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justsurfing
Sep 11th 2007, 06:40 PM
I'd like to discuss "prevenient grace". This doctrine, when it's broken down, gives glory to the flesh and states that the flesh is ultimately responsible for a decision for Christ. Flesh can prevent... or permit... a new man's decision for Christ. This makes the flesh, the old man, ultimately in control of the new man's decision for Jesus Christ. Rather than the flesh being crucified, prevenient grace declares that the flesh is responsible for allowing or disallowing the will of the new man in Christ.

This doctrine gives the glory for salvation to the will of the flesh... the old man. Logically, the confusion created between the old and the new... in functionality... declares the old man to be the new man. The old man is the new man in this confused lack of separation between good and evil. That's "bait and switch": the old man counterfeiting the new man. It's not true... it's just the old man pretending to be something he's not, imo: both good and the ultimate decision-maker of the new man.

The old man must be declared sinful and incapable of any good... and all decisions for God must be stated to be the decision of the new man.

(I have books on John Wesley... and sermons by him. I very much appreciate him as a whole. But I find Mr. Wesley to be in error on this point.)

I would like to discuss "prevenient grace" which is "preventative grace" that declares man and will of the flesh, in final submission, greater than God.

God bless,

js


Prevenient grace

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Prevenient Grace (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Prevenient_Grace&redirect=no))•


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6a/John_Wesley_clipped.png/125px-John_Wesley_clipped.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:John_Wesley_clipped.png) John Wesley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wesley)





Prevenient grace is a Christian theological (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_theology) concept rooted in Augustinian theology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine_of_Hippo)[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevenient_Grace#_note-0) and embraced primarily by Arminian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arminianism) Christians who are influenced by the theology of John Wesley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wesley) and who are part of the Methodist movement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methodism). Wesley typically referred to it in 18th century language as preventing grace. In modern English, the phrase preceding grace would have a similar meaning.
Prevenient grace is divine grace (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_grace) which precedes human decision. It exists prior to and without reference to anything humans may have done. As humans are corrupted by the effects of sin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin), prevenient grace allows persons to engage their God-given free will (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will) to choose the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ or to reject that salvific offer.

sunney4
Sep 11th 2007, 06:42 PM
I haven't thought about it that way, good point.

justsurfing
Sep 11th 2007, 06:47 PM
To become mature... to receive full revelation... this is the path as I see it in illumination and discernment: completely separate good from evil in our own understandings.

Because... this is the truth: good and evil are completely separated in truth.

Hebrews 5:13-14 (New International Version)

13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.



God is good. The devil is bad.

The new divine nature is good. The old sinful nature is bad.

The new spirit of a born-again believer is good. The old carnal nature (the flesh) is bad.

The old man is bad. The new man is good.

We must separate good and evil in our understanding... completely... to see biblical truth and rightly divide the scripture.

We will see God as He is in Jesus Christ: 100% God, 100% good, 100% grace... when we separate good from evil completely.

This is what God taught me in pursuit of spiritual perfection (maturity).

See everything at the level of 100%... there is no shadow of turning with God.

Don't mix good and evil at all in one's understanding... and one will come to maturity... know the truth... and be set free.

God bless!

js

Ta-An
Sep 11th 2007, 06:58 PM
May you all be blessed by the rememberance of what Christ has done for each one of us... Prevenient grace!!! While I was being knitted together in my Mother's womb, His Prevenient Grace was available to me already...
It is impossible to live without sin for us humans.... and G_d made that grace available for us, even before we are born.... yet we need to accept His agape love..... and once you have done that, you are moved to a life of gratitude....

A decition made by us in the flesh to accept Him... maybe yes, because we were not created to be robots, but with a mind of our own to choose Him as Savior of our souls :)

The emphasis is not on our choosing, but on that what was made available for us!!

Before you and I even needed this grace He has provided it already, and it is ours for the acceptance of Him.

Brother Mark
Sep 11th 2007, 07:08 PM
Hmmm.

Josh 24:15
15 And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD , choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD ."
NASB

We are told to choose. So choose we must. Let's not get in one ditch or the other. One ditch suggest only God chooses. The other ditch suggest only men choose. But scripture teaches both. ;)

justsurfing
Sep 11th 2007, 07:11 PM
[quote=ACCM;1378368]May you all be blessed by the rememberance of what Christ has done for each one of us... Prevenient grace!!! While I was being knitted together in my Mother's womb, His Prevenient Grace was available to me already...

If preventative grace was available to you... you would have been able, by your will, to prevent your birth being greater than God who knit you together in your mothers womb.

If preventative grace was true... you would have made the decision to be conceived and born of your mother.

You would have been able to prevent God's grace by your own will and you would have decided of your own will... because you are greater than your Creator... not to have been created, formed, or birthed.


It is impossible to live without sin for us humans.

Amen.


G_d made that grace available for us, even before we are born

God had to do more than just make birth available to you. As your Creator, He had to decide by total 100% grace to create you, love you, form you, watch over you, walk with you, carry you, and do all things pertaining to your needs.


Yet we need to accept His agape love..

The old man does not do this work of faith. The new man does... by God's 100% glorious, magnificent, total, all-sufficient grace!

God has no grace that the will of the flesh can prevent.


... and once you have done that, you are moved to a life of gratitude....

Amen.


A decition made by us in the flesh to accept Him.

The flesh makes no decision for Christ. It is by grace and grace alone that we are saved... because nothing less than 100% grace... full, total, complete, and entire... that cannot be prevented... is all-sufficient to meet our needs.

Let's not sell God's grace short... less than full, complete, total, entire... 100%!

Let's believe the best of God... that His love is so great... His grace is greater than all our sin... and so great it cannot be prevented!

Anything that can be prevented... is not all-sufficient to meet our need... and makes God, in our own imagination, less loving and less gracious than He really is in Christ, imo: fully, totally, completely... at the level of 100%.

His power is not reduced by our lack of faith. Though we are faithless, God is faithful.


.. maybe yes, because we were not created to be robots, but with a mind of our own to choose Him as Savior of our souls :)


Amen. We are lovers.. not robots. This isn't the Stepford Wives. :) We are the bride of Christ... and we are spirit... and we are loving because God who is Love has shed the love of God abroad on our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

God is Love... and in Him is no shadow of turning. Everything He does by His Spirit... He does by Love... and only the flesh would ever resist such love. Our spirits, born of God, are comprised of God's love... we're love children of Abba Father.

He's my Abba Father. I am his lovechild. :) I'm not being forced to love Jesus or God the Father. I love Him because He first loved me.

It's about... looooooooooooooooove.

And no one can be "forced" to love someone else. They can, however, be... inspired... by Love.

;)


The emphasis is not on our choosing, but on that what was made available for us!![

The emphasis must be on God's Love... and that at the level of 100%. Then the will of the flesh will not counterfeit the Love of God or the will of the new man in love to choose Christ.

We'll know God at a new... love level... when we see... God's grace is 100%... because nothing short of that... could save those who have fallen short of His glory.

God is 100% Love. God is Love. And what God does by grace He does by His own Spirit, His own Being of Love... in 100% Love and Grace in the Lord Jesus Christ.

It's simply irresistible... that kind of Love. To be touched by the Spirit in our hearts by that Love... is to be drawn into God's very own heart by Love... willingly in the Lord Jesus Christ.

God bless,

js

justsurfing
Sep 11th 2007, 07:23 PM
Hmmm.

Josh 24:15
15 And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD , choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD ."
NASB

We are told to choose. So choose we must. Let's not get in one ditch or the other. One ditch suggest only God chooses. The other ditch suggest only men choose. But scripture teaches both. ;)

God tells us to obey the law perfectly. But we can't.

God tells us to choose Christ. But we can't according to the flesh. Nothing good dwells in the flesh.

When we choose Christ, it is not only because we were commanded to choose Christ... but because God gave us a new heart and will to choose Christ.

Galatians 6:15 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=55&chapter=6&verse=15&version=31&context=verse)
Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

The Word and the Spirit are one. God does not command us to do something and watch from afar to see if we will perform to His specifications. He knows we will not and cannot. When God says, "Choose!"... He knows that when His Spirit comes inside of us in power to reveal Jesus Christ in us... to form Jesus in us... then we have power (as Saul who was made to become Saul) to choose Christ.

The power is not in us... until the power comes in us... as the revelation of Jesus Christ came into Saul who became Paul.

Galatians 1:14-16 (King James Version)


14And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
15But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
16To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:



It's not that there's a "ditch"... it's that the dividing center line is not clear in our own understandings... to clearly see good and evil completely separated on either side of the line.

We cannot reveal Jesus to ourselves... in us. The Holy Spirit does that work. And without that work, we do not belong to God... nor shall we choose Him. Saul did not choose Christ by the will of the flesh. Saul, like all of us born of God, choose Christ by revelation by the Spirit of Jesus... worked in us by God by grace.

If Saul could have prevented it, he would have. He could not. None of us can.

Prevenient grace is not on the road. It swerved off the road not knowing where the line between good and evil is... and went in a ditch.

On the road on the right are those born of God... completely good in Christ.

On the road on the left are those who are not born of God... with sinful natures completely bad and with flesh in which nothing good dwells.


We need an infusion of the Spirit in revelation of Jesus... and we need this revelation to be Jesus in us.



John 17:6 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=50&chapter=17&verse=6&version=31&context=verse)
[ Jesus Prays for His Disciples ] "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.

God bless!

js

Ta-An
Sep 11th 2007, 07:36 PM
G_d's grace is avaiable to all, He gives it to you, it is His love-gift to you, but you still have to choose to unwrap that gift..... just sitting with it on the shelf is no good at all, you need to accept, unwrap and enjoy it!! G_d stands at the door of your heart, and He knocks, and it is for you to choose to open that door, He will not barge it .... I suppose yes, He has to knock for you to open :hmm: but then we move into predestination... ???

Theophilus
Sep 11th 2007, 07:45 PM
From the Church of the Nazarene, Articles of Faith, Section 7, Prevenient Grace:

7. We believe that the human race’s creation in Godlikeness included ability to choose between right and wrong, and that thus human beings were made morally responsible; that through the fall of Adam they became depraved so that they cannot now turn and prepare themselves by their own natural strength and works to faith and calling upon God.

But we also believe that the grace of God through Jesus Christ is freely bestowed upon all people, enabling all who will to turn from sin to righteousness, believe on Jesus Christ for pardon and cleansing from sin, and follow good works pleasing and acceptable in His sight.

Following are Scriptures that address the things brought up in this article of faith:

Godlikeness and moral responsibility: Genesis 1:26-27; 2:16-17; Deuteronomy 28:1-2; 30:19; Joshua 24:15; Psalm 8:3-5; Isaiah 1:8-10; Jeremiah 31:29-30; Ezekiel 18:1-4; Micah 6:8; Romans 1:19-20; 2:1-16; 14:7-12; Galatians 6:7-8

Natural inability: Job 14:4; 15:14; Psalms 14:1-4; 51:5; John 3:6a; Romans 3:10-12; 5:12-14, 20a; 7:14-25

Free grace and works of faith: Ezekiel 18:25-26; John 1:12-13; 3:6b; Acts 5:31; Romans 5:6-8, 18; 6:15-16, 23; 10:6-8; 11:22; 1 Corinthians 2:9-14; 10:1-12; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Galatians 5:6; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:21-23; 2 Timothy 4:10a; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 3:12-15; 6:4-6; 10:26-31; James 2:18-22; 2 Peter 1:10-11; 2:20-22


First of all, the word prevenient means coming before, or preceding, for all you vocab. lovers out there.

Now, I'm going to keep this brief, but here is my understanding of prevenient grace, as taught by the COTN: It is what we call "the grace that goes before." By that we mean the grace that is at work prior to salvation...that working of the Holy Spirit to continually nudge people toward their realization of their depraved and sinful existence, and the need for a Savior.

God freely gives grace, and this grace enables and invites human response. We see our "lostness"...we see ourselves as the wicked sinners that we are...and can cry out in repentance, and ask for forgiveness...and be reborn in Him.

My understanding of prevenient grace does not give glory to the flesh in any way...instead, it shows that God is at constantly at work to save the lost. If one rejects God's grace, that in no way glorifies the flesh...it only points to the arrogance and stupidity of sinful man.

...but then, I'm an unabashed Wesleyan/Holiness Arminian. :)

justsurfing
Sep 11th 2007, 08:36 PM
[quote=ACCM;1378429]G_d's grace is avaiable to all, He gives it to you, it is His love-gift to you, but you still have to choose to unwrap that gift..... just sitting with it on the shelf is no good at all, you need to accept, unwrap and enjoy it!!

But the gift isn't on a shelf. The gift is applied to our hearts the moment we believe. You hear a message, you believe it... you've received it.... by believing it.


G_d stands at the door of your heart, and He knocks, and it is for you to choose to open that door, He will not barge it .... I suppose yes, He has to knock for you to open

If you don't hear Him knocking, will you answer the door?

:hmm:


but then we move into predestination... ???

Is there anything not scriptural about predestination?

Romans 8:29 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=8&verse=29&version=9&context=verse)For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Romans 8:30 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=8&verse=30&version=9&context=verse)Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Ephesians 1:5 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=56&chapter=1&verse=5&version=9&context=verse)Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Ephesians 1:11 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=56&chapter=1&verse=11&version=9&context=verse)In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Personally, I believe God has predestined all of us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself... according to the good pleasure of His will... according to His purpose.

I believe God works all things together after the counsel of His own will.

We're foreknown and we are predestined to the adoption of children... and there is nothing true about preventative grace.

What force is contrary to and seeks to prevents grace? Sin.

What person is contrary to and seeks to prevent grace? Satan.

What nature is contrary to and seeks to prevent grace? The sinful/old nature.

To believe in "preventive grace", therefore, is to believe in the force of sin, the person of Satan, the sinful/old nature... being greater than God... because God is the God of all grace. (100% grace).

Anything with the term "preventative" should not be used theologically in a phrase joined to the word "grace". We should recognize, imo, that we're being "hoodwinked" into believing something inconsistent with the power, the glory, the character, the nature of our God... the God of all grace.

God would be a pretty conflicted lost soul if He provided "preventative grace"? A house divided cannot stand.

Either grace is grace... or it isn't. But to call God's grace something that destroys itself... doesn't sound like God talking. Preventative grace is self-destructive "grace"... something that destroys itself... like sin does.

Heads up. "Red flag" on the play.

God is the God of all grace.

1 Peter 5:10 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=67&chapter=5&verse=10&version=9&context=verse)
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

God is not confused. He is not conflicted. He is not fighting Himself. He is not a God of "preventative grace".

God is the God of all grace... and in Him there is no shadow of turning.

If grace isn't 100% grace... through and through... consistently... it's not an accurate representation of the truth of God's heart, His character, His nature, His essence, His being... His Love!

God bless,

js

justsurfing
Sep 11th 2007, 08:56 PM
First of all, the word prevenient means coming before, or preceding, for all you vocab. lovers out there.
It's preventative. Please see above. Coming before, preceding? Let's be honestly all-inclusive of what it means and represents... and how it represents God and God's grace. We can't make a silk purse out of this one. It's stating that it's able to be... "prevented"... thus prevenient grace. (See above wikipedia quote)... and it places man above God in the hierarchy of God's power and authority... God's grace.



Now, I'm going to keep this brief, but here is my understanding of prevenient grace, as taught by the COTN: It is what we call "the grace that goes before." By that we mean the grace that is at work prior to salvation...that working of the Holy Spirit to continually nudge people toward their realization of their depraved and sinful existence, and the need for a Savior.It's like an abortion. Like birth that can be prevented by the will of man.

Let's call it abortion. What God seeks to birth... man aborts. It's his will, his body, his baby! And he has power to abort... Jesus Christ.

And God has no power to form Jesus Christ in a person... like God did in Saul... purely by grace and His own will and power.

Abortive "grace".

I cannot "pretty up" this doctrine... it's like asking a right-to-lifer to say that abortion is "preventative grace". I feel passionately about the beauty of God's 100% grace... and the significant importance of the blinders coming off the eyes of God's children to see the beauty of God's 100% grace. And I cannot compromise with this abortive term that declares God's grace, love, and power to be insufficient to meet our needs... leaving us to die... and commit suicide... and commit abortion... because He just doesn't care enough... or isn't powerful enough to really love us... and get the job done for us in Jesus' name. No disrespect intended... to you... but no quarter given to this doctrine. I want it uprooted from the hearts and minds of God's children... so they can enter into the fullness of the Love of God and the Grace of God in the Lord Jesus Christ to those who believe.

