I've debated this for some time also; and wrote down all the verses used for both sides. As we've discussed, "Reformed Theology" founds on four primary passages (Eph1:4-5, Eph1:11, Rom8:28-35, Rom9:11-21), and a little over thirty secondary passages (John6:37 & 44 & 65, John10:26 & 28, Acts13:48, Romans13:10-12, 1Cor2:14, 2Cor4:3-4, 1Jn2:19, 1Jn5:1, Proverbs16:4, Ezk36:26-27, Jeremiah 13:26, Jeremiah17:9, and the like). We've seen that every one of those can be shown "not predestinary" --- the secondaries in absolute terms, the primaries in context with themselves and the rest of Scripture. We've read about how a "born-again" person can cease to be born again in Hebrews12:7-9 (and seen how the entire letters of Hebrews, 2Peter, James, and Galatians) teach "fallible salvation" chapter by chapter, and we've made connections that clarify verses previously thought to be clear (like how Luke8:13-15 absolutely connects to Hebrews6:7-8, establishing that the soil LABEL is caused by their perseverance, perseverance caused by the soil type). We're read the connection between Deuteronomy30:11-30 and Romans10:6-10 and Acts17:26-30, which ruins "monergistic regeneration". We've made connections between John6:37 and 44 and 65 with John17:6 and John8:42, which reveals that no one is "given to Jesus" before belief (Lydia in Acts17 and Cornelius in Acts10 excellent examples!). We've seen how one can study Scripture and be convicted to belief in 2Tim3:15, and how others can study Scripture but refuse to believe in John5:39-47 (and Jesus plainly says WHY they will not believe --- because they seek their own glory, because they will not believe Moses, but mostly because they do not love God!).Quote:
Regarding your reply to me, I would love to answer you when I've got the time. One of the reasons I have not been doing this till now, is mainly due to the answers keyzer zone and Redeemed by Grace gave you in this thread, which I believe is a good account of my own beliefs. I'm familiar with most of the views and have been in numerous debates the last 10 years or so. I can see that you're well schooled and enthusiastic in your views...
We've read verses that warn against "falling-from-salvation", and admonishing us towards diligence IN salvation. Have we made progress? I hope so; these discussions are not a matter of "I believe ____ and the other person believes ____", but really what Scripture says. Yes I know two people will not read all Scripture the same; but with the connections, have we not established solid teachings? Or are the connections wrong? One can hardly argue that 2Cor3:16 overturns the predestinary thought of 2Cor4:3-4; or that Ezk11:18 overturns the predestinary thought of Ezk36:26-27; or that Acts13:46 overturns the predestinary thought of Acts13:48; or that Jeremiah17:10 overturns the predestinary thought of Jeremiah17:9.
The question is now, "what has really been established in the discussions, and what is still at issue?" I confess to being perplexed when I hear "this debate has raged for five hundred years"; it did not rage for the first fifteen hundred years --- and it should only "rage" now, if the discussions have not been productive and the connections not solid.
If I have spoken with kindness and love, know that has been my very serious goal. I am not a Savior, neither are you or anyone else; I am only commanded to share the Gospel, and to love people. We are to BUILD, and never destroy; to draw people closer to Jesus and deeper into Scripture, and to promote fellowship --- never to "beat someone over his/her head with facts", never to "win at another's expense" (which would be a selfish ambition anyway!).Quote:
and most important, the way in which you present yourself is something to take note of.
You will note that everyone ELSE here has been kind and loving, even without agreement I've enjoyed the discussions, and I've enjoyed THEM. Every person who allows me to look through their eyes is a blessing to me; I pray I've been a blessing to others. It is easily proven that we can have differences, but converse with honor and respect -- this we must do, for between our words we are AMBASSADORS for Christ, every one of us! What the world knows of Him, they know from us! Do they see something in us that ATTRACTS them to Christ, or repels them from Him? How many times in traffic has someone cut you off or made you angry --- and there on their bumper is a "JESUS-sticker"! How is the world led by our words and actions? Ambassadorship is not just an honor, it is a privilege and a sacred duty!
Whether we agree or not, every last person here is clearly in LOVE with Jesus --- and that is sufficient foundation to look forward excitedly to being together with Him when He returns, family forever.
