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#48904 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 12:39 PM Re: Romans 6, Freed from sin? [Re: Robin]
Tom Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Sunday, April 8, 2001
Posts: 3923
Loc: Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Robin
First of all thank you.
I am well aware of the differences between infused righteousness (which I mistakenly called imparted righteousness) and imputed righteousness.

You said:
Quote:
Our bodies remain totally depraved. Every one of us is completely capable of falling into the most gross, habitual, wicked sins imaginable while we live in these bodies. When the Lord redeems our bodies, we will enjoy the freedom from the presence of sin and from it's influence upon our corruptible bodies in a fallen world.


If I understand what you are saying here, it is basically the same as the person believes in my other post.
However, I disagree with this, mainly because as Pilgrim said:
Quote:
IF a person is totally depraved, i.e., their entire being is dominated by a sin nature thus rendering them totally unable to even desire to do good, never mind to be saved by Christ, etc., then repentance, faith and sanctification would be impossible. It is "out of the heart" that man sins and it is "out of the heart" that man does good works after the "tree" is made good.

Perhaps I misunderstood you?
Tom

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#48905 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 3:07 PM Re: Romans 6, Freed from sin? [Re: Tom]
Robin Offline

The Boy Wonder

Registered: Thursday, January 3, 2002
Posts: 1021
Loc: Florida, Occupied CSA
Tom,

I always fall back on this little breakdown of timeless salvation in time:

I was saved from the penalty of sin. This is justification.

I am being saved from the power of sin. This is sanctification.

I will be saved from the presence of sin. This is glorification.

All of this was accomplished in Christ "before the founding of the world!" Yet in the fulness of time, Christ died for the ungodly. And over time I strive to experience that righteousness already achieved, and look forward to that glorious day when I'm freed from sin's presence and the power it exerts on me through the world, the flesh, and the devil.

No Christian who is justified by faith can CONTINUE in sin, although he is capable of it and occasionally falls headlong into some besetting sin until lovingly disciplined by his Father. The difference between the depravity of the unregenerate and that of the regenerate is that the unsaved has no "new nature" to help him overcome sin. He has no desire to even try! The regenerate man may rebel for a time, but the inner man - the "new nature" cannot endure it for long, and from his heart a deep desire and yearning for righteousness forces the regenerate rebel to his knees in repentance.

But while "backslidden," even the regenerate man is capable of the most heinous of sins. It is only by God's mercy that that inner nature holds him back.

The old nature is no less totally depraved after regeneration than it was before the new nature was there. That's all I'm say'n.


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#48906 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 5:27 PM Re: Romans 6, Freed from sin? [Re: Robin]
Tom Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Sunday, April 8, 2001
Posts: 3923
Loc: Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Robin

Perhaps I am being a little nitpicky here, however when you say:
Quote:
The old nature is no less totally depraved after regeneration than it was before the new nature was there.

I think it is inconsistent with having a new nature.
That isn't to say that we are not capable of heinous sins as Christians, but this doesn't mean that we are still "totally depraved.
Perhaps Pilgrim’s point number 3 will help here. (Pilgrim if I am misunderstanding something, please chime in).
Quote:
3. If you take the biblical and classic Reformed definition of the doctrine of Total Depravity then it is impossible that a regenerate man can still be totally depraved. As I have argued elsewhere, e.g., HERE and HERE, a topic of which you were involved, IF a person is totally depraved, i.e., their entire being is dominated by a sin nature thus rendering them totally unable to even desire to do good, never mind to be saved by Christ, etc., then repentance, faith and sanctification would be impossible. It is "out of the heart" that man sins and it is "out of the heart" that man does good works after the "tree" is made good.

Do you understand what I am saying? Do you agree?
I think there is an important distinction between what Pilgrim said and what you said.

Tom


Edited by Tom (Saturday, June 23, 2012 5:32 PM)

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#48907 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 5:40 PM Re: Romans 6, Freed from sin? [Re: Dennis]
Robin Offline

The Boy Wonder

Registered: Thursday, January 3, 2002
Posts: 1021
Loc: Florida, Occupied CSA
I think he and I are saying the same thing, actually, in different terms. The old nature is totally depraved. The regenerate person is not, though he still has the totally depraved "old nature" within him to be overcome.