100% - NOTHING MISSING - NOTHING LACKING - NOTHING BROKEN - IT'S WHOLLY - HOLY!!! - GRACE!!! & LOVE.

IT'S JESUS CHRIST PERSONIFIED!!!And that's why I can't give quarter or compromise.

We need to see Jesus just as He is: 100% Love; 100% Grace; 100% All-Powerful; 100% All-Sufficient to meet our needs.




God freely gives grace, and this grace enables and invites human response. We see our "lostness"...we see ourselves as the wicked sinners that we are...and can cry out in repentance, and ask for forgiveness...and be reborn in Him.
And how do we see this apart from the grace of God? Apart from the convicting power of the Holy Spirit? Apart from the revelation of who Jesus Christ is?

How can we come to Jesus unless we know who He is?

And who can reveal this to us? Flesh and blood cannot.

How can a unbeliever become a believer apart from the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit opening his eyes so that he sees what he could not see and know what he could not know?

And who would choose Christ without believing He is the Son of God?

God?


My understanding of prevenient grace does not give glory to the flesh in any way...instead, it shows that God is at constantly at work to save the lost. If one rejects God's grace, that in no way glorifies the flesh...it only points to the arrogance and stupidity of sinful man.

.Oh it glorifies the arrogance and stupidity of sinful man... and states that man in his arrogance and stupidity has power to choose Christ of his own knowledge... not needing further grace to reveal to him who Jesus Christ is.


..but then, I'm an unabashed Wesleyan/Holiness Arminian. :)I like John Wesley. I like how he pursued holiness and the presence and power of God.

But I think he would have pressed in further had he given all glory to God and seen Jesus at the level of 100%. I believe he would have pressed in further to the true holiness of God by spiritual means.

Though he did an excellent job of seeking the Lord and finding him the best he was enabled and empowered to do with the revelation of God's Word he had.

Hat's off to John Wesley... but I don't have the same respect for this doctrine I do have for John Wesley in his sincerity and striving for perfection.

There's a better way. Jesus.

And I'm talking about the true path to perfection, maturity, and inner holiness by a work of the Holy Spirit in revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the grace of God... at the level of perfection and maturity: 100%!!!

That's Jesus as He truly is... and I want to see Him in my heart at that level.

:)

Thanks for the post... I can't give quarter to the doctrine... but think if anyone is truly a holiness seeker... let's press in!!!!

Let's go for the glory.

:)

Love in Christ,

js

Theophilus
Sep 12th 2007, 01:29 PM
It's preventative. Please see above. Coming before, preceding? Let's be honestly all-inclusive of what it means and represents... and how it represents God and God's grace. We can't make a silk purse out of this one. It's stating that it's able to be... "prevented"... thus prevenient grace. (See above wikipedia quote)... and it places man above God in the hierarchy of God's power and authority... God's grace.
Ma'am, I daresay as someone studying to be ordained in the Church of the Nazarene that I know a shade more about prevenient grace than a Wikipedia article (bastion of theological truth that Wikipedia is, notwithstanding :rolleyes:). I also have no reason to lie...no motivation whatsoever. Thus, you can believe me, or you can believe Wikipedia...your choice.

...and as such, I'm telling you unequivocally and without reservation, prevenient means preceding, and is used as an adjective to describe the grace. Again, it is grace that comes before salvation, working to awaken the soul to it's perilous state.

It is only "preventative" in the sense that it can cause someone to realize their sinful state, and aid in "preventing" them from going to hell.

As for grace being able to be prevented...well...grace is a gift, freely given. Something that can be given can also be rejected...unless we're talking irresistible grace, and then we're going down another path, and there's no need to even discuss prevenient grace if you hold to Calvin...that is, unless this is a not a "discussion" about prevenient grace, but instead a thread started with the intent of refuting Wesleyan teaching... :hmm:



It's like an abortion. Like birth that can be prevented by the will of man.

Let's call it abortion. What God seeks to birth... man aborts. It's his will, his body, his baby! And he has power to abort... Jesus Christ.

That's a rather caustic term to apply to something that you continue to define incorrectly (presuming, of course, that I'm neither lying or incorrect about the definition of prevenient grace). From my perspective, you are calling God's grace an "abortion."

You know, I may not agree with, for example, all the tenets of Calvinism, but before I'd ever discuss them, I'd make sure I knew what the terminology truly meant.

...and respecting John Calvin as I do (and as John Wesley did), I for sure would never liken the doctrine of, say, "Irresistable Grace" to an abortion. (I would note that irresistable, like prevenient, is an adjective describing grace, just as an aside.)



And God has no power to form Jesus Christ in a person... like God did in Saul... purely by grace and His own will and power.

Abortive "grace".

I cannot "pretty up" this doctrine... it's like asking a right-to-lifer to say that abortion is "preventative grace". I feel passionately about the beauty of God's 100% grace... and the significant importance of the blinders coming off the eyes of God's children to see the beauty of God's 100% grace. And I cannot compromise with this abortive term that declares God's grace, love, and power to be insufficient to meet our needs... leaving us to die... and commit suicide... and commit abortion... because He just doesn't care enough... or isn't powerful enough to really love us... and get the job done for us in Jesus' name. No disrespect intended... to you... but no quarter given to this doctrine. I want it uprooted from the hearts and minds of God's children... so they can enter into the fullness of the Love of God and the Grace of God in the Lord Jesus Christ to those who believe.

100% - NOTHING MISSING - NOTHING LACKING - NOTHING BROKEN - IT'S WHOLLY - HOLY!!! - GRACE!!! & LOVE.

IT'S JESUS CHRIST PERSONIFIED!!!And that's why I can't give quarter or compromise.

We need to see Jesus just as He is: 100% Love; 100% Grace; 100% All-Powerful; 100% All-Sufficient to meet our needs.



And how do we see this apart from the grace of God? Apart from the convicting power of the Holy Spirit? Apart from the revelation of who Jesus Christ is?

How can we come to Jesus unless we know who He is?

And who can reveal this to us? Flesh and blood cannot.

How can a unbeliever become a believer apart from the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit opening his eyes so that he sees what he could not see and know what he could not know?

And who would choose Christ without believing He is the Son of God?

God?

Oh it glorifies the arrogance and stupidity of sinful man... and states that man in his arrogance and stupidity has power to choose Christ of his own knowledge... not needing further grace to reveal to him who Jesus Christ is.

I like John Wesley. I like how he pursued holiness and the presence and power of God.

But I think he would have pressed in further had he given all glory to God and seen Jesus at the level of 100%. I believe he would have pressed in further to the true holiness of God by spiritual means.

Though he did an excellent job of seeking the Lord and finding him the best he was enabled and empowered to do with the revelation of God's Word he had.

Hat's off to John Wesley... but I don't have the same respect for this doctrine I do have for John Wesley in his sincerity and striving for perfection.

There's a better way. Jesus.

And I'm talking about the true path to perfection, maturity, and inner holiness by a work of the Holy Spirit in revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the grace of God... at the level of perfection and maturity: 100%!!!

That's Jesus as He truly is... and I want to see Him in my heart at that level.

:)

Thanks for the post... I can't give quarter to the doctrine... but think if anyone is truly a holiness seeker... let's press in!!!!

Let's go for the glory.

:)

Love in Christ,

js

I'm not even going to bother with the rest of what you wrote. You claimed early on you wanted to discuss prevenient grace...but you have a strange way of "discussing" things. It appears to me you want to expound your position, and condemn an opposing viewpoint with perjorative terms. I have done my best to be non-emotional and gracious in the face of something that attacks what I believe to be true.

You'll get more flies with honey than vinegar. You could have refuted prevenient grace with scripture, and with what you perceive the truth to be, spoken in love...but, in my humble opinion, you didn't. You may call it speaking plainly, or heralding the truth, or offending the mind to save the soul...but I call it harsh and ingracious, disguised as a truth.

As for giving quarter, why would I expect any?

Rather ironic, though, given the topic.

kejonn
Sep 12th 2007, 02:05 PM
Let me get this straight because I've never heard of the term "prevenient grace" but are some here saying that the flesh is glorified because the final decision to accept the free gift of God lies with the individual? This seems to be the summation of the OP. If that is the case, do not all of our final decisions lie within ourselves? We choose to follow God's chosen path for our lives or not. God draws but we must answer. We are not mindless meat puppets, and to me that is what makes our relationship with Him so awesome: free will, and choosing by free will to serve Him. It makes the love so much more meaningful.

But I don't know if I would attribute it to "flesh" as we see the term used in the Bible. The flesh wars against the spirit. Therefore, it is our spirit that responds to the calling and makes the decision, our flesh resists it.

Just my opinion based on my own life ;).

justsurfing
Sep 12th 2007, 02:23 PM
[quote=Theophilus;1379131]Ma'am, I daresay as someone studying to be ordained in the Church of the Nazarene that I know a shade more about prevenient grace than a Wikipedia article (bastion of theological truth that Wikipedia is, notwithstanding :rolleyes:). I also have no reason to lie...no motivation whatsoever. Thus, you can believe me, or you can believe Wikipedia...your choice.


Perspective. I believe you see an angle of it... but a diamond (and a concept) has numerous facets.


...and as such, I'm telling you unequivocally and without reservation, prevenient means preceding, and is used as an adjective to describe the grace. Again, it is grace that comes before salvation, working to awaken the soul to it's perilous state.


Where is the grace... within or without in your view?


It is only "preventative" in the sense that it can cause someone to realize their sinful state, and aid in "preventing" them from going to hell.

As for grace being able to be prevented...well...grace is a gift, freely given. Something that can be given can also be rejected...unless we're talking irresistible grace, and then we're going down another path, and there's no need to even discuss prevenient grace if you hold to Calvin...that is, unless this is a not a "discussion" about prevenient grace, but instead a thread started with the intent of refuting Wesleyan teaching... :hmm:


There are only 2 ways to understand grace: irresistable or preventable. If grace is preventable... the will of man and of the flesh is responsible for salvation, the old nature/sinful nature is stronger than God and makes the decision for salvation. The old nature is called the new nature and awarded the attributes of the new nature.



That's a rather caustic term to apply to something that you continue to define incorrectly (presuming, of course, that I'm neither lying or incorrect about the definition of prevenient grace). From my perspective, you are calling God's grace an "abortion."


Preventing God's grace is abortive. It's merely clearly defining the reality of what aborting the grace of God represents. God's grace clearly is not nor could ever be "abortive".

Hence the conflict of calling grace preventable or abortive is shown to be error. The doctrine that declares God's grace is preventable is not positive, nor beneficent, but rather as inconsistent with God's character and nature as "abortive grace" would be. It's completely deceptive in packaging it in any form of glowing terms... because the doctrine, to me, is a wolf in sheep's clothing. And calling sin sin is what we do as Christians... and calling it "abortive grace".. to me, is absolutely consistent with the wolf under the sheep's clothing of "preceding grace". It's there under the sheep's clothing... when I've looked.

And I'd like to point it out.


You know, I may not agree with, for example, all the tenets of Calvinism, but before I'd ever discuss them, I'd make sure I knew what the terminology truly meant.


Again, "abortive grace" is a core component feature of the doctrine. According to the doctrine, man aborts Jesus Christ by the will of the flesh... or births Jesus Christ by the same will. The old nature is given credit for what the new nature does... and God's grace. There is no separation of good and evil in this doctrine... and confusion results. Clearly separating the old from the new takes the sheep's clothing off what underlies this doctrine.

That's what I want to discuss. I would not necessarily accept the labels Calvinism places on it's points. I'd rename them from my own perspective according to the reality I see.


...and respecting John Calvin as I do (and as John Wesley did), I for sure would never liken the doctrine of, say, "Irresistable Grace" to an abortion. (I would note that irresistable, like prevenient, is an adjective describing grace, just as an aside.)


One modifies the term "grace" by the adjective... and to modify God's grace in a matter the opposite of the meaning of grace is to wrap a wolf in the sheep's clothing of "grace". As a Christian, I call sin sin and error error according to my understanding of biblical truth.

On another thread, I was accused of not caring about doctrine... because I believe in a strong focus in a church of church ministry to the poor. Here, I'm accused of disrespecting John Wesley because I'm doing what they said a person like me doesn't do: address false doctrine and not compromise by calling good evil or evil good.

The doctrine gives man power over God to abort God's grace.


I'm not even going to bother with the rest of what you wrote. You claimed early on you wanted to discuss prevenient grace...but you have a strange way of "discussing" things. It appears to me you want to expound your position, and condemn an opposing viewpoint with perjorative terms. I have done my best to be non-emotional and gracious in the face of something that attacks what I believe to be true.


I haven't attacked you. I have called preventative grace in a more clear term of what it actually represents.

Irresistable grace could be called, accurately, birthing grace. Likewise, prevenient grace can be called, accurately, abortive grace.

And abortive or preventative is not an adjective consistent with the term "grace". It completely alters the meaning of the noun it modifies. It needs to be exposed for what it is... and I define it as I've defined it because it's the truth of what the doctrine says man can do with the birthing power of the Holy Spirit to birth Jesus Christ: abort.


You'll get more flies with honey than vinegar. You could have refuted prevenient grace with scripture, and with what you perceive the truth to be, spoken in love...but, in my humble opinion, you didn't. You may call it speaking plainly, or heralding the truth, or offending the mind to save the soul...but I call it harsh and ingracious, disguised as a truth.


When I call physical abortion murder... that's regarded as harsh and ingracious. I didn't call John Wesley any names. I called a doctrine the reality of what the doctrine says and does... showing, imo and from my perspective, the reality of what the doctrine says man does.

Grace is grace... and any term that describes grace theologically... as an opposite of what the noun grace means... thereby corrupting the meaning of the word "grace" in opposition by association and merger with it... requires it to be clearly pointed out.

I'm sure I wasn't politically correct in so doing.

But if I was politically correct, in my opinion, I'd be re-naming grace in a slanderous manner by calling it preventable. I'd say that preventable only means preceding... further disguising the reality of the grievous injury I'd done to the indescribable true beauty of the term "grace".

And, well, when I speak truth in the Holy Spirit about a doctrine - not a person - I'm not called to love a doctrine that I believe is to be injurious to the truth and contrary to grace. I guess I don't tickle ears.

But my experience is in person... when I stand up and speak it the way I tried to type it here... people shake from head to toe and hit the ground face down... :)... and I'm sure that the same effect is not felt by words on a screen, not live,... and from a distance.

I don't raise my voice. Incredible power of the Holy Spirit moves through me... and folks say it's like being struck by lightning at times. :) Sometimes it's glory, sometimes it's like electricity, others like a river pouring out, and sometimes it's like when lightning strikes... people have told me... :) It's not intended to be vinegar... sorry if it sounds that way on a screen. :)

We'll agree to disagree on the doctrine... but I really do like that John Wesley!!! That holiness, presence and power of God seeking John Wesley!!

I can't be politically correct with my terms...

Have a great day.

God bless,

js

Theophilus
Sep 12th 2007, 04:15 PM
Perspective. I believe you see an angle of it... but a diamond (and a concept) has numerous facets.

Well, I guess my myopia could be attibuted to my youthfulness. God grant that we all grow in grace and wisdom, and that the Holy Spirit guides us into the fulness of truth...not my truth, or your truth, but His Truth. :)



Where is the grace... within or without in your view?
Within or without what? Pardon my lack of understanding, but please expound on what you're asking...:hmm:




There are only 2 ways to understand grace: irresistable or preventable. If grace is preventable... the will of man and of the flesh is responsible for salvation, the old nature/sinful nature is stronger than God and makes the decision for salvation. The old nature is called the new nature and awarded the attributes of the new nature.

:rolleyes:
No one who has ever studied Wesley's teachings would ever say that he believed we are responsible for our salvation.

No one who understands prevenient grace (again, grace preceding (prior to) salvation) as a Wesleyan does would ever say that we are stronger than God in any way, shape, or form.

We simply believe that God acts graciously in many ways...and we can choose to reject His grace. That doesn't make us stronger than God...it only makes us eternally damned, and reveals the truth in Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

Who will go to that lake of fire described in Revelation 21:8? Included in that list there is "the unbelievers". What do they not believe? The Gospel...and in rejecting the Gospel, they've rejected the grace contained therein.