That is one of the issues; is God active and we are passive, or are we active and God receives our faith? The latter is clear in Acts10:34-35, and Heb11:6 and Rom2:6-8. And in Matt7:14, where "heurisko" clearly asserts "find-by-diligently-seeking".Quote:
However, this is not one of the easiest topics and true Christians have been debating this for decades, even ages and still have not resolved the differences. Some tend to focus more on the humane side of responsibility and others tend to mainly look at the Divine side and how God intervene in our lives and not what we can do to please Him. He is the active partner and we the reactive partner.
You're quoting from Romans7. Chapter 6 is about "born again, do not continue presenting your bodies to sin but consider yourselves alive to God and present your bodies as righteous". Chapter 7 is the war between the old dead-but-not-gone nature, and chapter 8 is the solution to the war --- do not walk in sin, after the flesh (if we do we must die); but by the Spirit's power put to death the flesh (and live).Quote:
I believe this is why we pray, we pray to be part of God's control and I've never heard a free will prayer that I'm aware of. We really need His sovereign control and I believe, this manifest through the new nature of the new creature, rather than through the free will of man. It is our nature that cannot sin [Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (1Jn 3:9)]... and not our free will... [What your corrupt nature wants is contrary to what your spiritual nature wants, and what your spiritual nature wants is contrary to what your corrupt nature wants. They are opposed to each other. As a result, you don't always do what you intend to do. (Gal 5:17)]... and also, I don't realize what I'm doing. I don't do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate. I don't do what I want to do, but I agree that God's standards are good. So I am no longer the one who is doing the things I hate, but sin that lives in me is doing them. I know that nothing good lives in me; that is, nothing good lives in my corrupt nature. Although I have the desire to do what is right, I don't do it. I don't do the good I want to do. Instead, I do the evil that I don't want to do. Now, when I do what I don't want to do, I am no longer the one who is doing it. Sin that lives in me is doing it. (Rom 7:15-20)]
That is the importance of the issue! We've discussed Eph4:22-24 --- what is Paul's message, except to "lay aside the old nature and walk in the new, be regenerated CONSTANTLY"? That doesn't fit a "one-time-regeneration", but fits "WALK in regeneration, abide in Jesus and the Spirit and salvation"!Quote:
The new creature cannot sin, due to the new nature..
Now wait, be very careful --- "sinning flesh but saved SPIRIT" is a doctrine called "Gnosticism", of which Antinomianism is a subset. If our flesh is walking in sin, then we run afoul of 1Cor6:9-11, Eph5:5-6, and Gal5:19-21; all of which boldly proclaims "Those who DO these things will not inherit the kingdom of God." No "get-outta-jail-free" card, no exemption nor waiver; clearly, "those who do, won't". The flesh is subject to the heart --- that is how and why we are judged according to deeds (Rom2:6-8, Rev20:13). It's not the DEEDS that save or condemn us, but the heart that DID the deeds. Good deeds expose a heart that belonged to Jesus and walked with the Spirit, evil deeds expose a heart that did not.Quote:
and it is not you doing sin anymore, it is the sin in your flesh. Your flesh represents your old nature of sin and the Spirit represents your new nature without sin.
Think about that statement --- we've proven that regeneration is AFTER belief; it is so in Titus3:5-6 (where regeneration is by the POURED Spirit, "poured" denotes belief, Acts10:47 and 11:17). It is so in Jn20:31 and Jn5:40, where "have-life" cannot exist apart from "regeneration" and have-life/made-alive is after belief. Is this proven, or not?Quote:
If free will exists, it can only be before regeneration, because you cannot do what you want to do even as believer and needs a new nature to help you doing God's will.
