The Highway

Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved?

Posted By: Anonymous

Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:23 AM

Only an arminian would call someone crazy for not believing.

The pilot obviously thinks there is choice involved.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 1:38 PM

Quote
BookMark said:
Only an arminian would call someone crazy for not believing.

The pilot obviously thinks there is choice involved.

Gee thanks Mark... for now I know that I must be an Arminian. laugh There certainly is a "choice" involved. A person's "will" is not absent in conversion. A convicted sinner chooses to repentant and believe upon Christ where before he/she chose to reject God and all that is good. The grace is certainly "irresistible", but the will is still active and must be since regeneration frees it so as to move toward God.

Only a hyper-Calvinist would say that man has no choice in believing. rofl

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:42 PM

Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9)

You had as much "choice" in your spiritual re-birth as you did in your natural birth. Zilch.

I guess every Calvinist I know personally must be hyper then - oh well........(and some would say that your post was arminian btw) grin
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:38 PM

Quote
BookMark said:
Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9)

You had as much "choice" in your spiritual re-birth as you did in your natural birth. Zilch.

I guess every Calvinist I know personally must be hyper then - oh well........(and some would say that your post was arminian btw) grin

Mark,

One is not saved by regeneration!! This idea is not only not taught in Scripture, the Reformed faith has never taught that regeneration saves either. One is saved; i.e., JUSTIFIED; pronounced not guilty and Christ's righteousness IMPUTED to him when and ONLY after one believes upon Christ. God doesn't believe for anyone. It is an act done by the individual through an act of the will. Regeneration gives one the predisposition to want Christ and the ability to believe upon Him. But regeneration doesn't save. You are confusing the secret sovereign work of the Holy Spirit, i.e., regeneration with conversion which requires that a sinner turn from sin (repentance) and trust Christ for his/her righteousness (faith).

In His Grace,
Posted By: Ruth

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 5:17 PM

Hello Mark,

Your words here surprise me! Of course we have no part of our rebirth, but once we are reborn, we see that God is Good and we are sinners in need of a savior! Then, we choose to repent because we can now (having our eyes opened) recognize God for who and what He is! Our rebirth gives us new eyes to see and new ears to hear, it does not repent for us, not does it believe for us. Perhaps upon refection you may want to restate your position?

In His Hands,

Ruth
Posted By: Tom

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 7:37 PM

Mark

If you have ever done any reading of CH Spurgeon, then according to your reasoning, you must conclude that he was an Arminian.

Tom
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 8:17 PM

This helped me alot when I was an arminian;

Never will a regenerated child of God present the matter of his salvation as having had its initative in him. Never will he say that anything on his part proceeded the operation of Gods Grace in him, that he first willed to come and Gods Grace there upon enabled him to come, that he first accepted Christ and thereupon Christ received him, that he first opened his heart and thereupon Christ entered it. An unmistakeable proof of this may be found in the prayer of one that is saved. Here all arminianism, all boasting of freewill in the matter of salvation, is silenced. The reason is that in prayer one speaks to God. Before men one may talk of coming to Jesus as if it were in the power of the sinner to come or to refuse to come. But as soon as one places himself before the face of God all this is changed. Then all is attributed to divine grace. Before the face of God there is no arminian. Or whoever heard anyone utter an arminian prayer like this; "I thank Thee God that Thou didst wait untill it please me to come, and that Thou didst knock untill I was good enough up to open thy heart for Thee, and that Thou gavest me grace when I decided to receive it ?" Yet why should not a man express before the face of God what he loudly and boldly proclaims to man?. The simple answer is : because before God we cannot lie ! Hence, in prayer a saved sinner will attribute all to God and none to self. He will cease speaking about the freewill of man, and say: "I thank Thee that Thy irresistible grace overpowered all my resistance, that Thou didst open and enter into my heart, that Thou didst draw me that Thou might come !" And this is the heart of the assurance and boldness of the sinner as he comes to Jesus. The very fact that in coming to Jesus the sinner experiences the drawing of the Father is his guarantee that he will surely be received.


From the book "Whosoever Will" Herman Hoeksema 1945
Posted By: 4Ever_Learning

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 8:25 PM

Maybe this will help:

God's Part and Man's Part in Salvation
by John G. Reisinger
God and man must both do something before a man can be saved. HyperCalvinism denies the necessity of human action, and Arminianism denies the true nature of the Divine action. The Bible clearly sets forth both the divine and human essential in God's plan of salvation. This is not to say, as Arminianism does, "God's part is to freely provide salvation for all men, and man's part is to become willing to accept it." This is not what we said above, nor is it what the Bible teaches. In order to understand what God's Word really says, and to try to answer some straw dummy objections, we will establish the subject one point at a time.

ONE: A man must repent and believe the gospel in order to be saved.

No one was ever forgiven and made a child of God who did not willingly turn from sin to Christ. Nowhere does the Bible even hint that men can be saved without repentance and faith, but to the contrary, the Word always states these things are essential before a person can be saved. The one and only Bible answer to the question, "What must I do to be saved?" is, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved."

TWO: Every one who repents and believes the gospel will be saved.

Every soul, without any exception, who answers the gospel command to come to Christ will be received and forgiven by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Philip Bliss put the truth to music when he said, "Who-so-ever will, forever must endure..." If we can be absolutely certain about anything, we can be sure that Christ will never void His promise to receive "all who come to Him." As old John Bunyan said, "Come and welcome" is the Savior's eternal word to all sinners.

THREE: Repentance and faith are the free acts of men.

Men, with their own mind, heart, and will must renounce sin and receive Christ. God never repented and believed for anyone - and He never will. Turning from sin and reaching out in faith to Christ are the acts of man, and every man who so responds to the gospel call does so because he honestly desires to do so. He wants to be forgiven and he can only be forgiven by repenting and believing. No one, including God, can turn from sin for us, we must do it. No one can trust Christ in our place, but we must personally, knowingly, and willingly trust Him in order to be saved. Now someone may be thinking, "But isn't that what the Arminian teaches?" My friend, that is what the Bible teaches-and teaches it clearly and dogmatically. "But don't Calvinists deny all three of those points?" I am not talking about or trying to defend Calvinists since they come in a hundred varieties. If you know anyone that denies the above facts- then that person, regardless of what he labels himself, is denying the clear message of the Bible. I can only speak for myself, and I will not deny what God's Word so plainly teaches!

"But haven't you established the doctrine of free-will and disposed of election if you assent man must repent and believe and it is his own act?" No, we have neither proven free-will nor disproved election since it is
impossible to do either. We have merely stated exactly what the Bible say a man must do in order to be saved. Let us now look at what the Scripture says a sinner is able to do and what he is not able to do.

FOUR: The same Bible that states man must repent and believe in order to be saved also emphatically states that man, because of his sinful nature, is totally unable to repent and believe.

All of man's three faculties of mind, heart, and will, which must be receptive to gospel truth, have neither the ability to receive such truth nor even the desire to have such ability. In fact the exact opposite is true. Man's total being is not only unable to either come, or want to come, to Christ, but every part of his nature is actively opposed to Christ and truth. Rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is not a passive non-action, but a deliberate volitional choice. It is deliberately choosing to say "No" to Christ and "Yes" to self and sin. No one is neutral in respect to God and His authority. Unbelief is just as much a deliberate act of mind, heart, and will as is faith. This is what Jesus meant in John 5:40 when He said, "You will (you are deliberately making a choice) not to come to me." Yes, unbelief is an act of the will. In fact unbelief is active faith, but unfortunately it is faith in myself.

To believe and preach points one, two, and three, without also preaching number four is to grossly misrepresent the gospel of God's grace. It is to give a totally false picture of the sinner and his true need. It shows only half of the man's sin. It misses the most crucial point of a lost man's need, namely, his lack of power or ability to overcome his sinful nature and its effects. The gospel, which is concocted out of this view is only a half gospel. It is at this point that modem evangelism so miserably fails. It confuses man's responsibility with his ability, and falsely assumes that a sinner has the moral ability to perform all that God has commanded. The “cannot” texts of scripture are either totally ignored or badly twisted by this perversion of the true gospel of God's saving grace.

Please note a few texts of Scripture that dogmatically state some things that a lost man cannot do:

Man cannot see - until he first be born again. John 3:3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Man cannot understand - until he first be given a new nature 1Cor. 2:14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

Man cannot come - until he first be effectually called by the Holy Spirit. John 6:44,45. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

We do not have space to go into all the cannots, but these three are sufficient to show that a sinner absolutely cannot (notice it is not will not) come to Christ until God first does something in that sinner's nature. That something is what the Bible calls regeneration, or the new birth, and it is the exclusive work of God the Holy Spirit. Man has no part whatever in regeneration.

FIVE: The new birth, or regeneration, is God giving us the spiritual life that enables us to do what we must do (repent and believe), but CANNOT DO because of our bondage to sin.

When the Bible says man is dead in sin, it means that man's mind, heart, and will are all spiritually dead in sin. When the Bible speaks of our being in bondage to sin, it means that our entire being, including our will, is under the bondage and power of sin.

We indeed need Christ to die and pay the penalty of our sin, but we just as desperately need the Holy Spirit to give us a new nature in regeneration. The Son of God frees us legally from the penalty of sin, but only the Holy Spirit can free us from the power and death of our depravity in sin. We need forgiveness in order to be saved, and Christ provides complete forgiveness and righteousness for us in His death. However, we also need spiritual life and ability, and the Holy Spirit provides it for us in regeneration. It is the Holy Spirit's work of regeneration that enables us to savingly receive the atoning work of Christ in true faith.

God is a triune God, and no person can understand "so great salvation" until he sees each blessed Person of the Godhead playing a distinct and necessary part in that salvation. No man can declare thte "glorious gospel of grace" and leave out the Father's sovereign electing love and the Holy Spirifs regenerating power as essential parts of God's work in saving sinners. To speak of God's part in salvation as only being one of providing forgiveness and man's part as being willing to accept it is to ignore both the Father's work of-election and the Spirit's work of regeneration. This not only makes man a full partner with God in the work of salvation, it credits man with playing the decisive roll in the deal.

How dreadful, and ridiculous, to give Christ the glory for His work on the cross, and then give sinners the credit for the Father's work in eternity (election) and the Spirit's work in our hearts (regeneration). It does great dishonor to the Sovereign Spirit to say, "The Holy Spirit will perform His miraculous work of quickening you unto life as soon as you give Him your permission." That's like standing in a graveyard saying to the dead people, "I will give you life and raise you up from the grave if you will only take the first step of faith and ask me to do it." What a denial of the sinner's total spiritual inability. Amazing!

The root error of the Arminian's gospel of freewill is its failure to see that man's part, repentance and faith, are the fruits and effects of God's work and not the essential ingredient's supplied by the sinner as man's part of the deal. Every man who turns to Christ does so willingly, but that willingness is a direct result of the Father's election and the Holy Spirit's effectual calling. To say, "If you will believe. God will answer your faith with the New Birth," is to misunderstand man's true need and misrepresent God's essential work.

SIX: The Scriptures clearly show that faith and repentance are the evidences and not the cause of regeneration.

Suppose a man who had been dead for twenty years greeted you on the street one day. Would you conclude that the man had gotten tired of being dead and decided to ask a great doctor to perform a miracle and give him life? I'm sure you would, instead, exclaim in amazement, "Man, what happened to you? Who brought you back to life?" You would see he was alive because he was walking and breathing, but you would know these were evidences of a miracle having been performed on him from without and not the results of his own power or will. Just so when a spiritually dead man begins to perform spiritual acts such as repentance and faith; these spiritual fruits show that the miracle of the new birth has taken place.

Let me illustrate this with a biblical example. Acts 16:14 is a clear proof of the above. By the way, as far as I know, this is the only place in the New Testament that uses the phrase opened heart, and the Bible gives the whole credit for this opening to God's power and not to man's will. Modem evangelism does the exact opposite and credits the opening of the heart to the power of man's free will. Remember that we are not discussing whether man must be willing to open his heart. We settled that under points One, Two, and Three. We are now looking for the source of power that enabled man to perform that spiritual act. Arminianism insists that man's free will must furnish the willingness or power, and the Bible says that the Holy Spirit of God fumishes that power or ability in the new birth.

Let us examine the one text in Scripture (Acts 16:14) that uses the phrase "opened heart;" and see if it agrees with our previous points:

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard [us]: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. King James Bible

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard [us]: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. 1599 Geneva Bible (note - The Lord opens the heart to hear the word which is preached.)

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard [us]: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. Young's Literal Translation.

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple of the city of Thyatira, one that worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened to give heed unto the things which were spoken by Paul. American Standard

A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. New American Standard

One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyati'ra, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul. Revised Standard Version.

First of all we note that Lydia did indeed attend or listen to the words of Paul. She gladly heard and willingly believed his message. As we have already shown, she had to do this in order to benefit from the gospel and be saved. Lydia's attending, or hearing and believing, illustrates points One, Two, and Three above, and refutes Hyper-Calvinism (which says the elect will be saved regardless of whether they hear and believe the gospel or not). Lydia did indeed choose to believe, and she did it only because she wholeheartedly wanted to. She did not do it unwillingly nor did God hear and believe for her. It was her own response and it was a most willing response.

Next, we notice exactly what God did. We see here demonstrated what God must do before Lydia can be saved.

(1) He provided a salvation of "by grace through faith" that could be preached. Obviously the things spoken by Paul were the gospel facts concerning the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and surely this Lamb is God's gracious provision.

(2) God also brought the message of His provision to Lydia. He sent a preacher to tell her about this great plan of salvation. God went to a lot of trouble to provide such a gospel - He gave His only begotten Son. He went to great ends to provide such a preacher as Paul - read about it in Paul's testimony in Acts 22.

It is at this point that Arminianism departs from the Bible and proceeds to apply human logic to the above truths. They tragically fail to look at the rest of the biblical text and see that God must do something else.

(3) God must open Lydia's heart (or give her spiritual life) so she will be able to believe. Her natural mind is blind, her natural heart is averse to God, and her will is in bondage to sin and spiritual death. Only the power of God can free her from this graveyard of spiritual depravity. The giving of this life and power is solely the work of God. Notice that the Bible explicitly gives God alone the credit for Lydia's heart being opened. If you do not see that in this text then you simply cannot read.

....whose heart the LORD OPENED...

Notice also how clearly the Holy Spirit teaches us the relationship between the cause and the effect in the conversion of Lydia. God was the One Who opened Lydia's heart, that is the cause, and He did so in order that she might be able to attend to the truths that Paul preached, that is the effect. Now that is what the Word of God says! Do not bluster about dead theology or throw Calvin's name around in derision, just read the words themselves in the Bible. If you try to deny that the one single reason that Lydia understood and believed the gospel was because God deliberately opened her heart and enabled her to believe, you are fighting God's Word. If you try to get man's free will as the one determining factor into this text, you are consciously corrupting the Word of God.

God's grace not only provides salvation, but His power also gives us the ability to both desire and receive it. He works in us both to will and to do.
"And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." Ezekiel 36:27

His working in us to will is the new birth, and, I say again, this work of regeneration is totally the work of the Holy Spirit.

The moment we lose sight of this distinction between being saved by faith (the act of man) and being bom again by the Holy Spirit (the act of God), we are heading for confusion and trouble. We will be convinced that man is able to do what the Bible emphatically states he is unable to do. The necessity of the Holy Spirit's work being thus theologically denied, it will not be long before it is ignored in actual practice. This is the plight of modem day evangelism. Since they are convinced that the new birth is within the power and ability of man's will, their man- made methodology has become far more important than the theology of the Bible.

Organization and advertising become the absolute essentials to success while the necessary work of the Holy Ghost is all but forgotten. It is true that lip service is given to the need to "Pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance," and cards asking people to promise to pray every day are always sent out months in advance of the big campaign. However, some people are not sure if the promise to pray or the other pledge (to give money) which is always included (only your gifts can make this great campaign possible) is the most important to the success of the campaign. That would be Mammon...

But that's another subiect for another day.


Grace
&
Peace
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 8:30 PM

Repentence is a gift Ruth. As are all aspects of Salvation-including the good works God has foreordained that we are to walk in. All GOOD is of God. Grace is IRRESISTABLE . When grace knocks can the child of God resist ?

We are made willing in the day of His power-not through our "choice" . Salvation is all of grace. "Choice" is "works".
Posted By: 4Ever_Learning

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 8:55 PM

And also there is the Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) Spurgeon edition.

10. Effectual Calling

Those whom God has predestinated to life, He is pleased in His appointed and accepted time to effectually call by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death which they are in by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ. He enlightens their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God. He takes away their heart of stone and gives to them a heart of flesh. He renews their wills, and by His almighty power, causes them to desire and pursue that which is good. He effectually draws them to Jesus Christ, yet in such a way that they come absolutely freely, being made willing by His grace.

This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not on account of anything at all foreseen in man. It is not made because of any power or agency in the creature who is wholly passive in the matter. Man is dead in sins and trespasses until quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit. By this he is enabled to answer the call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed by it. This enabling power is no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead.

Infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, Who works when, where, and how He pleases. So also are all elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.

Others are not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may experience some common operations of the Spirit, yet because they are not effectually drawn by the Father, they will not and cannot truly come to Christ and therefore cannot be saved. Much less can men who do not embrace the Christian religion be saved, however diligent they may be to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the requirements of the religion they profess.

Notice that they Do Come to Christ. An act of their will. God changes their will so they will desire to Come to Him, but it is still their choice to accept or reject Him.

Peace
&
Grace
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 8:56 PM

Thanks Tom. Reisinger says that both God and man must do something before a man can be saved. This is not Calvinism but Arminianism.

Btw, is that the John Reisinger of NCT fame ?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:10 PM

"God changes their will so they will desire to come to Him, but it is still their choice to accept or reject Him"

Grace is irresistable then ? Faith is dependant on us ?

"Infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ...... "

Are they ? I hope so-dont get me wrong. But are they ?
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:29 PM

Quote
BookMark said:
Thanks Tom. Reisinger says that both God and man must do something before a man can be saved. This is not Calvinism but Arminianism.

Mark,
I fear you have never come to a right understanding of what the Bible and thus what Calvinism teaches concerning how a man is saved. A man isn't saved because God waves some magic wand over his head and then he is instantly made a Christian. As the article by Reisinger points out, BOTH man and God have their respective roles in salvation. It is God who predestines, elects, atones for and regenerates a sinner, draws him infallibly to Christ and providentially preserves him unto the end. The result of God's work [regeneration] is that a man is radically changed from one who begins as a sworn enemy of God to one who loves God and irresistibly seeks out reconciliation through Christ alone. Thus, "Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9)

A man must do something before he can be JUSTIFIED, which is but one aspect of "salvation". But he can do nothing to obtain salvation; that has been accomplished 100% by God alone. In regeneration, God frees the sinner from the bondage of his sin nature and gives both the desire and ability to repent and believe. And because this new nature is superior to the old, the person is "irresistibly" drawn to Christ according to God's eternal counsel.

Tell me, what writer(s) have so influenced you, if there has been any, concerning this matter?

Perhaps this article by John Murray may help clear up any errors and misconceptions you hold: Irresistable Grace, by John Murray.

In His Grace,
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:35 PM

Quote
BookMark said:
"God changes their will so they will desire to come to Him, but it is still their choice to accept or reject Him"

Grace is irresistable then ? Faith is dependant on us ?

"Infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ...... "

Are they ? I hope so-dont get me wrong. But are they ?

Saving grace is irresistible.

Faith is the fruit of regeneration, AND it is the individual who must exercise that faith in Christ.

"ELECT" infants, dying in infancy are saved. (cf. WCF X:III)

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:49 PM

Pilgrim, I AGREE with this post. God frees the sinner from the bondage of his sin and nature and gives both the desire and ability to repent and believe.<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Tis a God-given desire and ability to repent and believe.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:50 PM

Mark,

There is absolutely no contradiction between what anyone here has said and what Hoeksema wrote. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> We are saying the exact same thing. But YOU are at odds with the very quote you supplied. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/drop.gif" alt="" /> Don't you see this? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:53 PM

Quote
BookMark said:
Pilgrim, I AGREE with this post. God frees the sinner from the bondage of his sin and nature and gives both the desire and ability to repent and believe.:)

Tis a God-given desire and ability to repent and believe.

Great! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/joy.gif" alt="" /> Then you must also agree that it is the PERSON who irresistibly, but freely, naturally chooses to repent and believe BECAUSE he has a new nature. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 10:23 PM

It is indeed the individual who must exercise that Faith in Christ. That Faith He of course GAVE to us - we did not choose it. It is a FREE gift whereupon we are enabled to realise adoption of us by Him. We are saved by Faith unto good works. Good works follow Faith. Faith without works is dead.Ordained works of God follow Salvation and have been sanctified by the Blood of The Lord Jesus Christ. Every good "work" done in our flesh is of God.

"Elect" infants , of course. (Was that a Spurgeon mis-quote or typo ?) ALL infants - No
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 10:32 PM

Quote
It is indeed the individual who must exercise that Faith in Christ.

To "exercise" that faith is an act of the will, Mark! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Man must and will "choose" to believe upon Christ as a result of regeneration. Notice how the Psalmist puts it in Psalm 110:3,

Quote
"Thy people offer themselves willingly In the day of thy power," (ASV)

"Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power," (KJV)


The will is "exercised" according to what a man thinks and desires. One who desires Christ will choose to put his faith in Him. One who is convicted of sin and finds it most dreadful will choose to repent. It's not really that hard to understand, is it? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 10:48 PM

What is the "New Nature" but Christ working within us ?

Hoeksema is a "pin-up" over at outsidethecamp btw
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 11:09 PM

Quote
BookMark said:
What is the "New Nature" but Christ working within us ?

No sir, this is not correct. The "new nature" is OUR nature resurrected from the dead (Eph 2:1-5; Col 2:13), i.e., made spiritually alive. The Spirit of Christ works IN CONJUNCTION WITH us (our nature) to produce good works; the fruit of regeneration. Again, it is NOT the Father, Christ or the Spirit which wills or does the good works, it is the person who does them. Sanctification is "synergistic"; God and man working together.

In His Grace,
Posted By: MarieP

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 11:16 PM

Can we say regeneration is monergistic while sanctification is synergistic? What about salvation? We are indeed saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and we are justified by faith alone, but that faith will always result in good works.
Posted By: 4Ever_Learning

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 11:18 PM

Hoeksema is a "pin-up" over at outsidethecamp btw

--------------------
Mark
shocked

OutsidetheCamp? Please don't tell me you agree with those guys, do you? Every one, even Calvin himself is on their hit list. frown
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 11:24 PM

No its not hard to understand . It is not YOUR Faith to put in Him.This Faith was a FREE gift . Do not claim Faith as your own. We walk by Faith, by Christ , this is the gift of Salvation . We are responsible for our own sins and shortcomings - this is the only "choice" we have when we take our eyes from The Lord for an instance and slip back into "ourselves". We are here for His pleasure - the very core of our life in Christ. (Rev 4:11)
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 11:27 PM

Quote
sbc_and_reformed said:
Can we say regeneration is monergistic while sanctification is synergistic? What about salvation? We are indeed saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and we are justified by faith alone, but that faith will always result in good works.

Salvation is monergistic, but there are aspects of that salvation which are synergistic, e.g., sanctification. But all of salvation is Sola Gratia. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Perhaps you should define your terms, too, e.g., "salvation". Why? because there are so many aspects/perspectives to be considered, e.g., God's eternal decree to predestination, elect, Christ's atonement, regeneration, justification, sanctification, glorification. When I see "salvation" I think of the totality of it, from beginning to end. If we don't force ourselves to be prudent in the use of our terms it can and often does lead to confusion. [Linked Image]

In His Grace,
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 11:31 PM

Quote
It is not YOUR Faith to put in Him.This Faith was a FREE gift.

I'm afraid you are very much confused about many things, including unfortunately the fundamentals of soteriology. Perhaps this is due to an over reaction to Arminianism? But whatever the reason, you are in error. Faith is a gift. But it is the person's will that puts it in Christ.

You really should read Beeke here: Justification by Faith Alone.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 11:33 PM

No Tom,I dont agree too much with Carpenter and co at outsidethecamp.

I would be on their hitlist too .
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Feb 10, 2004 11:56 PM

Faith is a gift. No "buts". God The Holy Spirit , The Comforter, guides us through Faith and aids us in the realisation of salvic adoption within which we walk with "fear and trembling".

Why make such a thing of "us" ,when it is all of Him ?
Posted By: Ruth

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 1:04 AM

Mark,

Yes, agreed, repentance is a gift, but we must still do the repenting! Or do you think that is done for us too? And yes, we are given the grace to do the good works, without which we could not do them, but we must still perform them! We are not inanimate objects in the process.

In His Hands,

Ruth
Posted By: MarieP

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 1:19 AM

Good point about defining our terms clearly. After all, the Catholics use a lot of the same words we Protestants use, but they mean different things.

By salvation I mean that moment at which one no longer is under the just condemnation of God but rather now is clothed in Christ's righteousness, having no righteousness of one's own. That would be monergistic. But then we have justification. That is by faith alone. It's when God imputes Christ's righteousness to our account. That would be which one?

A good article by Donald Whitney on our role in sanctification, by the way, is found here:

http://www.spiritualdisciplines.org/role.html
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 1:43 AM

Quote
By salvation I mean that moment at which one no longer is under the just condemnation of God but rather now is clothed in Christ's righteousness, having no righteousness of one's own. That would be monergistic. But then we have justification. That is by faith alone. It's when God imputes Christ's righteousness to our account. That would be which one?

What you have said above is actually all the same thing! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> Justification is a one-time pronouncement by God that a sinner is no longer under condemnation, he (the sinner) having been forgiven on the basis of Christ's righteousness being imputed to him/her.

Justification is "monergistic", even though the sinner is active (conversion), in that he/she repents and believes upon Christ.

Sanctification is "synergistic", even though it is the Holy Spirit dwelling in the believer Who guides, etc., the person to do good works.

Clear as mud? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/giggle.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: MarieP

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 1:58 AM

I got it now Pilgrim. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Would to recommend the site www.monergism.com? I read an article they had posted on monergism and they were ptting it against synergism (but just when it had to do with salvation (as defined in my earlier post) and not with sanctification.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:10 AM

John Hendryx has a great site in that he has gathered together a huge number of links of articles online. He has many from The Highway there too. One of the things that impressed me about his site is that he gives full credit for the author and original site for the articles he has there. There are others who "steal" articles for their website and never mention who wrote it or where they came from. One of "those" is "GraceOnlineLibrary". <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Bladestunner316

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 3:23 AM

Isnt man only acting out what God predestined before time?

If man HAS to do something that is a work isnt it? So does God have to rely on mans choice inorder to apply salvation?

blade
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:39 AM

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God : Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship,created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 )
Posted By: Henry

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 1:27 PM

I think we're missing the mystery here. The synergy of God working with man through the whole process of salvation is a mystery. God is sovereign, but we are responsible. God ordains what will happen, but our wills are still active in the process. I fear we run into error, both ways, when we deny or overlook this mystery.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 1:35 PM

Quote
Bladestunner316 said:
Isnt man only acting out what God predestined before time?

If man HAS to do something that is a work isnt it? So does God have to rely on mans choice inorder to apply salvation?

blade

Blade,

Are you saying that men are but helpless puppets who do nothing of their own volition? If that is true, then no man can be justly condemned for what he does because he will be able to say at the Judgment, "I couldn't help myself; God made me do it!" But the truth is that God's predestination doesn't force anyone to do anything that isn't in accordance with their will. We see this in the crucifixion of Christ, where men most willingly nailed Jesus to the cross AND God had foreordained that they should do this exactly as they did in eternity. (Acts 2:22, 23; 3:18; 4:26-28) BOTH are true; God's sovereignty and man's responsibility.

Likewise in salvation, God predestinated a certain number of sinners to be saved by faith in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit, working in conjunction with the Word of God regenerates the spiritual dead soul of a person, giving him/her a new nature or disposition. This new nature is inclined toward God and is naturally opposed to sin; the opposite of what the old nature was. So, as a sinner naturally hates God and loves to commit sin, likewise the regenerated sinner loves God and hates sin. Consequently, this born again sinner naturally repents and turns to Christ in faith. It is NOT God the Spirit who repents and believes. It is the person who does these two things, most willingly and by choice. Men always do that which is most desirable to them at any given moment. They are never forced to do anything against their will... NEVER! It is always man's choice to do what he does.

There is no conflict here whatsoever, which the ultra hyper-Calvinists are want to find. The repentance and faith required (prerequisites) for justification are indeed gifts of God which are the fruit of regeneration. They are of grace and thus their origin is with God and not man so that no one can boast. And, it is the individual who actually repents and believes, not God. The person is responsible to repent and believe not God. In fact, ALL men are responsible to repent and believe, but only those who have been given a new nature, who have been regenerated have the desire and ability to do so. That desire and ability, again is of grace and not of man's creation. Yet there is still the necessity that man choose to repent and believe upon Christ. Those who are regenerated will do so infallibly because they are predisposed to do so. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Wes

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:51 PM

Good point Henry!

We can do nothing apart from Him and yet we are responsible to participate in the process. But how can this be? It is truly a mystery because "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known." (I Cor. 13:12)

The two extremes views which have been debated over the years are: 1) man has a free will and God is simply waiting for him to "accept" Him, and 2) God is sovereign and man has no responsibility at all. The first view is often called Arminianism or Freewillism and the second one is Fatalism or Hypercalvinism.


