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Salvation by : receiving Christ or the Holy Spirit #17555
Sat Sep 18, 2004 8:24 AM
Sat Sep 18, 2004 8:24 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 551
Eastern US
john Offline OP
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john  Offline OP
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Hi,

The BSF material I have is raising a lot of questions for me. This one pertains to how we are saved. First of all, I know we are saved by grace through faith. I would say that the correct statement is "through faith in Christ", but a lot of the BSF material seems to confuse this issue. Sometimes it says through faith in Christ, but other times it seems to say we are saved by "receiving the Holy Spirt".

For example,

Quote
If so, you must stop and first receive Him as the Holy Spirit of Christ to dwell within you and to experience His power to enable you to do the eternal work for which God has created you. This is the experience of being born again through faith in Christ.


I can't quite put my finger on it, but it seems almost to be saying that you first receive the Spirit to dwell within you and this is acutally the process of being born again through faith in Christ. I don't know. Maybe I'm trying to split hairs, but for some reason, I feel there has been a subtle shift in what the process of salvation is.

Another example

Quote
Are you now - this week - preparing for the Holy Spirit by receiving Him into your personal being (the baptism with the Holy Spirit)


Again, the focus of salvation seems to be on "receiving the Holy Spirit" instead of faith in Christ. At other times, though, the material states more accurately that we are saved by faith in Christ. Well, actually, I haven't yet found it state correctly anywhere yet that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ.

I think one of the main purposes of the Holy Spirt (even post-conversion) is to be continually pointing us to Christ. But, the emphasis here seems to be on receiving Christ so that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of doing God's work. All of which is true, but when the focus is so heavy on the Spirit it almost makes Christ just a means to an end instead of being the focus (at least in my mind). I'm not sure I'm making my point very clearly, but I would appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks,
John

Re: Salvation by : receiving Christ or the Holy Spirit [Re: john] #17556
Sat Sep 18, 2004 9:31 AM
Sat Sep 18, 2004 9:31 AM
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J_Edwards Offline
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Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Salvation by : receiving Christ or the Holy Spirit [Re: john] #17557
Sat Sep 18, 2004 12:44 PM
Sat Sep 18, 2004 12:44 PM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Pilgrim  Offline

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John,

From what little you have provided thus far, my impression is that the doctrine of soteriology, ala BSF is a combination of Charismania and Arminianism.

In His Grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

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Re: Salvation by : receiving Christ or the Holy Spirit [Re: Pilgrim] #17558
Sat Sep 18, 2004 1:41 PM
Sat Sep 18, 2004 1:41 PM
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Virginia
CovenantInBlood Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian
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I have to say that that has been my impression of BSF from the posts you've made, John. I wonder if the founder being a woman has something to do with it? Reminds me vaguely of Aimee Semple McPhearson.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: Salvation by : receiving Christ or the Holy Spirit [Re: Pilgrim] #17559
Sat Sep 18, 2004 9:11 PM
Sat Sep 18, 2004 9:11 PM

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Exactly what I was thinking. It seems to wreak of a "second working" typical of charismatic beliefs. Just an observation.


God bless,

william

Re: Salvation by : receiving Christ or the Holy Sp [Re: J_Edwards] #17560
Sun Sep 19, 2004 4:37 AM
Sun Sep 19, 2004 4:37 AM
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Eastern US
john Offline OP
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Joe,

Thanks for the links. I wore myself out over in the other thread reading the Warfield article, so it might be a day or two before I read these.

John

Re: Salvation by : receiving Christ or the Holy Sp [Re: CovenantInBlood] #17561
Sun Sep 19, 2004 4:39 AM
Sun Sep 19, 2004 4:39 AM
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Eastern US
john Offline OP
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john  Offline OP
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Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
I have to say that that has been my impression of BSF from the posts you've made, John. I wonder if the founder being a woman has something to do with it? Reminds me vaguely of Aimee Semple McPhearson.


Hi Kyle,

I really don't have an answer to your question. The founder is a woman, but I don't know about the history of the organization very well or about who developed the bible study material.

John

Re: Salvation by : receiving Christ or the Holy Sp #17562
Sun Sep 19, 2004 5:04 AM
Sun Sep 19, 2004 5:04 AM
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Posts: 551
Eastern US
john Offline OP
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john  Offline OP
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Pilgrim and William,

First of all, I'm not familiar with the "second working" belief you are speaking of. From the name, I can probably get a good idea though. As far as the charismatic tendencies, it was hard for me to pin down. From what I saw, I don't think they would teach things like tongues, healing, etc. The study time was very well organized with no off-the-cuff stuff going on. I know the term charismatic covers a lot more stuff then just that though.

As far as the doctrine of the Spirit, the material I have goes through great pains to show that the Baptism of the Spirit is the initial receiving of the Holy Spirit that all Christians experience at the moment of conversion. Furthermore, the Spirit is always indwelling all Christians from the time of conversion. But, they also emphasize very much that in your Christian life the extent that you are obeying God is to the extent that you allow the Spirit to rule your life. If you are not being effective in your ministry (etc), it's because you are not being filled with the Spirit. So, in some ways there teaching (for me) is a little confusing. For example, what do they mean by "being filled with the Spirit". Although they don't call it a Baptism, maybe the idea they have in mind could be similar. I would like to add that I'm not sure that I have represented their teaching well (it's hard with only two meetings).

As far as being Arminian. Again, I'm not sure, but from what I heard, I would say they probably deny the doctrine of Limited Atonement. Also, while they would probably say they agree with the doctrine of Total Depravity, I think that if you examined their beliefs about free will I'm not so sure I would conclude that they really do. I'm not sure about the other points. Still, to deny any one of the five is to really deny them all (to be consistent). A lot of the "Bible words" I heard had no specific definitions attached to them, so it's hard to know for sure.

Anyway, I've decided completely now not to continue attending, so I don't think I'll be able to get a better handle on what their true beliefs are. I'm still thankful that I was able to attend the times I did. A lot of what I heard, even though I disagreed with it, helped me to clear up in my mind several points of doctrine I've never had a good grasp on. If I continued to go, I think I would probably learn a lot. But, since it's not an informal Bible study but part of an organization that you need join to participate, I don't think I could, in good conscience, put myself under the authority of an organization that I don't think is accurately teaching Scripture.


John


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