Preventing God's grace is abortive. It's merely clearly defining the reality of what aborting the grace of God represents. God's grace clearly is not nor could ever be "abortive".

Preventing God' grace? I don't think anything can prevent it ...He is sovereign, after all. He will graciously extend His grace even if we reject it...and go right on extending it, until one of two things happen:

1. We finally respond to His grace, become one with Him, and enjoy His grace all of our days.

-or-

2. We reject it the final time, and go into eternity without Him.

Again, prevenient grace is merely grace extended to us prior to salvation...the drawing of the Holy Spirit, the revealing of God in creation (as mentioned in Psalm 19), the Bible, preaching, etc...all examples of His grace to get us to open that door He so insistently knocks on. We don't maintain that you can prevent His grace...we only maintain that you can reject His grace...and be damned for it.

If you choose to imply that Wesleyans somehow claim superiority to God because we can reject His grace, that's your perogative...but I humbly submit that Wesleyans will deny such a thing to their dying breath.


Hence the conflict of calling grace preventable or abortive is shown to be error. The doctrine that declares God's grace is preventable is not positive, nor beneficent, but rather as inconsistent with God's character and nature as "abortive grace" would be. It's completely deceptive in packaging it in any form of glowing terms... because the doctrine, to me, is a wolf in sheep's clothing. And calling sin sin is what we do as Christians... and calling it "abortive grace".. to me, is absolutely consistent with the wolf under the sheep's clothing of "preceding grace". It's there under the sheep's clothing... when I've looked.

And I'd like to point it out.


And I'd like to point out that Wesleyans do not call grace preventable...we call it prevenient. This is starting to sound like a broken record, but we're not calling God's grace something that can be prevented...Who can stop God? He will do what He will...and His will is to extend grace.

We're saying that we can reject His kind and generous gift of grace.

For the last time, prevenient grace in Wesleyan doctrine means grace that God extends to open our eyes to our need for Him...all prior to salvation.




Again, "abortive grace" is a core component feature of the doctrine. According to the doctrine, man aborts Jesus Christ by the will of the flesh... or births Jesus Christ by the same will. The old nature is given credit for what the new nature does... and God's grace. There is no separation of good and evil in this doctrine... and confusion results. Clearly separating the old from the new takes the sheep's clothing off what underlies this doctrine.


Abort Christ? Something must be living inside you to abort it. Although I contend you're defining prevenient grace incorrectly to start with, it can't be an abortion of Christ if He's never allowed to grow in us in the first place...it's more akin to spiritual "birth control." (Thanks for pointing this out, mystery poster...you know who you are.)

No, we don't abort anything...but we can reject Christ. Not a good idea at all...and prevenient grace is working to prevent that rejection...but we believe you can reject Christ (or God's grace).



That's what I want to discuss. I would not necessarily accept the labels Calvinism places on it's points. I'd rename them from my own perspective according to the reality I see.

...and I've endeavored to discuss it...albeit from a different...facet



One modifies the term "grace" by the adjective... and to modify God's grace in a matter the opposite of the meaning of grace is to wrap a wolf in the sheep's clothing of "grace". As a Christian, I call sin sin and error error according to my understanding of biblical truth.

Ah, and there's the rub. If what I say is true, and you're in error, then you are the one doing the wrapping. Quite the conundrum. :)



On another thread, I was accused of not caring about doctrine... because I believe in a strong focus in a church of church ministry to the poor. Here, I'm accused of disrespecting John Wesley because I'm doing what they said a person like me doesn't do: address false doctrine and not compromise by calling good evil or evil good.
Yes, but what's false in your eyes may not false...it may be that your perception is. Still, it is good to discuss these things.


The doctrine gives man power over God to abort God's grace.

...sigh...

No, not at all. Prevenient grace merely describes God at work to bring us to a relationship with Him, before we even realize the need for that relationship. We can no more stop God from extending grace than we can stop the tide, or the passage of time.

Sadly, we can reject God's grace...but no one can prevent Him from extending it.




I haven't attacked you.
Never said you did...I said you attacked something I believe to be true with perjorative terms. Comparing an article of faith that I believe to abortion is, if not an attack of that belief, certainly a harsh condemnation of that belief.


I have called preventative grace in a more clear term of what it actually represents.
In your opinion. I beg to differ. :)


Irresistable grace could be called, accurately, birthing grace. I do just fine with Calvin's and Beza's definition, but feel free to call it what you will.


Likewise, prevenient grace can be called, accurately, abortive grace.
...and here I cry "Foul!" It may be an accurate perception from your vantage, but that's only your opinion...and again, an incorrect definition of prevenient grace, based on John Wesley's writing and sermons, Wesley/Holiness doctrine in general, and from what I've been taught in my church specifically.


And abortive or preventative is not an adjective consistent with the term "grace". It completely alters the meaning of the noun it modifies. Agreed. So quit using it to define prevenient.:lol:

It needs to be exposed for what it is... Actually, it needs to be defined as Wesley defined it. :rolleyes:


and I define it as I've defined it because it's the truth of what the doctrine says man can do with the birthing power of the Holy Spirit to birth Jesus Christ: abort.
Your definition is incorrect, according to Wesleyan teaching. Prevenient grace is neither abortive or preventative...it simply (say it with me, everyone) describes God at work prior to salvation.



When I call physical abortion murder... that's regarded as harsh and ingracious. I didn't call John Wesley any names. I called a doctrine the reality of what the doctrine says and does... showing, imo and from my perspective, the reality of what the doctrine says man does.

Grace is grace... and any term that describes grace theologically... as an opposite of what the noun grace means... thereby corrupting the meaning of the word "grace" in opposition by association and merger with it... requires it to be clearly pointed out.

I'm sure I wasn't politically correct in so doing.

I don't care if you're politically correct or not...call a spade a spade. However, you insist on calling prevenient grace something it isn't.




But if I was politically correct, in my opinion, I'd be re-naming grace in a slanderous manner by calling it preventable. I'd say that preventable only means preceding... further disguising the reality of the grievous injury I'd done to the indescribable true beauty of the term "grace".


Well, if I'm to call a spade a spade, you've defined provenient grace entirely incorrectly.


And, well, when I speak truth in the Holy Spirit about a doctrine - not a person - I'm not called to love a doctrine that I believe is to be injurious to the truth and contrary to grace. I guess I don't tickle ears.
...and I don't want or need my ears tickled, for in spite of my aforementioned youthfulness, I do not heap teachers around me saying what I want to hear. However, I, too, must speak out when a doctrine I have studied is redefined as something that it's not.


But my experience is in person... when I stand up and speak it the way I tried to type it here... people shake from head to toe and hit the ground face down... :)... and I'm sure that the same effect is not felt by words on a screen, not live,... and from a distance.

I don't raise my voice. Incredible power of the Holy Spirit moves through me... and folks say it's like being struck by lightning at times. :) Sometimes it's glory, sometimes it's like electricity, others like a river pouring out, and sometimes it's like when lightning strikes... people have told me... :) It's not intended to be vinegar... sorry if it sounds that way on a screen. :)

It is good to hear that God moves on you in such power. I believe, however, that God is not limited by distance, lack of a person's physical presence, or even by supposedly inert words on a page...for His word is, as Hebrews states, alive, and powerful, and capable of cleaving bone and marrow, soul and spirit...and His Spirit is ever present and all powerful...So if you've got something to impart to me, let it come, and to God be the glory!


We'll agree to disagree on the doctrine... but I really do like that John Wesley!!! That holiness, presence and power of God seeking John Wesley!! I suppose so, especially if we can't even agree on a simple definition. :)


I can't be politically correct with my terms...
Good...nor I. God save us from political correctness.


Have a great day.

God bless,

js

And you, as well.

justsurfing
Sep 12th 2007, 05:33 PM
[quote=Theophilus;1379316]Well, I guess my myopia could be attibuted to my youthfulness. God grant that we all grow in grace and wisdom, and that the Holy Spirit guides us into the fulness of truth...not my truth, or your truth, but His Truth. :)

Theophilus,

You are a very kind and gracious person... and it does show. (I was going to be to work at 11:10. I resolved to go in later... and have now procrastinated... and called my associate and said I'd be in around 2:10. ) You're so kind, I'd love to respond. Again, I'm sorry my tone came across in a vinegrette, no vinegar, flavor. :) It is hard on a screen, and because it lacks that inter-relational aspect. Sorry!!!

uhhhhhhhhh....

Well, absolutely... His Truth. Amen! The fullness of His Truth becoming true in us.... and in our understanding.


Within or without what? Pardon my lack of understanding, but please expound on what you're asking...:hmm:
I was saying about your concept of "pre-existing" (that can be prevented and is therefore impotent) grace. I say it's "birthing grace!"... omnipotent... not impotent... and no birth control can stop it!!!

It's the Seed!!!







No one who has ever studied Wesley's teachings would ever say that he believed we are responsible for our salvation.
Part? Because if you are not responsible for part of it... then why do you birth Jesus and others don't?

How do you explain what differentiates those who are saved from those who remain in stupidity and arrogance in sin?

A difference between "us" and "them"???

No one who understands prevenient grace (again, grace preceding (prior to) salvation) as a Wesleyan does would ever say that we are stronger than God in any way, shape, or form.


We simply believe that God acts graciously in many ways...and we can choose to reject His grace. That doesn't make us stronger than God...it only makes us eternally damned, and reveals the truth in Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
The sinful nature is proud and haughty by nature... and we all have an equally sinful nature... and, am I correct to say from your point of view... equal "preceding" grace???

Well, how can we explain difference in outcome?

What's the variable lacking in some? Who don't... conceive Christ?




Who will go to that lake of fire described in Revelation 21:8? Included in that list there is "the unbelievers". What do they not believe? The Gospel...and in rejecting the Gospel, they've rejected the grace contained therein.
Why don't they believe? Why are they unbelievers?

And how do unbelievers become believers?



Preventing God' grace? I don't think anything can prevent it ...He is sovereign, after all. He will graciously extend His grace even if we reject it...and go right on extending it, until one of two things happen:
Clearly, those who have not responded affirmatively have prevented conception and birth of Christ. Birth control?




1. We finally respond to His grace, become one with Him, and enjoy His grace all of our days.
Where do babies come from? Spiritual babies?


-or-

2. We reject it the final time, and go into eternity without Him.
Either God is impotent... or man is infertile... if Christ is not birthed.

And how can some people equally lost in sin be fertile... and others infertile... by nature?

Is the "old man" the same in all people?


Again, prevenient grace is merely grace extended to us prior to salvation...the drawing of the Holy Spirit, the revealing of God in creation (as mentioned in Psalm 19), the Bible, preaching, etc...all examples of His grace to get us to open that door He so insistently knocks on. We don't maintain that you can prevent His grace...we only maintain that you can reject His grace...and be damned for it.
If God is revealed in creation... but not to our hearts... how can we be saved? Either God is impotent... or we are infertile.

The variable is God... or the heart of man.

And my Bible says the hearts of man are all desperately wicked... without variation.

I can't see the variable in the heart of man. I believe a catalyst is missing... and a reaction is not occuring in the hearts of those who do not believe.

Heart and Seed... are not conceiving Christ if a person is not saved.

It's a true "Where do spiritual babies come from?" dilemma.



If you choose to imply that Wesleyans somehow claim superiority to God because we can reject His grace, that's your perogative...but I humbly submit that Wesleyans will deny such a thing to their dying breath.
But is that denial... denial? Does this doctrine differentiate those who are saved from others who are not by a means attributable to self?



And I'd like to point out that Wesleyans do not call grace preventable...we call it prevenient. This is starting to sound like a broken record, but we're not calling God's grace something that can be prevented...Who can stop God? He will do what He will...and His will is to extend grace.

But He's impotent when it comes to birthing grace? And cannot immaculately conceive?




We're saying that we can reject His kind and generous gift of grace.
Could we reject being created the first time? Why or why not? Clearly... birth control didn't work in our physical births. Are you sure birth control works at a spiritual level?

;)


For the last time, prevenient grace in Wesleyan doctrine means grace that God extends to open our eyes to our need for Him...all prior to salvation.
If our eyes were open... none of us would have a veil over our eyes and be blinded by Satan, then.

2 Corinthians 4:3-5 (New International Version)

3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.



And if we could all see, we'd all be saved:

2 Cor. 3:12Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=54&chapter=3&version=31#fen-NIV-28844a)] the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

If the veil is "birth control"... we're not in control of the veil. Only in Christ is the veil taken away. But if we can't see, then it is Satan who is blinding us.

Sounds like Satan is the agent of birth control... not us.





Abort Christ? Something must be living inside you to abort it. Although I contend you're defining prevenient grace incorrectly to start with, it can't be an abortion of Christ if He's never allowed to grow in us in the first place...it's more akin to spiritual "birth control." (Thanks for pointing this out, mystery poster...you know who you are.)
I believe Satan is living inside of us and is the birth control. But God would be impotent if He could not have greater power over us than Satan to take the veil away... and conceive Christ in us by birthing grace.

It's a question, at a certain level, of who is more powerful... God or Satan?


No, we don't abort anything...but we can reject Christ. Not a good idea at all...and prevenient grace is working to prevent that rejection...but we believe you can reject Christ (or God's grace).
What part of people chooses to reject Christ... what part of people chooses to receive Christ? From your view?




...and I've endeavored to discuss it...albeit from a different...facet



Ah, and there's the rub. If what I say is true, and you're in error, then you are the one doing the wrapping. Quite the conundrum.

True. And we must all leave room for human error... and greater revelation by listening to others... or we are trapped in a conundrum.

Even if I still believe in God's 100% birthing grace and Divine Majesty in so birthing and gracing... I still believe you probably have a "good facet" that I can learn from regarding grace.

I never "rule out" that I can learn from someone something.


Yes, but what's false in your eyes may not false...it may be that your perception is. Still, it is good to discuss these things.

amen!


...sigh...
oops. clearly that didn't "go over".

:)


Prevenient grace merely describes God at work to bring us to a relationship with Him, before we even realize the need for that relationship. And the outcome is preventable... right?

:rolleyes:


We can no more stop God from extending grace than we can stop the tide, or the passage of time.
Amen... but have you limited the depth and power of God's grace in your limitations of it's potency?



Sadly, we can reject God's grace...but no one can prevent Him from extending it.
But who can prevent God from applying it if He so wills?



Never said you did...I said you attacked something I believe to be true with perjorative terms. Comparing an article of faith that I believe to abortion is, if not an attack of that belief, certainly a harsh condemnation of that belief.
In your opinion. I beg to differ.

I do just fine with Calvin's and Beza's definition, but feel free to call it what you will.



...and here I cry "Foul!" To which I reply, "In bounds!" No, "Over the fence!" "Homerun!"

lol


It may be an accurate perception from your vantage, but that's only your opinion...and again, an incorrect definition of prevenient grace, based on John Wesley's writing and sermons, Wesley/Holiness doctrine in general, and from what I've been taught in my church specifically.
I could point out that whatever spin we put on something... it is what it is...


Agreed. So quit using it to define prevenient.:lol:well, let's discuss other concepts... like birth control... immaculate conception.


Actually, it needs to be defined as Wesley defined it. :rolleyes:I like John Wesley, but I don't consider him to be definitive.

;)




Your definition is incorrect, according to Wesleyan teaching. Prevenient grace is neither abortive or preventative...it simply (say it with me, everyone) describes God at work prior to salvation.
Prevenient grace can be prevented or aborted... but it's really not to be called "preventative" or "abortive"... because...



It is good to hear that God moves on you in such power. I believe, however, that God is not limited by distance, lack of a person's physical presence, or even by supposedly inert words on a page...for His word is, as Hebrews states, alive, and powerful, and capable of cleaving bone and marrow, soul and spirit...and His Spirit is ever present and all powerful...So i

If you've got something to impart to me, let it come, and to God be the glory!
I didn't even see that comment at the last. Yes, I really do have something to impart to you... and to God be the glory.



I suppose so, especially if we can't even agree on a simple definition. :)
Oh... let's try to see if we can define "birth control" the same way, then.

:)


Good...nor I. God save us from political correctness.

Hosanna!

:)

Youthfulness is wonderful... and not a question of age... but of heart.

:)

Yeah, then, me too!

God bless,

md

Toolman
Sep 12th 2007, 05:45 PM
Js, has, in my mind, hit on the essential element here with this statement:


The sinful nature is proud and haughty by nature... and we all have an equally sinful nature... and, am I correct to say from your point of view... equal "preceding" grace???

