The Highway
Posted By: Tom Irresistible Grace - Tue Jan 27, 2004 6:35 PM
Hi
I have been having a conversation with someone who does not believe in ‘irresistible grace”. I am reluctant to answer what he last told me because quite frankly what he said is quite new to me. The following is what I am talking about.

“I believe that everyone is born with total depravity, and thus all persons are unable (at least temporarily) to choose Christ. I believe that God gives some people (not all) the ability and free will during a certain period of time to surrender to Christ in repentance and faith. All of the elect persons who live past the age of accountability will have this free will when they hear the gospel under the special, illuminating conviction of the Holy Spirit, and all these elect persons will freely surrender to Christ. Some of the non-elect persons will have this free will, but none of the non-elect persons will freely surrender to Christ. Other non-elect persons will never hear the gospel under the special, illuminating conviction of the Holy Spirit, and thus they will not have that free will.”

Any thoughts on how I should approach what he said?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Irresistible Grace - Tue Jan 27, 2004 6:59 PM
Greetings Tom:

I'm rather new to this website, so please hear me out.

"Irresistible grace" is a term which applies only to the pre-determined elect of God. Those predestined were chosen before God created the world and they are the apostles and prophets. They're also the "few" when Jesus said, "Many are called, but few are chosen."

"Irresistible grace" does not apply to the many who are called unto salvation. For them, they can resist the calling of the Holy Spirit, the witnessing of believers and the testimony of Scripture.

This doctrine is more like what your friend is talking about when he says he does not agree with your doctrine.

Since both doctrines are correct, you won't be able to convince your friend he's wrong and he won't be able to convince you to change either. This also explains why Calvinists and Arminian Methodists have disagreed over this doctrine for centuries. Neither understood they both were partially right.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Irresistible Grace - Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:23 PM
Tom,

What I see is a very confused response to his/her definition of "Irresistible Grace". This person speaks of "total depravity" but also of "free will". As you well know, depending of course how this individual defines free-will, there is no such animal.

Secondly, he/she speaks of a "limited time" within which a person who has been given "the ability and free-will" to respond to the Gospel. I think here we can see a major caveat in this view. The "ability" to respond to the Gospel is the result of one being regenerated. Regeneration is the recreating of the soul, whereby one's entire being is effected, e.g., the affections, intellect and will. Since the will (ability) is determined by one's affections/desires and knowledge of the truth, when one is regenerated, there is a radical change in the disposition/nature and thus those things which were hated are desired. Those things which were odious to the thinking are now something most wonderfully true. Consequently, the regenerated person chooses (wills) the things of God naturally, freely, impulsively. To set a time limit on how a regenerated person acts amounts to saying that a person can be regenerated (born again) and then after a certain period of time, they revert to a state of being unregenerate. Aside from the fact that Scripture nowhere even hints of this type of thing occurring, it contradicts the very essence of God's plan of redemption for the elect and the means by which He brings them to salvation in it's ultimate sense.

Thirdly, this person includes another error when he/she said:

Quote
All of the elect persons who live past the age of accountability . . .

This contradicts what he/she first affirmed, i.e., that all are born "with total depravity". What this person appears to be saying here is that before some arbitrarily determined physical age, the person is not under the wrath and judgment of God and is not in peril of eternal damnation. As you also know, men are born into this world with a double curse; 1) inherited corruption of nature (total depravity; aka: Original Sin) and 2) imputation of Adam's guilt. Thus, even if a person was born without a depraved nature, they are still liable to judgment due to the imputed guilt which they are accountable for. Atonement still needs to be made and applied, else they shall suffer damnation, they being guilty sinners before God. (Rom 5:12-18; et al)

Lastly, and the final error made is found in this statement:

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Some of the non-elect persons will have this free will, but none of the non-elect persons will freely surrender to Christ.
How he/she ties this in with what was said beforehand, I can't really say, only that it is inconsistent with the doctrine of total depravity and regeneration. ONLY those who have been regenerated have the desire and ability to choose for God and believe upon Christ. It is to them alone (the elect) that the Holy Spirit draws them irresistibly to Christ. (Matt 11:25-27; Jh 6:36-40, 44, 65; 10:3, 4, 14; et al)

See more here: Efficacious Grace, by Loraine Boettner.

In His Grace,
Posted By: MarieP Re: Irresistible Grace - Wed Jan 28, 2004 12:05 AM
I agree, Pilgrim!

Tom's friend's argument is inconsistent.

Today at the seminary's convocation, Dr. Mohler preached on the "profound simplicity" of the Gospel as found in John 3:1-21. He talked about the sovereignty of God in regeneration and how we are supposed to tell the Gospel to everyone, but that we cannot predict who will accept the Gospel and who will not because that is up to God's will and effectual calling.

I have a question on how to do with a potential question when witnessing. What if someone asks you, "Well, if it is up to God to regenerate my heart and open my eyes to the Gospel, then why is He not doing it? Awfully unfair of Him, don't you think" Should we given them John 3:8 as an answer?

John 3

1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;
2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."
3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"
5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
8 "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
9 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can these things be?"
10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?
11 "Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony.
12 "If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
13 "No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.
14 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;
15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His (25) only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
20 "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Irresistible Grace - Wed Jan 28, 2004 12:59 AM
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I have a question on how to do with a potential question when witnessing. What if someone asks you, "Well, if it is up to God to regenerate my heart and open my eyes to the Gospel, then why is He not doing it? Awfully unfair of Him, don't you think" Should we given them John 3:8 as an answer?
Of course someone who asks such a question has no concept either of their own sinfulness, guilt and position before God. Nor, does such an individual have an inkling as to the nature of the thrice Holy God whose eyes cannot even look upon sin. Nor, does this person understand the meaning of grace. But this is to be expected, no? (1Cor 2:14; 2Cor 2:15, 16; Eph 4:17-19)

Then, there is always the infamous Romans 9:14-24 passage. And, one of my favourites:

Matthew 11:25-30 (ASV) "At that season Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and understanding, and didst reveal them unto babes: yea, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in thy sight. All things have been delivered unto me of my Father: and no one knoweth the Son, save the Father; neither doth any know the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal [him.] Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."


In this wonderful passage of God's Word we have both the indisputable sovereignty of God in salvation AND the responsibility of man in the universal call to those who are burdened by their sins to flee to Christ Who will always and everywhere receive them most assuredly.

In His Grace,
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Irresistible Grace - Wed Jan 28, 2004 1:19 AM
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Marie wrote:

I have a question on how to do with a potential question when witnessing. What if someone asks you, "Well, if it is up to God to regenerate my heart and open my eyes to the Gospel, then why is He not doing it? Awfully unfair of Him, don't you think" Should we given them John 3:8 as an answer?

Rom. 9:19,20: "You will say to me then, 'Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?' On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, 'Why did you make me like this,' will it?"

