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Walstib
Apr 9th 2009, 07:47 PM
This is one of those terms I have a hard time pinning down as it seems to be used differently by different people.

The main point I am thinking on here is when it is used to say God gives us the ability to believe before we can believe or understand anything spiritual for that matter.

With the term being often used by "Armenians" I just don't get it as it still looks to me like a predetermined election in this context.

Is there something I am missing? Is prevenient grace only for some or is it extended to all? That would be angle I am looking to discuss here.

RogerW
Apr 9th 2009, 08:06 PM
This is one of those terms I have a hard time pinning down as it seems to be used differently by different people.

The main point I am thinking on here is when it is used to say God gives us the ability to believe before we can believe or understand anything spiritual for that matter.

With the term being often used by "Armenians" I just don't get it as it still looks to me like a predetermined election in this context.

Is there something I am missing? Is prevenient grace only for some or is it extended to all? That would be angle I am looking to discuss here.

Greetings Walstib,

Is this what you mean by prevenient grace?

Prevenient grace defined as follows by "Wesley's Order of Salvation":

"Human beings are totally incapable of responding to God without God first empowering them to have faith. This empowerment is known as "Prevenient Grace." Prevenient Grace doesn't save us but, rather, comes before anything that we do, drawing us to God, making us WANT to come to God, and enabling us to have faith in God. Prevenient Grace is Universal, in as much as all humans receive it, regardless of their having heard of Jesus. It is manifested in the deep-seated desire of most humans to know God."
Many Blessings,
RW

matthew94
Apr 9th 2009, 08:16 PM
Arminians believe it is universal (and they are pretty much the only one's who believe in prevenient grace, so I think it is safe to say prevenient grace, as a concept, is universal). But for Arminians, like myself, grace is resistable and so even though everyone receives prevenient grace, not everyone responds to it. Prevenient grace simply makes us response-able (we are now able to respond to later forms of grace like convicting, saving, sanctifying).

Wesley, despite what some claim, believed whole-heartedly in the inherited guilt of mankind (he wrote his longest work on that subect). His doctrine of prevenient grace, in effect, annulled the problem of inherited guilt (see Randy Maddox' book 'Responsible Grace' page 75). Now, because of the doctrine of prevenient grace, people were not held RESPONSIBLE for the sins of Adam, but were RESPONSE-ABLE to respond to God's initiation of salvation for themselves.

Hope that helps

RogerW
Apr 9th 2009, 08:22 PM
Arminians believe it is universal (and they are pretty much the only one's who believe in prevenient grace, so I think it is safe to say prevenient grace, as a concept, is universal). But for Arminians, like myself, grace is resistable and so even though everyone receives prevenient grace, not everyone responds to it. Prevenient grace simply makes us response-able (we are now able to respond to later forms of grace like convicting, saving, sanctifying).

Wesley, despite what some claim, believed whole-heartedly in the inherited guilt of mankind (he wrote his longest work on that subect). His doctrine of prevenient grace, in effect, annulled the problem of inherited guilt (see Randy Maddox' book 'Responsible Grace' page 75). Now, because of the doctrine of prevenient grace, people were not held RESPONSIBLE for the sins of Adam, but were RESPONSE-ABLE to respond to God's initiation of salvation for themselves.

Hope that helps

Greetings Matthew,

So, are you saying that salvation is not a free gift given, but merely a free gift offered? Do you believe the Bible teaches we are "dead" in trespasses and sins? If you do believe we are altogether dead, how is one made response-able?

Many Blessings,
RW

RabbiKnife
Apr 9th 2009, 08:24 PM
Through prevenient grace!!!!

:saint:

RogerW
Apr 9th 2009, 08:40 PM
Through prevenient grace!!!!

:saint:

Greetings Rabbi,

Can you be a little more specific? How does prevenient grace work? I mean if it something available to all people, how come only some people experience this prevenient grace? If only some come to Christ through prevenient grace, is it because they are just a little bit better than that apostate living down the street?

Many Blessings,
RW

keck553
Apr 9th 2009, 08:45 PM
Of God gives us everything, why not a seed of faith?

RogerW
Apr 9th 2009, 08:51 PM
Of God gives us everything, why not a seed of faith?

Of a truth Keck! If our faith is not the gift of God's grace, it remains humanistic and not saving faith (Eph 2:8,9). In this we find God's saving grace is something quite different then the Arminian's prevenient grace...yes?

Many Blessings,
RW

keck553
Apr 9th 2009, 08:56 PM
I don't even understand it. LOL. All I know is God chose me and I accepted. Only the measure of my faith has changed.

RogerW
Apr 9th 2009, 09:01 PM
I don't even understand it. LOL. All I know is God chose me and I accepted. Only the measure of my faith has changed.

Amen Keck! It is God Who chooses, so that we will respond when He makes us willing...just as He did you and I.

Many Blessings,
RW

keck553
Apr 9th 2009, 09:03 PM
Amen Keck! It is God Who chooses, so that we will respond when He makes us willing...just as He did you and I.

Many Blessings,
RW

oh. I must be slow today. I didn't know that was even up for debate.

RogerW
Apr 9th 2009, 09:05 PM
oh. I must be slow today. I didn't know that was even up for debate.

How refreshing!;)

Many Blessings,
RW

RabbiKnife
Apr 9th 2009, 09:15 PM
Greetings Rabbi,

Can you be a little more specific? How does prevenient grace work? I mean if it something available to all people, how come only some people experience this prevenient grace? If only some come to Christ through prevenient grace, is it because they are just a little bit better than that apostate living down the street?

Many Blessings,
RW

I don't know. How does salvific grace work?

All people experience prevenient grace. Some choose to ignore it.

John146
Apr 9th 2009, 09:27 PM
Greetings Matthew,

So, are you saying that salvation is not a free gift given, but merely a free gift offered? Do you believe the Bible teaches we are "dead" in trespasses and sins? If you do believe we are altogether dead, how is one made response-able?

Many Blessings,
RWBeing spiritually dead is not equivalent to being unable to recognize that one is a sinner in need of mercy, forgiveness and salvation. If you disagree, please give me scripture that shows otherwise.

Here is a message to spiritually dead people:

Isaiah 55
6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Surely, the wicked can't be anything but spiritually dead, right? Yet it's saying here that these spiritually dead people should seek the Lord while He may be found and forsake their wicked ways so that He will have mercy upon them.

Also, how can you try to say that salvation is not an offer in light of what Jesus teaches here:

Matthew 22
1And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
2The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
3And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
4Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
5But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
6And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
7But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
8Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
9Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
10So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
11And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14For many are called, but few are chosen.

Why are many called and not chosen? We can see the answer to that in verse 3. It is due to a willing refusal to accept the offer/invitation. That parable is all about the offer of salvation. Notice that the king, who represents God, gets angry when the invitation is rejected and they make light of it. Why would He get angry about that if He wasn't truly offering them an opportunity to become part of the bride of His Son? There would be no reason for Him to be angry with them unless they were capable of accepting the offer but stubbornly refused to accept it. It isn't that they could not, but that they would not accept the offer of salvation.

Walstib
Apr 9th 2009, 09:48 PM
Hi Roger,


Prevenient grace defined as follows by "Wesley's Order of Salvation":

"Human beings are totally incapable of responding to God without God first empowering them to have faith. This empowerment is known as "Prevenient Grace." Prevenient Grace doesn't save us but, rather, comes before anything that we do, drawing us to God, making us WANT to come to God, and enabling us to have faith in God. Prevenient Grace is Universal, in as much as all humans receive it, regardless of their having heard of Jesus. It is manifested in the deep-seated desire of most humans to know God."
As good a definition as any maybe... we can go with this one. :)
The "totally incapable of responding to God without God first empowering them to have faith" is the thing I am talking about.

So does one in this definition have to have faith before any response to God is made? Where is justification in all this is my focus.

If one is justified and regenerated when they have faith, then they are regenerated before any response to God is made. *I know it's more complex than a simple timeline... *

It's like saying everyone can hear God but only those specially empower by God can respond and this before they ask. Asking would be a response right?

I just can't wrap my head around what they are tying to say here.

Saying that God draws all people to Himself and is the one who does the saving without needing our work to help Him is simply said.

It just seems like a way to hold onto total depravity and come up with a long complex way of justifying this concept.

Peace,
Joe

Walstib
Apr 9th 2009, 09:53 PM
Hi matthew,

I can see what you are saying with the universal comments. Thanks.


Wesley, despite what some claim, believed whole-heartedly in the inherited guilt of mankind (he wrote his longest work on that subect). His doctrine of prevenient grace, in effect, annulled the problem of inherited guilt (see Randy Maddox' book 'Responsible Grace' page 75). Now, because of the doctrine of prevenient grace, people were not held RESPONSIBLE for the sins of Adam, but were RESPONSE-ABLE to respond to God's initiation of salvation for themselves.

Maybe the desire to hold on to "inherited guilt" is where I am hung up on this. Are you speaking of this a "total depravity" way?

Thanks,
Joe

RogerW
Apr 9th 2009, 11:37 PM
Hi Roger,

[/indent]As good a definition as any maybe... we can go with this one. :)
The "totally incapable of responding to God without God first empowering them to have faith" is the thing I am talking about.

So does one in this definition have to have faith before any response to God is made? Where is justification in all this is my focus.

If one is justified and regenerated when they have faith, then they are regenerated before any response to God is made. *I know it's more complex than a simple timeline... *

It's like saying everyone can hear God but only those specially empower by God can respond and this before they ask. Asking would be a response right?

I just can't wrap my head around what they are tying to say here.

Saying that God draws all people to Himself and is the one who does the saving without needing our work to help Him is simply said.

It just seems like a way to hold onto total depravity and come up with a long complex way of justifying this concept.

Peace,
Joe

Hi Joe,

Both Arminians and Reformed believe that without the grace of God man is totally incapable of responding to the gospel.

Since "prevenient grace" is extended to all people whether or not they have heard the gospel, the question begs to be ask, "how can one believe if they have not heard?" and "...faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of Christ" (Ro 10:14,17).

Prevenient grace renders mankind neutral, or with the ability to choose whether or not they will accept or reject Christ. Is there any evidence from Scripture that proves there is a state of being neutral, where God places fallen man in this in-between state that seems to be neither corrupt nor good as "prevenient grace" teaches? Where can we find this state of partial regeneration in the Word of God?

If, as a result of prevenient grace, fallen man is rendered neutral, what then causes a man to choose one way or the other? Would we not have to conclude that some fallen men are simply morally better than others? Does not a good tree bear good fruit and a bad tree bears bad? Are we really to believe that fallen mankind can have a will that doesn't care, and yet believes or rejects Christ...how exactly?

Scripture tells us why some do not believe. Jo 10 "You do not believe because you are not my sheep." Notice the order here, because some will argue we are not His sheep because we refuse Him, we will not believe Him. Jesus does not say "You are not my sheep because you do not believe," that would make believing a condition for becoming His sheep. Christ says the exact opposite, "You do not believe because you are not My sheep." Therefore believing is a sign that one is already His sheep.

Christ also says, "Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not of God." It is the nature of the person that determines the choice he/she makes. And who is of God? Jo 17:9 "I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours."

The Bible does not teach prevenient grace. This is simply an attempt by Arminians to hold their system together. Prevenient grace, they say, takes the fallen sinner part of the way to salvation, but the will of man MUST complete it. This doctrine, as I have already said, is foreign to the Scriptures, and in fact is another gospel, which is no gospel at all.

Many Blessings,
RW

keck553
Apr 9th 2009, 11:48 PM
OK, i read the thread a little more closely. I suppose I can just answer for my own relationship with the LORD, and I'm not privvy to anyone elses, nor am I privvy to know who and when and where anyone might accept the calling of God. Sometimes I see "Jesus" works in others, even in their posts, and that's very uplifting. But that's God's workings, not the persons.

The thief on the cross made his decision on his worse day, repented and accepted Him as Messiah, but did no works to earn his place with Yeshua/Jesus in paradise. What did Yeshua say? Don't worry that the pay of the one I call in the last hour is the same as your day's wages? (paraphrased)

I guess the red flag that pops up in my head with this preveinent grace thing is that is seems somewhat calvinistic - I mean that it can lead to human judgement of who's saved and who's not. Before He ascended, God (Jesus) didn't commission us to figure out who His called sheep are, how they respond to the seeds we plant, or any of that.

I guess I'm just humbled and grateful that He called me.

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 12:07 AM
OK, i read the thread a little more closely. I suppose I can just answer for my own relationship with the LORD, and I'm not privvy to anyone elses, nor am I privvy to know who and when and where anyone might accept the calling of God. Sometimes I see "Jesus" works in others, even in their posts, and that's very uplifting. But that's God's workings, not the persons.

The thief on the cross made his decision on his worse day, repented and accepted Him as Messiah, but did no works to earn his place with Yeshua/Jesus in paradise. What did Yeshua say? Don't worry that the pay of the one I call in the last hour is the same as your day's wages? (paraphrased)

I guess the red flag that pops up in my head with this preveinent grace thing is that is seems somewhat calvinistic - I mean that it can lead to human judgement of who's saved and who's not. Before He ascended, God (Jesus) didn't commission us to figure out who His called sheep are, how they respond to the seeds we plant, or any of that.

I guess I'm just humbled and grateful that He called me.

Hi Keck,

Prevenient grace is neither Calvinistic nor Reformed, but exclusively linked with the Arminians, especially those of Wesleyan persuasion.

Here prevenient grace is defined by Dr Wm. W. Combs


In the modern day, prevenient grace is mostly identified with the views of
Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609) and, especially, John Wesley (1703–1791). As used by them and modern day Arminians, prevenient grace is grace that enables depraved man to believe and be saved, but it goes not guarantee such since it may be rejected.

