6 when he says that the unregenerate/natural man is a "bondservant of sin" (6:6, 17, 19, 20; cf. Rom 3:10-18; 8:7, 8; Eph 2:1-5; 4:17, 18; Titus 3:3; Gen 6:5; 8:21; Jer 13:23; Job 14:1-4; et al) Man is condemned at conception from the very fact that he is born with Adam's guilt imputed to him. (1/2 of Original Sin) One does not have to reject Christ to be condemned. Yes, I agree with you that man is born "corrupted" (or nature), which is the other half of Original Sin; the inherited depravity of nature, i.e., spiritual death. (Rom 5:12-18; 1Cor 15:21)

So, within this depraved state, man is totally free to do that which the nature dictates/allows, which is sin. Man is free to choose to think and do sin. But even this is curtailed by God's providence by which He restrains and directs the sinful acts of men for His purpose and the good of the Church. The same is true for the influences and work of Satan and the rest of the fallen angelic host. They are capable of doing only that which is sinful but restrained/allowed and directed by God for His purpose.

In His Grace,


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Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation [Re: Pilgrim] #17837
Sun Sep 26, 2004 5:34 PM
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Pilgrim,

Man is condemned by original sin (Rom. 5:18). But there is further condemnation as a man willfully rejects Christ (John 3:18) and his heart becomes further hardened against the gospel.

Man is free from righteousness (Rom. 6:20). But he is not free to sin. He is enslaved to sin. A slave does not make free decisions. He obeys his masters: sin, death, and the devil.

Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation #17838
Sun Sep 26, 2004 7:22 PM
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speratus said:
Man is condemned by original sin (Rom. 5:18). But there is further condemnation as a man willfully rejects Christ (John 3:18) and his heart becomes further hardened against the gospel.

Agreed! There is further condemnation, i.e., the punishment received at the Judgment will be far more severe upon those who have been given the privilege of hearing the Gospel but rejected the call to believe upon the Lord Christ.

In regard to: Romans 6:20 (ASV) "For when ye were servants of sin, ye were free in regard of righteousness.", I would suggest that what this means is that when a person was a bondservant of sin (serving the lusts of the flesh by nature) he was not being "controlled" by righteousness (serving the new spiritual nature; it didn't exist).

Quote
speratus also said:
Man is free from righteousness (Rom. 6:20). But he is not free to sin. He is enslaved to sin. A slave does not make free decisions. He obeys his masters: sin, death, and the devil.

I detect some possible confusion here due to the use of terms, perhaps? When you say that man "is not free to sin", this is true if one is speaking of what is required of man according to the preceptive will of God, which is revealed in the Scriptures. However, IF you are referring to the ability of man, then I would have to strongly disagree. For, man's "freedom" (ability to think and act without outside compulsion against the will) is determined solely by one's nature. Thus, the natural man who is conceived in sin and born with a corrupt nature; i.e., a disposition which is an enmity with God and opposed to all that is good will/can only do that which is against the preceptive will of God; aka: sin. The unregenerate man naturally and thus freely chooses to sin. He is not forced to sin; i.e., to do that which is contrary to his will. The sinner's "enslavement" is the corrupt nature of which he is totally responsible. Thus the unregenerate person "can not because he will not AND he will not because he can not"! The converse is also true; a regenerate man is in possession of a new nature, a spiritually alive nature which is predisposed to love God and to do that which is holy and good. Of course, this new nature, which is created in the soul by the Holy Spirit in regeneration is one in principle whereby the remnants of the "old man" still linger and thus perfection is not possible in this life. Add to this the external influences of the demonic angels who also bring about temptation according to the will of God for the purpose of sanctification of the believer. Thus the holiness enjoined is one which only partially attained in this life and that progressively. It is only fully attained after death in glorification.

Thus, the biblical teaching is:

- Unregenerate: Free to sin but not free to not sin.
- Regenerate: Free to do that which is right and free (able) to sin. But not guaranteed to not sin.

If the case is that you are in disagreement with what I've written above, I would appreciate it if you would explain in more detail why an unregenerate person isn't "free to sin". <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation [Re: Pilgrim] #17839
Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:08 PM
Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:08 PM

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Pilgrim,

The slave who has been brainwashed into believing that, when he acts according to his master's desires, he is making a "free decision" is still a slave. He is, in fact, worst than a slave because he doesn't even know that he is a slave. Is that your idea of freedom?

By contrast, regenerate man has been liberated by the Holy Spirit to become Christ's slave. To the extent that the Holy Spirit rules, guides, and leads him, he is a freeman. I Cor. 7:22.

Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation #17840
Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:21 PM
Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:21 PM
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speratus replies:
The slave who has been brainwashed into believing that, when he acts according to his master's desires, he is making a "free decision" is still a slave. He is, in fact, worst than a slave because he doesn't even know that he is a slave. Is that your idea of freedom?

Again..... I iterate that the bondage which an unregenerate man lives under is his own. It is not imposed upon him. It is of his very essence and not something to which he unwillingly submits. His corruption of nature is what he IS by nature and thus all that he does is done willingly and most freely. The unregenerate man hates the light and loves the darkness. He would have it no other way and proves it to be so each and every time the opportunity arises in which he could do good, turn from his wicked ways and trust Christ.

If what you are espousing is true, then the unregenerate are not willing perpetrators of evil but victims; victims of an alien force which compels them to do that which they would rather not do. However, this is not something which has been taught in the majority of churches, especially confessional churches. Perhaps you could offer a denomination who holds to this view officially? or perhaps refer to an author, either past or present who teaches this? Inquiring minds wanna know. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation [Re: Pilgrim] #17841
Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:25 AM
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Pilgrim said:

Perhaps you could offer a denomination who holds to this view officially? or perhaps refer to an author, either past or present who teaches this? Inquiring minds wanna know. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


The denomination is Lutheran. The author is Luther.

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To this we will add a passage in which Dr. Luther declared himself later, with a solemn protestation that he intended to persevere in this doctrine unto the end, in his Large Confession concerning the Holy Supper, where he says: Herewith I reject and condemn as nothing but error all dogmas which extol our free will, as they directly conflict with this help and grace of our Savior Jesus Christ. For since outside of Christ death and sin are our lords, and the devil our god and prince, there can be no power or might, no wisdom or understanding, whereby we can qualify ourselves for, or strive after, righteousness and life; but we must be blinded people and prisoners of sin and the devil's own, to do and to think what pleases them and is contrary to God and His commandments.44] In these words Dr. Luther, of blessed and holy memory, ascribes to our free will no power whatever to qualify itself for righteousness or strive after it, but says that man is blinded and held captive to do only the devil's will, and that which is contrary to God the Lord. Therefore there is here no cooperation of our will in the conversion of man, and man must be drawn and born anew of God; otherwise there is no thought in our hearts which of itself could turn to the holy Gospel for the purpose of accepting it. Even so Dr. Luther wrote of this matter also in his book De Servo Arbitrio, i. e., Of the Captive Will of Man, in opposition to Erasmus, and elucidated and supported this position well and thoroughly, and afterward he repeated and explained it in his glorious exposition of the book of Genesis, especially of Gen. 26. There likewise his meaning and understanding of some other peculiar disputations introduced incidentally by Erasmus, as of absolute necessity, etc., have been secured by him in the best and most careful way against all misunderstanding and perversion; to which we also hereby appeal and refer others.

Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Free Will

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The Diatribe is perpetually setting before us such a man, who either can do what is commanded, or at least knows that he cannot do it. Whereas, no such man is to be found. If there were such an one, then indeed, either impossibilities would be ridiculously commanded, or the Spirit of Christ would be in vain.
The Scripture, however, sets forth such a man, who is not only bound, miserable, captive, sick, and dead, but who, by the operation of his lord, Satan, to his other miseries, adds that of blindness: so that he believes he is free, happy, at liberty, powerful, whole, and alive. For Satan well knows that if men knew their own misery he could retain no one of them in his kingdom...
...Where now then remains that article of our faith; that Satan is the prince of the world, and, according to the testimonies of Christ and Paul, rules in the wills and minds of those men who are his captives and servants? Shall that roaring lion, that implacable and ever-restless enemy of the grace of God and the salvation of man, suffer it to be, that man, his slave and a part of his kingdom, should attempt good by any motion in any degree, whereby he might escape from his tyranny, and that he should not rather spur and urge him on to will and do the contrary to grace with all his powers?...
...Satan, is by far the most powerful and crafty prince of this world; (as I said before,) under the reigning power of whom, the human will, being no longer free nor in its own power, but the servant of sin and of Satan, can will nothing but that which its prince wills. And he will not permit it to will any thing good: though, even if Satan did not reign over it, sin itself, of which man is the slave, would sufficiently harden it to prevent it from willing good.

Bondage of the Will, M. Luther

Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation #17842
Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:48 AM
Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:48 AM
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1. Baptism is not a human work. By Word and Sacrament (Baptism), the Holy Spirit works faith, when and where it pleases God in them that hear the gospel.


(Fred) Just out of curiosity, speratus, would you believe that the baptized infant in regnerated, because of the very act of being baptized?