EDIT: And something more, for which I am indebted to Blaise Pascal: "'Are you worthy [of God]?'---'Yes.'---'Then you are very presumptuous and thus worthy.'---'No.'---'Then you are just unworthy.'"
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Irresistible Grace - Wed Jan 28, 2004 1:24 AM
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"Irresistible grace" is a term which applies only to the pre-determined elect of God. Those predestined were chosen before God created the world and they are the apostles and prophets. They're also the "few" when Jesus said, "Many are called, but few are chosen."

The elect are all true believers, not just the prophets and apostles.

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"Irresistible grace" does not apply to the many who are called unto salvation. For them, they can resist the calling of the Holy Spirit, the witnessing of believers and the testimony of Scripture.

In fact, "irresistible grace" refers to the grace by which we are made anew, are convicted of our sins, believe on Christ, and repent. That grace IS irresistible, and only the elect receive it.
Posted By: DaveVan3 Re: Irresistible Grace - Wed Jan 28, 2004 1:44 AM
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Marie asked:
I have a question on how to do with a potential question when witnessing. What if someone asks you, "Well, if it is up to God to regenerate my heart and open my eyes to the Gospel, then why is He not doing it? Awfully unfair of Him, don't you think" Should we given them John 3:8 as an answer?
Ask him/her sincerely.."would you like for God to regenerate your heart and open your eyes to the gospel?"

If his answer is Yes!..give him John 6:37 "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me: and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

If his answer is No!..he has answered his own question.

Dave
Posted By: fredman Re: Irresistible Grace - Wed Jan 28, 2004 12:54 PM
Tom,
Your friend obviously believes in what is called prevenient grace. Though the Wesley's were the main promoters of the doctrine, it originated with Arminius and his followers. Prevenient grace was Arminius's means of affirming total depravity on the one hand, yet still maintaining a free, libertarian will on the other. Essentially, Arminius affirmed total depravity as the Bible teaches. He would even affirm that no man can believe savingly upon Christ, unless he is regenerated. However, in order to keep his freewill theism intact, he taught that God provides prevenient grace to all humanity so that they can hear the gospel and decide whether to choose it or reject it. The person is freed from his or her depravity to believe the gospel and come to Christ IF, and ONLY IF the person so choose to do so. Thus, proponents of prevenient grace believe God's regenerating work is not effectual, or that, in and of itself, will not assure salvation in a person. Only people believing savingly upon the gospel can be sure of their salvation, assuming of course that they endure to the end.

The problem with prevenient grace, or as some modern day Reformed Arminians call it, pre-regenerating grace, is that I find this no where taught in the Bible. I especially do not find this notion that a person can be regenerated, but walk away from that regenerating work. What I do find in scripture is that God's regeneration is always effective, that it will finish the purposes of bring a person to Christ. All given to the son by the Father will come and be raised up on the last day (John 6:37-45); He who begins a good work will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6), etc.

I was in correspondence with a Professor of NT at the Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville, who has written a rather good work defending Reformed Arminianism. (I am currently writing a review of it for my website). I asked him to defend prevenient grace or pre-regenerating grace exegetically from the Bible, and he was hard pressed to do so. In fact, he even stated that much of his theology is founded upon presuppositions; presuppositions that he of course believe are scriptural. One thing I asked him during our corresponding stint was, when does God initiate prevenient grace? Did he do it at Pentecost to everyone in the whole world? Or, does he do it individually, or to a entire community of people at once? And, if God has provided prevenient grace for all mankind, and there are those who die, never hearing the gospel because they were geographically challenged in relation to the nearest missionaries, what was the point in God giving them prevenient grace? Those are some questions that he could not answer, and I would add, did not think it mattered to the consistency of his theology, though I believe it does. Again, when I review the Word of God, I see God initiating regeneration, because people are said to be born again, or have their eyes opened, etc, and they believe the truth unto salvation. Seeing that the biblical record consistently reveals to us that regeneration always accomplishes saving faith, it is unbiblical in my mind, to suggest that men can be regenerated, then choose to deny that divine work.

Fred
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Irresistible Grace - Wed Jan 28, 2004 2:36 PM
Greetings Kevin,

Saying something doesn't make it true. Quoting Calvin's doctrine doesn't make it true either. I will only accept the inspired Word of God as having any authority in doctrine.

The fact is, Scripture proves Calvin was only partially right in his doctrine on salvation. This can easily be determined upon close reading of Ephesians 1:4-13 and paying attention to the pronouns used by Paul to describe who he was talking about and who he was talking to.

I won't go into all the details here, but will provide more information after moderator "Joe" answers my private message to him concerning the very same matter.
Posted By: carlos Re: Irresistible Grace - Wed Jan 28, 2004 2:59 PM
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The fact is, Scripture proves Calvin was only partially right in his doctrine on salvation. This can easily be determined upon close reading of Ephesians 1:4-13 and paying attention to the pronouns used by Paul to describe who he was talking about and who he was talking to.

I would just love to hear what is your view is concerning this issue. Thus, please, "EXEGETE" the passage for us, since it appears that we, Charles Hodge, Peter O'brien, John Calvin, William Hendrisksen, and the vast number of other trained exegetes have been wrong, as it appears in your view. So how does Eph 1 prove us wrong? Please show us how the "pronouns" can easily prove calvin and others wrong?


in Christ,
Carlos
Posted By: fredman Re: Irresistible Grace - Wed Jan 28, 2004 3:12 PM
1Saved,
Are you sure you are posting to the correct thread? I am curious as to what irresistible grace has to do with the pronoun usage of Ephesians 1:4-14. Also, Kevin hasn't posted to this thread.

Fredrick b
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Irresistible Grace - Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:57 AM
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Greetings Kevin,

Saying something doesn't make it true. Quoting Calvin's doctrine doesn't make it true either. I will only accept the inspired Word of God as having any authority in doctrine.

My name is not Kevin, nor have I quoted anything (not even Scripture, actually), except your own words.

Quote
The fact is, Scripture proves Calvin was only partially right in his doctrine on salvation. This can easily be determined upon close reading of Ephesians 1:4-13 and paying attention to the pronouns used by Paul to describe who he was talking about and who he was talking to.

I won't go into all the details here, but will provide more information after moderator "Joe" answers my private message to him concerning the very same matter.

I suppose that, until then, I won't see your point.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Irresistible Grace - Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:30 PM
Kyle,

Please accept my deepest apologies for calling you Kevin. This was my error and I admit I made a mistake. I will try to be more careful in the future.

Did you open your Bible to Paul's letter to the Ephesians and read the passage I cited paying close attention to the pronouns Paul used to describe who he was talking about and who he was talking to?

If you did, then maybe you will see my point. If you did not, then you will have to wait. It would not be fair for me to ask "Joe" to answer a question and then not give him time to answer it. Nor, should I go back on my word.

I will give "Joe" ample time to answer my question. If I don't hear back from him within a reasonable amount of time, I can only assume he is avoiding answering the question. This constitutes a "breach" of the "contract" between him and myself. At which time, I will no longer be held to what I told you earlier about waiting for "Joe" to answer.