Well, how can we explain difference in outcome?

What's the variable lacking in some? Who don't... conceive Christ?

If every single human is equally sinful and every single human is given equal amount of grace, then why do some humans believe and others reject?

What is the difference that is inherent in one man that is not within another that causes one to believe? What is this "thing"?

And would that "thing" be an advantage?

Would it be meritorious?

Why do not all have it?

Was the Grace given to one not sufficient enough as it was to the other?

This question for me (and I can only say for me) caused me to reject much of my former thinking. Not claiming to have all the answers but just sharing my experience in my walk.

Theophilus
Sep 12th 2007, 05:47 PM
Hmmm...at this point, I humbly rest, as I have nothing else to say at this time that would add to the thread. I think I just set a record for my longest post! :o

JS...God's blessings in your search for and delving into the truth. We most likely convinced each other of nothing, but we did get to hone the sword, so to speak, and refine our beliefs...;)

...and perhaps, added some element of enlightenment (at best), or a desire to delve into the Scripture more deeply (also a good thing) to those who've cared to read this thread.

justsurfing
Sep 12th 2007, 11:56 PM
[quote=Toolman;1379406]Js, has, in my mind, hit on the essential element here with this statement:



If every single human is equally sinful and every single human is given equal amount of grace, then why do some humans believe and others reject?



Exactly. I stopped. I listened. And I thought about it. How, even from that perspective.... could people all receive the exact same amount of "preceding grace"... and have different outcomes?

How would it be fair of God, then, to place all of the responsibility for salvation on man... expect him to do "his part"... and not provide equal opportunity to all? The same exact amount of "preceding grace"?

Plus, how would it be fair, really, to say that everyone has the same amount of "preceding grace"?

What about those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up with churches on nearly every corner... and brought to church by Christian family even as children?

Your point is excellent.


What is the difference that is inherent in one man that is not within another that causes one to believe? What is this "thing"?

And would that "thing" be an advantage?

Would it be meritorious?

Why do not all have it?

Was the Grace given to one not sufficient enough as it was to the other?


All these questions arose in me also. Difference in outcome... just doesn't seem fair. Never did, really. But from this view... it seems very, very wrong. How does equal opportunity to all in God's active grace... plus equal spiritual states of sinners... equal different results.

If all variables are equal... the equation should produce the exact same sum... the exact same result... without variation.

Either everyone should go to Heaven... or everyone should go to hell.

But there should be no differentiation between equal persons and a non-discriminatory God.

God bless,

js

justsurfing
Sep 13th 2007, 01:56 PM
My thoughts: I believe there is a kernel of truth in "preceding grace". However, the moment God's grace is limited to preceding grace... and man is given power in the flesh according to the sinful nature to ultimately resist God's will in the totality of birthing grace (faith unto salvation)... the doctrine is error.

The error, as I believe Theo sees (to certain extent, imo... which is why he is averse to the terms), is in preventative or abortive grace. Therefore, birthing grace is the truth.

Preceding grace is the grace of God present to birth... and God's will to birth in immaculate conception cannot be thwarted by the sinful nature of man.

I can see why it was necessary to leave. Partial birth... is still abortion.

Grace is only grace when grace results in birth. God's character, God's grace, God's power, and God's authority... God's omnipotence... has been severely misunderstood... and underestimated... in limiting birthing grace.

So states the Spirit. So states the Word.

Impartation of the Spirit is powerful... greatly to be desired.

Isaiah 66:8-10 (New International Version)



8 Who has ever heard of such a thing?
Who has ever seen such things?
Can a country be born in a day
or a nation be brought forth in a moment?
Yet no sooner is Zion in labor
than she gives birth to her children.
9 Do I bring to the moment of birth
and not give delivery?" says the LORD.
"Do I close up the womb
when I bring to delivery?" says your God.
10 "Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her,
all you who love her;
rejoice greatly with her,
all you who mourn over her.

Walstib
Sep 13th 2007, 04:04 PM
I'd like to discuss "prevenient grace". This doctrine, when it's broken down, gives glory to the flesh and states that the flesh is ultimately responsible for a decision for Christ. Flesh can prevent... or permit... a new man's decision for Christ. This makes the flesh, the old man, ultimately in control of the new man's decision for Jesus Christ. Rather than the flesh being crucified, prevenient grace declares that the flesh is responsible for allowing or disallowing the will of the new man in Christ.

I think you may have wanted to discuss the next step of the “Wesleyan position”, specifically the ability to chose Jesus or not, rather than “prevenient grace”. I would submit the doctrine you want to discuss is “man’s ability to accept or reject Jesus” and prevenient grace is just a descriptive term to say something like “pre-existing grace” I think Theo described the term itself quite well.

All that said I will respond from the assumption you want to discuss the ability to chose to believe Jesus is who He says He is rather than fuss over terminology.

To me this has elements of our discussion on body, soul and spirit. You are attributing the decision to the flesh where I would say the decision is in the soul. Rather than “free will” I would stay with “freedom of thought”. God does not think our thought for us, part of being made in His image I believe. We have the ability to weigh evidence and make a decision one way or the other based on the evidence pre and post salvation. Choices I believe are made in the soul and have influence from either flesh or spirit. Therefore it is not the flesh or the spirit that makes the decision to believe or not believe the evidence. The old man becomes the new man after regeneration so talking about the new man making a decision for Jesus is out of order in context and “red herring territory”

Also man does have a spirit before regeneration so only talking about the flesh influence towards decision is leaving out part of the whole. There is also evidence in the creation itself so that all men are without excuse. To argue that men cannot receive knowledge of God before regeneration to me is out of context in this light. The evidence of creation to me is a picture of the grace that is extended pre salvation, pre regeneration, to all mankind.

This doctrine gives the glory for salvation to the will of the flesh... the old man. Logically, the confusion created between the old and the new... in functionality... declares the old man to be the new man. The old man is the new man in this confused lack of separation between good and evil. That's "bait and switch": the old man counterfeiting the new man. It's not true... it's just the old man pretending to be something he's not, imo: both good and the ultimate decision-maker of the new man.
Again the will of the flesh is only an influence towards the whole of man and not a picture of the complete unregenerate man/old man. The old man has a spirit as well capable of comprehending spiritual things at the most in shadow but still a level of comprehension. The glory of salvation can only come from God and He is always deserving of all of the glory. That a unregenerate man can make a decision (*based on evidence) and repent towards salvation, go from unbelief to belief, does not mean this is a work. If belief was a work we would all be in trouble the way I read the scriptures. A choice is not a work. We make a choice, unbelief to belief, *(I have weighed all the evidence and come to the conclusion that “this” is true) in our souls and God does all the work of regeneration and therefore receives all the Glory for His work. Why do some change their mind and not others? They make a different conclusion with the evidence but as stated before all are without excuse. Some would be excused if it was God who predetermined who would believe and who would not believe.

That all men have freedom of thought and the ability to weigh evidence and choose what they want to believe does in no way make the old man the new man. Both have this ability equally.

The old man must be declared sinful and incapable of any good... and all decisions for God must be stated to be the decision of the new man.
Incapable of any good or the good they do is not going to earn themselves a passage to heaven. Good is good whatever time and done by whatever person. There are none that are righteous outside of Jesus but an unregenerate man can still do good. Sure we are getting into the order of salvation here. The essence of why God will regenerate a person. If the old man can’t make a conclusion or decision how could I have come to believe in creation before I believed in Jesus as Lord? Ahhh but personal testimony is only worth so much in these discussions. As a baby can hear there mothers voice while still in the womb an unregenerate can hear the call of God. Or "prevenient grace" as the topic was started. A sinful and unregenerate man still has the freedom of thought to make decisions. Believing that if you drop something it will fall to the ground is not that much different from believing Jesus is who He says He is. Faith is based on evidence, blind faith is blind and forced faith is not love.

I would like to discuss "prevenient grace" which is "preventative grace" that declares man and will of the flesh, in final submission, greater than God.

“A collective sigh with Theo” Nothing is greater than God. You call it preventative to make your point, I call it unpreventable evidence one can accept or not. I don’t know as I have asked you this question before. Is God sovereign enough to allow men the freedom to choose to believe in Him?

Grace and peace,

Joe

Toolman
Sep 13th 2007, 04:32 PM
To me this has elements of our discussion on body, soul and spirit. You are attributing the decision to the flesh where I would say the decision is in the soul. Rather than “free will” I would stay with “freedom of thought”. God does not think our thought for us, part of being made in His image I believe.

Does God sovereignly work in us to change our thoughts?


The old man becomes the new man after regeneration so talking about the new man making a decision for Jesus is out of order in context and “red herring territory”

Not all ordo salutis agree with this. Reformed and traditional arminians believe that regeneration (being born again) precedes faith.


Also man does have a spirit before regeneration so only talking about the flesh influence towards decision is leaving out part of the whole.

But if that spirit is dead then it will not function until made alive.


There is also evidence in the creation itself so that all men are without excuse. To argue that men cannot receive knowledge of God before regeneration to me is out of context in this light.

1 Corinthians 2:14 - But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


Again the will of the flesh is only an influence towards the whole of man and not a picture of the complete unregenerate man/old man. The old man has a spirit as well capable of comprehending spiritual things at the most in shadow but still a level of comprehension.

See above.


I have weighed all the evidence and come to the conclusion that “this” is true

So, salvation is simply you weighing evidence and deciding to believe it?


Why do some change their mind and not others? They make a different conclusion with the evidence but as stated before all are without excuse.

So, what makes one sinner come to a different conclusion than another sinner? What is it within the one that makes them "choose" correctly?


Some would be excused if it was God who predetermined who would believe and who would not believe.

Look at it a different way. God allows some people to freely choose of their own will what they will do with Christ. Because they are sinners they will always, 100% of the time, choose to reject Him because they love darkness.
God didn't make them do anything, He let them choose of their own will.

Now, another group God actually changes their desires, by regeneration, to WANT to believe on and follow Christ. God graciously saves them from their own will by Grace and Mercy (which no one deserves).

Then those who rejected Christ would be without excuse, because God let them do what they wanted to do of their own will.

** Disclaimer ** - This is not what I hold to but I understand traditional reformed soteriology enough to point out the mistake in your understanding of their position.


Sure we are getting into the order of salvation here. The essence of why God will regenerate a person. If the old man can’t make a conclusion or decision how could I have come to believe in creation before I believed in Jesus as Lord?

If God regenerated you prior to faith then this would make perfect sense. Your "new man" believed in creation, because he believes spiritual things.


A sinful and unregenerate man still has the freedom of thought to make decisions.

But his desires are always for the flesh and so his thoughts and decisions are always contrary to God's will. Even the "good" he does is filthy rags.


Faith is based on evidence, blind faith is blind and forced faith is not love.

Do you believe that God will judge unbelievers and send them to an eternal place of torment?


Is God sovereign enough to allow men the freedom to choose to believe in Him?

I know you were asking js but if you don't mind I'll throw my 2c in on that one also.

God is powerful enough, wise enough and loving enough to save each and every person He has determined to save.

DSK
Sep 13th 2007, 04:37 PM
Anyone desiring to learn what is meant by the term "Prevenient Grace" from an Arminian/Wesleyan perspective, may learn more at the following link http://www.eternalsecurity.us/prevenient_grace.htm

P.S. for the record I personally don't fully agree with the ordus saltus found at that link

justsurfing
Sep 13th 2007, 05:29 PM
I know you were asking js but if you don't mind I'll throw my 2c in on that one also.


Hi Toolman,

Your 2c on these points of God's grace... would be grossly underestimated... were it to be valued at a mere 2c. Priceless. :) The declaration of God's grace, mercy, favor, the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and God's power to complete His will to save... is, as you've correctly interpreted God's Word (as I see it)... unlimited.

Oh! To take the "limit" off of God... in our own estimation... and to declare Him, with scripture, "Lord of all".

Who's in control?

Who's in control?

Who's at the wheel?

:)


J E S U S



God is powerful enough, wise enough and loving enough to save each and every person He has determined to save.

Priceless. God's grace. "Tetelestai". "Paid in full". The price having been paid, God's grace is not merely "offered"... like it can be "bought and paid for" by man's decision.

No.

Paid in full and the price applied in the Spirit. Ready to be received. Ready to be applied. When God "pulls the trigger" of faith.

When do we "receive it"? When God applies it by His own Spirit. Immaculate conception... 100% by God.

Priceless... because the price has been fully paid... and is applied freely... just as it was paid for:


BY GOD!!!


Ephesians 1:5-7 (New International Version)

5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace


Romans 3:23-25 (New International Version)

23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
1 Corinthians 2:12 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=53&chapter=2&verse=12&version=31&context=verse)
We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
Romans 8:32 (King James Version)


32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?






Hallelujah! Amazing grace! 100% God!!

Unlimited. Paid for... and freely given.

Great post.

Love in Christ,

js

justsurfing
Sep 13th 2007, 06:10 PM
If the old man can’t make a conclusion or decision how could I have come to believe in creation before I believed in Jesus as Lord?

You were conceived and created by God. As a new creation, you believed in Jesus as Lord.

The old man was crucified. He had no part and no role in your faith as a new creation... nor has he any of the attributes of the new man.

Dr. Jeckyl. Mr. Hyde.

Dark. Light.

Dr. Jeckyl does not think or do what Mr. Hyde thinks or does. So it is with the old and the new.

This is where the confusion lies.

:)

I thought I'd answer just one point from my point of view... can go back and answer more... but, really, this is the "crux" of the matter. You attribute to the old man what pertains to the new man. That the new man was immaculately created just as Adam was... as a full being... is not in your "sights"... 20/20. That is justification... recreation. The new man is created and immaculately conceived in justification. It is the new man who "chooses" Christ... and confesses "Jesus is Lord".

The old man, Mr. Hyde, has nothing in common with the new man, Dr. Jeckyl... except a body. They fight over the body... against one another.

They are 2 separate individuals of completely opposite (and warring) wills, thoughts, desires... and being... character... spiritual nature... essence... spirit.

The only way to explain a born-again experience is "immaculate conception". It takes seeing the complete separation/opposition of 2 separate individuals: the old man and the new man... to see "immaculate conception". Or, it takes "immacule conception" to see the complete separation/opposition of 2 separate individuals: the old man and the new man.

Because you, and others, fail to separate good from evil (light from dark; new from old)... you cannot sharply enough distinguish truth from fiction... to know that the old man did not contribute to anything that the new man has, is, and does. He only fights them... in total and complete separation: warring opposition.

We're talking the difference between Satan and God... at spirit level.

I went straight to the crux of the matter... because everything else is born of this most basic confusion of 2 spiritual opposites. The old man is as to the new man as Satan is as to God. It's an equal comparison... a parallel spiritual truth.

Doctrine is in error... until these truths are clearly revealed and clearly seen. Thinking at a soul level will never clarify spiritual truths sharply and clearly enough to know the truth as the truth truly... is... in Christ.

Well, let me know... if you can hear what I'm saying. Forget about the soul... go to the spirit level "solely"... ;) and that's where the focal point of truth is revealed.

Love in Christ,

js

Walstib
Sep 13th 2007, 09:03 PM
Hi Toolman, thanks for responding


Does God sovereignly work in us to change our thoughts?
Interesting question. I say yes He does but through evidence we ourselves consider. It could be something physical like the evidence of creation or a miracle preformed by Jesus Himself or something spiritual like seeing and angel or the very existence of our conscience, seared or not seared it exists. He gives us the evidence though His works but we ourselves change our own thoughts.

In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. (Psa 94:19 KJV)

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:8-9 KJV)

Not all ordo salutis agree with this. Reformed and traditional arminians believe that regeneration (being born again) precedes faith.
This I understand but I personally believe that regeneration is a work preformed by God alone after a person has come to faith. I did state it boldly instead of qualifying it as my belief. The opening of spiritual eyes and ears to hear the call I do believe precedes faith yet still after a person starts to seek God. Ask, seek, knock then open. Many of my points on this went unanswered in the “post regeneration synergist” thread

But if that spirit is dead then it will not function until made alive.