Fred


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Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation #17843
Mon Sep 27, 2004 12:31 PM
Mon Sep 27, 2004 12:31 PM
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speratus,

There is nothing that you included in either quote that would support YOUR view or discredit mine. For I am in complete agreement with Luther's doctrine which was fully expounded in his work, The Bondage of the Will, which is also in complete agreement with Jonathan Edwards' three treatises, "The Great Christian Doctrine of Original Sin Defended", "Men Naturally God's Enemies" and "A Careful and Strict Inquiry into the Prevailing Notions of the Freedom of the Will". Further all the great evangelical confessions are in agreement. For example:


[color:"blue"]The Belgic Confession of Faith, Article XIV
The Creation and Fall of Man, and His Incapacity to Perform What Is Truly Good[/color]


We believe that God created man out of the dust of the earth, and made and formed him after His own image and likeness, good, righteous, and holy, capable in all things to will agreeably to the will of God. But being in honor, he understood it not, neither knew his excellency, but wilfully subjected himself to sin and consequently to death and the curse, giving ear to the words of the devil. For the commandment of life, which he had received, he transgressed; and by sin separated himself from God, who was his true life; having corrupted his whole nature; whereby he made himself liable to corporal and spiritual death. And being thus become wicked, perverse, and corrupt in all his ways, he has lost all his excellent gifts which he had received from God, and retained only small remains thereof, which, however, are sufficient to leave man without excuse; for all the light which is in us is changed into darkness, as the Scriptures teach us, saying: The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness apprehended it not; where St. John calls men darkness.

Therefore we reject all that is taught repugnant to this concerning the free will of man, since man is but a slave to sin, and can receive nothing, except it have been given him from heaven. For who may presume to boast that he of himself can do any good, since Christ says: No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him? Who will glory in his own will, who understands that the mind of the flesh is enmity against God? Who can speak of his knowledge, since the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God? In short, who dares suggest any thought, since he knows that we are not sufficient of ourselves to account anything as of ourselves, but that our sufficiency is of God? And therefore what the apostle says ought justly to be held sure and firm, that God worketh in us both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. For there is no understanding nor will conformable to the divine understanding and will but what Christ has wrought in man; which He teaches us, when He says: Apart from me ye can do nothing.




[color:"blue"]The Second Helvetic Confession - Chapter IX
Of Free Will, and Thus of Human Powers[/color]


What Man Was After the Fall. Then we are to consider what man was after the fall. To be sure, his reason was not taken from him, nor was he deprived of will, and he was not entirely changed into a stone or a tree. But they were so altered and weakened that they no longer can do what they could before the fall. For the understanding is darkened, and the will which was free has become an enslaved will. Now it serves sin, not unwillingly but willingly. And indeed, it is called a will, not an unwill(ing).[1]

Man Does Evil by His Own Free Will. Therefore, in regard to evil or sin, man is not forced by God or by the devil but does evil by his own free will, and in this respect he has a most free will. But when we frequently see that the worst crimes and designs of men are prevented by God from reaching their purpose, this does not take away man's freedom in doing evil, but God by his own power prevents what man freely planned otherwise. Thus Joseph's brothers freely determined to get rid of him, but they were unable to do it because something else seemed good to the counsel of God.




[color:"blue"]The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter IX
Of Free Will[/color]


I. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor, by any absolute necessity of nature, determined to good, or evil.[1]

1. James 1:13-14; 4:7; Deut. 30:19; Isa. 7:11-12; Matt. 17:12; John 5:40

II. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom, and power to will and to do that which was good and well pleasing to God;[2] but yet, mutably, so that he might fall from it.[3]

2. Eccl. 7:29; Gen. 1:26, 31; Col. 3:10
3. Gen. 2:16-17; 3:6, 17

III. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation:[4] so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good,[5] and dead in sin,[6] is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.[7]

4. Rom. 5:5; 8:7-8; John 6:44, 65; 15:5
5. Rom. 3:9-10, 12, 23
6. Eph. 2:1, 5; Col 2:13
7. John 3:3, 5-6; 6:44, 65; I Cor. 2:14; Titus 3:3-5

IV. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin;[8] and, by his grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good;[9] yet so, as that by reason of his remaining corruption, he doth not perfectly, nor only, will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.[10]

8. Col. 1:13; John 8:34, 36; Rom. 6:6-7
9. Phil. 2:13; Rom. 6:14, 17-19, 22
10. Gal. 5:17; Rom. 7:14-25; I John 1:8, 10

V. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone, in the state of glory only.[11]

11. Heb. 12:23; I John 3:2; Jude 1:24; Rev. 21:27




[color:"blue"]The Waldensian Confession, Articles V-X[/color]


VIII. That man, who was created pure and holy, after the image of God, deprived himself through his own fault of that happy condition by giving credit to the deceitful words of the devil.

IX. That man by his transgression lost that righteousness and holiness which he had received, and thus incurring the wrath of God, became subject to death and bondage, under the dominion of him who has the power of death, that is, the devil; insomuch that our free will has become a servant and a slave to sin: and thus all men, both Jews and Gentiles, are, are by nature children of wrath, being all dead in their trespasses and sins, and consequently incapable of the least good motion to any thing which concerns their salvation: yea, incapable of one good thought without God's grace, all their imaginations being wholly evil, and that continually.

X. That all the posterity of Adam is guilty in him of his disobedience, infected by his corruption, and fallen into the same calamity with him, even the very infants from their mother's womb, whence is derived the name of original sin.



Your personal view is not to be found in the writings of Martin Luther nor in any of the Confessions of the denominations which came out of the Protestant Reformation. It seems that you have misunderstood what the state of fallen man is and the relationship of the will to that of the corruption of nature. Again, man in his fallen, natural state is not free to seek after God, comply with anything which is required of him according to the prescriptive will of God (the law) nor can he desire to do so. However, fallen man is certainly free to act according to his fallen nature no less than any other creature acts according to its nature. And it is because man willingly and freely chooses to be at enmity with God that he is found all the more guilty and is under judgment. To be otherwise, e.g., from your view, man could not be held responsible and ultimately accountable for his sinful acts, for he would be a victim of that which he truly did not choose to be.

I would ask you to seriously reconsider what you are espousing as it is not biblically defensible nor recognized by the Church.

In His Grace,


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Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation [Re: fredman] #17844
Mon Sep 27, 2004 4:42 PM
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1. Baptism is not a human work. By Word and Sacrament (Baptism), the Holy Spirit works faith, when and where it pleases God in them that hear the gospel.


(Fred) Just out of curiosity, speratus, would you believe that the baptized infant in regnerated, because of the very act of being baptized?

Fred


It is not the act of baptism that regenerates but the word of God that is in and with the water, and faith that trusts in the word of God.

Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation #17845
Mon Sep 27, 2004 4:59 PM
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speratus wrote:
It is not the act of baptism that regenerates but the word of God that is in and with the water, and faith that trusts in the word of God.

(Fred) So, in order to be regenerated, one will need to be baptized correct? Thus, it is safe to assume with your position that you believe that when an infant is baptized that the infant is regenerated? Thus, if that infant grows up to deny the faith he or she has "lost" his or her salvation?

Fred


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Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation [Re: Pilgrim] #17846
Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:23 PM
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Pilgrim writes:

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Your personal view is not to be found in the writings of Martin Luther nor in any of the Confessions of the denominations which came out of the Protestant Reformation.


Wrong on both counts.

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This hereditary sin is so deep and [horrible] a corruption of nature that no reason can understand it, but it must be [learned and] believed from the revelation of Scriptures, Ps. 51, 5; Rom. 6, 12ff ; Ex. 33, 3; Gen. 3, 7ff Hence, it is nothing but error and blindness in regard to this article what the scholastic doctors have taught, namely:

4] That since the fall of Adam the natural powers of man have remained entire and incorrupt, and that man by nature has a right reason and a good will; which things the philosophers teach.

5] Again, that man has a free will to do good and omit evil, and, conversely, to omit good and do evil.

6] Again, that man by his natural powers can observe and keep [do] all the commands of God.

7] Again, that, by his natural powers, man can love God above all things and his neighbor as himself.

8] Again, if a man does as much as is in him, God certainly grants him His grace.

9] Again, if he wishes to go to the Sacrament, there is no need of a good intention to do good, but it is sufficient if he has not a wicked purpose to commit sin; so entirely good is his nature and so efficacious the Sacrament.

10] [Again,] that it is not founded upon Scripture that for a good work the Holy Ghost with His grace is necessary.

11] Such and many similar things have arisen from want of understanding and ignorance as regards both this sin and Christ, our Savior and they are truly heathen dogmas, which we cannot endure.


Smalcald Articles, Martin Luther

The Second Helvetic Confession teaches man has a free will to do evil which, as the Smalcald Articles testifies, is a truly heathen dogma which we cannot endure.

Last edited by speratus; Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:34 PM.
Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation [Re: fredman] #17847
Mon Sep 27, 2004 7:31 PM
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fredman said:
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speratus wrote:
It is not the act of baptism that regenerates but the word of God that is in and with the water, and faith that trusts in the word of God.

(Fred) So, in order to be regenerated, one will need to be baptized correct? Thus, it is safe to assume with your position that you believe that when an infant is baptized that the infant is regenerated?
Fred


No. The Holy Spirit works faith when and where it pleases God in them that hear the gospel. We baptize (and preach)solely on the command of Christ.

Last edited by speratus; Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:56 PM.
Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation #17848
Tue Sep 28, 2004 12:13 AM
Tue Sep 28, 2004 12:13 AM
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speratus,

With all due respect, are you sure you are understanding these documents you are saying support the notion that fallen man has no freedom of will whatsoever? Sorry, but I simply cannot find anything in any of the quotes you have so far provided that would support this notion. Be that as it may, the Scriptures, being the sole and final authority in all matters of doctrine, don't even hint at what you are espousing here.