Then, I intend to put the topic of this private message on the discussion board for open discussion. However, I cannot guarantee you will ever see it, since as I have just found out, a moderator can delete items placed on the board.

Again, please accept my apology for calling you Kevin. It was an honest oversight of mine and in no way was intended to offend you.
Posted By: fredman Re: Irresistible Grace - Thu Jan 29, 2004 4:00 PM
1Saved,
I did pay close attention to the pronouns and I still am curious as to how the pronouns of Ephesians 1 affect the doctrine of effectual(irresistible) grace. You are not going down the road of a co-operate election into Christ similar to how quasi-theologian Robert Shank argues in his book "Elect in the Son" are you?

Fred
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Irresistible Grace - Thu Jan 29, 2004 8:54 PM
Greetings Fred,

I do not know of either the man or the book you cite here.

What I have learned in Ephesians 1 was not received from any man, but came by the teaching of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit.

I'm sorry, but for now, I must wait for "Joe" to answer my private message to him.

Scripture says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." James 1:5-8 NKJV

Why don't you ask our heavenly Father to open your eyes to the truth of what is there in Ephesians 1? But, you must ask in faith, knowing He will answer you, because His Word says He will. Amen.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Irresistible Grace - Thu Jan 29, 2004 7:16 PM
Fredman,
I believe I've answered your duplicate question already today and this is the original you attached to CovenantInBlood, which I missed yesterday. Correct?
If you don't reply to my statement, I may miss your question, as has happened here.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Irresistible Grace - Thu Jan 29, 2004 8:21 PM
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Please accept my deepest apologies for calling you Kevin. This was my error and I admit I made a mistake. I will try to be more careful in the future.

Don't worry about it. Just don't let it happen again! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/mad3.gif" alt="" /> . . . No, no, only kidding. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bigglasses.gif" alt="" />

Quote
Did you open your Bible to Paul's letter to the Ephesians and read the passage I cited paying close attention to the pronouns Paul used to describe who he was talking about and who he was talking to?

If you did, then maybe you will see my point. If you did not, then you will have to wait. It would not be fair for me to ask "Joe" to answer a question and then not give him time to answer it. Nor, should I go back on my word.

I did, and it looks to me like you are misreading, if I have figured out what you are trying to imply. So I will have to wait.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Irresistible Grace - Thu Jan 29, 2004 8:46 PM
Greetings Carlos,

I didn't see your question, yesterday. Please pardon my tardiness in answering. Since I'm not a expert on all the features of this website, let me copy your question the old fashioned way with control/copy and control/paste.

"...it appears that we, Charles Hodge, Peter O'brien, John Calvin, William Hendrisksen, and the vast number of other trained exegetes have been wrong, as it appears in your view."

To His glory, God hides things. Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes, but later revealed the meanings of the parables to His disciples. Many of His parables are left unexplained in Scripture.

God chooses to reveal His secrets to whomever He pleases, whenever He pleases and however He pleases.

I can't answer your question as to why God did not reveal His teachings to the men you mentioned and can only suggest you search the Scriptures as the ancient Bereans did.

One place I have found is Acts 7:35, which I think may explain why God chose Moses.

"This Moses whom they rejected saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge?' is the one God sent to be a ruler and a deliver by the hand of the Angel who appeared to him in the bush." NKJV

My understanding of this passage is that God chose Moses, because He knew Moses would be rejected. Why? For His glory! Another reason God chose Moses was because Moses was humble. What is my reason for thinking this? Read Isaiah 66:2

I know very little about the men you have mentioned. Were they humble, were they rejected?

If not, perhaps these reasons help explain why God chose to not enlighten them. I do know the in-dwelling Holy Spirit teaches us by discernment. I have already explained elsewhere on the board (see Conditional Perseverance) that the result of this teaching is what is called "spiritual maturity" or "perfecting the saints." We receive this teaching from the Holy Spirit as a result of our persevering through various trials of our faith (James 1:3,4). Without this teaching from the Holy Spirit, we are immature Christians aka "little children."
Thus, there are two types of believers. 1) Those who know the truth, aka those in light and 2) those who do not know the truth, aka those in darkness.
Perhaps those men you mentioned did not persevere through trials of their faith and therefore kept themselves in darkness.
Again, I don't know very much about these men, so I cannot say for sure this is the reason why God did not reveal the teaching to them.
Have you ever considered the possibility that God tried to teach them information by sending someone to them, but they rejected the messenger God sent?
Perhaps they rejected this messenger because he didn't teach as they taught, or didn't belong to the church they belonged to. Perhaps a false prophet came before and convinced them incorrect doctrine was true and they believed the false prophet.
I believe what I have described to you (how we receive understanding) is how John Bunyan was able to know all he knew about God, without having any worldly education. I think there's still a website for John Bunyan at www.johnbunyan.org or you can research him at your local library.
Are you aware that John Bunyan's book 'Pilgrim's Progress' is the second most sold book in the world behind the Bible? I've never read the book, perhaps you have and can give some further insight.
I pray this has helped you understand and hope I have answered your questions to your satisfaction.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Irresistible Grace - Thu Jan 29, 2004 9:06 PM
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God chooses to reveal His secrets to whomever He pleases, whenever He pleases and however He pleases.
I am enthralled that you made this statement because God has revealed to me the truth about this passage and the Holy Spirit has taught me its true meaning. Further, the Holy Spirit has revealed to me that you are a false teacher and the truth has been hidden from you. I guess that settles that conundrum, doesn't it. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/evilgrin.gif" alt="" />

In His marvelous grace,
Posted By: fredman Re: Irresistible Grace - Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:22 AM
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I'm sorry, but for now, I must wait for "Joe" to answer my private message to him.

(Fred) well, I wish joe would come on and get the lead out about answering your email, because we are all dying to know just how the pronouns of Ephesians 1 affect the understanding of the doctrine of irresistible grace.

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Why don't you ask our heavenly Father to open your eyes to the truth of what is there in Ephesians 1? But, you must ask in faith, knowing He will answer you, because His Word says He will.

(Fred) I have asked my heavenly father if irresistible grace is true, and he affirm it is with his word. So, if you are claiming that irresistible grace as Calvinism teaches is unbiblical, then one of us had a lying spirit deceive us about the doctrine. That rather concerns me.

Fred
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Irresistible Grace - Fri Jan 30, 2004 1:18 PM
Brother Fred,

You asked Him and He answered you, but it doesn't conflict with what I wrote to Tom. You must start at the beginning of a conversation to understand completely someone's meaning. Here's what I wrote to Tom:

"Irresistible grace" is a term which applies only to the pre-determined elect of God. Those predestined were chosen before God created the world and they are the apostles and prophets. They're also the "few" when Jesus said, "Many are called, but few are chosen."

"Irresistible grace" does not apply to the many who are called unto salvation. For them, they can resist the calling of the Holy Spirit, the witnessing of believers and the testimony of Scripture.

This doctrine is more like what your friend is talking about when he says he does not agree with your doctrine.

