Donations for the month of May


We have received a total of "$25" in donations towards our goal of $175.


Don't want to use PayPal? Go HERE


Forum Search
Member Spotlight
Posts: 122
Joined: April 2013
Forum Statistics
Forums30
Topics7,493
Posts53,880
Members969
Most Online523
Jan 14th, 2020
Top Posters
Pilgrim 14,201
Tom 4,202
chestnutmare 3,190
J_Edwards 2,615
Wes 1,856
John_C 1,835
RJ_ 1,583
MarieP 1,579
gotribe 1,060
Top Posters(30 Days)
Tom 24
Pilgrim 16
jta 6
John_C 6
Recent Posts
Children and Vaccines
by Tom - Sat May 14, 2022 1:43 AM
Original Sin
by Tom - Thu May 12, 2022 11:43 PM
Recommendation in how to start reading the Puritans
by Pilgrim - Thu May 12, 2022 1:38 PM
NASB
by Pilgrim - Sun May 08, 2022 6:55 AM
What Speaking the Truth In Love Is Not
by ATulipNotADaisy - Sat May 07, 2022 8:55 PM
The sin of suppressing truth
by chestnutmare - Sat May 07, 2022 8:52 AM
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#57235 Thu Dec 16, 2021 4:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 122
Likes: 1
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 122
Likes: 1
Someone said, "Fallen man is Totally or Utterly depraved. In other words, he CANNOT be worse. Everything without exception that fallen man does is sin in they eyes of God.
Fallen man is a corrupt tree bringing forth nothing but corrupt fruit.
This is contrary to the teaching by the well known Calvinists who say man is NOT as bad as he can be.
They are WRONG. If everything fallen man does is sin, then he can’t be worse. The compromising Calvinist does not realize the doctrine is about ROOT and not FRUIT."

This seems to be saying that the primary manifestation of sin is not in heinous acts, such as murder, etc, but in self-righteousness which is an act of the heart.

HOWEVER

This view does not take into account the fact that God is omnipotent and has ordained all that happens. He puts boundaries or limits to man's depravity and does not allow him to be UTTERLY depraved otherwise there would be complete chaos.

This topic can be confusing so clarity is welcomed.


A Tulip Not a Daisy
ATulipNotADaisy #57237 Thu Dec 16, 2021 7:39 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,190
Likes: 28
Annie Oakley
Offline
Annie Oakley
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,190
Likes: 28
I am stealing from a wonderful article by John Gerstner "TULIP" and in his introductory paragraph states: "Total Depravity

When man first sinned he died (Genesis 2:17). Now man is spiritually dead, not well, not sick, not even terminally ill, but dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). His depravity pertaining to all aspects of his personality is total. This is not to be confused with UTTER depravity, for there is room for deprovement. Consequently this slave of sin (John 8:34), exploits every opportunity to sin in every area of his being: in thought, word and deed, by commission and omission, and even his good works are bad (Genesis 6:5). Total depravity is our one original contribution to TULIP. We are the dirty soil in which God plants His flower, and from our filth, produces a thing of divine beauty. Those who have eyes to see will notice that the TULIP is an infralapsarian plant." (read here https://www.the-highway.com/articleDec15.html )


What more can one say? Can the man, which a holy God created as perfect (Gen. 1:31) fall any further than he did when Adam sinned? Adam's progeny have born not only the guilt of Adam's sin but his fallen nature also. Does this mean that he now expresses in his fallen nature total depravity or UTTER depravity. IF he exhibits total depravity, every thought, word and deed is tainted by sin. On the other hand, UTTER depravity means that nothing can restrain his sinful nature and so therefore, he exhibits the full unrestrained wickedness of his nature. That would require that the Omnipotent God cannot restrain his wicked deeds. These teachings sound most pious on the outside but when examined, are shown to be faulty as they limit God from creating boundaries. We see for example Abimalech kept from sleeping with Sarah after Abraham told him that she was his sister. Was it Abimalech's righteousness or was it God keeping him from sin? Gen. 20.


The Chestnut Mare
ATulipNotADaisy #57238 Thu Dec 16, 2021 9:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 122
Likes: 1
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 122
Likes: 1
Good explanation by Dr. Gerstner.
The idea of God restraining sinful man is key to our understanding.
I think that men who try to promote Total Depravity and Utter Depravity as the same thing are trying to create a following for themselves.


A Tulip Not a Daisy
ATulipNotADaisy #57241 Fri Dec 17, 2021 7:49 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
Head Honcho
Offline
Head Honcho
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
1. Their modus operandi is soooooooo typical of heretics which always redefine known and established terms... but without revealing the 'switch' in definition(s). The goal is two fold: 1) appear to be orthodox and often quoting (out of context) bulwarks of the faith in support of their heresy. 2) To make it much easier to deceive the unwary and less educated in order to lure them into their 'fold'. This is nothing novel or new. It was going on even in the days of the Apostles who exposed such types in their biblical writings.