1 Corinthians 2:14 - But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
If that pre regeneration spirit is wholly dead how is the person alive at all? I don’t know if you believe the conscience resides in the spirit but I myself do. In Romans 7…. The law is spiritual, yet the carnal man is convicted of sin through the law. How could they have this conviction in their conscience if their spirit is wholly dead? I believe the verse quoted speaks towards seeing the deeper spiritual truths clearly as taught by the Holy Spirit rather than the ability to understand spiritual things in part or dimly. The things prepared for us in heaven compared to understanding very existence of something spiritual. God’s plan compared to the existence of God, of which the latter all men are without excuse regenerate and unregenerate. The spirit being reckoned as dead in regards to righteousness is different than a non-existent kind of dead the way I presently understand things.

So, salvation is simply you weighing evidence and deciding to believe it?
That simple? Just one tiny step as I see it. Salvation is all done by God from first to last. He does all the work. Changing my mind from unbelief to belief or concluding something is true based on evidence is not a work as I see it nor does it “make salvation happen”. Though I do believe with the right qualities it will lead to justification. As you often point out salvation is a lot bigger and longer than one point in time.

So, what makes one sinner come to a different conclusion than another sinner? What is it within the one that makes them "choose" correctly?
Big question. At times God will and does harden hearts according to His will so He does have great influence here. Then I have yet to find a verse that says a man is permanently hardened and never released from this state. The unregenerate may not seek God directly but I believe they can seek for truth. And in seeking that truth God may reveal Himself to them more and more. My main thought here would be no one or anything “makes” someone choose, this in the context of “forces against ones own decision making prerogative”. Out of pride and arrogance some reject the evidence as being true on their own. It certainly makes life easier to reject the truth and follow one’s own desires with no regard to the ultimate Truth.

Look at it a different way. God allows some people to freely choose of their own will what they will do with Christ. Because they are sinners they will always, 100% of the time, choose to reject Him because they love darkness.


God didn't make them do anything, He let them choose of their own will.

Now, another group God actually changes their desires, by regeneration, to WANT to believe on and follow Christ. God graciously saves them from their own will by Grace and Mercy (which no one deserves).

Then those who rejected Christ would be without excuse, because God let them do what they wanted to do of their own will.

** Disclaimer ** - This is not what I hold to but I understand traditional reformed soteriology enough to point out the mistake in your understanding of their position.
I see what you are saying but don’t see the logic holds up. With predetermination there can be no freedom of choice on any level as I see it. In your description here, why God chooses the some to regenerate is left unsaid.

I was not speaking towards a specific position as much as what I see a belief in predetermination causes when taking to the logical conclusion. I respect your understanding of their position and thank you for a clearer picture of how some may understand but I can’t see how it is a mistake of mine when I was not trying to describe “their” position, just any position of predetermination of salvation. How someone can have freedom of choice with predetermination would be my question to you.

If God regenerated you prior to faith then this would make perfect sense. Your "new man" believed in creation, because he believes spiritual things.
I can’t right now accept that a person can be regenerated without being indwelt with the Holy Spirit.

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (1Pe 3:18 KJV)

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Rom 8:11 KJV)

Then I would have been given the Holy Spirit before I asked for Him or believed which is out of the order Jesus speaks of and John testifies to.

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?(Luk 11:13 KJV)

(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (Joh 7:39 KJV)

I can’t now accept that I can be sealed with the Spirit before I believe Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Rom 10:9-10 KJV)

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Eph 1:13 KJV)

But his desires are always for the flesh and so his thoughts and decisions are always contrary to God's will. Even the "good" he does is filthy rags.
When do you believe the disciples were regenerated? Were they regenerated before the Holy Spirit was given?

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (Mat 16:17 KJV)

His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? (Joh 16:29-31 KJV)

Did Peter understand something spiritual before he believed or received the Spirit by whom we are regenerated? I ask honestly as to understand your position as it seems to me that there are many cases of people who understood the truth and had it revealed to them before they were regenerated. I could give more examples but if you see they were already regenerated they make no difference.

Do you believe that God will judge unbelievers and send them to an eternal place of torment?
I believe that God will judge those who did not believe while alive on earth according to their works and not all will go to a place of torment. Eternally tormented is another post maybe ;)

Thanks again,

Joe

justsurfing
Sep 13th 2007, 09:36 PM
The unregenerate may not seek God directly but I believe they can seek for truth. And in seeking that truth God may reveal Himself to them more and more. My main thought here would be no one or anything “makes” someone choose, this in the context of “forces against ones own decision making prerogative”. Out of pride and arrogance some reject the evidence as being true on their own. It certainly makes life easier to reject the truth and follow one’s own desires with no regard to the ultimate Truth.


Hi Joe, :)

The scripture below says the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept or see or know the Holy Spirit. How then can anyone be saved apart from the Holy Spirit revealing truth to them by His own initiative?

They cannot know truth... they cannot see truth... they cannot accept truth. They don't have the power you believe they have to know truth on their own by "weighing the evidence". They can't even see it. They don't know, Joe, that it's the truth.

Jesus teaches that we are completely helpless and powerless to know the truth without Divine intervention.

And many don't receive it on this earth. I submit that God helps some more than others... and that's why some know the truth of who Jesus Christ is and are saved... while others (not knowing the truth) are unbelievers.

It isn't superior intellect that causes us to receive Jesus Christ by faith. We know something that unbelievers don't...
John 14:16-18 (New International Version)

16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

God bless,


js

Toolman
Sep 13th 2007, 09:50 PM
Hi Toolman, thanks for responding

You're welcome. I enjoy discussing with you.


Interesting question. I say yes He does but through evidence we ourselves consider. It could be something physical like the evidence of creation or a miracle preformed by Jesus Himself or something spiritual like seeing and angel or the very existence of our conscience, seared or not seared it exists. He gives us the evidence though His works but we ourselves change our own thoughts.

Clear something up for me if you can. Below you say that God sometimes "hardens hearts and blinds eyes". How does God do this? If it is internal then is He not also able to "soften hearts and open blind eyes"?

Or is His work purely external?


This I understand but I personally believe that regeneration is a work preformed by God alone after a person has come to faith. I did state it boldly instead of qualifying it as my belief. The opening of spiritual eyes and ears to hear the call I do believe precedes faith yet still after a person starts to seek God. Ask, seek, knock then open. Many of my points on this went unanswered in the “post regeneration synergist” thread

I'm sorry I missed those :(


If that pre regeneration spirit is wholly dead how is the person alive at all?

I believe the term "dead" does not mean unconscious but is dead to God, i.e. loves darkness and hates the light.

If you believe in life after death for the unbeliever (not sure you do) then you must recognize that dead doesn't neccessarily mean unconscious.


I don’t know if you believe the conscience resides in the spirit but I myself do. In Romans 7…. The law is spiritual, yet the carnal man is convicted of sin through the law. How could they have this conviction in their conscience if their spirit is wholly dead?

Its a good point and it seems to me that the letter of the Law convicts the sinner and they have absolutely no comprehension of the spirit of the Law until they have been regenerated.


I believe the verse quoted speaks towards seeing the deeper spiritual truths clearly as taught by the Holy Spirit rather than the ability to understand spiritual things in part or dimly. The things prepared for us in heaven compared to understanding very existence of something spiritual. God’s plan compared to the existence of God, of which the latter all men are without excuse regenerate and unregenerate. The spirit being reckoned as dead in regards to righteousness is different than a non-existent kind of dead the way I presently understand things.

I can respect that.


That simple? Just one tiny step as I see it. Salvation is all done by God from first to last. He does all the work. Changing my mind from unbelief to belief or concluding something is true based on evidence is not a work as I see it nor does it “make salvation happen”. Though I do believe with the right qualities it will lead to justification. As you often point out salvation is a lot bigger and longer than one point in time.

Absolutely.


Big question. At times God will and does harden hearts according to His will so He does have great influence here.

Can He soften a heart also in the same manner? If so, then that may account for a difference in response, besides just one person's accepting evidence over another person.


Then I have yet to find a verse that says a man is permanently hardened and never released from this state.

We are in absolute agreement here. I, as a biblical universalist, do not believe hardness to be eternal and believe Romans 11 speaks to that very thing.



The unregenerate may not seek God directly but I believe they can seek for truth. And in seeking that truth God may reveal Himself to them more and more. My main thought here would be no one or anything “makes” someone choose, this in the context of “forces against ones own decision making prerogative”.

Well, if you believe that God warns of punishment and judgement for those who reject then you must recognize that there is "force" being applied to the decision making process, at a minimal externally.

My position is that God, by His love and grace, changes our desires from sin and unbelief to His Son and belief. God rescues us from one of our worst enemies.. our own sinful, selfish will.
I don't regard this as God "forcing" me to love Him but as my Creator creating me to be what I am meant to be... a lover of God and follower of Christ.


Out of pride and arrogance some reject the evidence as being true on their own. It certainly makes life easier to reject the truth and follow one’s own desires with no regard to the ultimate Truth.

I'm not sure life is "easier" to reject truth. We could probably do a whole thread on that :lol:

Nevertheless, it appears to me, that salvation, in your view, comes down to the character qualities of the sinner. The humble one who is acceptable of the evidence is saved. The prideful one who is unconvinced is damned.
Salvation comes down to the character of the individual. Its meritorious IMO.

So, perhaps God does only want to save those of good moral character but it appears to me that He desires to save dirty, rotten, prideful, arrogant sinners and to change them.


I see what you are saying but don’t see the logic holds up. With predetermination there can be no freedom of choice on any level as I see it.

Lets say that God decided not to choose anyone and left the choice up to every single individual.

And lets say that every single individual decided to reject Christ (because they love sin).

Was their freedom of choice in this scenario? Yes, there was.

Now, lets say that God decided to choose 1 person out of all this group and save them by changing their desire to want Christ.

Was their still freedom of choice on the part of the rest of the group? Yes, because nothing changed for them. God let them choose of their own will and desire.

If God decides to give grace and mercy to the one, it has no bearing on the rest. That's why its grace and mercy.. its not deserved or can be demanded.


In your description here, why God chooses the some to regenerate is left unsaid.

Well, I obviously don't hold to that but my understanding, within reformed soteriology, is that God will be glorified in the saved and the damned, showing forth both His Grace and His Justice.

I strongly disagree with that position.


I can’t now accept that I can be sealed with the Spirit before I believe Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead.

When do you believe the disciples were regenerated? Were they regenerated before the Holy Spirit was given?

I think so. The Holy Spirit didn't descend until pentecost. The disciples believed before that point.


Did Peter understand something spiritual before he believed or received the Spirit by whom we are regenerated? I ask honestly as to understand your position as it seems to me that there are many cases of people who understood the truth and had it revealed to them before they were regenerated. I could give more examples but if you see they were already regenerated they make no difference.

Its a good point and yes, I do believe they were regenerated. Regeneration, preceding faith, can be a process of conviction, illumination, drawing, calling until faith is born.
That is where I currently stand.



I believe that God will judge those who did not believe while alive on earth according to their works and not all will go to a place of torment. Eternally tormented is another post maybe ;)

Sounds interesting :hmm:


Thanks again,

Joe

Thank you Joe... appreciate your thoughts.

Walstib
Sep 14th 2007, 03:35 PM
Hi Toolman, great talk…


Clear something up for me if you can. Below you say that God sometimes "hardens hearts and blinds eyes". How does God do this? If it is internal then is He not also able to "soften hearts and open blind eyes"?


Or is His work purely external?
I fully believe there is internal work done by God through the Holy Spirit to the unregenerate. Internal changes done by the Holy Spirit from the external instead of indwelling. (2 Pet 1:21) The way I see it if the heart needs to be softened it must not be soft already. A regenerate heart would be soft, whole new heart even. Therefore this work is done pre regeneration. The eyes of a fetus open within the womb and function but do not see the world clearly as they would after birth, but they still see. I don’t see this work is regeneration itself but a precursor to a possible birth. Hardening a heart is not being put back into the womb…. Un-regenerating a person….

I believe the term "dead" does not mean unconscious but is dead to God, i.e. loves darkness and hates the light.


If you believe in life after death for the unbeliever (not sure you do) then you must recognize that dead doesn't necessarily mean unconscious.
I do believe in life after death and to me it speaks toward my point. How can you hate the light if you have no consciousness of what light is? Having inherited the knowledge of good and evil we know spiritual things even if our natural path is to follow darkness. Is the very concept of good and evil not spiritual? To me the spirit that is dead to God is still alive but dead to that relationship… no.. fellowship ability with God. It still perceives the spiritual, the conscience is functioning, yet the ability to directly commune with God, as Adam did is the garden, is lost until regeneration. The blood of Jesus cleaning the conscience at regeneration so fellowship is possible, not simply perception. (Heb 9:14)

Its a good point and it seems to me that the letter of the Law convicts the sinner and they have absolutely no comprehension of the spirit of the Law until they have been regenerated.
I asked yesterday about the disciples… how about the scribes and the Pharisees, were they regenerated?

And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. (Joh 8:9 KJV)

They saw the spirit of the law here I believe, though so many times did Jesus call them evil. If all they could do was evil they would have stoned the woman. This compared to the good they did by not stoning the woman, not being credited to their account as righteousness, filthy rags, yet still good. And being evil they still knew how to give good gifts to their children. If there was no love, if all they could do was tangible evil, the children would have been given snakes instead of bread. Being dead to the fellowship ability with God is a kind of deadness different than a complete deadness to all things spiritual. That God calls things that are not as though they are (Rom4:17) goes more than one way.

Can He soften a heart also in the same manner? If so, then that may account for a difference in response, besides just one person's accepting evidence over another person.
As said above I believe he does and can. Yet still a softened heart is not a new heart. For His divine will and purpose our path is laid out by Him. That my grandparents prayed for me to find the Lord could have led God to work in my life outside of my own qualities or questions. The web is not just one strand. Ultimately I believe that all of these internal and external evidences and changes lead to a choice rather than instil the choice itself. I cannot refuse them from happening, I cannot thwart God, yet I can think my own thoughts and come to my own conclusions about what has happened. I can refuse to believe.
The LORD said to Moses, "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them? (Num 14:11 NIV)

Well, if you believe that God warns of punishment and judgement for those who reject then you must recognize that there is "force" being applied to the decision making process, at a minimal externally.
Absolutely, yet we can I think we can still refuse to accept the source of the pressure even though the force is applied and unstoppable.

My position is that God, by His love and grace, changes our desires from sin and unbelief to His Son and belief. God rescues us from one of our worst enemies.. our own sinful, selfish will.

I don't regard this as God "forcing" me to love Him but as my Creator creating me to be what I am meant to be... a lover of God and follower of Christ.
Aye, there is the rub. Why not change everybody then… why not from physical birth. And most importantly why the need for Jesus to come to earth and die on the cross. If he can regenerate people pre and post Pentecost, create a specific group of followers at any time; Why was Jesus crucified? The people who looked at the bronze snake were healed after they in faith looked at it. They saw their guilt and need before they were healed.

Nevertheless, it appears to me, that salvation, in your view, comes down to the character qualities of the sinner. The humble one who is acceptable of the evidence is saved. The prideful one who is unconvinced is damned.

Salvation comes down to the character of the individual. Its meritorious IMO.
God seeks a broken and contrite heart.

The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. (Psa 34:15-19 KJV)

There are so many factors it is hard to put it into as succinct a statement as you have. God does seek out characteristics in individuals, hard to deny this. Yet the gift is still free. Certain characteristics may lead God to work more in that person’s life but they are not solely responsible for all God’s work in their life. Accepting that you are a sinner is not a work that deserves merit as I see things, yet God seeks out these people to save.

So, perhaps God does only want to save those of good moral character but it appears to me that He desires to save dirty, rotten, prideful, arrogant sinners and to change them.
For sure God desires all men be saved, both the proud and the humble. Yet some while alive on earth cannot claim this justification. Why only some now becomes the question. He loved us while we were still sinners. To me a “good moral character” is one who knows they are dirty, rotten, prideful, arrogant sinners. A paradox?

Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. (Luk 7:47 KJV)

Was their still freedom of choice on the part of the rest of the group? Yes, because nothing changed for them. God let them choose of their own will and desire.


If God decides to give grace and mercy to the one, it has no bearing on the rest. That's why its grace and mercy.. its not deserved or can be demanded.
The logic holds for the first group. Yet in this the first man would desire not to be changed, yet God changed him. How this is not a loss of freedom for that changed person? A willing servant pierced through the ear or a servant taken from the comfort of their home in the night.

And why God chooses the one and rejects the others is still unsaid. I can’t see God doing things without purpose or reason. Grace and mercy is only extended to one, to me this is against the “whosoever” principle. To me the more you realize you don’t deserve grace the closer you are to the Kingdom. And God gives good gifts to those who ask, not demand, but ask.