Prevenient grace is sufficient for salvation but not efficacious (irresistible). What differentiates Calvinists from Arminians is that the former view “electing grace as given only to some (the elect) and insist that this grace cannot ultimately be resisted. The latter argue that prevenient grace is given to all people and that it can be resisted.” Calvinists could argue that they believe in prevenient grace since electing grace does come before any human decision in regard to salvation, but they generally to not use the term because of its association with Arminianism.

Hope this helps.

Many Blessings,
RW

keck553
Apr 10th 2009, 12:09 AM
Thank you for the clarification.

John146
Apr 10th 2009, 06:47 AM
Hi Joe,

Both Arminians and Reformed believe that without the grace of God man is totally incapable of responding to the gospel.

Since "prevenient grace" is extended to all people whether or not they have heard the gospel, the question begs to be ask, "how can one believe if they have not heard?" and "...faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of Christ" (Ro 10:14,17).

Prevenient grace renders mankind neutral, or with the ability to choose whether or not they will accept or reject Christ. Is there any evidence from Scripture that proves there is a state of being neutral, where God places fallen man in this in-between state that seems to be neither corrupt nor good as "prevenient grace" teaches? Where can we find this state of partial regeneration in the Word of God?

If, as a result of prevenient grace, fallen man is rendered neutral, what then causes a man to choose one way or the other? Would we not have to conclude that some fallen men are simply morally better than others? Does not a good tree bear good fruit and a bad tree bears bad? Are we really to believe that fallen mankind can have a will that doesn't care, and yet believes or rejects Christ...how exactly? Everyone has a conscience and a heart (not talking about the physical heart here). Each person is capable of making moral decisions from within their own heart. One must believe in their heart in Christ in order to be saved, right (Rom 10:9-10)? Trying to answer why one person decides to repent and believe while another does not is very difficult. Only God knows the answer to that for certain because only He knows what's in everyone's heart.

Since God desires all people to be saved it only makes sense that He would give all people the ability to choose to believe and all people an opportunity to be saved.

Does the following passage not indicate that God expects unregenerated wicked fallen people to seek Him while He may be found and forsake their evil ways?

Isaiah 55
6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.


Scripture tells us why some do not believe. Jo 10 "You do not believe because you are not my sheep." Notice the order here, because some will argue we are not His sheep because we refuse Him, we will not believe Him. Jesus does not say "You are not my sheep because you do not believe," that would make believing a condition for becoming His sheep. Christ says the exact opposite, "You do not believe because you are not My sheep." Therefore believing is a sign that one is already His sheep.But in John 3:18 Jesus says that people are condemned because they do not believe in Him.

18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

One is not condemned because they are not of His sheep. They are condemned because they do not believe in Christ. Why would someone be condemned for something they have no control over? Is God in the business of condemning people for not doing something that they had no ability to do? That would be like being condemned for not being able to fly.


Christ also says, "Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not of God." It is the nature of the person that determines the choice he/she makes. And who is of God? Jo 17:9 "I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours."

The Bible does not teach prevenient grace. This is simply an attempt by Arminians to hold their system together. Prevenient grace, they say, takes the fallen sinner part of the way to salvation, but the will of man MUST complete it. This doctrine, as I have already said, is foreign to the Scriptures, and in fact is another gospel, which is no gospel at all.

Many Blessings,
RWRoger,

Can you tell me whether or not people who fall away but "were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come" were offered salvation before falling away? Whether or not they were saved before falling away is not relevant to the point I'm getting at here. I'm only asking whether you think they were given an opportunity to be saved before falling away.

bagofseed
Apr 10th 2009, 07:17 AM
Greetings Matthew,

So, are you saying that salvation is not a free gift given, but merely a free gift offered? Do you believe the Bible teaches we are "dead" in trespasses and sins? If you do believe we are altogether dead, how is one made response-able?

Many Blessings,
RW

I know it is said about John but it may have a greater meaning.
Bringing the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of sins.

tt1106
Apr 10th 2009, 10:12 AM
Prevenient Grace. God pursues us. I think the concept (for me) became easy to see, once I was saved.
In my life, I have been close to death on several occasions(how many of us haven't) but REALLY close on two. On one occasion, 100 people died and I did not. On another occasion I had an accidental discharge with my firearm at home resulting in a major injury to my left hand. In the second the only thing that stopped me from dying was the voice of God telling me to calm down and apply direct pressure. I think of this as an example of Prevenient Grace.
I was not a believer at the time. When paramedics arrive my BP was 120/80 and my pulse was 69. I can only describe it as a God thing. Felt him, heard him, didn't know him until 16 years later. When I had my conversion experience in 2007, he reminded me of this(and other things) and I was broken. I have been a Christian since that moment.

RabbiKnife
Apr 10th 2009, 12:54 PM
Prevenient grace is not "partial regeneration". No fair reading of anything written by Arminius would justify such a misinterpretation.

You see, the problem arises when you try to create an "either/or" dichotomy that is foreign to Scripture.

The question is not "does God call and elect" vs. "does man choose." Scripture is very clear that it is "both/and". God calls based on his foreknowledge, which is not causal. God calls all. That is prevenient grace. Some choose. That is free will. All that choose are elected.

I don't care if you call that Calvinism, for I don't worship or follow Calvin. I don't care if you call that Arminianism, for I don't worship or follow Arminius. I don't care if you call it a ham samwich.

It is simply what Scripture teaches, and to cling to either system to the point of calling fellow believers followers of "another gospel" is offensive, rude, and not very bright.

Walstib
Apr 10th 2009, 02:07 PM
Roger,

I just lost my long reply..... sigh...

I'll get back here when I can.

divaD
Apr 10th 2009, 02:38 PM
Scripture tells us why some do not believe. Jo 10 "You do not believe because you are not my sheep." Notice the order
here, because some will argue we are not His sheep because we refuse Him, we will not believe Him. Jesus does not say
"You are not my sheep because you do not believe," that would make believing a condition for becoming His sheep. Christ
says the exact opposite, "You do not believe because you are not My sheep." Therefore believing is a sign that one is already
His sheep.


Hi RW. You're probably not going to like me much, but I have to disagree with how you come to these conclusions.

If you read the first 2 verses in that chapter, then you can know what conditions cause one to be a sheep, or not to be a sheep. When you read a ch like this from that perspective, then it's easy for one such as I to see
how your conclusions are amiss.


John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

This is the correct perspective in order to properly interpret the remaining of this ch. In your conclusions, you failed to acknowldge these conditions, that there is a door, and that some choose to come in another way. It should be clear as to whom the door is referring to here. This makes your conclusions out of context, because it the fact that some choose not to enter thru the door, being the reason they're not His sheep, thus making them unbelievers.

matthew94
Apr 10th 2009, 02:49 PM
Greetings Rabbi,

Can you be a little more specific? How does prevenient grace work? I mean if it something available to all people, how come only some people experience this prevenient grace? If only some come to Christ through prevenient grace, is it because they are just a little bit better than that apostate living down the street?

Many Blessings,
RW

Everyone experiences it. Some people just don't respond rightly to it, because grace is resistible.

matthew94
Apr 10th 2009, 02:50 PM
Of a truth Keck! If our faith is not the gift of God's grace, it remains humanistic and not saving faith (Eph 2:8,9). In this we find God's saving grace is something quite different then the Arminian's prevenient grace...yes?

Many Blessings,
RW

Prevenient grace is wholly from God. It allows us to respond properly to convicting grace and saving grace.

matthew94
Apr 10th 2009, 02:55 PM
Maybe the desire to hold on to "inherited guilt" is where I am hung up on this. Are you speaking of this a "total depravity" way?

Thanks,
Joe

Inherited guilt exists in Wesley's construct, but it is rendered obsolete since prevenient grace, in effect, eliminates the problems it supposedly causes. I don't think Wesley would be afraid to use terms like 'total depravity,' but his view of sin was more in line with eastern christianity than most of his western counterparts. He usually thought of sin more in terms of corruption than guilt.

matthew94
Apr 10th 2009, 03:03 PM
Hi Joe,

Both Arminians and Reformed believe that without the grace of God man is totally incapable of responding to the gospel.

Correct



Since "prevenient grace" is extended to all people whether or not they have heard the gospel, the question begs to be ask, "how can one believe if they have not heard?" and "...faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of Christ" (Ro 10:14,17).

Prevenient grace doesn't really have anything to do with believing.


Prevenient grace renders mankind neutral, or with the ability to choose whether or not they will accept or reject Christ. Is there any evidence from Scripture that proves there is a state of being neutral, where God places fallen man in this in-between state that seems to be neither corrupt nor good as "prevenient grace" teaches? Where can we find this state of partial regeneration in the Word of God?

This is a misunderstanding of prevenient grace. Prevenient grace doctrine does not teach, by any means, that mankind becomes non-corrupt b/c of prevenient grace! Wesley's eyes probably would have come out of their sockets if he saw you type that :) The problem of corruption remains. Prevenient grace means we aren't GUILTY of Adam's sins. The purpose of the doctrine is so that we'll have the capacity to realize we are guilty/corrupt because of our OWN sin!


The Bible does not teach prevenient grace. This is simply an attempt by Arminians to hold their system together. Prevenient grace, they say, takes the fallen sinner part of the way to salvation, but the will of man MUST complete it. This doctrine, as I have already said, is foreign to the Scriptures, and in fact is another gospel, which is no gospel at all.

Many Blessings,
RW

Clearly you have quoted some of the most calvinistic sounding verses in the rest of your thread (some of which I didn't re-quote here). But there are hordes more arminian verses that do emphasize the fact that man must choose to respond to grace.

I've never understood why Calvinists are unable to realize that accepting a grace is not a work!

Walstib
Apr 10th 2009, 03:07 PM
Inherited guilt exists in Wesley's construct, but it is rendered obsolete since prevenient grace, in effect, eliminates the problems it supposedly causes. I don't think Wesley would be afraid to use terms like 'total depravity,' but his view of sin was more in line with eastern christianity than most of his western counterparts. He usually thought of sin more in terms of corruption than guilt.

Thanks! I got time for a quick question for you. In this teaching is the prevenient grace applied to a person at conception or a latter time?

matthew94
Apr 10th 2009, 03:21 PM
Thanks! I got time for a quick question for you. In this teaching is the prevenient grace applied to a person at conception or a latter time?

I think most arminians would say it applies at conception (since most arminians believe that is when life begins). This is why almost all arminians believe children, should they die at an early age, will be with God. It is NOT that they are good enough to be saved on their own, it is that God's grace has already reached them. They are saved the same way we are saved, by God's grace.

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 04:17 PM
Everyone has a conscience and a heart (not talking about the physical heart here). Each person is capable of making moral decisions from within their own heart.

Greetings Eric,

Well we haven't discussed this for a while now, so I guess its time we dance this tune again :pp!

You are denying the doctrine of total depravity. Granted this is most likely because you do not believe the Bible teaches total depravity, but I find it impossible to reconcile all of Scripture unless total depravity of fallen man is true. Here are a few verses. How do you reconcile these, if you believe fallen man can make a moral choice for Christ?

Jo 6:44 ..."no man can come to me unless the Father draw him"
Ro 8:7-8 ..."the carnal mind is enmity against God"..."they that are in the flesh cannot please God"
Eph 2:1,5 ..."who were DEAD in trespasses and sins"
Col 2:13 ..."being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him"
Eph 4:18 ..."Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them"
1Co 2:14 ..."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"
Jo 15:25 ..."They hated me without a cause"
Jo 5:40 ..."ye will not come to me, that ye might have life"
Titus 1:15 ..."unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled"



One must believe in their heart in Christ in order to be saved, right (Rom 10:9-10)?

This is true, but it does not answer the question how will fallen man believe? Saying we must believe in our hearts is easy, but who will believe, and how will they believe?



Trying to answer why one person decides to repent and believe while another does not is very difficult. Only God knows the answer to that for certain because only He knows what's in everyone's heart.

I agree that it is not for man to try to determine who will repent and believe. It is not that Scripture does not tell us why some will not repent and believe, because it does...problem is you deny total depravity, so you refuse to receive the truth from Scripture.



Since God desires all people to be saved it only makes sense that He would give all people the ability to choose to believe and all people an opportunity to be saved.

To believe God desires "all people" (meaning every single human throughout human history) to be saved, I would need to embrace universalism. Acknowledging that if this is the desire of the all powerful God of the universe, (Who always gets whatsoever He desires) will eternally save every single human. Therefore those cast into the lake of fire in the end of time, will only go there long enough to repent and believe and be saved because this is the will of Almighty God! I'm pretty sure that you agree the lake of fire is eternal?



Does the following passage not indicate that God expects unregenerated wicked fallen people to seek Him while He may be found and forsake their evil ways?

Isaiah 55
6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Eric, who is Isaiah addressing in this passage? This passage, like that in Jos 24:15 is speaking to the nation that God has made a covenant with. They are being reminded of the covenant they already have with God. The OT nation has forsaken the True God, and gone after the false gods of pagan peoples. Isaiah and Joshua are called to remind them that God is their covenant God, Who has promised them long life and abundant blessings if they will keep the covenant He has made with them. The nation must be warned repeatedly to forsake their wickedness and return to the True God if they desire long life and blessings in the promised land. God kept His promise, the nation of Israel would never have lost the promised land if only they had kept their promise to serve God alone.



But in John 3:18 Jesus says that people are condemned because they do not believe in Him.

18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

What else does Jo 3 tell us? That men love darkness rather than the Light of Christ because they are evil. No one evil (all fallen mankind) comes to Christ, because they hate Him.

Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.



One is not condemned because they are not of His sheep. They are condemned because they do not believe in Christ.

How do you reconcile this thought with Jo 10? If believing is a pre-requisite for salvation, then no man can be saved, because no man can believe until Christ gives them the gift of faith that is not of themselves.



Why would someone be condemned for something they have no control over? Is God in the business of condemning people for not doing something that they had no ability to do? That would be like being condemned for not being able to fly.