Look at Matthew 5:6

Quote:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matthew 5:6 NASB).


Even though we are poor in spirit (recognizing our own inadequacy and tendency to stray) and though we mourn (for our sin and unworthiness), the regenerate still hunger and thirst for righteousness. Thus the regenerate are NOT totally depraved. But the "old nature" that still wars against our spirit within us is.

Does that help?




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#48908 - Saturday, June 23, 2012 11:29 PM Re: Romans 6, Freed from sin? [Re: Robin]
Tom Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Sunday, April 8, 2001
Posts: 3923
Loc: Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Originally Posted By: Robin
I think he and I are saying the same thing, actually, in different terms. The old nature is totally depraved. The regenerate person is not, though he still has the totally depraved "old nature" within him to be overcome.

Look at Matthew 5:6

Quote:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matthew 5:6 NASB).


Even though we are poor in spirit (recognizing our own inadequacy and tendency to stray) and though we mourn (for our sin and unworthiness), the regenerate still hunger and thirst for righteousness. Thus the regenerate are NOT totally depraved. But the "old nature" that still wars against our spirit within us is.

Does that help?




Robin

Yes that helps.
It might sound funny coming from me, but I have found that when I don't choose my words carefully, often what I am trying to say is not understood. Hence, why I was a little nitpicky of you using the words "totally depraved" for Christians.

Tom

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#48909 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 8:25 AM Re: Romans 6, Freed from sin? [Re: Tom]
chestnutmare Offline



Registered: Monday, September 8, 2003
Posts: 2505
Loc: NH
So, are you suggesting that man has two independent and/or distinct natures? Two, not one but two natures in the one person? Could you please clarify this for me. Since through the Holy Spirit, we are given a new nature, by which we can see or know our sinfulness and repent, and are given a saving faith, we are also given the ability to obey God's law. Perhaps the difficulty here is in the use of certain terms and/or how they are understood… differently between us? If that is the case, then clarification of the terms being used would be most helpful.

Ezekiel 36 [ASV] “26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep mine ordinances, and do them”

I would draw your attention to The Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 33, Question 90: What is the quickening of the new man?

Answer: It is a sincere joy of heart in God, through Christ, (a) and with love and delight to live according to the will of God in all good works. (b)
(a) Rom.5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Rom.14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Isa.57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
(b) Rom.6:10,11 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Gal.2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

V. What are the effects of conversion?
The effects of conversion are,
1. A true and ardent love to God, and our neighbor.
2. An earnest desire to obey God, without any exception, according to all his commandments.
3. All good works, or new obedience itself.
4. A desire to convert others, and bring them in the way of salvation.
In a word, the fruits of true repentance are the duties of piety towards God, and of charity towards our neighbor.

VI. Is conversion perfect in this life?
Our conversion to God is not perfect in this life, but is here continually advancing, until it reaches the perfection which is proposed in the life to come. “We know in part.” (1 Cor. 13:9.) All the complaints and prayers of the saints are confirmations of this truth. “Cleanse thou me from secret faults.” “wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death.” (Ps. 19:13. Rom. 7:24.) The conflict which is continually going on in those who are converted, bears testimony to the same truth. “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh,” &c. (Gal. 5:17.) The same thing may be said of the exhortations of the prophets and apostles, in which they exhort those who are converted to turn more fully unto God. “He that is righteous, let him be righteous still, and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” (Rev. 22:11.) We may also establish the same thing in the following manner: Neither the mortification of the flesh, nor the quickening of the Spirit, is absolute or perfect in the saints in this life. Therefore, neither is conversion, which consists of these two parts, perfect. As it respects the mortification of the old man, the case is clear, and does not admit of doubt that it is not perfect in this life; because the saints do not only continually strive against the lust of the flesh, but they also often for a time yield, and give over in this conflict often do they sin, fall and offend God, although they do not defend their sins, but detest, deplore, and endeavor to avoid them. As it regards the imperfection of the quickening of the new man, the same conflict is a sufficient testimony; and surely as our knowledge i now only in part, the renovation of the will and heart must also be imperfect: for the will follows the knowledge which we have.

