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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.


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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?


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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

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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.

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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.

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Ruth, I must have read the same things you have. What did Calvin actually teach?

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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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People who must "choose" to believe don't believe but force themselves to give mental assent. Salvation is an experience that causes you to believe. Just as sitting in a chair needs no decision to believe that you are.

Faith (evidence, substance) is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that causes saved people to believe.

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Originally Posted by 042Dave
People who must "choose" to believe don't believe but force themselves to give mental assent. Salvation is an experience that causes you to believe. Just as sitting in a chair needs no decision to believe that you are.

Faith (evidence, substance) is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that causes saved people to believe.
Agreed. I believe 2 Thess 2:13 confirms that

13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

Notice the Sanctifying Work of the Holy Spirit culminates into belief of the Truth. BTW the word belief here is the same word for the noun faith pistis

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Greetings! Welcome to the Discussion Board. grin

Just wondering if you would agree with the individual's statement you responded to when he wrote:

Originally Posted by 042Dave
Faith (evidence, substance) is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that causes saved people to believe.
The reason I ask is that this person either didn't communicate his thoughts clearly, or he actually believes that a person is saved first (how?) and consequently, i.e., after he/she is saved, then believes; expresses faith in Christ.

Oh, I should probably also ask you if you are privy to the actual The Highway website where all the books, articles, sermons, etc. are located? I ask because many find there way here without even realizing that the Discussion Board is but a small part of The Highway.


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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Greetings! Welcome to the Discussion Board. grin

Just wondering if you would agree with the individual's statement you responded to when he wrote:

Originally Posted by 042Dave
Faith (evidence, substance) is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that causes saved people to believe.
The reason I ask is that this person either didn't communicate his thoughts clearly, or he actually believes that a person is saved first (how?) and consequently, i.e., after he/she is saved, then believes; expresses faith in Christ.

Oh, I should probably also ask you if you are privy to the actual The Highway website where all the books, articles, sermons, etc. are located? I ask because many find there way here without even realizing that the Discussion Board is but a small part of The Highway.
Hi Thanks for the welcome. I suppose you are asking me the question. I do believe that a person must be saved from the power of sin by a Sovereign work of the Spirit before they believe the truth. I believe 2 Thess 2:13 supports that.

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Originally Posted by brightfame52
I do believe that a person must be saved from the power of sin by a Sovereign work of the Spirit before they believe the truth. I believe 2 Thess 2:13 supports that.
1. First, the passage you cite must be taken in CONTEXT... which is Paul addressing the "church" at Thessalonica and the believing members who he addresses as "brethren".

Quote
2 Thessalonians 2:13 (ASV) 13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, for that God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
This text appears after the warning and condemnation of false teachers who are causing no little consternation concerning the coming of the Lord. Thus Paul is addressing the necessity of those brethren to adhere to the truth which was given to them and not let these falsehoods cause them to doubt what they already know and which Paul elaborates on. Their security lies in the fact that God had chosen them (predestined and elected) unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the "truth", which in this context is the matter of Christ's return.

2. What is the 'salvation' which you are referring? that precedes 'believing in the truth'. And what is that 'truth'? It is essential that we understand terms, eh? When you use the word salvation, I am assuming you are referring to justification in being united to Christ and His death (passive obedience) and perfect righteousness (active obedience), which is imputed to one who believes. And for the second term 'belief/faith', I am again assuming that you are referring to one's experience of conviction of sin, denial of self, and the embracing of the Lord Christ. And lastly, in regard to the term "[the] truth", I am assuming you are referring to the Gospel, from which instrumentally is used to elicit repentance and faith.

Please tell me the definition of those 3 terms you are using so we know we are on the same page. grin



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Pilgrim

I am glad you asked "brightflame52" for clarification; because it appears he is taking a position that is not supported by either Scripture, or the Reformed Confessions. In fact, I am not sure what Churches would agree with it?

Tom

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Pilgrim

Quote
What is the 'salvation' which you are referring?

I believe salvation is in three phases, # 1. We are saved from the penalty of sin soely by the person and work of the lord jesus Christ for His Sheep, His obedience unto death, #2 there's salvation from the power of sin, that is when the Holy Spirit gives Spiritual life to the Sheep Christ died for, giving them faith and repentance, #3 Salvation in the future from the presence of sin, Glorification with a new redeemed body. I believe 2 Thess 2 13 is about # 2 The sanctification of the Spirit is the New Birth, it's called a saving work Titus 3:5

not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

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Originally Posted by brightfame52
Pilgrim

Quote
What is the 'salvation' which you are referring?

I believe salvation is in three phases, #2 there's salvation from the power of sin, that is when the Holy Spirit gives Spiritual life to the Sheep Christ died for, giving them faith and repentance,...I believe 2 Thess 2 13 is about # 2 The sanctification of the Spirit is the New Birth, it's called a saving work Titus 3:5

not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Okay, thanks for at least answering one of the three term definitions.

I prefer the classical Reformed/biblical ordo salutus:
- predestination ---> election
- efficacious grace/irresistible grace/regeneration
- conversion: conviction of sin ---> repentance/faith ---> justification
- sanctification
- glorification

So, returning to the questionable statement by Dave (without clarification), "Faith (evidence, substance) is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that causes saved people to believe.? It appears to be contrary to the biblical and confessional ordo salutus, i.e., faith follows regeneration which is the instrumental cause of salvation vs. an initial salvation producing faith, thus putting faith before regeneration.

However, IF I understand you correctly from your definition of "salvation" in 2Thess 2:13 as being "New Birth" (regeneration), then that would be correct. But is this the proper definition of the word "salvation" in this particular text? Methinks William Hendriksen's paraphrase of that text in context is spot on.

Originally Posted by Hendriksen
We - Paul, Silas, and Timothy - cannot do otherwise than ceaselssly thank God for you (pl), brothers in the faith (who are the objects of God's special love), because in his sovereign, immutable election God from the beginning chose you to salvation - which is negatively, rescue from the guilt, pollution, and punishment of sin positively, the entrance into the inheritance reserved for God's children - ; a salvation which becomes your (pl) possession through the work of the Holy Spirit, that is through sanctification - a process of causing you (pl) to become increasingly detached from the world and attached to Christ until his image is completely formed in you (pl) - and through your (pl) active, vital consent to the body of redemptive truth revealed in Christ; to which final and complete salvation God also called you (pl), having effectively applied to your (pl) hearts the gospel which we preached to you (pl) and which we urged you (pl) to accept in order that you (pl) might one day share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Whatcha think? Would you agree with Hendriksen's paraphrase? And would your understanding of the "salvation" (#2 definition) be appropriate?


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