Would you also say it is God's fault that man disobeyed and fell in the garden? Every man in his fallen nature stands condemned already! Unless God chooses to save some men, then no man will be saved. You want to look at this as though God is not fair because He did not predestine every man to be saved.

God does indeed look down from heaven to see whether any man would choose Him. What does He see? That none will seek Him, unless He makes them willing. Despite the fallen natural condition of every single human being, God will have a people to call His own. Neither you, nor I have any right to be disappointed because God did not choose every man. Instead we better be rejoicing that He has determined to save any men. None of us deserve the mercy and grace that God bestows on the obects of His great love. Thank You, Lord God of grace for choosing to save a wretch like me, because I know in my fallen state I would NEVER choose You!



Can you tell me whether or not people who fall away but "were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come" were offered salvation before falling away? Whether or not they were saved before falling away is not relevant to the point I'm getting at here. I'm only asking whether you think they were given an opportunity to be saved before falling away.

The gospel message goes unto all the peoples of the world. Every human, without distinction, or exception can hear the message of salvation. This is the general call that goes unto all the world. It is through the preaching of the gospel of salvation that God draws and saves whosoever He wills. Salvation is of the Lord! The gospel message is offered to the whole world (every man) and through the message God GIVES salvation to those He calls His own.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 04:36 PM
Prevenient Grace. God pursues us. I think the concept (for me) became easy to see, once I was saved.
In my life, I have been close to death on several occasions(how many of us haven't) but REALLY close on two. On one occasion, 100 people died and I did not. On another occasion I had an accidental discharge with my firearm at home resulting in a major injury to my left hand. In the second the only thing that stopped me from dying was the voice of God telling me to calm down and apply direct pressure. I think of this as an example of Prevenient Grace.
I was not a believer at the time. When paramedics arrive my BP was 120/80 and my pulse was 69. I can only describe it as a God thing. Felt him, heard him, didn't know him until 16 years later. When I had my conversion experience in 2007, he reminded me of this(and other things) and I was broken. I have been a Christian since that moment.

Hi tt,

What you describe here speaks to me of God's providence over His whole creation. For instance the rain falls on the just and unjust. While I believe in God's providence, because without it man would have no doubt long ago totally destroyed God's creation, it would be a mistake to try to link God's providential care of His creation with saving grace. It seems this is what prevenient grace attempts to do.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 04:37 PM
Prevenient grace is not "partial regeneration". No fair reading of anything written by Arminius would justify such a misinterpretation.

You see, the problem arises when you try to create an "either/or" dichotomy that is foreign to Scripture.

The question is not "does God call and elect" vs. "does man choose." Scripture is very clear that it is "both/and". God calls based on his foreknowledge, which is not causal. God calls all. That is prevenient grace. Some choose. That is free will. All that choose are elected.

Free will yes! Biblical no!

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 04:38 PM
Roger,

I just lost my long reply..... sigh...

I'll get back here when I can.

Oh man I know the frustration! :(

Blessings,
RW

fuzzi
Apr 10th 2009, 05:00 PM
Can you be a little more specific? How does prevenient grace work? I mean if it something available to all people, how come only some people experience this prevenient grace? If only some come to Christ through prevenient grace, is it because they are just a little bit better than that apostate living down the street?

Of God gives us everything, why not a seed of faith?

I just can't wrap my head around what they are tying to say here.

Saying that God draws all people to Himself and is the one who does the saving without needing our work to help Him is simply said.

It just seems like a way to hold onto total depravity and come up with a long complex way of justifying this concept.

The Bible does not teach prevenient grace. This is simply an attempt by Arminians to hold their system together. Prevenient grace, they say, takes the fallen sinner part of the way to salvation, but the will of man MUST complete it. This doctrine, as I have already said, is foreign to the Scriptures, and in fact is another gospel, which is no gospel at all.
I've not heard the term 'prevenient grace' before, but I do see where some of the concepts being discussed here are taught in the Bible:

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Romans 8:10-12)

None of us is good, none of us understands, no one seeks for God.

But what is enough to be known of God is shown to us:

"Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" (Romans 1:19,20)

So, every person in this world has been shown enough to be aware of God, meaning that no person has any excuse for not acknowledging Him, His existence.

And then, God does more, He gives each of us enough faith to believe in Him:

"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." (Romans 12:3)

And if we ask, He will help us increase our faith, help us to believe:

"And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith." (Luke 17:5)

"And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (Mark 9:24)

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 05:13 PM
Hi RW. You're probably not going to like me much, but I have to disagree with how you come to these conclusions.

If you read the first 2 verses in that chapter, then you can know what conditions cause one to be a sheep, or not to be a sheep. When you read a ch like this from that perspective, then it's easy for one such as I to see
how your conclusions are amiss.

John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

This is the correct perspective in order to properly interpret the remaining of this ch. In your conclusions, you failed to acknowldge these conditions, that there is a door, and that some choose to come in another way. It should be clear as to whom the door is referring to here. This makes your conclusions out of context, because it the fact that some choose not to enter thru the door, being the reason they're not His sheep, thus making them unbelievers.

Hi Diva,

Wait a minute, I don't dislike people just because they disagree with me sheeze! :kiss:

Have you considered who Christ is speaking to here? Remember, its the Pharisee's, who He told, "now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth." The sheepfold here is Judaism and not the church, for the Lord does not lead His people "out of" the church but into it. The main thrust is that the Lord was calling these Pharisees (who set themselves up as shepherds of the flock and guides of the people) theives and robbers! They were not sent by God, and the sheep were not theirs. They had tried to come not by the door, but by works and ceremony and self-righteousness (Ro 10:1-4)

The one who comes with the divine authority (as Prophet, Priest and King) comes in fulfillment of the Scriptures and is the True Shepherd of the sheep (Ro 3:25-26).

You should have continued to read on. Verse three says "To him the porter openeth." As you have said, we must come in through the "door" which is Christ, but Who opens the door that we may enter? This refers to God, the Father. The sheep hear, not simply a message that every man can hear, but the true sheep explicity hear the voice of Christ. The sheep of Christ are made to hear His voice by the effectual work of the Spirit in their hearts. They are His own sheep (Jo 6:37-45), and He calls them by name (2Tim 2:19). He leads them out of Judaism, works, false religion, captivity, out from under the law as a schoomaster, out from under the curse of the law. "If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."

Joh 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
Joh 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
Joh 10:6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

When Christ leads His sheep, He goes before them. The sheep follow Him in the way of life, in the will of God because they know and love His voice. But those who are not His sheep neither hear His voice, or have any knowledge of Him (The True Shepherd).

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 05:31 PM
Everyone experiences it. Some people just don't respond rightly to it, because grace is resistible.

Hi Matthew,

"Everyone experiences it"??? You have yet to define what exactly it is. As I read Scripture I find two types of people in the world, but I don't find examples of this third type that prevenient grace introduces. I see natural fallen men, physically born dead in trespasses and sins, and I see men who have been supernaturally born again by the power of God. If "everyone experiences it", why doesn't everyone turn to Christ for life? Since they don't doesn't this make some men better than others? I get a sense of some men saying "wow, just look how good I am."

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 05:35 PM
Prevenient grace is wholly from God. It allows us to respond properly to convicting grace and saving grace.

Not at all matthew. It is saving grace that enables man to respond. Scripture says, "by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God". Not one word about this second kind of grace you speak of.

Many Blessings,
RW

divaD
Apr 10th 2009, 05:38 PM
I've not heard the term 'prevenient grace' before, but I do see where some of the concepts being discussed here are taught in the Bible:

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not
one." (Romans 8:10-12)

None of us is good, none of us understands, no one seeks for God.



Clearly to me, you are misunderstanding and misapplying this passage, if you are coming to the conclusions that I think you are.


Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

We can't draw our conclusions from these verses alone. Notice what follows.



13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.


Do you honestly believe verses 13-18 are describing every single person, because they would have to according to this interpretation, because verses 13-18 are describing those in verses 10-12. For example, before you came to the Lord, was your feet swift to shed blood, as verse 15 declares? In order for verses 10-13 to apply to you or me or whomever, verses 13-18 would also have to apply to us. And besides, since it is written, that means we determine the context from the OT.

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 05:39 PM
Inherited guilt exists in Wesley's construct, but it is rendered obsolete since prevenient grace, in effect, eliminates the problems it supposedly causes. I don't think Wesley would be afraid to use terms like 'total depravity,' but his view of sin was more in line with eastern christianity than most of his western counterparts. He usually thought of sin more in terms of corruption than guilt.

Hi Matt,

There is acknowledged inherited guilt, but not inherited nature from Adam? You don't agree that we do not become sinners when we sin, but we sin because we are born with a fallen nature totally inclined to sin?

Many Blessings,
RW

matthew94
Apr 10th 2009, 05:40 PM
Hi Matthew,
"Everyone experiences it"??? You have yet to define what exactly it is.


Actually, I have stated what it is pretty clearly a few times already. Prevenient grace is that grace which comes from God to all people prior to their conversion. I have stated that it eliminates the guilt of original sin and makes us capable of responding to God's further grace.


As I read Scripture I find two types of people in the world, but I don't find examples of this third type that prevenient grace introduces. I see natural fallen men, physically born dead in trespasses and sins, and I see men who have been supernaturally born again by the power of God.

Prevenient grace does not introduce a 'third type' of people. There are only 2 type of people. Those who have responded to God's grace and those who have not responded to God's grace.


If "everyone experiences it", why doesn't everyone turn to Christ for life?

Because grace only makes us response-ABLE, it does not dictate our response.


Since they don't doesn't this make some men better than others?
Certainly not. It makes some men believing and some men unbelieving.


I get a sense of some men saying "wow, just look how good I am."

If some men said such things, they're not understanding what grace is, prevenient or otherwise.


Many Blessings,
RW

And the same to you brother :)
matthew

matthew94
Apr 10th 2009, 05:43 PM
Not at all matthew. It is saving grace that enables man to respond. Scripture says, "by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God". Not one word about this second kind of grace you speak of.

Many Blessings,
RW

I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with here. The passage says grace saves us, so it is clearly talking about saving grace. This passage has nothing to do with other stages of God's grace. All stages and types of God's grace enable us to do something!

matthew94
Apr 10th 2009, 05:47 PM
Hi Matt,

There is acknowledged inherited guilt, but not inherited nature from Adam? You don't agree that we do not become sinners when we sin, but we sin because we are born with a fallen nature totally inclined to sin?

Many Blessings,
RW

Arminianism accepts both inherited guilt and inherited nature from Adam
Prevenient grace removes original guilt before conversion
Sanctifying grace removes inherited nature after conversion

I have a hard time following double negatives sometimes, but I'll try to respond to your second question too. I do agree that we sin b/c we are born with a fallen nature totally inclined to sin. So did Wesley. Prevenient grace simply teaches that we are not held responsible for Adam's sin. Instead, we are held responsible for our own sin for the very reason that we are made response-able by God's prevenient grace.

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 05:51 PM
Correct
Prevenient grace doesn't really have anything to do with believing.

This is a misunderstanding of prevenient grace. Prevenient grace doctrine does not teach, by any means, that mankind becomes non-corrupt b/c of prevenient grace! Wesley's eyes probably would have come out of their sockets if he saw you type that :) The problem of corruption remains. Prevenient grace means we aren't GUILTY of Adam's sins. The purpose of the doctrine is so that we'll have the capacity to realize we are guilty/corrupt because of our OWN sin!

It's not a matter of being guilty of Adam's sins. It is a matter of being born with Adam's nature. Certainly you would agree that every creature is created after its own kind? Had Adam remained "very good", neither he nor his offspring would have a fallen nature in bondage to sin. The man who is dead in his trespasses and sins has no ability to realize he is guilty and corrupt. That's what it means to be in bondage to sin, Satan and death, and why Christ came to break this bondage, making us willing to freely repent and turn to Him.




Clearly you have quoted some of the most calvinistic sounding verses in the rest of your thread (some of which I didn't re-quote here). But there are hordes more arminian verses that do emphasize the fact that man must choose to respond to grace.

Certainly you understand that the Bible cannot contradict? How do you reconcile these so-called Arminian verses that emphasize man must choose to respond to grace with the passages that clearly show fallen man has no ability to choose?



I've never understood why Calvinists are unable to realize that accepting a grace is not a work!

Saving grace is of God alone! When you say man must accept saving grace you make salvation dependent upon the choice fallen man makes. This is man-centered, not Christ centered. Sovereign grace realizes that fallen man will NEVER make a choice to accept Christ, therefore Christ must make them willing or no man will be saved. This makes salvation of the Lord alone, Christ-centered.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 05:55 PM
I think most arminians would say it applies at conception (since most arminians believe that is when life begins). This is why almost all arminians believe children, should they die at an early age, will be with God. It is NOT that they are good enough to be saved on their own, it is that God's grace has already reached them. They are saved the same way we are saved, by God's grace.

Again Matthew, please explain how mankind can be born in Adam, yet not be born with Adam's nature?

Many Blessings,
RW

RabbiKnife
Apr 10th 2009, 06:00 PM
Maybe the best way to look at it is this...

God calls Calvinists to become children of God through sovereign grace and the Calvinists, having no free moral will or choice, are born again.

God calls Arminians to become children of God through prevenient grace, which they then respond affirmatively to by an action of their free will, and are born again.

God and his children win in either case.

matthew94
Apr 10th 2009, 06:16 PM
It's not a matter of being guilty of Adam's sins. It is a matter of being born with Adam's nature. Certainly you would agree that every creature is created after its own kind? Had Adam remained "very good", neither he nor his offspring would have a fallen nature in bondage to sin. The man who is dead in his trespasses and sins has no ability to realize he is guilty and corrupt. That's what it means to be in bondage to sin, Satan and death, and why Christ came to break this bondage, making us willing to freely repent and turn to Him.