2. Where in Scripture can you find but ONE single unregenerate=totally depraved individual who loved God? who loved the law of God? who strove after holiness? who yearned to be with Christ? who gave all for the sake of the Gospel and the furtherance of the kingdom of God? Why, according to these morons (I do publicly apologize to all morons out there as that is truly insulting to them), King David was totally depraved!! drop How would it be possible for a totally depraved hater of God write the supernaturally inspired and Spirit lead Psalms? [Linked Image]

What is a true child of God to do with such enemies of God? That's easy...[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
ATulipNotADaisy #57242 Fri Dec 17, 2021 11:25 AM
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
jta Offline
Journeyman
Offline
Journeyman
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
I am among those who have difficulty distinguishing between total and utter depravity. In the lives of the unregenerate, probably including myself, I observe what appear to me to be both. It seems to me that people are as wicked as they could be, albeit not that God does not sovereignly restrain their deeds, and not that they necessarily always murder, rob, rape, enslave, etc., but that even the "good" deeds of the unregenerate are very, very far from being truly good in the eyes of God, and only by His Grace and Mercy do they not do things even worse outwardly speaking than they do.

Whatever is not of faith is sin, and whatever is not done for His Glory is sin; to not pray without ceasing is sin; to have an opportunity to do good, and not to do it, is sin, and so forth, and so on. Even God's own elect fall far short in all of these duties, and even such as John Bunyan noted that "[t]here is enough sin in my best prayer to send the whole world to hell," so if it is so for them, then how much infinitely more so for the unregenerate, who for the most part do not even seek faith or God's Glory or to commune with Him or to do good in His eyes?

Where am I going wrong here? I certainly don't want to. I wish for every thought, every attitude, and every action to be in full submission to God and to His Word. But I guess that on this issue I'm a little confused, and would welcome biblical correction if needed.

Also a bit confused about King David:

". . . No murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." (1 John 3:15). Yet David is a man after God's own heart. (1 Sam. 13:14). And if I'm not mistaken, David kills Uriah *after* this is revealed to Samuel.

If I can reconcile this at all, it can only be by reference to:

* The Cross, where infinite Justice, and infinite Mercy, come together; and

* "Such were some of you, but . . . . " (1 Cor. 6:11); and

* "Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. " (Rom. 7:20)

Something still disturbs me about the possibility of even the elect being able to fall into such a sin as murder, though perhaps the fault is mine for not considering that things like anger and hatred and bitterness and division and may others differ from outright murder only at best in degree, but certainly not in kind.


Aspiring student of Christ
jta #57246 Sat Dec 18, 2021 7:16 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
Head Honcho
Offline
Head Honcho
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
There is a difference between 'spiritual' good and 'relative' good. This statement is really hated by hyper-Calvinists.

1. Spiritual good: that is actually real God commanded and required good = perfect holiness/righteousness. It is to think, say and do everything out of love for God and your neighbor. Therefore, there is only one who is good, God. The incarnate Son of God was good, holy and perfectly righteous from whom the necessary righteousness required of all men is imputed to those who believe.

2. Relative good: that could be construed as an oxymoron, such as 'honest attorney', military intelligence, etc. since it is not actually 'good' as per the definition of what is really good; complete conformity to God's law from a pure heart. Yet, for lack of a better term, relative good is real, i.e., it is when someone says or does something which benefits another, e.g., giving to the poor, helping an elderly person who is in need, trying to convince someone to stop doing harm to others, etc., etc. These things are real, yet they are not in any way worthy of God's acceptance.

Thus, albeit not the most humble, kind, sacrificial believer has ever had a good thought, spoken a good word nor done a perfect deed, they are received by God due to that believer's union with Christ. Unbelievers, likewise think, say and do only evil but many do things which have relative benefit, even to believers due to God's restraining providence. It doesn't take much thought to see that the majority of people could express their sinful natures far worse. Compare yourself to Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Joseph Stalin or any of the wicked people who committed mass genocide over the centuries. In short, although there is absolutely no true good in anyone, there is no true evil, wickedness displayed by any human being. As Christ is the epitome of good, the Devil and all the fallen angels with him are the epitome of UTTER Depravity. Mankind is conceived in sin and is TOTALLY Depraved. Be thankful for the distinction. For if man was UTTERLY Depraved the earth would be destroyed near instantly.

My [Linked Image]


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
ATulipNotADaisy #57255 Sun Dec 19, 2021 9:26 AM
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
jta Offline
Journeyman
Offline
Journeyman
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
That's just it.

Outwardly speaking, my deeds may not have directly led to tens or hundreds of millions of deaths.

But I certainly am guilty of holding bitterness and hatred in my heart, of calling my brother far worse things than a fool, and of many similar things. Of failing to show kindness and love to others, some of whom may as a result go on to do awful things for which I will be partly guilty as well.

And even for the murder of people's souls, through not properly sharing with them the only Gospel of the only One who can save.

Can I honestly claim to better in any sense than Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot, other than, perhaps, (a) in degree only, not in kind; and (b) solely and entirely by the unmerited restraining Grace of God?