Do you have any Scripture to offer? or even something a bit clearer by Luther or whoever that states this novel idea? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation [Re: Pilgrim] #17849
Tue Sep 28, 2004 4:42 AM
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Pilgrim,

Of course there is freedom of will in external things but not in spiritual matters. For example, man has no free will to accept or reject the gospel. Man does, in fact, reject the gospel but not because of free will but because of his enslaved will.

Once you postulate that man is free to do evil (reject the gospel), you must accept that there is cause of salvation within man. This is completely contrary to all the solas of the Reformation. The Reformation fathers understood this but, apparently, this teaching is lost on our modern Pelagian world.

Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17850
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Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/doah.gif" alt="" />


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Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation #17851
Tue Sep 28, 2004 8:05 AM
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(Fred) So, in order to be regenerated, one will need to be baptized correct? Thus, it is safe to assume with your position that you believe that when an infant is baptized that the infant is regenerated?

No. The Holy Spirit works faith when and where it pleases God in them that hear the gospel. We baptize (and preach)solely on the command of Christ.


(Fred) Well, that is funny. Up above in some of the posts, you seem rather insistent that baptism is a sacarament. In fact, you stated:

It is not the act of baptism that regenerates but the word of God that is in and with the water, and faith that trusts in the word of God.

So, if the Holy Spirit is the one that works, what is the point of the baptism? Can there be any efficaciousness to it as applied to infants? Surely, if you are a good Lutheran, you practice infant baptism? And if regeneration is wrought through baptism in the sense that it is a mixture of the word of God and faith trusting in the word of God, then your system must keep open the possibility of infants with believing faith who are regenerated?
Either way you wish to explain your system, ultimately the entire thing suggests that by the act of baptizing a baby that baby can have faith and be regenerated. However, I am at a loss of finding anything remotely suggesting such a scenario in scripture.

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
Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation [Re: fredman] #17852
Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:50 AM
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fredman,

Baptism with water in the name of the Holy Trinity is always efficacious because it is God's work alone not an act of man. It is beneficial when received by faith alone.

John the Baptist was regenerated and given faith in the womb by the outward word of Mary. This is proven because joy is a fruit that follows faith. If an unborn child in the womb can be given faith, then surely a child can receive faith through the outward word of Baptism.

Lutherans don't keep a scoreboard of conversions based on baptisms or preaching. We are commanded to baptize and to preach. We know baptism and preaching are efficacious. That is enough.

Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation #17853
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We know baptism and preaching are efficacious.<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/drop.gif" alt="" />

Please exegete a passge of Scripture to prove either of these (baptism or preaching) is efficacious?


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Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation #17854
Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:03 AM
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Baptism with water in the name of the Holy Trinity is always efficacious because it is God's work alone not an act of man. It is beneficial when received by faith alone.


(Fred) Is it efficacious for Roman Catholics as well? Furthermore, where does scripture teach that baptism is a work of God alone so that it begets regeneration?

Quote
John the Baptist was regenerated and given faith in the womb by the outward word of Mary. This is proven because joy is a fruit that follows faith. If an unborn child in the womb can be given faith, then surely a child can receive faith through the outward word of Baptism.


(Fred) So you would argue that the experiences of John the Baptist, the last of all OT prophets and the forerunner of Jesus Christ, is normative for all believers? Faith must be acknowleged by the recepient by repentance, a changed life and conforming to Christlike holiness. All children who are then baptized and are regenerated under your system should demonstrate that saving faith with out a doubt. That still leaves my other question unanswered: Can baptized, regenerated Children who grow up to deny the faith of Lutheranism, or Christianity in general, be said to have "lost their salvation."

Quote
Lutherans don't keep a scoreboard of conversions based on baptisms or preaching. We are commanded to baptize and to preach. We know baptism and preaching are efficacious. That is enough.


(Fred) Again, I would apprecitate some passages that specifically states that baptism is efficacious. I know God uses the channel of preaching to bring saving faith to a sinner, but where does the Bible teach that water baptism plays this role?

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
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: J_Edwards] #17855
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J_Edwards said:
Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/doah.gif" alt="" />


Romans 9 proves that man has no free will to do good (accept Christ) or to do evil (reject Christ). Before we existed and could do nothing either good or bad, we were according to God's purpose chosen by grace in Christ unto salvation. He has mercy on whom he has mercy and whom he will He hardens. Thereby, all false opinions that there is cause in man (i.e., free will to do good or evil or to accept or to reject Christ) are overthrown.

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17856
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speratus wrote:
Romans 9 proves that man has no free will to do good (accept Christ) <span style="background-color:yellow">or to do evil (reject Christ)</span>.

But again, you are simply asserting that man has no freedom to do evil. This is hardly a "defense" of your position. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" /> As I posted in one of my replies to you, providing quotations from some of the major Confessions, they all affirm that man is truly "free" to act according to his nature. Thus the unregenerate man has total freedom to SIN, according to his depraved nature, with the qualification that God has ordained all things and restrains the evil which man could do via direct providence and common grace. Men, by nature, sin most freely and willingly. But they cannot and will not do anything but sin, i.e., any type or form of good.

So, along with J_Edwards and many more who are reading your replies and trying to see how you have come to this view, I ask you, Where is the Scriptural support (exegesis of passages) that you base your view upon?

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Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17857
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fred (and J Edwards),

1. As long as the denomination does not change the words or the meaning of the words, "in the name of...", Christ's institution is efficacious./Mark 16:16, Eph. 2:8,9. Mark 16:16 tells us that baptism saves us through faith alone. Eph. 2:8, 9 tells us that nothing that saves us is a work.
2. You asked for an example; I gave you an example./Fruits of faith follow in children also./Rom. 11:33.
3. Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Gal. 3:26, 27; 1 Peter 3:21; Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor.6:11; Mark 16:16; Eph. 5: 25, 26.

Last edited by speratus; Tue Sep 28, 2004 4:28 PM.
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17858
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Pilgrim,

Since you have ignored my evidence from scripture and the Reformation fathers, I see no point in providing additional evidence.

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17859
Tue Sep 28, 2004 6:51 PM
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What evidence and what exegesis of Scripture have you provided? I have seen none. Please exegete the passage in Rom 9 you were speaking about and PROVE your position.

PS: Proof is different than assertion.


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Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation #17860
Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:37 AM
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speratus said:

Once you postulate that man is free to do evil (reject the gospel), you must accept that there is cause of salvation within man. This is completely contrary to all the solas of the Reformation. The Reformation fathers understood this but, apparently, this teaching is lost on our modern Pelagian world.


I stand corrected. Not all modern theologians have lost this teaching.

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The sinner is never forced to sin. But the sinner is not free to do either good or evil, because an evil heart within is ever inclining him toward sin. Let us illustrate what we have in mind. I hold in my hand a book. I release it; what happens! It falls. In which direction? Downwards, always downwards. Why? Because, answering the law of gravity, its own weight sinks it.


God's Sovereignty and the Human Will, A.W. Pink

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17861
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1. As long as the denomination does not change the words or the meaning of the words, "in the name of...", Christ's institution is efficacious./Mark 16:16, Eph. 2:8,9. Mark 16:16 tells us that baptism saves us through faith alone. Eph. 2:8, 9 tells us that nothing that saves us is a work.


(fred) Hmmm...That sounds more like some sort of magical mantra formula than biblical doctrine. Does it even matter that the person's life changes and conforms to godliness, or is such a change irrelevant? This viewpoint has the trappings of your general, run of the mill non-Lordship, carnal Christian doctrine believing gospel.

Quote
2. You asked for an example; I gave you an example./Fruits of faith follow in children also./Rom. 11:33.
3. Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Gal. 3:26, 27; 1 Peter 3:21; Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor.6:11; Mark 16:16; Eph. 5: 25, 26.


(Fred) SO you are telling me that children, nay, infants, have the ability to mortify the flesh as Romans 6 proclaims, to bear the fruits of the spirit as listed in Galatians 5, crucify themselves daily to follow Christ? Where have you ever seen this? None of these passages you list for us even suggest such a thing. You will need to give something more substantial that that, and I would add, it will need to be correctly interpreted. So far, all I have read from you is Lutheran tradition.

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
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: fredman] #17862
Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:37 AM
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fredman,

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That sounds more like some sort of magical mantra formula than biblical doctrine.


Yes, rational man rebels at the idea that the Almighty God works through His Word alone creating and sustaining faith in a tiny child. Do you believe in sola fide? If so, how are tiny children saved without faith?

Re: The Role Of Works In Our Salvation #17863
Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:56 AM
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The sinner is never forced to sin. But the sinner is not free to do either good or evil, because an evil heart within is ever inclining him toward sin. Let us illustrate what we have in mind. I hold in my hand a book. I release it; what happens! It falls. In which direction? Downwards, always downwards. Why? Because, answering the law of gravity, its own weight sinks it.


God's Sovereignty and the Human Will, A.W. Pink [/quote]

Pink's analogy is great. A book has no power to stop its fall (do good) or to accelerate its fall (do evil). When it encounters the edge of a desk (hears the gospel), it either falls on the desk (believes the gospel) or falls off the edge (rejects the gospel). Why one book stops its fall and another does not is not determined by any property of the books since all books fall at the same rate (original sin).

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17864
Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:22 AM
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Yes, rational man rebels at the idea that the Almighty God works through His Word alone creating and sustaining faith in a tiny child.


(Fred) Obviously, then, the Bible equally rebels against this notion of God creating and sustaining saving faith in an infant, because it does not know anything that you claim. There is not one mention of God producing regeneration through the means of baptism in infants baptized according to a trinitarian formula. This is sheer fantasy brought to the text to sustain the Lutheran tradition of infant baptism. Faith without works is dead, my friend. This is plain biblical teaching. Infants have no ability to manifest spiritual works to begin with, and I have yet to encounter any infant that thinks spiritual rather than selfishly.