I don't disagree with anything here. If you think I must then either I have not explained myself well or you have not read my posts very carefully.


Certainly you understand that the Bible cannot contradict? How do you reconcile these so-called Arminian verses that emphasize man must choose to respond to grace with the passages that clearly show fallen man has no ability to choose?

I don't feel there are verses that say man has no ability to choose. I feel there are verses that say man doesn't have the will to choose. And I feel the Bible is clear that God's grace gives man the ability to choose.


Saving grace is of God alone! When you say man must accept saving grace you make salvation dependent upon the choice fallen man makes. This is man-centered, not Christ centered. Sovereign grace realizes that fallen man will NEVER make a choice to accept Christ, therefore Christ must make them willing or no man will be saved. This makes salvation of the Lord alone, Christ-centered.

Many Blessings,
RW

Saving grace is of God alone in the sense that the grace that saves comes from God alone. The emphasis is on the 'from'. Saving grace does not INVOLVE God alone. It involves people. It is absolutely ridiculous to claim that accepting saving grace is a work. It is absolutely common sense to claim that choice is involved in salvation. Saying that man must respond to saving grace does absolutely nothing to take away from the fact that the grace is wholly from God and thus, is still centered in God's work.

matthew94
Apr 10th 2009, 06:17 PM
Again Matthew, please explain how mankind can be born in Adam, yet not be born with Adam's nature?

Many Blessings,
RW

Why would I explain that with which I do not agree? I've stated numerous times that I agree that mankind has Adam's nature! You are misunderstanding. My post about babies receiving prevenient grace has nothing to do with whether their natures are Adamic or not.

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 06:19 PM
I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with here. The passage says grace saves us, so it is clearly talking about saving grace. This passage has nothing to do with other stages of God's grace. All stages and types of God's grace enable us to do something!

Matt,

I think you are saying (and I'm quoting here) "through this experience of God's prevenient grace we, in our unregenerate state, find our thoughts being turned to God and our souls enabled to experience the Divine, personal Real Presence of Jesus Christ our Lord. This is an experience of God's unmerited favor which goes before any act of our own, sparking any interest which we might have for things eternal, and enabling any response of faith which we might subsequently desire to make."

If the quote properly assesses what you call prevenient grace, can you point to the Scripture that shows this is something other than experiencing God's unmerited favor or imputation of God's saving grace in salvation? It seems you need to have this "other grace" to hold on to your free will, but I don't find this in Scripture.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 06:29 PM
I don't disagree with anything here. If you think I must then either I have not explained myself well or you have not read my posts very carefully.

I don't feel there are verses that say man has no ability to choose. I feel there are verses that say man doesn't have the will to choose. And I feel the Bible is clear that God's grace gives man the ability to choose.

Saving grace is of God alone in the sense that the grace that saves comes from God alone. The emphasis is on the 'from'. Saving grace does not INVOLVE God alone. It involves people. It is absolutely ridiculous to claim that accepting saving grace is a work. It is absolutely common sense to claim that choice is involved in salvation. Saying that man must respond to saving grace does absolutely nothing to take away from the fact that the grace is wholly from God and thus, is still centered in God's work.

What causes our quibbling? You say saving grace is not alone, and I say saving grace is not alone!!! The difference...you put the emphasis on man, making salvation man-centered (free will choice), man must choose because salvation is only offered. I put the emphasis on Christ, man WILL choose Him because He has made them willing, salvation is given, all of the Lord; Christ-centered. Salvation depends on what Christ did, not what I do.

Many Blessings,
RW

matthew94
Apr 10th 2009, 06:30 PM
Matt,

I think you are saying (and I'm quoting here) "through this experience of God's prevenient grace we, in our unregenerate state, find our thoughts being turned to God and our souls enabled to experience the Divine, personal Real Presence of Jesus Christ our Lord. This is an experience of God's unmerited favor which goes before any act of our own, sparking any interest which we might have for things eternal, and enabling any response of faith which we might subsequently desire to make."

If the quote properly assesses what you call prevenient grace, can you point to the Scripture that shows this is something other than experiencing God's unmerited favor or imputation of God's saving grace in salvation? It seems you need to have this "other grace" to hold on to your free will, but I don't find this in Scripture.

Many Blessings,
RW

I've said plenty more than enough in this thread to merit being quoted about my beliefs regarding prevenient grace, so I have little interest in defending somebody's else's definition of prevenient grace (which you have quoted here). But I will comment further on what prevenient grace does which distinguishes it from saving grace, since that is what you seem to be asking.

Prevenient grace is universally given to all people. In one sense, it is akin to what Calvinists often call 'common grace'. It's the kind of thing whereby if we didn't have it, we'd all 'poof' out of existence. We exist only by the grace of God. The very fact that we are even allowed to exist demonstrates that God has extended to all people (the wicked and saved alike) some degree of grace.

But prevenient grace goes further than Calvinistic common grace. Prevenient grace actually makes fallen people aware of their guilt and corrupted nature. Creation helps do this, in that God's attributes can be understood from creation. Conscience helps do this, in that there is a sense of right and wrong built into us by God. Thus, creation & conscience are gifts of God. Gifts are graces, unmerited favor.

Prevenient grace sets the stage for conviction. Conviction sets the stage for justification. Justification sets the stage for sanctification. Sanctification sets the stage for glorification. In each stage, God's grace enables people to respond in obedience and openness to God's great work of salvation.

matthew94
Apr 10th 2009, 06:35 PM
What causes our quibbling? You say saving grace is not alone, and I say saving grace is not alone!!! The difference...you put the emphasis on man, making salvation man-centered (free will choice), man must choose because salvation is only offered. I put the emphasis on Christ, man WILL choose Him because He has made them willing, salvation is given, all of the Lord; Christ-centered. Salvation depends on what Christ did, not what I do.

Many Blessings,
RW

To be honest, what you just stated is just a Calvinistic cliche. It's actually meaningless in the sense that no matter how many times I declare that the grace is from God alone, no matter how much praise I give to God for salvation, it won't make a difference in your eyes. You'll still say my understanding of salvation is man-centered for the simple reason that I point out that man is involved!

Let me be blunt. Calvinists accuse Arminians of being arrogant in declaring that people have a part to play. I can just as easily accuse Calvinists of being the truly arrogant one's. They claim that they have been specifically chosen for salvation. Now, even though they say it doesn't have anything to do with them, this doctrine has just as great, if not more, a tendency to produce sinful pride as the Arminian doctrine.

In the end, your system doesn't allow God to save any people, b/c they are rendered robots instead of humans. Biblically, God saves people. But this thread is about 'prevenient grace' not Calvinism. So I won't take any more shots starting now :)

divaD
Apr 10th 2009, 06:43 PM
Hi Diva,

Wait a minute, I don't dislike people just because they disagree with me sheeze! :kiss:

Have you considered who Christ is speaking to here? Remember, its the Pharisee's, who He told, "now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth." The sheepfold here is Judaism and not the church, for the Lord does not lead His people "out of" the church but into it. The main thrust is that the Lord was calling these Pharisees (who set themselves up as shepherds of the flock and guides of the people) theives and robbers! They were not sent by God, and the sheep were not theirs. They had tried to come not by the door, but by works and ceremony and self-righteousness (Ro 10:1-4)

The one who comes with the divine authority (as Prophet, Priest and King) comes in fulfillment of the Scriptures and is the True Shepherd of the sheep (Ro 3:25-26).

You should have continued to read on. Verse three says "To him the porter openeth." As you have said, we must come in through the "door" which is Christ, but Who opens the door that we may enter? This refers to God, the Father. The sheep hear, not simply a message that every man can hear, but the true sheep explicity hear the voice of Christ. The sheep of Christ are made to hear His voice by the effectual work of the Spirit in their hearts. They are His own sheep (Jo 6:37-45), and He calls them by name (2Tim 2:19). He leads them out of Judaism, works, false religion, captivity, out from under the law as a schoomaster, out from under the curse of the law. "If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."

Joh 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
Joh 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
Joh 10:6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

When Christ leads His sheep, He goes before them. The sheep follow Him in the way of life, in the will of God because they know and love His voice. But those who are not His sheep neither hear His voice, or have any knowledge of Him (The True Shepherd).

Many Blessings,
RW



Hi RW.

I'm not exactly sure what is that I'm disagreeing with you on now. Your other post that I adressed, it didn't appear to me that you were coming to the conclusions you have laid out in this post. On the surface, I don't see anything in this post that I would necessarily disagree with.


But let me ask you this. These Pharisees in John 10, if they had a change of mind and heart, couldn't they have also come thru the door, that door being Christ? And couldn't that have also made them of His sheep? It seems to me, the door is the link to the kingdom of God. And yes I do agree, it would be the Father that opens the door, or IOW, allows entrance thru Christ. So, why can't anyone that comes thru the door, not become one of His sheep, even if they weren't previously?

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 07:04 PM
I've said plenty more than enough in this thread to merit being quoted about my beliefs regarding prevenient grace, so I have little interest in defending somebody's else's definition of prevenient grace (which you have quoted here). But I will comment further on what prevenient grace does which distinguishes it from saving grace, since that is what you seem to be asking.

Prevenient grace is universally given to all people. In one sense, it is akin to what Calvinists often call 'common grace'. It's the kind of thing whereby if we didn't have it, we'd all 'poof' out of existence. We exist only by the grace of God. The very fact that we are even allowed to exist demonstrates that God has extended to all people (the wicked and saved alike) some degree of grace.

I most certainly do agree in the providence of God. Perhaps this is why I am having such difficulty here. Can you show me "common grace" or even "prevenient grace" in Scripture? We find God's providential care over His creation in passages that speak of His foreknowledge, or His bringing all things to pass etc. You seem to be confusing this with His Sovereign saving grace. While it is true that God is gracious to bestow good even upon those who are evil, it would be quite wrong, and incredibly confusing to say His gracious providence over His creation to all people makes it possible for all people to choose to receive His Sovereign saving grace.

Even His providential care (call it common grace if you like) is not equally extended to all people through their own choosing. That's the real problem with this "common" or "prevenient grace" you speak of. Either God extends this grace to all people equally or He is not just. You can't have something common or prevenient extended to all equally, call it grace, then say only some will choose of their own free will to believe. This would mean that God did not extend equally this common or prevenient grace to every man, because if He had then every man would of his own free will choose Him. I hope you see what I am saying here.



But prevenient grace goes further than Calvinistic common grace. Prevenient grace actually makes fallen people aware of their guilt and corrupted nature. Creation helps do this, in that God's attributes can be understood from creation. Conscience helps do this, in that there is a sense of right and wrong built into us by God. Thus, creation & conscience are gifts of God. Gifts are graces, unmerited favor.

But, where can I find this prevenient grace in Scripture?

Creation and conscience are enough to render every man without excuse. There is natural revelation given to every man. All men, through creation and conscience understand the eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. All men know God, but they refuse in their natural state to give Him all glory and honor, and in fact they surpress even the natural knowledge they have been given. But the knowledge of Christ, and the gospel of salvation are not given to fallen man naturally, but supernaturally; through the power of the Word and Holy Spirit. Only those whose eyes and ears have been opened by God will repent and turn to Christ.



Prevenient grace sets the stage for conviction. Conviction sets the stage for justification. Justification sets the stage for sanctification. Sanctification sets the stage for glorification. In each stage, God's grace enables people to respond in obedience and openness to God's great work of salvation.

Where can this be found in Scripture? No man can respond without the supernatural drawing by the Father.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 07:10 PM
To be honest, what you just stated is just a Calvinistic cliche. It's actually meaningless in the sense that no matter how many times I declare that the grace is from God alone, no matter how much praise I give to God for salvation, it won't make a difference in your eyes. You'll still say my understanding of salvation is man-centered for the simple reason that I point out that man is involved!

Let me be blunt. Calvinists accuse Arminians of being arrogant in declaring that people have a part to play. I can just as easily accuse Calvinists of being the truly arrogant one's. They claim that they have been specifically chosen for salvation. Now, even though they say it doesn't have anything to do with them, this doctrine has just as great, if not more, a tendency to produce sinful pride as the Arminian doctrine.

In the end, your system doesn't allow God to save any people, b/c they are rendered robots instead of humans. Biblically, God saves people. But this thread is about 'prevenient grace' not Calvinism. So I won't take any more shots starting now :)

How sad to see you too succomb to the common tendency. You have not given a single biblical reason for me to embrace what you call "common" or "prevenient grace". I have offered much Scripture for you to consider and respond to. You would rather resort to calling what I have presented "Calvinistic cliche"...I wonder why?

Many Blessings,
RW

RabbiKnife
Apr 10th 2009, 07:11 PM
Only a person that denies the efficacy of Christ's universal atonement could reject the concept of prevenient grace.

As long as we define "whosover will" as "those who God specially chose to be saved and had no choice in the matter,"

as long as we define the "world" as "those who God specially chose to be saved and had no choice in the matter,"

as long as we define the "any" in "not willing that any should perish" as "those who God specially chose to be saved and had no choice in the matter,

then I guess this is a moot argument.

If all people cannot be saved, then God is a liar and I want no part of Him.

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 07:18 PM
Hi RW.
I'm not exactly sure what is that I'm disagreeing with you on now. Your other post that I adressed, it didn't appear to me that you were coming to the conclusions you have laid out in this post. On the surface, I don't see anything in this post that I would necessarily disagree with.

But let me ask you this. These Pharisees in John 10, if they had a change of mind and heart, couldn't they have also come thru the door, that door being Christ? And couldn't that have also made them of His sheep? It seems to me, the door is the link to the kingdom of God. And yes I do agree, it would be the Father that opens the door, or IOW, allows entrance thru Christ. So, why can't anyone that comes thru the door, not become one of His sheep, even if they weren't previously?