Aspiring student of Christ
jta #57256 Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:05 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
Head Honcho
Offline
Head Honcho
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
Originally Posted by jta
Can I honestly claim to better in any sense than Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot, other than, perhaps, (a) in degree only, not in kind; and (b) solely and entirely by the unmerited restraining Grace of God?
Sure, why not? In a 'horizontal plane' that is true. But on a 'vertical plane' no. Now, tell me who do you know that is not guilty of the things you mentioned above? scratch1 Do you think that to be a Christian there is a certain goal of holiness or righteousness which must be attained? If so, then pray tell, what would that be? On a related note, just curious if you think that the Reprobate, on the day of judgment, in their defense accuse God of being the proximate cause of their unbelief? I mean, without the grace of God worked in any individual, no one would ever come to Christ, right? Do you see the similarity to this charge against God for one's reprobation to what Adam replied to God in the Garden of Eden:

Quote
Genesis 3:11-12 (ASV) 11 And he [God] said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Oh yes, in Adam's estimation, the blame for him eating of the forbidden tree was God's fault because He created the woman and gave her to him and she used her beauty and charm to tempt him. [Linked Image]

Genesis 18:25 (KJV) 25 [Abraham said] That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
ATulipNotADaisy #57257 Sun Dec 19, 2021 3:44 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 122
Likes: 1
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 122
Likes: 1
Along with arguing the case that totally/utterly are synonymous these men also come against:

-a general love of God for everyone
- a death (Christ's) that’s sufficient for everyone
-common grace & the well-meant offer
-synergistic sanctification

AND call everyone who doesn't agree with their hyper-Calvinism, hyper-grace, etc. lost.


A Tulip Not a Daisy
ATulipNotADaisy #57258 Mon Dec 20, 2021 8:40 AM
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 57
Likes: 4
Journeyman
Offline
Journeyman
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 57
Likes: 4
"Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled" (Tit 1:15).


The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.’” -MJS
ATulipNotADaisy #57259 Mon Dec 20, 2021 11:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
jta Offline
Journeyman
Offline
Journeyman
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
To address a few separate points at once. And again with the hope that if on any point I am mistaken, I will be corrected from Scripture.

The "goal of holiness or righteousness which must be attained" is Christ. Obviously that is impossible apart from the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit, and obviously it is not concluded in this life. But for the reprobate it is impossible at any time, for, by definition, he or she is without Christ and will remain so, and will die in his or her sins. But Scripture seems pretty clear that the believer is declared justified, and is then sanctified, and will one day be free from sin not just judicially, but in actuality, albeit not in this life.

Will reprobate blame God for their condemnation? I'm sure many will. But they are wrong. (a) It is what all people deserve; and (b) God does not need a reason nor an excuse for anything He does. He is the Potter; we are the clay, and He is as entitled to create vessels unto dishonor, as those unto honor. I have been accused of blaming God for my state, and if there is any truth to that, then shame on me; it is not because of anything lacking on His part, but because of my sin. God has been nothing but Good to me.

I'm reluctant to try to answer questions like "who else is innocent of the charges for which I (jta) admit myself to be guilty." Because I see only the actions of others, not their inward attitudes and thoughts and inner depravities that may not be outwardly expressed. Yet, I do see those in myself, and they are heinous sin, seemingly at least as wicked, but probably far more so, than my outward actions. I cannot reconcile them with the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and I therefore conclude, though with the sincere hope I am wrong, that He is not there, either because I have grieved Him, or because He was never there and therefore (Rom. 8:9) I was never His.

In others who name the precious name of Christ I do not see sinless perfection, but I do see growth over time. I see that they become more like Christ, and less like the unredeemed person they once were. I am grateful to God for this, and praise Him for it. But my own situation stands in stark contrast: I seem to only become less like Him over time, not more. frown

Finally, I should state for the record that until shown otherwise from Scripture I do hold firmly to TULIP, the Solas, the 1689 LBC, the canons of Dordt, and most importantly the Scriptures I believe are summarized by those formulae, and therefore, that:

* God's providential provision and care for all people, which He has shown me in abundance, is nonetheless something different in degree and/or in kind than His special Love for His own elect chosen from before the foundation of time;

* Nothing of any kind is lacking in the death of Christ, but, unless He was punished for the very same sins for which the reprobate will also be punished, it was effective only for the elect; (Particular Atonement);

* Even a well-meant offer will not change the heart of a person not first regenerated by Christ unto repentance and faith (John 8:44); it can be compared, though not perfectly, to offering rehabilitation to a committed drug addict, wanting him or her to accept that offer, but knowing that he or she most likely won't;

* God and God Alone gets the credit, praise, and glory for salvation, in all its aspects, including sanctification, but based on Phil. 2:12-13 and numerous other commands in Scripture, sanctification includes us working out that salvation with fear and trembling, and can therefore at least in that sense it can be said to be synergistic.

And, yes, these things get me branded as a hyper-Calvinist by some; however, I fully accept the responsibility of man both for sin in general and for repentance and faith in particular; I insist that the Gospel must be preached to every creature, for, while God knows who will and will not repent and believe, we do not, and it is both a possibility and my sincere hope that many will; I agree with what is commonly referred to as "Common Grace" although I find the name potentially misleading because the Grace which results in salvation seems to me a different thing, or at least a different degree of a thing, from that Providence which extends to all people. And also because I strongly resist the Arminian/Pelagian claim that "Common Grace" empowers equally all people to repent and to believe, making salvation in some sense their work and thereby denying God the praise and glory to which He is infinitely and uniquely due.