There are two plain reasons why the will, in the case of those who are converted, tends imperfectly to the good in this life:
1. Because the renovation of our nature is never made perfect in this life, neither as it respects, our knowledge of God, nor the inclination which we have to obey him. The single complaint and acknowledgment which the apostle Paul made is a sufficient proof of what we have just said. “I know that in me, that is, in my flesh dwelleth no good thing,” &c. (Rom. 7:18, 19.)
2. Because those who are converted are not always governed by the Holy Spirit, but are sometimes for a season deserted by God, either for the purpose of trying, or chastising, or humbling them; yet they are nevertheless brought to repentance, so as not to perish. “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24.)

But why does God not perfect conversion in the case of his people in this life, seeing that he is able to effect it? The reasons are, 1. That the saints may be humbled and exercised in faith, patience, prayer and wrest ling against the flesh, and that they may not boast of their perfection, thinking of themselves more highly than they ought, but daily pray; “Enter not into judgment with thy servant.” “Forgive us our sins.” (Ps. 143:2. Matt. 6:12.) 2. That they may press forward more and more unto perfection, and desire it more earnestly. That, trampling the world under their feet, they may run with greater alacrity in the Christian course, and aspire after those joys that are laid up in heaven, knowing that it will not be until then that they shall fully enjoy their promised inheritance. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” “Mortify, therefore, your members which are upon the earth.” “It doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him.” (Col. 3:2, 3, 5. John 3:2.)

Concerning this imperfection Calvin writes in the following expressive language: “This restoration is not accomplished in a single moment, or day, or year; but by continual, and sometimes even slow advances, the Lord destroys the carnal corruptions of his chosen, purifies them from all pollution, and consecrates them as temples to himself; renewing all their senses to real purity, that they may employ their whole life in the exercise of repentance, and know that this warfare will be terminated only in death.” Inst. lib. 3. cap. 3. sec. 9. The sections following the one from which we have quoted, down to the fifteenth, may also be read to advantage, in which there is a disputation learnedly set forth against the Cathari and Anabaptists, in reference to the remains of sin which cleave to the godly as long as they remain in the flesh.
_________________________
The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"

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#48918 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 11:52 AM Re: Romans 6, Freed from sin? [Re: Dennis]
Robin Offline

The Boy Wonder

Registered: Thursday, January 3, 2002
Posts: 1021
Loc: Florida, Occupied CSA
Yup, that's what I mean.

I don't say it as well as the Catechism does. Perhaps we should just refer all questions to the Confessions and catechisms from now on.

@ Tom:

Quote:
It might sound funny coming from me, but I have found that when I don't choose my words carefully, often what I am trying to say is not understood. Hence, why I was a little nitpicky of you


I really think that nitpickiness is the reason we have such poor participation in these forums. Knowing in advance that my posts are going to be nitpicked to death makes me very reluctant to keep doing it.


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#48919 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 1:32 PM Re: Romans 6, Freed from sin? [Re: Robin]
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13368
Loc: NH, USA
Originally Posted By: Robin
Yup, that's what I mean.

I don't say it as well as the Catechism does. Perhaps we should just refer all questions to the Confessions and catechisms from now on.

I really think that nitpickiness is the reason we have such poor participation in these forums. Knowing in advance that my posts are going to be nitpicked to death makes me very reluctant to keep doing it.

1. Referring to the Confessions and Catechisms is certainly not a bad thing since most all were written due to controversy within the Church; i.e., to expose heretical teachings and to positively state biblical truth. The average professing Christian is woefully ignorant about nearly all Christian doctrine and the history of Christian doctrine. This is one of the main reasons why so many heretical teachings have made gains within the various denominations, including Reformed and Calvinistic denominations. So again, the great confessions which came out of the Protestant Reformation have been adopted as the official position of the respective churches and were mainly used as a guard against heresy for the laity.