Quote
Do you believe in sola fide? If so, how are tiny children saved without faith?


(Fred) The Bible is all but silent on the salvation or non-salvation of infants at death, but I would argue that God saves them out of the kindness of his great mercy. This is a debate that has occupied the thinking of many Christians over the last 2 millennia, but I believe the only correct approach to answering the question must be born out of clear Biblical evidence rightly exegeted, and not some favored denominational tradition that is moved aloft by bad theology. The baptismal regeneration solution falls squarely in that category.

Here are a couple of articles to consider:

What happens to infants that die

The Salvation of the little ones

I still am looking for the answer to the question of eternal security. Can a baptized infant that was baptized in a trinitarian formula who grows up as a hellion and eventually pursues a course of worldliness for the remainder of his or her adult life be said to have "lost his salvation" according to your view?

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
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: fredman] #17865
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fredman,

Obviously, you have rejected the scriptural doctrine justification by faith alone to pursue non-scriptural teachings born of man's reason.

With regard to eternal security, I did answer the question: Romans 11:33. I also said that baptism in a trinitarian formula is always efficacious but it is not always beneficial. Whether infant or adult, it must be received by faith alone.

Whether the baptized hellion ever believed is not revealed to us. We should not inquire curiously after much matters.

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since God has reserved this mystery for His wisdom, and has revealed nothing to us concerning it in His Word, much less commanded us to investigate it with our thoughts, but has earnestly discouraged us therefrom, Rom. 11, 33ff , we should not reason in our thoughts, draw conclusions, nor inquire curiously into these matters, but should adhere to His revealed Word, to which He points us.

Thus without any doubt God also knows and has determined for every one the time and hour of his call and conversion [and when He will raise again one who has lapsed]. But since this has not been revealed to us, we have the command always to keep urging the Word, but to entrust the time and hour [of conversion] to God, Acts 1, 7.


Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Election

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17866
Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:12 PM
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Obviously, you have rejected the scriptural doctrine justification by faith alone to pursue non-scriptural teachings born of man's reason.

(Fred) So, I can take it from the conclusion in your response that you read those two articles I linked and gave them some considerable thought? Could you at least interact with the study of historic Christian theology and biblical exegesis that the men provide to explain why you think their conclusions are non-scriptural and born of man's reason?

With regard to eternal security, I did answer the question: Romans 11:33.

(Fred) I fail to see how that passage answers my question. Romans 11:33 says,

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

Could you please explain how this verse answers my question of your theological viewpoint? It says nothing of eternal security or answers whether or not your Lutheran tradition of a baptized regenerate infant can grow up to become a hellion and reject Christ and thus loose his or her salvation. It would be helpful for you to give us your personal Bible study and explanation of why YOU think Romans 11:33 seals your case.

I also said that baptism in a trinitarian formula is always efficacious but it is not always beneficial.

(Fred) How can a divine act of regeneration be efficacious but not beneficial? What does that even begin to mean? God can begin a good work of regeneration in a sinner, but it won't benefit him?

Whether infant or adult, it must be received by faith alone.

(Fred) Wait a second. In other posts you are arguing for a total inability and no freewill, yet here you are saying that regeneration can be RECEIVED by faith alone? I thought regeneration begot the person's faith to begin with?

Whether the baptized hellion ever believed is not revealed to us. We should not inquire curiously after much matters.

(Fred) What?! James entire epistle is written to inquire after such matters. So was John's first epistle. A person who is regenerated and given saving faith by a divine act of God will produce good works. The Bible makes it quite clear, with no doubt, that if a person claims to have faith in Christ, but has no love for Christ, his people, never conforms to godliness and never produces the fruits of the spirit in his life that manifests in visible, godly works, then I am authorized as a Christian to question such belief and to doubt the person's claim.

I am sorry, bud, but I see here an expression of irrationality that warps the Bible so as to maintain a favored denominational tradition, in this case, the Lutheran view of regeneration by water baptism. So far, all I see is much swinging and missing.

Fred


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Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: fredman] #17867
Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:59 PM
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Fred

I remember a conversation similar to this on the Reformed Reader board, with a few Lutherans.
After talking about faith for quite a while, they concluded that Calvinists do not have a correct view of the Reformation understanding of faith alone. They believe we are closer to the Roman Catholic view than the Reformed view.
So this conversation doesn't really surprise me.

Tom

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: Tom] #17868
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fredman,

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Could you at least interact with the study of historic Christian theology and biblical exegesis that the men provide to explain why you think their conclusions are non-scriptural and born of man's reason?


It is a doomed attempt to reconcile the popular heresy, age of accountability, with Calvinism.

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How can a divine act of regeneration be efficacious but not beneficial? What does that even begin to mean? God can begin a good work of regeneration in a sinner, but it won't benefit him?


It doesn't begin. The Word of God offers the forgiveness of sins in the gospel. However, if man rejects the offer of grace, he is hardened in his unbelief.

Quote
Wait a second. In other posts you are arguing for a total inability and no freewill, yet here you are saying that regeneration can be RECEIVED by faith alone? I thought regeneration begot the person's faith to begin with?


It does in them that believe. "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!"

Quote
What?! James entire epistle is written to inquire after such matters. So was John's first epistle. A person who is regenerated and given saving faith by a divine act of God will produce good works. The Bible makes it quite clear, with no doubt, that if a person claims to have faith in Christ, but has no love for Christ, his people, never conforms to godliness and never produces the fruits of the spirit in his life that manifests in visible, godly works, then I am authorized as a Christian to question such belief and to doubt the person's claim.


Of course you are! But you raised the question about past belief not current belief.

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17869
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fredman asked:
How can a divine act of regeneration be efficacious but not beneficial? What does that even begin to mean? God can begin a good work of regeneration in a sinner, but it won't benefit him?

To which you replied
It doesn't begin. The Word of God offers the forgiveness of sins in the gospel. However, if man rejects the offer of grace, he is hardened in his unbelief.

Man, what a convoluted "defense" you have offered here! Either regeneration, which you claim takes place at baptism exists in the recipient or it does not. Secondly, it seems you can't make up your mind whether regeneration precedes or follows faith?? Thirdly, if regeneration does take place when an infant (adult?) is baptised, it is either efficacious or it is not. If it is, then that individual is guaranteed salvation as the regeneration produces the repentance and faith necessary for justification and the good works to follow for sanctification. If one is regenerated then it is indisputably "beneficial", unless salvation isn't something which you think is beneficial.

It would also appear, which would be consistent with conservative Lutheran theology, that you believe in "baptismal regeneration", i.e., regeneration is inextricably connected with baptism and infallibly occurs at the time of baptism. Would this be a correct understanding of YOUR position too? If so, then I would posit that it is YOU who denies Sola Fide for baptism in this view is equally necessary for salvation, placing baptism in the category of a work. This clearly is in opposition to the biblical teaching. (cf. Joh 1:12, 13)

Further, the charge by some Lutherans, which Tom mentioned, that Calvinism is more aligned to the teachings of Rome is totally illogical and even hilarious for Lutheranism in its adherence to baptismal regeneration follows Rome in nearly every point. Would you hold that one can be saved without baptism?

Lastly, the WCF states in regard to the salvation of infants who die in infancy and those mentally incapable of comprehending the gospel:


III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit,[12] who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth:[13] so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.[14]

12. Gen. 17:7; Luke 1:15; 18:15-16; Acts 2:39; John 3:3, 5; I John 5:12
13. John 3:8
14. John 16:7-8; I John 5:12; Acts 4:12
(WCF Chapter 10, Article III)



In short, the Confession teaches that ALL the "elect" are saved despite their physical condition. Salvation is of the LORD Who works in the elect at His appointed time by the Holy Spirit Who regenerates them and thus unites them to Christ. So, even here, regeneration guarantees salvation to those who have been elected from eternity. (cf. Rom 8:29, 30; Eph 1:4-13; et al)

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Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: Pilgrim] #17870
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Pilgrim,

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Either regeneration, which you claim takes place at baptism exists in the recipient or it does not.


Regeneration occurs when and where it pleases God in them that hear the gospel. If God is pleased to regenerate at baptism, it will occur.

Quote
Secondly, it seems you can't make up your mind whether regeneration precedes or follows faith??


It occurs at exactly the same time.

Quote
Thirdly, if regeneration does take place when an infant (adult?) is baptised, it is either efficacious or it is not.


We are probably using two different definitions. In Lutheran parlance, the word of God in baptism or preaching is always efficacious, whether many, few, or none actually come to faith.

Quote
It would also appear, which would be consistent with conservative Lutheran theology, that you believe in "baptismal regeneration", i.e., regeneration is inextricably connected with baptism and infallibly occurs at the time of baptism.


Could you please cite the section of the Book of Concord that teaches what you have described?

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Would you hold that one can be saved without baptism?


I agree with Luther.

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"the word of God is the greatest, most necessary, and most sublime part in Christendom--for the sacraments cannot exist without the word, but indeed the word can exist without the sacraments, and in an emergency one could be saved without the sacraments (as for example, those who die before receiving the desired baptism) but not without the word"


Luther Works, vol. 38, p 189.

Quote
In short, the Confession teaches that ALL the "elect" are saved despite their physical condition. Salvation is of the LORD Who works in the elect at His appointed time by the Holy Spirit Who regenerates them and thus unites them to Christ. So, even here, regeneration guarantees salvation to those who have been elected from eternity. (cf. Rom 8:29, 30; Eph 1:4-13; et al)


Agreed but a new heresy is teaching to itching ears that all children are saved.

