Originally Posted by MikeL
After reading the link, I decided to ask you a question: If I am unable to get to the store, am I still able to accept a ride when offered?
Yes, IF you are alive you might be able to accept a ride when offered. No, if you are dead and buried in a cemetery for then you would be totally unable.

Originally Posted by MikeL
Another question left by the way-side (unless it's hiding somewhere else): The phrase "dead in sin" is taken literally, why not "dead to sin"? So far I've heard the argument that the former is a state of being, while the latter involves a process of sanctification. However, both are meant to describe different states: the unregenerate are dead in sin, the regenerated are dead to sin. Sounds like two different states to me.

In the first, the phrase is interpreted to mean that those dead in sin have no way of even responding in a good way to the message of salvation. Dead means dead - totally unable to respond.

But believers are said sin, while being described as "dead to sin." The word is there again, but it's somehow diluted when we're confronted with the realistic idea that we still sin.
In Jh 5:21; Rom 6:2; Eph 2:1-5; Col 2:3; 3:1-4; 1Jh 3:14, for example, which passages are germane to this discussion, "dead" means just that... DEAD, no life, non-existence, without life. Notice when the reference is to those who are not regenerate, a term in itself full of meaning re-animate, the descriptions are full as to one's spiritual state. Further, notice that those who were "made alive" are also referred to as those who have been "resurrected". There is no possibility that any form of spiritual "life" can be attributed to these. Now, as to the latter reference (Rom 6:2) where Paul wrote: "God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?", dead (Grk: apethanomen) still means dead. It's just that it is not referring to one's spiritual state but the believer's experience. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes on this text:

What the Apostle is saying, therefore, is that at the moment we were regenerated, or at the moment of our justification -because it then becomes actual in our experience - the moment we become Christians, we are dead, completely dead, to the reign of sin. We are out of sin's territory altogether. That, I suggest, is what the Apostle is saying in this second verse. In the following verses he works it all out and explains it in detail; he shows us how it happens. But here we have the general statement and proposition, that because we are what we are in Christ, being what we are as the result of what has happened to us, we are dead to the reign and to the rule of sin.

But now I imagine somebody putting forward an objection: 'How can you possibly say such a thing? We still sin, we still feel the power of temptation and the power of sin; how therefore can you say honestly that you are dead to the rule and to the reign and to the whole dominion of sin ?' I answer in this way. We must differentiate between what is true of our position as a fact and our experience. There is all the difference in the world between a man's status and position on the one hand and his experience on the other. Now here the Apostle is concerned about our position; and what he says is that every person in the world at this minute is either under the reign and rule of sin or else under the reign and rule of grace. What he says about the Christian is, that whereas once he was under the rule and the reign of sin, he is now under the rule and the reign of grace. It is either one or the other, he cannot have a foot in each position. He is either under sin or else he is under grace. And I repeat, that what Paul says about us as Christians is that we are dead completely to the rule and the reign of sin and of evil. That is no longer true of us; once and for ever we have been taken out of that position.
He goes on to prove from a number of texts that this is the correct understanding of the phrase.

Originally Posted by MikeL
As a final question: if election is unrelated to our physical and mental activities, why is it that every Calvinist I encounter, who has mentally assented to Calvinist beliefs, considers themselves elect? Wouldn't there be at least a few Calvinists, who, convinced of the truth of Calvinism, realize that they are reprobate? Does understanding Calvinism save you, or does being regenerated indepent of your mental activities?
Sorry, Mike but this is not a true statement regarding your experience. No one here, hopefully, will say they consider themselves "elect" because they have "mentally assented to Calvinist beliefs." What is true is that most everyone, regardless of their theological system, who professes to be a Christian considers themselves to be elect. What is unfortunate is there are many who are self-deceived. [Linked Image]

Why would any believer consider themselves reprobate? That's illogical... since if one professes to have been given faith, then they can't be reprobate.

Lastly, re: 'does understanding Calvinism save you?'... not in and of itself. That the embracing of truth is essential is without question admitted as a biblical truth, for it is the Spirit of Christ Who opens the eyes of dead sinners to see the truth of God, Christ, sin, repentance, salvation by grace, etc. But mere mental assent saves no one. Unfortunately, this is more the mindset of Evangelicalism than Calvinism, although it is to be found in some extremists. The theological term that describes this falsehood is Sandemanianism, aka: "Easy Believism".

Regeneration is the work of the Spirit of God whereby a new nature is created in a spiritually dead sinner. Regeneration affects the whole man; mind, emotions and will. A cursory reading of Scripture will bear this out. wink Or, if you don't want to take the time to read through the entire Bible, comparing Scripture with Scripture, then you can simply take advantage of what someone else has already done. giggle Go here: Regeneration or the New Birth.

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simul iustus et peccator

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