I think so. The Holy Spirit didn't descend until pentecost. The disciples believed before that point.
If one believes one has to be regenerated before they believe it would be the only position available. Then as I don’t think anyone was regenerated before Pentecost it gives context to my view. To me you have to do some fancy things to have the OT saints not just look forward to the cross but participate in something that has not even happened yet. I have only heard one thought that time starts in the middle rather than the beginning and I am still trying to get my brain around that one.


Its a good point and yes, I do believe they were regenerated. Regeneration, preceding faith, can be a process of conviction, illumination, drawing, calling until faith is born.

That is where I currently stand.
Fair enough, I believe conviction, illumination, drawing and calling can happen without regeneration. They may be prerequisites for faith, as God is the author of our faith, yet I don’t see unregenerate people have the level of spiritual deadness that many people do. Like in the Princess Bride if you know that classic movie. “he’s not dead, he’s mostly dead”…… “True loooove….” :P

Grace and peace,

Joe

Toolman
Sep 14th 2007, 07:16 PM
Hi Toolman, great talk…

Agreed.. I'm enjoying the convo!





[COLOR=black]I fully believe there is internal work done by God through the Holy Spirit to the unregenerate. Internal changes done by the Holy Spirit from the external instead of indwelling. (2 Pet 1:21) The way I see it if the heart needs to be softened it must not be soft already. A regenerate heart would be soft, whole new heart even. Therefore this work is done pre regeneration. The eyes of a fetus open within the womb and function but do not see the world clearly as they would after birth, but they still see. I don’t see this work is regeneration itself but a precursor to a possible birth. Hardening a heart is not being put back into the womb…. Un-regenerating a person….


Well, at least that is a step. We both agree that God does an internal work on the human to change them. That's a good agreement IMO.


I do believe in life after death and to me it speaks toward my point. How can you hate the light if you have no consciousness of what light is? Having inherited the knowledge of good and evil we know spiritual things even if our natural path is to follow darkness. Is the very concept of good and evil not spiritual? To me the spirit that is dead to God is still alive but dead to that relationship… no.. fellowship ability with God. It still perceives the spiritual, the conscience is functioning, yet the ability to directly commune with God, as Adam did is the garden, is lost until regeneration. The blood of Jesus cleaning the conscience at regeneration so fellowship is possible, not simply perception. (Heb 9:14)


A good point. It does seem the flesh has the ability to hate God. I'm not sure that is what scripture would declare as spiritual. I would think it would condemn it as carnal.
Spiritual, seems to me, always be of the positive.


I asked yesterday about the disciples… how about the scribes and the Pharisees, were they regenerated?

And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. (Joh 8:9 KJV)

They saw the spirit of the law here I believe, though so many times did Jesus call them evil. If all they could do was evil they would have stoned the woman. This compared to the good they did by not stoning the woman, not being credited to their account as righteousness, filthy rags, yet still good. And being evil they still knew how to give good gifts to their children. If there was no love, if all they could do was tangible evil, the children would have been given snakes instead of bread.

In my mind the "good" that we are capable of before Christ indwells us is just "an angel of light", i.e. like satan it is deceptive and false.

Whether our "good" or our "evil" both are contrary to God. The tree of knowledge was of both. "Good" deceives more people than "evil" does.

I don't know how many people I have witnessed to who said "I'm a good person". The "good" they could do deceived them into believing that is what would make them right with God.

Unregenerate people can do both "good" and "evil". The "good" is even more deceiving.



[COLOR=black]As said above I believe he does and can. Yet still a softened heart is not a new heart. For His divine will and purpose our path is laid out by Him. That my grandparents prayed for me to find the Lord could have led God to work in my life outside of my own qualities or questions. The web is not just one strand. Ultimately I believe that all of these internal and external evidences and changes lead to a choice rather than instil the choice itself. I cannot refuse them from happening, I cannot thwart God, yet I can think my own thoughts and come to my own conclusions about what has happened. I can refuse to believe.

And by refusing to believe would you not thwart God's desire to save you?


[COLOR=black]Absolutely, yet we can I think we can still refuse to accept the source of the pressure even though the force is applied and unstoppable.


My only point there is that God does use "force" (if you want to use that term) to bring people to love Him.


Aye, there is the rub. Why not change everybody then… why not from physical birth. And most importantly why the need for Jesus to come to earth and die on the cross. If he can regenerate people pre and post Pentecost, create a specific group of followers at any time; Why was Jesus crucified? The people who looked at the bronze snake were healed after they in faith looked at it. They saw their guilt and need before they were healed.


Well, as I said, I believe God will bring all people back to fellowship with Him and He has a specific time-table to bring this about.

I don't pretend to know fully why He chose this way but I believe we are learning something about Him.


God seeks a broken and contrite heart.
The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

That would be Jesus and those in Him. For there is none righteous (apart from Him).


The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

That would be all of us, before and outside of Christ.


The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. (Psa 34:15-19 KJV)

There are so many factors it is hard to put it into as succinct a statement as you have. God does seek out characteristics in individuals, hard to deny this. Yet the gift is still free. Certain characteristics may lead God to work more in that person’s life but they are not solely responsible for all God’s work in their life. Accepting that you are a sinner is not a work that deserves merit as I see things, yet God seeks out these people to save.


It seems to me that God doesn't seek out characteristics as much as create characteristics.


For sure God desires all men be saved, both the proud and the humble. Yet some while alive on earth cannot claim this justification.

Fully agree!


Why only some now becomes the question. He loved us while we were still sinners. To me a “good moral character” is one who knows they are dirty, rotten, prideful, arrogant sinners. A paradox?

God has a plan would be my answer, though we see thru a glass darkly now.

Good point about the one who knows their character.


The logic holds for the first group.

That is the group I was speaking of. They have complete and total "free will" to choose as they please. Being sinners they of course choose sin because they love darkness.


Yet in this the first man would desire not to be changed, yet God changed him. How this is not a loss of freedom for that changed person? A willing servant pierced through the ear or a servant taken from the comfort of their home in the night.

Well, its really a loss of slavery. The man, after being changed, would realize that it was his WILL that he was in bondage to and that God set Him free and saved Him from his own stupidity.

He would recognize that he was a slave set free (though unwilling at first perhaps) and was not in comfort in sin but in bondage.


And why God chooses the one and rejects the others is still unsaid. I can’t see God doing things without purpose or reason. Grace and mercy is only extended to one, to me this is against the “whosoever” principle. To me the more you realize you don’t deserve grace the closer you are to the Kingdom. And God gives good gifts to those who ask, not demand, but ask.


As a universalist this is not a problem for me. God chooses all people and brings them to Himself in due time.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 - For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,


If one believes one has to be regenerated before they believe it would be the only position available. Then as I don’t think anyone was regenerated before Pentecost it gives context to my view. To me you have to do some fancy things to have the OT saints not just look forward to the cross but participate in something that has not even happened yet. I have only heard one thought that time starts in the middle rather than the beginning and I am still trying to get my brain around that one.

In best Keanu Reeves voice... "Whoa" :)



Fair enough, I believe conviction, illumination, drawing and calling can happen without regeneration. They may be prerequisites for faith, as God is the author of our faith, yet I don’t see unregenerate people have the level of spiritual deadness that many people do. Like in the Princess Bride if you know that classic movie. “he’s not dead, he’s mostly dead”…… “True loooove….” :P

Grace and peace,

Joe

He distinctly said "to blave." And, as we all know, "to blave" means "to bluff." So you're probably playing cards, and he cheated — ;)

I'm not sold on the "mostly dead" idea but I appreciate your thoughts again!

Walstib
Sep 15th 2007, 03:01 PM
Beloved sister,

It was difficult for me to respond to this. Not because I have no response but the tone, as I saw it, is so harsh towards me personally that I needed a few days not to respond from my emotions.


Because you, and others, fail to separate good from evil (light from dark; new from old)... you cannot sharply enough distinguish truth from fiction... to know that the old man did not contribute to anything that the new man has, is, and does. He only fights them... in total and complete separation: warring opposition.


We're talking the difference between Satan and God... at spirit level.

I went straight to the crux of the matter... because everything else is born of this most basic confusion of 2 spiritual opposites. The old man is as to the new man as Satan is as to God. It's an equal comparison... a parallel spiritual truth.

Doctrine is in error... until these truths are clearly revealed and clearly seen. Thinking at a soul level will never clarify spiritual truths sharply and clearly enough to know the truth as the truth truly... is... in Christ.

Well, let me know... if you can hear what I'm saying. Forget about the soul... go to the spirit level "solely"... and that's where the focal point of truth is revealed.

Love in Christ,

js

I will just make a couple points as I can hear and understand what you are saying.

One, if I am to love the Lord with all my soul I won’t forget about it, the soul that is. If I focus too narrowly I miss the things outside of this focus. I myself use as wide an angle lens as possible. Don't want to miss the forest for the trees kind of thing.

Two, your belief of my vision qualities is bold at the very least not knowing me well.

As I understand you, you have two of “you” inside yourself fighting now. You have the new you fighting the old you. Fighting over the body as you said. Two wills, two spirits, two separate individuals. If you are the new man, who is this old man you share your body with if it is not you? *(right off I will qualify I don’t see things this way myself) What if the old man wins a certain battle and sin is conceived. Is that your view? Are you as the new man not responsible for anything the old man does?

And please let’s go forward assuming clear sight with one another rather than condemnations. If I could ask you a favor it would be to have a point by point, question and direct answer discussion rather than throw sermons at each other.

Grace and peace,

Joe

justsurfing
Sep 16th 2007, 05:34 AM
Hi Joe :),

I'm so sorry. I couldn't even read further than your first paragraph. I saw that I came across harsh. You know what, I can re-read that and see how you would have taken. Sincerely, I didn't intend for it to come across like that.

I don't even have the heart to read more until we get the first paragraph settled. :( I was speaking more analytically than personally. I should have spoken personally and not been pondering. It was like I was looking at a "math problem"... going "they see it like this"... and there's the error in the equation.

Joe, I'm so sorry. I did that in college advanced math. The professor would have like these rows of a problem on the chalk board... and it wouldn't work out. And he couldn't find his oops. I'd raise my hand and say, "4th row, 7th integer from the left... that's where it is".

And, in my dumb brain, I was doing that... not being personable at all... not even thinking... Ummmmmmm.... that wasn't very smart of me to think out loud like that... I don't know what to say.... I'm an insensitive person..... I didn't try to be...

It's like a math problem to me... and I'll just be looking for my own errors that way... and I shouldn't have talked that way.

Please forgive me. It wasn't supposed to sound the way I now see it did... the moment you... pointed it out...

:(

God bless,

I'll read the rest later when I feel less like a heel.

Laura

justsurfing
Sep 16th 2007, 06:15 AM
Joe,

I still can't read further your post (I will later)... but I still feel like a heel.

I do have an aspect of my personality, the way I think, that causes me to look for inconsistencies... but I don't communicate so poorly, imo, in person.

In person... even at my company... people feel really valued and appreciated... In fact, people tell me that if they could just "hang around with me"... they'd be so built up and motivated, encouraged, and inspired... they could become.. great. Their full potential.

I'm not so terrible in person, Joe... as I was on my post(s-maybe) on this board. I have that aspect of my personality in looking for inconsistencies... but it doesn't override my being personable... in person.

I do a way better job of validating and affirming people in person... not coming across harsh. Maybe I just don't know how sometimes to be 1D on this computer. So much of my persona I just can't utilize when typing on a screen.

I met this one guy, talked to him for 10 minutes to try to win him to the Lord. (cashier at a gas station)... He was into the occult and fascinated with serial killers... telling me about that. I decided to take some time, smile and listen and tell him about Jesus... and call him to make something positive and community-building of his life. Anyway, in 10 minutes he asked me if I was a motivational speaker... told me that what he really needed was someone like me in his life so that he could reach his full potential, etc., etc.,

He was into serial killers... and that's how effectively I turned that conversation around... in person. Yes, I told him about Jesus... brought the conversation right there... and called him to make that change in his life.

I'm not so terrible in person... I motivate people and they feel great about things in person... which makes this even harder on me.

(I guess I'm trying to make myself feel better... and let you know I'm so much more nicer in person than I came across on that post... )

js

Firstfruits
Sep 16th 2007, 11:12 AM
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnal minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Bacause the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God and neither can be. Romans 8:5-8.

These scriptures show us were we stand with God if we are after the flesh.

Walstib
Sep 16th 2007, 01:54 PM
Laura,

Please know I have been in forgiveness to you from the start, before you asked even. :)

One of the biggest things I am working to get better at is sensitivity. I know the first few months I posted on a board I really put my foot in my mouth deep a number of times. And I would not be surprised if I have done it quite recently either. I have many of the same qualities and difficulties you describe.

I think there are two major kinds of thinkers, know’rs and see’rs, outward’s and inward’s respectively. The inward thinks more in pictures and when describing a thought, looks at it in their mind, sees it, and attempts to explain what they see.

The outward has more of a shopping list of qualities about things. Thinks in point form kind of thing, when describing they list off the qualities that they know about the topic.

More inwards are artists and sensitive where outwards are math lovers and a bit thicker when it comes to sensitivity. I am most definitely an outward by nature. Can’t even draw a stick man properly, but I can quickly list off the effects of electromagnetic forces on conductors.

Now all this could be a bunch of hoohaw, in the end I am trying to say I understand what you are saying. I have learned as the Truth gets deeper and deeper, it is like a granite rock under a microscope with different levels of magnification. At 10 X the is clearly seen there are three colors, and these are what makes up the rock, arguably the full picture given your information. At (*) X you can see within the Quartz itself there are atoms of silicon and oxygen, again this given all the evidence looks like the final truth. I am sure you get the point as we get into protons, then quarks, etc… Yet it is still a granite rock I can stub my toe on the whole time.

All this makes me take time to qualify things as I see them now rather than describing something as “end Truth”. Between that and trying to get to know the people here personally, I am tasting shoe leather less often. ;)

Love ya,

Joe

Ta-An
Sep 16th 2007, 05:09 PM
God is not confused. He is not conflicted. He is not fighting Himself. He is not a God of "preventative grace".

God is the God of all grace... and in Him there is no shadow of turning.

Indeed He is the Master of ALL grace, therefor also of prevenient grace!!

Pardon my absence from this thread for so long....I have been entertaining a Summer-flu :B

Something about this thread keeps jumping in my head...... You know,,,,, all white horses are horses.... yet not all horses are white :idea:

And justsurfing, I feel that you are twisting the truth a bit like this :hmm:

DSK
Sep 16th 2007, 06:24 PM
If every single human is equally sinful and every single human is given equal amount of grace, then why do some humans believe and others reject?


By this time you should know that the answer to that is:

because it is possible to receive God's grace in vain

2 Cor 6:1 Working together with Him, we also appeal to you: "Don't receive God's grace in vain." (HCSB)

That ye receive not the grace of God in vain - "the sense is, “We entreat you not to neglect or slight this offer of pardon, so as to lose the benefit of it" - Albert Barnes

justsurfing
Sep 16th 2007, 06:33 PM
Personal matters aside, discussing the topic of scripture and paradigms, this is why I see things how I see them... from another thread.

my current view:

spirit/soul/body in an unbeliever:

spirit = sinful nature, Satan
body = body of Adam fallen; body of death
soul = sinful nature, Satan coming from internally the body; spirit at core.

In an unbeliever, the Holy Spirit is an "outside invader" effecting the soul. The Holy Spirit does effect and influence the soul of an unbeliever... but not from internal residence in the spirit. Thus, the Holy Spirit is not "indwelling". To "indwell" is to "indwell" the spirit.

The soul of an unbeliever is thus "divided" until such time as an unbeliever blasphemes the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit actively restrains full expression of the spirit of an unbeliever external to the unregenerate spirit of the unbeliever... yet via the soul.

The "soul" is not "who" a person is at core; the "spirit" is.

Focussing on soul, rather than spirit as central, does not produce clarity of revelation, imo. "spirit is the river from which the springs of soul are filled" (my view) If the soul is not completely filled with the springs of the spirit as a river... an external contrary force is "blocking" that spirit from fully filling the soul.