Wes
Posted By: Bladestunner316

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 5:35 PM

pilgrim said,
But the truth is that God's predestination doesn't force anyone to do anything that isn't in accordance with their will.


Blade responds,
and this doesnt sound any bit arminian?
Posted By: Bladestunner316

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 5:37 PM

Pilgrim,
God is soverign and all powerful. Man is responsible regardless if something was predestined or not.

blade
Posted By: Bladestunner316

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 5:39 PM

bookmark,
with that verse I rest my case.

blade
Posted By: Bladestunner316

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 5:44 PM

Are wills are activlly in submision to the will of God we are not puppets we are men made in the image of the creator but we are creaturs and bound by the will of the alllmighty all our pride so to speak in bening a human with unique atributes such as a will are all in debt and pride in our creator.salvation and sanctification and glorification and all the blessings of eternity are but the outworking of the will of God.

blade
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:38 PM

Quote
Bladestunner316 said:
pilgrim said,
But the truth is that God's predestination doesn't force anyone to do anything that isn't in accordance with their will.


Blade responds,
and this doesnt sound any bit arminian?

No, it doesn't "sound any bit arminian" at all. In fact, it is what historic Calvinism has always taught. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Perhaps I should have phrased it a bit differently and then you wouldn't have taken exception to it? So, I'll accept the responsibility for my poor wording and restate it for you. And then, you can respond to tell me if it sits any better with you.

But the truth is that God's predestination doesn't force anyone to do anything that is contrary to their will.

By way of example, God doesn't force anyone to sin. Men sin freely and most willingly. Likewise, God doesn't force any man's will to repent and/or believe upon Christ; He "recreates the will".

I hope this clarifies things for you now? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Bladestunner316

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 10:50 PM

Pilgrim,
no worries I understand your position clearlly I would say I would phrase it more along the lines of God forms the will to comply with whatever he has predestined for that individual.

blade
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Feb 11, 2004 11:01 PM

Quote
Bladestunner316 said:
Pilgrim,
no worries I understand your position clearlly I would say I would phrase it more along the lines of God forms the will to comply with whatever he has predestined for that individual.

blade

Blade,

The only objection that I have with how you prefer to phrase it is that the "will" is not an independent entity. The will is at the beck and call of the intellect and affections and does not operate independently of them. Thus God does not "form the will", but rather uses the intellect and affections to do so. But most importantly, is that God never "forces" the will of man to do that which is contrary to it. Again, I would point to those texts in Acts which describe the crucifixion which was done according to the "determinate counsel and foreknowledge" of God. Yet, those who particpated in that crucifixion did so by a deliberate choice on their part and that most willingly.

<p align="center"><font size="4">[color:"blue"]The Westminster Confession of Faith[/color]</font>
Chapter IX
Of Free Will
</p>
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

In His Grace,
Posted By: Bladestunner316

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Thu Feb 12, 2004 10:20 PM

thank you pilgrim
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:38 AM

Quote
Pilgrim said:
Likewise, God doesn't force any man's will to repent and/or believe upon Christ; He "recreates the will".


Absolutely. No one is 'forced' to believe against their will, God gives man a new will in regeneration. Before they are born again all their will is against God, they love sin and are at enmity with God.

Once born again of the Spirit, they have a new will which seeks after God and willingly believes.

So the work is all of God because He causes our new birth, but ONCE born again we willingly believe.

It seems like everyone here is really trying to say similar things. I don't think anyone really thinks that God 'forces' man to believe as though man's will is otherwise but God forces him to, but they are just stressing that the work is ALL God's because it is God who regenerates us and therefore gives us a new, a willing heart, to believe on him.
Posted By: janean

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:42 PM

Ok, I guess I was on the wrong thread (the other one about "free-will"). I posted a question there. Now here's the discussion over here too. I just read through this whole long thing quickly (and I'm going to read it again). Now I'm even more confused right now!! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/crazyeyes.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:47 PM

Quote
Janean laments:
Now I'm even more confused right now!!

Can you describe your confusion? What is it that is giving you a problem? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: janean

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:59 PM

I'm not sure where to start, I had to copy and carefully re-read this whole thread. I have yet another question though that I think will help determine things. What exactly do you say about predestination. I guess my belief about this issue and who is elect is this - that God in His omnicense somehow (I don't think I spelled that right!?) knows beforehand who will believe in Him and those are the elect. Now is this something you say or do you say God just randomly picked us out. (of course it's not really what you say, it's what the Bible says and I said before I need to read up on this issue which I have never really done before) Now in response to the issue of only the elect babies going to heaven. I haven't held this view, I've always just believed that all babies are covered under the blood of Christ because they haven't come to any age of accountability - and that only God knows when this is for each person. But the only way your view of this makes sense to me is if God somehow knows which ones would have believed in him if they had grown to the age of accountability. Well what do you say about this, because otherwise I have a long post to make in response to what I've read in this thread and it is then very confusing to me like I said. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/crazyeyes.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:36 PM

Quote
I guess my belief about this issue and who is elect is this - that God in His omnicense somehow (I don't think I spelled that right!?) knows beforehand who will believe in Him and those are the elect. Now is this something you say or do you say God just randomly picked us out.

Okay... here's the biblical teaching concerning "Predestination". God, in His perfect wisdom determined to save a definite number of people out of race of mankind. This "election" of individuals was 100% UNconditional, in other words, God's choice was not based upon ANYTHING that had to do with them, including "If they should believe, etc." Understand this.... God knows BECAUSE He has determined all things. God's knowledge is not something based upon anything other than His own will, i.e., facts, possibilities, no not anything outside of Himself. What you are wrestling with here is actually the doctrine of "foreknowledge". God knows "before hand" because He has decreed it. It's like an architect can say what a building will look like before it is built, even before the plans are drawn up because the "idea" originated in his own mind. Thus God, in His eternal counsel, determined who was going to be saved and thus He "knew" who was going to be saved. Simple, eh? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Quote
I've always just believed that all babies are covered under the blood of Christ because they haven't come to any age of accountability - and that only God knows when this is for each person. But the only way your view of this makes sense to me is if God somehow knows which ones would have believed in him if they had grown to the age of accountability.

There is nothing in Scripture that speaks of any "age of accountability". <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> This is pure fabrication which was designed as an effort to defend the Arminian's doctrine of salvation, which is grounded in the myth of "free-will", etc. So, first of all, you are going to have to throw that idea out the window. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/giggle.gif" alt="" />

The issue here is easily explained when/if you accept the Bible's teaching concerning the state of man after the Fall, aka: "Original Sin". This term refers to the punishment which God put on all mankind due to Adam's trangression. It consisted of two parts: 1) Guilt! Adam, as the Federal Head of the human race (duly appointed representative), acted in behalf of all mankind. So, when he sinned, the guilt incurred was also passed on to all men. Thus the Bible teaches that at birth, all have Adam's guilt imputed to them, so that they are inherently under the wrath and judgment of God. 2) Corruption! All men, being the descendants of Adam and Eve are born with a corruption of nature, aka: Total Depravity. That means that their souls, their very nature/disposition is an emnity with God (they hate God) and all that is good. Men sin naturally and all that they think, feel and do is sinful.

Therefore, until God regenerates an individual's soul, that person will never even have a desire to love God, repent of sin or have any interest in Jesus Christ. All men are born sinners and liable to condemnation; yes even at conception. There are no "innocent" babies.

You can read more from these articles found here:

The Doctrine of Man.

The Foreknowledge of God.

In His Grace,
Posted By: janean

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:41 AM

ok here's my confusion still. these are all quotes from this long thread. 4EverLearning says "God and man must both do something before a man can be saved" and "every man who turns to Christ does so willingly, but..of the Father's election"
My question: How is there any choice from us if it all originates from God??

4EverLearning quote ""God changes their will so they will desire to Come to Him, but it is still their choice to accept or reject Him"

My Q: So is it possible that one can have the Spirit begin some regeneration and then a person can reject this and go to hell?? Well if the answer is no (which I believe it is), then where is the our choice then with this???

Pilgrim quote "In regeneration, God frees the sinner from the bondage of his sin nature and gives both the desire and ability to repent and believe. ...the person is 'irresistibly' drawn to Christ.."

My Q: again where is our choice. ok you say God initiates the regeneration and then we have choice after this, but then you're saying we are irresistably drawn -- this implies to me we do not have a choice here. If we truly had a choice wouldn't we be able to walk away and reject the regeneration that was started by God???

Pilgrim again says "Man must and will 'choose' to believe upon Christ as a result of regeneration."

My Q: Again, I just don't get it. Where is the choice then if man "must" choose to believe?????

Henry says "I think we're missing the mystery here."

My response "Yes, I think it's a mystery!"


Pilgrim quote "God predestinated a certain number of sinners to be saved by faith in Christ"

My Q: Then where on earth is our choice in the matter. It just doesn't make sense! If it's God woos us and draws us and it's truly a choice doesn't that mean we can reject that wooing and drawing. You are saying that's not possible. Then to me that's not a choice then and we are "puppets".

Pilgrim quote "He 'recreates the will'.

My Q: Then isn't our will then being coerced and "forced" on us???

In my (confused) opinion it seems like Pilgrim and BookMark are really in the same boat - that there is no choice.
BookMark quote "You had as much 'choice' in your spiritual re-birth as you did in your natural birth." That's what I really see in Pilgrim's responses and 4Ever Learning.

Ok that's my confusion. Maybe someday I'll understand where you're coming from, but for now I remain dazed and confused. And I'll do some reading like I said I'll do.


<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/crazyeyes.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/crazyeyes.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/crazyeyes.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:35 AM

Quote
4EverLearning says "God and man must both do something before a man can be saved" and "every man who turns to Christ does so willingly, but..of the Father's election"
My question: How is there any choice from us if it all originates from God??

First, God's decree does not negate the responsibility of the individual to do that which he is required to do, even if the ability to do so is not possible. Second, man only chooses that which is in accord with his nature. If a man has a sin nature, then he will always choose that which is sinful. If a man has a renewed (godly) nature, then he will choose that which is good. In either case, it is a sure thing that whatever nature a man possesses, that is what that person will choose, whether evil or good. In the case of a regenerated sinner, the new nature is inclined toward God. And although the person's old nature still remains in part, the new nature is far stronger than the old and thus it takes precedence over the old. In truth, when one is "born again", the inclinations of the soul are so strong, that the person, albeit now naturally, cannot help but repent and believe; aka: Irresistible Grace. It is not God who makes the choice, but the person himself due to the new and powerful nature created within him.

I can't recall how many times it has been referred to, but the biblical record of the crucifixion is the paradigm illustration of these two truths working together; i.e., God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. (cf. Acts 2:23, 24; 3:18; 4:27, 28) The crucifixion was foreordained by God's eternal determinate counsel AND it was accomplished by the unfettered decision of wicked men.

Quote
My Q: So is it possible that one can have the Spirit begin some regeneration and then a person can reject this and go to hell?? Well if the answer is no (which I believe it is), then where is the our choice then with this???

To the first part of your question, the answer is "No"! One is either regenerated (made alive) or he isn't (remains dead). Once the new nature is created, the new inclinations determine what choices are made. Remember? a man only chooses that which is in accordance to his nature. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> If one loves God and hates sin, then he will choose God and most willingly.

Quote
again where is our choice. ok you say God initiates the regeneration and then we have choice after this, but then you're saying we are irresistably drawn -- this implies to me we do not have a choice here. If we truly had a choice wouldn't we be able to walk away and reject the regeneration that was started by God???

If a person is confronted with two alternative, just for the sake of illustration, and one of those alternatives is most obnoxious and despised by that person and the other alternative is something which is that which is most desirable, loved and needed, then it is a foregone conclusion that the person will always choose the latter and not the former. IF the person would choose the former, then we must conclude that it was what was most desirable at that moment. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> We are "irresistibly" drawn in the sense that the object of our desires at the moment of regeneration is Christ. He is the One to Whom our heart is attracted; He is seen as most lovely, a sufficient and worthy Saviour of our souls, the means by which we can be reconciled to God, which also is the heart's desire, etc. Thus, because our inclinations are incredibly attracted to Christ over all other things, we "irresistibly" (naturally) run to Him.

Quote
Then where on earth is our choice in the matter. It just doesn't make sense! If it's God woos us and draws us and it's truly a choice doesn't that mean we can reject that wooing and drawing. You are saying that's not possible. Then to me that's not a choice then and we are "puppets".

Perhaps you are confusing the power of the new nature which the Spirit creates in regeneration with a "force" that is opposed to the person's will? Before regeneration occurs, a person "irresistibly" (naturally) sins. No one compels a person to sin no more than anyone or anything compels a lion to eat meat. It is one's NATURE, i.e., what one knows, believes and desires which dictates what the will chooses. Whatever is most important to a person at any given moment will determine what that person will choose. Thus, when regeneration takes place the inclinations which govern the person's choices (that which is most important) are radically different than what they were beforehand. Sure, the choice to reject Christ is still real, but it is that which is most UNDESIRABLE and Christ is most desirable, so the person "irresistibly" (naturally) chooses to believe upon Christ. The person isn't "forced" to believe upon Christ against his/her will!! Where before the person was unable to believe upon Christ because anything that had to do with God, etc., was the least important thing in life. In fact, it is the most hated thing in that person's life. Thus, the person will never choose to repent and believe. But you wouldn't say that an unregenerate sinner was a "puppet" would you in the same sense as you are saying about a regenerated person, eh? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Quote
Pilgrim quote "He 'recreates the will'.

My Q: Then isn't our will then being coerced and "forced" on us???

This is more a judgment against God and not against a doctrine. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/nono.gif" alt="" /> Is it a violation of a child's "right to choose" if you rescue it from being run over by a car when it runs out into the street? Would this be an unjust act and a violation of the child's will? Is it "unfair" and God therefore "unjust" if He has decided to make alive that which is dead and to adopt a person as His own at the expense of His own self in the person of Jesus Christ? But even more salient is the fact that God, being the Holy Creator of all mankind, has an inalienable right to do with His creation as He sees fit and for His own glory. I would suggest you read through Romans 9:6-24 carefully and note the way Paul answers those who would question God's right to save those whom He wills and how He wills. I think you will see some very close similarities to some of the questions you have asked here. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratchchin.gif" alt="" />

Don't dismay... I am confident that God will open your understanding to these marvelous truths in due time. We have all had to walk down this road to one degree or another to arrive where we are at. And, rest assured, none of us have "arrived"; we are still learning. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bigglasses.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: CovenantInBlood

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 12, 2004 4:27 AM

Quote
Pilgrim quote "He 'recreates the will'.

My Q: Then isn't our will then being coerced and "forced" on us???


Janean, think about this for a moment: If your very will has been changed, how could it be against your will?
Posted By: Tom

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:31 AM

janean

Here are a few thing that helped me a few years ago, when I was going through some of the confusion you are going through.

Dialogue on God’s Soveriegnty and Predestination

Gerstner: "If God is sovereign, then it was determined from all eternity that you would be sitting here with me right now."

Sproul: "That makes me a robot."

Gerstner: "Well wait a minute. Are you telling me you didn't choose to come here tonight?"

Sproul: "I did."

Gerstner: "You weren't forced to come here against your will, were you? Did you have a sense of some force inhabiting your body, causing you to be here even though you had chosen not to be?"

Sproul: "No."

Gerstner: "Did you sense something interfering with your will, causing you to do something you didn't want to do, or had no intention of doing?"

Sproul: "No. But how could I have had any choice in the matter when God determined that I was going to be here?"

Gerstner: "But you just told me that you did choose to be here and exercised your will to come tonight. You did have a choice. You did exactly what you wanted to do. You weren't forced here against your will. So however God got you here, it wasn't by forcing you to be here against your will, as if moved involuntarily by a strong wind."

Gerstner's approach was to appeal to the objector's own experience, where they know infallibly that they haven't been forced to do anything against their will, but have always, in every case, done exactly what they had chosen to do. It's tough to keep up the robot argument in the face of that knowledge.

Also you might like these.
http://www.antithesis.com/conversations/easychairs.html

This is my favorite:
http://www.the-highway.com/Death.html


Tom
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:16 AM

Janean,
Just take it slowly. It is a difficult subject but it makes sense after it sinks in a bit. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/idea.gif" alt="" />
The idea that we are robots is a Hyper-Calvinist view. The biblical view is that man is responsible and that God is Sovereign. We cannot understand how both things can be true, but they are. The following are notes taken from Iain Murray's book Spurgeon and the Hyper-Calvinists.
Human responsibility
"Free agency is not to be confused with "free will". Since the fall, men have not lost their responsibility, but they have lost their ability, the will to obey God. " Hyper Calvinists argue that sinners cannot be required to do what they are not able to do, so if a preachers calls sinners to repentance, he is denying human depravity and God's sovereign grace ." [Spurgeon] asserted as strongly as it has ever been asserted, that the will of God is omnipotent both in the provision and in the application of every part of salvation: "Our Lord's mission was not so much to save all whom He addressed, as to save out of them as many as His Father gave Him." He stressed that those who reject the gospel offer will not be able to say that God's sovereignty kept them from doing so, but they will be condemned for their sin of unbelief. He was not able to explain this mystery but said of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility "Both are true; no two truths can be inconsistent with each other; and what you have to do is to believe them both." Hyper Calvinists attempted to get rid of the problems by denying man's responsibility for all his actions.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 19, 2004 8:52 AM

When it comes to salvation, there is a part of God doing something and there is a part of man doing something. God sent His Son and man has to believe Him. Christ died for the forgiveness of our sins and our reconciliation to God, but man has to accept this and live by his faith. And that is what our free will is for. You are not automatically saved by being raised in a church or because your parents were Christians. That is taught nowhere in the Bible. When the Gospel is presented to you, whether you are raised in a Christian home or not, it is you who has to choose to accept and believe or refuse and not believe. So yes, man is required to choose in order to be saved. But the salvation he receives upon that choice is from God. That principle is found in both the Old and the New Testament.

Mirjam
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 19, 2004 12:28 PM

Quote
Mirjam wrote:
When it comes to salvation, there is a part of God doing something and there is a part of man doing something. God sent His Son and man has to believe Him. Christ died for the forgiveness of our sins and our reconciliation to God, but man has to accept this and live by his faith. And that is what our free will is for.

It is true that God doesn't believe for anyone unto salvation. Confession is made with the lips of man. But it is also true that the ability to believe is given to the elect only when the Holy Spirit regenerates, makes them alive, gives them new birth first. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> And after the Spirit works that grace in the sinner's soul/heart, then that person will infallibly repent and believe on Christ but most freely.

Perhaps you might benefit from reading these articles:

The Myth of Free Will, by Walter Chantry.

Free-Will a Slave, a sermon by Charles Spurgeon.

There Are Only Two Religions in the Whole World, by John Reisinger.

<marquee behavior="alternate"><font size="4">[color:"blue"]ENJOY![/color]</font></marquee>

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 20, 2004 3:08 PM

All these replies seem to assume that repentance and faith come as a result of regeneration. At least one post specifically denies that regeneration and justification occur at the same time. I cannot reconcile this with the scripture.

The scripture says that believing in the Son of God gives life (regeneration):

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

Believe in the Lord, and receive life. This seems beyond all controversy to me.

Paul says that the believer is risen into newness of life by faith:

"Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God," Col. 2:2.

Peter taught that our hearts are purified by faith:

"And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith."

This is why clearly people were said to be born again or regeneration by the gospel. It is only when we believe the gospel that we are regenerated:

"For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel."


"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

ZionSeeker
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 20, 2004 5:50 PM

Quote
ZionSeeker states:
All these replies seem to assume that repentance and faith come as a result of regeneration. At least one post specifically denies that regeneration and justification occur at the same time. I cannot reconcile this with the scripture.

Welcome to the Discussion Board! [Linked Image]

Are you sure you want to be throwing rocks at this hornet's nest? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Eeeeeek.gif" alt="" /> This topic has been discussed MANY times here in the past and those who advocate regeneration as the result of faith as opposed to the biblical teaching that faith is the result of regeneration haven't done well. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Where one stands on this subject depends upon how one understands the condition of man post-Fall. If man is as "dead" as the Bible says he is, then regeneration of necessity must precede faith. If, however, one believes that man is not "dead" but only sick, mortally wounded, terminally ill, then this would allow, at least in theory, that faith can precede regeneration.

Perhaps you might want to read the following article before you get yourself in over your head. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/evilgrin.gif" alt="" />

Click here: Regeneration, or the New Birth, by A.W. Pink.

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 20, 2004 7:37 PM

Hi to you also!
I didn't realise that this one has been hammered out before. I understand your arguments for your side, and they sound convincing. But, are they what the Bible actually says? If the bible says we receive new life through believing, than who am i to question it? Maybe if that is what it says, we need to re-examine arguments that sound good, but don't agree?

ZS
Posted By: CovenantInBlood

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:18 PM

Quote
The scripture says that believing in the Son of God gives life (regeneration):

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


We are regenerated, so that we might believe in Christ unto eternal life. It seems to me that this verse is talking about eternal life, not regeneration.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:32 PM

Quote
ZionSeeker said:
Hi to you also!
I didn't realise that this one has been hammered out before. I understand your arguments for your side, and they sound convincing. But, are they what the Bible actually says? If the bible says we receive new life through believing, than who am i to question it? Maybe if that is what it says, we need to re-examine arguments that sound good, but don't agree?

ZS

ZionSeeker,

I will agree that IF the Bible taught that regeneration is a result of one believing, then we are obligated to embrace that teaching. However, I can't find anywhere in Scripture where that doctrine is to be found?

Take for example these two passages alone, which are clear that faith follows regeneration:

John 1:12-13 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."


I don't know how the Holy Spirit could have put it more clearly that those who believed on Christ HAD BEEN . . . "born of God". And then there is Paul's statement here:

Ephesians 2:1-9 "And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."


All are "dead" in trespasses and sins. And it was grace which "quickened" those who were dead. If God's grace is dispensed on the basis of one's antecedent faith, then it is no longer of grace but of works. But in this passage, those who were dead were "made alive" by grace unto salvation.

Would you like to take these 2 passages of Scripture and exegete them for us please?

Quote
Acts 13:48 "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."


In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 20, 2004 10:46 PM

Hi,
I thought the whole idea was that until regeneration, we are "dead ins sins". But you seem to be saying that receiving new life (so that we are no longer dead in sins) is something different to regeneration. You are saying that we can be regenerated, but still dead in our sins?
ZS
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 20, 2004 11:27 PM

Ok, let me make an attempt at an exegesis here:

John 1:12-13 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power [authority] to become the sons [children] of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

This verse teaches that those who receive him or believe on his name have the authority to be the children of God. I don't really think I need to add anymore than to say that.

He did not give that right until they believed on his name.

Paul says the same thing elsewhere:

"For ye are all the sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:26

That is, those who believe have the authority to be the children of God.

Some maintain that not being born of the flesh or the will of man means that we are not born again by ‘making a decision.’ Well yes, true, it is not a ‘decision’ that has any power, but believing from the heart the word of the truth of the gospel.

What is clear here is that the receiving is what precedes becoming a child, and thus being born of God.

But what of ‘who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man’? Being born of God is put in distinction to Jewish natural birth and becoming a Jew through proselytisation. Allow me to quote from John Lightfoot:

"Of the will of man, in that sense wherein they coveted so many proselytes, to admit them into the religion of the Jews, and so into covenant and sonship with God." A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica John Lightfoot.


Second,
Ephesians 2:1-9 "And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

This quickening is through faith, as seen in Colossians:

"In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses" Colossians 2:2.

You write that "All are "dead" in trespasses and sins. And it was grace which "quickened" those who were dead. If God's grace is dispensed on the basis of one's antecedent faith, then it is no longer of grace but of works."

But look, it says God quickened us (made us alive), by grace, and then later it adds, "by grace through faith." it tells us that this grace is received through faith.

Let's look again:

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) [...] For by grace are ye saved through faith."

Colossians tells us we are raised up (quickened) through faith. The gospel of John says we receive new life (quickening) through believing.

Your objection was that this cannot be because "If God's grace is dispensed on the basis of one's antecedent faith, then it is no longer of grace but of works." But it says it is - "by grace are ye saved through faith!"

Paul holds faith and works in contrast. We are saved by grace, through faith, and not of works. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." You are making faith a work, and this is contrary to the apostle's mindset here. To Paul, faith and works are completely seperate things. By grace you are saved THROUGH faith. Faith is not a result, it is the instrumentality, of grace.

ZS
Posted By: CovenantInBlood

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 20, 2004 11:32 PM

Quote
Hi,
I thought the whole idea was that until regeneration, we are "dead ins sins". But you seem to be saying that receiving new life (so that we are no longer dead in sins) is something different to regeneration. You are saying that we can be regenerated, but still dead in our sins?
ZS


No, I said that salvation (unto eternal life) is something different from regeneration (the new birth). Salvation follows faith follows regeneration.
Posted By: Wes

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 20, 2004 11:40 PM

ZionSeeker,

It's really amazing how Jesus spoke to unbelieving Pharisees about God's electing freedom. He speaks in such a way to prevent them from boasting that they can overrule the ultimate purposes of God. For example, in John 10:25-26 Jesus responded to the skeptics who demanded more and more proof by saying, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name they bear witness to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep." Think about this for a moment. Think about what it means, and think about the fact that Jesus would dare to say it to unbelievers.

Believing is dependent on being a sheep. Belonging to the sheep enables a person to believe, not the other way around. So Jesus says, "The reason you don't believe is that you don't belong to my sheep." What Jesus means by "my sheep" is that the Father has given the sheep to him. That is what makes them his. We see this in John 10:27-29, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."

I hope that helps you see how God works in those He chooses not the other way around. The work of regeneration preceeds faith. For it is God who is at work within us both to will and to do His pleasure.


Wes
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 20, 2004 11:58 PM

I'm not sure how to create these quote boxes.
Kyle, when I asked, "You are saying that we can be regenerated, but still dead in our sins?"

You replied:
"No, I said that salvation (unto eternal life) is something different from regeneration (the new birth). Salvation follows faith follows regeneration."

But in order to uphold this, you must believe that receiving new life, and regeneration, are different, since receiving new life comes by believing. You say that faith brings "salvation unto eternal life." But the gospel says that new life is received by believing. If so, and if regeneration is antecedent to believing, than it seems to me that you are in fact saying that we are regenerated, and than have eternal life as a result of faith which is a result of regeneration. I do not believe that this fits with scripture:


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

If God made us alive (quickened us) by grace, and if prior to that we were dead in tresspasses and sins, then we did not stop being dead until we were made alive, and this being made alive was when we received new life, which was through believing in his name. "by grace are ye saved, through faith."

you wrote:

"We are regenerated, so that we might believe in Christ unto eternal life. It seems to me that this verse is talking about eternal life, not regeneration."
Posted By: CovenantInBlood

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 21, 2004 12:25 AM

Quote
But in order to uphold this, you must believe that receiving new life, and regeneration, are different, since receiving new life comes by believing.


No; but I am saying that receiving new life is different from receiving eternal life. We are first regenerated, i.e., born again, so that we might believe and thereby receive eternal life, i.e., salvation. This is a neat logical separation, but anyone who has been regenerated WILL believe and WILL be saved, and it is not going to come about in a long, step-by-step process. Upon regeneration, the sinner immediately believes, is made aware of his sin, repents and is saved.

The Effects of Regeneration, by A.W. Pink.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 21, 2004 1:43 AM

Kyle, thanks for clarifying. I personally cannot accept this distinction as I believe it is an artificial one necessitated by your beliefs. But I appreciate your being willing to clarify your belief. I will just add, the passage especially used by many (Eph 2:1-9) is in the language of being made alive. John 20:31 only speaks of receiving "life" through his name. Nothing of "eternal life" as such. Just life. Compare this with Paul's words concerning being "made alive" (AV quickened). The simple truth is we receive life through believing the gospel, and in no other way or sense.

Besides this, we are said to have "new life" when we are baptised into the Lord's death and raised with him to walk "in newness of life" Romans 6:4. As we have seen from Colossians 2:12, this raising (for it is speaking of the same one) is by "through faith in the working of God" (NKJV).

There is no newness of life until we are first baptised into his death Romans 6:3,4.

ZS
Posted By: CovenantInBlood

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 21, 2004 1:54 AM

Quote
There is no newness of life until we are first baptised into his death Romans 6:3,4.


Do you suggest we must be water baptized to be saved?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 21, 2004 2:19 AM

That is a whole different discussion. No, I am not suggesting that, though I do believe that baptism is very important. No, I was referring to Romans 6:3,4, as it pertains to this question of newness of life. Here, I believe, it is speaking of the spiritual baptism, which is to die with Christ and be raised up with him through faith - conversion. But my point is that the newness of life follows our crucifiction with Christ. It is not antecedent to it. And, it is through faith.
ZS
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 21, 2004 11:10 AM

Quote
Some maintain that not being born of the flesh or the will of man means that we are not born again by ‘making a decision.’ Well yes, true, it is not a ‘decision’ that has any power, but believing from the heart the word of the truth of the gospel.

What is clear here is that the receiving is what precedes becoming a child, and thus being born of God.

But what of ‘who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man’? Being born of God is put in distinction to Jewish natural birth and becoming a Jew through proselytisation. Allow me to quote from John Lightfoot:

"Of the will of man, in that sense wherein they coveted so many proselytes, to admit them into the religion of the Jews, and so into covenant and sonship with God." A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica John Lightfoot.