Hi Diva,

I believe that Jo 10 is showing us that only His sheep will come through the door (Christ). Why? Because He will change their hearts of stone and make them willing. Many will try to come to Christ through free will; i.e. their own effort, wonderful works, but what does Christ tell us of those who thought they could come to Him through whatever they do?

Mt 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mt 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mt 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Many Blessings,
RW

RabbiKnife
Apr 10th 2009, 07:19 PM
How sad to see you too succomb to the common tendency. You have not given a single biblical reason for me to embrace what you call "common" or "prevenient grace". I have offered much Scripture for you to consider and respond to. You would rather resort to calling what I have presented "Calvinistic cliche"...I wonder why?

Many Blessings,
RW

Because it is. You reject prevenient grace because you reject universal atonement and freedom of the will. I'm just not sure if that is your choice or if you were predestined to so believe.

:saint:

SweetSomber
Apr 10th 2009, 07:31 PM
The original discussion is about prevenient grace, not calvinism. I do think that this discussion has been distracted a bit. With that in mind, I'm not going to reply to all the various calvinist VS non-calvinist stuff, but rather to the original question about prevenient grace.

The idea of prevenient grace is that God gives grace to everyone. (This grace is different from the "irresistable grace" that calvinism preaches)

In my studies of the Scriptures, I have not found anything specifically stating this position as fact. Nowhere does it say that God gives grace to all.

But, I think the case could be made for grace given to all by looking at a couple things. First off, grace is unmerited favor, and help offered/given to us. We hear the phrase "grace to help" in Hebrews 4:16. All though our lives, we will need this help. Initially, we need major help because we are headed for death. Even after being saved, we need help everyday. And who does God give this help to? Those who ask! Only humble people are willing to ask for help, and therefore God "gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6) and He saves(another form of help) all those who call on Him to save them.

With this understanding of grace, we can see throughout the Bible the grace, the help, given to everyone. God helped Noah by telling him of the flood, and instructing him how to build the ark. God helped the Israelites by giving them the law. God helps even those who have never heard of Him by giving them the law in their hearts (a conscience) and creation to declare Him. (Romans 1:20) Also, God has sent the Holy Spirit into the world to help ALL non-believers by convicting them of Sin, of Righteousness, and of Judgment to come. (John 16:8) And even God's chastening of us, as children of God, is grace, is for our benefit, to help us in our walk.

So, that's prevenient grace, as I see it, throughout the Scripture. As a side not, many calvinists agree with the idea of prevenient grace. (I am not, a calvinist, however)

SweetSomber
Apr 10th 2009, 07:41 PM
Many will try to come to Christ through free will; i.e. their own effort, wonderful works, but what does Christ tell us of those who thought they could come to Him through whatever they do?

Mt 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mt 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mt 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.


This thread is really about the definitions of grace, not free will VS calvinism.

But just to respond to this point briefly, the old catholics who tortured people in the name of Christ, I'm sure had this discussion with God. They believed and professed to follow Christ, but never truly repented from their sin, asked GOD to save them, were born again or any of that. That has to do with words VS reality - they claim to know God, but reality speaks differently - they never really knew God, but followed the idols in their own mind.


You say that through free will, no one can come to christ, but I came to Christ through my free will. I did not work for my salvation, for, as you know, that would never have saved me, indeed, I was a slave to sin, and could not escape doing sin. But, after I realized how truly I was a slave to sin (by trying to quit stealing, for selfish reasons, like getting out of trouble) I asked for help, for salvation from sin, from the only Person I thought could help me: God.

I freely choose to ask God for help. God, in His abundant mercy, chose to answer my cry, and save me, give me a new heart, regenerate me, and free me from that sin, and cover my sins in the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

I am a christian, not through good works, or deserving, but because God was willing hear my pitiful cry for help and rescue me. But that cry for help was a freely willed choice. My free will, by the way, was given to me from God - and I thank Him for it, I do not take credit myself for having something so amazing. I would be quite miserable without it. This is my testimony of God's love, power, and grace. Nothing good from me, but from God who graciously gave me freedom to will, who loved me enough to hear my cry, and who powerfully regenerated me.

matthew94
Apr 10th 2009, 07:54 PM
I most certainly do agree in the providence of God. Perhaps this is why I am having such difficulty here. Can you show me "common grace" or even "prevenient grace" in Scripture? We find God's providential care over His creation in passages that speak of His foreknowledge, or His bringing all things to pass etc. You seem to be confusing this with His Sovereign saving grace. While it is true that God is gracious to bestow good even upon those who are evil, it would be quite wrong, and incredibly confusing to say His gracious providence over His creation to all people makes it possible for all people to choose to receive His Sovereign saving grace.

I am not confusing the two at all :) I am clearly distinguishing them. But since you are a Calvinist, you aren't letting me. And so you end up interpreting Prevenient Grace through a Calvinistic lens. I think you and I agree that that won't work at all! If you are going to come to understand prevenient grace, you'll have to come to understand it on its own terms.



Even His providential care (call it common grace if you like) is not equally extended to all people through their own choosing. That's the real problem with this "common" or "prevenient grace" you speak of. Either God extends this grace to all people equally or He is not just. You can't have something common or prevenient extended to all equally, call it grace, then say only some will choose of their own free will to believe. This would mean that God did not extend equally this common or prevenient grace to every man, because if He had then every man would of his own free will choose Him. I hope you see what I am saying here.

Same exact thing, you are interpreting prevenient grace through the Calvinistic lens and, therefore, aren't understanding prevenient grace. You believe grace is irresistible. Okay, fine. I highly doubt I'll be able to persuade you otherwise. But in Arminianism, grace is resistible. So you can't analyze prevenient grace properly unless you allow it to define its own terms. If you're not interested in doing that, discuss calvinism in threads about calvinism. But when you enter into a discussion about an arminian doctrine, you have to let arminians define the terms.


But, where can I find this prevenient grace in Scripture?

I hope we are mature enough to speak the Scriptures without always including verse references!


Creation and conscience are enough to render every man without excuse. There is natural revelation given to every man. All men, through creation and conscience understand the eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. All men know God, but they refuse in their natural state to give Him all glory and honor, and in fact they surpress even the natural knowledge they have been given. But the knowledge of Christ, and the gospel of salvation are not given to fallen man naturally, but supernaturally; through the power of the Word and Holy Spirit. Only those whose eyes and ears have been opened by God will repent and turn to Christ.

Here you are admitting that creation and conscience are given to man, by God, and that this is a form of revelation from God. This 'giving' is an act of grace. You believe that even non-elect people receive this gift. So, in some sense, you believe in prevenient grace too. And you believe this grace is resistible. So I see some inconsistency here in your views. Are you saying only 'saving grace' is irresistible?


Where can this be found in Scripture? No man can respond without the supernatural drawing by the Father.

Many Blessings,
RW

No one can do ANYTHING without God's initiation! You want a reference? Genesis 1:1 :)

matthew94
Apr 10th 2009, 07:56 PM
How sad to see you too succomb to the common tendency. You have not given a single biblical reason for me to embrace what you call "common" or "prevenient grace". I have offered much Scripture for you to consider and respond to. You would rather resort to calling what I have presented "Calvinistic cliche"...I wonder why?

Many Blessings,
RW

We have both been discussing Scripture and Scriptural principles and themes. I called it a Calvinistic cliche b/c that's exactly what it is. Instead of discussing the thread topic, you resort to what I call a 'conversation killer' in which one poster says something the implies that the other poster isn't Christ-centered.

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 08:58 PM
I am not confusing the two at all :) I am clearly distinguishing them. But since you are a Calvinist, you aren't letting me. And so you end up interpreting Prevenient Grace through a Calvinistic lens. I think you and I agree that that won't work at all! If you are going to come to understand prevenient grace, you'll have to come to understand it on its own terms.

Same exact thing, you are interpreting prevenient grace through the Calvinistic lens and, therefore, aren't understanding prevenient grace. You believe grace is irresistible. Okay, fine. I highly doubt I'll be able to persuade you otherwise. But in Arminianism, grace is resistible.

Matt,

I am not interpreting prevenient grace through Calvinism! How could I be since I can't find this prevenient grace in Scripture to interpret it at all! I have already said that God is gracious unto His creation... I think both you and I know that we are not referring to God's providential care. I am speaking of His Sovereign electing grace through Jesus Christ. The gift of grace, God given, by the effectual working of his Sovereign power. The grace and truth that came by Jesus Christ. If you know of Scripture to prove this Sovereign grace is resistible, please post them.



Here you are admitting that creation and conscience are given to man, by God, and that this is a form of revelation from God. This 'giving' is an act of grace. You believe that even non-elect people receive this gift. So, in some sense, you believe in prevenient grace too. And you believe this grace is resistible. So I see some inconsistency here in your views. Are you saying only 'saving grace' is irresistible?

Now you are speaking of general or natural revelation given unto all mankind. This "giving" you view as an act of God's grace? I beg to differ. This is not an act of God's grace, in that refusal to acknowledge Him brings the wrath of God upon them. Those who do not retain the knowledge of God are given over to a reprobate mind, and this you say is God's grace!



No one can do ANYTHING without God's initiation! You want a reference? Genesis 1:1 :)

Exactly! Unless God changes our wills, making us willing, and gives us ears to hear and eyes to see we will not turn to Him. This is not some "common" or "prevenient grace" given to all mankind, but Sovereign electing grace which is absolutely irresistible to whosoever He chooses. For who has resisted His will?

Many Blessings,
RW

SweetSomber
Apr 10th 2009, 09:11 PM
Roger, you say: "This "giving" you view as an act of God's grace? I beg to differ. This is not an act of God's grace,"

First off, grace is unmerited favor, and help offered/given to us. We hear the phrase "grace to help" in Hebrews 4:16. All though our lives, we will need this help. Initially, we need major help because we are headed for death. Even after being saved, we need help everyday. And who does God give this help to? Those who ask! Only humble people are willing to ask for help, and therefore God "gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6) and He saves(another form of help) all those who call on Him to save them.

With this understanding of grace, we can see throughout the Bible the grace, the help, given to everyone. God helped Noah by telling him of the flood, and instructing him how to build the ark. God helped the Israelites by giving them the law. God helps even those who have never heard of Him by giving them the law in their hearts (a conscience) and creation to declare Him. (Romans 1:20) Also, God has sent the Holy Spirit into the world to help ALL non-believers by convicting them of Sin, of Righteousness, and of Judgment to come. (John 16:8) And even God's chastening of us, as children of God, is grace, is for our benefit, to help us in our walk.

_____________________________________

You also say: "No one can do ANYTHING without God's initiation! You want a reference? Genesis 1:1 :)
Exactly! Unless God changes our wills, making us willing, and gives us ears to hear and eyes to see we will not turn to Him. This is not some "common" or "prevenient grace" given to all mankind, but Sovereign electing grace which is absolutely irresistible to whosoever He chooses. For who has resisted His will?"

No one could do anything with God - including having free (free from an external determinant) will. God gave us the ability to choose freely (always having the ability to choose otherwise)

And, lots of people resist God's will.

Romans 13:2
Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

The verse about resisting God that you mention is found in Romans 9
"19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God?"

Notice that it is the ungodly people claiming that they do not resist the will of God, and Paul totally calls their bluff by pointing out their attitude of being over God, and acting as judge over His decisions. By taking that position of judge over God, they are not submitting to God's will.

RogerW
Apr 10th 2009, 09:22 PM
In the final analysis I find the doctrine of "prevenient grace" is a man-made doctrine probably originating from John Wesley, and certainly entertained and influenced by Arminius. Some have insisted that I am influenced by the doctrines of Calvin. Truth be told I have not once invoked the name of Calvin to present my arguements against this doctrine. I have only used the Bible for support. On the other hand it seems the only evidence those who embrace this doctrine have been able to present comes from the minds of Wesley or Arminius. Therefore I must conclude that although some really want to find "prevenient grace" in Scripture, I can find nothing in the Bible to support it.

Many Blessings,
RW

SweetSomber
Apr 10th 2009, 09:44 PM
We have both been discussing Scripture and Scriptural principles and themes. I called it a Calvinistic cliche b/c that's exactly what it is. Instead of discussing the thread topic, you resort to what I call a 'conversation killer' in which one poster says something the implies that the other poster isn't Christ-centered.

Well, ;) that can actually be the mark of a true calvinist (calvin-follower) because Calvin often puts down people who do not agree with him. And, in other calvinist writing, I often see much of the same attitude.

"So why insist that faith is a capacity available to all, including the natural man? The answer is simple: Because without that assertion, God must be sovereign in salvation and man utterly dependent upon Him. This is the only reason."

:) Apparently, all of us non-calvinsts only believe what we do cus we don't want to believe that God is King. We are trying to rob God of His rightful authority and power.

"Indead, the clear theology of Scripture is often encrusted with the oft-repeated platitudes of tradition that, due to constant repetition, become accepted as biblical axioms without the first shred of meaningful biblical support. Emotion and sentimentality become attached to these phrases of evangelical tradition..."

:) Yes, clearly, I don't have a SHRED of biblical support, but only believe in the traditions because I'm so emotionally attached to them...

"Opponents of free grace have tried every conceivable means of getting around the plain teaching of this passage..." - James White (debating calvinism)

:) Obviously, I am not really trying to understand the scripture, but merely trying to "get around" the "plain teachings" found in Scripture.

And the only reason I'm not a calvinist, according to White, is that...

"As long as people continue to look to their traditions rather than the exegesis of the text, they will not see this divine truth."

:) REALLY. And I always had this notion that I sincerely want the truth with all my heart, and through constant exegesis of the text find calvinism lacking in every way.

Anyway, my point is not to be unkind, but to show that you just can't take calvinism insults seriously. According to calvinists, we are proud, blind ourselves to the truth, don't want God to be king, try to "get around" clear passages of scripture, and our thoughts are "aburd" (quote by calvin) and "from the devil" (quote by calvin) After you hear enough Calvinist insults, it just becomes rather amusing how holy they see themselves as compared to the rest of us lessor un-enlightened folk.