In an unbeliever, that external contrary force "holding back" full manifestation of the evil spirit within a man is the Holy Spirit restraining the following:

1. full blasphemy of the Spirit.... (as soon as the Holy Spirit stops restraining, the "river" of the spirit of the unbeliever does what it fully wills to do: blasphemes the Holy Spirit. It is only divine intervention and external restraint that "holds back sinners" from blasphemy of the Holy Spirit according to their own evil nature, evil spirit of Satan within them at core nature/being.)

2. murderous and all evil intent in action.... (Man is so utterly wicked, the presence of Holy Spirit externally restrains wicked, evil men from acting fully on the wickedness of the evil, sinful natures within them. The Holy Spirit restrains the evil men would do by nature... were it not for the external spiritual restraint of the Holy Spirit. Were it not for God actively externally restraining evil... "all hell would break loose"... literally in the evil and murderous actions of men.)

These are beginning foundational points I hold scripturally. Do you see any points you would not agree with? If you do not agree, what do you see differently? Personally, I believe I have studied out and see these points with absolutely clarity of revelation by the Holy Spirit. Yet the Word can always correct me.

Where I need to "connect" is with what you are saying relative to "body" and spiritual state of being... and the conflict between spiritual powers that result in a "divided soul". (2 opposite spiritual powers battling in the "battleground" of the soul.)

1. Man is either totally evil at a spiritual core level as an unbeliever (though not yet completely evil in soul due to positive outside influence), or,

2. Man is either totally good at a spiritual core level as a believer (though not yet completely good in soul due to negative outside influence.) (I can do a spirit/soul/body of a believer... but not all at once...)

This is my beginning foundational paradigm. No, I do not believe that discussion of soul has any place, personally, in core revelation of spiritual truth. To discuss an "immortal soul"... makes no sense to me. We must discuss spiritual truth. Then go from spiritual to body/soul. The spiritual truth is what is core.

Unbelievers and believers must be completely separated between dark and light at core spiritual level... then from there... everything body and soul must align with spiritual truth in life and in death... for full revelation to occur (in my paradigm). This is where I'm coming from....

All discussions of prevenient grace, imo, disregard what man is at core: a spiritual being. (Prevenient grace, imo, ignores key truths.)

Prevenient grace focuses on activity in the soul and attributes to the sinful nature the work of the Holy Spirit. (Work the sinful nature is incapable of doing... making positive spiritual decisions towards God of his own free accord.) Only the influence of the Holy Spirit explains any and all decisions for Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit never gains any agreement on the part of the sinful nature... which is the core being of an unbeliever. The will of the sinful nature is never "forced" to agree with God. On the contrary, the will of the sinful nature is "gone around" by God... completely.

The sinful nature never comes into agreement with God.

A complete dichotomy occurs.

The decision "for Christ" is made solely by the new man... the new creation... and is wrought 100% by God.

The new man is not passive but active in full agreement functioning with the Holy Spirit in salvation, etc. (by creation).

The old man cannot function with the Holy Spirit... at all.

The only way, and I'm not trying to "step on toes", to maintain any confusion relative to God's grace... is to function at a soulish level... and believe that a man is not really a spirit being... he's not really a sinner at core being born of a sinful nature spiritually conceived in sin.

Taking credit for the work of the Holy Spirit in the soul... is the only way to believe the old man is the "decision maker" in one's salvation rather than God (in conjunction with the new man) alone... as I see it.

I can't see things differently and be honest. And I can't say different than what I see and be honest.

The focus on human will is inherently functioning at a soul level... in analysis... and, imo, produces doctrinal error... and leaves the "old man" counterfeiting in our own understandings taking credit, imo, for what the "new man in Christ" has done in concert with the Holy Spirit spiritually.

Now, when I stand up to speak in person... the anointing of the Holy Spirit moves powerfully. I speak, feel the anointing move.. and watch God do His own work. The anointing literally falls and "gets on top of" people. The anointing literally (I can't hardly describe how it works) "pushes all contrary power under"... and people come up in the Spirit baptized in the Spirit in glory in full conviction of what I just "typed". The Spirit of God does His own work... and He's the only one who can convince people. I can't. And I'm not a teacher, either.

This is not my "gift-sharing" forte on this forum.... but yet it's very helpful to me as I seek to gain more clear revelation personally through the teaching gifts of others. So I've gained a lot by being on the forum here. But I do recognize that it's not an effective venue for me to best share my gifts with others. I rely very heavily on the anointing upon me in personal interaction as well as ministry... and I'm a little "handicapped" on this pc... and will not actively seek to convince someone.

In my gifting when I speak, I make no effort to convince. I boldly state what I believe... and the Spirit moves. I can't do His work. But because I am bold and honest in saying what I believe... He somehow uses that same style of speech in person to move powerfully.

I'm at a loss, I'm sorry...

Love in Christ,

js

RogerW
Sep 16th 2007, 07:39 PM
For those of you who believe that we are saved through our free-will choice, can you please explain to me these verses of Scripture?

Ro 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

Very clearly the Bible says that we receive faith through hearing the Word of God. But we also find that some hear the Word preached and they do not receive faith. Why? If you say it is because they freely choose to reject/accept the message, then we are left with a problem of how to interpret Scripture that clearly tells us that hearing the Word of God brings faith. It does NOT say that hearing the Word of God brings faith UNLESS of your own free will decide to reject it. Since Scripture clearly tells us that when you hear the Word of God faith comes, and since it equally tells us that some did indeed hear the preached Word and did not receive faith, how can both statements be true? And since both statements are the Word of God ARE therefore absolute truth, what makes the difference in those who 'hear'...is it free will, or Sovereign God opening ears to hear, making it possible for some to receive faith needed to repent and believe?

RW

DSK
Sep 16th 2007, 09:24 PM
Very clearly the Bible says that we receive faith through hearing the Word of God. But we also find that some hear the Word preached and they do not receive faith. Why?

Let me post the Scripture

Rom 10:17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.
Rom 10:18 But I ask, "Did they not hear?" Yes, they did: Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the inhabited world.

That Scripture doesn't say faith is "received." It says faith "comes" And if you want to be even more accurate the word "comes" is not found in the Greek manuscripts either. It was added by the translators to give what they believe is the intended meaning of the verse.

Now to your question.
If faith comes from hearing, as stated in Rom 10:17, then why didn't faith come to those who Rom 10:18-19 says heard? Verse 18 asks the following question:
But I ask, "Did they not hear?"
Then provides an answer to that question as follows
Yes, they did

Here is the scoop
Merely hearing the word doesn't bring about faith
Hearing the word and believing that word is how faith is brought about.

Rom 10:17 -
So then faith cometh ... - He did not condemn people for not believing what they had not heard; but he complains of those who did not believe a message actually delivered to them. Albert Barnes Commentary

The simple truth is, some who hear the word gladly receive it with joy. Still others who hear the word despise and reject it.

I will address the other verse you posted when I have time.

justsurfing
Sep 16th 2007, 10:24 PM
Hi Joe, :)

I'll try to respond. I've always thought you were such a nice guy, and people that I really like and think highly of... can crush me to the ground really quick and easy... when I feel I've "done them wrong." (I stopped reading the moment I saw what you wrote in the first paragraph... just stopped... )

I'm sorry, I'm sure I'm brutal. Honestly, Joe, God was so brutal with me... He literally plunged me immersively into hell... because I asked Him for full revelation of grace. :)

No, it wasn't "punishment"... like He was mad I asked... lol

It was the answer to my request for full revelation. I came out of the flames, crushed, totally weakened, burned from head to toe spiritually internally, etc... and said, (weakly), "thanks". I really wanted to know!! I would have rather suffered that incredible suffering than not know. (Then I asked Him to throw me on the trash heap. Whatever "potential" I'd had for ministry or service, clearly, had been totally destroyed, imo. And He gave me to know, "My strength is made perfect in weakness.")

Maybe it's brutal honesty... what I've said... and I could say it in a way that isn't brutal...??? I'll really try.... :) More personable... less brutal... I'll try... (I sure am lacking not being able to communicate in person... people think I'm hilarious... and not unfriendly, I think... so they tell me... )




One, if I am to love the Lord with all my soul I won’t forget about it, the soul that is. If your spirit is strenghened fully in your inner being by the Holy Spirit, your spirit (who loves God) will fill all your soul. It is your born-again spirit that needs to fill your soul in inner strength by the Holy Spirit - taking ascendancy and mastery over the flesh and sinful nature... to gain full infilling in sanctification of your soul. Your spirit must be the focus... so that your soul is filled with your spirit and your soul is undivided in love for God. Then you will have a perfect, and undivided heart.


If I focus too narrowly I miss the things outside of this focus. I myself use as wide an angle lens as possible. Don't want to miss the forest for the trees kind of thing.
I answered how I think above.


Two, your belief of my vision qualities is bold at the very least not knowing me well.

It wasn't very diplomatically stated.... can we forget about it??

:)


As I understand you, you have two of “you” inside yourself fighting now. You have the new you fighting the old you. Fighting over the body as you said. Two wills, two spirits, two separate individuals. If you are the new man, who is this old man you share your body with if it is not you? Reading the scriptures separates the old and new.
*(right off I will qualify I don’t see things this way myself) OK


What if the old man wins a certain battle and sin is conceived. Is that your view? Are you as the new man not responsible for anything the old man does? Amen. That's spiritual truth revealed in scripture... I won't quote a bunch... but that's it exactly. That's how everything Jesus taught and the Bible states... makes sense.


And please let’s go forward assuming clear sight with one another rather than condemnations. If I could ask you a favor it would be to have a point by point, question and direct answer discussion rather than throw sermons at each other. I can try.

I didn't read the rest of what you wrote before... oh, cause, that's just like me. People just don't get upset with me that I like, because in person... I don't make these kind of mistakes. I shut right up when I see I may be stepping on a toe. Smile. Just wait... and just avoid 99 out of 100 conflicts... and people appreciate about me that in real life... I'm actually very sensitive of others.... which makes me feel like a super-schmuck when I stumble into it without even "catching it".. on the boards here.

God bless,

js

RogerW
Sep 17th 2007, 03:08 AM
Let me post the Scripture

Rom 10:17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.
Rom 10:18 But I ask, "Did they not hear?" Yes, they did: Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the inhabited world.

That Scripture doesn't say faith is "received." It says faith "comes" And if you want to be even more accurate the word "comes" is not found in the Greek manuscripts either. It was added by the translators to give what they believe is the intended meaning of the verse.

Now to your question.
If faith comes from hearing, as stated in Rom 10:17, then why didn't faith come to those who Rom 10:18-19 says heard? Verse 18 asks the following question:
But I ask, "Did they not hear?"
Then provides an answer to that question as follows
Yes, they did

Here is the scoop
Merely hearing the word doesn't bring about faith
Hearing the word and believing that word is how faith is brought about.

Rom 10:17 -
So then faith cometh ... - He did not condemn people for not believing what they had not heard; but he complains of those who did not believe a message actually delivered to them. Albert Barnes Commentary

The simple truth is, some who hear the word gladly receive it with joy. Still others who hear the word despise and reject it.

I will address the other verse you posted when I have time.

Faith and believing are inseparable. If you believe you have faith, and if you have faith you believe. But the text clearly says it is through hearing (glad tidings) that faith/believing comes. How could the nation have heard, and yet not receive faith/belief? Hearing is the key, but quite obviously the nation heard physically, not spiritually. Why?

The text does not say faith comes by hearing only to those who receive it, and that some who hear the Word will not be blessed with faith/belief because they despise and reject it. It is true that they certainly do despise and reject it, but why do some despise and reject it instead of receiving faith/belief promised through hearing? There are no stipulations given in this verse, it does not say faith comes by hearing the Word IF you don't despise and reject it.

justsurfing
Sep 17th 2007, 03:42 AM
I thank God for so many things. I feel so blessed - just think about it - that I live in one nation of fairly few on earth where I can publicly practice my faith free of most levels of persecution. I know doctrine from study of the Word of God.

However, when a person's doctrine is biblical... that's exactly how life really works in practice. I thank God for having known so personally a person who had not the same grace I had... and who blasphemed the Holy Spirit as an unbeliever. (In these last days, we're going to see that more and more as the Holy Spirit lifts restraint... and scripture is fulfilled, imo.)

But please let me explain to you this reality. I went to him, because the Lord directed me to... and I was quite concerned for him in love in Christ. And I said, not from any position of my own righteousness... but in prayerful concern... and looked him in the eyes and said quite gently, "I really feel the Lord would have me warn you. You need to repent and change, and if you don't... the judgment of God is going to fall on you."

He took it like I said it, looking him in the eyes. He knew it was concern for him. He said, "Laura, I have a beautiful wife, 2 beautiful children, a house, a truck, a boat, etc., etc. I have everything a man could want. I don't know what's wrong with me. I can't change." Not didn't want to, people. Couldn't.

Please, I don't really have one ounce of respect, sincerely, for this doctrine that states this man had "power to choose" but just chose not to. He went forward for prayer... he did everything he saw Christians around him do... and could not reach God...and only got worse. Please, allow me to tell you... the night Satan came to steal and seal his soul completely... this man was 100% helpless and powerless over Satan.

Please, allow me to tell you... there will not be one person on the right on Judgment Day with one ounce more merit or ability than my former husband... who will be standing on the left... had. We all were born with that same inability to believe. He tried to choose with the sinful nature... and could not... because he could not believe. I learned that from my Bible. But I lived it in my experience.

And if anyone wants to say that they - by their own merit or virtue are on the right on Judgment Day... while the man I loved is on the left... no, that's not why. The reason can't be found in your own choosing ability... or nothing in or of yourself, your choices, your actions, your anything.

You would have had just as much power over Satan when he came to steal and seal your soul... as the man I loved did. I was there. He had none. And if ever you experience a manifestation of that level power of the enemy... there is no way the human soul can stand against it without the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit.

Not our choice. Not our ability to choose. Not our faith. Not our ability to believe. I can tell you by virtue of the Word of God and the full flames of hell... what was in that man in and of himself was nothing but the devil's power over him as a sinner. And that's what it is to be conceived in sin.

God bless you all... prevenient grace did nothing. Grace is all or nothing... because God is all in all...and man is nothing. That's how saving grace works: 100%... or zero. Right or left.

Love in Christ,

js

DSK
Sep 17th 2007, 09:37 AM
Faith and believing are inseparable. If you believe you have faith, and if you have faith you believe.

I don't disagree with that



But the text clearly says it is through hearing (glad tidings) that faith/believing comes.

Once again the word "comes" is not found in the original Greek text. It was added by the translators.


How could the nation have heard, and yet not receive faith/belief? Hearing is the key, but quite obviously the nation heard physically, not spiritually. Why?

The text doesn't make any distinction between physical hearing and spiritual hearing. That is an assumption you must make.

Here is Rom 10:17 included with some surrounding text

Rom 10:16 But they did not all hearken to the glad tidings. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Rom 10:17 So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Rom 10:18 But I say, Did they not hear? Yea, verily, Their sound went out into all the earth, And their words unto the ends of the world.


The text does not say faith comes by hearing only to those who receive it, and that some who hear the Word will not be blessed with faith/belief because they despise and reject it. It is true that they certainly do despise and reject it, but why do some despise and reject it instead of receiving faith/belief promised through hearing? There are no stipulations given in this verse, it does not say faith comes by hearing the Word IF you don't despise and reject it.

Rom 10:18 tells us that there were those who did hear, but verse 16 tells us that not all hearkened to the glad tidings. The word hearken in verse 16 is the Greek word hupakouō which when translated to our English has the following definition
Thayer Definition:
1) to listen, to harken
1a) of one who on the knock at the door comes to listen who it is, (the duty of a porter)
2) to harken to a command
2a) to obey, be obedient to, submit to

It's not that those in verse 16 didn't hear, because verse 18 says they truly did hear. What we learn from verse 16 is that they did not obey and submit to that which they did hear.

Rom 10:17 -
So then faith cometh ... - He did not condemn people for not believing what they had not heard; but he complains of those who did not believe a message actually delivered to them. - Albert Barnes Commentary

The Gospel of John mentions those who reject the truth of the word of God.
John 12:48 The one who rejects Me and doesn't accept My sayings has this as his judge: the word I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

"The cause why all are not saved by Christ . . . is the infidelity of men, whereby they refuse the benefits of Christ offered in the Gospel" - The Summe - Ursinus


.

Toolman
Sep 17th 2007, 03:31 PM
By this time you should know that the answer to that is:

because it is possible to receive God's grace in vain

2 Cor 6:1 Working together with Him, we also appeal to you: "Don't receive God's grace in vain." (HCSB)

That ye receive not the grace of God in vain - "the sense is, “We entreat you not to neglect or slight this offer of pardon, so as to lose the benefit of it" - Albert Barnes

That does not answer the question but simply poises it in another form.