Well, thanks for the effort to exegete the text (Jh 1:12, 13). But let's not throw out Greek/English grammar nor common sense when doing exegesis. Let's take a closer look at this passage with these things included. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

"who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." In both English and Greek grammar, "who" (English)/"hos" (Greek) is a relative pronoun; it refers back to something that preceded it and qualifies that item. In this passage, the "who" refers back to "But as many as received him" and "even to them that believe on his name". Thus, grammatically, the sentence must read, "Those who were born of God received Him or believed on His name to whom was given the right/power to become children of God. Again, it is clear that the "born of God" was antecedent and the proximate cause of the receiving/believing. This is the "new birth" which the Lord Christ spoke to Nicodemus about (Jh 3:3, 5) and without which a person cannot even see the kingdom of God. It is also that "birth" which is produced by the sovereign and secret work of the Holy Spirit (Jh 3:7, 8) which man has no part nor does a man experience.

If it would help, I can illustrate this fact into another situation for you? "All who came to the gate and sought entrance into the stadium were allowed through, who had not begged, tried to bribe the security guard or threatened force, but had been issued free passes." Those who were allowed through had previously received free passes before their requesting entry.

However, logic alone should be sufficient to correctly understand the truth that this text teaches, i.e., one is regenerated antecedently to faith. If one makes faith antecedent to regeneration, then the text would have to read, "All who received Him did not become born by inheritance, one's own choosing or by a pronouncement of another, but of God." This is nothing more than "non-sense". <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Lightfoot's comments are irrelevant to the issue at hand.

Moving on to Eph 2:1-10:

Quote
You said:
This quickening is through faith, as seen in Colossians:

Hmmmm, that isn't much of an exegesis of the Ephesians passage is it? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" /> What should be noted first is that the subject and predicate of this long sentence actually doesn't appear until verse 5. Evidently for the sake of the reader, the translators in near every version include them in the first verse, but most always with a notation and/or in italic. The plain reading of the text, verse 5, says: "even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive". Paul didn't write, "when we were critically ill, we took the medicine which God gave us and therefore we got well." He wrote, while we were dead, God recreated us. He didn't write, "when we were drowning and going down for the 3rd time, we grabbed the life-ring God tossed us, and thus we saved ourselves with God's help". And this is why, no doubt, Paul kept the subject and predicate of the sentence until last. For in the first four verses he compounds the deplorable and helpless condition of the human soul and the hopelessness which it is found by nature. It is the Triune God who looked upon helpless sinners and saved them on a three-fold basis; love, mercy and grace. I won't pontificate on this incredible statement here, however. But what is to be seen is that Paul reflects back on the believer's condition, including Paul himself here, (cf. "we" hemas), which was totally alien to God and all that was good; especially the Lord Christ. It was while they were hating God, being spiritually dead (cf. Eph 4:17-19; Rom 3:10-18; et al) that God "made us alive together with" Christ,(Gk: suzoopoieo).

The word in the Greek for "made alive" is suzoopoieo; i.e., to bring to life conjointly with. The reference is unmistakable. As Christ was raised from the dead in which He suffered for punishment of sins, vicariously and substitutionally, likewise did God raise us up from the dead, through our own trespasses and sins. This is regeneration. In verse 6, Paul uses a similar analogy when he says that we are "raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus", referring to the life lived after that resurrection both actually and positionally.

"by grace have ye been saved" needs little comment, IMHO. It is by God's grace that the sinner is delivered from the power, presence and penalty of sin, i.e., judgment, condemnation which Paul already mentioned in v. 3. And, additionally, grace bestows immeasurable blessings, both presently and for the eternal age to come. This salvation is by grace; the proximate cause and through faith; the instrumental cause. The "making alive" was antecedent to the salvation. Regeneration has no power to save; it is through/by faith that salvation is secured. One is justified by faith not regenerated by faith. Regeneration is that new spiritual life out of which faith comes. Dead men don't believe. Lazarus didn't first ask Christ to make him alive before He said, "Lazarus! come forth!". He was dead 4 days before the Lord arrived and surely his body had already begun decomposing. It is the life-giving call of God that brings dead sinners to life and who then, having the ability to do so, repent and believe.

Thus the ordo solutis is: predestination, election, calling, regeneration, faith, justification, sanctification and final glorification. [color:"purple"]Sola Gratia[/color]

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 21, 2004 2:34 PM

"who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." In both English and Greek grammar, "who" (English)/"hos" (Greek) is a relative pronoun; it refers back to something that preceded it and qualifies that item.

Yes, but it refers back to those who had received authority to become children of God. They became children of God, and now, John is telling us, they were born not of man but of God. According to your way of looking at this, they were born, than they received, than they became children. This is absurd. Well more later
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 21, 2004 4:20 PM

Quote
ZionSeeker lamented:
Yes, but it refers back to those who had received authority to become children of God. They became children of God, and now, John is telling us, they were born not of man but of God.

What is absurd? Is following proper English and Greek grammar absurd? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" /> The relative clause indeed refers back to "those who received him . . .those who believed on his name . . . who were given the right/authority to become children of God" and being a relative clause it modifies those phrases so that grammatically, the text must read, "Those who were born of God, received him, believed upon his name and were thus given the right to be come children of God." [Linked Image]

Quote
According to your way of looking at this, they were born, than they received, than they became children. This is absurd. Well more later

Yes, exactly.. an individual is first born. It is impossible for a person to receive/believe and then to become a child until it is first born. Is this absurd? Are you seriously suggesting that a human being (using the Lord Christ's analogy when He spoke to Nicodemus) must first receive, believe on Christ in order to be born so that they can become children? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" /> Jesus told him that it was necessary that he be born from above (again) before he could even see the kingdom of God. The Lord even explained that this new birth was something totally alien to man. It is the silent, secret and sovereign work of the Holy Spirit Who does this as He will. Thus man does not initiate the process by first repenting and/or exercising faith.

As I said in my very first reply to you, this matter of the order of regeneration and faith is immutably joined with and dependent upon the doctrine of the Fall and its consequences. If one holds that man did not "die" as God had threatened and promised Adam upon his disobedience, but only became terminally ill, sick or something other than experiencing "death", the I suppose you could postulate most anything. And all such postulating involves a "works" salvation, where man initiates the first move and God responds. Thus is what you are proposing, that man brings his own faith to the table, and God responds by making him alive. Rome is smiling upon you if this is what you are proposing, and it surely seems like you are.

Thus, we need to digress it seems and discuss the noetic effects of the Fall. If this is agreeable to you, then would you please start a new thread as this one is getting rather long. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> If you aren't sure how to do that, post the question in the HELP Forum below or just send me or one of the other Administrators/Moderators a PM.

As an aside, I believe you were wondering how to do the "quote" thing too, right? That's more than simple. When you click on either "Post", "Reply" or "Edit" and the new window opens, just below the textbox where you type in your message, there are two tables: "Graemlins" and "Advanced UBBT Code". In the latter, just click on the little arrow to the right of "Quote/Code" and click on "Quote". A small textbox will popup where you can either type or paste whatever you want to quote. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 21, 2004 11:24 PM

Thanks for the tips pilgrim. i'll try the quote thingy. I hope to get back to you some time soon. I might be busy over the next few days but I would like to carry on with this post though. I can't consider the Fall unless those clear texts have been dealt with which clearly show that receiving life (being quickened) is a result of believing. About the "absurd" thing (sorry for using such a strong word)....those being spoken of do not become children until they first believe. if they are not children before they believe (or "receive him"), than they cannot be born. Then the order would have to be believe, become children. if you're view was right, it would read, "who had been born," not "who were born." You become a child when you are born. Therefore when it says "who were born," it must be speaking of their becoming children, not their receiving. They received, they became children. AS CHILDREN, they were born of God and not man. talk to you later
ZionSeeker
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Mar 22, 2004 2:06 AM

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Are you seriously suggesting that a human being (using the Lord Christ's analogy when He spoke to Nicodemus) must first receive, believe on Christ in order to be born so that they can become children?


A person must believe/receive in order to be a child of God. "But as many as received him, to them gave he authority to become the children of God." When a person is born, he becomes a child. That one is then born, as a child, from God.

If a person is already born, then they are already children. But they must believe before they are children, and therefore before they are born. As I noted before, it would say "had been born" if your contention were correct.

Anyway, I would be happy to digress onto the Fall, but I would like to deal with a few issues from this one first, if you don't mind.


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You said:This quickening is through faith, as seen in Colossians:
Hmmmm, that isn't much of an exegesis of the Ephesians passage is it?


Ephesians speaks of the quickening/being made alive which you agree refers to regeneration. The passage in Ephesians clearly says that this change is a result of grace, which comes in turn through the instrumentality of faith. I thought that might be too many steps of logic for somebody trying to poke holes in it, so I showed that other of Paul's writings agree <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bif.gif" alt="" />

The Colossians passage also speaks of the quickening, which is our being raised to newness of life in Christ. But it specifically mentions that this is through faith. These passages are the reasons I believe regeneration is through faith. You can't seperate the Colossians quickening from the Ephesians one. Maybe you wouldn't mind giving an exegesis of Colossians 2:12?

Really your only argument from Ephesians is that we were "dead in sins." Well yes, and it would be good to look at our different understandings of this, but you cannot get around the fact that the coming alive is through faith.

You claim that when Ephesians says, "by grace are ye saved,", that Paul is referring to something following the quickening. Clearly though, Paul is referring to the act of quickening.

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But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith;


Paul is not saying, "God raised us up. oh and then that caused you to believe and then after that you were saved through faith." No the act of quickening is the cause for the words "by grace are ye saved."

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As Christ was raised from the dead in which He suffered for punishment of sins, vicariously and substitutionally, likewise did God raise us up from the dead, through our own trespasses and sins. This is regeneration. In verse 6, Paul uses a similar analogy when he says that we are "raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus", referring to the life lived after that resurrection both actually and positionally.


I agree with the gist of this. Only I believe that the dying corresponds to repentance, or being baptised into Christ's death, and the raising corresponds to being raised up by faith - Colossians 2:12 again. What in your view is the being baptised into Christ's death which precedes being raised again?

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Regeneration is that new spiritual life out of which faith comes.


Then how is it that we receive life by believing the the Lord Jesus Christ?

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

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Mar 22, 2004 2:27 AM

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ZionSeeker said:
I can't consider the Fall unless those clear texts have been dealt with which clearly show that receiving life (being quickened) is a result of believing.

But there are no texts which show that regeneration is a result of believing! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" /> Dead men can't believe. It's really simple; so simple that even a child can comprehend that.

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You continue with,
[my absurdity]. . .those being spoken of do not become children until they first believe. [and your reply] If they are not children before they believe (or "receive him"), than they cannot be born. Then the order would have to be believe, become children. if you're view was right, it would read, "who had been born," not "who were born." You become a child when you are born. Therefore when it says "who were born," it must be speaking of their becoming children, not their receiving. They received, they became children. AS CHILDREN, they were born of God and not man.

FYI, "who were born" in the Greek is genesthai, which is an aorist infinitive which denotes a past action, i.e., "who had been born". [Linked Image] Further, you don't have the right to change the order which the inspired John wrote in this text. The apostle in v. 12 gives us what takes place from the perspective of man; i.e., he receives or believes on Christ and consequently, God bestows the right/authority to become a son of God. There are two important things we must not slight: 1) The consequence of believing/receiving is that God bestows the "right or authority" to become His child. The emphasis here is upon a change of status for John; relational as opposed to physical change, (cf. Jh 8:44) although it is certainly true that those who have been adopted into the family of God will be progressively changed through sanctification. 2) The text incontrovertibly states that this right/authority is given subsequent to the believing, "But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God". So, thus far we have the order as being, a) believing/receiving, results in b) being given the right/authority to become children.

Now let's move on to v. 13 once again. I must press this matter of the grammar as it is so fundamental and cannot be obviated in the manner which you have tried to do. Verse 13 is a "relative clause" which qualifies that which is antecedent to it, v. 12. It's clearly John's intention to focus now upon the origination of the believing/receiving from the divine perspective. It is here that John cuts off all attempts to make the receiving/believing and consequent giving of right to become children of God to originate with man, which is what you are arguing for. The ones who received/believed on Christ were those who did not come by way of familial connection, e.g., heredity; e.g., "we are Abraham's seed; his children by birth", nor through any effort of the flesh, nor yet by a man's determinative choice. And it is at this place that we find the fatal blow delivered to any notion that the believing/receiving or having the right to become a child of God and more particularly to be "regenerated", aka: born again is the result of one's believing. It is self-contradictory and illogical prima facie. For immediately after this tri-negation, John says the origin of the believing/receiving was due to one having been "born of God". (cf. Jh 3:3-8) Again, verse 13 is dealing with origin and not result. And the grammar, if nothing else will not allow anything but this understanding.

Let me also quote a short section from Calvin's Commentary on the Gospel of John in support of this order which is: 1) regeneration, produces 2) faith, which results in 3) being given the right to become sons of God.

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Calvin writes:
Though he refers directly to the Jews, who gloried in the flesh, yet from this passage a general doctrine may be obtained: that our being reckoned the sons of God does not belong to our nature, and does not proceed from us, but because God begat us WILLINGLY, (James i. 18,) that is, from undeserved love. Hence it follows, first, that faith does not proceed from ourselves, but is the fruit of spiritual regeneration; for the Evangelist affirms that no man can believe, unless he be begotten of God; and therefore faith is a heavenly gift. It follows, secondly, that faith is not bare or cold knowledge, since no man can believe who has not been renewed by the Spirit of God.

And lastly, I must insist also, once again, that one must come to a right understanding of the Fall and Original Sin if one is to rightly comprehend the doctrine of salvation by grace. To go astray here will invariably lead to untold errors in other areas of the faith and end in one embracing synergism.

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Mar 22, 2004 5:10 PM

Hmm well I don't know what happened to my last post. maybe a prob with my computer so here goes again.

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But there are no texts which show that regeneration is a result of believing! Dead men can't believe. It's really simple; so simple that even a child can comprehend that.


What of the text which says that we have life through believing. if so, then we do not have life before we believe and are dead. Right?


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FYI, "who were born" in the Greek is genesthai, which is an aorist infinitive which denotes a past action, i.e., "who had been born".


This was a big booboo on your part <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> The word genesthai does not correspond with "who were born" but with "he gave the right TO BECOME children of God." "Who were born" is "egennathasan" and is passive aorist. aorist has an undefined aspect. "Who had been born" would be pluperfect, not aorist. It is interesting though, that they are given the right to be "genesthai" children of God when they believe, and that then they are egennathasan (born) of God. Both words are from gennao, to produce, beget, give birth to. so i guess it could read, "to those who received him he gave the right to be born children of God...who were born, not of man, etc"

Let's go on to the fall, but you must first explain why in both ephesians and colossians the quickening is linked to faith. in ephesians this quickening is said to be by grace (and grace is not said to be the result of the quickening but the cause of it), and this grace is said to come through faith.
also you have not explained what the being baptised into the death of Christ aspect to the quickening corresponds to. how can i accept your view when it cannot deal with so many scriptures?

ZS
Posted By: fredman

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Mar 22, 2004 5:59 PM

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Let's go on to the fall, but you must first explain why in both ephesians and colossians the quickening is linked to faith. in ephesians this quickening is said to be by grace (and grace is not said to be the result of the quickening but the cause of it), and this grace is said to come through faith.


(Fred) Actually, if you read the text (and I will remain in the NKJV), Paul qualifies the nature of faith, "and that, not of yourselves, it is a gift of God." In other words, we are given saving faith to believe; it is one part of the gracious gift of salvation, just as repentance is another part. Hence, a person can never believe savingly unless the Lord gives them the ability to believe, and I would add, any person who is given this ability will act upon it in order to fulfill the purposes of God in salvation.

Furthermore, Colossians 2:11-13 only affirms this reality, it does not contradict it as you suppose. First, the person is circumcised in heart - a circumcision that is made without hands. That is Paul's way of saying that a person is regenerated. Second, verse 13, Paul ties the work of regeneration with the work of Christ on the cross and his resurrection from the dead. In the same manner that Christ was raised from the dead, those who were his people for whom he died, will be raised spiritually. The reason individuals can be raised in newness of life is based upon the fact that they were identified with Christ because the father gave them to the son in eternity past (see John 6:37-45).

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also you have not explained what the being baptised into the death of Christ aspect to the quickening corresponds to. how can i accept your view when it cannot deal with so many scriptures?


(Fred) On the contrary, I once held your point of view, but left it because it cannot deal adequately with so many scriptures. As I learned how to actually study the Bible and apply the appropriate hermeneutical rules to the various passages on election and so forth, my position could not hold up under any reasonable scrutiny. The right understanding of scripture forced me to abandoned my traditions and embrace what is nicknamed "Calvinism."

Fred
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Mar 23, 2004 12:00 AM

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This was a big booboo on your part The word genesthai does not correspond with "who were born" but with "he gave the right TO BECOME children of God." "Who were born" is "egennathasan" and is passive aorist. aorist has an undefined aspect. "Who had been born" would be pluperfect, not aorist. It is interesting though, that they are given the right to be "genesthai" children of God when they believe, and that then they are egennathasan (born) of God. Both words are from gennao, to produce, beget, give birth to. so i guess it could read, "to those who received him he gave the right to be born children of God...who were born, not of man, etc"

An admitted rushed oversight on my part! [Linked Image] However, egennathasan is aorist indicative (passive voice), which still makes the case for the view held by all the Reformed/Calvinistic churches, because the GRAMMATICAL CONSTRUCTION demands that the relative clause modify that which is antecedent to it and thus, those who received/believed and were given the right to become children of God were antecedently "born of God". Sorry, but there is no getting around this as much as you might want it to be otherwise. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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Colossians 2:13 (ASV) "And you, being dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, you, [I say], did he make alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses;"

I fail to see where this text offers your view any support either? Paul emphasizes the "double death" in that they were dead and guilty before God due to their actual sinful life (trespasses and sins)and due to their very nature (uncircumcision of the flesh). It was in this helpless and hopeless state that God "made them alive" (Gk: suzoopoieo) "together with Christ". There is not even a hint that this "reanimation" was the result of any act on the part of the individuals themselves.

Again, the natural man has no inclination, desire nor ability to believe on Christ until he is regenerated. Men are born spiritually dead.... not sick, not mortally wounded, not terminally ill, but DEAD! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Ponder.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Mar 23, 2004 1:16 PM

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However, egennathasan is aorist indicative (passive voice), which still makes the case for the view held by all the Reformed/Calvinistic churches, because the GRAMMATICAL CONSTRUCTION demands that the relative clause modify that which is antecedent to it and thus, those who received/believed and were given the right to become children of God were antecedently "born of God".




The relative clause certainly modifies something. If it modified what was antecedent to receiving, it would be pluperfect. no offence, but can you actually read Greek unaided, because i am having a hard time believing that?

if what you were saying were true, it would read "who had been born" - pluperfect. since it uses gen gennao twice, nmeaning, I give birth to, produce, beget, it could be read this way

"to those who received him he gave the right to be born/begotten children of God...who were born/begotten not of man, etc"
You cannot get around this. the being born directly corresponds with the being made children of God, and this latter is to those who receive him.

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It was in this helpless and hopeless state that God "made them alive" (Gk: suzoopoieo) "together with Christ". There is not even a hint that this "reanimation" was the result of any act on the part of the individuals themselves.


But this very passage in Colossians, as I have pointed out many many times, shows that the quickening is through FAITH:

"In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses" Colossians 2:2.

There is first a dying by being crucified with Christ, then a resurrection into newness of life through faith.

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

if believing is required to have life, why do you deny it? this is a simple question, but you won't come to terms with it. dead means unable to have fellowship with God, or to know God. it means the spiritual part of man which contacts God is dead. when a person believes, they receive new life. you cannot get around this verse. regeneration purifies the heart, but the bible says that faith purifies the heart. you cannot dance around these scriptures at will.

"And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith."

"For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel."


"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

any philosophy which contradicts these plain scriptures must be wrong, however reasonable and good it sounds
Zion Seeker
Posted By: fredman

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Mar 23, 2004 1:55 PM

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But this very passage in Colossians, as I have pointed out many many times, shows that the quickening is through FAITH


(Fred) You are assuming that man is the one who can produce the faith on his own, unaided, when the Bible clearly states that he cannot, Ephesian 2:8,9 once again. Nothing in those passages suggests that this faith is something intrinsic to men apart from a divine work of God first. You are going to have to show us from the text that saving faith is natural to sinners. Just because these various texts point to faith as the instrument of salvation, does not conclude that it is natural to men.

Fred
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:24 PM

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You are assuming that man is the one who can produce the faith on his own, unaided, when the Bible clearly states that he cannot, Ephesian 2:8,9 once again. Nothing in those passages suggests that this faith is something intrinsic to men apart from a divine work of God first. You are going to have to show us from the text that saving faith is natural to sinners. Just because these various texts point to faith as the instrument of salvation, does not conclude that it is natural to men.


You have fallen into the mistake of assuming something that is not true. I have never claimed that faith is natural to man. On the contrary I have affirmed in a recent post that faith is the gift of God and not of man. Nevertheless, you cannot ignore other scriptures which show that receiving life is through faith.

ZionSeeker
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Mar 23, 2004 4:01 PM

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ZionSeeker caustically remarked:
The relative clause certainly modifies something. If it modified what was antecedent to receiving, it would be pluperfect. no offence, but can you actually read Greek unaided, because i am having a hard time believing that?

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/giggle.gif" alt="" /> Let me only say in regard to your ad hominem slur, that if you are asking if I need a walker to read Greek, the answer is no. Doubtless, I have forgotten more from my many years of Greek study than you have learned in your one semester study. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Let me offer you something to ponder as you learn Koine Greek:

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The Aorist for the (English) Pluperfect. The Aorist Indicative is frequently used in narrative passages of a past event which precedes another past event mentioned or implied in the context. In English it is common in such a case to indicate the real order of the events by the use of a Pluperfect for the earlier event. HA. 837; G.MT. 58; B. pp. 199f. [Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in New Testament Greek, Ernest De Witt Burton, p. 23.]

The difference between the English Pluperfect and the Greek Pluperfect:

English Pluperfect: is used to mark the fact that the event expressed by it preceded another past event indicated by the context, and this whether the earlier event is thought of as completed at the time of the later event, or only indefinitely as a simple occurrence preceding the later event.

Greek Pluperfect: is used to represent an action as standing complete, i.e., has having an existing result, at a point of past time indicated by the context. [Ibid p. 24

And just as an aside, which for me looking back I can now <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />. The book from which the quotes above were taken was part of an advanced Greek course I took at one of the seminaries I studied at. It was a requirement of the professor of that course, that this book be memorized. Thanks for making those grueling hours of memorization meaningful, albeit 25 years after the fact.

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ZionSeeker continues:
But this very passage in Colossians, as I have pointed out many many times, shows that the quickening is through FAITH:

BTW, the address of that passage is v. 12, not 2. The context of this passage is that of Paul arguing against the syncretism of the Judaisers, who taught an admixture of Christianity, Judaism and Paganism. In the immediate context, he is addressing their Judaistic imposition in that they insisted that Christians needed to be physically circumcised. But Paul argues that the circumcision which the believers at Colossae received was far superior in that it was of the heart, which was made "without hands", accomplished the putting off and casting away of their entire evil nature, in its sanctifying aspect to be progressively realized, and it signified an actual union with Christ, Himself.

The "having been raised with Him through faith" is addressing not regeneration as you suppose but the believer's identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ for their justification (burial) and sanctification (resurrection), so that all the benefits of Christ's substitutionary atonement for them was bestowed upon them the moment they believed; in the operative power of God Who raised Him from the dead).

In verse 13, Paul exalts the sovereignty of God's grace Who took them (referring to the Colossae believers) when they were pagans, people who had no interest, desire in God, indeed without the ability to do so, never mind exercise faith which results from one's predisposition, and made them alive suzoopoieo with Christ. Here, both regeneration and the life of faith which results from that regeneration are in view. For he adds, having forgiven us all our trespasses; having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he hath taken it out that way, nailing it to the cross;. Thus, there is no evidence here that regeneration follows faith, but to the contrary, regeneration produces faith which apprehends Christ and thus justification and sanctification.

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

if believing is required to have life, why do you deny it? this is a simple question, but you won't come to terms with it. dead means unable to have fellowship with God, or to know God. it means the spiritual part of man which contacts God is dead. when a person believes, they receive new life. you cannot get around this verse. regeneration purifies the heart, but the bible says that faith purifies the heart. you cannot dance around these scriptures at will.

[note the Greek, please]But these are written in order that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and in order that believing you may continue to have life in His name.

This text is NOT addressing regeneration, but that life which was already received; i.e., justification and sanctification. Exegete the text... don't eisogete it. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/evilgrin.gif" alt="" />

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another text you quote:
"And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith."

Peter likewise is speaking of the "purification of the heart", which is justification. There is not even a hint here that he was referring to the Gentile's regeneration.

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And you conclude with:
any philosophy which contradicts these plain scriptures must be wrong, however reasonable and good it sounds

Agreed! And this is especially true when the philosophy isn't reasonable and sounds bad. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Mar 23, 2004 5:01 PM

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Let me only say in regard to your ad hominem slur, that if you are asking if I need a walker to read Greek, the answer is no. Doubtless, I have forgotten more from my many years of Greek study than you have learned in your one semester study.


Congragulations on you advanced Greek study. My comment was far from being a slur. I have had people before claim Greek when it was obvious they had no clue. I have been honest about my lack of Greek (one semester completed, grade a). You are quoting from the Greek as though you know what you are talking about...whilst making some blunders. I accept that blunders can be made, but calling gennesthai an aorist, at least i think warrants me asking about your abilities in the language without you taking it as a personal attack (ad hominem). Don't you think? so don't get worked up because i dared to ask. i accept that you are well trained in greek.

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The Aorist Indicative is frequently used in narrative passages of a past event which precedes another past event mentioned or implied in the context.


You would call this a narrative passage?

You wrote
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FYI, "who were born" in the Greek is genesthai, which is an aorist infinitive which denotes a past action, i.e., "who had been born".


We understand that you wrote the wrong Greek word, but here you say that the aorist, which by definition is without aspect, has a pluperfect aspect of "had been born".

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First, it may be used to describe an action or event in its entirety. This use of the tense, since it is by far the most frequent, may be called by preeminence the Indefinite Aorist. In the Indicative it may be called the Historical Aorist. The Aorist of any verb may be used in this sense; thus eivpei/n, to say; diakon/hsai, to serve.

The Aorist for the Perfect and the Aorist for the Pluperfect are, as explained below (52), not distinct functions of the Aorist, but merely special cases of the Historical, Inceptive, or Resultative Aorist.

Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in New Testament Greek, Ernest De Witt Burton,


And especially

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The Historical Aorist. The Aorist Indicative is most frequently used to express a past event viewed in its entirety, simply as an event or a single fact. It has no reference to the progress of the event, or to ANY EXISTING RESULT OF IT.


and again

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Instances of the Greek Aorist for the English Pluperfect arise when a past event which is conceived of simply as an event without reference to existing result is mentioned out of its chronological order, or is expressed in a subordinate clauses The Greek employs the Aorist, leaving the context to suggest the order; the English usually suggests the order by the use of a Pluperfect.


I cannot see how this applies here at all. The double use of the word gennao ties the second use, "who were BORN," to the first, "to them who received him he gave the right to BE BORN children of God."

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A Pluperfect is strictly required only when the precedence in time is somewhat prominent. The Revisers of 1881 have used the Pluperfect sparingly in such cases. It might better have been used also in Matt. 9:25; Mark 8:14; John 12:18 (had heard).



The rest I will address when I have further time.
Zion Seeker
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:01 PM

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The "having been raised with Him through faith" is addressing not regeneration as you suppose but the believer's identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ for their justification (burial) and sanctification (resurrection), so that all the benefits of Christ's substitutionary atonement for them was bestowed upon them the moment they believed; in the operative power of God Who raised Him from the dead).


Earlier, when dealing with another passage, you supposed the same thing:
"The word in the Greek for "made alive" is suzoopoieo; i.e., to bring to life conjointly with. The reference is unmistakable. As Christ was raised from the dead in which He suffered for punishment of sins, vicariously and substitutionally, likewise did God raise us up from the dead, through our own trespasses and sins. This is regeneration. In verse 6, Paul uses a similar analogy when he says that we are "raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus", referring to the life lived after that resurrection both actually and positionally."


So being crucified with Christ and being risen with him refers to regeneration in Ephesians and Romans but sanctification in Colossians? I cannot accept this. Besides, Ephesians says, when referring to what you have acknweldged to be regeneration, "for by grace are ye saved, through faith." This raising up, this quickening, which God did, is by grace, through faith. This is the same dying with Christ and being raised again "conjointly" with him as in Colossians. I cannot scholastically make a seperation to fit my own views, hacking apart the scriptures more than any dispensationalist would even dare in the process. We are risen with Christ, and this is through faith. Whether in Ephesians or Colossians we are raised into newness of life through faith. So do you suppose that we need to be raised from the dead a second time, this time through faith, though we were already risen by grace? sorry, but I don't buy that. it is the result of wanting to read something into the text, here one way and there another

ZionSeeker
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Mar 23, 2004 9:37 PM

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ZionSeeker confusedly said:
Besides, Ephesians says, when referring to what you have acknweldged to be regeneration, "for by grace are ye saved, through faith." This raising up, this quickening, which God did, is by grace, through faith.