Since both doctrines are correct, you won't be able to convince your friend he's wrong and he won't be able to convince you to change either. This also explains why Calvinists and Arminian Methodists have disagreed over this doctrine for centuries. Neither understood they both were partially right.



So, Brother:
If you ask God in faith, He will answer you, but make sure you're asking Him the right question, or you may still be confused.
Posted By: fredman Re: Irresistible Grace - Fri Jan 30, 2004 1:34 PM
1Saved,
If I am reading you correctly, you are just making a distinction between what would be termed an effectual call and a general call. The effectual call is given to all of God's elect and they will come to him in salvation. A general call is given to all men, as you note, but that call does not give salvation to all men. All men hear a general call, those elect from the larger group of "all men" will respond to the call, because attending that general call is God's effectual grace that changes the heart.

I think you are confusing the idea of God's general call with his saving grace. The two are to remain separate. When the Bible speaks of saving grace it is applied to those elect who then willfully come to God in salvation. That is why the Calvinists term it "irresistible." Those chosen for election cannot, nor will not, reject it. However, not all men receieve such grace so as to resist it as you suggest. I believe that is where we dissent from your understanding of grace. Arminianism have taught what is called prevenient grace; a grace given to all men that may or may not result in salvation depending upon the person's autonomous response of the will. That is a concept totally foreign from the Bible and why it is inaccurate to claim that Methodists are partially right; they are not, and in fact teach serious error with their notions of grace.

(addendum) I didn't catch your closing line the first time I posted. I believe I did ask God the right question with genuine faith and he answered me clearly from his word. Why would I still be confused about this? Why are you not?

Fred
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Irresistible Grace - Fri Jan 30, 2004 2:11 PM
Brother Fred,

I'm saying both Calvin and Arminius were each partially correct. Neither was completely correct.

The proof is in Scripture in Ephesians 1. I have given enough information about this to "Joe" so he can determine the truth of what I'm saying. I'm waiting for his answer to my question.

I have given you information as well, but you have not discerned the truth of my words or you have not asked the right questions of God in faith.

Either discernment through the teaching of the Holy Spirit or asking God in faith is the way to receive God's truth. You cannot learn God's truth by studying theology in divinity school or by attending seminary. He does not teach us in this manner. I know this because the Bible confirms this is the truth.

I have directed you to the example of John Bunyan for what I'm talking about, but you continually want to quote Calvinist Bible teachers who may or may not have learned by discernment or by asking God in faith.

I don't know much about the Bible teachers you want to follow, including John Calvin, but did ANY of them say they received their teaching by discernment only as John Bunyan. Or did they all go to college for their learning?
Posted By: fredman Re: Irresistible Grace - Fri Jan 30, 2004 2:53 PM
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I'm saying both Calvin and Arminius were each partially correct. Neither was completely correct.

(Fred) Both were not completely correct in regards to what exactly? Predestination? Grace? Faith? Arminius was heavily influenced by Jesuit Catholic theology that is Platonic in nature. I would be curious to know what he was correct about.
I don't consider myself to be a follower of Calvin, but his understanding of salvation as is encapsulated in the 5 points that bear his name I believe is correct, because the proper study of God's word yields that conclusion. Appealing to mystical notions of "God's spirit told me" does not establish the truth in this matter. The Bible is given to us for a reason: To know the mind of God. We are called to study to show ourselves approved unto God.

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Either discernment through the teaching of the Holy Spirit or asking God in faith is the way to receive God's truth. You cannot learn God's truth by studying theology in divinity school or by attending seminary. He does not teach us in this manner.

(Fred) What role does the Bible play in discerning God's truth? I believe I have asked God in faith, just as you say I should, and he has revealed to me that the 5 Points of Calvinism are absolutely correct. Am I mistaken about this? Why or why not?

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I know this because the Bible confirms this is the truth

(Fred) Where does the Bible teach that we are to believe God apart from the plain teaching of his word? Would the spirit of God affirm something to a person that is NOT taught in the Bible?

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I have directed you to the example of John Bunyan for what I'm talking about, but you continually want to quote Calvinist Bible teachers who may or may not have learned by discernment or by asking God in faith.

(Fred) Ummm...You do realize that John Bunyan was a Calvinist, correct? Bunyan was a Calvinistic Bible teacher. He was baptist, but a Calvinist. I hope you aren't pulling a Dave Hunt on us here.

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I don't know much about the Bible teachers you want to follow, including John Calvin, but did ANY of them say they received their teaching by discernment only as John Bunyan. Or did they all go to college for their learning?

(Fred) Bunyan was an avid reader of all of his contemporaries who happen to be Calvinists, and he affirmed their views of saving faith in all of his written works. Just for the record, Calvin didn't go to college to learn his theology; he went to be a lawyer, then a RCC priest. When God showed him the truth (by imparting to him saving faith) he abandoned both paths and became, for the most part, a self-taught protestant theologian that you can read now. Your history of both Bunyan and Calvin is just plain wrong. To put this in the arena that colleges and seminaries corrupt Christians and those who don't go to such institutions are more spiritual is utterly ridiculous, not to mention elitist.


Fred
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Irresistible Grace - Fri Jan 30, 2004 10:00 PM
Brother Fred,

One step at a time. Have patience with me. You are not the only one asking me questions and to whom I am trying to respond as best as I can. Remember, we are brothers, Fred.

To answer most of these questions, I'd have to keep going over what I've said before, because the answer to most of your questions has to do with the correct exegesis of Ephesians 1.

My source for John Bunyan is the 'World Book Encyclopedia', which says, "In 1653 he joined a non-conformist church in Bedford and soon began to preach there. After the death of his first wife in 1656, Bunyan began to study the Bible. He was arrested four years later for preaching without a license and was put in jail in Bedford.
Bunyan was kept in prison for twelve years while he supported his family by making shoelaces. In his spare time he wrote religious books. After his release in 1672, he was appointed pastor of the Baptist Church in Bedford, but was again imprisoned for a short time. He wrote 'Pilgrim's Progress' during his second term in prison."

I believe the life of John Bunyan is evidence of someone receiving teaching by discernment through the Holy Spirit, as the result of perseverance through trials of his faith.

The fact he was put in prison for 12 years for preaching and then imprisoned again, convinces me Bunyan "persevered through trials of his faith." I don't think that's an unreasonable conclusion - do you?

If he did not receive the teaching by discernment, where did it come from, since he was in prison at the time he wrote his religious books? Also, Bunyan said it came by the teaching of the Holy Spirit. What reason do you have to think your brother, John Bunyan, was bearing false witness?

If he were lying about this issue, where did his doctrine come from, since by breaking 1 of the 10 commandments he would not have received the Holy Spirit to teach him and no mature Christian to train him while he was in prison?

Fred, where in Scripture does it say you are to go to college to get an education about God? This does not mean you cannot get correct doctrine from a mature Christian. I have already told you I got much of my training listening every day to Dr. MacArthur, reading his books, listening to his tapes and reading the books of other great Bible teachers like Dr. James M. Boice and Dr. Charles Feinberg.