The label "High Calvinist" probably fits me but I think "hyper-Calvinist" goes too far, and I myself oppose hyper-Calvinism, not because it too much stresses the Sovereignty of God, but because it ignores many of His other perfections and attributes . . . a common theme among many false beliefs and heresies. I hope I am not guilty of this myself, but it is very possible that I am, and indeed I think I do tend to understand His Justice, Holiness, and Perfection, and Wrath, to a greater degree than I do His Mercy, Grace, and Love. Even though in this life I have experienced so many of the latter things, and in this life, so little of the former, though I think I will experience the former in the next.

BTW: I don't encounter many I'd call hyper-Calvinist, but in the past I have encountered a few, and, yes, many of them seemed utterly devoid of grace or love, and, ironically, behaved as though they had been elected on account of their superior knowledge and wisdom and decisionmaking skills, and that therefore all others ought to be berated for their stupidity and foolishness, rather than offered the Good News that Christ died and rose again to save sinners. I truly do hope that, though I may be as wicked as they, I at least am not so heartless nor cruel.

Last edited by jta; Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:29 PM. Reason: Because I'm dumb. :)

Aspiring student of Christ
jta #57262 Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
Head Honcho
Offline
Head Honcho
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
Originally Posted by jta
I'm reluctant to try to answer questions like "who else is innocent of the charges for which I (jta) admit myself to be guilty." Because I see only the actions of others, not their inward attitudes and thoughts and inner depravities that may not be outwardly expressed. Yet, I do see those in myself, and they are heinous sin, seemingly at least as wicked, but probably far more so, than my outward actions. I cannot reconcile them with the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and I therefore conclude, though with the sincere hope I am wrong, that He is not there, either because I have grieved Him, or because He was never there and therefore (Rom. 8:9) I was never His.
Your negativity not measured with faith (assumed this would be your personal assessment) does not find any Scriptural support, unfortunately. The apostle Paul was much harder on himself than you appear to be, e.g., compare 1Tim 1:15 and Rom. 7:14-25. BUT, Paul did not end his lament with v. 25. No, no... he continued in the entire 8th chapter. So, what is lacking here between your lament concerning your sorry, sinful state and that of Paul's description of himself? scratchchin What is lacking in your professed situation is that Paul repented of his sins and believed savingly upon Christ. In Rom 7:1-13, we see a similar situation, but by the work of the Spirit revealing to him how wretched of an individual he was, there was no less hope in Christ. Thus, Paul being smitten with guilt and condemnation before God REPENTED and BELIEVED.

Years ago I had a similar experience with an elderly woman who was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church. She too lamented that she was so sinful and confessed that she needed Christ. [Linked Image] she then said that she had prayed daily for over 50 years that God would give her a new heart so that she could repent and believe. Aha!! Does that sound familiar to you? There is no skirting around what she was doing. She put her not repenting and believing squarely upon the sovereign determination of God. I asked her that when she stands before God and facing the charge of being a wicked person, will her reply be that she really wanted to believe, but God didn't allow her to do so??? The silence was deafening. She was shown that the fault lies squarely upon her. It wasn't that God didn't make her able, but that she willed not to repent and believe. [Linked Image]


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
ATulipNotADaisy #57267 Wed Dec 22, 2021 10:57 AM
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
jta Offline
Journeyman
Offline
Journeyman
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
I am to blame for my state. Not God. The reason I cannot fully express my wickedness and need for Christ is that there are not enough words nor enough time. The reason I do not continue from Romans 7 into Romans 8, though I am well aware of it (and consider it one of the most beautiful and useful chapters in all of Scripture), is that Paul is regenerate, and I am not.

An aside: I do not ask God to save me. I did, many times. I no longer do. Why? Because of what it would cost Him. How can I claim to love Him if I would ask Him to bear the punishment, not merely for the sins of all of His people, but mine, which might well outweigh the entire sum of theirs combined? If I love Him would I not wish for that horrible punishment to remain upon myself, and if I love others, would I not want His precious blood to be shed for them, and not for me?

Limited/Particular Atonement does not stop me from wishing, praying, and working for the salvation of others, albeit not nearly so much nor so well as i ought. But it does pretty much keep me from wanting my own. I cannot want it because it could only happen at the expense of His shed blood. The lake of fire is where I ultimately belong, and, even should He sovereignly choose to deliver me from it, some part of me will lament, knowing that He suffered the equivalent amount of suffering, enduring the wrath of God that I deserved but He did not, on behalf of something I consider unworthy of the very least of His thoughts. I will never understand. I will be grateful, but I will never understand. His shed blood for others? I hardly understand that. But for me? That which is of infinite worth, for that which is of none?