Sorry, but I have to accept the CONTEXT of each passage and not err in using a "psycho statistical mean" hermeneutic. The phrase ("for by grace are ye saved") means what it says, i.e., salvation is by grace, whether or not it is referring narrowly to regeneration, or to the faith which results from it. Perhaps you are having difficult comprehending these things which the Protestant churches everywhere which came out of the Protestant Reformation have understood, believed and taught for centuries, because you have only had one semester of hermeneutics too? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Mar 24, 2004 3:44 AM

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Sorry, but I have to accept the CONTEXT of each passage and not err in using a "psycho statistical mean" hermeneutic.


What you mean is, you want to be free to interpret the believers death and resurrection with Christ as regeneration when you think it will aid your argument...
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The reference is unmistakable. As Christ was raised from the dead in which He suffered for punishment of sins, vicariously and substitutionally, likewise did God raise us up from the dead, through our own trespasses and sins. This is regeneration.


and not when you are faced with the fact that this resurrection into new life is through faith...

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The "having been raised with Him through faith" is addressing not regeneration as you suppose but the believer's identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ for their justification (burial) and sanctification (resurrection),


And then, as if looking in the mirror, you write "ZionSeeker Confusedly wrote". lol!


You accuse me of ad hominem, thus judging yourself that ad hominems are not something we should be doing, and then what do you do? the very same thing you accuse others of...
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Perhaps you are having difficult comprehending these things which the Protestant churches everywhere which came out of the Protestant Reformation have understood, believed and taught for centuries, because you have only had one semester of hermeneutics too?


In this prideful statement, you reveal what is your true authority. Underneath all the talk about the "Bible," your true authority is revealed to be the Reformers. To these everybody must bow down and give place, even if it means we are born again, then believe, then as a result of believing are born again again children of God. Faced with the impossibility of justifying such nonsense you are forced to appeal to your true authority. I am disappointed in you, I thought you were better than this. But now I know. The anabaptists were the true people of God at the Reformation, and they would have none of such nonsense as two being born agains, two quickennings to suit preconceived ideas depending in what context your philosophy has to be defended, two accounts of having your heart purified, uhhh it goes on and on, this double vision.

All for what? so you can maintain a theological system which enables you to feel superior and more learned than everybody else. What a tragedy and a waste. Jesus said the day will come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and hearing will live. I suppose the Calvinists of the day were saying "hang on, you can't hear if you are dead, you have to be made alive first."

Well, obviously you have appealled to Calvin, so to Calvin I leave you.

Zion Seeker
Posted By: grace2U

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Mar 24, 2004 6:50 AM

Acts 16:14. 'Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshipped God (ie. a Gentile follower of Judaism). The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by God.'

She did not open her own heart to heed Paul; nor did Paul open her heart by his preaching. It was Almighty God who sovereignly used Paul's preaching to open her heart. For 'Salvation belongs to our God.'

I think some of the problems that have arisen on this thread stem from the 'instantaneous' view of regeneration taught by that otherwise great and good man, John Murray. If one takes the view, as I do, that regeneration starts with God's particular call, which leads to awakening and conviction which precede repentance and faith, which itself precedes Justification, which is the final stage of regeneration, then many of the problems aired on this thread are solved.

This was the view of most of the Puritans. A helpful book to read on the subject is, 'Physicians of souls' by Peter Masters (Wakeman Books ISBN 1-870885-34-5).

Blessings,
Steve
Posted By: fredman

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Mar 24, 2004 11:31 AM

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You have fallen into the mistake of assuming something that is not true. I have never claimed that faith is natural to man. On the contrary I have affirmed in a recent post that faith is the gift of God and not of man.


(Fred) Regardless of how you may wish to qualify your system of theology, either by affirming some aspect of prevenient grace or a neo-Lutheran view of saving faith, the issue comes back to the fact that you insist that faith begets regeneration, or a man being born spiritually. The various texts of scripture are quite clear that it is God who first regenerates the person, including the imparting of a saving faith, then the person believes the gospel. I would further add that God's regeneration always fulfills his purposes. In other words, God doesn't give every single person in the world the gift of faith by the means of a prevenient grace, and then it is left to all of those single individual persons to act upon that gift with their own choice to believe. In all insistence of regeneration taking place in the book of Acts, as well as in all discourses of regeneration by the apostles in their epistles, regeneration always, with out fail, imparts saving faith to a person and each and every person comes to salvation. This fact you cannot escape.

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Nevertheless, you cannot ignore other scriptures which show that receiving life is through faith.


(Fred) Neither I, Pilgrim, nor anyone else who has interacted with you, have ignored those scriptures. We have tried to show you, particularly Pilgrim who has done an admirable job, that you are mistaken that a person first has faith, then is born again. The language of the Bible, both in the original and any reputable translation, has saving faith dependent upon God first regenerating the person or bringing him to spiritual birth, THEN the person believes in faith.

Fred
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:38 AM

Hi, I have a brother in Devon. Never been - nearest I got that way was Bournemouth. Nice part of the world.

Anyway, I really don't think having an extended view of regeneration can help with this one.

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I think some of the problems that have arisen on this thread stem from the 'instantaneous' view of regeneration taught by that otherwise great and good man, John Murray. If one takes the view, as I do, that regeneration starts with God's particular call, which leads to awakening and conviction which precede repentance and faith, which itself precedes Justification, which is the final stage of regeneration, then many of the problems aired on this thread are solved.


Even with this view, you still have to accept that new life is given at a point in time. The question is, Does this new life cause faith, or does faith cause new life? The Bible says that we have life through believing in the name of the Son of God, so I am going to go with that!
ZionSeeker
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:09 PM

Hi Zion Seeker:

You made the statement that:

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The Bible says that we have life through believing in the name of the Son of God, so I am going to go with that!


Acutally, that is not what the Bible says <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

The Bible says, and I respectfully suggest you read this very carefully and very slowly because each word was chosen by God himself:

"by Grace"

"through Faith"

In the more full context the phrases are:

"by Grace"........ are you saved......"through faith".......it is the gift of God

Grace is the agent, the generating, causal power, faith is the resulting means or instrument.

That is, by the impartation of the grace of God, by His Spirit, the gift of new life, spiritual life, just as, to use the analogy of human life, the seed is implanted and a new life is created or begun at conception and begins to function as a new life. That in my view is the point of regeneration, when the Spirit of God makes a person alive to the things of God.

This person has not yet expressed that faith but is now capable of it and indeed has it because he or she is now alive, spiritual things have become real and important for the first time, in a truly spiritual and divinly given sense because that person is spiritually alive for the first time. The person "believes" and therefore has faith, but it is due to grace and grace alone, "the gift of God" that this is so.

The phrase "through faith" is the result of that spiritual life given by the Grace of God in the work of the Spirit of God in Regeneration. A spiritually dead person cannot, and of course will not, believe or possess faith any more than a still born child cries out for air when it leaves the birth canal. There is a wealth of instruction in natural processes and I believe that is why the Lord continually used them to teach. They can, of course, be abused like any figure of speech, but rightly used and understood they are wonderful illustrators of spiritual realities.

I know it has been recommneded here already, but I recommend your reading the excellant article by J. Beeke which can be found here:

http://www.the-highway.com/articleJan98.html

Dr. Beeke makes a clear distinction between the difference in faith in faith, and faith in Christ, and that it seems to me, may be a point of confusion for you. But be that as it may, the article is truly excellant in terms of explaining Justification by Faith alone and what the Reformers meant by that term.

May it be blessed to your spiritual understanding.

As an aside, you may find S. Nichols work, "An Absolute Sort of Certainty" helpful also as he discusses the difference, as understood by Jonathan Edwards and others such as Calvin, between mere notional, or natural, faith or understanding, temporary faith the scriptures call it, and true faith or spiritual understanding.

In Him,

Gerry
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:23 PM

Hi, you covered alot of ground in that one reply!!!!

I wrote,
"The Bible says that we have life through believing in the name of the Son of God, so I am going to go with that!"
In response,

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Acutally, that is not what the Bible says


But there are many scriptures which say this. ie

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



We are to come to the Lord that we might have life, not vice versa. This is the gospel:

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"And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." John 5:40


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by Grace"........ are you saved......"through faith".......it is the gift of God
Grace is the agent, the generating, causal power, faith is the resulting means or instrument.


I can't see why it has to be the resulting instrument. It is the instrument through which salvation comes. It is by grace, through faith, but not "by grace, resulting in faith." The grace which saves in this passage of Ephesians, is I believe, a reference to the quickening - "ye have he quickenned who were dead in trespasses and sins." Would you agree?

The article is mainly concerned with imputation - and I don't hold to the reformed view. But i will look into the word "eis" and ask a friend about it who is an expert in ancient Greek (masters degree in Greek and Greek philosophy). I also consulted his knowledge after reading Pilgrim's claims from the Greek, and my thoughts were very much confirmed.
ZionSeeker
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:56 PM

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The grace which saves in this passage of Ephesians, is I believe, a reference to the quickening - "ye have he quickenned who were dead in trespasses and sins." Would you agree?


Yes, exactly, quickening is an old english term which means to "be made alive". In other words, they were, as the passage says, "dead", spiritually dead, and thus unable to believe, "in their tresspasses and sins". It is really very simple. A dead person can't believe, he must be made alive by grace. He then believes through faith.

Here is the essence of it all. Your view, unfortunately, subtly denies God some of the glory in the process, but it is all His. ALL His.

God does all of the essential things, is the first cause of all things, we believe because He makes us able to believe, by giving us spiritual life. He then gives us faith to believe. We do the believing, but He gets the Glory, ALL of it, because He alone deserves it.

We are "nothing" without Him. This humbles our pride, which is exactly what we need, we need to see that we are nothing. This is really what all of the theological debate is about. Is man something, or "nothing" without God? This is why the Doctrine of the Total Depravity is so important, without a right understanding of it we cannot, notice I said cannot, as in are unable to, understand it.

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But there are many scriptures which say this. ie


Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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


It is true that there are scriptures which say that belief is essential as you have rightly pointed out. No one is arguing that point. What we are arguing is order of belief, and more importantly cause of belief.

The hermeutical error your are making in pointing out the above passage in contradistinction to the Ephesians passage is dealt with by strict adherence to what is called the Analogy of the Faith. That hermeneutical principle states that no doctrine, or Scriptural Truth, is rightly understood until ALL the pertinant passages with which it concerns itself are considered and integrated into the expression, or statement, of that doctrine.

Scripture interprets scripture, we must put it all together to arrive at truth. Psalm 119:160 says it as explicitly as it is stated in the Bible: "The sum of Thy Word is truth". Another version has it "The entirety of thy Word is truth". Not part, not some, but all of it together is Truth. Failure to observe and hold to this is the source of nearly all error and heresy, which is why, when Paul said fair well, in one of the most moving scenes in the whole Bible, to the Ephesian Edlers, his claim to the integrity of his ministry, and his freedom "from the blood of all men" was that he "did not shrink back from declaring the whole counsel of the Word of God" to them. Acts 20:27.

Thus, you will never rightly understand Jn 20:31 unless you do so in the light of the Ephesians passage, and all the other passages in the Bible that make God the soul source of mans belief, one of which is "Ps 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power". Who is made willing here, "thy people" or all people, and whose power is responsible, man's or God's? How is that power exercised? In God giving spiritual life, by Grace, and faith, "it is the gift of God".

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I don't hold to the reformed view


The view you hold to is unimportant, ulitmately, because the statement implies that you are depending on men rather than on God, and God's power, to teach you these things, as does the following statement:

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But i will look into the word "eis" and ask a friend about it who is an expert in ancient Greek (masters degree in Greek and Greek philosophy). I also consulted his knowledge after reading Pilgrim's claims from the Greek, and my thoughts were very much confirmed.


These statements are very telling, for they, taken together with the other things you have said, suggest to me that you are depending, at least in part, on the opinions of men to save you. Men's words are indeed essential, for God has appointed the "foolishness of preaching" and uses means in salvation. But ultimately each man who is saved conforms to the scripture, to Christs words in Jn 6:45 "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."

Christ is making the point blank statement here in the midst of all who "heard" that only some really "heard". The context here is most instructive and I again gently encourage you to read and consider these things carefully.

John Bunyan's pastor, Mr. Gifford, sternly warned him in this regard, "Let no man tell you that you are a child of God". He was telling Bunyan to settle for nothing less that what the scriptures speak of in many places, such as in Romans 8:16 "The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God".

In my own case, I believed the doctrines of grace before I had any idea what they were or could articulate them at all, because God had taught me these things. When, years later in some cases, I read of them I instantly knew them to be His truth. I don't mean to imply that God works this way, or in this order with everyone for He is sovereign in all things. I only am saying that unless He teaches you by His Spirit you do not yet have a right understanding of spiritual things.

Try reading the Nichols book and see if that doesn't help, because as I said, until you understand the difference between natural understanding and belief and spiritual understanding and belief, these things will not make sense to you. Rather, they will just be intellectual exercises that will ultimately fail you in the "great day".

In Him,

Gerry
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 6:13 PM

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1 Corinthians 2 v.10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. [3]

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.


How does the natural man become a spiritual man?
How can a natural man have faith to believe since spiritual things are folly to him?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 6:56 PM

Susan:

Thanks for posting that scripture Susan.

It is one of the key passages that the Lord used (I had no idea at the time because of false teaching that the Lord was doing it) to cause me to seek a spiritual understanding. I read it and it seemed "sweet" to me, wonderful somehow, "taste and see that the Lord is good" and I wanted to know what it really meant.

I was taking a seminary course at the time and had to memorize scriptures as a part of the course requirements so it is one of the ones I chose. I would wonder what it meant and turn it over in my mind again and again. Eventually He showed me what it meant, or a little of what it meant, and it was indeed worth the wait.

In Him,

Gerry
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:15 PM

Since "regeneration" is just another word for "new birth" does it not make sense that one is born again after one has died with Christ and is justified? (Rom 6:3-5).

Christ died for our justification and rose again to life. And we are justified by sharing in his death that we might walk a new life. Yet you seem to be teaching that we are raised to life (new birth/regeneration) before we die with Christ and are justified by his blood.

Paul seems to emphatically say we follow the same pattern as Christ.... death... resurrection... we die with him and are justified.... we are raised with him new creations.

But you put the cart before the horse.

Passion Player
Posted By: gotribe

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:19 PM

No, it does not make sense. Death came as a result of the fall and we are all dead in our sins and our trespasses. We don't become dead in Christ and then reborn when justified.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:26 PM

I am not sure what sense to make out of your comments.

The Bible indicates we are to die with Christ and then God will raise us up with him to walk a new life (Rom 6:3-5).

How can a dead man die? Is Paul talking nonsense? Perhaps a review of Ephesians 2:1-3 and what "dead" really means there would be helpful.

We DIE with Christ and his cross in our conversion events. There is no way you can get around that except to nullify the Scriptures. Therefore, it seems that the next thing that should happen is that we are raised up new creations with him, that is, new birth, regeneration.

PP
Posted By: fredman

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:30 PM

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Since "regeneration" is just another word for "new birth" does it not make sense that one is born again after one has died with Christ and is justified? (Rom 6:3-5).

Christ died for our justification and rose again to life. And we are justified by sharing in his death that we might walk a new life. Yet you seem to be teaching that we are raised to life (new birth/regeneration) before we die with Christ.


(fred) The Bible would separate the work of justification done on the cross, from the actual work of the spirit's regeneration. In other words, Christ's death was a one time event that redeemed his people. Regeneration, and the whole of salvation, is the application of that justifying work. We died with Christ on the cross judicially, legally; however, the individual application of that finished work is applied by God when one is brought to new birth by the work of the Holy Spirit. In fact, this is Paul's argumentation in Romans. Note that all of justification is said to be accomplished in Romans 3. This work is further developed in Chapters 4 and 5. Romans 6 begins the subject of sanctification. We are identified with Christ because we have been baptized into Him, and as a result, Paul argues that we are not to continue in sin. We have been set free from the bondage of sin (its hold and tyranny upon the individual). Before, identified with the old man, Adam, we had no ability to do anything, including believing savingly, to please the Lord. Yet, due to Christ's work, God can bring those people for whom Christ died to salvation and to a position of newness of life in the new man Christ, by the act of regeneration.

Fred
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:34 PM

Fred, is that your way of saying that no one dies with Christ in their conversion events?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:57 PM

Hi again,
I wrote: "The grace which saves in this passage of Ephesians, is I believe, a reference to the quickening - "ye have he quickenned who were dead in trespasses and sins." Would you agree?"
You replied:

Quote

Yes, exactly, quickening is an old english term which means to "be made alive". In other words, they were, as the passage says, "dead", spiritually dead, and thus unable to believe, "in their tresspasses and sins". It is really very simple. A dead person can't believe, he must be made alive by grace. He then believes through faith.


Right, the passage says they were dead. But it does not say that therefore they were unable to believe. It says dead in trespasses and sins. I believe that this means that without Christ man cannot experience the life of God through Jesus Christ, or know sins forgiven. I do not believe that this means that the person cannot believe. The passage never actually says that a dead man cannot believe, for they are dead in trespasses and sins. It doesn't say that they are incapable of believing the gospel. Faith does not come from man's dead sinful nature. It comes from God, it is a gift of God, and to be saved one has to believe from the heart the message of the gospel. We must "come to Christ that we might have life."

Let me look at your statement again. Basically it says "man is dead, therefore he cannot believe." But look at a biblical picture:

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"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself. John 5:24-26


Using your reasoning with the verses in Ephesians, the dead CANNOT hear the voice of the Son of God UNTIL they are first given life. This is the direct opposite of what Jesus said here in this passage.

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A dead person can't believe, he must be made alive by grace. He then believes through faith.


I don't understand everything about the process of becoming a new creature, but this I know, "an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live."

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This humbles our pride, which is exactly what we need, we need to see that we are nothing.


No offence against you personally (quite the contrary) humility is not a characteristic I would use to describe most Calvinists!!!! I believe humility does indeed come from knowing our utter need of Christ and his power. I think "calvinism" generally speaking, because it is a sytem of logic, encourages people who want to glory in their intelligence and learning. That is not of God. The apostle said that the minister of God is to "hold fast the form of sound words," and not teach words of "man's wisdom," or of man's philosophy, but to teach wholesome words. Humility is obeying this. Words carry concepts, and I believe in using the form of sound words. "Total depravity" for example, even if it could be argued that this is a biblical doctrine, is nonetheless not part of the pattern of sound speech delivered as part of the faith once and for all to the saints. But this is an aside.


I quoted:

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


Your response:

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It is true that there are scriptures which say that belief is essential as you have rightly pointed out. No one is arguing that point. What we are arguing is order of belief, and more importantly cause of belief.



But don't you see? this verse is not merely speaking of the necessity of faith, it is actually saying that life come FROM believing. Therefore it speaks directly of a causative relationship between faith and life.

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The hermeutical error your are making in pointing out the above passage in contradistinction to the Ephesians passage is dealt with by strict adherence to what is called the Analogy of the Faith. That hermeneutical principle states that no doctrine, or Scriptural Truth, is rightly understood until ALL the pertinant passages with which it concerns itself are considered and integrated into the expression, or statement, of that doctrine.


I disagree. Remember, Ephesians never said that "dead in trespasses and sins" means unable to believe. Since this verse says point blank that life is a result of believing, then you need to include this verse in your understanding. One verse cannot deny another.

You have agreed that the quickening - the being made alive in Christ - is speaking of regeneration. It says that God made us alive with Christ, and raised us up with him to sit in heavenly places. Colossians chapter 2 uses similar language, and this simply cannot be ignored. It says we were buried with Christ, and raised with him:

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"In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses" Colossians 2:12.


There is a twofold process - dying with Christ and being risen with him (quickened) through faith. This is, I believe, regeneration.

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If God's grace is dispensed on the basis of one's antecedent faith, then it is no longer of grace but of works."


If we look at Ephesians 2 again, Paul says that it is not of works, it is of faith. Yet you are saying that if it is of faith it is of works, as though faith were a work. You must understand, faith causing new life is not of works, because faith is not a work of man or a work of the flesh. it is a gift of God, so that no one can boast. God saves by grace, and he does that THROUGH faith. Faith is not the basis of grace, as you also noted - it is the cause of new life which is given by grace through faith:

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But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, [...] For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.


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The view you hold to is unimportant, ulitmately, because the statement implies that you are depending on men rather than on God, and God's power, to teach you these things, as does the following statement:
But i will look into the word "eis" and ask a friend about it who is an expert in ancient Greek (masters degree in Greek and Greek philosophy). I also consulted his knowledge after reading Pilgrim's claims from the Greek, and my thoughts were very much confirmed.


I totally believe in the need to ask God to open our eyes, and to pray for the spirit of wisdom and revelation, which I do, and to remain humble and teachable. I do not believe that reading learned books or trusting in the Protestant Reformers or going to seminary, or even knowing Greek and Hebrew, is a substitute for revelation. At the most some of these things can help facilitate greater understanding. The article refered to the Greek. I don't have an expert knowledge of Greek, and so I cannot evaluate his argument. I am working on trying to get an expert knowledge of Greek, but until then the best I can do is ask other, learned, men, concerning what the article said about the use of the Greek word eis. This should not imply that I am looking to others for understanding, only that I am forced to defer somewhat when I do not have the technical knowledge to evaluate something myself.

Quote

John Bunyan's pastor, Mr. Gifford, sternly warned him in this regard, "Let no man tell you that you are a child of God". He was telling Bunyan to settle for nothing less that what the scriptures speak of in many places, such as in Romans 8:16 "The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God".


I thoroughly agree with the need of an experimental knowledge of the Holy Spirit. I can testify to this experience also. I wonder if you are Strict Baptist, since most Calvinists do not speek on these things as you do?

Lastly, faith is from the heart. It is not from the natural man - nor is it from the spiritual man, but from the heart, resulting in life. Our hearts are purified by faith. This purification is the same as the washing of regeneration. There are not two cleansings of the heart - one before and one right after or at the point of faith. Faith from the heart is a powerful doctrine (as John Wesley and others have discovered). I cannot swap it for a belief which takes away the life chaning and new life bringing power of faith as taught in the scriptures, which say that through believing we have life.
Regards

Zion Seeker
Posted By: grace2U

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 9:57 PM

Zionseeker,
Where you are going wrong is that you are seeing regeneration as identical to justification. Very briefly (I don't have much time):-
The Lord opens our heart,
We repent and trust in Christ,
We are justified by God.

We are not 'saved' until we are justified, hence all those texts you have found saying that salvation is by faith. We all know that. But no one believes for salvation until the Lord gives him life (John 6:44).

I do assure you that dead men can't believe. Listen; Lazarus is dead, right? Now it's no use you or me telling Lazarus how bad it is to be dead, and the serious consequences that flow from being dead. Nor is it any use telling him how much better it would be if he were alive. He can't hear us because he's dead. And actually, it's even worse than that; Lazarus, quite frankly, is a stinker (John 11:39, KJV). He's not just dead, he's dead in trespasses and sins; he has no ability in himself, nor any right to come to life.

What hope, then, for Lazarus? None in himself, he's dead; and none in us, we can't bring him to life. But when the Son of God calls, 'Lazarus, come forth!', then, and only then will he come to life (cf. John 5:21), then he will believe on Christ and be saved.

You can see this very clearly in Acts 16. First Lydia has her heart opened by the Lord, then she believes. The same is true of the Philippian jailor. First the Lord opens his heart giving him spiritual life, then, 'He fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.....and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"'(Acts 16:29-30). Do you see? Although he was under conviction, he wasn't yet saved, so Paul says, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.' He did and he was (v34). First regeneration, then repentance and faith; the justification and eternal life.

I hope that's helpful; sorry it's a bit short.

Every blessing,
Steve
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:12 PM

Quote

Christ died for our justification and rose again to life. And we are justified by sharing in his death that we might walk a new life. Yet you seem to be teaching that we are raised to life (new birth/regeneration) before we die with Christ and are justified by his blood.


Yes precisely! It is simple enough that a child could understand, but so profound that it stumbles the wisest of minds.

ZionSeeker
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:24 PM

Well Jesus did teach that we are to become like little children.

The gospel was for the lowly and humble common folk, not the educate philospher. It is not hard to understand. But hat puts philosophers out of work and without a pride pedastel so they need to complicate matters.

Paul warned about this kind of thing often. And today there are those who actually believe their theology is "spiritual truth" when theology is simply philosphy about God, a quite fleshly thing. The spiritual man understands this.

PP
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:36 PM

Hi Zionseeker:

You said:

Quote
The passage never actually says that a dead man cannot believe,


Right, the passage never actually says that, but your response illustrates it beautifully <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />.

Quote
I wonder if you are Strict Baptist, since most Calvinists do not speek on these things as you do?


No, I am not Strict Baptist, and neither was Bunyan, or Owen his good friend who encouraged him to publish the "Pilgrims Progress" when he didn't know if he should. Owen, Calvin, Edwards, T. Goodwin, M'Cheyne, Whitefield, etc. all emphasized the witness of the Spirit and a spiritual knowledge of the things of God, in conjunction with correct doctrine, the Word always being the guide and structure for that experience. Spiritual knowledge never contradicts but rather enhances the understanding and is in full accord and harmony with the Word and correct doctrine. It imparts a relish for it and an insight into it that is not conveyed by the natural understanding.

But I agree these things are not emphasized to the extent they were at one time. That is why I was suggesting that you look at Nichols book on Edwards theology of the Holy Spirit. Joel Beeke delves into these issues also in his work "The Quest for Full Assurance".

Since you express an experiential knowledge of these things and yet see the scriptures entirely different on these matters than I, other than to pray for you and to wish you my kindest regards and extend my love and best wishes to you, I can offer you nothing more.

May the Lord Bless you richly and draw you to Him is my prayer.

In Him,

Gerry
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:38 PM

Quote

Where you are going wrong is that you are seeing regeneration as identical to justification.


Hi again. I haven't made an issue of that. Justification is a part of regeneration. What I am making an issue of is that the Bible says that in believing we have life:

Quote

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


It is just that simple! According to the Bible, we believe, we have life. Those that are dead hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear live.

Quote

The Lord opens our heart,
We repent and trust in Christ,
We are justified by God.


I agree. But when do we receive the life? What does it mean to die with Christ, be baptised into his death, and to be raised up with him into newness of life? What is the quickening which makes us alive from being dead in trespasses and sins if not the being raised with Christ through faith in the operation of God?

Being dead means not having life in your spirit. it means not knowing or being able to know God and his Son Jesus Christ.

Quote

But no one believes for salvation until the Lord gives him life (John 6:44).


The verse does not say that. No verse says that. It says that all that the Father gives to Christ will be drawn to Christ. And then they will come to Him. And what happens to somebody when the COME to Christ the Lord???? What happens if they don't come to Him?

Quote

"And ye will not come to me, that YE MAY HAVE LIFE." John 5:40


So the drawing cannot be life-giving regeneration, because the life is given when a person has come. Remember, we must look at all the scriptures!


You are equating the Lord opening someone's heart to hear the gospel, with regeneration. That cannot be, since the scripture, as well as saying that life comes with believing, also says that regeneration comes by the gospel, the word of God. Regeneration is not given to open somebody's heart to the gospel, but comes as a result of the gospel itself. We "purify our souls in obeying the truth, being born again by the Word of God." The heart is not purified until we believe, as the apostle Peter, who knew Jesus and was called of him to be an apostle, testifies in the Book of Acts.

You are reading into the words "whose heart the Lord openened," a word that is not there - namely regeneration. Cornelius was a man who was devout, and feared God, but he did not receive the Holy Spirit until the Word was preached. His good deeds came up before God as a memorial, and God sent him an angel to tell him to go to somebody who could tell him the words whereby he could be saved. What does it mean to be saved? Ephesians 2:5 - to be made alive!
Hope this helps
Regards
ZionSeeker
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:42 AM

I am not really an avid reader of reformed literature anymore (I read the occasional John Metcalfe book if that counts). I remember though, when I did hold to the five points, reading a book called “Baptism With the Spirit: The Teaching of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, I remember a chapter or two in that book talked about the Puritan and later Calvinist view of the Witness of the Spirit, and I found it very interesting. I didn’t realise that there were still Calvinists out there who held to that view.

Regards
ZionSeeker
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:23 AM

Quote
I remember though, when I did hold to the five points, reading a book called “Baptism With the Spirit: The Teaching of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones,


Martyn Lloyd-Jones was saddened by the drift of Calvinist thinking and teaching away from a balance of emphasis on both the objective and subjective aspects of true faith to a dry a Calvinism. Unfortunately, in his zeal to revive Calvinistic thinking, he embraced the concept of a non cessationist church, at least to some degree as far as I can tell, and thus put a damper on the true revival that he so longed for.

I see no non cessationist teaching in the works of the men I have mentioned, like Owen, Calvin and Edwards, however. In fact, they stressed that the miracle of God's love shed abroad in the heart of a true believer, a spiritual phenomena, was far more weighty and valuable, eternally so, than the mere miraculous manipulation of physical things, which was always and only, even when miraculous gifts did exist, designed to direct the heart and mind to the spiritual beauty of Christs Holiness.