Exactly --- take up his cross DAILY.Quote:
For this very reason Paul told us, [But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1Co 2:7-8)] The message of the cross is the hidden message only Paul knew and for this reason His main focus was to preach Jesus Christ and Him as being crucified [Joh 17:3; 1Co 1:22-25; 1Co 2:2; Gal 3:1, Gal 6:14; Phi 3:8-10]. The cross is our strenght, the power of God and our means of staying with Christ and I believe the most underestimated demand Christ ever gave us! [And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luk 9:23)]
But you're recognizing that we CAN turn away from God, even as Hebrews3:12-14 and 12:15 says.Quote:
To live at the right place before God, we can either look at what we must do or we can look at what is already in place. If I focus on God and God only, I will without looking at myself, do the right things. If I look at me, myself, I, -I will lose the plot and hope will perish sooner or later, depending on my God given abilities. With my own abilities I will have to keep the door open myself, while God sits with the key of David and when He open doors, nobody shuts them and if He closes doors, nobody opens them [Rev 3:7]. God's will is mainly about open and closed doors. I truly believe that free will makes us stuck, due to a focus on the self and own abilities, which at the end of the day, could take your focus away from God.
How do you read Eph4:22-24? Have you considered that verse with such scrutiny? To me it says "WALK in regeneration" --- as in, "You! BE regenerated!" Hardly something that could be said to someone, if it was a "done deal"!Quote:
I have to clarify myself here, that I'm against the doctrine of righteousness in Christ, where they learn that all sin is nailed to the cross (they do not make a distinction between 1.) sin of the flesh which is our own sins coming from the flesh and 2.) a nature of sin which we were born with due to Adam's original sin). It is our sinful nature that is nailed to the cross, not all sin, because sin lives in our flesh and we cannot do as we are pleased to do. This distinction, is critical in our differences, because the free will stance uses free will to reckon with sin and I truly believe that the correct view of the Bible is that our new nature will reckon with sin. Predestination seems like the only logical conclusion if this two types of sin is true.
As long as you and I agree that "we cannot walk in sin", as long as we agree "there is no backslidden-but-saved", then this is a non-issue between us.Quote:
You may disagree, which is fine with me, but I assure you, my peace in believing this is complete and the practical evidence ensures this daily and for this very reason will, if at all possible, not debate this to the core of the core, I really am free...
It's much more than just the "aim"; an intimate indwelt fellowship with Christ is the ESSENCE --- thus, we cannot walk in sin, for we would not be walking in Christ! EVERY sin is a turning-away-from Christ. What happens after we sin? We have a choice --- to sin AGAIN, or to turn back to Him in shame remorse and repentance, to throw ourselves at His feet begging both forgiveness and strength to reject the sin the NEXT time.Quote:
Even if I choose, it is not me doing it, but God working in me for His glory, though it is me working against Him and one learn this through mistakes, to let God work and submit in the dying of the self, by just flowing in His grace (the pinnacle of our existence whilst on earth, by spontaneously without too much reasoning doing God's will). A true Christian wants to be at a place where you don't live and godliness is practiced and is the aim of our walk with God.
It is not the SIN which condemns us, but the AGAIN.But that is the very principle of "Responsible Grace", which is at odds with "Predestined Salvation"!Quote:
When there is too much reasoning, too many choices you need to make, how can you be an instrument in the hands of the One using you for His glory only? All God wants me to do is to die (flowing in His grace) on a daily basis and He will then live in me, choose for me and do for me [I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)].
And all of that is achieved by drawing close to Him! James4:7-10! We do not fight sin, we will lose; but we draw ever close to Him that His heart becomes ours, that the Son and the Spirit so fill our hearts that there is no more ROOM for sin! THAT is what I want to teach most --- the intimate fellowship with Christ that IS salvation! John17:3, 1Jn5:3!Quote:
I am just in God's way of righteousness and needs to die, so that He can live and it is not my own choices or my own words which will enable me to do anything [For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Luk 12:12)], and will also learn us and help us to even pray..., [Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Rom 8:26)]
But as long as we live, we have the flesh; so we have to constantly walk in Him (Col2:6-8), to abide in Him and not in sin (1Jn2:26-28). To "build ourselves in faith and keep ourselves in His love".Quote:
With our new nature everything is different...
