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Thread: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

  1. #16

    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    Quote Originally Posted by quiet dove View Post
    It's sorta like, I can give you a car and the keys, but you still must get in it and crank it and drive it, but without me, you would not have had the car. We could call the keys revelation and the car the means, I provided but you had to make a decision. (Thats probably not a good example but all I can think of at the moment)
    I think a theologically reformed person would say that there would be no desire to get in the car and drive, even if the car was there and he had the keys. (spiritually dead) i'm not having a go as you said it's only an analogy, and a pretty good one. But i think it must be noted that a person cannot motivate himself to desire something that he has no interest in. You must be born again John 3:3-7. Once God grants by Grace the desire/will.... we get in the car and drive to the Gory of God.

    But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. Eph 2

    God Bless


  2. #17

    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit View Post
    Hello keyzer soze,

    I would say that each of these three points needs to be carefully examined (especially the first two). And I believe a portion of your 2nd point is totally wrong, although it is commonly taught. (I underlined that portion; it is part of an interpretational system called calvinism, which many other Christians like myself reject.)

    So, the first question to you would be: What do you think of when you say that God elects? What does that mean to you?
    Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
    19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit View Post
    The second question would be: What do you think of when you say that men are spiritually dead? What does that mean to you?
    Romans 3:10 as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
    Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
    Romans 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
    1 Cor 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
    Eph 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

    Quote Originally Posted by Bandit View Post
    Once you have answered these questions about your first two points, then your next question should be: is my current understanding of these two points in line with what the bible reveals? In what ways can election be understood? In what ways can spiritual death be understood? And which of the possibilities best fits with the whole of scripture?

    From the sound of your last question above about self-regeneration, your current understanding on these two points may be the cause of your struggle. Just something to think about.

    Bandit
    Then I believe this verse ties 1 & 2 together - Matt 19:25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” or could we rewrite it: "man is totally depraved = impossible, but God elects = possible."

  3. #18
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    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    Quote Originally Posted by keyzer soze View Post
    This is something that I am continuing to struggle with. I have a hard time understanding how these 3 doctrines fit together in evangelical Christianity.

    2 - Men are wicked, evil and spiritually DEAD, unable to save themselves. God must regenerate the heart before we can receive Him.
    To be dead in one's sins is not equivalent to being unable to recognize and acknowledge that you are a sinner and are in need of being regenerated. That is a false concept taught by the doctrinal system known as Calvinism. Salvation does not result from wicked people saving themselves, it results from sinners recognizing and acknowledging their sinful, lost state and then asking God for forgiveness and putting their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. God wants all people to be saved (1 Tim 2:3-6) and all people are called to repent (Acts 17:30-31). So, if someone doesn't repent they can't say that God didn't call them to repent because He didn't want them to be saved. If someone refuses to ever repent then it is entirely their own fault and their own choice that God will hold them responsible for on judgment day.

    A good number of the services that I have attended at my church and other evangelical churches typically end with an invitation to the lost to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. While I am NOT trying to say this is impossible or this is wrong, I struggle to understand how it doesn't fly in the face of election and depravity of man. How is the invitation not suggesting that we can self-regenerate?
    Regeneration itself results from being born of the Spirit. You don't have to be regenerated in order to recognize that you are a lost sinner and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation and the forgiveness of your sins. You are regenerated as a result of putting your faith and trust in Christ. Jesus compared the offer of salvation to a wedding invitation (Matt 22:1-14) so to invite people to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior goes along with what He taught.

  4. #19
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    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    Quote Originally Posted by keyzer soze View Post
    Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
    19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
    What do you think that passage is saying? If you conclude that it's saying God randomly has mercy on some and not others for reasons that He does not reveal then how would you explain this passage:

    Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

    God desires to have mercy upon all so if He does not have mercy upon someone what would be the reason for that? It would have to be the fault of the person, right? God wouldn't desire to have mercy on them but then inexplicably withhold mercy from them. There would have to be a reason and that reason would be their rejection of the gospel.

    Romans 3:10 as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
    This does not say that there are none who are capable of responding to the gospel with repentance and faith unless God forces them to. If you continue reading in the chapter you should see that what this means is that all people are sinners and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). That doesn't mean people are unable to repent and put their faith in Christ upon hearing the truth of the gospel.

    Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
    Context. Can man not help but suppress the truth or is that a choice that everyone must make (to accept or suppress the truth)? If there wasn't a choice in the matter then how could it be that man is without excuse if he suppresses the truth?