Aspiring student of Christ
jta #57268 Wed Dec 22, 2021 11:56 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
Head Honcho
Offline
Head Honcho
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
After reading your response, I cannot help but be direct and even blunt. YOUR sins could ever transcend the efficacy of Christ's sacrifice. The sacrifice He was sent to do and most willingly did was grounded SOLELY on God's infinite love and will to do so in behalf of those He determined to save out of the fallen human race. The sacrifice/atonement was decreed from eternity and totally repudiates your illogical statement, which you use to justify your refusal to repent and believe upon Him: "I do not ask God to save me. I did, many times. I no longer do. Why? Because of what it would cost Him. How can I claim to love Him if I would ask Him to bear the punishment, not merely for the sins of all of His people, but mine, which might well outweigh the entire sum of theirs combined?" The Apostle Paul made the claim long before you that he was the chief of sinners. So, you are self-deceived to claim that your sins are more than all the sins of those for whom Christ died!! Is that supposed to make you appear deeply humble beyond any man who ever lived? igiveup Do you therefore believe that the omniscient GOD had no clue of the sinfulness, the depravity that was owned by everyone ever conceived? It was HE who chose fallen men to be redeemed, not the righteous who boast that they have no need of redemption.

Another silly statement you make in your last paragraph was: "Limited/Particular Atonement does not stop me from wishing, praying, and working for the salvation of others, albeit not nearly so much nor so well as i ought." Are you serious? Have you not read:
Psalms 66:18 (KJV) 18 "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear [me]:"
Proverbs 15:29 (KJV) 29 "The LORD [is] far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous."
John 9:31 (KJV) 31 "Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth."
So, do you REALLY think that your prayers have any efficacy whatsoever with God if you believe you are eternally damned; one of the Reprobate? scratchchin

Here is what GOD says about salvation through faith in the LORD Christ:

Quote
Hebrews 7:14-25 (KJV) 14 For [it is] evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17 For he testifieth, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope [did]; by the which we draw nigh unto God. 20 And inasmuch as not without an oath [he was made priest]: 21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) 22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24 But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
God's mercy and grace is ONLY found in Christ. If you do not desire to be reconciled to God through Christ, then you have a moral/spiritual problem which you alone own. IF you really desire to be reconciled to God then you are commanded to repent and believe on Christ.
John 5:40 (KJV) 40 "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life."
John 6:37 (KJV) "37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
John 6:39-40 (KJV) 39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 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."

So tell me, what legitimate excuse do you actually have to not repent and believe since God has set forth His Son as the Redeemer who is able to save ALL who come to Him in truth? To deny this truth is to accuse God of being a liar. :rolleyes1:


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
ATulipNotADaisy #57271 Thu Dec 23, 2021 11:15 AM
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
jta Offline
Journeyman
Offline
Journeyman
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
Let me be equally direct, but, hopefully, not unkind. Because I'm not sure you're hearing me. Or maybe I'm not being sufficiently unclear.

Never claimed my sins were too much for God to cleanse IF He so chose. He is infinitely able. That's not in question here.

Paul's statement in 1 Tim. 1:15 can be read (and was, I believe, by Spurgeon among others) as meaning not that Paul was chief of sinners but that we are ALL to see ourselves as the chiefs of sinners.

I'm aware that God does not promise to hear the prayers of the wicked. I pray them anyway, because what I seek is the glory of God, the edification of His People, and that the lost might know Him. These are things I believe to be in accordance with His revealed will, so I pray them, as commanded, and it is up to Him whether He wishes to hear them or not.

All are commanded to repent and to believe in Christ, but only the regenerate can. All others including myself are unable to due to their sin. I have tried. I have turned away from my known sins for short periods of time, but I always turned back. I possess knowledge and assent to the Gospel, but not trust that He has saved me, because, for a million reasons including some you have correctly stated, I do not believe that He has, and certainly I don't believe He should, although He is sovereign, and what I think He should or should not do is relevant to approximately nothing.

One cannot come to Him apart from repentance and faith, and one cannot receive these gifts unless God has granted them, and drawn the person in question to Himself. The chapter you quoted (John 6) is very clear on this, and was spoken in response to people very much like me . . . religious, yet not saved.

What excuse do I have for any of my sin, including but hardly limited to my not having responded appropriately to the Good News of Christ's death and resurrection to secure a people until Himself forever?

NONE.

Not a one.

I realize that.

That is what makes me think I am not only unregenerate, but reprobate. I have heard and understood the Gospel, clearly, for my entire adult life. Yet I remain a wicked sinner. I don't think that is going to change, though I wish it would.

BTW, my Arminian/Pelagian friends have been saying almost the same as you, for decades, though with one important difference. They clearly believe and teach that salvation is up to us. Pray the magic prayer, and "accept Christ," and presto bingo, you're saved. You and our fellow Reformed at least understand that it is not about a decision. If it were, that would have been done long, long ago. Christ and Christ Alone will either save me, or not, and He gets the praise and glory either way. I made the only "choice" I am currently capable of, both in Adam, and also by my words, thoughts, and actions.