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17871
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speratus replies:
Regeneration occurs when and where it pleases God in them that hear the gospel. If God is pleased to regenerate at baptism, it will occur.

How can one "hear the gospel" unless they are antecedently regenerated?

Are those who are regenerated at baptism, particularly infants who survive into adulthood, saved immediately? And are such individuals required to repent and believe upon Christ at some time consequent to their baptism?

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Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: Pilgrim] #17872
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Pilgrim,

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How can one "hear the gospel" unless they are antecedently regenerated? Are those who are regenerated at baptism, particularly infants who survive into adulthood, saved immediately?


Calvinists stray into Arminian territory with their Order of Salvation. If man must first be regenerated before he can "hear the gospel" and believe, then salvation is not monergistic. Under Calvinism, salvation is a process where God does His part (effectual call) and then Man does his part by responding to the call and is thereby saved.

Lutherans do not separate regeneration and justification. Thus, salvation is completely apart from any cooperation of man. Through the means of grace (Word and Sacrament), God gives all His gifts at once. He calls, regenerates, gives faith, enlightens, and saves. Man does not respond; he receives.

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And are such individuals required to repent and believe upon Christ at some time consequent to their baptism?


We are simultaneously saints and sinners. The Christian life is one of daily repentance and faith.

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17873
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speratus said:
Pilgrim,


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It would also appear, which would be consistent with conservative Lutheran theology, that you believe in "baptismal regeneration", i.e., regeneration is inextricably connected with baptism and infallibly occurs at the time of baptism.


Could you please cite the section of the Book of Concord that teaches what you have described?




speratus, I don't know the Book of Concord well enough to quote it to you. But I do know from many discussions with Lutherans, that they believe in "Baptismal Regeneration".
In fact one said to me that "All true Lutherans believe in 'Baptismal Regeneration'. Other Lutherans also affirmed exactly what he said.

I asked one of these Lutherans to show me proof that Martin Luther believed in baptismal regeneration and to his credit he did prove it, by some works written by Luther himself. He also quoted from the book of Concord as well.

Are you saying you disagree with them?

Tom

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17874
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Calvinists stray into Arminian territory with their Order of Salvation. If man must first be regenerated before he can "hear the gospel" and believe, then salvation is not monergistic. Under Calvinism, salvation is a process where God does His part (effectual call) and then Man does his part by responding to the call and is thereby saved.


You misunderstand the Ordo Salutis. This article might be helpful: "The Order of Salvation."


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: CovenantInBlood] #17875
Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:37 AM
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Tom,

Lutherans believe in Baptismal Regeneration as defined in Lutheran Confessions not as defined by Pilgrim.

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What is Baptism?--Answer.

Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in God's command and connected with God's Word.

Which is that word of God?--Answer.

Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Matthew: Go ye into all the world and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Secondly.

What does Baptism give or profit?--Answer.

It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.

Which are such words and promises of God? Answer.

Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Mark: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Thirdly.

How can water do such great things?--Answer.

It is not the water indeed that does them, but the word of God which is in and with the water, and faith, which trusts such word of God in the water. For without the word of God the water is simple water and no baptism. But with the word of God it is a baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Ghost, as St. Paul says, Titus, chapter three: By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior, that, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying.

Fourthly.
What does such baptizing with water signify?--Answer.

It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?--Answer.

St. Paul says Romans, chapter 6: We are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.


Small Catechism, Martin Luther

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: CovenantInBlood] #17876
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CovenantInBlood,

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You misunderstand the Ordo Salutis. This article might be helpful: "The Order of Salvation."


It doesn't help. I'm still left with the impression that salvation is a step by step process and Calvinists are synergists.

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This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from any thing at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.


Westminster Confession, Effectual Call

Enabled to answer this call and embrace the grace offered? How does this differ from the Arminian's decision and RC infused grace?

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17877
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Enabled to answer this call and embrace the grace offered? How does this differ from the Arminian's decision and RC infused grace?


(Fred) So in your worldview, does God believe for a sinner when he regenerates him through baptism?

Me thinks you are woefully misinformed concerning the terms monergism and synergism. Perhaps you can provide a definition of each?

Fred

Still waiting for your answer about whether a regenerated infant can grow up to loose his or her salvation.


"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
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17878
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It doesn't help. I'm still left with the impression that salvation is a step by step process and Calvinists are synergists.


Then you have obviously not bothered to put thought into what you read. The Ordo Salutis is not a "step by step" process whereby a man performs certain actions and is rewarded with eternal life. The Ordo Salutis is a description of the Biblical teaching regarding the application of God's redemption to His elect. It provides the logical order (not necessarily any sequence in time) in which GOD works to bring about redemption, not the "steps" by which man might earn his salvation.

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Enabled to answer this call and embrace the grace offered? How does this differ from the Arminian's decision and RC infused grace?


The Arminian's decision is made APART FROM regeneration of the Holy Spirit, by a faith originating in the man himself, whereupon God regenerates the man and credits that faith as righteousness. So long as the man maintains his faith, he remains regenerate and in a state of justification. Rome's infused grace says that we are given by God the ability to do good works that merit our justification (primarily through the sacraments), and that if we continue in good works we will be justified because we will have actually become righteous in ourselves.

How do EITHER of these even come close to Westminster's teaching on justification? We are regenerated by the Holy Spirit on the decree of God alone, and not because we have faith. Through regeneration the Spirit compels us to believe, thereby effecting faith and repentance in us. God justifies us, declaring us righteous on the basis of Christ's blood.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: CovenantInBlood] #17879
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fredman,

Monergism would affirm that only three things are necessary for man's justification before God:
1. Grace of God-Election
2. Merit of Christ-Finished work of the Cross
3. Faith given by the Holy Spirit-Hearing of the Word

For the third and last time, you have no standing to inquire regarding the past faith or future faith of another person. For yourself, you should take comfort in the gospel, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."

Last edited by speratus; Fri Oct 01, 2004 6:25 AM.
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Covenant in Blood,

Thanks! Your explanation is quite helpful.

Three more questions: Will God cause all the steps to occur eventually? Does anything prior to and including forensic justification involve man's unforced cooperation? Is the righteousness of Christ imputed to the sinner by faith alone?

Last edited by speratus; Fri Oct 01, 2004 5:32 AM.
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17881
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Monergism would affirm that only three things are necessary for man's justification before God:
1. Grace of God-Election
2. Merit of Christ-Finished work of the Cross
3. Faith given by the Holy Spirit-Hearing of the Word


(Fred) Yep, that is pretty much what I affirm. That is what historical, biblical Calvinist have always affirmed. I am curious why you think otherwise?

Though on the last point, I agree that the faith given by the holy spirit will be effective in the life of the sinner so that the sinner will most certainly embrace Christ, meaning it will always be 100% beneficial. You seem to suggest a prevenient grace perspective with salvation. In other words, the sinner can either embrace the faith or reject it. The scriptures do not teach there is an option for sinners to reject God's efficacious grace. All sinners who are granted God's effectual grace are elect sinners to begin with. If you believe differently, and all of the hardcore Lutherans I have debated in the past do, I would like for you to provide some scriptural evidence of a person rejecting effectual regenerative grace.

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For the third and last time, you have no standing to inquire regarding the past faith or future faith of another person.


(Fred) Sorry bud, the Bible witnesses against you. As I pointed out before, the book of 1 John was written that Christians may know they have eternal life (1 Jn. 5:13). John affirms the reality of that certain knowledge by providing a divinely inspired list of outward "markers" that identify a person's saving faith, ie, anyone who says he does not sin is a liar, anyone who hates the brethern is a liar, anyone loving the world is not "one of us," etc. Thus, the Bible does provide me a firm foundation of standing on which to inquire after a person's past or future faith. John's first epistle is just one example from the NT. We could also explore 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, 2 Peter and Jude if you wish, but for you to avoid answering my question on eternal security by hiding behind what Lutheran theologues have contrived as being a "mystery of faith," or whatever they want to call it, does not help you credibility in the least.

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
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17882
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speratus said:
Covenant in Blood,

Thanks! Your explanation is quite helpful.

Three more questions: Will God cause all the steps to occur eventually? Does anything prior to and including forensic justification involve man's unforced cooperation? Is the righteousness of Christ imputed to the sinner by faith alone?

Hey... I'll answer those three questions too!
  • Will God cause all the steps to occur eventually? God has foreordained ALL things; the end and the means to that end in eternity. Thus the salvation of the elect is certain and occurs exactly at the appointed time.
  • Does anything prior to and including forensic justification involve man's unforced cooperation? Man does not "cooperate", forced or otherwise in justification. However, man is involved in the justification, for justification is by faith. When the Holy Spirit regenerates a person at God's appointed time, faith is immediately created in that new spiritually alive soul, which then immediately, infallibly and naturally reaches out and embraces the Lord Christ. The regeneration is prior to conversion and is wholly the work of the Spirit of God and not known by the recipient. Conversion, however, is experienced by the sinner since he experiences the result/effects of regeneration; conviction of sin and a compelling desire to be reconciled to God through Christ. The sinner is justified by faith; the sinner's faith. God doesn't believe on Christ substitutionally for the sinner. It is an act of the sinner made possible due to the new nature and which will infallibly rest in Christ. For one of the finest explanation of Sola Fide, see here: Justification by Faith Alone, by Dr. Joel Beeke.
  • Is the righteousness of Christ imputed to the sinner by faith alone? If by this you are asking if justification, i.e., the imputation of Christ's righteousness is dependent upon something other than faith, either prior too regeneration or after conversion, the answer is "No!". Faith and faith alone is the ordained means by which a sinner is reconciled to God in Christ and that God declares the sinner justified. That being said, true saving faith is a repentant faith, i.e., it is a faith that both hates sin and desires righteousness; confessing that there is no good thing within and that the Lord Christ is one's only hope of salvation. We do not hold to any form or Sandemanianism (Easy Believism) or Libertarianism. Faith without works is dead.