I do not read reformed literature because it is Reformed, in fact I avoid much of it that claims to be, because it is dry and dead. Worship of the intellect is simply another form of worship of the creature, IMO. That is why I enjoy men such as Edwards and Owen and those that understand them, because though they had great intellects they clearly saw through the dangers of both intellectual idolatry, and emotional idolatry.

In Him,

Gerry
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 4:30 AM

Quote

Martyn Lloyd-Jones was saddened by the drift of Calvinist thinking and teaching away from a balance of emphasis on both the objective and subjective aspects of true faith to a dry a Calvinism. Unfortunately, in his zeal to revive Calvinistic thinking, he embraced the concept of a non cessationist church, at least to some degree as far as I can tell, and thus put a damper on the true revival that he so longed for.


I don't understand the cessationism. The bible says, "these signs shall follow them that believe." I believe it. I put it down to unbelief. People just don't have a big enough view of God. I don't see any scriptural reasons. But by and large calvinism is cessationist, except for some of the early scots presbyterians and some of the early particular baptists.

ZS
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:06 PM

Dear zs:

You said:
Quote
I don't understand the cessationism.


There is more truth in that statement I am afraid than you realize.

I too had to come to a point where I understood that the Bible does not teach the continuance of the miraculous gifts, as gifts given to men, to be signs of God given authority to speak and act for God with the same authority that the Apostles and prophets had. So I appreciate your position. But you have not yet thought it through, nor seen the unfortunate, indeed tragic and dangerous implicatiions of your beliefs.

I believe in the miraculous. I have seen it with my own eyes. I am a scientist and I know how to evaluate objectively physical phenomena in the sense of distinguishing between "what appears to be" and "what is".

I believe that God still does miraculous things, and more often than many suspect, but He gives NO MAN any longer, in my opinion, the ability to do so, and for very good and infinately wise reasons.

Quote
The bible says, "these signs shall follow them that believe." I believe it. I put it down to unbelief.


The Bible says a lot of things that may be, and are, misinterpreted to the great grief and shame and distruction of many. You have already demonstrated to my satisfaction your inability to properly interpret scripture according to sound hermeneutics, good logic, and simple wisdom, so your statement does not surprise me.

You will no where find the word Trinity in the pages of Holy writ, but it is every where taught there, as are many other things of which I fear you have, in your simplicity, little knowledge or understanding.

I suggest you go and learn what this means:

"To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion." Proverbs 1:4

before you do yourself and others a great deal of harm.

Respectfully,

In Him,

Gerry
Posted By: Ruth

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:59 PM

Dear Gerry,

I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful responses to ZS and Passionplayer! What a nice way you have dealt with them, understanding in the face of misunderstanding, reasonable in the face of unreasonableness,
and kindness in the face of insult. I fear that you are wasting your time in this conversation, but that your answers and prayers are of use to many others reading this thread! applause

In His Hands,

Ruth
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 2:15 PM

Zion Seeker,
Quote
I am not really an avid reader of reformed literature anymore (I read the occasional John Metcalfe book if that counts).

It is a shame that you have left the "Old Paths" and those men who have faithfully handled the Word of truth and that you are now following man-centered teachings instead.
You might be interested in reading this about John Metcalfe.
He is a false teacher BTW.
Thread here
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 4:53 PM

Quote

I too had to come to a point where I understood that the Bible does not teach the continuance of the miraculous gifts, as gifts given to men, to be signs of God given authority to speak and act for God with the same authority that the Apostles and prophets had. So I appreciate your position. But you have not yet thought it through, nor seen the unfortunate, indeed tragic and dangerous implicatiions of your beliefs.


I am all too familiar with your view. This is certainly the BEST cessationist argument. But it is just that - an argument. Paul implies at least twice that the gifts will be here until the second coming...and i must go with that. you seem to expect me to just accept things on the basis of your opinion.

Quote

You have already demonstrated to my satisfaction your inability to properly interpret scripture according to sound hermeneutics, good logic, and simple wisdom, so your statement does not surprise me.



What you mean is, I won't accept what you read into Ephesians, and I believe that life comes from believing just as the gospel of John says. I fear that you are really convinced of what you say. I marvel, and am sad at your hardness of heart at the same time, that you can dismiss whole scriptures because they don't fit your system. Am I wrong to believe that life comes from believing as John actually said? Or that the quickening is through faith as Paul said? No, it is you who cannot handle good logic. I note that you are not able to give an example. Sound logic means that you believe that life comes from believing, not deny it on the basis of something you have read into another verse!

The rest of your post, like the ones before, was full of subjective superior sounding claims. I suppose the early Scots Presbyterians were into dangerous and tragic beliefs too? But if the bible isn't good enough for you, appealing to the covenanters is pointless too.
ZS
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 5:09 PM

Quote

It is a shame that you have left the "Old Paths" and those men who have faithfully handled the Word of truth and that you are now following man-centered teachings instead.


And what man centered teaching is that? That life comes from believing as the bible says?

Quote

You might be interested in reading this about John Metcalfe.


I am sorry you are able to call people false teachers when you have never read their books and only go by what one person said. I read him occasionally - mainly because there are problems with his teaching (he's a calvinist for example). Steve, in his criticism, got one or two points wrong, but you wouldn't be aware of that.

ZS
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 6:21 PM

Quote
ZionSeeker proudly retorts:
I am all too familiar with your view. This is certainly the BEST cessationist argument. But it is just that - an argument.

And what is it that YOU are offering if not just "an argument"? The "light cessationist" arguments are based upon the biblical record using the Grammatico-Historico hermeneutic; i.e., it takes seriously the language and historical context of the passages which speak of the ecstatic gifts given to the Apostles during their earthly life. It also takes into account Biblical Theology, i.e., the progression of revelation that has been revealed in ALL of the Scriptures.

Quote
ZionSeeker further states:
Am I wrong to believe that life comes from believing as John actually said? Or that the quickening is through faith as Paul said? No, it is you who cannot handle good logic.

The answer to your first two rhetorical questions is, "Yes!", you are undoubtedly wrong to believe that regeneration results from believing. There is no text which teaches this. And your error is not a matter of "logic", but rather one of hermeneutics. As I have elsewhere told you, a "psycho-statistical-mean" approach to the Scriptures violates the most fundamental rules of language. But you are "unfortunately convinced of what you believe", not that being convinced of one's own beliefs is inherently wrong as you have implied. rolleyes2 Would one be more virtuous to confess that one is unsure, unconvinced or everything that is believed? Agnosticism in all its forms has never been deemed a prize to own.

Using your "logic", it would appear that every place where you see the word, "life" appear in a text where "belief or faith" appears, it is to be understood as a synonym for regeneration, e.g.,

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


Of course, you have totally ignored the wider context of this passage in that John is addressing people who already have believed and are united with Christ. (cp. 1Jh 5:1 with 1Jh 2:1; 2:7; 3:1, 2, 7, 18, 24; 4:1, 7; 5:10-13).

But, again, let's put your "logic" to the test in another passage:

John 3:15-16 (ASV) "that whosoever believeth may in him have eternal life [regeneration?]. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life [regeneration?]."


Let me try and illustrate the problem with your hermeneutic another way. If I should ask a group of people what the word, "bark" means, I should no doubt get answers such as, "the sound dogs make", or "the outside substance that covers a tree," or "how my wife speaks to me when she isn't happy with something I have done", etc. So, I take all the answers, add them up and the one which had the most responses is what I then use as a definition for the word, "bark". Now, is this logical? Is this the way language is designed to be used? How about another one... What does the word, "run" mean? Answer(s), "move one's feet rapidly in an alternating sequence", "a defect in a nylon stocking", "the movement of water", "what those do who are seeking political office", etc....

Surely the point can be easily seen, that the same word can have various and sometimes contradictory meanings depending upon the context in which they are used. Thus, to the point at hand, "life" may mean "regeneration", or "eternal existence in communion with God", or "one's physical existence", or "that invisible element of a human being which we call a soul/spirit", or... etc. As has been pointed out to you, and which you quickly rejected, the texts which you are wanting to eisogete by forcing the definition of "regeneration" upon the word "life", don't speak of regeneration at all, but of that life which is joined with Christ after one believes upon Him which results in being reconciled to God. It also includes an existence where the blessings of Christ's atonement are bestowed upon the one who believes. In short, there are many facets involved, many of which have no relation to "regeneration".

James 1:18 (KJV) "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."


In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 8:16 PM

We have already settled the fact that your highest authority is the Protestant Reformation, so why not leave it at that?

Quote

And what is it that YOU are offering if not just "an argument"? The "light cessationist" arguments are based upon the biblical record using the Grammatico-Historico hermeneutic; i.e., it takes seriously the language and historical context of the passages which speak of the ecstatic gifts given to the Apostles during their earthly life. It also takes into account Biblical Theology, i.e., the progression of revelation that has been revealed in ALL of the Scriptures.


People who deny the gifts do so because they have not experienced much of God - it is that simple. There are at least two scriptures which teach that the gifts will be around until the second coming...not including mark 16. But since your highest authority is the Protestant Reformation I won't waste my time and quote them. Besides your system always takes precedence over scripture.

Quote

The answer to your first two rhetorical questions is, "Yes!", you are undoubtedly wrong to believe that regeneration results from believing.


Actually I said that life comes from believing...exactly as the apostles taught. Before you saw the utter inconsistency of your "position" you would have agreed that regeneration means receiving new life:

Quote

The word in the Greek for "made alive" is suzoopoieo; i.e., to bring to life conjointly with. The reference is unmistakable. As Christ was raised from the dead in which He suffered for punishment of sins, vicariously and substitutionally, likewise did God raise us up from the dead, through our own trespasses and sins. This is regeneration.


Now you have a new understanding of receiving life above and beyond regeneration. Wow. Not only are we born "again" twice (sounds like the dispensational two "second" comings) - one as children of God, and an antecedent regeneration - but now we receive new life twice as well. You can quote all the different meanings of life - but you cannot explain how these supposed two different lives relate, compare, and contrast. So you are left with pontification.

Quote

Of course, you have totally ignored the wider context of this passage in that John is addressing people who already have believed and are united with Christ. (cp. 1Jh 5:1 with 1Jh 2:1; 2:7; 3:1, 2, 7, 18, 24; 4:1, 7; 5:10-13).


Yes, in First John he is. Perhaps though, when in the gospel of John he writes, "These things are written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ..." - just maybe, just perhaps, perhaps he actually meant that. hmm naw -that would contradict calvinism so that can't be right. oh well let's explain it away!

Quote

Using your "logic", it would appear that every place where you see the word, "life" appear in a text where "belief or faith" appears, it is to be understood as a synonym for regeneration, e.g.,John 3:15-16 (ASV) "that whosoever believeth may in him have eternal life [regeneration?]. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life [regeneration?]."


Regeneration means new birth. It is the beginning - the initiation into - new life.

Quote

The word in the Greek for "made alive" is suzoopoieo; i.e., to bring to life conjointly with. The reference is unmistakable. [...] This is regeneration.


Well, it was regeneration. Now it's not. Your whole argument has been that people are dead until they are regenerated, and that with this new life they then believe. Now you are saying that the new life comes after believing, and that to say otherwise is to make regeneration and life synonomous. Look, you just want to win an argument, so you want to interpret words differently in similar contexts in order to avoid the inconsistency of your carnal philosophical pseudo-intellectual drivel.

So do we not receive new life at regeneration? does the bible not say, as you quoted yourself, that eternal life is a result of believing? why is it you can never answer straitforward questions - you have to rant instead?

Quote

Surely the point can be easily seen, that the same word can have various and sometimes contradictory meanings depending upon the context in which they are used. Thus, to the point at hand, "life" may mean "regeneration", or "eternal existence in communion with God", or "one's physical existence", or "that invisible element of a human being which we call a soul/spirit", or... etc.


Yes, but not in the context of new life - eternal life - being made alive unto God. You are guilty of a theological sleight of hand. Now you see it now you don't. Here quickening refers to regeneration, here the very same thing refers to something else.

Quote

As has been pointed out to you, and which you quickly rejected, the texts which you are wanting to eisogete by forcing the definition of "regeneration" upon the word "life", don't speak of regeneration at all, but of that life which is joined with Christ after one believes upon Him which results in being reconciled to God. It also includes an existence where the blessings of Christ's atonement are bestowed upon the one who believes.


you said yourself that a person is dead until they are regenerated by God. If they are no longer dead, and if they are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life, how can they then be raised again through faith to receive life again? This is nonsense pure and simple. This is a cleverly devised fable. And you fell for it. Did not the passage in Ephesians say that the quickening which you identified as regeneration enabled the believer to be raised with Christ into his life? to be joined with him? you want to interpret every text independently of every other rather than admit you are wrong and receive the revelation of the truth which comes to those who receive the truth as little children. Please, go back to your Reformers whom you trust and spare me the pretence of biblical debate.
ZS
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 10:14 PM

Quote
ZionSeeker said:
People who deny the gifts do so because they have not experienced much of God - it is that simple. There are at least two scriptures which teach that the gifts will be around until the second coming...not including mark 16. But since your highest authority is the Protestant Reformation I won't waste my time and quote them. Besides your system always takes precedence over scripture.


ZS, I'll let you and Pilgrim hash out the biblical warrant for tongues & other sign gifts if indeed such Scriptures actually exist. But we have a congregation here in Texas that contains many former Pentecostals who would tell you that they've never experienced so much of the grace and love of God as they have since they left Pentecostalism.

So, not everybody's experience is the same, is it? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: CovenantInBlood

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 10:36 PM

Quote
We have already settled the fact that your highest authority is the Protestant Reformation, so why not leave it at that?


No, Zion, YOU have settled that, and most uncharitably so. Pilgrim has a great deal of respect for the Reformers as men of God, gifted and wise men who saw the corruption both in doctrine and practice of the Church of Rome, but he does not worship them nor consider them the final authority (and how silly that would be, considering that there WERE disagreements among them!): his final authority is the Holy Bible, as it is for all the other Reformed believers here.
Posted By: gotribe

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:10 PM

Zion Seeker,

I have taken the past few minutes to quickly go back over this whole thread and, other than one quote from Calvin and links to some reformed articles, I did not see Pilgrim appealing to the reformers to make his case. What I did see was careful, Biblical exegesis and a great deal of interaction with the original language.

Please don't let YOUR need to defend YOUR doctrine cause you to mischaracterize either the nature of this discussion or, especially, Pilgrim's integrity. It is very unbecoming.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:51 PM

Zion seeker, this is stock Calvinistic jibberish.

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

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

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

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

Let them. It's their funeral.

Passion Player
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:52 PM

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Please don't let YOUR need to defend YOUR doctrine cause you to mischaracterize either the nature of this discussion or, especially, Pilgrim's integrity. It is very unbecoming.



And what is MY DOCTRINE? The belief, which you people just cannot seem to grasp, that we have life through believing in the Lord, as the scripture says? You people can't even understand a simple verse and you puff yourselves up as though you were great theologians. What a joke you all are. You call Pilgrim's utter misrepresentation of the Greek and of the text "careful." oh how very funny. I suppose you believe in two new births also, if it gets your theology out of a jam. I don't suppose you found Pilgrim's slur about only having taken one semester "unbecoming"? I suppose behaviour is only unbecoming if it comes from a non calvinist.
ZionSeeker
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 28, 2004 1:37 AM

you're right...it's their funeral. I thought people might actually love the bible and believe it. silly me. i have wasted my time.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 28, 2004 1:39 AM

Zion Seeker,
I was wondering what your thoughts are regarding these verses.
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1 Corinthians 2 v.10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. [3]

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

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Zion Seeker said: Right, the [Ephesians] passage says they were dead. But it does not say that therefore they were unable to believe. It says dead in trespasses and sins. I believe that this means that without Christ man cannot experience the life of God through Jesus Christ, or know sins forgiven. I do not believe that this means that the person cannot believe. The passage never actually says that a dead man cannot believe, for they are dead in trespasses and sins. It doesn't say that they are incapable of believing the gospel. Faith does not come from man's dead sinful nature. It comes from God, it is a gift of God, and to be saved one has to believe from the heart the message of the gospel. We must "come to Christ that we might have life."

How does man get this new nature?
We agree that a natural man cannot have faith.
We agree that faith is a gift from God.
We agree we must have faith to believe.
We agree that after we believe, we are saved.
How does the natural man become a spiritual man?
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Romans 8 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

A natural man cannot have faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. So, we must be changed before we can believe so that the spiritual things are not folly to us. God must give us ears to hear and eyes to see, and hearts that can believe or else we are dead to God.
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John 5: 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
Posted By: RefDoc

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 28, 2004 1:57 AM

ZS,

I don't like your tone. Flaming will not be tolerated.
I suggest you keep it civil or your days here are numbered.
To suggest that Reformed people don't love the Word of God is absurd.
Besides, if you feel you are wasteing your time, why are you here?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 28, 2004 12:20 PM

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I suggest you keep it civil or your days here are numbered.


Yes, and I suppose the tone of your friends has been very saintly? Hypocricy!
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Besides, if you feel you are wasteing your time, why are you here?


It was my mistake....I thought I was in a Christian chatroom where people would actually believe the scripture, not fight it with their puffed up carnal reasonings. my mistake.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 28, 2004 12:23 PM

Susan, I appreciate your structured argument. When I have time, and if i have not been booted off, I will answer you point for point later.
ZS
Posted By: RefDoc

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:45 PM

ZS,

I have one very simple question:
Does your response suggest that you do not intend to be civil? If you could answer that for me then I would know whether there would be any reason for you to stick around.

Susan would like to read your response to her query, let’s see if that can be done without inflammatory statements

Hypocrisy is defined as: “The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.” So, I don’t see how your statement regarding my friends applies. I am quite sure they hold to what they profess. I am very sure they love The Lord, and give him the glory. Based on that, I would say that this IS a Christian forum and your original impression was indeed correct.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:23 PM

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I have one very simple question:
Does your response suggest that you do not intend to be civil? If you could answer that for me then I would know whether there would be any reason for you to stick around.


Sure, I will be civil to everybody who engages in discussion, and actually answers questions and objections rather than resorting to not so subtle ad hominem attacks, as your friends have constantly done. Of course all of them had to hide behind generalisations or else the shallowness of the charges would be evident. When faced with this kind of behaviour I reserve the right to respond to such as their conduct deserves. If that means being thrown off then fine. Yes, I will cordially reply to Susan, but I do not expect ANY MORE ad hominen attacks - this is no substitute for actual discussion. I don't want to hear how stupid I am (Mensa mebership notwithstanding), how I cannot understand these things because I haven't done enough hermeneutics courses, that my beliefs are dangerous and will lead people to destruction, that I don't understand what I am saying, etc ad nauseum. If your friends can stick to the scripture so can I.

One thing I will add though - I wish to apologise to Pilgrim for saying he relies on the Protestant Reformation. All he said was that I cannot understand what the Reformers said because I haven't had enough college, which in itself deserves an apology to me (which of course will not be forthcoming).


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Hypocrisy is defined as: “The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.”


The essence of it is to pretend to something. You say you don't like my tone, but you have no problem with the tone of others, and have no word of correction for them. It seems to me, and forgive me if I am wrong, that you pretend to be offended at the tone, when in reality you are offended because it is a non calvinist using the tone, not because of the tone itself.

ZionSeeker
Posted By: RefDoc

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:15 PM

Forgive me if I missed something, but, in reading over this very long thread, I attempted to find out where the ad hominem began. If I have read correctly, I first noticed that you indicated Pilgrim made a "booboo" (your word), an error which he admitted and then further explained his position. Following that post was when the first personal (ad hominem) attack was hurled.....by you. Somthing about Pilgrim's ability to read greek unaided. So I guess if responding in kind is okay for you to do, you can't blame others, you might call that hypocracy by your definition.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:55 AM

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Forgive me if I missed something, but, in reading over this very long thread, I attempted to find out where the ad hominem began.


I'm impressed that you went to that trouble.

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If I have read correctly, I first noticed that you indicated Pilgrim made a "booboo" (your word), an error which he admitted and then further explained his position. Following that post was when the first personal (ad hominem) attack was hurled.....by you. Somthing about Pilgrim's ability to read greek unaided. So I guess if responding in kind is okay for you to do, you can't blame others, you might call that hypocracy by your definition.


Yes I used the word "booboo" because it was the most charitable word I could find to indicate what was a terrible blunder which should not have been made by anyone with any ability to read Greek. If you think that was ad hominem than I think that is really funny!! no offence. Now then, I was also confronted with OTHER blunders in the Greek, such as calling hoi a relative clause (it is translated in English this way but the Greek means "These ones," defining an aorist as though it had to be pluperfect, when by definition an aorist is undefined, plus getting the word wrong. When confronted with all these by someone who claims to read Greek, I naturally asked, "no offence, but can you actually read Greek unaided, because i am having a hard time believing that?"

Do you consider this an ad hominem?

Pilgrim was offended by my question, no doubt about it. He wrote,

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Let me only say in regard to your ad hominem slur, that if you are asking if I need a walker to read Greek, the answer is no. Doubtless, I have forgotten more from my many years of Greek study than you have learned in your one semester study.


I was taken aback by this, since it had simply been my intention to gauge his level of knolwedge - i had never actually heard from Pilgrim as to whether he can read the Greek fluently. His arguments strongly suggested to me that he couldn't, and so I asked.

In reply to try to diffuse the situation somewhat I wrote,

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Congragulations on you advanced Greek study. My comment was far from being a slur. I have had people before claim Greek when it was obvious they had no clue. I have been honest about my lack of Greek (one semester completed, grade a). You are quoting from the Greek as though you know what you are talking about...whilst making some blunders. I accept that blunders can be made, but calling gennesthai an aorist, at least i think warrants me asking about your abilities in the language without you taking it as a personal attack (ad hominem). Don't you think? so don't get worked up because i dared to ask. i accept that you are well trained in greek.


Do you still accuse me of starting this?

Pilgrim in his defence quoted from a book on grammar which said that the aorist CAN (though most of the time isn't) used in a way in which it is best to use the English pluperfect. I checked the book and found that this is only in rare cases, and only in narrative passages. My suspicisions were again aroused, and so I took all what Pilgrim had said to a friend who has a masters degree in Greek language and philosophy, who also reads Hebrew, Chaldee, and Latin, and is fluent in half a dozen European languages. He was stunned by Pilgrim's claims, and basically said that many of these seminary "advanced" courses are not worth the paper they are written on. I now am personally convinced that pilgrim tried pulling a fast one on me, and I don't appreciate it. Dogmatically stating that an aorist means "had been" without an iota of self doubt, when he had memorised a grammar which says the complete opposite, left me unimpressed by his integrity. But still, you will find no attacks from me at this point. I simply carried on asking some pointed questions about the Greek and quoted the grammar he used.

I then continued to press the fact that he was reinterpreting the quickening in different passages to avoid the conclusion that it was through faith. His reply contained a clear slur:

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Perhaps you are having difficult comprehending these things which the Protestant churches everywhere which came out of the Protestant Reformation have understood, believed and taught for centuries, because you have only had one semester of hermeneutics too?


At this point I realised that discussion is impossible. I replied

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Underneath all the talk about the "Bible," your true authority is revealed to be the Reformers. To these everybody must bow down and give place, even if it means we are born again, then believe, then as a result of believing are born again again children of God. Faced with the impossibility of justifying such nonsense you are forced to appeal to your true authority. I am disappointed in you, I thought you were better than this. But now I know.
The anabaptists were the true people of God at the Reformation, and they would have none of such nonsense as two being born agains, two quickennings to suit preconceived ideas depending in what context your philosophy has to be defended, two accounts of having your heart purified, uhhh it goes on and on, this double vision.

All for what? so you can maintain a theological system which enables you to feel superior and more learned than everybody else. What a tragedy and a waste. Jesus said the day will come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and hearing will live. I suppose the Calvinists of the day were saying "hang on, you can't hear if you are dead, you have to be made alive first."

Well, obviously you have appealled to Calvin, so to Calvin I leave you.


Of course what is a self evident truth here may be considered as ad hominem. So you finally have one to nail on me!!! However, as I said before, faced with such nonsense, I will speak the truth and expose the carnal mentality of those who resist the truth. I will speak the truth in the hope that the wise will turn from their foolishness and unChristian behaviour. I won't speek lies and slanders and false accusations as you people have done though. If that means I have to be booted off of here, so be it. It's a waste of time anyway <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> (though I am working on Susan's reply and it would be shame to not be able to post it, I admit that.)

So there it is. I trust this post will enable you to take another look, and that you may reconsider your false accusation that I was the one who started these ad hominems. Let's see how much integrity YOU have.

ZS
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:39 AM

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"1 Cor. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For "who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.


Only the spiritual man, the man (or woman) with new life, one who is a new creation in Christ, can experience the things of God and know the things God has prepared, and understand the deep things of God.

We cannot understand the things of God any other way than through and by our spirits, and by having the spirit of wisdom and revelation. College degrees, intelligence, etc, cannot give us spiritual revelation and understanding.

The word "natural" here comes from the Greek word translated "soul." Hence it means "soulish," if such were an English word. The soulish man cannot see the things of the spiritual realm. The aspects of the soul, like the intellect, cannot enter in the mysteries of the Kingdom. These things have to be revealed spiritually.
The spiritual man is alive to God in spirit, soul, and body. The natural man is dead to God spiritually. He cannot know God, because his spirit is dead. Eternal life is to know God, and his Son.

These things are to be taught, NOT in words which man's wisdom teaches ("total depravity," "active obedience," "trinity," etc) but are to be taught using words which the Holy Spirit teaches - the form of sound words.

But the Word can convict and awaken a lost soul, and because the Word carries faith, they can throw themselves at Christ and receive new life. They can look unto him and be saved. How does this work. I don't know. I only that this is the way the bible says it.

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How does man get this new nature?


The scripture answers that we become a spiritual man when we receive spiritual life:

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11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.


The new nature is to put off the flesh and be raised again in Christ through the faith of the operation of God.

This comes by believing and receiving the gospel:
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22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,


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We agree that a natural man cannot have faith.
We agree that faith is a gift from God.


Yes, we agree that faith is not of the soulish part of man. Faith is the gift of God. It is carried by the Word.

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We agree we must have faith to believe.
We agree that after we believe, we are saved.


Did you mean "to be saved"? Than yes we agree.

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How does the natural man become a spiritual man?


By being born again. How? "To as many as RECEIVED him, to them he gave the right to be BORN children of God." John 1:10.

By coming to Christ and receiving life:

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40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:40



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But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. John 14:14





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Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. John 6:53



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Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: John 11:25


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


A natural, soulish man, can receive the Word, and believe it. Christ is still the true light which lights everyman that comes into the world, even in man's fallen condition. The grace of God which brings salvation has appeared to ALL men.

The passage in Corinthians is not speaking of how a person comes to Christ. The scripture is clear that we must come IN ORDER TO HAVE life.

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And ye will not come to me, THAT YE MIGHT HAVE life. John 5:40


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So, we must be changed before we can believe so that the spiritual things are not folly to us. God must give us ears to hear and eyes to see, and hearts that can believe or else we are dead to God.



How can a dead man hear? how can they hear the voice of the Son of God and be made alive? I don't know, but that is how it is:

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


See that? Hearing first, then living. How? Don't know! Is it so? well, yes.

Hope that helps you to at least see where I am coming from even if you still think i am a stubborn heretic. Regards.
ZS
Posted By: fredman

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Mar 29, 2004 10:18 AM

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Fred, is that your way of saying that no one dies with Christ in their conversion events?


(Fred) No, it is my way of saying that our dying has nothing to do with our own, personal faith. We die due to what Christ has done on the cross. My partaking in the merits of Christ's death was realized when God called me from my sinful existence, regenerated my spiritually dead heart, granted to me the gifts of His grace with saving faith and true repentance, and then I arose, went forth and followed Him. In other words, Christians are not, in and of themselves, the initiators of their "conversion event;" God is.

Fred
Posted By: fredman

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:18 AM

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The scripture answers that we become a spiritual man when we receive spiritual life:

By being born again. How? "To as many as RECEIVED him, to them he gave the right to be BORN children of God." John 1:10.


Your posts are fraught with many of these kinds of inconsistencies. Men need God to become spiritual men, on the one hand, then on the other, they can understand the spiritual things because they are soulish creatures(see below). With all the hysterics and accusasations you sling towards your detractors, you have yet to really give us a scriptural defense of faith begetting regeneration. All of what the Bible teaches about regeneration, new life, etc, always preceeds faith. You seem to suggest this idea of prevenient grace, but have yet to give a defense of it. All that you keep repeating is "the plain reading of scripture says thus and so."

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A natural, soulish man, can receive the Word, and believe it. Christ is still the true light which lights everyman that comes into the world, even in man's fallen condition. The grace of God which brings salvation has appeared to ALL men.


(Fred) Actually, psychie is a translation of the Hebrew nephes, meaning natural man, man in his natural state. You are taking the word beyond its intended meaning by claiming that soulish men can receive spiritual truth by reading the notion of prevenient grace into the text. Moreover, Paul qualifies the ability of this soulish man when he says that he cannot discern the things of the spirit. Cannot is translated from ou dunamous (I am doing this from memory, so please forgive the mangled Greek transliterations). The phrase essentially means no ability, or powerless. All natural men are powerless to understand spiritual things apart from God's work first. That is Paul's main point. You seem to argue that you believe this, but your theology breaks down with your notion that Christ has illumined all men everywhere with some sort of prevenient grace, or pre-regenerating grace as some Free-will Baptists call it.