Aspiring student of Christ
jta #57272 Thu Dec 23, 2021 5:07 PM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 92
Likes: 1
Journeyman
Offline
Journeyman
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 92
Likes: 1
Originally Posted by jta
All are commanded to repent and to believe in Christ, but only the regenerate can. All others including myself are unable to due to their sin.
No. Wrong. False.

Only the regenerate will. All others are unwilling. Indeed, we are all unwilling, until God makes us willing, in the day of his power. God brings a man to Himself, not against his will, but by giving him a new will. To say that a man cannot because God has not enabled him, is to say that God has prevented him, and is therefore to lay the blame on God.


Meta4

There is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. - C.H. Spurgeon
jta #57274 Sat Dec 25, 2021 8:26 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
Head Honcho
Offline
Head Honcho
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
Originally Posted by jta
That is what makes me think I am not only unregenerate, but reprobate. I have heard and understood the Gospel, clearly, for my entire adult life. Yet I remain a wicked sinner. I don't think that is going to change, though I wish it would.
1. You have no warrant, biblically, to determine and pronounce yourself "Reprobate"!! nono Only God may (permission) and can (ability) to decree the end of anyone or anything. And, this was done in eternity by His immutable determinate counsel. That God has revealed that some out of Adam's fallen race have been predestinated to either glory or hell is true. But who those individuals are, with the exception of Esau, have not been revealed. Through the eyes of a human with less than the intellect of a clam it can be understood that some of the most heinous and damnable individuals who ever lived and who could be said that they are prime candidates for damnation, God has brought out of the blackest darkness into His marvelous light, e.g., Nebuchadnezzar and the Apostle Paul. And, to be perfectly honest, I too could be thrown into that category as is the undeniable case for every single sinner who has been shown the love, mercy and grace of God in Christ Jesus. In short, YOU have no corner on depravity nor the pejorative title of Reprobate.

2. Your last part of the quote above is woefully contradictory. rolleyes2 That you may be as you have boasted a vile individual and worthy of damnation by the most holy God. However, such individuals invariably are at enmity with God, rejecting the truth of His being and attributes, hating all His commandments, precepts and laws, wanting nothing to do with His chosen people and even persecuting them, and having no desire whatsoever to be rescued from their corrupt nature which is odious in the nostrils of God, which such individuals would ever admit. Soooo, how is it that you preen yourself on being beyond God's ability to save you? As Meta4 rightly observed, although you have no natural ability to repent and believe, you are guilty nonetheless of refusing to repent and believe. Regardless of your perceived depravity of heart, mind and soul, you are still accountable for your [b]unwillingness[/i] to repent and believe. I would venture to guess that you would affirm that despite that no one CAN keep the law of God perfectly, which God demands of everyone, they are responsible to do so and will face judgment for their refusal to obey. Your own refusal to repent and believe and God cannot be accused of withholding grace to you even though you claim to truly "wish" to be delivered from sin and death. Sorry, that doesn't equate. nope

So, are you going to continue to blame God for your inability to be united with Christ? Or will you confess that such odious charge is nothing more than the expression of your sinful soul, repent of your sinfulness and sins and cling to Christ who is not only able but willing to save ALL who come to Him believing?


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
ATulipNotADaisy #57282 Mon Dec 27, 2021 8:17 AM
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
jta Offline
Journeyman
Offline
Journeyman
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
We're beating the same poor dead horse into glue, and I don't see how Christ is thereby edified. I am sorry for starting this discussion. But perhaps you will allow me to end it.

For hopefully the last time: I do NOT consciously blame God for my fate. Only myself. I haven't the slightest doubt as to God's ability and willingness to save all those who come to Him in repentance and faith. Actually I'm counting on it. I would have no reason to finish out this last remaining part of my life if I weren't assured that those around me who have repented and believed upon Christ will one day go home to be with Him, to know and enjoy Him forever. Or that even those who have not, yet, still might; that God might draw them to repentance and faith in Himself during whatever time remains for them.

And, no, I can't say for certain that I'm reprobate, but I am likely nearing the end of my life, and can certainly say, as would every lost person if he or she was both honest and biblically informed: (a) I have no hope except for the shed blood of Christ; and (b) I as yet see no evidence of the new nature or the indwelling Holy Spirit, and therefore must presume that whatever faith and repentance I have are lacking (MY fault, no one else's), that I remain in a lost and unregenerate state, and that, should He choose to end my life at this moment, I will die in my sins, and remain in them, and in the everlasting punishment they deserve, for all of eternity. He may yet choose to have mercy on me; but, if I were Him, I would not.


