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thank you pilgrim

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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.

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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="" />

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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="" />

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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="" />

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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="" />

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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="" />

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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="" />

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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?


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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

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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.

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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.

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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>

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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."

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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,


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