However, the Holy Spirit CONFIRMS whether the training (which could be from an outside source such as a sermon, book, tape, etc,) you receive is correct or not -- at His own will, whenever He wishes and in whatever manner He wishes. Training is not the same as doctrine and I've already provided the definition of doctrine to you.

The Holy Spirit also CONFIRMS the truthfulness of the Word of God, teaches its meaning and provides its significance to believers whenever and however, He chooses.

If you go to www.johnbunyan.org and read what's there, you'll discover that John Bunyan stated he had very little education and he had forgotten nearly everything he had learned in school anyway.

I don't doubt you're correct about Bunyan going to college or reading his contempories' writings, but did he go to college and read those writings before or after he wrote his religious books and 'Pilgrims Progress'?

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Irresistible Grace - Fri Jan 30, 2004 10:40 PM
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If he were lying about this issue, where did his doctrine come from, since by breaking 1 of the 10 commandments he would not have received the Holy Spirit to teach him . . .
This is simply ludicrous! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/drop.gif" alt="" /> From what biblical text(s) do you find this astounding statement taught? There is not ONE solitary believer, from Adam until the last who hasn't and will continue to break many of the 10 Commandments during their earthly life. If what you say is true, then no one has been, is or will be saved. For the very first thing that happens to a sinner in salvation is the work and indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Irresistible Grace - Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:57 PM
Pilgrim,

Show me when John Bunyan ever admitted he lied (bore false witness) and then repented, and you've proven your point.

Show me when anyone ever broke one of the ten commandments, did not repent, but was still saved, and you've proven your point.

A number of people think King David's and John Calvin's situations are similar. The difference is David admitted his guilt and repented. There has been no testimony of John Calvin ever openly admitting "sanctioning the burning of Servetus", AND later repenting his sin AND asking for forgiveness. Even if he did, it was definitely not prior to him writing his theology books on doctrine.

Nor do I know of any Calvinists openly admitting they are/were wrong, if they previously agreed with the burning of Servetus, but now repent their sin.

Perhaps we need an 'Alliance of Confessing Calvinists', who now admit the burning of Servetus was wrong. Does such a group exist?

Some try to compare the apostle Paul to John Calvin. Again, Paul repented before his writing Scripture and Calvin did not repent before writing his theology.

Forgiveness does not come without repentence. God hates sin, but He is merciful and forgiving to those who repent their sin.

If you want your sins forgiven, you must repent them and admit you are wrong. This applies to all sin. There are no exceptions to this rule.

I'm very surprised you think God might make some exception for John Calvin or why you would choose to defend him in this manner.

The issue is, "Did John Calvin sanction the burning of Michael Servetus?" The issue is not, "John Calvin sanctioned the burning of Servetus. Who cares, since David killed Uriah and Paul helped stone Steven."

We could make that the issue for discussion, IF you now agree Calvin probably sanctioned the burning of Servetus.

That way you won't have any more testimony brought out about Calvin's character. As long as you don't agree, I encourage more testimony from other RELIABLE sources. This is not a witch hunt. So far, the only witness testimony posted has been from Calvinists. Please keep it that way.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Irresistible Grace - Sat Jan 31, 2004 1:14 AM
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The issue is, "Did John Calvin sanction the burning of Michael Servetus?" The issue is not, "John Calvin sanctioned the burning of Servetus. Who cares, since David killed Uriah and Paul helped stone Steven."
No sir, this is NOT the issue, for you have an evil agenda you are promoting which you have clearly stated on several occasions. The fact that Michael Servetus was found guilty in a court of law, a court which John Calvin had no place, and then executed according to that country's law, of which John Calvin had no actual part, relieves John Calvin of your deceitful charges against him, that he committed some gross sin because he agreed that Servetus got a fair trial and received a just punishment for his sin, even though he tried to change the method of his execution to something other than burning at the stake.

The issue YOU are trying to force upon us is whether or not John Calvin, by agreeing to the execution, demonstrated "bad fruit", which you have defined in unbiblical and indefensible terms. And if that be true, according to your fallacious definition, then the Holy Spirit did not dwell within him and further that anything he wrote from that point on is spurious and should be rejected out of hand. Not only is your position unwarranted, it is scandalous and wicked at its core.

I charge you with being duplicitous and being in league with the Accuser of the brethren. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scold.gif" alt="" />

What you need most is not to hear if John Calvin ever repented of some alleged sin but deliverance of this wickedness which controls your spirit.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Irresistible Grace - Sat Jan 31, 2004 5:29 AM
Pilgrim,

"...because he agreed that Servetus got a fair trial and received a just punishment for his sin, even though he tried to change the method of his execution to something other than burning at the stake."

Do you realize you just admitted Calvin consented to the death of Michael Servetus? After just a couple of days of discussion you have now discovered and admitted to the truth, i.e. the article posted on your website by Dr. Horton was wrong - Calvin "agreed" to the death of Servetus.

You have now ended the issue of, "Did Calvin sanction the death of Servetus?" Now the discussion is closed as far as I'm concerned, because the case has been determined.

By your own words, you have admitted Calvin DID agree to the death of Servetus. Defense attorney Pilgrim has now plead "guilty as charged" for his client, John Calvin. Case closed!
Posted By: Tom Re: Irresistible Grace - Sat Jan 31, 2004 7:28 AM
1saved


Oh boy <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/puke.gif" alt="" />
Nobody has ever denied (even Dr. Horton) that John Calvin believed Servetus deserved the death penalty.
If you had lived in that day, you would probably agree with it yourself. At that time pretty well all of Christians believed that Servetus should be executed. If I have my history correct, the issue of Calvin sanctioning the burning of Servetus wasn’t an issue until much later when his critiques were looking for something (much like what you are doing) to smear Calvin’s good name.
The issue that many Christians had however in that day was making sure that people who are executed are done so in a humane way.
The problem you are having is that you are looking through the lense of modern thinking. This is that heretics shouldn’t be put to death, or even punished.
It probably wouldn't even be an issue with you had you lived in the time of Calvin.