Aspiring student of Christ
jta #57284 Mon Dec 27, 2021 9:15 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
Head Honcho
Offline
Head Honcho
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
Originally Posted by jta
(a) I have no hope except for the shed blood of Christ; and (b) I as yet see no evidence of the new nature or the indwelling Holy Spirit, and therefore must presume that whatever faith and repentance I have are lacking (MY fault, no one else's), that I remain in a lost and unregenerate state,
Soooooo, I'm curious to know just what exactly is the evidence(s) you believe are necessary for someone to have assurance of salvation in Christ? The incontrovertible truth is as James rightly wrote, "faith without works is dead". However, those evidences are exactly that; evidences of justification and NOT the grounds of justification. Arminians and semi-Pelagians (the majority of western christianity) make that fatal mistake. Other 'hyper' types of Calvinism and others who we classify as "Mystics" (e.g., Brother Lawrence, Huntington, Andrew Murray, J.C. Philpot however are guilty of a similar sad error which is basing their salvation on having a (fictional/unbiblical) subject experience. They spend their entire life hoping and searching for a xxxx amount of deep-seated guilt, remorse, hatred of sin within themselves and a faith that could move mountains at their disposal. Again, this is a distortion of a biblical truth where we find sporadic and special 'movements of the Spirit' that all true Christians are given some time in their lives. Jonathan Edwards wrote extensively on that subject as it occurred to him from time to time, albeit seldom and unexpected. In short, these times of the sweetness of God which came upon him were rare and not the typical daily experience, which many "Deeper Life" advocates claim to have. This type of error I choose to call "morbid introspection". Thus, basically the two types of errors above can be categorized as "objective" and "subjective".

The first type; objective where the the external is focused upon; works is damnable for it is the antithesis of the Bible's doctrine of Sola Fide... justification by (Greek: dative of means=through) faith alone and not by works. The most common expression of this is seen with those who insist that man has a free-will choice to believe, thus making "faith" a work. It's a clever and deceitful lie which the Devil has developed and which results in a false assurance of 'faith'. Also, this pernicious and damnable heresy is given full reign in the visible church due to it's "companion" heresy of Sandemanianism, i.e., "Easy Believism" (see more of this here: Sandemanianism)

The second type; subjective in most cases doesn't lead to damnation but rather ineffectiveness and a lack of assurance of salvation. It is this error which you may be guilty of, mixed with an unconscious mixture of "faith+works=justification", i.e., expecting some conscious/visible supernatural experience/evidence in your life which meets some personal arbitrary standard of your own making which exceeds what Scripture teaching concerning the life of a regenerated person. The Bible, written by men under the direct inspiration of God never paints any human being as one who should be elevated to 'sainthood' albeit, all believers are called "saints". Take any of the individuals which God raised up to do incredible feats, leadership, sacrificial deeds, etc. and they all committed heinous sins in their lives and/or were disobedient, faithless, self-dependent, etc., as well. King David, the apple of God's eye and one of the types of Christ was an adulterer and murderer. His son Solomon, who was filled with godly wisdom was guilty of many gross sins. The Apostle Peter denied Christ when pushed, fell into legalism until confronted by Paul at Antioch. And Paul's own inspired writing concerning himself, eg., Rom 7, confesses that throughout his entire life the things he knew he shouldn't do he did. And those things he knew he should do, he failed to do. There was a war being fought within him between the remnants of the old man and the new man which was being conformed to the image of Christ. His lament was:

Quote
Romans 7:24-25; 8:1,2ff (KJV) 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. 1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

A couple of passages which I often return to when I am plagued by my own personal sins of all stripes are these:

Quote
Matthew 9:13 (KJV) 13 But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (KJV) 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
ATulipNotADaisy #57285 Mon Dec 27, 2021 2:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
jta Offline
Journeyman
Offline
Journeyman
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
Thank you for your reply. And your previous ones also. I ought to have said that before.

I'm with you on most of this. Especially works as grounds for salvation (heresy!!!) versus evidence. Also the Arminian/Pelagian tendency to turn faith into a work. I was ostracized from a past church in part because of my efforts to explain that any form of works salvation, including making faith into a work, robs God of His Glory and at best comes close to damning heresy. (Especially, as you note, mixed with "Easy Believism" which gives so much false assurance to people who think they are saved because of a "magic prayer" but no demonstrable repentance or faith.)

I actually do have a great deal of guilt, remorse, and hatred for sin (especially my own), yet, seemingly, not the power to overcome it. Of course in some sense every person does. No temptation exists that God has not made a way out of. But I seem to almost never actually take it. I may regret it later but that doesn't stop me from doing it now. (Like Paul toward the end of Romans 7?)

I do believe that works evidence faith, but it is not so much the degree of works I see in others that convinces me of their salvation (or not), but their growth. Are they becoming visibly more like Christ over time? Or more like the devil?

It's honestly hard to tell whether someone who was outwardly decent and kind and moral before they professed Christ, has grown in his or her walk. In those cases - were it my place to judge this, which of course it isn't - I'd be looking not so much as love for man, but love for God. Does this person now have a love for Him, for His Word, for His infinite perfections and attributes, for His Bride, the Church? These are all things very unlikely to exist apart from salvation - though I could claim to have them to a *very* small degree. They certainly should if a person truly is saved . . he or she should be growing in these graces.

But sometimes a person comes from a really rough background, comes to Christ, and all their old life just melts away. Perhaps immediately or perhaps over time. I've seen both. But before they used to drink and do drugs and hurt people and openly mock and blaspheme God. They might even persecute His people as did Paul. Then God decides to draw that person to Himself, and all that old garbage goes away, and the person insists that he or she didn't make it happen, but, rather, it was all, from eternity past to eternity future, 100% the sovereign and undeserved Grace of God, and gives Him all the glory.