Fred
Posted By: fredman

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:28 AM

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


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

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


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

Fred
Posted By: MarieP

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Mar 29, 2004 10:00 PM

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called me from my sinful existence, regenerated my spiritually dead heart


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

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

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Mar 30, 2004 2:09 AM

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

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Mar 30, 2004 10:42 AM

Thanks!

I'll have to read more of Berkhof. grin
Posted By: fredman

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Mar 30, 2004 11:15 AM

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

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


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

Fred
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Mar 30, 2004 12:34 PM

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Zion seeker, this is stock Calvinistic jibberish.

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

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

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

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

Let them. It's their funeral.

Passion Player


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

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Mar 30, 2004 2:19 PM

Dear Susan,

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

focusing on Faith - Wed Mar 31, 2004 1:18 AM

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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How Spurgeon Learned of Grace - Charles H. Spurgeon

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

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

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

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

Re: focusing on Faith - Wed Mar 31, 2004 5:31 AM

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


Yes, I agree

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


again, i would have to agree.

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

YES! - Thu Apr 01, 2004 2:35 AM

BookMark when will you become Reformed? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Banghead.gif" alt="" /> Your post is Hyper-Diaper logic <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/mickey.gif" alt="" />

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

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

P.S. Thanks for the e-mail.
Posted By: Tom

Re: YES! - Thu Apr 01, 2004 5:44 AM

Welcome back Joe <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/cheers2.gif" alt="" />

Tom
Posted By: J_Edwards

Re: YES! - Thu Apr 01, 2004 11:04 PM

Thank you Tom. I hope you are doing well. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: grace2U

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Apr 02, 2004 9:16 PM

HI again, ZS,
Sorry to be so long in replying; I've been away on holiday for a few days <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" />

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

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

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

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

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

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

Every blessing,
Steve
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Apr 03, 2004 12:50 AM

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

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

Has Masters weathered the controversy he stirred by inviting Robert Reymond to London?
Take care
ZS
Posted By: grace2U

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sat Apr 03, 2004 6:12 AM

I don't want to add to any unpleasantness, but in the interests of accuracy I must say that the translation of a Greek aorist participle into the pluperfect is not uncommon in the NT.

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

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

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

Blessings to all,
Steve
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: focusing on Faith - Sat Apr 03, 2004 1:05 PM

Zion Seeker,
I can offer a hearty Amen to your quote inviting sinners to repent!

I have great respect for Pilgrim's theological knowledge as well as Steve's and I do not think they would try to lead you astray in their handling of the Greek. And since Pilgrim desires to teach the truth faithfully here and has devoted his life to that, I can understand how it was very insulting to him to have you insinuate that he didn't know what he was talking about. It is unfortunate when things get personal here and the discussion ends up focusing on inflammatory remarks and then no one is edified in the process. We seek to honor God here and his truth.
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I don't have all the answers. These things have been argued over for centuries, and until I get some clearer light - and a better knowledge of Greek - I am shelving it, knowing that I can't get any further with it for right now. But there are just too many scriptures that attribute new life itself to faith in the clearest and most unmistakable terms.

I will pray for you Zion Seeker. I believe you are seeking the truth and I do believe that the Lord will show you the way.
Posted By: grace2U

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Apr 04, 2004 7:31 AM

Well, of course, you know what a big fan I am of John Metcalfe <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/takethat.gif" alt="" /> Any connection between his views and mine is wholly coincidental.

I think Long John Silver's parrot had a firm grasp of theology. When he wasn't saying, "Pieces of eight!", he would squawk, "Dead men don't bite!" This is a profound truth; dead men don't bite, nor do they believe unless the Lord first gives them a principle of life.

'But for him that is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing' (Eccl 9:4-5).

When a baby is born, the parents are so relieved when it takes its first breath and cries. It is a sign that the baby is alive. But unless there is already a principle of life within the baby, it will never take that breath. So it is with a new Christian. Spiritual life brings faith; where there is no faith there is no life. But unless there is already a principle of life present, then no one will ever come to faith.

I think your strictures on Calvinism come from confusing it with Hyper-Calvinism. A true Calvinist has no problem telling people, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." As one who spent many years in an Arminian church, I have no hesitation in saying that there is more true spiritual life in a Calvinist church than in an Armininian one. Carry on reading Spurgeon.

[Reference Peter Masters and Robert Reymond, I know nothing about any controversy]

Every blessing,
Steve
Posted By: janean

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Apr 06, 2004 2:23 PM

It has taken me 2 days to get here (took me that long to read this last several pages of this thread!!

I am not like many of your here with a background in Greek or any formal Christian ed. at all. But I am a born again Christian. All I can give you is my experience. I'm not all settled on the whole Calvinism - Arminianism issue myself and don't know if I'll ever be. But just from my experience and from what I read in Scripture I lean in the Calvin direction.

What I can tell you for sure is that God definately chose me. I can't explain why (except for the vigorous prayers of my Mother) God chose to reveal Himself to me at age 17 1/2. I prayed "sinners prayers" a few times at camp growing up. But I knew in my heart there was something missing. And I did pray the verses to God - where God says - seek me and you will find me - as a teenager. I began going to Youth For Christ meetings and this is when God revealed himself to me. But it's not even going to Youth For Christ that did it. I remember when I began to see things very differently. I had a friend quote a few verses to me and and I got out my confirmation bible from under my bed (already 4 years old and in still brand new looking condition). I read these verses and it was like a big light bulb went on!! And I had apparently read these verses before somewhere because they were underlined. I was kind of shocked seeing they were underlined because I did not at all remember reading these verses before at all. And I started just devouring the Word and read the NT many, many times over the next couple of years. Why did this happen then? I don't know. God totally did it. I have to say I side with the Calvinists on this site that the regeneration totally starts with God and not us and our faith or believing the Word in our heart,etc etc.

I like seeing this "debate" on here and hope Zion Seeker can stay with us and just not get so defensive. Why get defensive?? Ok you don't want to believe in all the Calvinist views, then fine. But if somebody else does, then that's fine too. That's how I feel about it. Just remember you're on Calvinist territory here and you need to respect that. I know I'm saved and that's what matters and I'll be learning for the rest of my life.

I went on a Mormon discussion board once (when I was researching Mormonism thoroughly because of a neighbor I've gotten to know who is Mormon). I read their rules on the board. I wanted to respond (against the rules of the board) to one person who was questioning some things, but I didn't do it because that wasn't right because I would have had to break their rules to do it. (of course they had strick rules and didn't want any Christian like me coming on to change anyone's minds) I was on their turf and it wouldn't be right to not respect their wishes on that board.
Posted By: Anonymous

One more thing - Thu Apr 08, 2004 2:16 PM

Zion Seeker,
I want to add one more thing and I am done.

[quote]Man's depravity, as a result of the Fall, is total. All men are born into this world spiritually dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; the sinner's heart is desperately corrupt. His will is not free; it is in bondage to his evil nature. Therefore, he has lost his ability to choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. It takes more than the Spirit's assistance to bring the sinner to Christ--it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God's gift of salvation--it is God's gift to the sinner, not the sinner's gift to God.

Ps 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.

58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb;
they go astray from birth, speaking lies.

Is 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?

Jn 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Romans 3:10-12 as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”

5:12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

Eph 2: 1-3 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body [1] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

1 Cor 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Taken from: The 5 points of Calvinism.
Posted By: Tom

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Thu Apr 08, 2004 5:21 PM

Mark

Have your views changed since you started this thread?

Tom
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:38 PM

The Calvinist position is not "free choice" but that the will is in bondage to sin. Any "choice" anyone makes is determined by outside influences, not by a "libertarian free will." Free moral agency is the Calvinist position, not "free will". There is no such thing as "free will". Martin Luther denied it in The Bondage of the Will and so did Calvin in Book 3, Chapter 23, Institutes of the Christian Religion.
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:48 PM

Calvin the "hyper-Calvinist" comments on Romans 9:11-13,

11. We come now to the reprobate, to whom the Apostle at the same time refers (Rom. 9:13). For as Jacob, who as yet had merited nothing by good works, is assumed into favor; so Esau, while as yet unpolluted by any crime, is hated. If we turn our view to works, we do injustice to the Apostle, as if he had failed to see the very thing which is clear to us. Moreover, there is complete proof of his not having seen it, since he expressly insists that when as yet they had done neither good nor evil, the one was elected, the other rejected, in order to prove that the foundation of divine predestination is not in works. Then after starting the objection, Is God unjust? instead of employing what would have been the surest and plainest defense of his justice—viz. that God had recompensed Esau according to his wickedness, he is contented with a different solution—viz. that the reprobate are expressly raised up, in order that the glory of God may thereby be displayed. At last, he concludes that God has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth (Rom. 9:18). You see how he refers both to the mere pleasure of God. Therefore, if we cannot assign any reason for his bestowing mercy on his people, but just that it so pleases him, neither can we have any reason for his reprobating others but his will. When God is said to visit in mercy or harden whom he will, men are reminded that they are not to seek for any cause beyond his will. (Book 3, Chapter 22, Paragraph 11.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 1997).
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:04 PM

Amen. God causes us to believe, otherwise we would still be in unbelief. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; John 3:3-8).
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
The Calvinist position is not "free choice" but that the will is in bondage to sin. Any "choice" anyone makes is determined by outside influences, not by a "libertarian free will." Free moral agency is the Calvinist position, not "free will"....

1. Welcome to the Discussion Board.

2. Yes, the historic and confessional Calvinist view denies an inherent "free-will", i.e., a denial that man can choose contrary to his nature.

3. Any choice a man makes is partly determined by outside influences. Choices are also partly and predominately determined by inside influences, i.e., one's nature. The natural man CAN only choose that which is contrary to God due to his inherited depravity of nature. The spiritual (regenerated) man has a new nature which seeks after God and desires to be conformed to the image of Christ. But since there is a remaining influence of sin within the regenerate man, he can also sin. cf. Rom 7.

4. ALL choices made by man, whether unregenerate or regenerate are "free", i.e., no one or any thing can force the human will, not even God. Man, as Edwards pointedly wrote, always chooses that which is most important to him under any given circumstance. The ONLY way that any man can even desire to seek after God and do that which is good is by a radical change of nature; the recreation of the will which occurs in regeneration.
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: focusing on Faith - Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:07 PM

I've rarely if ever met any "hyper-Calvinists" online and never in person.

But consider what that "hyper-Calvinist" has to say in the Institutes of the Christian Religion:

11. We come now to the reprobate, to whom the Apostle at the same time refers (Rom. 9:13). For as Jacob, who as yet had merited nothing by good works, is assumed into favor; so Esau, while as yet unpolluted by any crime, is hated. If we turn our view to works, we do injustice to the Apostle, as if he had failed to see the very thing which is clear to us. Moreover, there is complete proof of his not having seen it, since he expressly insists that when as yet they had done neither good nor evil, the one was elected, the other rejected, in order to prove that the foundation of divine predestination is not in works. Then after starting the objection, Is God unjust? instead of employing what would have been the surest and plainest defense of his justice—viz. that God had recompensed Esau according to his wickedness, he is contented with a different solution—viz. that the reprobate are expressly raised up, in order that the glory of God may thereby be displayed. At last, he concludes that God has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth (Rom. 9:18). You see how he refers both to the mere pleasure of God. Therefore, if we cannot assign any reason for his bestowing mercy on his people, but just that it so pleases him, neither can we have any reason for his reprobating others but his will. When God is said to visit in mercy or harden whom he will, men are reminded that they are not to seek for any cause beyond his will. Book 3, Ch. 22, Section 11.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 1997).
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:13 PM

That's a great summary of the semi-Arminian view. However, it is not the view of either Luther or Calvin:

Quote:
"THIS, therefore, is also essentially necessary and wholesome for Christians to know: That God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, "Free-will" is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces. Those, therefore, who would assert "Free-will," must either deny this thunderbolt, or pretend not to see it, or push it from them." Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will, "Sovereignty of God"


Free moral agency is not the same thing as "free will" at all. Romans 9:11-13 refutes any idea that choice is the deciding factor in salvation. The golden chain of salvation begins with unconditional election, not free choice or even free moral agency (Ephesians 1:4-5, 11).

From a "hyper-Calvinist":

Quote:
11. We come now to the reprobate, to whom the Apostle at the same time refers (Rom. 9:13). For as Jacob, who as yet had merited nothing by good works, is assumed into favor; so Esau, while as yet unpolluted by any crime, is hated. If we turn our view to works, we do injustice to the Apostle, as if he had failed to see the very thing which is clear to us. Moreover, there is complete proof of his not having seen it, since he expressly insists that when as yet they had done neither good nor evil, the one was elected, the other rejected, in order to prove that the foundation of divine predestination is not in works. Then after starting the objection, Is God unjust? instead of employing what would have been the surest and plainest defense of his justice—viz. that God had recompensed Esau according to his wickedness, he is contented with a different solution—viz. that the reprobate are expressly raised up, in order that the glory of God may thereby be displayed. At last, he concludes that God has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth (Rom. 9:18). You see how he refers both to the mere pleasure of God. Therefore, if we cannot assign any reason for his bestowing mercy on his people, but just that it so pleases him, neither can we have any reason for his reprobating others but his will. When God is said to visit in mercy or harden whom he will, men are reminded that they are not to seek for any cause beyond his will. Book 3, chapter 22, section 11.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 1997).
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:19 PM

>>>4. ALL choices made by man, whether unregenerate or regenerate are "free", i.e., no one or any thing can force the human will, not even God.<<<

This is Arminian language. Of course God does not "violate" the will of man:

Quote:
CHAPTER III—Of God’s Eternal Decree

1. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: (Eph. 1:11, Rom. 11:33, Heb. 6:17, Rom. 9:15,18) yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, (James 1:13,17, 1 John 1:5) nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.


The Westminster Confession of Faith (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).


However, that is not to say that God is not the cause of both election and reprobation. Clearly the WCF says that God does cause both election and reprobation. Calvin says the same thing.

Quote:
3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels (1 Tim. 5:21, Matt. 25:41) are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death. (Rom. 9:22–23, Eph. 1:5–6, Prov. 16:4) WCF, Chapter III:3

The Westminster Confession of Faith (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
>>>4. ALL choices made by man, whether unregenerate or regenerate are "free", i.e., no one or any thing can force the human will, not even God.<<<

This is Arminian language. Of course God does not "violate" the will of man:

I'm a bit confused by your response.

What exactly is "Arminian Language"??? scratchchin
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: focusing on Faith - Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
I've rarely if ever met any "hyper-Calvinists" online and never in person.

Interesting! grin This of course, begs the question... What is the definition of a "hyper-Calvinst or hyper-Calvinism"? There are LOTS of definitions out there that people have expressed. What is yours? grin

That's a topic which has been discussed here on several occasions.
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:40 PM

All choices made by man are not "free". They are determined by God. Calvin clearly denies that it is the "nature" of man that determines him to good or evil. Rather it is according to God's decree that man acts:

Quote:
7. They deny that it is ever said in distinct terms, God decreed that Adam should perish by his revolt.503 As if the same God, who is declared in Scripture to do whatsoever he pleases, could have made the noblest of his creatures without any special purpose. They say that, in accordance with free-will, he was to be the architect of his own fortune, that God had decreed nothing but to treat him according to his desert. If this frigid fiction is received, where will be the omnipotence of God, by which, according to his secret counsel on which every thing depends, he rules over all? But whether they will allow it or not, predestination is manifest in Adam’s posterity. It was not owing to nature that they all lost salvation by the fault of one parent. Why should they refuse to admit with regard to one man that which against their will they admit with regard to the whole human race? Why should they in caviling lose their labour? Scripture proclaims that all were, in the person of one, made liable to eternal death. As this cannot be ascribed to nature, it is plain that it is owing to the wonderful counsel of God. It is very absurd 2232in these worthy defenders of the justice of God to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. I again ask how it is that the fall of Adam involves so many nations with their infant children in eternal death without remedy unless that it so seemed meet to God? Here the most loquacious tongues must be dumb. The decree, I admit, is, dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree.
Institutes, Book 3. Ch. 23. Section 7.
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: focusing on Faith - Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:47 PM

Most of the definitions I have seen online of so-called "hyper-Calvinism" would include Luther, Calvin, and John Gill. Phil Johnson's definition, for example, would condemn most of the classical Calvinists, including those who hold to a strict interpretation of the Westminster Standards, the Three Forms of Unity, and the Anglican Formularies.

Hyper-Calvinists do not believe in evangelism outside the church, etc. But most Primitive Baptists do not fit that description, although they do reject formal theological education and organized missionary societies. They also reject Sunday schools, which I disagree with as well.

But Primitive Baptists have a legitimate point that organizations are prone to degenerate into heresy. The mainline denominations and seminaries are evidence enough of that.

BTW, I'm not a fan of Cornelius Van Til. I follow the apologetics of the late Gordon H. Clark. His axiom was, "Scripture is the Word of God."

Peace,

Charlie
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
All choices made by man are not "free". They are determined by God. Calvin clearly denies that it is the "nature" of man that determines him to good or evil. Rather it is according to God's decree that man acts:

I disagree that man is not "free" to choose according to his nature, which is the established definition of "free agency". It is not "either/or" but BOTH that man is a free agent AND God has decreed everything without exception from eternity. This is what all the Reformed Confessions teach, but more importantly, this is what Scripture teaches, which the Confessions affirm. God decreed the fall of Adam, but both Adam and Eve made their respective choices of disobedience most freely. Of course, the caveat in this example and even more so with Satan, is that there was no prior predisposition to evil as there is with fallen mankind. And anyone who tries to offer an explanation as to how either Satan or the first parents sinned is guilty of sheer unwarranted speculation. Even Jonathan Edwards admitted that there is no answer to be found to that question. Why? Because it is not revealed.

However, what IS revealed is that men are free to choose and do choose that which is most important to them in all situations. But those choices are restricted according to their nature. Any and all sins which I commit have been foreordained by God according to His eternal counsel and good pleasure for His glory. But God's decree in no sense is the ultimate cause of my sinning, else would be guilty of being the Author of Sin, which all but a few individuals throughout history, even the staunchest supralapsarians, have categorically denied. Man is totally responsible for all his choices, AND all man's choices are made freely, AND all man's choices have been foreordained/decreed by God from eternity.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: focusing on Faith - Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:10 PM

Unfortunately, you haven't given YOUR definition for "hyper-Calvinism", although you did mention no evangelism outside of the Church. Surely, you have a more succinct definition you are working with, yes? grin

For many (most?) there are two basic areas that are contentious and which are used to define "hyper-Calvinism" to one degree or another, right or wrong:

1. Evangelism
2. Common Grace

And both of those terms are subject to much disagreement due to how they too are defined. laugh

FYI, one of the three seminaries I studied at is considered to be "hyper-Calvinist". I would have to agree. wink
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:12 PM

Free moral agency is taught in the Scriptures. But the problem is that you're ignoring that it not the "nature" of man that predetermines him to evil. It is God's decree that does so. Calvin, the "hyper-Calvinist" said that, btw. I already quoted that passage. But here is another one:

Quote:
]1. THE human mind, when it hears this doctrine, cannot restrain its petulance, but boils and rages as if aroused by the sound of a trumpet. Many professing a desire to defend the Deity from an invidious charge admit the doctrine of election, but deny that any one is reprobated (Bernard. in Die Ascensionis, Serm. 2). This they do ignorantly and childishly since there could be no election without its opposite reprobation. God is said to set apart those whom he adopts for salvation. It were most absurd to say, that he admits others fortuitously, or that they by their industry acquire what election alone confers on a few. Those, therefore, whom God passes by he reprobates, and that for no other cause but because he is pleased to exclude them from the inheritance which he predestines to his children. Nor is it possible to tolerate the petulance of men, in refusing to be restrained by the word of God, in regard to his incomprehensible counsel, which even angels adore. We have already been told that hardening is not less under the immediate hand of God than mercy. Paul does not, after the example of those whom I have mentioned, labour anxiously to defend God, by calling in the aid of falsehood; he only reminds us that it is unlawful for the creature to quarrel with its Creator. Then how will those who refuse to admit that any are reprobated by God explain the following words of Christ? “Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up,” (Mt. 15:13). They are plainly told that all whom the heavenly Father has not been pleased to plant as sacred trees in his garden, are doomed and devoted to destruction. If they deny that this is a sign of reprobation, there is nothing, however clear, that, can be proved to them. Book III, ch. 23, paragraph 1.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 1997).


In short, God is the cause of reprobation, not some impersonal "nature" in man. Luther and Calvin both denied that libertarian free will existed in Adam before the fall, although Adam was not yet a "slave" to sin.

Charlie
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:26 PM

Quote:
But God's decree in no sense is the ultimate cause of my sinning, else would be guilty of being the Author of Sin, which all but a few individuals throughout history, even the staunchest supralapsarians, have categorically denied. Man is totally responsible for all his choices, AND all man's choices are made freely, AND all man's choices have been foreordained/decreed by God from eternity.
In that case you're clearly not a Calvinist. All of the Reformed standards say that God is the ultimate cause of the sins of the reprobate--without being the Author of sin.

I can give you lots of biblical examples:

So Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel." For the LORD had purposed to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring disaster on Absalom. (2 Samuel 17:14 NKJ)

God caused Absalom to follow the advice of Hushai rather than the good advice of Ahithophel.

God opened the heart of Lydia:

Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. (Acts 16:14 NKJ)

and the disciples:

And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. (Luke 24:45 NKJ)

But he "hardened" others:

And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. (Exodus 4:21 NKJ)

God also sends evil spirits and delusions:

And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand. (1 Samuel 18:10 KJV)

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 KJV)

God is therefore the ultimate cause of both faith and unbelief.

Charlie
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:30 PM

Charlie,

Methinks you are confusing predestination and election to salvation with the issue of man's ability and inability to make choices. If man's nature is not ONE of the determinate causes of man's choices then man is not responsible for anything he does. This is the Arminian/semi-Pelagian argument used all too often against Calvinism, for IF everything that a man thinks, feels and does is totally caused by God's eternal decree, man becomes the proverbial puppet. But as I have stated before and that which all the Reformed Confessions teach, it is not either/or but both/and... ALL things have been decreed by God from eternity according to His immutable counsel AND every choice made by man is a free act of the will and done according to one's nature...aka: compatibalism. The clearest expression of this truth is found, of course, in Scripture in regard to the crucifixion of Christ.

Quote:
Acts 2:22-24 (ASV) "Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know; him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay: whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it."

Acts 3:17-18 (ASV) "And now, brethren, I know that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But the things which God foreshowed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled."

Acts 4:26-28 (ASV) "The kings of the earth set themselves in array, And the rulers were gathered together, Against the Lord, and against his Anointed: for of a truth in this city against thy holy Servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy council foreordained to come to pass."
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:48 PM

And thus would I be correct in concluding that you are a Supralapsarian? scratchchin
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:16 AM

I'm still not sure how to subscribe to the thread. Oh, well.

Anyway, that being said, I am sorry if my answers were a bit imprecise. I sometimes reply in haste.

However, the free agency of man is different from saying that man acts independently of God's sovereign control. Libertarian free will insists that the will is not determined by anything, including grace, a depraved/corrupt nature, or anything else.

Determinism is the Calvinist view, not Arminianism or any of the other views that insist on "free will".

I'm troubled by the fact that you think that determinism means that men are "robots". That's a caricature of the Arminians and the semi-pelagians. Determinism does not remove human responsibility to God. Far from it. In fact, if so then you would need to toss the doctrine of total inability. The law of God, the moral law, tells men what they ought to do. Simply because they are unable to obey it perfectly is no excuse before God. They remain fully accountable for their choices.

But the bottom line here is what Calvin says. Nothing God does is wrong. So if God chooses to harden some men and grant an effectual call to others we have no room to accuse God of injustice, which is basically what you're saying when you say that such a view makes men "robots". It's another way of saying that you think God would be unfair if He determines men's moral actions and thoughts without violating their wills. In fact, that is the biblical view. There is no way around it. Calvin insists the same thing as the quotes I gave clearly show.

Without determinism there would be no accountability, in fact. If choices are not determined and every choice is simply a choice between two equal choices, there would be no basis for morality or ethics and there would be no reason for God to judge those who disobey His law. Evil is in fact revealed by God's moral law. (Romans 3:20; 7:7).

Gordon H. Clark comments on this:

Quote:
The aim of this article is, then, to show that determinism is consistent with responsibility, indeed responsibility requires determinism.

The arguments on both sides are fairly well known. They so lack originality as to discourage new attempts, including this one. The determinist position is stated as well as anywhere in the article by George Stuart Fullerton, entitled “Freedom and Free Will.” His aim was to show that on the basis of indeterminism moral conduct in general, in so far as free or indeterminate, would lose all ethical value. The indeterminist holds that certain actions are not adequately explained, i.e., determined by preceding causes. Then, if benevolence for example is a free action, it is not determined by a benevolent personality but happens carelessly. If the will were free absolutely, then a knowledge of one’s own respectable character in the past brings neither hope nor consolation. Ordinarily we consider a determining factor, and a moral man does not become immoral except for some other determining factor. But free will allows a man to become a criminal for no reason at all.
From: Determinism and Responsibility

The fact of the matter is that there are no contingencies in God's mind. He never learns anything. He knows everything. Therefore, if God knows the future moral actions of any man, then these moral actions are certain. And if they are certain, it follows that God has determined them. And in fact, that is what the Bible says on almost every page.

Quote:
For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might utterly destroy them, and that they might receive no mercy, but that He might destroy them, as the LORD had commanded Moses. (Joshua 11:20 NKJ)


As for your conjecture that I am confusing predestination/election with man's ability or inability to "make choices", I don't believe that follows since I've already said that man is a free moral agent. But that is not the same thing as having "free will". Luther and Calvin both denied it and so does Scripture on almost every page. Do you really believe that Judas Iscariot or Pontius Pilate could have chosen to do other than what God had foreordained by His predetermined and set plan?

Quote:
"Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; (Acts 2:23 NKJ)

"For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 "to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. (Acts 4:27-28 NKJ)
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:14 PM

Only an Armnian could say that choice is synergistic. Regeneration is monergistic.

Therefore, God literally is the cause of the choice to become a Christian.

We can play ad hominem games all day long. But the bottom line here is you will need to define your terms.

If you mean by "choice" what Arminians call "libertarian free will", that is an uncaused choice that has no outside or internal determining factors, then you have no basis for morality, ethics, or human responsibility.

Charlie
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:28 PM

We have already been told that hardening is not less under the immediate hand of God than mercy. Paul does not, after the example of those whom I have mentioned, labour anxiously to defend God, by calling in the aid of falsehood; he only reminds us that it is unlawful for the creature to quarrel with its Creator. --John Calvin


Quote:
If man's nature is not ONE of the determinate causes of man's choices then man is not responsible for anything he does. This is the Arminian/semi-Pelagian argument used all too often against Calvinism, for IF everything that a man thinks, feels and does is totally caused by God's eternal decree, man becomes the proverbial puppet.


Calvin answered your objection clearly. You seem to be more afraid of the Arminians than of God:

Quote:
1. The human mind, when it hears this doctrine, cannot restrain its petulance, but boils and rages as if aroused by the sound of a trumpet. Many professing a desire to defend the Deity from an invidious charge admit the doctrine of election, but deny that any one is reprobated (Bernard. in Die Ascensionis, Serm. 2). This they do ignorantly and childishly since there could be no election without its opposite reprobation. God is said to set apart those whom he adopts for salvation. It were most absurd to say, that he admits others fortuitously, or that they by their industry acquire what election alone confers on a few. Those, therefore, whom God passes by he reprobates, and that for no other cause but because he is pleased to exclude them from the inheritance which he predestines to his children. Nor is it possible to tolerate the petulance of men, in refusing to be restrained by the word of God, in regard to his incomprehensible counsel, which even angels adore. We have already been told that hardening is not less under the immediate hand of God than mercy. Paul does not, after the example of those whom I have mentioned, labour anxiously to defend God, by calling in the aid of falsehood; he only reminds us that it is unlawful for the creature to quarrel with its Creator. Then how will those who refuse to admit that any are reprobated by God explain the following words of Christ? “Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up,” ( [Mt. 15:13] ). They are plainly told that all whom the heavenly Father has not been pleased to plant as sacred trees in his garden, are doomed and devoted to destruction. If they deny that this is a sign of reprobation, there is nothing, however clear, that, can be proved to them. But if they will still murmur, let us in the soberness of faith rest contented with the admonition of Paul, that it can be no ground of complaint that God, “willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had store prepared unto glory,” ( [Rom. 9:22, 23] ). Let my readers observe that Paul, to cut off all handle for murmuring and detraction, attributes supreme sovereignty to the wrath and power of God; for it were unjust that those profound judgments, which transcend all our powers of discernment, should be subjected to our calculation. Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Section 1
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
Only an Armnian could say that choice is synergistic. Regeneration is monergistic.

Therefore, God literally is the cause of the choice to become a Christian.

We can play ad hominem games all day long. But the bottom line here is you will need to define your terms.

If you mean by "choice" what Arminians call "libertarian free will", that is an uncaused choice that has no outside or internal determining factors, then you have no basis for morality, ethics, or human responsibility.

Charlie

1. Agreed. Regeneration is monergistic.

2. Agreed. (see #1) However, God isn't the one who exercises the Spirit created faith due to regeneration. It is man who repents and believes upon Christ, would you agree?