Whether or not Christians of that time were right believing that Servetus should be executed, is not the point. For example, I used to be an Arminian but I did so because I sincerely believed it was biblical. I believe that if Calvin or any true Christian of that day became convinced that it was wrong to sanction the execution of heretics like Servetus, they would change their views.
Please don’t try and tell me that you have never believed something (as a Christian) that you now disagree with.
By the way, the positive influence that Calvin had on Geneva and the world in his life time, was one that very few could claim.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Irresistible Grace - Sat Jan 31, 2004 1:58 PM
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Do you realize you just admitted Calvin consented to the death of Michael Servetus? After just a couple of days of discussion you have now discovered and admitted to the truth, i.e. the article posted on your website by Dr. Horton was wrong - Calvin "agreed" to the death of Servetus.
You need serious help! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" /> And oh, take one more bit of advice, don't ever consider becoming a lawyer. That profession has enough of a bad reputation already. However, politics just might be your calling. To be a "good" politician, you need to be a natural born liar, be able to turn a deaf ear to people, twist truth into an indiscernible pretzel, ignore obvious facts, further your own career at the expense of all that is good and/or right, cater to special interest groups, and most of all the people you represent are to be used to boost your fame, financial profit and provide a means to stay in office. There other "virtues" of course which are required to succeed, but I do believe you have a good start. And no, I wouldn't vote for you! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/igiveup.gif" alt="" /> [Linked Image]
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Irresistible Grace - Sat Jan 31, 2004 3:50 PM
Saved1,
You sound just like your Father! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />


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Revelation 12 v.7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers [1] has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/flee.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: carlos BUNYAN believed in Reprobation, Effectual Calling. - Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:48 AM
Dear George,

Ok. I must say that your post was quite interesting. We are going start this over because you did not answer my 2nd question, and I will then reply to one of your false theories in answering my first question. And please see the quotes from Bunyan on election, effectual calling, and the rest of the biblical doctrines of grace. I have supplied more than sufficient quotes.

Originally, you posted:
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George:
The fact is, Scripture proves Calvin was only partially right in his doctrine on salvation. This can easily be determined upon close reading of Ephesians 1:4-13 and paying attention to the pronouns used by Paul to describe who he was talking about and who he was talking to. (emphasis by Carlos)


To which I replied,
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[Carlos]
I would just love to hear what is your view is concerning this issue. Thus, please, "EXEGETE" the passage for us, since it appears that we, Charles Hodge, Peter O'Brien, John Calvin, William Hendriksen, and the vast number of other trained exegetes have been wrong, as it appears in your view. So how does Eph 1 prove us wrong? Please show us how the "pronouns" can easily prove Calvin and others wrong?

1)You did not exegete the Eph 1 passage in this latest post since you claimed above that “close reading of Eph 1:4-13” prove us wrong. As I said, how is this so? When we do close reading, we surely end up on a different plane than you. And How does the “pronouns” prove us wrong?

2) You tried to answer my challenge of appealing to excellent exegesis of Christians such as Hodge, O’Brien, Hendriksen, and many others by saying the following statements:
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George
To His glory, God hides things. Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes, but later revealed the meanings of the parables to His disciples. Many of His parables are left unexplained in Scripture.
Sorry, but that has nothing to do with the Eph 1 passage. THAT IS NO PARABLE SIR!!!!!! Not only that but you are assuming here that All the men above are either unbelievers or some form of "immature believers":), as if even immature believers cannot grasp these Eph 1 verses which are not even that hard. Furthermore, you still have not done any kind of exegesis to demonstrate the proper interpretation of the passage, and attempt to prove them as you assume them to be. And yes, from what I have seen all these men are/were “humble” and display[ed] the characteristics of a Christian.
In any case, any one who is really “indwelt with the holy spirit” and has any kind of reasoning would know that these men have exegeted the passage correctly. Not only that, but easily recognize that that they are/were "teachers" given to the church (Eph. 4:11). You on the other hand seem to be a master of taking things out of its context[ like the Acts passage] and applying it to a totally different context.

To be honest the rest of your post was just pure speculation [and in fact backfired with the example of Bunyan, see below]. I think Pilgrims’ post is suffice for the rest of your surmises. If you want to sit around and claim that you are the “mature” Christian and one who is in the light, then please EXEGETE THE EPHESIANS 1 passage, and instead of boasting some special knowledge. You sound very much like one of those that the Apostle John warned us about in his epistles[ e.g. 1 john].

Indeed it is quite ironic that you would use John Bunyan as an example for your false theories. In fact, John Bunyan would agree with us that the doctrines of Grace are the biblical truth. Thus, now why don’t you be consistent with your theory and listen to Bunyan, who you admit by your post, knew the bible. You need not tell me about Bunyan; I’m currently reading his “Pilgrim’s Progress”, and “The Christian family”. And sir, his doctrines are the furthest thing from yours. I pray that God may open your eyes to see. May the Lord have mercy upon you.

Here are some excerpts from two of Bunyan's works proving he held to the doctrines of grace [one of them actually has comments related to the Eph. 1 passage].

1."Reprobation asserted ( you know what reprobation is right?)
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2. Another scripture you have in the eleventh chapter of this epistle [Romans 11], from these words, 'The election hath obtained it, and the REST were blinded' (Rom 11:7). These words are shedding[1] words, they sever between men and men; the election, the rest; the chosen, the left; the embraced, the refused: 'The election have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.' By rest here, must needs be understood those not elect, because set one in opposition to the other; and if not elect, what then but reprobate?
3. A third scripture is that in the Acts of the Apostles, 'And as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed' (13:48). 'And as many'; by these words, as by the former, you may see how the Holy Ghost distinguisheth or divideth between men and men; the sons, and the sons of Adam. 'As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed': If by many here, we are to understand every individual, then not only the whole world must at least believe the gospel, of which we see the most fall short, but they must be ordained to eternal life; which other scriptures contradict: for there is the rest, besides the elect; the stubble and chaff, as well as wheat: many therefore must here include but some; 'For though - Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved' (Rom 9:27; Isa 1:9, 10:22,23).
I might here multiply many other texts, but in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. Let these therefore for this, suffice to prove that there is a reprobation. For this I say, though the children of the flesh, the rest besides the election, and the like, were not mentioned in the word; yet seeing there is such a thing as the children of the promise, the seed, the children of God, and the like, and that too under several other phrases, as predestinated, foreknown, chosen in Christ, and written in the Book of life, and appointed unto life, with many others: I say seeing these things are thus apparent, it is without doubt, that there is such a thing as a reprobation also (Rom 8; Eph 1:3,4; 1 Thess 5:9).
Nay, further, From the very word election, it followeth unavoidably; for whether you take it as relating to this, of distinguishing between persons as touching the world to come, or with reference to God's acts of choosing this or that man to this or that office, work, or employment in this world, it still signifieth such a choosing, as that but some are therein concerned, and that therefore some are thence excluded. Are all the elect, the seed, the saved, the vessels of mercy, the chosen and peculiar? Are not some, yea the most, the children of the flesh, the rest, the lost, the vessels of wrath, of dishonour, and the children of perdition? (Rom 11:9; 1 Peter 2:8,9; Matt 10:16; 2 Sam 6:21; Psa 78:67,68; John 15:16; 2 Cor 4:3; Rom 9:21,22; John 17:12)...For man by nature, (consider him at best), can see no more, nor do no more than what the principles of nature understands and helps to do; which nature being below the discerning of things truly, spiritually, and savingly good, it must needs fall short of receiving, loving and delighting in them. 'The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned' (1 Cor 2:14). Now I say, if the natural man at best (for the elect before conversion are no more, if quite so much) cannot do this, how shall they attain thereto, being now not only corrupted and infected, but depraved, bewitched and dead; swallowed up of unbelief, ignorance, confusion, hardness of heart, hatred of God, and the like? When a thorn by nature beareth grapes, and a thistle beareth figs, then may this thing be (Matt 7:16-18). To lay hold of and receive the gospel by a true and saving faith, it is an act of the soul as made a new creature[e.g.Irrestiable grace], which is the workmanship of God: 'Now he that hath wrought us for the self-same thing is God' (2 Cor 5:5). 'For a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit' (Luke 6:43-45). 'Can the Ethiopian change his skin?' (Jer 13:23). ( words in brackets by Carlos)
Click here: Reprobation Asserted