SweetSomber
Apr 10th 2009, 09:48 PM
On the other hand it seems the only evidence those who embrace this doctrine have been able to present comes from the minds of Wesley or Arminius. Therefore I must conclude that although some really want to find "prevenient grace" in Scripture, I can find nothing in the Bible to support it.


:) speaking of irrelevant insults... But I'll reply to it anyway.

Hold on, here, buddy. I did not once quote Wesley or Arminus. I've never ever read their work! (I'm not a calvinist because I HAVE read his work) I quoted the scripture, and you haven't even responded to it!

If you "can find nothing" in the bible to support it, it might be because you are closing your eyes, and skipping over verses and posts that clearly illuminate various theories.

I don't care whether I find "prevenient grace" in the Scripture, I'm not trying to prove anything, I'm just looking at what I see in the Bible.

So, enough of this talk about us not quoting Scripture. See my last post that was addressed to you.

keck553
Apr 10th 2009, 09:52 PM
I tell you the truth, I never knew simply answering God's knock could be so complex. I'm so blessed to have a simple mind.....

fuzzi
Apr 10th 2009, 10:57 PM
I have noticed a tendency of some people to use terms such as 'clearly' or 'obviously', when understanding and application of doctrines isn't necessarily clear or obvious.

We should all keep in mind that none of us has a perfect understanding of God or His word.

That being said...onward...


Clearly to me, you are misunderstanding and misapplying this passage, if you are coming to the conclusions that I think you are.

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

We can't draw our conclusions from these verses alone. Notice what follows.

13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Do you honestly believe verses 13-18 are describing every single person, because they would have to according to this interpretation, because verses 13-18 are describing those in verses 10-12. For example, before you came to the Lord, was your feet swift to shed blood, as verse 15 declares? In order for verses 10-13 to apply to you or me or whomever, verses 13-18 would also have to apply to us.
Is there something about these verses being applied to you that bothers you? :confused

None of us is righteous, except when we accept the righteousness of Christ.

Let's go back a verse:

"What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;" (Romans 3:9)

All are under sin, all have sinned, all are guilty before God. Even if you, personally, did not do anything to harm any other person, your false witness or your theft or your gluttony or whatever sin you commit is enough without it. See James 2:10.

And to say "Hey, that verse doesn't apply to me, I never tried to kill anyone!" seems to indicate that you think that you're not as bad as other people, that you're not as much a sinner as the next person.

You might want to pray on that.

And speaking of 'innocent blood', did it not ever occur to you that your sins condemned an innocent man's blood to be shed, that our Lord and Saviour's precious blood was shed, for the redemption of your sins, and mine?

Every sin you commit now is another sin that He carried for you then.


Prevenient grace does not introduce a 'third type' of people. There are only 2 type of people. Those who have responded to God's grace and those who have not responded to God's grace.
Amen.

fuzzi
Apr 10th 2009, 11:03 PM
I tell you the truth, I never knew simply answering God's knock could be so complex. I'm so blessed to have a simple mind.....
You are blessed, and I mean that in a loving way.

None of us could come to Christ unless we believed His simple message of salvation.

"Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." (Mark 10:15)

I'm sure Hell is full of scholars and so-called wise men, including theologians, who knew the Scripture, but never made the heart decision to accept Christ.

SweetSomber
Apr 10th 2009, 11:25 PM
Wise words. :)

And I also agree with you about the usage of "clearly," which usually means "Clearly to me, this means X, and you SHOULD see it the same way!"


You are blessed, and I mean that in a loving way.

None of us could come to Christ unless we believed His simple message of salvation.

"Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." (Mark 10:15)

I'm sure Hell is full of scholars and so-called wise men, including theologians, who knew the Scripture, but never made the heart decision to accept Christ.

Walstib
Apr 11th 2009, 01:15 AM
I tell you the truth, I never knew simply answering God's knock could be so complex. I'm so blessed to have a simple mind.....

Herein lies the rub Keck.... and I am not disagreeing with you ;)



"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. "For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. (Luk 11:9-10 NASB)

'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. (Rev 3:20 NASB)


Both sides are knocking and opening. One concentrates on God's knock too much and they fall in a ditch. One concentrates on our knock too much and they fall into a ditch.

If I am going to help people not fall into ditches I need to know my stuff.

Peace,
Joe

Walstib
Apr 11th 2009, 01:45 AM
I think most arminians would say it applies at conception (since most arminians believe that is when life begins). This is why almost all arminians believe children, should they die at an early age, will be with God. It is NOT that they are good enough to be saved on their own, it is that God's grace has already reached them. They are saved the same way we are saved, by God's grace.

Well it makes a whole lot more sense to me if the intent of the teaching is at conception. I'm thinking I had some posts from a few years ago on DSK's "post regeneration synergism" that I had imposed onto this doctrine. Then I don't know if anyone remembers that topic.

Thanks again Matthew!

bagofseed
Apr 11th 2009, 01:49 AM
Childlike is not about simple.

The scriptures have nothing good to say about the simple and naive.


Pro (http://net.bible.org/bible.php?book=Pro&chapter=1#22) 1:22 (http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Pro&chapter=1&verse=22)http://net.bible.org/images/advanced.gif
“How long will you simpletons love naiveté?

bagofseed
Apr 11th 2009, 01:50 AM
Don't confuse easy with simple.

Walstib
Apr 11th 2009, 01:58 AM
bagofseed I am not sure who you are responding to but...

One can be childlike without being childish.

Just thought I would throw in a third way to say it :P

divaD
Apr 11th 2009, 02:19 AM
I have noticed a tendency of some people to use terms such as 'clearly' or 'obviously', when understanding and application of doctrines isn't necessarily clear or obvious. We should all keep in mind that none of us has a perfect understanding of God or His word. That being said...onward...


I have to say that I would agree with this. With that said, it was never my intentions to indicate that I have a perfect understanding of God or His word. I guess when I use terms like clearly and obviously, I'm thinking more in the lines that clearly and obviously 2 plus 2 equals 4. This doesn't mean that I can do, or even understand, every mathematical equation. And just because some things concerning the Word of God seems clear and obvious to me, it doesn't mean that I even remotely understand everything. Perhaps I don't understand anything:)





And to say "Hey, that verse doesn't apply to me, I never tried to kill anyone!" seems to indicate that you think that you're not as bad as other people, that you're not as much a sinner as the next person.

You might want to pray on that.


This is where you be wrong. I am in no way shape or form insinuating that about myself.

Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

This is how I veiw myself. I'm similar to that publican. There is no way that I can be like the Pharisee in that same passage. Your conclusions about me are in error.







And speaking of 'innocent blood', did it not ever occur to you that your sins condemned an innocent man's blood to be shed, that our Lord and Saviour's precious blood was shed, for the redemption of your sins, and mine?



While I do agree with you here, this concept is nowhere in that passage in Romans 3 nor in the passages in the OT related to that verse. You seriously need to read these verses in Romans 3 from the perspectives of Psalms 5 and Isaiah 59, to name a few. If you still come to the same conclusions, then I don't know what to tell you.



All are under sin, all have sinned, all are guilty before God


I don't have a problem with this. I agree.

RogerW
Apr 11th 2009, 03:50 AM
Roger, you say: "This "giving" you view as an act of God's grace? I beg to differ. This is not an act of God's grace,"

First off, grace is unmerited favor, and help offered/given to us. We hear the phrase "grace to help" in Hebrews 4:16.

Who finds this grace to help in time of need? This is NOT common or prevenient grace to all people. This grace to help in time of need is to those (Christians) who have a High Priest (Christ) Who is tempted in all points as we are. Not every man can come boldly to His throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.



All though our lives, we will need this help. Initially, we need major help because we are headed for death. Even after being saved, we need help everyday. And who does God give this help to? Those who ask! Only humble people are willing to ask for help, and therefore God "gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6) and He saves(another form of help) all those who call on Him to save them.

Where in Scripture can we find these humble people willing to ask for help while spiritually dead in trespasses and sins? Who will call on Him? How will they call on Him? You don't really understand what James is saying. Fallen man thinks he has free will, and plans his steps. We live and die according to the will of the Lord.

Jas 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
Jas 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Jas 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Jas 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
Jas 4:16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
Jas 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

The world does not know Him, not even those of His own nation. Where is this common grace? Only those who receive Him are GIVEN (saving grace) power to become the sons of God, those who believe on His name...NOT BY THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD (saving grace). God is not extending grace to those who do not know Him.

Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
Joh 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.



With this understanding of grace, we can see throughout the Bible the grace, the help, given to everyone. God helped Noah by telling him of the flood, and instructing him how to build the ark.

Noah found grace in the sight of God (Gen 6:8). Because Noah found grace in the sight of God, he was saved. If this common or pervenient grace is given to every man, why didn't the rest of mankind find the same grace in the sight of God that Noah found?



Also, God has sent the Holy Spirit into the world to help ALL non-believers by convicting them of Sin, of Righteousness, and of Judgment to come. (John 16:8) And even God's chastening of us, as children of God, is grace, is for our benefit, to help us in our walk.

Not exactly what Jo 16:8 tells us. They are convicted of sin because they do not believe. God must have forgotten to give them common or pervenient grace to help them.

Joh 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Joh 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
Joh 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

The Holy Spirit is not sent to help unbelievers. They cannot receive Him, see Him or know Him. Only believers can, because He is in them.

Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Since one must be born again of the Spirit of God to know or enter the Kingdom of God, and unbelievers cannot receive, see, or know the Holy Spirit...where is this prevenient/common grace for them?

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.




No one could do anything with God - including having free (free from an external determinant) will. God gave us the ability to choose freely (always having the ability to choose otherwise)

And, lots of people resist God's will.

Romans 13:2
Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

The verse about resisting God that you mention is found in Romans 9
"19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God?"

Notice that it is the ungodly people claiming that they do not resist the will of God, and Paul totally calls their bluff by pointing out their attitude of being over God, and acting as judge over His decisions. By taking that position of judge over God, they are not submitting to God's will.

This last part is as clear as mud!

Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Apr 11th 2009, 03:14 PM
This morning I took some time to hear a sermon titled “Prevenient Grace” by Rev. Don Fortner.

This sermon made me realize that there is another way, besides that of John Wesley to understand this grace which means to “precede” or “go before”. Looking at the mystery of prevenient grace in this way causes me to realize there is a grace of God which goes before and prepares the way for His saving grace.

The following are excerpts from that sermon.

Ps 21:3 For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.

The word “prevent” means to “precede” or “go before.” So the meaning of this verse is that the Lord God bestowed all the bountiful blessings of goodness and grace upon us in Christ even before Christ came. Indeed, he blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ before the world
began (Eph. 1:3). Still, there is more. God’s goodness toward his elect goes out to them even before Christ comes to them in the secret workings of providence. This text has reference to that great, wondrous mystery of prevenient grace, grace which goes before and prepares the way for God’s saving grace.

Goodness and mercy precede Christ’s coming, come with Christ, and follow Christ. Then exaltation and glory are given to him. The Lord God, the triune Jehovah has set upon his head a crown of pure gold, a pure, everlasting, precious, indescribably glorious crown.
As The Reward of His Obedience.
In The Hearts of His People.
Let me show you a few places in the Book of God that declare and describe God’s great, wondrous prevenient grace.

PRESERVING GRACE
In the opening verse of Jude, it is declared as that grace by which we are preserved in Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:1) “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.”

Here God the Holy Spirit tells us that all who are God’s, because we are from eternity “sanctified by God the Father,” are “preserved in Jesus Christ.” The word “preserved” means “watched over,” “guarded,” “kept from loss or injury.” It is a passive verb. So the sweet message of God to our hearts in these words is this. — Because God has set us apart unto himself in Christ in eternal election, we are absolutely kept from any harm coming to us, because we are in Christ made the objects of his unceasing care. Indeed, the words here might be translated, “kept for Jesus Christ.” The Lord our God keeps his eye upon us all the time. He watches over, guards and protects us continually. And this preservation is altogether his work. We are not preserved in Christ because we persevere in faith. We persevere in faith because we are preserved in Christ.

Let all who trust Christ understand and ever rejoice in this blessed fact. In eternal sanctification, we were set apart by God the Father in election in Christ, chosen in him. We have a place in his heart, who declares, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” We are from
everlasting in his heart, in his hands, and in him. We are one with Christ! We are one with him as members of the body are one with the head. We are one with him as our covenant Surety and Representative before God. Being in him and one with him, we are preserved in him and by
him — preserved by him before we were called and preserved by him after we have been called. It is written, “They are preserved forever” (Ps. 37:28).

All God’s elect are secretly preserved in Christ from eternity, preserved before their calling and preserved unto their calling. We were preserved from condemnation and the second death. We were not preserved from falling with the rest of mankind in the sin and fall of our father Adam. We were not preserved from the depravity and corruption of human nature which all men have by birth from Adam. And we are not preserved from iniquity, transgression, and sin. We are all, by nature, “children of wrath.”

“We were, even in our wrathful state of unbelief, so preserved that the law could not execute the sentence of condemnation on us, sin could not damn us, and Satan could not destroy us.”

“No, we are not preserved from indwelling sin, but in spite of indwelling sin. No, we are not preserved from temptations, but in the midst of temptation. No, we are not preserved from doubts and fears and unbelief, but in the midst of them. No, we are not preserved from slips and falls, from acts of sin and attitudes of evil, but in spite of them. Our Savior said, “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (John 10:28).”

“One more thing, and I’ll quit, though I haven’t yet begun to describe it. Prevenient grace is preparatory grace. It is that grace that prepares the chosen, redeemed sinner to receive God’s saving grace (Matthew 13:3-9).”

(Matthew 13:3-9) “And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; (4) And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: (5) Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
(6) And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. (7) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: (8) But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold. (9) Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Sweet, indescribably sweet is that work of God’s providence and grace that precedes his grace, prepares the way for his grace, and brings his grace!