In His Grace,


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Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: fredman] #17883
Fri Oct 01, 2004 10:58 AM
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fredman,

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Though on the last point, I agree that the faith given by the holy spirit will be effective in the life of the sinner so that the sinner will most certainly embrace Christ, meaning it will always be 100% beneficial.


There is confusion of terms. Let me draw an analogy between the Word and medicine. Medicine is efficacious whether one believes it is or not. However, it only becomes beneficial if it is received.

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You seem to suggest a prevenient grace perspective with salvation.


Just the opposite, my concern is that Calvinism is embracing prevenient grace by saying that God delivers salvation in little packets along the order of salvation.

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In other words, the sinner can either embrace the faith or reject it. The scriptures do not teach there is an option for sinners to reject God's efficacious grace.


The sinner has no free will either to accept or reject. God's efficacious grace is beneficial when and where it pleases God.

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All sinners who are granted God's effectual grace are elect sinners to begin with. If you believe differently, and all of the hardcore Lutherans I have debated in the past do, I would like for you to provide some scriptural evidence of a person rejecting effectual regenerative grace.


The efficacious Word is beneficial when and where it pleases God. But like all true Calvinists, you wish to say more than scripture teaches. The Lutheran Confessions show the harm in so doing.

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The eternal election of God, however, not only foresees and foreknows the salvation of the elect, but is also, from the gracious will and pleasure of God in Christ Jesus, a cause which procures, works, helps, and promotes our salvation and what pertains thereto; and upon this [divine predestination] our salvation is so founded that the gates of hell cannot prevail against it, Matt. 16, 18, as is written John 10, 28: Neither shall any man pluck My sheep out of My hand. And again, Acts 13, 48: And as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed. 9] Nor is this eternal election or ordination of God to eternal life to be considered in God's secret, inscrutable counsel in such a bare manner as though it comprised nothing further, or as though nothing more belonged to it, and nothing more were to be considered in it, than that God foresaw who and how many were to be saved, who and how many were to be damned, or that He only held a [sort of military] muster, thus: "This one shall be saved, that one shall be damned; this one shall remain steadfast [in faith to the end], that one shall not remain steadfast." 10] For from this [notion] many derive and conceive strange, dangerous, and pernicious thoughts, which occasion and strengthen either security and impenitence or despondency and despair, so that they fall into troublesome thoughts and [for thus some think, with peril to themselves, nay, even sometimes] say: Since, before the foundation of the world was laid, Eph. 1, 4, God has foreknown [predestinated] His elect to salvation, and God's foreknowledge [election] cannot fail nor be hindered or changed by any one, Is. 14, 27; Rom. 9, 19, therefore, if I am foreknown [elected] to salvation, nothing can injure me with respect to it, even though I practise all sorts of sin and shame without repentance, have no regard for the Word and Sacraments, concern myself neither with repentance, faith, prayer, nor godliness; but I shall and must be saved nevertheless, because God's foreknowledge [election] must come to pass. If, however, I am not foreknown [predestinated], it helps me nothing anyway, even though I would occupy myself with the Word, repent, believe, etc.; for I cannot hinder or change God's foreknowledge [predestination]. 11] And indeed also to godly hearts, even when, by God's grace they have repentance, faith, and a good purpose [of living in a godly manner], such thoughts occur as these: If you are not foreknown [predestinated or elected] from eternity to salvation, everything [your every effort and entire labor] is of no avail. This occurs especially when they view their weakness and the examples of those who have not persevered [in faith to the end], but have fallen away again [from true godliness to ungodliness, and have become apostates]. 12] To this false delusion and [dangerous] thought we should oppose the following clear argument, which is sure and cannot fail, namely: Since all Scripture, given by inspiration of God, is to serve, not for [cherishing] security and impenitence, but for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 2 Tim. 3, 16; also, since everything in God's Word has been prescribed to us, not that we should thereby be driven to despair, but that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope, Rom. 15, 4, therefore it is without any doubt in no way the sound sense or right use of the doctrine concerning the eternal foreknowledge of God that either impenitence or despair should be occasioned or strengthened thereby. Accordingly, the Scriptures teach this doctrine in no other way than to direct us thereby to the [revealed] Word, Eph. 1, 13; 1 Cor. 1, 7; exhort to repentance, 2 Tim. 3, 16; urge to godliness, Eph. 1, 14; John 15, 3; strengthen faith and assure us of our salvation, Eph. 1, 13; John 10, 27f ; 2 Thess. 2, 13f.


Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Election

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17884
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There is confusion of terms. Let me draw an analogy between the Word and medicine. Medicine is efficacious whether one believes it is or not. However, it only becomes beneficial if it is received.


(Fred) I think Pilgrim has already addressed this, but you do have some serious inconsistencies, because on one hand, you want to say that man can do nothing to choose his salvation, but then he cannot benefit from it unless it is received. You want to hold onto man having a choice but still being declared as totally depraved. The Bible teaches that the efficaciousness and benefit of regeneration are not separate. Those given the medicine will receive it because God puts it in their hearts to believe it. That is regeneration according to scripture. By the way, the word "received" implies an action of reason on the part of the recepient and infants cannot do that. Unless of course you strike that up to that supposed mystery that is no where mentioned in the Bible.


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Just the opposite, my concern is that Calvinism is embracing prevenient grace by saying that God delivers salvation in little packets along the order of salvation.


(Fred) Honestly, I am not sure you understand what prevenient grace is. You certainly do not understand historic Calvinism.


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The sinner has no free will either to accept or reject. God's efficacious grace is beneficial when and where it pleases God.


(fred) Hmmm, so here you say that man has no free will except to either believe or reject Christ. Did Luther teach this? I don't recall such a notion coming through his polemics against Erasmus. Sounds like Romanism my friend.

Fred


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Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: fredman] #17885
Fri Oct 01, 2004 3:10 PM
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Pilgrim,

Thanks for the link to Dr. Beeke's article. There seems to be no difference in the Calvinist and Lutheran understandings of justification by faith alone.

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Man does not "cooperate", forced or otherwise in justification. However, man is involved in the justification, for justification is by faith. When the Holy Spirit regenerates a person at God's appointed time, faith is immediately created in that new spiritually alive soul, which then immediately, infallibly and naturally reaches out and embraces the Lord Christ.


Excellent! But, can you reconcile your statement with that of Covenant in Blood?

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Through regeneration the Spirit compels us to believe, thereby effecting faith and repentance in us.


1. What is the role of compulsion?
2. Is there or can there be a time difference between regeneration and justification by faith?

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17886
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fredman,

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Hmmm, so here you say that man has no free will except to either believe or reject Christ. Did Luther teach this? I don't recall such a notion coming through his polemics against Erasmus. Sounds like Romanism my friend.

I think you meant to say, "no free will to either believe or reject Christ." No, Luther rejects the free will of the Romanists:

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CANON IV. If any one shall affirm, that man’s freewill, moved and excited by God, does not, by consenting, cooperate with God, the mover and exciter, so as to prepare and dispose itself for the attainment of justification; if moreover, anyone shall say, that the human will cannot refuse complying, if it pleases, but that it is inactive, and merely passive; let such an one be accursed"!

CANON V.- If anyone shall affirm, that since the fall of Adam, man’s freewill is lost and extinguished; or, that it is a thing titular, yea a name, without a thing, and a fiction introduced by Satan into the Church; let such an one be accursed"!


Council of Trent

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This hereditary sin is so deep and [horrible] a corruption of nature that no reason can understand it, but it must be [learned and] believed from the revelation of Scriptures, Ps. 51, 5; Rom. 6, 12ff ; Ex. 33, 3; Gen. 3, 7ff Hence, it is nothing but error and blindness in regard to this article what the scholastic doctors have taught, namely:...

that man has a free will to do good and omit evil, and, conversely, to omit good and do evil.


Smalcald Articles, Martin Luther

Sadly, our Pelagian world, the Papists, the Arminians, and even some Calvinists and Lutherans are supporting the fiction of free will introduced into the church by Satan.

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17887
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speratus said:

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Man does not "cooperate", forced or otherwise in justification. However, man is involved in the justification, for justification is by faith. When the Holy Spirit regenerates a person at God's appointed time, faith is immediately created in that new spiritually alive soul, which then immediately, infallibly and naturally reaches out and embraces the Lord Christ.


Excellent! But, can you reconcile your statement with that of Covenant in Blood?

Sorry, but I haven't a clue what "Covenant in Blood" is. It must be a Lutheran thing. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/giggle.gif" alt="" />

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Through regeneration the Spirit compels us to believe, thereby effecting faith and repentance in us.

1. What is the role of compulsion?

I am using "compulsion" here to describe "Irresistable Grace", i.e., between the creating of the new nature, which of itself is naturally drawn to God and the influence of the Holy Spirit, the regenerate man is infallibly brought to the place where he repents of his sins and takes hold of Christ by faith. (cf. Rom 8:30; Jh 6:37, 44, 45, 64, 65; Acts 13:48; 18:27; Gal 1:15, 16; 2Tim 1:9; Heb 9:15; Jam 1:18; 2Pet 1:3; 1Jh 5:10)

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2. Is there or can there be a time difference between regeneration and justification by faith?