And all of this is the consequence of walking in Him. When Paul says "be filled with the Spirit" (Eph5:18), it's a choice! And, "be reconciled to God" (2Cor5:20), it's a choice! And "be renewed in the spirit of your mind", it's a choice! (Eph4:24) And "do not be conformed to the world, but be renewed" (Rom12:2), it's a choice!Quote:
and we need to believe this and teach others this mysterious power of God through the cross of Christ, so that He can exalt Himself in every possible way... [The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Rom 8:16-21)]
What I've tried to do, in kindness and love, is boil the whole discussion down to the specific verses used. Thus, the "four primaries", and the "thirtyish secondaries". And to examine each one, reading it in context and sometimes in the original language (how else would we know Proverbs16:4 does not assert "God MADE them wicked", but rather "God made them to give an ANSWER for their wickedness"). If we examine our beliefs verse by verse, can we not come to a better understanding of the verses' intents, so that our doctrine conforms to their writing --- rather than our interpretations of Scripture predicated upon our doctrine? And yes I know that each of us is Human and subject to bias; that is why we discuss. When I assert "connections" (like Deut30:11-20 and Rom10:6-10 and Acts17:26-31), that connection is either there, or not. Some say "Well it was a different COVENANT in Deuteronomy" --- two things about that --- it would mean they were not predestined THEN (but we are now), and it denies when Paul said "It's the SAME faith that we are teaching"! Rom10:8! When all three passages say "it is not far" --- to whom is it "not far"? The predestined (why would he say "it's not far nor difficult" if God CAUSED belief)? The unpredestined (for whom it's infinitely and forever too far!)? How does it work?Quote:
Our own choices and reason only work till a point..., that point is what we are all trying to find out, which seems to stay a mystery...
By confronting every verse used, we get a better idea of what Scriptures found our beliefs, and how everything fits. It's an attempt to be thorough and methodical, which sadly often makes for long posts.
And as I've said time and again, if we do not come to agreement, then I pray that our words have only healed and not injured, strengthened and not weakened in Christ. And promoted fellowship, not hard feelings.
Obviously I've enjoyed the discussions, and the fellowship; I pray everyone else has too!
Everyone has the chance. "Everyone you find" in His story of Matt22:2-14.And 2Cor11:3 says we are at the same risk of deception from the serpent, as Eve was!!!Quote:
But how or what we choose, that is subject to influence, as per Eve in the garden. God gave her the ability to choose to eat or to choose not to eat, but God also allowed for Satan's ability to influence her choice. So then, if Eve had no choice in the matter, why then did God judge her for her action? God held her responsible for yielding to the temptation; God does not say that she had no choice in the matter.
I think Jesus was teaching them humility. Ties in with Matt18:3-4.
Is there evidence of "being saved again", in Scripture? Yes! James5:19-20, and Luke15:32! And there's evidence of those who WERE saved, but it's harder for them to return because their leaving was with full knowledge -- 2Pet2:20-22, and Rev3:14-22!Quote:
Those who are saved are saved... And when sin comes, they don't need to be saved again, just confess this sin or in effect wash their feet.
Did Jesus teach Peter about "fallible salvation"? Yes! Luke22:31-32 ("turn back" conspicuously uses "epistrepho", a true spiritual turning); and Jn6:67-70. In both cases Peter protested his loyalty --- in both cases Jesus conveyed that leaving was possible.Quote:
Jesus told Peter that Peter was Clean... Peter was declared clean by Jesus.
"I will never deny You!"
Luke22 -- "You'll deny Me three times TONIGHT!"
John6:70 -- "I chose all TWELVE of you, and one is a devil (one is leaving!)!"In Luke 15:13 (and only verse 13), does the Prodigal represent a saved person (drunk, carousing, lying with harlots)?Quote:
Peter didn't realize that at first, thinking he need to do more to be clean. But those who are clean need to wash their dirty feet.... and that is towards their daily sins. But never does it imply that they lost their salvation or need to be saved again. Jesus tested Peter's heart, Give Peter understanding and Peter changed his thought about being saved moving forward.
In James5:19-20 --- do you think a never-saved person can wander from where he never was, and be led back to where he's never been?
Verses that make us think "HMMmmmmm..."
In my study of Romans that I am doing I came across the verses of Rom 5:9-10 and I thought they fit perfectly into our discussion.
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
What do you think these 2 verses mean?
God who will render to each one according to his deeds, eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality...
This to me describes a kind of person. And would it be correct to say that a person who no longer continues in doing good is still seeking for glory, honor, and immortality?
Found this verse from my church service tonight to be relevant to our discussion of God's role in our perseverance: 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.