Just ask any who have experienced it!
Bartimaeus
The Woman with an Issue of Blood
The Lame Man
The Gadarene
The Woman Taken in Adultery
The Dying Thief
Onesimus
Iris Johnson, “Thank God for Folsom Prison.”
Anyone interested can read the whole sermon in pdf from the link below.
http://media.sermonaudio.com/mediapdf/11807127545.pdf (http://media.sermonaudio.com/mediapdf/11807127545.pdf)

Many Blessings,
RW

fuzzi
Apr 11th 2009, 06:44 PM
I have noticed a tendency of some people to use terms such as 'clearly' or 'obviously', when understanding and application of doctrines isn't necessarily clear or obvious.

We should all keep in mind that none of us has a perfect understanding of God or His word.

That being said...onward...

I have to say that I would agree with this. With that said, it was never my intentions to indicate that I have a perfect understanding of God or His word. I guess when I use terms like clearly and obviously, I'm thinking more in the lines that clearly and obviously 2 plus 2 equals 4. This doesn't mean that I can do, or even understand, every mathematical equation. And just because some things concerning the Word of God seems clear and obvious to me, it doesn't mean that I even remotely understand everything. Perhaps I don't understand anything:)
Thank you for your gracious response.

Misunderstandings can and do occur with regularity on the 'net, as well as in person. We've all seen that.

There are things that seem very clear to me, but through experience I have discovered that my 'truth' doesn't always sit well with those who have a contrary position, so I try to say "I believe..." or "It has been my experience.." instead of using words such as 'clearly' that can and do cause offense.

Nuff said... ;)


Is there something about these verses being applied to you that bothers you? :confused

None of us is righteous, except when we accept the righteousness of Christ.

Let's go back a verse:

"What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;" (Romans 3:9)

All are under sin, all have sinned, all are guilty before God. Even if you, personally, did not do anything to harm any other person, your false witness or your theft or your gluttony or whatever sin you commit is enough without it. See James 2:10.

And to say "Hey, that verse doesn't apply to me, I never tried to kill anyone!" seems to indicate that you think that you're not as bad as other people, that you're not as much a sinner as the next person.

This is where you be wrong. I am in no way shape or form insinuating that about myself.

Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

This is how I veiw myself. I'm similar to that publican. There is no way that I can be like the Pharisee in that same passage. Your conclusions about me are in error.
Then I am sorry if I read your intent wrong. The passage in Luke 18 is one of my favorites, because I see myself as the publican, just as I see myself as the woman in Luke 7, who washes the Lord's feet with her tears.

But I think you might understand how I got that impression: you seemed to take offense with my suggestion that we all fit the description in Romans 3.


And speaking of 'innocent blood', did it not ever occur to you that your sins condemned an innocent man's blood to be shed, that our Lord and Saviour's precious blood was shed, for the redemption of your sins, and mine?

Every sin you commit now is another sin that He carried for you then.

While I do agree with you here, this concept is nowhere in that passage in Romans 3 nor in the passages in the OT related to that verse. You seriously need to read these verses in Romans 3 from the perspectives of Psalms 5 and Isaiah 59, to name a few. If you still come to the same conclusions, then I don't know what to tell you.
How about telling me that you agree to disagree?

Not everyone sees the same concepts or doctrines in their reading and study of Scripture. When someone tells me that they aren't guilty of shedding blood, or 'innocent blood', then the Lord reminds me in my heart that His precious blood was shed, because of our sins.

The connection is there, I can see it, um, er...'clearly'. ;)

In the NT Paul is writing the book of Romans from the perspective of after the cross of Calvary. He already knows what the Lord has done for us, and why. Whereas, the OT writers didn't necessarily have a view of the cross, what was to come.

See? :)

RabbiKnife
Apr 13th 2009, 01:12 PM
What is a "chosen, redeemed sinner?"

That appears to be a bit antithetical to me...

grit
Apr 13th 2009, 02:30 PM
Prevenient grace
This is one of those terms I have a hard time pinning down as it seems to be used differently by different people.

The main point I am thinking on here is when it is used to say God gives us the ability to believe before we can believe or understand anything spiritual for that matter.

With the term being often used by "Arminians" I just don't get it as it still looks to me like a predetermined election in this context.

Is there something I am missing? Is prevenient grace only for some or is it extended to all? That would be angle I am looking to discuss here.
……
[then, posted to RogerW’s listing of Wesley’s definition of prevenient grace]

As good a definition as any maybe... we can go with this one.
The "totally incapable of responding to God without God first empowering them to have faith" is the thing I am talking about.

So does one in this definition have to have faith before any response to God is made? Where is justification in all this is my focus.

If one is justified and regenerated when they have faith, then they are regenerated before any response to God is made. *I know it's more complex than a simple timeline... *

It's like saying everyone can hear God but only those specially empower by God can respond and this before they ask. Asking would be a response right?

I just can't wrap my head around what they are tying to say here.

Saying that God draws all people to Himself and is the one who does the saving without needing our work to help Him is simply said.

It just seems like a way to hold onto total depravity and come up with a long complex way of justifying this concept.

Peace,
Joe
……
[to matthew94’s post regarding Wesley’s assertion of inherited guilt being annulled by prevenient grace]
Hi matthew,

Maybe the desire to hold on to "inherited guilt" is where I am hung up on this. Are you speaking of this a "total depravity" way?

Thanks,
Joe


Prevenient Grace - what it really is!
This morning I took some time to hear a sermon titled “Prevenient Grace” by Rev. Don Fortner.

This sermon made me realize that there is another way, besides that of John Wesley to understand this grace which means to “precede” or “go before”. Looking at the mystery of prevenient grace in this way causes me to realize there is a grace of God which goes before and prepares the way for His saving grace.

The following are excerpts from that sermon.

Ps 21:3 For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.

The word “prevent” means to “precede” or “go before.” So the meaning of this verse is that the Lord God bestowed all the bountiful blessings of goodness and grace upon us in Christ even before Christ came. Indeed, he blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ before the world
began (Eph. 1:3). Still, there is more. God’s goodness toward his elect goes out to them even before Christ comes to them in the secret workings of providence. This text has reference to that great, wondrous mystery of prevenient grace, grace which goes before and prepares the way for God’s saving grace.



[from another thread]
Hi Roger,
No worries on jumping in bro. It's good in a way because the topic of hearing and when this is possible was what most of my "lost reply" was in the other thread. I am thinking because I was more looking to get an "Armenian explanation" in the other thread we could just go into it all here without expecting a reply there. Whew..

Simply I would say it is after hearing. Can't really choose something you never heard about. When we have the ability to hear becomes the question I think. This in the context that I believe we always have freedom of thought and choice.

As for the why, I got myself involved in too many threads and will get too it soon.

Peace,
Joe
Hi Joe. Hi everybody.

I’m chiefly here trying to hone in on addressing my perceptions of issues being brought up by Walstib; although I’m a Calvinist and Joe seems most interested in Arminian explanations. I’m bound to be long-winded too, for which I apologize.

I’ve been trying to sort my way through the question/discussion thus far through various recent threads. I mostly contributed earlier in the “Babies” thread, but have as yet been silent in the others.

I love my brothers and sisters in Christ and I’m mostly sure they love me, whether they favour the wise studies of Calvin, Arminius, Wesley, Augustine, or others. I’ve learned a lot from all of them and you guys too. I think we each love God and His Word and are trying to better understand them and each other. I don’t mind so much being called a Calvinist, because I appreciate the depth of his scholarship and am inclined to personally agree with much of his conclusions and expressions in unfolding the Scriptures. Sometimes we each like to think we’re somehow above labels, but you gotta call stuff something, and though it’s very evident to me that both the terms Calvinist and prevenient grace have a plethora of definition on this board and elsewhere, I like to think that in the long run we’ll each give the other the benefit of whatever doubts we have ‘till particular understandings of one another are better ironed out.

Variously among Arminians, prevenient grace either can or cannot be resisted, and either is given at conception to immediately counter original sin and it’s natural inability (in Methodism, infant baptism is seen as a celebration of prevenient grace), or is given to each human at some point in life (in Roman Catholicism it comes as a conscious awareness). It in essence is thought to render a person neutral – neither unregenerate and under the guilt of Adam’s sin, nor regenerate and redeemed through Christ, but in some intermediate state where free-will can properly be exercised as “free” and not bound to either good or evil. It’s thought, in Arminian theology, that this solves certain dilemmas of justice or fairness with God, reconciling human free-will with divine sovereignty, within the expressly Biblical confines of man’s salvation by grace alone. Wesley felt that prevenient grace enabled the doctrines of original sin and salvation by grace to co-exist while still maintaining God's sovereignty and holy character as well as human freedom.

Even though it seems to be Augustine (a man whom Calvin’s theology is much dependant on) who coined the term prevenient grace (irresistibly leading to salvation in his view), I don’t so much mind a narrower expression of prevenient grace in a Wesleyan mold, since it’s been said that the whole of Arminian theology rests on their particular doctrine of prevenient grace, and it was the vehicle these two dear Christian’s used to systematically and consistently try and reconcile some very difficult passages and concepts found within sacred Scripture. Wesley saw it as “making us WANT to come to God”, but preceding any conscious impulse to do so.

Both Calvinists and Arminians like to say they believe in original sin, although original sin is another term that conveys quite a range of theological definition. However, it’s usually the import (with strong Biblical support) of original sin that separates Arminianism from Pelagianism. Adam was the father of the human race, and when he sinned, the change thus brought to human nature affected subsequent offspring of Adam. Adam died spiritually, and all humans ever since have come into the world dead in sin (although certain Arminians quaver on some aspects of imputed sin). Wesley says: “God does not look upon infants as innocent, but as involved in the guilt of Adam’s sin; otherwise death, the punishment denounced against that sin, could not be inflicted upon them.”

Here’s an Arminian sequence: able & responsible => Adam’s Fall => unable & bound to sin => prevenient grace through Christ to all => enabled (or begins to be enabled to cooperate - an “offering the human will the restored capacity to respond to grace”) (compare it’s counterpart in Romans 1, where God further gave over sinners to their own denial of God) & responsible (because this grace purportedly restores man's free will).

Cutting to the pertinent issues where Walstib is concerned, in my opinion and from a Calvinistic input trying to explain an Arminian theology, prevenient grace is rightly seen as a predetermined act of God, but not in electing one person from another (as it would be in Calvinism. with Augustine, and in general Christian orthodoxy), since all alike are so graced. All initially lack the “ability to believe” through Adam’s Fall, but all are given the “ability to believe” through prevenient grace. This enabling is not a saving faith in the orthodox sense. It is presented as saving us from the guilt of original sin, but falling short of regenerating us to life in Christ. It exceeds the knowing of God that daemons are said to have, or even that as detailed in the Calvinistic concept of common grace (to which prevenient grace is sometimes likened), in that it purports to render us guilt-less and subject to our own decisions toward good or evil. In one sense our “justification” (our, ‘just as if I’d never sinned’) is accomplished, but not in the sense of freeing us from our own personal guilt, which freedom (in this prevenient grace scenario) only then follows one’s own decision of faith in Christ. Prevenient grace might be said to be enough grace to have us miss God in our lives, but not enough for us to choose to follow God. It makes saving faith possible but not probable. Prevenient grace is not said to take away our natural bent toward sinning, nor the influence of sin from without, but simply any guilt of “actual” sin associated with Adam. It is said to in a sense open our ears to hear but not to make us listen – listening would still be our choice.

However, in my opinion, because this grace is supposedly given to all alike, it makes the determining factor in salvation the will of man, rather than an act of God. Calvinists believe that Wesleyans teach that God seeks all people equally, and if it weren't that some were willing to respond to God’s promptings, no one would be saved. We see this dependence on the will and choice of the individual as a good work required for salvation and thus an implicit rejection of salvation by grace alone. It comes down to distinguishing one person's internal merit from that of another who is then lost. It becomes something in man’s nature that makes the difference, not grace, and we Calvinists see this as contrary to salvation by grace alone and ultimately striking at God’s sovereignty in salvation, as in all things, as God.

When the Bible says "no one seeks God" (such as in Romans 3:9-20), Calvinists maintain it is speaking about an actually present condition of unregenerate mankind, whereas Wesleyans seem to imply that it is only a hypothetical condition, rendered moot to all by prevenient grace. For the Wesleyan, through prevenient grace everyone has ears to hear. For the Calvinist, not everyone has ears to hear, but the ones with ears to hear are the ones who actually listen and receive.

As I said earlier, Wesleyans, Arminians, Molinists and the like are to be admired for trying very hard through logical analysis to reconcile some very difficult Scriptures to sort through, I just personally think folk like Calvin and Augustine make more sense and are more consistent with what we actually find in the Bible. I don't find either the Arminian or Wesleyan concept of prevenient grace in the Scriptures, and frankly they admitted the weakness of Scriptural support. Marrying God's sovereignty with man's free-will, God's holiness and justice and mercy with sinful man's responsibility is a tricky business.

My apologies again, for such a long post.

RabbiKnife
Apr 13th 2009, 02:40 PM
Every Arminian believes in absolute election.

grit
Apr 13th 2009, 02:49 PM
Every Arminian believes in absolute election.
Yes, in a conditional synergistic sort of way involving man's cooperation with God.

RabbiKnife
Apr 13th 2009, 03:32 PM
Yes, in a conditional synergistic sort of way involving man's cooperation with God.

Based on the Scriptural definition and sequence, which recognizes that election is not based on blind, random chance or arbitrary fiat, but based on God's foreknowledge.

keck553
Apr 13th 2009, 03:55 PM
Childlike is not about simple.

The scriptures have nothing good to say about the simple and naive.