Although there are those who would hold that conversion may follow regeneration by an extended period of time, I hold that conversion follows immediately after regeneration. In regeneration, spiritual life is created in the soul (Eph 2:3, 5; Col 2:13) for the very purpose that the sinner may comprehend his need of Christ and seek after Him. Faith is that element of spiritual life as breath is to physical life. Thus it is infallibly true that when a child is born physically, the very first sign of life is that it breathes. Likewise, when a sinner is born from above (regeneration), the very first indication and expression of that spiritual life is a believing upon Christ; the "exhalation" of that faith which resides in the soul. For this was the very purpose of the giving of life, that the individual would be reconciled to God through the remission of sins which is only found in the Lord Christ.

In His Grace,


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Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: Pilgrim] #17888
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Pilgrim,

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Sorry, but I haven't a clue what "Covenant in Blood" is. It must be a Lutheran thing.


Sorry, I was quoting from "The Highway" old hand "Covenant in Blood" post on page 7. I assume he's a Calvinist. Lutherans aren't big on covenants.

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I am using "compulsion" here to describe "Irresistable Grace", i.e., between the creating of the new nature, which of itself is naturally drawn to God and the influence of the Holy Spirit, the regenerate man is infallibly brought to the place where he repents of his sins and takes hold of Christ by faith. (cf. Rom 8:30; Jh 6:37, 44, 45, 64, 65; Acts 13:48; 18:27; Gal 1:15, 16; 2Tim 1:9; Heb 9:15; Jam 1:18; 2Pet 1:3; 1Jh 5:10)...
Although there are those who would hold that conversion may follow regeneration by an extended period of time, I hold that conversion follows immediately after regeneration.


1. If Regeneration is instantaneous and conversion follows immediately after regeneration, how can it be resisted?
2. I take it that the period of time between regeneration and conversion ,if any, is not an essential feature of Calvinism (i.e., in the confessions)?

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17889
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Ah, so "Covenant in Blood" that you were referring to is actually, "CovenantInBlood" a username of an individual here. Glad that this point, at least, is clear. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />

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1. If Regeneration is instantaneous and conversion follows immediately after regeneration, how can it be resisted?

It can't! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" /> When a person is regenerated, the new spiritual nature created has an insatiable predisposition to seek God and to be reconciled by faith in Christ. In fact, the sinner who has been given this new nature (born from above) will do anything it takes to find salvation in Christ. (Matt 11:12) Conversion cannot be resisted because not only does the new nature strongly desire it, but it has been preordained by God that it shall find it. (Jh 6:37; 17:2, 11, 24; Acts 13:48; Rom 8:30; Eph 1:4-13; et al)

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2. I take it that the period of time between regeneration and conversion ,if any, is not an essential feature of Calvinism (i.e., in the confessions)?

I have already stated that there are some Calvinists who do hold that there can be an extended period of time between regeneration and conversion. However, they are in the minority. What you are wondering re: "an essential feature of Calvinism", is a question I don't understand. What I do know is that if and when there is life, it is evidenced. There is no such thing in Scripture as a "living-dead" individual. One is either spiritually alive or one is spiritually dead. In either case, that condition will be expressed to one degree or another.

In His Grace,


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Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: Pilgrim] #17890
Sat Oct 02, 2004 3:22 AM
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Pilgrim,

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It can't! When a person is regenerated, the new spiritual nature created has an insatiable predisposition to seek God and to be reconciled by faith in Christ. In fact, the sinner who has been given this new nature (born from above) will do anything it takes to find salvation in Christ. (Matt 11:12)


Irresistable grace after conversion seems a little incongruent for someone named "simul iustus et peccator". Isn't all sin resistance to grace? Instead of trusting in our new nature to find salvation in Christ, shouldn't we trust in Christ alone and avail ourselves of the Word through which the Holy Spirit works to sanctify us and keep us in repentance and faith?

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I have already stated that there are some Calvinists who do hold that there can be an extended period of time between regeneration and conversion. However, they are in the minority. What you are wondering re: "an essential feature of Calvinism", is a question I don't understand.


It is an essential feature of Lutheranism because regeneration and justification by faith are treated as a single event in the confessions. If someone holds a different view, he should not call himself Lutheran.

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For when man is justified through faith (which the Holy Ghost alone works), this is truly a regeneration, because from a child of wrath he becomes a child of God, and thus is transferred from death to life, as it is written: When we were dead in sins, He hath quickened us together with Christ, Eph. 2, 5. Likewise: The just shall live by faith, Rom. 1, 17; Hab. 2, 4.



Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Righteousness of Faith

Shouldn't Calvinist confessions include a similar statement? It appears to me that the Calvinist confessions have opened the door to synergism where man is not just involved in justification but is an active participant.

Last edited by speratus; Sat Oct 02, 2004 9:08 AM.
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17891
Sat Oct 02, 2004 11:23 AM
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speratus wrote:
Irresistable grace after conversion seems a little incongruent for someone named "simul iustus et peccator". Isn't all sin resistance to grace? Instead of trusting in our new nature to find salvation in Christ, shouldn't we trust in Christ alone and avail ourselves of the Word through which the Holy Spirit works to sanctify us and keep us in repentance and faith?

Sorry, but once again I haven't a clue what you are talking about here. And my name isn't [color:"purple"]simul iustus et peccator[/color] [Linked Image] . . . surely you recognize the slogan which was made so infamously popular by Martin Luther, you know, that short, plump Roman Catholic monk who took on the entire Roman establishment over the matter of indulgences and justification by faith alone? What "irresistible grace after conversion"??? The discussion concerned pre/post regeneration, not conversion. And who said anything about trusting in a new nature?? HELLO?? Remember, I am a classic biblical Christian (Calvinist) who holds tenaciously to Sola Gratia, Sola Fide and Solos Christos! To be perfectly frank with you, after reading all your posts here it seems more than evident that you are NOT familiar with the writings and doctrines of the Protestant Reformers, particularly with the Doctrines of Grace, aka: Calvinism. Perhaps you might enjoy or at least benefit from reading through some of the 1000+ articles on The Highway website. At least you would become informed of what we here actually believe.

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It is an essential feature of Lutheranism because regeneration and justification by faith are treated as a single event in the confessions. If someone holds a different view, he should not call himself Lutheran.

Some of the Reformers used the term "regeneration" in a much broader sense than what is used typically today, which is much narrower. That is, when they spoke of regeneration, they were actually speaking of conversion, although making it very clear that coming to Christ for justification is something which is always consequent to regeneration, aka: the new birth. For several hundred years, however, theologically we speak of regeneration in the "narrow" sense, that is regeneration refers to the sovereign and secret work of the Holy Spirit Who raises the spiritually dead soul to life. There are many synonyms used throughout Scripture to describe this one-time event, e.g., "circumcise the heart" (Deut 30:6), "a heart of flesh" (Ezek 11:19; 36:26; cp Jer 32::39), "born again/anew/from above" (Joh 3:3, 5), "new creature" (2Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15), et al. We distinguish between that sovereign and secret work of God in the creating of the new nature from which a new disposition flows and which moves a person to seek God in Christ by faith. Conversion, on the other hand is the direct consequence of that new birth/regeneration in which the sinner is active; i.e., the evidence of the new nature is expressed in repentance and faith. God does not repent nor believe on behalf of any man. Remember, we hold tenaciously to Sola FIDE... i.e., it is through the instrumentality of faith that one is reconciled to God, united to Christ, after which one is justified and thus receives the adoption as sons. (Rom 3:22, 28, 30; 5:1; Gal 3:11, 22, 24, 26) Let me put it this way..... regeneration, in and of itself, does not and is incapable of saving a soul. It is only through faith, the reaching out and taking hold of Christ Jesus does one receive justification. A regenerated sinner WILL INFALLIBLY believe on Christ. Though these are two separate acts, they are inseparable. Both are of grace, but the latter doesn't exclude the active participation of the individual.

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It appears to me that the Calvinist confessions have opened the door to synergism where man is not just involved in justification but is an active participant.

How many times are you going to infer or even accuse Calvinists of holding to synergism, semi-Pelagianism, Arminianism, free-willism, ad nauseam. You really are ignorant of what Calvinists believe, aren't you?? I could return something similar in kind and accuse you of being a hyper-Calvinist for you exclude the necessity of a sinner repenting and believing on Christ for salvation. I could also accuse you of synergism, for you make Baptism a work, it being necessary to bring about regeneration. Please inform yourself of what you consider to be your "opponent's" position before making silly comments. You will save yourself much embarrassment in the future.

Again, the sinner is incontrovertibly an active participant in his conversion. It is the sinner who repents. It is the sinner who believes on Christ. Although these acts are irresistible, for they are the fruit of regeneration, they are done most freely and willingly by the individual... NOT GOD! They are indeed the "works of God" (Jh 6:29; 6:44, 65; Acts 5:31; 11:18; et al) but they are also that which the sinner must do. (Mk 2:17; Lk 13:3; 15:7; 24:47; 19:4; Jh 1:12, 13; 3:16; 8:24; 11:40; 17:20; et al). How many have erred in giving too much emphasis to God's sovereignty over man's responsibility? How many more have erred in giving far too much emphasis to man's responsibility to the actual denial of God's sovereignty? Both are true.. Salvation is the Lord AND repent and believe upon Christ and you shall be saved.