2. The reason for poor participation on this board may be due to the precision practiced by myself and others here whose desire is to remain orthodox, biblical, and confessional. If that is the main reason, then I have no regrets whatsoever. And if that is the main reason, then it only goes to demonstrate the observable and rapid falling away of so many churches from their respective roots; their historic confessions and catechisms.

It is surely possible to be nitpicky in an unwarranted way, e.g., arguing over how to pronounce "tomato". But being nitpicky can be a virtue which the Church throughout history has demanded due to the deceitfulness of those wanting to introduce error into the Church have used to gain a foothold. Perhaps one of the early and classic examples of a legitimate nitpickiness comes from the 4th century concerning the doctrine of the Trinity where the truth of the deity of the Son hung on but one solitary letter: homoiousios vs. homoousios; the former being damnable error and the latter representing the biblical truth. The terms homoiousios and homoousios mean "similar essence" and "same essence." They were part of a controversy in Christianity when people disagreed over the nature of Jesus Christ and his relationship to God.

I for one am very thankful that there were some nitpicky individuals at the Council of Nicea who demanded that a statement of correct biblical doctrine must have all the t's crossed and i's dotted.

Lastly, I am saddened that you have expressed your reluctance to post here due to your personal "fear" that whatever you submit is going to be unnecessarily scrutinized. The truth is your posts/replies are not singled out and read with unwarranted nitpickiness. They are given the same attention as everyone else's, not excluding my own. I am not above correction in regard to error and I welcome questions and positive criticism.

And personally, my assessment of the poor participation here is that the current attitude among many (most?) professing Christians in our day is one of doctrinal apathy. In fact, the effort it would take for many (most?) to exercise that muscle between their ears would result in a cerebral 'Charlie horse'. We are living in a day of audio/visual communication and 10 second sound bytes. Meaty discussions and a desire to increase in the knowledge of God are not only avoided by disdained because it doesn't entertain.

May the Lord bring REFORMATION among His people who will once again search the Scriptures to see if what they are reading and being taught is biblically sound. And may they rise up and cast out the false teachers and prophets among them regardless of what title or how many degrees they own.
_________________________


simul iustus et peccator


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#48920 - Sunday, June 24, 2012 3:56 PM Re: Romans 6, Freed from sin? [Re: Dennis]
chestnutmare Offline



Registered: Monday, September 8, 2003
Posts: 2505
Loc: NH
Robin, you have expressed your love for the confessions and so I felt it would be an excellent place to go to find some fairly trustworthy material to bring some understanding of this issue. It isn't nit pickiness for the sake of being nit picky but to wrestle with an issue to gain understanding that is at the heart of my post here. I would love to have others join in to also wrestle with these doctrines so that we might all grow in our knowledge and understanding.

I have been encouraged to see how many people are making use of the new "Creeds and Confessions" section on the Board. Just the Westminster Larger Catechism alone has had close to 29,000 views since being posted this past winter. That tells me that there are people who are interested in searching for answers regardless of how active they are (or aren't) in posting on The Highway.

I would also hope that each one of us would be humble enough to welcome useful criticism or argument if in fact we err in some area. At the time, it might not feel great but if we can have a teachable spirit, we stand to gain.
_________________________
The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"

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#48922 - Monday, June 25, 2012 8:57 PM Re: Romans 6, Freed from sin? [Re: Robin]
Tom Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Sunday, April 8, 2001
Posts: 3923
Loc: Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Originally Posted By: Robin
Yup, that's what I mean.

I don't say it as well as the Catechism does. Perhaps we should just refer all questions to the Confessions and catechisms from now on.

@ Tom:

Quote:
It might sound funny coming from me, but I have found that when I don't choose my words carefully, often what I am trying to say is not understood. Hence, why I was a little nitpicky of you


I really think that nitpickiness is the reason we have such poor participation in these forums. Knowing in advance that my posts are going to be nitpicked to death makes me very reluctant to keep doing it.




Being nitpicky for the sake of being nitpicky is definitely wrong. However, when it is for clarification and done because what the other person seems to be saying leads to confusion (especially because in this case it seemed to conflict with what Pilgrim said); then I think it is warranted.
Just so you know, I definitely was not picking on you, in fact you are one of the posters whom I respect the most on the Highway.

Tom

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