3. The disparaging ad hominem games belong to you sir, "You are definitely not a Calvinist" is what you wrote, not me. grin

4. Agreed. I have never even hinted that the unregenerate man possesses "libertarian free will"! To the contrary, I have made it clear more than once that man is a "free agent" who is capable of making choices freely consistent with one's nature. The natural, unregenerate man is totally incapable of making any choice but sin due to his corrupt nature. (Gen 6:5, 8:21; Jer 17:9; Matt 15:19; Rom 3:10-19; et al) The regenerate man is capable of making choices which are sinful and which are godly, due to the new spiritual nature created in him by the Holy Spirit. I would refer you to Thomas Boston's magnum opus, Human Nature in its Four-fold State.
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:45 PM

Salvation is threefold: 1) We are saved. 2) We are being saved. 3) We will be saved.

The idea that you save yourself and justify yourself by an unaided act of your own will is either pelagianism, semi-pelagianism, or Arminianism.

Luther, Calvin, and a host of other Reformed theologians say that regeneration is a monergistic act of God, not an act of man's will.

In fact, Jesus teaches that regeneration is solely an act of the Holy Spirit:

Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 "Do not marvel that I said to you,`You must be born again.' 8 "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:3-8 NKJ)

The determining factor in conversion is regeneration, not man's will. Certainly God works in man's mind, soul, and will to cause man to come to faith and conversion. Man then cooperates with that monergistic grace to repent and believe. But the ultimate cause of all man does is God. And even the most Kuyperian Calvinists in the 19th century do not say that regeneration is synergistic. Hodge and Berkhof both say that regeneration is monergistic while sanctification is synergistic. And even when they say that sanctification is synergistic they do not mean it in the sense of Wesleyan prevenient grace or libertarian free will. They only mean that God monergisitically causes man to cooperate with God's grace of sanctification. Thus, sanctification, though cooperative and "synergistic", is still caused by God.

The prayers of the collects in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer show that this grace is to be asked for because without it we will not obey:

Quote:

The Third Sunday after Easter.
The Collect.
ALMIGHTY God, who shewest to them that be in error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; Grant unto all them that are admitted into the fellowship of Christ's Religion, that they may eschew those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Third Sunday After Easter


Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Quote:
BookMark said:
Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9)

You had as much "choice" in your spiritual re-birth as you did in your natural birth. Zilch.

I guess every Calvinist I know personally must be hyper then - oh well........(and some would say that your post was arminian btw) grin

Mark,

One is not saved by regeneration!! This idea is not only not taught in Scripture, the Reformed faith has never taught that regeneration saves either. One is saved; i.e., JUSTIFIED; pronounced not guilty and Christ's righteousness IMPUTED to him when and ONLY after one believes upon Christ. God doesn't believe for anyone. It is an act done by the individual through an act of the will. Regeneration gives one the predisposition to want Christ and the ability to believe upon Him. But regeneration doesn't save. You are confusing the secret sovereign work of the Holy Spirit, i.e., regeneration with conversion which requires that a sinner turn from sin (repentance) and trust Christ for his/her righteousness (faith).

In His Grace,
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
Calvin answered your objection clearly. You seem to be more afraid of the Arminians than of God:

More ad hominem slurs? igiveup

Again, I have to conclude that you are a Supralapsarian and thus hold that the first in the order of God's eternal decree was to predestinate some men as elect unto eternal life and the remainder as reprobate unto eternal damnation WITHOUT any reference to the Fall. Would that be correct in your case? I asked this question previously, but never got a reply. shrug
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:54 PM

You are preaching to the choir here, brother! grin

Perhaps you meant this for some other forum or Facebook group?
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:58 PM

Why is that "hyper-Calvinists" quote Calvin and Luther while semi-Arminian, neo-Calvinists, and Van Tilians quote others? That's interesting.

I'll go with Gordon H. Clark, though. He said that the "Bible alone is the Word of God." Of course, I could quote Clark. But let Scripture speak for itself. God causes men to sin and I can prove it from the Bible:

Quote:
And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. (Exodus 4:21 NKJ)


God foreknew that Pharaoh would harden his own heart because God had determined beforehand that He would harden Pharaoh's heart. The Arminian will argue that Pharaoh first hardened his own heart and then God hardened Pharaoh's heart out of punishment. But that is not what the text says. Plainly God said He would harden Pharaoh before Moses ever went to confront Pharaoh. Secondly, if you say God predetermined to harden Pharaoh based solely on foreknowledge, you have endorsed the Arminian contradiction. If God foreknows contingencies that are uncertain, then God cannot foreknow what exactly will happen. If God DOES foreknow, then logically it follows that God causes it to come to pass just as God foreknows it will and it does so solely because God has predetermined it to be so.

Free moral agency, therefore, cannot mean the same thing as "free will". Free will is the semi-pelagian and the Arminian error. There is no such thing as free will.

Charlie
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Originally Posted By: Cranmer
Calvin answered your objection clearly. You seem to be more afraid of the Arminians than of God:

More ad hominem slurs? igiveup

Again, I have to conclude that you are a Supralapsarian and thus hold that the first in the order of God's eternal decree was to predestinate some men as elect unto eternal life and the remainder as reprobate unto eternal damnation WITHOUT any reference to the Fall. Would that be correct in your case? I asked this question previously, but never got a reply. shrug


I don't think you understand what an ad hominem is. I don't believe I attacked you as a person. I simply pointed out that your accusation that I misrepresent God as a "monster" who programs men as "robots" is the Arminian argument against Calvinism. You seem to agree with them and disagree with Calvin and with Scripture. The pot cannot accuse the Potter of anything whatsoever. That's a foolish move at best. (Romans 9:18-22).

In regards to the infralapsarian and supralapsarian views, it should be pointed out that this is an argument about the "logical" order of God's decrees, not the temporal order as they unfold in historical time. Thus, both infralapsarianism and supralapsarianism hold to double predestination before the creation of the world. Unconditional election and reprobation both occur before creation by both infralapsarianism and supralapsarian views on the decrees.

So I have to ask exactly what is your point here?

There are many supralapsarians out there, including Robert L. Reymond. Is infralapsarianism another of your tests of fellowship?

Also, since the three points of common grace are not a test of Calvinism as it is defined in the Reformed confessions of faith, I will take it as unnecessary for me or any other Calvinist to hold to those semi-Arminian doctrines, including the dialectical theology of Van Til and the "free" offer. From God's perspective there is never a possibility of salvation for the reprobate. To confuse man's ignorance of God's decrees to election and reprobation with God's decrees and God's omniscience is therefore bad theology.

Sincerely in Christ,

Charlie
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:22 PM

The idea that salvation is synergistic is indeed Arminianism. Salvation is completely of God. Salvation is all of God. Even our subsequent "cooperation" is a monergistic working of God in the elect:

Quote:
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12-13 NKJ)


God knows everything we will do before we do it and He knows all the number of our days. In other words, our entire life is already laid out and God knows it all from before the creation of the world and on to eternity in heaven:

Quote:
<For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.> O LORD, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. 5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me; 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You. 13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139:1-16 NKJ)
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:31 PM

In God's mind there is no succession of thoughts in time as man thinks in temporal succession. God never learns anything since God already knows everything there is to know. God is omnisicent. So when Genesis 1:1 one says, "In the beginning God created ..." that would imply that God already knew all the intricate details of creation, history, and everything that would happen. This world is the only possible world that God could have created because God is immutable. He could not have created any other possible world without changing His being and purposes. God's will is immutable just as His being is immutable.
Posted By: chestnutmare

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:54 PM

Charlie, I'd like to welcome you to the Discussion Board and direct you to the FAQ section above where you will find more information about how this Board functions and our rules for conduct and posting.

I noticed that Pilgrim has asked you the same question twice and you still have not answered.

I too would like you to respond to that question.
Posted By: chestnutmare

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:18 PM

There is no lack of understanding as to what "ad hominem" means Charlie. You may consider yourself to be erudite, but you have presented yourself as being quite pugnacious and rude, to the extent that I am losing interest in what you have to say. You seem to fear identifying your position as a supralapsarian and come across as being quite rude in the process. I say there is no call for that behavior.
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Tom
Mark

If you have ever done any reading of CH Spurgeon, then according to your reasoning, you must conclude that he was an Arminian.

Tom


Spurgeon was not entirely consistent in his Calvinism.
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:10 PM

Quote:
A man must do something before he can be JUSTIFIED,


Since dead men cannot regenerate themselves, you must be talking about something that occurs after regeneration. (John 3:3-8). But since anything we do is itself a gift of God, how does your "work" of doing fit in?

Quote:
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NKJ)



Quote:
Even our faith is not of our own "doing" but is itself a gift of God:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJ)


Faith is not a "work" that we "do" in order to be justified. Faith is a gift of God and it is the instrument by which God applies justification. Faith is NOT the ground of our justification nor is it something we DO to be justified. It is the means by which God justifies His elect. The GROUND or basis of justification is the objective work of Christ on the cross. The MEANS of justification is our faith, a faith that we take no credit for because it too is a divine gift given ONLY to the elect.

Quote:
Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." (John 6:29 NKJ)


Jesus says it is the work of God that results in our believing, not our doing or working by which we give ourselves belief or faith.

Quote:
10. At length, after they have wearied themselves with perverting Scripture, they have recourse to subtleties and sophisms. One cavil is, that faith is somewhere called a work ( [John 6:29] ); hence they infer that we are in error in opposing faith to works; as if faith, regarded as obedience to the divine will, could by its own merit procure our justification, and did not rather, by embracing the mercy of God, thereby seal upon our hearts the righteousness of Christ, which is offered to us in the preaching of the gospel. Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 18, Section 10


A little below that Calvin clearly rejects faith as the "one work" that justifies a man:

Quote:
The righteousness of works consists in perfect obedience to the law. Hence you cannot be justified by works unless you follow this straight line (if I may so call it) during the whole course of your life. The moment you decline from it you have fallen into unrighteousness. Hence it appears, that righteousness is not obtained by a few works, but by an indefatigable and inflexible observance of the divine will. But the rule with regard to unrighteousness is very different. The adulterer or the thief is by one act guilty of death, because he offends against the majesty of God. The blunder of these arguers of ours lies here: they attend not to the words of James, “Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill,” &c. ( [James 2:10, 11] ). Therefore, it should not seem absurd when we say that death is the just recompense of every sin, because each sin merits the just indignation and vengeance of God. But you reason absurdly if you infer the converse, that one good work will reconcile a man to God notwithstanding of his meriting wrath by many sins. Institutes, Book 3, Chapter 18, section 10.


Faith is not a work we do to justify ourselves before God. It is the means God uses to apply the objective justification of the cross and Christ's active obedience to us.

Charlie
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:22 PM

Originally Posted By: chestnutmare
There is no lack of understanding as to what "ad hominem" means Charlie. You may consider yourself to be erudite, but you have presented yourself as being quite pugnacious and rude, to the extent that I am losing interest in what you have to say. You seem to fear identifying your position as a supralapsarian and come across as being quite rude in the process. I say there is no call for that behavior.


I don't believe I've called anyone "pugnacious or rude". That is an excellent example of the ad hominem fallacy, by the way.

I believe I was clear in affirming that I am both a supralapsarian and a Scripturalist. I believe that the Bible IS God's Word, not simply an analogy of God's revelation. The Bible is the plenary-verbal revelation of God in written form. If we cannot know what God thinks by what He reveals in the words of Scripture, then we cannot know anything about God at all.

What is interesting, however, is that you so quickly resort to emotive arguments rather than supporting from my comments where you think I was rude, pugnacious, or exhibiting bad behavior? I believe what I did was support what I said from Scripture and from pertinent quotes from Calvin.

If being rational is "rude" in your opinion, then probably the logic of God's Word is "rude" as well? The Bible clearly says that we are to be logical and rational when contending for the truth.

Quote:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2 NKJ)


The word for "reasonable" in Romans 12:1, btw, means "logical":

Quote:
3050 logiko,j logikos {log-ik-os'}
Meaning: 1) pertaining to speech or speaking 2) pertaining to the reason or logic 2a) spiritual, pertaining to the soul 2b) agreeable to reason, following reason, reasonable, logical
Origin: from 3056; TDNT - 4:142,505; adj
Usage: AV - reasonable 1, of the word 1; 2
There are no notes for this verse.


Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3 NKJ)
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:25 PM

When someone uses the word "require" or "required" that is an imperative mood even in English. So bascially all you're saying is that faith and believing are "commanded" in the Bible. But a command given in Scripture in no way implies that those who receive the command are able to obey it. The doctrine of total inability is that no one is able to respond unless they are first born again and then given irresistible grace to come to Christ.

(John 3:3-8; 6:37-44, 65; Matthew 22:14).
Posted By: Robert B Foster

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:40 AM

When the Spirit of God comes into a man in salvation, there is a change that occurs to his nature on account of the fact that the Spirit lives in him. In that changed nature one loves righteousness, because it has been revealed to him and in that revelation of righteousness one loves the Truth and knows all things, because the Spirit of Truth lives in him (he is now a slave to righteousness). And so we grow in the Christian experience into what we fundamentally know, more and more putting away the contradictions that we naturally assume for the Truth that we have been made to love. One whose nature is changed is made to do good works (yes, the will is fully engaged here). Such a one not only repents intellectually, but repents by changing behavior that is contrary to righteousness, and more and more. Such change is accounted for as the work of God alone.

Some who believe that sanctification is monergistic, would agree with what I just wrote about sanctification, as would many who say that sanctification is synergistic. The good news here is that our differences can and should be worked out in discussions like this, because I think we can easily talk past each other. But those who have a monergistic view of sanctification, who say they are as totally depraved now as they were prior to their salvation, who say that only the intellect changes in sanctification and not one's life...I have to ask you, whoever you are, what life of sin are you hiding? Because God who has imparted to us faith has said that if we willfully sin after having received the knowledge of the Truth, that we have no claim to being Christians at all (Heb. 10:26ff). I am not saying that Christians don't sin... But I am saying that Christians are not characterized by sin, whose lives will more and more conform to the righteous character of God (Heb. 2 and 4). And if that is not happening, one only can have a fearful expectation of judgment that will consume the enemies of God....lest, God grant repentance. Let me put it another way, if you have been committing adultery for years with another man's wife, you can't say that you can have assurance of eternal life simply because you know that what you are doing is wrong. That's just hog wash! It makes a mockery of the power of God in sanctification. Nor can such a monergistic view claim Christ does it all, as they go on to say, because the only thing one can do is sin... whereby, there does not need to be discipline in the Church, but only the preaching of Christ. Such men are looking for an excuse to sin... And what I just wrote isn't taking away from the fact that repentance is a gift. It is a gift, but it isn't Christ who is repenting, but the sinner. Such work is on account of the Spirit's work, such that God receives all of the glory...but we are working, and yes, our will is engaged. For Christ doesn't need to repent, but sinners do! And repentance happens not as a condition for salvation, but in evidence of salvation. Beware, brethren, of such people who have this kind of monergistic view of sanctification, and who hold onto it when correction in the Truth is given again and again and again. Such are sin minimizers, who without repentance are without hope and without God.

On the flip side, beware of those who argue that the flesh has been changed in salvation and is no longer totally depraved. Such are those who thank God that they are not like other men. These are the Pharisees among us, who see God as their co-pilot, or a helper and facilitator, who in the end take credit for the works they do...

By way of analogy, if we are like dead trees and the Spirit comes into the tree, the tree does not remain dead, such that any good work is literally the work of God alone. Rather, if when we were dead trees the Spirit comes into us, the tree comes to life! It bares fruit!! In fact the tree is better than its state before the fall, because the new state is not mutable, because Christ cannot fail!!! This is more fully realized in glory. Therefore, the good works that we do are our works, but we account for them in terms of what God has done and is doing. Analogies have flaws, but I believe you understand what I am saying.

To continue with the analogy, neither does the Spirit come into the tree, making it alive, then departs from the tree, only working as a helper to the tree, because the tree does ALL the work, thanking God for making it a tree in distinction from all the dead trees that are out there. The problem here is that the tree is still dead, with theology that comes from dead trees. The evidence that it is dead, is that it thanks God that it is not like the other trees... But the truth is that without the indwelling Spirit, a tree is not alive. And if not alive, it can't bare spiritual fruit.

I hope my using this analogy doesn't offend any of you. I have used this analogy in the past when speaking to children and then connected it to its true application.

Hope this is an aid to the discussion.

Bob Foster
Gettysburg, PA
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:24 AM

Bob to our Discussion Board.

And all I can say to your reply is, "Amen, brother! You preach it... I stutter." giggle
Posted By: Robert B Foster

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:51 PM

Thankful for your comment. And thankful to be a part of the discussion.

Bob
Posted By: Greg Bowman

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:36 AM

Amen Bob..
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:52 AM

I guess Calvin was a hyper-Calvinist:) First of all, singling out one proposition out of the entire system of Scriptural teaching is to distort theology. The golden chain of salvation begins with unconditional election before the foundation of the world, not with conversion. Saying that regeneration does not save is a stupid and misplaced comment since regeneration is an absolutely essential doctrine of Calvinism. Regeneration is a sovereign decree of God that precedes faith and conversion. Without regeneration any act of the will is impossible, including conversion, faith, repentance, and obedience.

Furthermore, even sanctification is a monergistic work of God in the hearts of the elect. (Philippians 2:13). Saying that the elect have moral agency and a will does not imply that there is libertarian free will. That is Arminianism, not Calvinism. The reprobate were destined to stumble. (1 Peter 2:8). God raised up Pharaoh for the express purpose of hardening his heart and destroying him in the Red Sea. (Exodus 4:21; 7:21; Romans 9:18-22). God made the wicked for the day of doom. (Proverbs 16:4).

The problem with riding the fence is that you end up being bosom buddies with Arminian heretics and denouncing Calvinists as "hyper" Calvinists. Common grace is Arminianism, plain and simple. The idea that the deciding factor in salvation is "choice" is nothing more than Arminianism. Faith is itself a sovereign gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8-9). The "work" of God is the gift of believing:

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:29 KJV)

Salvation is all of God's grace and there is nothing whatsoever that anyone can do to make himself believe. God alone can cause a dead sinner to believe in the Son of God. (John 5:25).

Charlie J. Ray

http://reasonablechristian.blogspot.com

Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:07 AM

The idea that the mind is divorced from behavior is an illogical and irrational one. Unless one's thinking changes behavior cannot change since behavior is guided by acts of the will and acts of the will depend on thinking. The Scriptures over and over again emphasize understanding, knowledge, and thinking.

In fact, sanctification begins with "truth." Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17 KJV)
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11 KJV)

The "heart" in the Scriptures is most often a synonym with the "mind":

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)

We are commanded to love God with all the mind:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (Mark 12:30 KJV)

Knowledge is commanded by the Scriptures:

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 KJV)
By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, (2 Corinthians 6:6 KJV)

Any piety that emphasizes ignorance rather knowledge of the Scriptures is a false piety.

There are many false prophets today. A true man of God emphasizes the Scriptures, not personal experiences.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2 KJV)


Charlie
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:15 AM

What question was that? Am I a Supralapsarian? Yes, I am. But since when is Supralapsarianism a heresy? The fact is Arminianism is a heresy, not Supralapsarianism.

The Canons of Dort do not condemn supralapsarianism. They condemn Arminianism:)

While it is true that the Westminster Confession leans toward infralapsarianism, it is also true that the WCF allows for supralapsarianism, particularly in the chapter on God's decrees.

I'm always amused when Baptists accuse Calvinists of being "hyper" Calvinists. That's because such accusations are usually a smoke screen for semi-Arminianism.

The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. (Proverbs 16:4 KJV)

Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? (Amos 3:6 KJV)

Charlie
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:23 AM

http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/documents/calvin/calvin_predestination.html


John Calvin:

"For our salvation is then sure to us, when we find the cause of it in the breast of God. Thus, when we lay hold of life in Christ, made manifest to our faith, the same faith being still our leader and guide, our sight is permitted to penetrate much farther, and to see from what source

30 CALVIN'S CALVINISM.

that life proceeded. Our confidence of salvation is rooted in Christ, and rests on the promises of the Gospel. But it is no weak prop to our confidence, when we are brought to believe in Christ, to hear that all was originally given to us of God, and that we were as much ordained to faith in Christ before the foundation of the world, as we were chosen to the inheritance of eternal life in Christ."
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:35 AM

Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Originally Posted By: Cranmer
All choices made by man are not "free". They are determined by God. Calvin clearly denies that it is the "nature" of man that determines him to good or evil. Rather it is according to God's decree that man acts:

I disagree that man is not "free" to choose according to his nature, which is the established definition of "free agency". It is not "either/or" but BOTH that man is a free agent AND God has decreed everything without exception from eternity. This is what all the Reformed Confessions teach, but more importantly, this is what Scripture teaches, which the Confessions affirm. God decreed the fall of Adam, but both Adam and Eve made their respective choices of disobedience most freely. Of course, the caveat in this example and even more so with Satan, is that there was no prior predisposition to evil as there is with fallen mankind. And anyone who tries to offer an explanation as to how either Satan or the first parents sinned is guilty of sheer unwarranted speculation. Even Jonathan Edwards admitted that there is no answer to be found to that question. Why? Because it is not revealed.

However, what IS revealed is that men are free to choose and do choose that which is most important to them in all situations. But those choices are restricted according to their nature. Any and all sins which I commit have been foreordained by God according to His eternal counsel and good pleasure for His glory. But God's decree in no sense is the ultimate cause of my sinning, else would be guilty of being the Author of Sin, which all but a few individuals throughout history, even the staunchest supralapsarians, have categorically denied. Man is totally responsible for all his choices, AND all man's choices are made freely, AND all man's choices have been foreordained/decreed by God from eternity.


The idea that the cause of the fall is not revealed in Scripture is an outright lie:

Chapter 6: Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and the Punishment thereof

1. Our first parents, being seduced by the subtilty and temptation of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit.1 This their sin, God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory.2

See also: WLC 21 | WSC 13


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 Gen. 3:13; 2 Cor. 11:3.

2 Rom. 11:32.

The cause of the fall is God's decree. The Confession affirms that God purposed the fall.

Chapter 3: Of God's Eternal Decree

1. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:1 yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,2 nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.3

See also: WLC 12 | WSC 7


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 Eph. 1:11; Rom. 11:33; Heb. 6:17; Rom. 9:15,18.

2 James 1:13,17; 1 John 1:5.

3 Acts 2:23; Matt. 17:12; Acts 4:27,28; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33.

God ordained the fall and that is inescapable. Logic requires it since God is omnipotent. To say that the fall just happened apart from God's control and we don't know how it happened is simply pure Arminianism.
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:40 AM

God is not the author of sin but He is the cause of sin. That is what the Bible teaches:

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (2 Thessalonians 2:11 KJV)

Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee. (1 Kings 22:23 KJV)

I am the author of what I have written here. But God is the cause of my being here and having the ability to say this in the first place. Thus, God is the ultimate cause behind all that happens. He could have cut me off so that I could not say anything else. Whatever comes to pass is ordained of God.

12. What are the decrees of God?

Answer: God's decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of his will,1 whereby, from all eternity, he hath, for his own glory, unchangeably foreordained whatsoever comes to pass in time,2 especially concerning angels and men.

See also: WCF 3.1 | WSC 7


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 Eph. 1:11; Rom. 11:33; Rom. 9:14,15,18.

2 Eph. 1:4,11; Rom. 9:22,23; Ps. 33:11.

13. What hath God especially decreed concerning angels and men?

Answer: God, by an eternal and immutable decree, out of his mere love, for the praise of his glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, hath elected some angels to glory;1 and in Christ hath chosen some men to eternal life, and the means thereof:2 and also, according to his sovereign power, and the unsearchable counsel of his own will, [whereby he extendeth or withholdeth favour as he pleaseth,] hath passed by and foreordained the rest to dishonour and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of his justice.3

See also: WCF 3.3-4


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 1 Tim. 5:21

2 Eph. 1:4-6; 2 Thess. 2:13,14.

3 Rom. 9:17,18,21,22; Matt. 11:25,26; 2 Tim. 2:20; Jude 4; 1 Pet 2:8.

14. How doth God execute his decrees?

Answer: God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will.1
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:25 AM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Originally Posted By: Cranmer
All choices made by man are not "free". They are determined by God. Calvin clearly denies that it is the "nature" of man that determines him to good or evil. Rather it is according to God's decree that man acts:

I disagree that man is not "free" to choose according to his nature, which is the established definition of "free agency". It is not "either/or" but BOTH that man is a free agent AND God has decreed everything without exception from eternity. This is what all the Reformed Confessions teach, but more importantly, this is what Scripture teaches, which the Confessions affirm. God decreed the fall of Adam, but both Adam and Eve made their respective choices of disobedience most freely. Of course, the caveat in this example and even more so with Satan, is that there was no prior predisposition to evil as there is with fallen mankind. And anyone who tries to offer an explanation as to how either Satan or the first parents sinned is guilty of sheer unwarranted speculation. Even Jonathan Edwards admitted that there is no answer to be found to that question. Why? Because it is not revealed.

However, what IS revealed is that men are free to choose and do choose that which is most important to them in all situations. But those choices are restricted according to their nature. Any and all sins which I commit have been foreordained by God according to His eternal counsel and good pleasure for His glory. But God's decree in no sense is the ultimate cause of my sinning, else would be guilty of being the Author of Sin, which all but a few individuals throughout history, even the staunchest supralapsarians, have categorically denied. Man is totally responsible for all his choices, AND all man's choices are made freely, AND all man's choices have been foreordained/decreed by God from eternity.


The idea that the cause of the fall is not revealed in Scripture is an outright lie:

Chapter 6: Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and the Punishment thereof

1. Our first parents, being seduced by the subtilty and temptation of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit.1 This their sin, God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory.2

See also: WLC 21 | WSC 13


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 Gen. 3:13; 2 Cor. 11:3.

2 Rom. 11:32.

The cause of the fall is God's decree. The Confession affirms that God purposed the fall.

Chapter 3: Of God's Eternal Decree

1. God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:1 yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,2 nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.3

See also: WLC 12 | WSC 7


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 Eph. 1:11; Rom. 11:33; Heb. 6:17; Rom. 9:15,18.

2 James 1:13,17; 1 John 1:5.

3 Acts 2:23; Matt. 17:12; Acts 4:27,28; John 19:11; Prov. 16:33.

God ordained the fall and that is inescapable. Logic requires it since God is omnipotent. To say that the fall just happened apart from God's control and we don't know how it happened is simply pure Arminianism.

Untypically of me, I have included your entire post to illustrate how confused you are and apparently, because of your blindness caused by your "hobby horse" getting in the way, incapable of responding to what people actually write, of which this reply of yours is paradigmatic.

1. I maintain that man is "free" to choose that which is most important to him at any given moment, ACCORDING TO HIS NATURE. Again, I would refer you to a) Scripture and b) the following references: The Bondage of the Will by Luther, The Freedom of the Will by J. Edwards, and Human Nature in its Four-Fold State by T. Boston.

2. In my response to you I made it VERY CLEAR and specifically wrote that "God decreed the fall of Adam". Yet you choose to ignore my statement regarding the ultimate cause of the Fall and go off on one of your typical tirades, totally ignoring what I wrote. Consequently, what you wrote in your reply is irrelevant and thus moot.

3. Once again, affirming that ALL things have been foreordained by God, including the Fall and all its details without exception, Scripture does NOT reveal HOW Adam or Eve chose to disobey God. We know, i.e., 99.9% of those who adhere to biblical, confessional Calvinism, that man's choices are limited according to one's nature. The natural, fallen man only chooses those things which are sinful because of the corruption of his nature. The will has no 'power' of its own and only does that which flows from the influence of the intellect and affections. Thus, because the totally depraved sinner hates God and all that is holy, just and good, he only but freely chooses that which is evil. Contrariwise, the spiritual, regenerate man having been spiritually resurrected has a new nature, the predisposition of which is for God and all that is good. However, a remnant of the old nature remains and consequently, the regenerate man can and does sin.

But, in the case of Adam and Eve, their nature was not sinful, nor was there even the slightest inclination toward sin within them. They were created "very good" and thus their predisposition was totally toward God. That being fact and accepted by 99.9% of biblical, confessional Calvinists, the question of HOW could a person who is totally inclined toward God choose that which is contrary to his nature? The attempt to answer the question by pointing out the outside temptation of Satan fails to satisfy, for again, Adam, and Eve's, total being; intellect, affections and will were only toward God and all that is good. Thus, no outside influence would be able to change that nature. Only God is capable of changing one's nature; e.g., Original Sin where the sin nature was given as penalty for disobedience, and regeneration which is given to the elect due to God's eternal electing love. Thus, to the finite mind which has not been informed, the answer is indiscernible (Deut 29:29). The problem of the origin of sin, which is in regard to Satan's rebellion/disobedience, is even more perplexing and unanswerable because there was no outside influence involved. Yes, God ordained the fall of Satan and those other angels. And yes, God ordained the fall of man. But HOW these actually occurred given the nature of the individuals involved is not revealed and neither you nor Gordon Clark has the answer. Logic is NOT the infallible source of truth. God's inspired written Word is truth (Jh 17:17). And where God has chosen not to reveal certain things, which doubtless is infinite, wisdom and humility submits and silence is embraced... not prideful speculation.