As Martin Luther said, the doctrine of justification by faith is like a razor's edge; it is very easy to fall off either side. And to quote another Lutheran theologian, Martin Chemnitz (1522-1586):


ON JUSTIFICATION:

This unique doctrine in a special way distinguishes the church from all other nations and religions....[Justification] is the pinnacle and chief bulwark of all teaching and of the Christian religion itself; if this is obscured, adulterated, or subverted, it is impossible to retain purity of doctrine in other loci. On the other hand, if this locus is securely retained, all idolatrous ravings, superstitions and other corruptions are thereby destroyed (Loci Theologici II, p. 443)



In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: Pilgrim] #17892
Sat Oct 02, 2004 11:40 AM
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Pilgrim,

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To be perfectly frank with you, after reading all your posts here it seems more than evident that you are NOT familiar with the writings and doctrines of the Protestant Reformers, particularly with the Doctrines of Grace, aka: Calvinism. Perhaps you might enjoy or at least benefit from reading through some of the 1000+ articles on The Highway website. At least you would become informed of what we here actually believe.


I'm here to learn not to teach. I will back off and study your referenced articles.

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17893
Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:12 PM
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speratus said:
I'm here to learn not to teach. I will back off and study your referenced articles.

That sounds like a very wise decision on your part! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> You DID enjoy Beeke's article on "Justification by Faith Alone" and even said that we are in total agreement on that matter. Who knows, you may find that we agree on far more than you now realize. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" /> You might like to start here: Calvinism and the Reformed Faith. If you are looking for books, articles and/or sermons on a specific subject, do make use of the Advanced Search feature. Put phrases in "quotes". <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17894
Sun Oct 03, 2004 11:16 PM
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Speratus,

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Three more questions: Will God cause all the steps to occur eventually? Does anything prior to and including forensic justification involve man's unforced cooperation? Is the righteousness of Christ imputed to the sinner by faith alone?


1) Yes, all of the points in the Ordo Salutis will occur eventually: "[For I am] confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 1:6). God will not allow His elect to become reprobate after having been regenerated!

2) I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "forensic justification." But I don't think anything man does is "forced" upon him by God; i.e., nothing a man does is ever ultimately in opposition to his own will. His will is, however, in bondage to sin, unless he is regenerated by the Spirit, at which point his will is irreversibly altered to inherently desire the things of God (though, it is true, the sinful nature is not eradicated immediately and the will remains imperfect until glorification). To have one's will changed from the outside obviously cannot be either against or according to one's will, because one's will is destroyed and remade.

3) Yes, Christ's righteousness is imputed to the sinner by the grace of God through faith in Christ alone. A man does not receive righteousness by any other means---neither works of the law nor the sacrament of baptism. Now, I believe God can work through baptism to cause regeneration, but just as preaching the Word does not infallibly regenerate, neither does baptism, and so those baptized as infants should not be presumed regenerate.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: CovenantInBlood] #17895
Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:09 AM
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CovenantInBlood,

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I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "forensic justification."


Forensic justification maintains that the only effective cause of our forgiveness is the verdict of God that takes place outside of ourselves. We are declared “not guilty” by God entirely on the basis of what Christ has done for us.

Quote
Now, I believe God can work through baptism to cause regeneration, but just as preaching the Word does not infallibly regenerate, neither does baptism, and so those baptized as infants should not be presumed regenerate.


Should they be presumed unregenerate?

The Lutheran view would be the same as yours except we assume the baptized infant is regenerate/believes (justification by faith alone). Regeneration can occur before, in, or after baptism through the ministry of the Word. If there are any Lutherans who dispute that, please show me from scripture or the confessions where I am wrong.

Last edited by speratus; Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:24 AM.
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17896
Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:35 AM
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Since the moderators have apparently assigned this thread to me, let me conclude with an appeal to so-called "Lutherans". If you believe that regeneration infallibly occurs at the time of baptism and only at the time of baptism, please read the scriptures and our confessions regarding baptism and justification. And, if you still believe that baptism regenerates by the outward act, please stop calling yourself Lutheran.

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But if they say, as they are accustomed: Still Baptism is itself a work, and you say works are of no avail for salvation; what, then, becomes of faith? Answer: Yes, our works, indeed, avail nothing for salvation; Baptism, however, is not our work, but God's (for, as was stated, you must put Christ-baptism far away from a bath-keeper's baptism). God's works, however, are saving and necessary for salvation, and do not exclude, but demand, faith; for without faith they could not be apprehended. 36] For by suffering the water to be poured upon you, you have not yet received Baptism in such a manner that it benefits you anything; but it becomes beneficial to you if you have yourself baptized with the thought that this is according to God's command and ordinance, and besides in God's name, in order that you may receive in the water the promised salvation. Now, this the fist cannot do, nor the body; but the heart must believe it.

37] Thus you see plainly that there is here no work done by us, but a treasure which He gives us, and which faith apprehends; just as the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross is not a work, but a treasure comprehended in the Word, and offered to us and received by faith. Therefore they do us violence by exclaiming against us as though we preach against faith; while we alone insist upon it as being of such necessity that without it nothing can be received nor enjoyed.


Luther's Large Catechism

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View #17897
Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:20 AM
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Let me state for the record that I am not a Lutheran, however, since you, speratus, do claim to be one please answer this for me. On page 173 of Luther's Small Catechism (copyright 1943 Concordia Publishing House) in section 251

Quote
Q. How do you prove that infants, too, are to be baptized?

A. Because they are included in the words 'all nations";


622 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: (Mt 28:19)

624 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him. (Ac 2:38-39)

Because Holy Baptism is the [color:"FF0000"]only means whereby infants, who, too, must be born again, can ordinarily be regenerated and brought to faith;</font>

625 And they were bringing unto him little children, that he should touch them: and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me; forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall in no wise enter therein. (Mr 10:13-15)

According to this the ordinary means for infants to be regenerated and brought to faith is through baptism. Does this not contradict your previous statement. Also doesn't this also teach baptismal regeneration? If not please show me where in the small catechism (the only one I have right now) that this is taught different.

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your View [Re: Peter] #17898
Fri Oct 08, 2004 6:12 AM
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Boanerges,

1. What you have quoted from is not Luther's Small Catechism. It is an explanation of Luther's Small Catechism prepared by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. I, as a Lutheran, am bound only to the symbols of my church as contained in the Book of Concord, 1580.
2. The sentence you have quoted makes no sense. If baptism is the only means, how can there be any exceptions?
3. Luther's Small Catechism does teach baptismal regeneration (page 17, part III) but it does not teach that baptism is the only means whereby infants can be regenerated and brought to faith. That teaching contradicts the Lutheran Confessions in many places.
4. Contrary to the Missouri Synod explanation, the Confessions speak of Word and Sacraments as the ordinary means of grace not just baptism. Is infant baptism the ordinary means for Baptists who wickedly withhold baptism from infants yet permit their children to hear the gospel?
5. Not only does the Missouri Synod explanation make no sense and contradict the Lutheran Confessions, it contradicts itself:

Quote

Q. 256. Can anyone be saved without Baptism?

It is unbelief only that damns; and though saving faith cannot exist in the heart of one who refuses to be baptized, it can exist when for some reason Baptism cannot be obtained.


The 1943 Missouri Synod explanation is a good example of how doctrinal error is propagated in a confessional church. Fortunately, the error was caught and corrected in the 1991 revision. The offending sentence has been deleted and the explanation of infant baptism is now in agreement with the Lutheran Confessions.

Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your Vi #17899
Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:12 PM
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speratus said:
Boanerges,

1. What you have quoted from is not Luther's Small Catechism. It is an explanation of Luther's Small Catechism prepared by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. I, as a Lutheran, am bound only to the symbols of my church as contained in the Book of Concord, 1580.
2. The sentence you have quoted makes no sense. If baptism is the only means, how can there be any exceptions?
3. Luther's Small Catechism does teach baptismal regeneration (page 17, part III) but it does not teach that baptism is the only means whereby infants can be regenerated and brought to faith. That teaching contradicts the Lutheran Confessions in many places.
4. Contrary to the Missouri Synod explanation, the Confessions speak of Word and Sacraments as the ordinary means of grace not just baptism. Is infant baptism the ordinary means for Baptists who wickedly withhold baptism from infants yet permit their children to hear the gospel?
5. Not only does the Missouri Synod explanation make no sense and contradict the Lutheran Confessions, it contradicts itself:

Quote

Q. 256. Can anyone be saved without Baptism?

It is unbelief only that damns; and though saving faith cannot exist in the heart of one who refuses to be baptized, it can exist when for some reason Baptism cannot be obtained.


The 1943 Missouri Synod explanation is a good example of how doctrinal error is propagated in a confessional church. Fortunately, the error was caught and corrected in the 1991 revision. The offending sentence has been deleted and the explanation of infant baptism is now in agreement with the Lutheran Confessions.


Well how nice, so you are saying that I've got an antiquated copy of the small catechism and it isn't even the correct one because the only correct one is from the 1580's.

Just out of curiosity which Lutheran Synod do you currently believe is the one that strictly holds to the 1580 Book of Concord? I'm interested in knowing. And thank you for answering the question about baptismal regeneration.


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
Re: Please Provide Scriptural Exegesis for Your Vi [Re: Peter] #17900
Sun Oct 10, 2004 12:58 PM
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Boanerges,

Yes, the LCMS Explanation of LSC is rather confusing. The first part is Luther's Small Catechism which is part of the Book of Concord, but the second part is really just a synod training aid.

The LCMS, WELS, and ELS are the largest American synods that hold an unconditional subscription to the 1580 Book of Concord. However, these synods (particularly the LCMS) are experiencing great pressure to ignore or deviate from the Confessions. The ELCA is completely apostate from the symbols although they still list them at their website.

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