2. "Saved by Grace" ( see especially the words in red)
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In the first chapter, from the fourth to the twelfth verse, the apostle is treating of the doctrine of election, both with respect to the act itself, the end, and means conducing thereto. The act, he tells us, was God's free choice of some (verse 4,5,11). The end was God's glory in their salvation (verse 6,14). The means conducing to that end was Jesus Christ himself-"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (verse 7). This done, he treateth of the subjection of the Ephesians to the faith, as it was held forth to them in the Word of the truth of the gospel, as also of their being sealed by the Holy Spirit of God unto the day of redemption (verse 12-14). Moreover, he telleth them how he gave thanks to God for them, making mention of them in his prayers, even that he would make them see "what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead," &c. (verse 15-20).


And lest the Ephesians, at the hearing of these their so many privileges, should forget how little they deserved them, he tells them that in time past they were dead in trespasses and sins, and that then they walked in them "according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph 2:2,3).


Having thus called them back to the remembrance of themselves-to wit, what they were in their state of unregeneracy, he proceedeth to show them that their first quickening was by the resurrection of Christ their Head, in whom they before were chosen, and that by him they were already set down in heavenly places, (verse 5,6); inserting, by the way, the true cause of all this blessedness, with what else should be by us enjoyed in another world; and that is, the love and grace of God: "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ [by grace ye are saved]." These last words seen to be the apostle's conclusion rightly drawn from the premises; as who should say, If you Ephesians were indeed dead in trespasses and sins; if indeed you were by nature the children of wrath, even as others, then you deserve no more than others. 2


Again, if God hath chosen you, if God hath justified and saved you by his Christ, and left others as good as you by nature to perish in their sins, then the true cause of this your blessed condition is, the free grace of God. But just thus it is, therefore by grace ye are saved; therefore all the good which you enjoy more than others, it is of mere goodwill.
First, then, we may be said to be saved in the purpose of God before the world began. The apostle saith that "he saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Tim 1:9). This is the beginning of salvation, and according to this beginning all things concur and fall out in conclusion-"He hath saved us according to his eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus." God in thus saving may be said to save us by determining to make those means effectual for the blessed completing of our salvation; and hence we are said "to be chosen in Christ to salvation." And again, that he hath in that choice given us that grace that shall complete our salvation. Yea, the text is very full, "He hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world" (Eph 1:3,4).


[color:"red"]Second. As we may be said to be saved in the purpose of God before the foundation of the world, so we may be said to be saved before we are converted, or called to Christ. And hence "saved" is put before "called"; "he hath saved us, and called us"; he saith not, he hath called us, and saved us; but he puts saving before calling (2 Tim 1:9). So again, we are said to be "preserved in Christ and called"; he saith not, called and preserved (Jude 1). And therefore God saith again, "I will pardon them whom I reserve"-that is, as Paul expounds it, those whom I have "elected and kept," and this part of salvation is accomplished through the forbearance of God (Jer 50:20; Rom 11:4,5). God beareth with is own elect, for Christ's sake, all the time of their unregeneracy, until the time comes which he hath appointed for their conversion. The sins that we stood guilty of before conversion, had the judgment due to them been executed upon us, we had not now been in the world to partake of a heavenly calling. But the judgment due to them hath been by the patience of God prevented, and we saved all the time of our ungodly and unconverted state, from that death, and those many hells, that for our sins we deserved at the hands of God [/color]


And here lies the reason that long life is granted to the elect before conversion, and that all the sins they commit and all the judgments they deserve, cannot drive them out of the world before conversion. Manasseh, you know, was a great sinner, and for the trespass which he committed he was driven from his own land, and carried to Babylon; but kill him they could not, though his sins had deserved death ten thousand times. But what was the reason? Why, he was not yet called; God had chosen him in Christ, and laid up in him a stock of grace, which must be given to Manasseh before he dies; therefore Manasseh must be convinced, converted, and saved. That legion of devils that was in the possessed, with all the sins which he had committed in the time of his unregeneracy, could not take away his life before his conversion (Mark 5). How many times was that poor creature, as we may easily conjecture, assaulted for his life by the devils that were in him, yet could they not kill him, yea, though his dwelling was near the sea-side, and the devils had power to drive him too, yet could they not drive him further than the mountains that were by the sea- side; yea, they could help him often to break his chains and fetters, and could also make him as mad as a bedlam, 3 they could also prevail with him to separate from men, and cut himself with stones, but kill him they could not, drown him they could not; he was saved to be called; he was, notwithstanding all this, preserved in Christ, and called. As it is said of the young lad in the gospel, he was by the devil cast oft into the fire, and oft into the water, to destroy him, but it could not be; even so hath he served others, but they must be "saved to be called" (Mark 9:22). How many deaths have some been delivered from and saved out of before conversion! Some have fallen into rivers, some into wells, some into the sea, some into the hands of men; yea, they have been justly arraigned and condemned, as the thief upon the cross, but must not die before they have been converted. They were preserved in Christ, and called.

Saved By Grace

3."THE INTERCESSION OF CHRIST, AND WHO ARE PRIVILEGED IN IT
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Second, This is the intercession of Christ, or that for which he doth make intercession.
1. He prays for all the elect, that they may be brought home to God, and so into the unity of the faith, &c. this is clear, for that he saith, 'Neither pray I for these alone'; that is, for those only that are converted; 'but for them also which shall believe on me through their word'; for all them that shall, that are appointed to believe; or, as you have it a little above, 'for them which thou hast given me.' (John 17:9,20, Isa 53:12) And the reason is, for that he hath paid a ransom for them. Christ, therefore, when he maketh intercession for the ungodly, and all the unconverted elect are such, doth but petitionarily ask for his own, his purchased ones, those for whom he died before, that they might be saved by his blood.
2. When any of them are brought home to God, he yet prays for them; namely, that the sins which through infirmity they, after conversion, may commit, may also be forgiven them.
This is showed us by the intercession of the high priest under the law, that was to bear away the iniquities of the holy things of the children of Israel; yea, and also by his atonement for them that sinned; for that it saith, 'And the priest shall make an atonement for him, for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him.' (Lev 5:10) This also is intimated even where our Lord doth make intercession, saying, 'I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.' (John 17:15) That Christ prayed that the converted should be kept from all manner of commission of sin, must not be supposed, for that is the way to make his intercession, at least in some things, invalid, and to contradict himself; for, saith he, 'I know that thou hearest me always.' (John 11:42) But the meaning is, I pray that thou wouldest keep them from soul-damning delusions, such as are unavoidably such; also that thou wouldest keep them from the soul-destroying evil of every sin, of ever temptation. Now this he doth by his prevailing and by his pardoning grace. Intercession of Christ FOR HIS ELECT

All of this is quite consistent to what I maintain!!! Unlike Dave Hunt, I can pull many more quotes demonstrating the unequivocal fact Bunyan HELD FIRMLY TO THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE!!!!