    Rom 1:18 For 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:

    Romans 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
    Man chooses what to set his mind on. This isn't saying that man cannot help but set his mind on the flesh.

    1 Cor 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
    This is speaking of the deep things of God in particular, not one's ability to understand the gospel and respond to it.

    1 Cor 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But 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.

    If you continue reading from there you can see that even immature Christians can be like "the natural man" and not accept "the deep things of God" because they are not mature enough yet to understand it.

    1 Cor 3:1 And 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?

    Eph 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
    To be dead in sins means you don't have a personal relationship with God because of your sin but that doesn't mean you are not capable of recognizing that you are a sinner and need to repent. You have to be careful of how you interpret the word "dead" there because it doesn't mean a person who is dead in sins is unable to hear the gospel and respond to it as God requires. Sinners are not dead in the sense of being unable to do anything. They are not spiritually dead in that sense, they are spiritually sick and in need of healing.

    Luke 5:30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? 31And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. 32I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    To be sick doesn't mean you are incapable of acknowledging that it's your own fault that you are sick or incapable of asking for help and healing. Jesus came to call sinners to repentance. Not just some sinners. All sinners.

  5. #20

    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    Quote Originally Posted by John146 View Post
    To be dead in one's sins is not equivalent to being unable to recognize and acknowledge that you are a sinner and are in need of being regenerated. That is a false concept taught by the doctrinal system known as Calvinism. Salvation does not result from wicked people saving themselves, it results from sinners recognizing and acknowledging their sinful, lost state and then asking God for forgiveness and putting their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. God wants all people to be saved (1 Tim 2:3-6) and all people are called to repent (Acts 17:30-31). So, if someone doesn't repent they can't say that God didn't call them to repent because He didn't want them to be saved. If someone refuses to ever repent then it is entirely their own fault and their own choice that God will hold them responsible for on judgment day.

    Regeneration itself results from being born of the Spirit. You don't have to be regenerated in order to recognize that you are a lost sinner and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation and the forgiveness of your sins. You are regenerated as a result of putting your faith and trust in Christ. Jesus compared the offer of salvation to a wedding invitation (Matt 22:1-14) so to invite people to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior goes along with what He taught.
    So how does grace work in the salvation process you describe above? Does everyone receive God's grace equally and it's up to us to choose ourselves? Is every man's heart not equally wicked then?

    In the salvation you describe wouldn't you be able to boast that you are forgiven because you brought yourself to repent?

  6. #21
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    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    Quote Originally Posted by keyzer soze View Post
    So how does grace work in the salvation process you describe above? Does everyone receive God's grace equally and it's up to us to choose ourselves?
    Salvation by grace through faith is offered to all people and it is the responsibility of each person to choose to accept the gospel message and put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

    Is every man's heart not equally wicked then?
    All people are born with a sinful nature but that doesn't mean we are born as purely evil people. How wicked a person becomes is affected by the choices they make as time goes on. You can read about that in Romans 1:18-32. It says people "became vain in their imaginations" and "became fools". They weren't born that way, they became that way because of the choice they made to reject God.

    In the salvation you describe wouldn't you be able to boast that you are forgiven because you brought yourself to repent?
    No. In the following parable do you think the publican would try to boast about what he did?

    Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13And 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. 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

  7. #22

    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    Quote Originally Posted by John146 View Post
    Salvation by grace through faith is offered to all people and it is the responsibility of each person to choose to accept the gospel message and put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

    All people are born with a sinful nature but that doesn't mean we are born as purely evil people. How wicked a person becomes is affected by the choices they make as time goes on. You can read about that in Romans 1:18-32. It says people "became vain in their imaginations" and "became fools". They weren't born that way, they became that way because of the choice they made to reject God.

    No. In the following parable do you think the publican would try to boast about what he did?

    Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13And 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. 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
    When I read that parable, I believe that I pretty much come away with the opposite conclusion that you do. To me it reads that the religious person believes that WITH God's help, he can save himself and he is recognizing and thanking God for that help. However, the tax collector recognizes the fact that he can not do a single thing, he is totally hopeless and throws himself at the mercy of God. He brings nothing to the table, not a thing, so its up to God to save him or not save him. It is by doing this very thing that Jesus declared him to be justified.