Yeah . . . David and Saul/Paul and Peter and of course no there are no perfect Christians in this life.

But would it ruin some "vast, eternal plan" if somehow it were possible to see even just the tiniest bit of Christ in me? Of His Holy Spirit, without Whom a person cannot be Christ's?

Or, even better, a LOT more of Him, and a LOT less of me?

Perhaps it is assurance I still struggle with and not salvation, but I've been warned by many pastors and friends that to try to speak as a Christian without any disclaimer, if I am truly not, would do exactly the opposite of glorifying God. Also, that without the indwelling Holy Spirit, most or all I think I know about Scripture is likely false, since all such things are spiritually discerned.

I've read bits of Bunyan, Bridge, Pink, and others on this subject, and certainly their thoughts seem more encouraging than my own. (E.g., several of them state that hatred for sin, as opposed for merely its consequences, are evidences of regeneration, and even that the saved person might see himself as becoming less holy over time rather than more, because the more we know God, the more we know of Him, and hence of His perfect holiness and righteousness and justice, against which no person can possibly stand other than by virtue of being covered in the righteousness of Christ.)

Yet I remain pretty convinced that no one who is truly regenerate would have spent close to 4 decades having consistently grown less rather than more like Christ.

He remains my only Hope. To whom else could we go? His are the words of eternal life. And I remain committed to doing my feeble best to learn His Word, to pray to Him (knowing He is in no way obligated to hear), and, insofar as possible without causing needless offense, to fellowship with His people. None of these things begin to atone for my least sin. Not all of the combined works of all of humanity, save for Christ's, possibly could. But they are described by our confession as being among the means of grace, and it might be that He will either save me, or if He already has then to begin the process of sanctifying me, through these means.


Aspiring student of Christ
jta #57286 Mon Dec 27, 2021 3:38 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
Head Honcho
Offline
Head Honcho
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,201
Likes: 42
1. Hardly could one admit to the things you have above; hatred of sin, Christ YOUR only hope, a love for God's inspired Word (cp. Jh 6:1-67, then v. 68 where c. 5000 men + women and children ate the miraculous multiplication of food from but 5 loaves of bread, and heard the words spoken by the incarnate Son of God, but only 11 believed on Him with hearts of love and submission.) Your words, at least give evidence of regeneration and the doctrine you held dear are Scriptural, et al. Yes, of course, there is always the possibility of a person deliberately deceiving others to the contrary. And, yes, there is always the possibility of someone being self-deceived, but that is generally mated to false doctrine, easy believism, no evidence of the fruit of the Spirit, and most always, no acquaintance of the Word of God nor any love for it as the rule of faith and practice. Soooo, on the surface at least, without knowing more I would conclude that your problem is more to do with assurance.

2. I would counsel you to obtain a copy of Dr. Joel Beeke's book: Knowing and Growing in Assurance of Faith which is available from myriad sources online. If this is not acceptable to you then at least go to The Highway website and type "assurance" in the search box and you will find a number of excellent articles on that subject by reliable godly men.


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
ATulipNotADaisy #57287 Mon Dec 27, 2021 3:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
jta Offline
Journeyman
Offline
Journeyman
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 73
Likes: 5
I will be happy to check out the resources you mentioned.

Again, thank you for your insights.


Aspiring student of Christ
ATulipNotADaisy #57288 Mon Dec 27, 2021 7:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,190
Likes: 28
Annie Oakley
Offline
Annie Oakley
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,190
Likes: 28


The Chestnut Mare
jta #57292 Tue Dec 28, 2021 6:54 PM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 92
Likes: 1
Journeyman
Offline
Journeyman
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 92
Likes: 1
Here is a link to a video about assurance, which I've just finished watching: Bible Study on Assurance. The audio has some difficulties with being out-of-sync with the video, with some static, and with a few periods of silence, particularly at the very beginning (so be patient there). But if you can get past that, it is well worth while! I hope it will be of help to some, including yourself.

This video is one of a group of three bible studies with reference to the 1689 London Baptist Confession, so the entire series (if there are more) does not appear to be available. It is from a church called Grace Heritage Church in Auburn, AL, about which I know nothing more than the videos I have watched. I found this group of three videos on youtube, after watching another series of eight bible studies on Baptist Covenant Theology from the same church. That eight-part series (of videos) is also on youtube, and they are of significantly better quality, technically. But if you visit this page on that church's web site: Baptist Covenant Theology, you will find handouts and overheads for each of the eight lessons, as well as links to the youtube videos. I found this series to be an excellent introduction, and highly recommend it for anyone interested.


Meta4

There is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. - C.H. Spurgeon
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 35 guests, and 14 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Cliniql, John E, ManassehAmerican, jta, DiscipleEddie
969 Registered Users
ShoutChat
Comment Guidelines: Do post respectful and insightful comments. Don't flame, hate, spam.
May
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
Today's Birthdays
There are no members with birthdays on this day.
Popular Topics(Views)
1,340,816 Gospel truth