In Christ,
Carlos
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Irresistible Grace - Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:31 AM
Tom,

If no one ever denied that John Calvin agreed that Servetus deserved the death penalty, why did we ever debate this exact same issue for several days on the Open Forum board?

All Pilgrim had to do to avoid the debate, was agree that "John Calvin agreed to the death of Servetus."

Since Tom says we all agree, LET'S STOP DEBATING THIS ISSUE!
Posted By: Anonymous Re: BUNYAN believed in Reprobation, Effectual Calling. - Sun Feb 01, 2004 2:21 AM
Carlos,

There was way too much information for me to follow the reasoning of your presentation. Please try to condense your information. Try to keep it simple, so everyone can understand. What is your main point?

I did not answer your 2nd question, because I have answered it so many times to other people and I figured you would follow the thread up to see my answer.

Since you didn't, I guess I'll repeat myself for the fifth or sixth time.

BEFORE THIS THREAD WAS POSTED, I GAVE JOE THE EXEGESIS OF EPHESIANS 1 AND SCRIPTURAL EVIDENCE PROVING IT'S TRUE.
OUT OF FAIRNESS TO JOE, I WILL WAIT UNTIL JOE ANSWERS MY QUESTIONS TO HIM, SINCE I WILL NOT GO AROUND JOE AND PROVIDE THE EXEGESIS OF EPHESIANS 1. I HAVE GIVEN MY WORD ON THIS.
JOE HAS TO BE GIVEN ENOUGH TIME TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS. IF JOE REFUSES TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS, THEN I INTEND TO PUT THE CORRECT EXEGESIS OF EPHESIANS 1 ON THE BOARD. SO FAR, JOE HAS NOT ANSWERED THE QUESTIONS I ASKED, NEITHER HAS HE TOLD ME WHEN HE EXPECTS TO GIVE ME ANY ANSWER. I CANNOT GUARANTEE YOU WILL EVER SEE THE ANSWERS, BECAUSE MODERATORS CAN HAVE POSTINGS DELETED.

There are those who will defend the doctrine of their church against the truth. This explains the torturing of innocent Protestants by priests of the Roman Catholic Church during the Inquisition. They claimed they were "defending the faith."

It took the Roman Catholic Church over 400 years to get around to admitting their forefathers, committed these "atrocities".

I don't know of any Catholics who still deny the "atrocities" of the Inquisition. I don't know
of any Catholics who still think the deaths of their innocent brothers were justifiable. I do know the Catholic Church still teaches transubstantiation, considers their doctrine to be inerrant and their pope to be infallible in ecclesiastic decisions. They will, however, admit earlier popes (also claiming to be infallible at the time) may have made mistakes. The arrogance of such a position, when it flies in the very face of reason or logic, is legendary!

He who has ears to hear, let him hear! He who has eyes to see, let him see!
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Irresistible Grace - Sun Feb 01, 2004 2:33 AM
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1saved said:
Tom,

If no one ever denied that John Calvin agreed that Servetus deserved the death penalty, why did we ever debate this exact same issue for several days on the Open Forum board?

All Pilgrim had to do to avoid the debate, was agree that "John Calvin agreed to the death of Servetus."
1saved,

This is fallacious to even suggest. As I have pointed out in several other replies which you have deliberately avoided, the issue was NOT whether Calvin agreed with the civil courts findings against Micheal Servetus, and/or whether Calvin agreed that the sentence of capital punishment was just for the crime of heresy/blaspheme. But rather the disagreement has ALWAYS been your distorted and indefensible charge, that if John Calvin did not voice opposition to Servetus' death, then he was guilty of some gross sin, which you wanted to categorize as "bad fruit", of which you also redefined contrary to the biblical record. Further and even more scandalous was your charge that if Calvin was guilty of bearing "bad fruit" (according to your redefinition), then he could not have had the Holy Spirit and all that he wrote subsequent to this event was to be summarily rejected as untruth.

Your intent was obvious from the beginning. But you are not happy because we have been wise to your ingenuity and deceitful agenda. And even in your very last statement in your reply to Tom you distort the truth when you wrote:

Quote
Since Tom says we all agree, LET'S STOP DEBATING THIS ISSUE!

when in fact I don't find Tom saying we all agree at all. The Holy Spirit of God has shown us that your teachings are not of God. Now on that we all here agree and therefore it isn't a debatable topic. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/evilgrin.gif" alt="" />

Methinks you should take a moment and refresh you memory as to that which you agreed to when you registered here:

[Linked Image] Board Guidelines.

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Irresistible Grace - Sun Feb 01, 2004 4:09 AM
Pilgrim,
"This forum encourages free discussion of other views that are not in accord with those believed to be of this tradition."
Who is the liar?
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Irresistible Grace - Mon Feb 02, 2004 3:44 AM
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The Holy Spirit also CONFIRMS the truthfulness of the Word of God, teaches its meaning and provides its significance to believers whenever and however, He chooses.

And the Holy Spirit confirmed the truth of Calvinistic soteriology to John Bunyan. You've gotten caught in your own trap.
Posted By: CovenantInBlood Re: Irresistible Grace - Mon Feb 02, 2004 4:00 AM
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A number of people think King David's and John Calvin's situations are similar. The difference is David admitted his guilt and repented. There has been no testimony of John Calvin ever openly admitting "sanctioning the burning of Servetus", AND later repenting his sin AND asking for forgiveness. Even if he did, it was definitely not prior to him writing his theology books on doctrine.

Calvin's seminal work, The Institutes, was published in its second and third additions in the years 1539 and 1545 respectively. Servetus was not executed until 1553!

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This is not a witch hunt.

Oh yes it is. You are searching out how to sully Calvin's name in order to convince us that the soteriology we hold is false.

Guess what? It won't work. You are ridiculous to bring this charge against Calvin. Calvin had no role in either the law itself or in the final judgement against Servetus. And even if he did, he would have been congratulated by people on all sides; every major Reformer recommended that Servetus be silenced, and the Catholic Church as well would have had him executed for gross heresy. Shall we charge Christians of all times with being pretenders because they were men of their times, caught up in the sins of their times? Was every Southern slaveholder in the U.S. who called himself a Christian a liar, since he practiced an unbiblical form of slavery?

Do you honestly expect that we will all be perfectly aware of every sin we have committed before we die? What is of greater importance: specifically repenting for each and every sin committed by name, or repenting generally and genuinely for our daily transgression of the law?
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