Pro (http://net.bible.org/bible.php?book=Pro&chapter=1#22) 1:22 (http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Pro&chapter=1&verse=22)http://net.bible.org/images/advanced.gif
“How long will you simpletons love naiveté?

Better to be 'simple' than rebellious.

John146
Apr 13th 2009, 04:09 PM
Greetings Eric,

Well we haven't discussed this for a while now, so I guess its time we dance this tune again :pp!

You are denying the doctrine of total depravity.Obviously.


Granted this is most likely because you do not believe the Bible teaches total depravity, but I find it impossible to reconcile all of Scripture unless total depravity of fallen man is true. Here are a few verses. How do you reconcile these, if you believe fallen man can make a moral choice for Christ?

Jo 6:44 ..."no man can come to me unless the Father draw him"John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.


Ro 8:7-8 ..."the carnal mind is enmity against God"..."they that are in the flesh cannot please God"Yes, every single person has a tendency to turn away from God. But the preaching of the word as well as the convicting power of the Holy Spirit can change one's mind and heart. But it's not automatic, as you imagine.


Eph 2:1,5 ..."who were DEAD in trespasses and sins"

Col 2:13 ..."being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him"Being dead in trespasses and sins does not mean one is not able to repent of their trespasses and sins.


Eph 4:18 ..."Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them"I think you take verses out of context more than anyone on this forum.

Eph 4
17This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Notice they gave themselves over to their wickedness. This is just like the people Paul talks about in Romans 1. They are not born with no belief in God and doing all kinds of wicked things. They become vain in their imaginations and become fools. It is their choice to completely turn away from God and embrace wickedness.


1Co 2:14 ..."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"Once you again you miss the context of a verse. That verse is not speaking of one's ability or inability to repent and put their faith in Christ. Even immature Christians can think naturally or carnally and not understand the things of the Spirit. You need to continue reading in 1 Cor 3.

1And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Notice that Paul is speaking here to "babes in Christ", so they are Christians. So 1 Cor 2:14 even applies to them and not just unbelievers. It takes time to develop spiritual discernment. When we first become Christians we still have a lot to learn and tend to be lacking in spiritual discernment.


Jo 15:25 ..."They hated me without a cause"They thought they had a cause but they were deceived. That verse certainly doesn't support your view.


Jo 5:40 ..."ye will not come to me, that ye might have life"And, once again, you take a verse out of context.

John 5
40And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. 41I receive not honour from men.
42But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
43I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
44How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
45Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
46For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.
47But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

Notice that He says if they had believed the teachings of Moses then they would have believed Him as well. He implies that they could have believed in Moses' teaching. In no way in verse 40 is He saying that they were not capable of coming to Him for eternal life. But He knew what was in their hearts.


Titus 1:15 ..."unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled"You make the mistake of thinking people are born this way rather than becoming this way. You need to read Romans 1 carefully and realize that people become wicked and choose to reject God rather than being born that way.


This is true, but it does not answer the question how will fallen man believe? Saying we must believe in our hearts is easy, but who will believe, and how will they believe? Just because this is not easy to explain how one comes to decide to believe or not doesn't mean that isn't how it works. You believe that God already chose for us long ago. If that is the case then can you explain how He went about making that decision? Of course not. So, what you are asking me to explain is equally impossible without me knowing what is in everyone's heart or being able to read their minds.


I agree that it is not for man to try to determine who will repent and believe. It is not that Scripture does not tell us why some will not repent and believe, because it does...problem is you deny total depravity, so you refuse to receive the truth from Scripture. No, I refuse to receive your interpretation of scripture. Big difference.


To believe God desires "all people" (meaning every single human throughout human history) to be saved, I would need to embrace universalism. No, you would need to embrace what it clearly teaches here:

1 Timothy 2
3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

God desires all people to be saved, but He also desires to have people come to Him willfully rather than by force. Christ died for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). He wouldn't have done that if it wasn't possible for the whole world to be saved. Sorry, Roger, but humans are not the puppets and robots you think we are.


Acknowledging that if this is the desire of the all powerful God of the universe, (Who always gets whatsoever He desires) will eternally save every single human.How did you conclude that God always "gets whatsoever He desires"? Where does scripture teach that? You don't seem to realize that God has both a will that cannot be thwarted but also has desires that can be thwarted due to Him giving man free will.

Here is one clear example where God did not get what He desired.
Matthew 23
37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

It's undeniable that Christ desired to gather Jerusalem's children together "even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings". Yet He did not get what He desired because they "would not". Clearly, it was because of their free will choice to reject Him that they did not do what He desired of them. This verse alone proves that your theory that God always gets what He desires is false.

The onus is on you to somehow show that 1 Timothy 2:4 is referring to something besides all people.


Therefore those cast into the lake of fire in the end of time, will only go there long enough to repent and believe and be saved because this is the will of Almighty God! I'm pretty sure that you agree the lake of fire is eternal?Of course I agree it's eternal. I certainly don't believe that God would send anyone there without even giving them any chance to be saved. That isn't the God that I know who desires all people to repent and to be saved.


Eric, who is Isaiah addressing in this passage? This passage, like that in Jos 24:15 is speaking to the nation that God has made a covenant with. They are being reminded of the covenant they already have with God. The OT nation has forsaken the True God, and gone after the false gods of pagan peoples. Isaiah and Joshua are called to remind them that God is their covenant God, Who has promised them long life and abundant blessings if they will keep the covenant He has made with them. The nation must be warned repeatedly to forsake their wickedness and return to the True God if they desire long life and blessings in the promised land. God kept His promise, the nation of Israel would never have lost the promised land if only they had kept their promise to serve God alone. You've taken yet another passage out of context. The passage is clearly speaking to individuals, not the entire nation.

Isaiah 55
6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Notice that it says "let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrightoues man his thoughts...". That is clearly not a reference to the nation of Israel, but to all wicked individuals.


What else does Jo 3 tell us? That men love darkness rather than the Light of Christ because they are evil. No one evil (all fallen mankind) comes to Christ, because they hate Him.

Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. To love darkness is a choice that people unfortunately make. To accept or reject Christ is a choice that all people have to make. You think that those who are wicked and reject God and Christ are that way even from birth. Paul taught otherwise. Here Paul speaks of people who at one time knew God.

Romans 1
18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

If some people were just born wicked and rebellious against God with no chance of them ever making a choice to repent and turn to God then how do you explain the passage above? If they are behaving the only way they were created to then why are they without excuse? You seem to think they are born vain in their imaginations and as fools, but Paul says they became vain and became fools and implies that they chose to not glorify God or to be thankful.


How do you reconcile this thought with Jo 10? If believing is a pre-requisite for salvation, then no man can be saved, because no man can believe until Christ gives them the gift of faith that is not of themselves. Show me where scripture teaches that no man can believe without Christ first giving them the gift of faith.


Would you also say it is God's fault that man disobeyed and fell in the garden? Every man in his fallen nature stands condemned already! Unless God chooses to save some men, then no man will be saved.Where does scripture teach this?


You want to look at this as though God is not fair because He did not predestine every man to be saved. He would contradict His own character if He predestined most (few are saved) to the lake of fire. Scripture says that God is impartial and not a respecter of persons as it relates to salvation and His judgments.


God does indeed look down from heaven to see whether any man would choose Him. What does He see? That none will seek Him, unless He makes them willing.Where does it say that He makes people willing to seek Him? I don't see any scripture that suggests God forces His will upon people in order to get them to do what He wants.


Despite the fallen natural condition of every single human being, God will have a people to call His own. Neither you, nor I have any right to be disappointed because God did not choose every man.Sure we would. It would disappoint me greatly to learn that despite Him desiring all people to be saved He didn't desire it enough to make it possible for all people to be saved.


Instead we better be rejoicing that He has determined to save any men. None of us deserve the mercy and grace that God bestows on the obects of His great love. Thank You, Lord God of grace for choosing to save a wretch like me, because I know in my fallen state I would NEVER choose You! Do you also thank Him for not saving most other people? Do you thank Him for being partial and for not even giving other people a chance to be saved?


The gospel message goes unto all the peoples of the world. Every human, without distinction, or exception can hear the message of salvation. This is the general call that goes unto all the world. It is through the preaching of the gospel of salvation that God draws and saves whosoever He wills. Salvation is of the Lord! The gospel message is offered to the whole world (every man) and through the message God GIVES salvation to those He calls His own.Ah, I see. So, in the parable in Matthew 22:1-14, there is a mistranslation? Instead of saying they would not accept the invitation it should say that they could not accept it?

As a reminder, this is the comment I made that you were responding to here.


Roger,

Can you tell me whether or not people who fall away but "were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come" were offered salvation before falling away? Whether or not they were saved before falling away is not relevant to the point I'm getting at here. I'm only asking whether you think they were given an opportunity to be saved before falling away.

So, what you are saying when you say that the general call goes out to everyone but God chooses who to give salvation to is that these people who "were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come" and then later fell away never had a chance to be saved in the first place? Can you explain how that makes any sense? Why would they even be allowed to taste of the heavenly gift and be made partakers of the Holy Spirit if they were never meant to be saved? And what exactly are they falling away from if they are not called to salvation?

grit
Apr 13th 2009, 04:10 PM
Based on the Scriptural definition and sequence, which recognizes that election is not based on blind, random chance or arbitrary fiat, but based on God's foreknowledge.
Respectfully, that's a matter of opinion on which a great many honourable Christians disagree. The Scriptures do not clearly define election as you've described, nor clearly the mind of God regarding either His process or purposes other than to His own glory to which He is entitled. That we have such variety of Christian explanation within both Arminianism and Calvinism and in other theological expressions rooted in Scripture evidences that the Scriptures are inconclusive and open to a variety of explanation, understanding, perspective, and godly purpose, even within a consistent unity of one truth.

I've not here wished to divert the discussion away from Walstib's focus on prevenient grace, though I recognize that the fine points of distinction between various soteriological views have a great bearing on the matter.
:hug:

John146
Apr 13th 2009, 04:50 PM
Saving grace is of God alone in the sense that the grace that saves comes from God alone. The emphasis is on the 'from'. Saving grace does not INVOLVE God alone. It involves people. It is absolutely ridiculous to claim that accepting saving grace is a work.I agree, especially since there is absolutely no scripture which teaches that it's a work in the sense that passages like Ephesians 2:8-9 or Titus 3:4-6 are speaking about.


It is absolutely common sense to claim that choice is involved in salvation. Saying that man must respond to saving grace does absolutely nothing to take away from the fact that the grace is wholly from God and thus, is still centered in God's work.I couldn't agree more. Well said. If saving faith is just given to someone then no response would be necessary. Yet we see over and over again examples in scripture of the gospel being preached and people responding to it. Why would there even be the need to preach the gospel if saving faith is just something that is given to someone without people being required to make any choices?

Paul indicated that he preached the gospel in order to persuade and convince people to believe. Why is any persuasion and convincing needed if people are just regenerated out of the blue and saving faith is just given to them?

Walstib
Apr 13th 2009, 07:08 PM
Hi Joe. Hi everybody.

I’m chiefly here trying to hone in on addressing my perceptions of issues being brought up by Walstib; although I’m a Calvinist and Joe seems most interested in Armenian explanations. I’m bound to be long-winded too, for which I apologize.

Hi grit,

I know I've had little participation here but I am still reading along. Thanks for your posts and all the others. The "Armenian definition" itself was what I was looking to clarify as I don't really fit into that camp myself.

I am not one for labels as I know what I believe presently and in whom I have believed, but I guess if you wanted a label I am more along the lines of Pelagianism. That is one reason the Wesleyan definition seems strange to me in the big picture as it would only be necessary with a belief in original sin as it is defined by many. Less strange than irresistible grace at least. :P * hope you get the humor intended

Just good old grace alone is enough for me. Don't get me wrong I believe everyone always falls short of the glory of God of themselves and don't believe all the things Pelagius taught. Not that I even know everything he taught, I am no follower of his. That topic for another thread though.... just thought it might give light to how I was asking and responding.

Peace,
Joe

grit
Apr 13th 2009, 07:58 PM
Hi grit,

I know I've had little participation here but I am still reading along. Thanks for your posts and all the others. The "Arminian definition" itself was what I was looking to clarify as I don't really fit into that camp myself.

I am not one for labels as I know what I believe presently and in whom I have believed, but I guess if you wanted a label I am more along the lines of Pelagianism. That is one reason the Wesleyan definition seems strange to me in the big picture as it would only be necessary with a belief in original sin as it is defined by many. Less strange than irresistible grace at least. :P * hope you get the humor intended

Just good old grace alone is enough for me. Don't get me wrong I believe everyone always falls short of the glory of God of themselves and don't believe all the things Pelagius taught. Not that I even know everything he taught, I am no follower of his. That topic for another thread though.... just thought it might give light to how I was asking and responding.

Peace,
Joe
:hug: I gathered as much from your posts, but it's good to see you post it more clearly. Whatever other trouble he seems to have gotten into, Pelagius' tenacious monkly asceticism and encouragement to good works is to be admired. He offered man no excuse for falling short of perfection. You'd probably really enjoy Charles Finney if you haven't yet had a chance to read him, though we Presbyterians usually count him as yet another Calvinist gone bad. :P He wrote some really convicting stuff.


btw, try substituting the term efficacious grace for irresistible grace and see if it helps any. :)

Walstib
Apr 13th 2009, 08:48 PM
though we Presbyterians usually count him as yet another Calvinist gone bad.

Ouch! I should tell you I attend a Presbyterian church. :o :hug:

grit
Apr 13th 2009, 09:44 PM
hmmm.... I think it's tulip season in Canada? :pp ;)

LOL, I'll be working on an overdue Calvinistic acronym reform that spells out G-u-m-m-i B-e-a-r.

Walstib
Apr 21st 2009, 01:48 AM
Graceful
Understanding
Mysteriously
Magnetic
Initially

But
Erroneous
After
Review

:P :kiss:

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