  8. #23
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    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    Quote Originally Posted by keyzer soze View Post
    When I read that parable, I believe that I pretty much come away with the opposite conclusion that you do. To me it reads that the religious person believes that WITH God's help, he can save himself and he is recognizing and thanking God for that help. However, the tax collector recognizes the fact that he can not do a single thing, he is totally hopeless and throws himself at the mercy of God. He brings nothing to the table, not a thing, so its up to God to save him or not save him. It is by doing this very thing that Jesus declared him to be justified.
    I'm not really seeing your point here. I think we are speaking from different perspectives and that is causing confusion. I'm not saying the publican brought anything to the table. He acknowledged that he didn't have anything to bring to the table. But did God force the publican to acknowledge that he was a sinner and to ask Him for mercy or did the publican choose to do that rather than choosing to think he was righteous like the Pharisee did?

  9. #24

    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    We are getting off track here. I obviously have a more "Calvinistic" view of salvation then you do but that was not the debate/conversation I was hoping to have. I was hoping to get an answer to my question from the Calvinistic believers so to speak. Perhaps all that hold to Calvinistic views find the concept (of the invitation to make a decision for Christ) non-biblical, I don't know, hence why I ask.

  10. #25

    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    Quote Originally Posted by John146 View Post
    I'm not really seeing your point here. I think we are speaking from different perspectives and that is causing confusion. I'm not saying the publican brought anything to the table. He acknowledged that he didn't have anything to bring to the table. But did God force the publican to acknowledge that he was a sinner and to ask Him for mercy or did the publican choose to do that rather than choosing to think he was righteous like the Pharisee did?
    I find this passage to back/support Calvinistic theology.

  11. #26
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    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    Quote Originally Posted by keyzer soze View Post
    I find this passage to back/support Calvinistic theology.
    How so? I don't see that at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by keyzer soze View Post
    We are getting off track here. I obviously have a more "Calvinistic" view of salvation then you do but that was not the debate/conversation I was hoping to have. I was hoping to get an answer to my question from the Calvinistic believers so to speak.
    Then why didn't you say so in your original post? Why wouldn't you also want the opinions of those who are not Calvinists?

  12. #27

    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    Quote Originally Posted by John146 View Post
    How so? I don't see that at all.

    Then why didn't you say so in your original post? Why wouldn't you also want the opinions of those who are not Calvinists?
    I am new to the site and semi-new to all these different views inside of Protestantism so to be honest I didn't really foresee the objection to the theology of election when I wrote the OP.

    As for your opinion, I appreciate you taking the time to respond however I believe the road we are going down here is more along the lines of God's sovereignty, free-will and election and how that all ties together when all I was attempting to ask was are there any Calvinistic fans out there who believe in the total depravity of man but justify using the "invitation to accept Jesus" as biblical.

  13. #28
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    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    Quote Originally Posted by keyzer soze View Post
    I am new to the site and semi-new to all these different views inside of Protestantism so to be honest I didn't really foresee the objection to the theology of election when I wrote the OP.
    The Calvinist view is a minority view on this site.

    As for your opinion, I appreciate you taking the time to respond however I believe the road we are going down here is more along the lines of God's sovereignty, free-will and election and how that all ties together when all I was attempting to ask was are there any Calvinistic fans out there who believe in the total depravity of man but justify using the "invitation to accept Jesus" as biblical.
    I think you should change the wording of your original post to reflect that then because you didn't say anything like that in your original post.

  14. #29

    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    Quote Originally Posted by John146 View Post
    The Calvinist view is a minority view on this site.

    I think you should change the wording of your original post to reflect that then because you didn't say anything like that in your original post.
    Calvinist view is a minority here, that surprises me. How does the majority deal with the sovereignty of God? While it was a tough "pill for me to swallow" I came to grips with the fact that God is God and He can do whatever He wants with His creation, for His pleasure.

    3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.

  15. #30
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    Re: Decision for Christ vs. Election & (depravity of man)

    Quote Originally Posted by keyzer soze View Post
    Calvinist view is a minority here, that surprises me. How does the majority deal with the sovereignty of God? While it was a tough "pill for me to swallow" I came to grips with the fact that God is God and He can do whatever He wants with His creation, for His pleasure.

    3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
    Not one person here would say otherwise. Of course He can do what He pleases but it so happens that it pleased Him to send His Son to die for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1-2) and it so happens that He wants all people to be saved (1 Tim 2:3-6) and it so happens that it pleased Him to determine that He would command all people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30-31). Therefore, for Him to do whatever He pleases doesn't mean He just does things randomly for no real reason. He wants all people to be saved and offers salvation to all people and requires everyone to choose what to believe and who they want to serve (Josh 24:15). It pleased Him to make things that way.

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