May I suggest you also consider a change of attitude in your participation on this Board? wink
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:02 PM

It is you who is ignoring the Westminster Confession. The chapter on "Free Will" specifically DENIES free will. Furthermore, Luther says that even prior to the fall Adam did not have libertarian free will between two equal choices. Although man became a slave to sin after the fall, he did not have free will even before the fall. That's because whatsoever comes to pass is ordained of God. Adam, being a moral agent, chose to become a sinner and he did so of his own choice. Adam is the author of his own sin. However, that does not imply libertarian free will. The only Being who has "free" will is God. That is because God alone is unaffected by anything outside of the Tri-Personality of the divine nature. God is immutable and completely independent of His creation.

Furthermore, the idea that God loves the reprobate is clearly unscriptural. "Many" are called but "few" are chosen. Those who do not believe are "condemned already." And it should be pointed out that not one of the elect will be lost. If the reprobate are condemned already--because they were decreed to reprobation (Romans 9:13) and because they refuse to believe (John 3:18), it follows that the outcome is predetermined. (1 Peter 2:8). So if Christ died for those already in hell, how do you call that love? Common grace teaches that Christ "in some sense" died for all mankind. (See Charles Hodge's Systematic Theology). That would mean that Christ died for some other reason other than simply propitiating God's wrath against His elect.

If whatsoever comes to pass IS God's will, THEN it follows that God hates the reprobate and that is the reason they will be in hell forever. God does whatsoever He pleases and what God does is always right--even when He predetermines the reprobate to hell before the foundation of the world:

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:8 KJV)
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (Ephesians 1:11 KJV)

I might add that I am not the one who began this discussion. The word "tirade" as used by you is not a logical argument but rather it is nothing more than the method of propaganda meant to distract from your lack of a logical and rational response.

3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels1 are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.2

See also: WLC 13


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 1 Tim. 5:21; Matt. 25:41.

2 Rom. 9:22,23; Eph. 1:5,6; Prov. 16:4.

4. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.1

See also: WLC 13

Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
It is you who is ignoring the Westminster Confession. The chapter on "Free Will" specifically DENIES

Westminster Confession of Faith
Chapter IX - "Of Free Will"


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

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]

III. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, has 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]

IV. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, He frees 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 does not perfectly, or only, will that which is good, but does also will that which is evil.[10]

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

I rest my case. grin
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:18 PM

I should add that my contention for monergistic sanctification is not one that produces no results in thinking and behavior. The point is that IF we make ANY progress in the Christian life it is SOLELY the result of sovereign grace:


"As so often in the epistles, here too Paul completely rules out all human claims to merit. Salvation is a free gift. It originates entirely from God and not at all from the will or actions of man. If indeed the Christian voluntarily corrects his conduct and advances in sanctification, it is because God gives him the ability and the will. True enough, we work out our salvation in fear and trembling, but we do so because God works in us both to will and to do, and this divine working depends solely on God's good pleasure." -- Gordon H. Clark. (Philippians 2:12-13)


Commentaries on Paul's Epistles: Ephesians. (Unicoi: Trinity Foundation, 1985), page 27. [Cf. Ephesians 1:6 KJV].


http://reasonablechristian.blogspot.com/2013/05/gordon-h-clark-sanctification-depends.html

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12 KJV)

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:5 KJV)
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
I should add that my contention for monergistic sanctification is not one that produces no results in thinking and behavior. The point is that IF we make ANY progress in the Christian life it is SOLELY the result of sovereign grace:

1. I hold to synergistic sanctification which is not one that denies that salvation is ALL of sovereign grace. There is nothing that a true Christian thinks, says or does which has any merit whatsoever in regard to salvation.

2. The majority who hold to "monergistic sanctification" denigrate or even deny regeneration and its results, i.e., a RADICAL transformation of the soul. Additionally, the majority who hold to "monergistic sanctification" insist that the regenerated sinner is "totally depraved", which is antithetical and totally contradictory.

3. Clark's statement is certainly correct on its face. It certainly does not stand in opposition to what I hold in regard to "synergistic sanctification" which is confessional.
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:30 PM

The first section you quoted from the WCF refers to Adam's condition PRIOR to the fall. The last section clearly denies free will exists.

The human nature prior to the fall is not predetermined to good or evil. But that does not prove that Adam had two equal choices as the libertarian free will view espouses. God has free will but does God have the liberty to become the author of evil acts? Not at all. So the natural liberty you refer to in Adam does not and never could say that Adam had "libertarian" free will. Adam was free from original sin or any corruption of nature prior to the fall. AFTER the fall the human nature IS predetermined to wickedness:

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5 KJV)

Notice that the divine image that is totally corrupt is the "thoughts of his heart." The divine image and likeness of God is rationality and the ability to think. After the fall the noetic effects of sin has corrupted man's ability to reason properly, which leads to all sorts of evil.

As he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7

What brings about transformation is the knowledge of God's Word. The Scriptures are the instrument God uses in the effectual call. Romans 10:7-17. Acts 4:10, 12. Matthew 22:14
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:34 PM

You are overgeneralizing. Clark himself advocated synergistic sanctification. The point of my quote is that even Clark is inconsistent here. And the further point is that even Calvinists who advocate synergistic sanctification are not advocating libertarian free will or any other such thing. That's because free will does not exist even in the regenerated elect. That's obvious because even the regenerate continue to sin both voluntarily and involuntarily in this life. They only become sinless in glorification.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
The first section you quoted from the WCF refers to Adam's condition PRIOR to the fall. The last section clearly denies free will exists.

The human nature prior to the fall is not predetermined to good or evil. But that does not prove that Adam had two equal choices as the libertarian free will view espouses. God has free will but does God have the liberty to become the author of evil acts? Not at all. So the natural liberty you refer to in Adam does not and never could say that Adam had "libertarian" free will. Adam was free from original sin or any corruption of nature prior to the fall. AFTER the fall the human nature IS predetermined to wickedness:...

Once again, you have failed to address what I wrote and the subject of man's "free agency" vs. "free-will", as held by semi-Pelagians. Historic Arminianism, ala the 'Remonstrance' was biblically sound. Their solution to man's dilemma, his corruption of nature, is in error and heretical; prevenient grace.

I do not hold to any form of "libertarian free-will" so you can desist from implying any such nonsense. My position has been stated with great clarity and often enough and is that which is held by all of the Reformers, Puritans and Reformed Confessions & Catechisms. Man can only think, speak and will that which is according to his nature. According to a man's nature, he has the freedom of choice. In short, he is a "free agent".

On the matter of Adam, he was SOLELY predisposed to all righteousness, for he was created upright. Thus the conundrum of HOW he fell. God decreed that he would, but God's decree never forces a man's will, vis-a-vis WCF IX.
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:41 PM

Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. (Psalm 135:6 KJV)
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:46 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
You are overgeneralizing. Clark himself advocated synergistic sanctification. The point of my quote is that even Clark is inconsistent here. And the further point is that even Calvinists who advocate synergistic sanctification are not advocating libertarian free will or any other such thing. That's because free will does not exist even in the regenerated elect. That's obvious because even the regenerate continue to sin both voluntarily and involuntarily in this life. They only become sinless in glorification.

So, what IS your point? scratch1

Clark was certainly consistent with Scripture and with the Reformed Confessions. Evidently, Clark and myself and a multitude of others who hold to "synergistic sanctification" are inconsistent with your minority view. Doubtless, I am comfortable with that! evilgrin
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:14 PM

My point is that your view is Arminian, while Clark's view is not.
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:18 PM

Volition is not the same thing as "libertarian" free will:

Quote:
2. Conversion and Repentance

Since the term sanctification commonly refers to the life-long battle against sin, it is not usual to include regeneration in the concept. Regeneration initiates the Christian life, resurrecting the dry bones and clothing them with flesh – something only God can do – but the first conscious human activity in this new life is faith. Faith, human activity as it is, is still a gift from God. This activity, or its first moments, may be called conversion. The previous state of mind is replaced by belief in the atoning death of Christ. The man consciously changes his mind – for repentance is a change of mind – and turns from his old thinking toward the Savior. First Peter 2:25 reports concerning his addressees, who had been previously straying like lost sheep, that they had now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls. Acts 11:21 is less flowery, but more exact: “A great number believed and turned to the Lord.” In theological language this turning is called conversion. The German pastor of the Presbyterian Church at 19th and Susquehanna in Philadelphia, back in the 1920s, in the Schlussversammlung of an evangelistic series, dramatically illustrated it by executing an about face in the pulpit as he said, “Bekehren ist umkehren.”

If, now, one wishes to examine what is simultaneous, or what the logical relations are, one could say that repentance itself more commonly connected with aversion from sin than with belief in the Trinity, is an act of and a part of faith. Believing is indeed an act of the human self, caused by God to be sure, and totally impossible except for regeneration and God’s gift; but it is nonetheless a human volition. It is the first act in a Christian life. Dead bones cannot believe; but when clothed with flesh they live, and they live a life of faith. By means of this volition God justifies the sinner on the ground of Christ’s merits. This judicial pronouncement inevitably, if some people do not care to say automatically, sets in motion the life-long process of sanctification. The purpose of justification, or at least one of the purposes, and the immediate one, is to produce sanctification. The earliest stage of this is conversion, so early that it might be identified with the first act of faith itself. Consider some of the Scriptural material, both from the Old Testament and from the New Testament. Psalm 19:7: The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Psalm 51:13: Then will I teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Gordon H. Clark (2013-03-04T05:00:00+00:00). What Is The Christian Life? (Kindle Locations 165-188). The Trinity Foundation. Kindle Edition.


Trinity Foundation: What Is the Christian Life?
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
My point is that your view is Arminian, while Clark's view is not.

That is preposterous and laughable, having completed my Master's Thesis, albeit many years ago, on the Canons of Dordt and with very few exceptions agree whole heartedly with it and the Synod's unanimous judgment that classic Arminianism as elucidated in the Remontrance is damnable heresy.

Methinks you are unfortunately confused and consequently make accusations and conclusions which are unwarranted and unfounded. scold
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
Volition is not the same thing as "libertarian" free will:

And who is insisting that it is? shrug

Clark's understanding of repentance is faulty because it is inadequately defined. The "change of mind" is but one element of repentance which is inextricably joined with the regenerated sinners spiritual and godly affections. It is the combination of the two: new understanding/knowledge and new affections/predisposition which govern the change of will, i.e., the decision to aver from sin and pursue holiness and righteousness. Regeneration effects the WHOLE man, not just the intellect. I have challenged you on this before by way of a question concerning faith; Is faith simply the acknowledgment and embracing of certain truths? I say, and historic confessional Reformed teaching rejects such a view. In fact, this month's Article of the Month by L. Berkhof, FAITH deals specifically with that subject. True saving faith is known as fiducia. Any other alleged "faith" is spurious and cannot save. Most common among Evangelicals and now increasingly so, Reformed churches teach Sandemanianism. However, you still haven't answered that question and we are still waiting for it.
Posted By: chestnutmare

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:27 PM

Quote:
The human nature prior to the fall is not predetermined to good or evil. But that does not prove that Adam had two equal choices as the libertarian free will view espouses. God has free will but does God have the liberty to become the author of evil acts? Not at all.


Charlie, how can you say that God has a free will? Do you REALLY believe this?
Posted By: Tom

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:47 AM

Cramner

Pilgrim certainly doesn't need defending; however I can't help but think you are not actually reading what Pilgrim is saying.
At no point has he stated that man has free-will.
He has stated clearly as far as I can tell, that man has free-agency; however free-will and free-agency are not the same.
Free-agency means that man is free to choose whatever they want; however they will never choose anything outside their natures.
When God regenerates (makes alive) the sinner, they are irresistibly drawn to Jesus. They are given faith, but it is them that put their faith in Christ alone, regardless of the fact that their faith was gifted to them. (Eph.2:8-10)
As these verses indicate they cannot boast in their faith as though they played a part in their justification, seeing it is a gift.

Can I ask you to exegete John 6:37? "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." Where it says "will come to Me" does it indicate an action on the part of those whom the Father gives to Jesus? Or does it indicate an action done by God?

For more on free-agency, go to:http://www.reformedreader.org/rbb/reisinger/gwmwfwch03.htm
Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
What question was that? Am I a Supralapsarian? Yes, I am. But since when is Supralapsarianism a heresy? The fact is Arminianism is a heresy, not Supralapsarianism.

Who said Supralapsarianism is a heresy?

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
The Canons of Dort do not condemn supralapsarianism. They condemn Arminianism:)

True, but again, who said that the Canons of Dordt condemn Supralapsarianism?

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
While it is true that the Westminster Confession leans toward infralapsarianism, it is also true that the WCF allows for supralapsarianism, particularly in the chapter on God's decrees.

The majority of the framers of the WCF held to Infralapsarianism but did not openly condemn Supralapsarianism. The Confession is written in such a way as to 'allow' the Supralapsarian view.

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
I'm always amused when Baptists accuse Calvinists of being "hyper" Calvinists. That's because such accusations are usually a smoke screen for semi-Arminianism.

No one here has professed to be a Baptist and accused Calvinists of being "hyper" Calvinists. Perhaps you have confused this place with some other venue? scratch1

In short, everything you have written above is irrelevant to this thread and thus a total waste of everyone's time. igiveup
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Originally Posted By: Cranmer
My point is that your view is Arminian, while Clark's view is not.

That is preposterous and laughable, having completed my Master's Thesis, albeit many years ago, on the Canons of Dordt and with very few exceptions agree whole heartedly with it and the Synod's unanimous judgment that classic Arminianism as elucidated in the Remontrance is damnable heresy.

Methinks you are unfortunately confused and consequently make accusations and conclusions which are unwarranted and unfounded. scold


Methinks you are a Van Tilian who believes that truth is two-fold in Scripture. Scripture is univocally the very Word of God, not an "analogy" of God's revelation. The Van Tilian view is nothing more than a modified form of Neo-Orthodoxy.

Scripture is not an analogy of God's revelation. Scripture IS God's Word. Univocally.

You explicitly denied above that regeneration is a necessary proposition in the ordo salutis. If any one link in the golden chain of salvation is missing then the whole system of theology is broken.

Salvation is from beginning to end entirely a sovereign grace of God.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)

Why would you continuely attack Calvinist doctrine if you are a Calvinist? If God has no control over the wills of men without violating their moral agency, how did the biblical writers write the Scriptures? The words of Scripture are the words of men but they are also the very words of God and they are exactly what God intended for us to read and know. Thus, God is the divine source of the Scriptures, yet men wrote them as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:19-21).

I am the author of what I am writing here. Yet God is in complete control of even my thoughts and words without violating my will. Whatsoever comes to pass is ordained of God, including my words and actions. Even though I am the author of my own choices and I am fully accountable and responsible, yet nothing comes to pass apart from God's divine decree. (Isaiah 14:24; 46:10).

The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. (Proverbs 21:1 KJV)

Charlie
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Originally Posted By: Cranmer
Volition is not the same thing as "libertarian" free will:

And who is insisting that it is? shrug

Clark's understanding of repentance is faulty because it is inadequately defined. The "change of mind" is but one element of repentance which is inextricably joined with the regenerated sinners spiritual and godly affections. It is the combination of the two: new understanding/knowledge and new affections/predisposition which govern the change of will, i.e., the decision to aver from sin and pursue holiness and righteousness. Regeneration effects the WHOLE man, not just the intellect. I have challenged you on this before by way of a question concerning faith; Is faith simply the acknowledgment and embracing of certain truths? I say, and historic confessional Reformed teaching rejects such a view. In fact, this month's Article of the Month by L. Berkhof, FAITH deals specifically with that subject. True saving faith is known as fiducia. Any other alleged "faith" is spurious and cannot save. Most common among Evangelicals and now increasingly so, Reformed churches teach Sandemanianism. However, you still haven't answered that question and we are still waiting for it.


Please define for me what you mean by the term "affections"? Also, have you read Clark for yourself? You certainly do not seem to understand that the biblical term "heart" is the same thing as the "mind". Surely you are not saying that emotions produce holiness?

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11 KJV)
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17 KJV)

Sanctification begins with knowledge. That's what the Bible says.

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105 KJV)

Charlie
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Originally Posted By: Cranmer
Volition is not the same thing as "libertarian" free will:

And who is insisting that it is? shrug

Clark's understanding of repentance is faulty because it is inadequately defined. The "change of mind" is but one element of repentance which is inextricably joined with the regenerated sinners spiritual and godly affections. It is the combination of the two: new understanding/knowledge and new affections/predisposition which govern the change of will, i.e., the decision to aver from sin and pursue holiness and righteousness. Regeneration effects the WHOLE man, not just the intellect. I have challenged you on this before by way of a question concerning faith; Is faith simply the acknowledgment and embracing of certain truths? I say, and historic confessional Reformed teaching rejects such a view. In fact, this month's Article of the Month by L. Berkhof, FAITH deals specifically with that subject. True saving faith is known as fiducia. Any other alleged "faith" is spurious and cannot save. Most common among Evangelicals and now increasingly so, Reformed churches teach Sandemanianism. However, you still haven't answered that question and we are still waiting for it.


I don't know what question you're referring to. Ask me again.

Second of all, you seem to be completely ignorant of the fact that Clark asserted that faith is assent/belief. The faculty psychology to which you are appealing is not biblical. The soul, heart, mind are all one thing. Furthermore, the distinction between faith and trust is tautological. Faith and trust are the same thing so saying that trust is something required in addition to faith is saying nothing more than that faith requires faith or belief requires belief. Assenting to the doctrines of the Bible means that you not only understand them but that you also believe them. I understand many things that I do not believe. I understand Islam's basic doctrines but I do not believe them. To believe the Bible is the same thing as conversion. To understand the Bible is not conversion. Many atheists understand the Bible but do they believe it?

No.

Knowledge/understanding plus faith/assent/trust (one tautological proposition) is saving faith. That faith is not dead but produces actual change in thinking and behavior. (Romans 12:1-2). The habits of life change from the moment of regeneration.

Charlie
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:15 PM

Originally Posted By: chestnutmare
Quote:
The human nature prior to the fall is not predetermined to good or evil. But that does not prove that Adam had two equal choices as the libertarian free will view espouses. God has free will but does God have the liberty to become the author of evil acts? Not at all.


Charlie, how can you say that God has a free will? Do you REALLY believe this?


God ALONE has "free" will. Free will is defined as being determined by NOTHING outside of Himself. God is completely independent of His creation. He is immutable and not subject to emotional paroxysms.

God is complete in Himself.


Do elect angels have free will? No. Do the saints in heaven have free will? No. That's because they are sealed to do only what is now good. Unless you're saying that the elect angels and the saints in heaven can change their mind and go to hell?

Charlie

Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:26 PM

Quote:
Is faith simply the acknowledgment and embracing of certain truths?


Yes. That is correct. But salvation is based on the systematic understanding of Scripture as a whole. Faith that is living produces a change in thinking: repentance. That change in thinking produces a change in behavior. The "affections" are not the emotions as you imply. The affections according to Jonathan Edwards, includes the intellect/mind. The heart and the mind are the same thing in Scripture:

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. (Matthew 12:34-35 KJV)
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. (Matthew 15:19-20 KJV)
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (Luke 6:45 KJV)

What you THINK determines what you ARE and HOW you BEHAVE.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2 KJV)
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:41 PM

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:6-9 KJV)

The attack on knowledge of Scripture and thinking is unscriptural. It is knowledge, thinking, understanding coupled with assent to the propositions of that understanding that produces saving faith. That faith in turn produces a change in behavior and a life long commitment to sanctification as a process. Perseverance is struggle against sin, not a license to sin. God alone gives the grace of perseverance to His elect.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25 KJV)

If God does not predetermine the elect to persevere then we have no hope whatsoever. If God leaves the elect to their own capricious and sinful wills, then it follows that they can have no assurance of salvation whatsoever.

While assurance can be lost, election and salvation cannot be lost. If so, then we are back in the Arminian theology of eternal insecurity.

1 John 1:8-9 and 1 John 5:18 are not opposed. There are no sinless Christians. But Christians as a matter of habit do not sin. The habits of their lives are forever changed and predisposed to a pattern of holiness, albeit they are never absolutely sinless in this life.

Charlie
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:45 PM

To "embrace" the truth is different from simply understanding the truth. To understand without embracing the truth is not saving faith. To assent to the truth understood IS saving faith. That kind of faith always produces results in one's thinking and behavior. Dead faith is not the same as living faith. A "dead" faith is not genuine faith at all. It is merely understanding without assent.

Assentia/fiducia plus notitia is saving faith.
Posted By: Cranmer

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:47 PM

What is saving faith?

http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=10



"The crux of the difficulty with the popular analysis of faith into notitia (understanding), assensus (assent), and fiducia (trust), is that fiducia comes from the same root as fides (faith).

Hence this popular analysis reduces to the obviously absurd definition that faith consists of understanding, assent, and faith. Something better than this tautology must be found." -- Gordon H. Clark
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
Please define for me what you mean by the term "affections"?

Affections: the seat of one's desires, inclinations, propensities, predispositions, often in Scripture as referred to as the 'heart'.

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
Also, have you read Clark for yourself? You certainly do not seem to understand that the biblical term "heart" is the same thing as the "mind". Surely you are not saying that emotions produce holiness?

Yes, I have read Clark for myself and not someone else. grin

1. Heart and Personality:
As representing the man himself, it was considered to be the seat of the emotions and passions and appetites (Ge 19:4; Lev 20:12; Ps 104:15), and embraced likewise the intellectual and moral faculties - though these are necessarily ascribed to the "soul" as well. This distinction is not always observed.

2. Heart and Mind:
As the central organ in the body, forming a focus for its vital action, it has come to stand for the center of its moral, spiritual, intellectual life. "In particular the heart is the place in which the process of self-consciousness is carried out, in which the soul is at home with itself, and is conscious of all its doing and suffering as its own" (Oehler). Hence, it is that men of "courage" are called "men of the heart"; that the Lord is said to speak "in his heart" (Ge 8:21); that men "know in their own heart" (2Ch 26:2); that "no one considereth in his heart' (Isa 44:19 the King James Version). "Heart" in this connection is sometimes rendered "mind," as in 1Ch 14:8 ("of mine own mind," Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) ex proprio corde, Septuagint ap' emautou); the foolish "is void of understanding," i.e. "heart" (Pr 6:32, where the Septuagint renders phrenon, Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) cordis, Luther "der ist ein Narr"). God is represented as "searching the heart" and "trying the reins" (Jer 17:10 the King James Version). Thus, "heart" comes to stand for "conscience," for which there is no word in Hebrew, as in Job 27:6, "My heart shall not reproach me," or in Ps 34:16, "David's heart smote him"; compare Ps 37:2. From this it appears, in the words of Owen: "The heart in Scripture is variously used, sometimes for the mind and understanding, sometimes for the will, sometimes for the affections, sometimes for the conscience, sometimes for the whole soul. Generally, it denotes the whole soul of man and all the faculties of it, not absolutely, but as they are all one principle of moral operations, as they all concur in our doing of good and evil."

3. Figurative Senses:
The radical corruption of human nature is clearly taught in Scripture and brought into connection with the heart. It is "uncircumcised" (Jer 9:26; Ezek 44:7; compare Acts 7:51); and "hardened" (Ex 4:21); "wicked" (Prov 26:23); "perverse" (Prov 11:20); "godless" (Job 36:13); "deceitful and desperately wicked" (Jer 17:9 the King James Version). It defiles the whole man (Matt 15:19-20); resists, as in the case of Pharaoh, the repeated call of God (Ex 7:13). There, however, the law of God is written (Rom 2:15); there the work of grace is wrought (Acts 15:9), for the "heart" may be "renewed" by grace (Ezk 36:26), because the "heart" is the seat of sin (Gen 6:5; 8:21).

4. The Heart First:
We might also refer here to the command, on which both the Old Testament and New Testament revelation of love is based: "Thou shalt love Yahweh thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deut 6:5) and "And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." (Lk 10:27); where "heart" always takes the first place, and is the term which in the New Testament rendering remains unchanged (compare Mt 22:37; Mk 12:30,33; Lk 10:27, where "heart" always takes precedence).
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
Second of all, you seem to be completely ignorant of the fact that Clark asserted that faith is assent/belief. The faculty psychology to which you are appealing is not biblical. The soul, heart, mind are all one thing. Furthermore, the distinction between faith and trust is tautological. Faith and trust are the same thing so saying that trust is something required in addition to faith is saying nothing more than that faith requires faith or belief requires belief. Assenting to the doctrines of the Bible means that you not only understand them but that you also believe them. I understand many things that I do not believe. I understand Islam's basic doctrines but I do not believe them. To believe the Bible is the same thing as conversion. To understand the Bible is not conversion. Many atheists understand the Bible but do they believe it?

No.

1. I am definitely not "ignorant of the fact that Clark asserted that faith is assent/belief". And this is the basis for my repeated question to you: Do you hold that faith is a simple assent to the truths of Scripture?... of which you still have not answered.

2. Faith is NOT synonymous with intellectual assent, but biblically, as Berkhof rightly elucidates in his Systematic Theology, and from which the June Article of the Month is taken, faith is fudicia, i.e., it involves the mind, affections and will; the entire man. One can embrace and defend with most vigor that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and all that it teaches yet be unregenerate/unconverted. May I suggest further study of Scripture vs. Gordon Clark on your part?

3. My contention is against Sandemanianism and all those who espouse it.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Cranmer
God ALONE has "free" will. Free will is defined as being determined by NOTHING outside of Himself. God is completely independent of His creation. He is immutable and not subject to emotional paroxysms.

True... God's will is never nor can be influenced by external sources. HOWEVER, God's will IS totally determined according to His very being; His nature. Thus, God being inexorably holy can only choose to do that which is holy. Negatively, God cannot sin. In this sense, God does not have a "free" will, i.e., a will that can be exercised contrary to the nature, which is what all religions other than Calvinism assert.

How many times do I have to repeat this to you? GOD and man can ONLY choose that which is according to their respective natures. WITHIN the boundary of one's nature, one can "freely" choose but not otherwise. The fact that God has foreordained ALL THINGS does not contradict the fact that men do all that God has ordained yet their will is never forced by God. This is one of the fundamental axioms of the Reformed Faith. Is this something you embrace, or do you reject this also?
Posted By: Tom

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:47 AM

Charlie

I am in a bit of shock at the accusations you have made about Pilgrim.
Personally, it appears to me (giving you the benefit of the doubt) that you are only reading portions of Pilgrim's posts then jumping to unwarranted conclusions.
I would like to say more, but I don't even know where to start!

Tom
Posted By: Tom

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:58 AM

Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Originally Posted By: Cranmer
I should add that my contention for monergistic sanctification is not one that produces no results in thinking and behavior. The point is that IF we make ANY progress in the Christian life it is SOLELY the result of sovereign grace:

1. I hold to synergistic sanctification which is not one that denies that salvation is ALL of sovereign grace. There is nothing that a true Christian thinks, says or does which has any merit whatsoever in regard to salvation.

2. The majority who hold to "monergistic sanctification" denigrate or even deny regeneration and its results, i.e., a RADICAL transformation of the soul. Additionally, the majority who hold to "monergistic sanctification" insist that the regenerated sinner is "totally depraved", which is antithetical and totally contradictory.

3. Clark's statement is certainly correct on its face. It certainly does not stand in opposition to what I hold in regard to "synergistic sanctification" which is confessional.


When it comes to sanctification my understanding is a synergistic/monergistic sanctification. It is man that must press on to the mark of his high calling in Christ Jesus. But man can't do this without looking to Jesus. The moment man takes his eyes off of Christ and tries to grow in sanctification, he ultimately fails.(Phil.2:12-13 & Heb.12:1-2)

If man was still "totally depraved" after they have been regenerated and justified the results of regeneration would not be evident and they would have no desire to grow in Christ. To add a little bit to that thought I believe it is human effort that God uses to accomplish their sanctification.
In other words these are the arenas where God works.

In regeneration man is definitely passive, however it is clear that in sanctification man is definitely not passive. But neither can a Christian say his works have merit, because it is God who actually gives the increase in our progressive sanctification.
In a way, I am not sure it is wise to use the terms monergistic and synergistic in the same way one might use them for regeneration.
Posted By: Robert B Foster

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be saved? - Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:03 PM

Dear Charlie,

Let me know if it is alright to call you by your first name. Perhaps I could be some help to all in this conversation. I need to ask you a question first, in order to help me better understand where you are coming from:

Do you believe that when one is truly converted that they are still totally depraved? Let me qualify the question -I am not speaking about the flesh, for we all know that the flesh is totally depraved. What I am asking is if in conversion we are given a new nature, such that the change in us due to the Spirit who lives in us is more than simply an intellectual change, or are we as totally depraved in regeneration as we were prior to salvation? Maybe you don't have an either or answer. That's fine. I just need to know in as succinct a way possible your thoughts relative to the question.

Thanks Charlie.

Bob
Posted By: Lynda

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:38 AM

Ruth, I must have read the same things you have. What did Calvin actually teach?
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Is man required to "choose" in order to be sav - Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:31 PM

Calvin taught nothing different than what historic confessional Reformed theology teaches... That regeneration precedes faith and is most necessary for all men are born with a God-hating corrupt nature and thus have no ability to repent and believe nor do they have the slightest desire to do so (Total Inability/Total Depravity). Without regeneration (new birth wrought by the secret and sovereign work of the Holy Spirit) NO man will come to Christ (John 5:40; 6:44,65.)
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