If every single human is equally sinful and every single human is given equal amount of grace, then why do some humans recieve God's grace in vain and others do not?

What is this "good thing", this "difference", within the one man and not the other if both are EQUALLY sinful and given EQUAL amounts of grace.

RogerW
Sep 17th 2007, 04:22 PM
I don't disagree with that

Once again the word "comes" is not found in the original Greek text. It was added by the translators.

The text doesn't make any distinction between physical hearing and spiritual hearing. That is an assumption you must make.

Here is Rom 10:17 included with some surrounding text

Rom 10:16 But they did not all hearken to the glad tidings. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Rom 10:17 So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Rom 10:18 But I say, Did they not hear? Yea, verily, Their sound went out into all the earth, And their words unto the ends of the world.

Rom 10:18 tells us that there were those who did hear, but verse 16 tells us that not all hearkened to the glad tidings. The word hearken in verse 16 is the Greek word hupakouō which when translated to our English has the following definition
Thayer Definition:
1) to listen, to harken
1a) of one who on the knock at the door comes to listen who it is, (the duty of a porter)
2) to harken to a command
2a) to obey, be obedient to, submit to

It's not that those in verse 16 didn't hear, because verse 18 says they truly did hear. What we learn from verse 16 is that they did not obey and submit to that which they did hear.

Rom 10:17 -
So then faith cometh ... - He did not condemn people for not believing what they had not heard; but he complains of those who did not believe a message actually delivered to them. - Albert Barnes Commentary

The Gospel of John mentions those who reject the truth of the word of God.
John 12:48 The one who rejects Me and doesn't accept My sayings has this as his judge: the word I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

"The cause why all are not saved by Christ . . . is the infidelity of men, whereby they refuse the benefits of Christ offered in the Gospel" - The Summe - Ursinus
.

Okay, we are in complete agreement, they (nation) all heard the proclamation of the Word. Once again, why did hearing not produce faith/belief since faith is by hearing? Why did they reject the message? Why do some refuse the benefits of Christ offered in the gospel? Is there something wrong with the promise or does the problem lie with the hearing?

John also mentions those who are not of His sheep, only His sheep can hear His voice and believe. He speaks of those who cannot hear His Word because they are of their father, the devil. So even though they can "hear" the gospel, they cannot "hear" His voice and believe.

Joh 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Joh 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Joh 8:45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

Blessings,
RW

DSK
Sep 17th 2007, 08:08 PM
Okay, we are in complete agreement, they (nation) all heard the proclamation of the Word. Once again, why did hearing not produce faith/belief since faith is by hearing? Why did they reject the message? Why do some refuse the benefits of Christ offered in the gospel? Is there something wrong with the promise or does the problem lie with the hearing?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the promise. The problem lies soley upon those who reject the message.

John 12:48 The one who rejects Me and doesn't accept My sayings has this as his judge: the word I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

"The cause why all are not saved by Christ . . . is the infidelity of men, whereby they refuse the benefits of Christ offered in the Gospel" - The Summe - Ursinus


John also mentions those who are not of His sheep, only His sheep can hear His voice and believe. He speaks of those who cannot hear His Word because they are of their father, the devil. So even though they can "hear" the gospel, they cannot "hear" His voice and believe.

Joh 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 10:27 -
My sheep hear my voice - But ye will not hear: - my sheep follow me; but ye will neither follow nor acknowledge me. Any person who reads without prejudice may easily see, that our Lord does not at all insinuate that these persons could not believe, because God had made it impossible to them - Adam Clarke Commentary


Joh 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

Because ye cannot hear my word - That is, ye cannot bear my doctrine: it comes too close to you; it searches your hearts, detects your hypocrisy, and exposes your iniquitous intentions and designs; and as ye are determined not to leave your sins, so ye are purposed not to hear my doctrine. - Adam Clarke Commentary

John 8:43 -
Why do ye not ... - My meaning is clear, if you were disposed to understand me.
Even because ye cannot hear my word - The word “hear” in this place is to be understood in the sense of bear or tolerate, as in Joh_6:60. His doctrine was offensive to them. They hated it, and hence they perverted his meaning, and were resolved not to understand him. Their pride, vanity, and wickedness opposed it. The reason why sinners do not understand the Bible and its doctrines is because they cannot bear them. They hate them, and their hatred produces want of candor, a disposition to cavil and to pervert the truth, and an obstinate purpose that it shall not be applied to their case. Hence, they embrace every form of false doctrine, and choose error rather than truth, and darkness rather than light. A disposition to believe God is one of the best helps for understanding the Bible. - Albert Barnes Commentary

DSK
Sep 17th 2007, 08:14 PM
That does not answer the question but simply poises it in another form.

If every single human is equally sinful and every single human is given equal amount of grace, then why do some humans recieve God's grace in vain and others do not?

What is this "good thing", this "difference", within the one man and not the other if both are EQUALLY sinful and given EQUAL amounts of grace.

When a man has been regenerated by God, the will of man is again restored to be able to believe or not believe, to obey or not obey. To not believe is to be disobedient, and will bring forth judgement upon those who reject the message.

John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day.

.

Toolman
Sep 17th 2007, 08:19 PM
When a man has been regenerated by God, the will of man is again restored to be able to believe or not believe, to obey or not obey.

Once again, that does not answer the question but simply rephrases it.

If every single human is equally sinful and every single human is given equal amount of grace (i.e. regenerated), then why do some humans believe and others do not?

What is this "good thing", this "difference", within the one man and not the other if both are EQUALLY sinful and EQUALLY regenerated.


To not believe is to be disobedient, and will bring forth judgement upon those who reject the message.

Will the unregenerate also be judged?

DSK
Sep 17th 2007, 08:31 PM
Once again, that does not answer the question but simply rephrases it.

If every single human is equally sinful and every single human is given equal amount of grace (i.e. regenerated), then why do some humans believe and others do not?

What is this "good thing", this "difference", within the one man and not the other if both are EQUALLY sinful and EQUALLY regenerated.

Having the will restored means people are capable of making choices. It's not a matter of "what good thing " makes the difference. The difference is individual choice to believe or not, to obey or not.


Will the unregenerate also be judged?

Yes

Toolman
Sep 17th 2007, 08:37 PM
Having the will restored means people are capable of making choices. It's not a matter of "what good thing " makes the difference. The difference is individual choice to believe or not, to obey or not.

Sure it is. There must be SOME difference in the 2 people.

Both are equally sinful. Both are given the same exact amount of grace.

Yet, one believes, whereas the other does not. That neccessitates that there is SOMETHING different between to the 2 people.

What is that difference?

I know the question can't be answered by the arminian but it is THE question nonetheless.


Yes

We've been here before so I'll leave it at that for now. Perhaps we'll come back around to that again another day.

DSK
Sep 17th 2007, 09:03 PM
Sure it is. There must be SOME difference in the 2 people.

The difference is in the choice bewteen individuals. Two regenerated people can make different choices. One can reject the message, and the other can believe it. Nevertheless both were regenerated. Why do 2 equally sinful unregenerated people make different decisions? They are both sinful. They are both without God. They are both totally depraved. It's called freedom of choice.


I know the question can't be answered by the arminian but it is THE question nonetheless.

You keep attempting to throw me into the Arminian camp. After some recent studying on the writtings of Jacob Arminius, John Wesley, and John Fletcher, I learned how I differ from Arminian's. Arminians believe that Prevenient grace precedes both faith and regeneration. On the other hand I believe regeneration which in my view is prevenient grace precedes faith. Basically my Ordus Salutis and the Arminian Ordus Salutus differs in that respect. I just wanted to clear that false label you have been trying to attach to me for some time now.

Toolman
Sep 17th 2007, 09:13 PM
The difference is in the choice bewteen individuals. Two regenerated people can make different choices. One can reject the message, and the other can believe it. Nevertheless both were regenerated. Why do 2 equally sinful unregenerated people make different decisions? They are both sinful. They are both without God. They are both totally depraved. It's called freedom of choice.

Unregenerate people don't make different choices. They disbelieve and hate the light equally.

Once again the question goes unanswered. It is a tough one I realize.



You keep attempting to throw me into the Arminian camp. After some recent studying on the writtings of Jacob Arminius, John Wesley, and John Fletcher, I learned how I differ from Arminian's. Arminians believe that Prevenient grace precedes both faith and regeneration. On the other hand I believe regeneration which in my view is prevenient grace precedes faith. Basically my Ordus Salutis and the Arminian Ordus Salutus differs in that respect. I just wanted to clear that false label you have been trying to attach to me for some time now.

Actually traditional arminian soteriology disagrees with Wesley's prevenient grace (IMO) and is in full agreement with your position:

Here is article 3 of the Remonstrants (which resulted in Dort's TULIP response):

Article 3

That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of an by himself neither think, will, nor do any thing that is truly good (such as saving Faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John 15:5, “Without me ye can do nothing.”

There is nothing new under the sun DSK.

Just as you recognized the pelagianism in others comments, the arminian soteriology is present in your view.

I'm not knocking either you or arminian theology by putting you in that camp. We can call it "dog" or "cat" for all I care. The label is meaningless, it is the ideas under the label that matter. Labels just help us distinguish ideas.

RogerW
Sep 17th 2007, 10:08 PM
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the promise. The problem lies soley upon those who reject the message.

John 12:48 The one who rejects Me and doesn't accept My sayings has this as his judge: the word I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

"The cause why all are not saved by Christ . . . is the infidelity of men, whereby they refuse the benefits of Christ offered in the Gospel" - The Summe - Ursinus

John 10:27 -
My sheep hear my voice - But ye will not hear: - my sheep follow me; but ye will neither follow nor acknowledge me. Any person who reads without prejudice may easily see, that our Lord does not at all insinuate that these persons could not believe, because God had made it impossible to them - Adam Clarke Commentary

Because ye cannot hear my word - That is, ye cannot bear my doctrine: it comes too close to you; it searches your hearts, detects your hypocrisy, and exposes your iniquitous intentions and designs; and as ye are determined not to leave your sins, so ye are purposed not to hear my doctrine. - Adam Clarke Commentary

John 8:43 -
Why do ye not ... - My meaning is clear, if you were disposed to understand me.
Even because ye cannot hear my word - The word “hear” in this place is to be understood in the sense of bear or tolerate, as in Joh_6:60. His doctrine was offensive to them. They hated it, and hence they perverted his meaning, and were resolved not to understand him. Their pride, vanity, and wickedness opposed it. The reason why sinners do not understand the Bible and its doctrines is because they cannot bear them. They hate them, and their hatred produces want of candor, a disposition to cavil and to pervert the truth, and an obstinate purpose that it shall not be applied to their case. Hence, they embrace every form of false doctrine, and choose error rather than truth, and darkness rather than light. A disposition to believe God is one of the best helps for understanding the Bible. - Albert Barnes Commentary

DSK, I know from your point of view you think you are answering the question, but the simple truth is that some can not understand the meaning and sense of the gospel because though they hear the sound of words, they do not hear nor discern the spiritual sense and meaning of the words. They are blind and deaf, as is every fallen man by nature, they have eyes but they cannot see, and ears but they cannot hear.

But...'He that is of God'...he who belongs to God by eternal election (Jo 6:37; 17:9; 2Ti 2:19), is born of God. These will receive God's Word with affection, reverence and obedience (Jo 10:26; 18:37). The simple reason that some do no believe is because they are not God's children, but are in fact children of the devil.

Blessings,
RW

DSK
Sep 17th 2007, 11:07 PM
Unregenerate people don't make different choices. They disbelieve and hate the light equally.

I would be more inclined to say that all unregenerate people are blinded to the light, however I don't see the unregenerate equally hating the light. The rabid atheist appears to hate the light more than the moderate agnostic. I would also say that unregenerate people do indeed make different choices. Kevin, who is unregenerate is a good moralist, and it has never entered his mind to steal, cheat on his wife, or kill another person. Harry on the other hand, who also is unregenerate, has stolen, and then later robbed a few banks, and even murdered a few armed guards.


Once again the question goes unanswered. It is a tough one I realize.

Or maybe it really has been answered and people are not willing to settle for a simple answer. Maybe they think the answer can't possibly be that simple. Maybe they think the answer should be more philosophical and complicated. Maybe they have pre-conceived presuppositions and think the question can't possibly be answered so easily if at all. To them it may seem more complicated than it actually is.


Actually traditional arminian soteriology disagrees with Wesley's prevenient grace (IMO)

Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't. Maybe Wesley's understanding of the five articles of the remonstrants was better than your understanding of those same five articles. Maybe it only seems to you that they disagree. Here is what I mean. I have never before read the five articles of the remonstrants, but now that I look at them they seem to be unclear in their wording, and I see how they might cause confusion. The words of those articles don't seem defined as well as I think they should be. Look at articles 3 and 4 together.

Article 3.
[Deprivation - corresponds to the first of TULIP’s five points, Total Depravity]
That man does not posses saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as in his state of apostasy and sin he can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do any thing that is truly good (such as saving Faith eminently is); but that it is necessary that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, and will, and all his faculties, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John 15:5, “Without me you can do nothing.”

Article 4.
[Resistible Grace - corresponds to the fourth of TULIP’s five points, Irresistible Grace]
That this grace of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of all good, even to the extent that the regenerate man himself, without prevenient or assisting, awakening, following and cooperative grace, can neither think, will, nor do good, nor withstand any temptations to evil; so that all good deeds or movements that can be conceived must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. But with respect to the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible, since it is written concerning many, that they have resisted the Holy Spirit (Acts 7, and elsewhere in many places).

Now I personally believe regenerating grace is irresistable, but from those two articles of the remonstrants, I can't really tell which grace it is that they believe is resistable. I am not sure from the wording whether the grace that is resistable to them is prevenient grace, regenerating grace, awakening grace, etc. In article 4, they also use the phrase "regenerating man ... without prevenient grace," as to make a distinction between those two. It even seems from the wording that they might possibly be placing prevenient grace before regenerating grace, and if that's the case then maybe Wesleyan Arminianism agrees with traditional Arminianism more than you may think. Thats just what I see in wording that the Remonstrants use. And if I am reading it correctly, then my own theology is not as comparable to Arminianism as you may believe.


Just as you recognized the pelagianism in others comments, the arminian soteriology is present in your view.

Since you pointed me towards the articles of the Remonstrants (see above), I am now even more inclined to believe that my view differs quite substantially from Arminianism.

DSK
Sep 17th 2007, 11:17 PM
The simple reason that some do no believe is because they are not God's children, but are in fact children of the devil.



No one is a child God until faith is engendered. Thats why Scripture says Eph 5:8 For ye were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord:

Toolman
Sep 18th 2007, 02:40 AM
I would be more inclined to say that all unregenerate people are blinded to the light, however I don't see the unregenerate equally hating the light.

If they are only blind then they have no sin and cannot be judged (John 9:41) but scripture declares that all have sinned and fallen short and man is without excuse before God.


The rabid atheist appears to hate the light more than the moderate agnostic. I would also say that unregenerate people do indeed make different choices. Kevin, who is unregenerate is a good moralist, and it has never entered his mind to steal, cheat on his wife, or kill another person. Harry on the other hand, who also is unregenerate, has stolen, and then later robbed a few banks, and even murdered a few armed guards.

Appearances can be deceptive. This is what is so deceptive about the knowledge of good and evil. "Good" condemns more people than "evil" does.

I don't know how many people I have witnessed to that said "I'm a good person". There "goodness" deceived them. In reality they hated God (apart from His grace) and don't even realize it because of their own self deceiving hearts.


Or maybe it really has been answered and people are not willing to settle for a simple answer. Maybe they think the answer can't possibly be that simple. Maybe they think the answer should be more philosophical and complicated. Maybe they have pre-conceived presuppositions and think the question can't possibly be answered so easily if at all. To them it may seem more complicated than it actually is.

Don't misunderstand me. You are correct that the question is very simple to answer. My point was it is very difficult for the free-will/arminian person to answer (I know from experience).

But in reality, yes, the question is very simple to answer and very biblical to answer.

What is the difference between the 2 men?

The answer is the same stumbling block that it has been for 2000 years.

Jesus Christ!

The answer never changes. It is the ONLY answer that puts man in his rightful place (needy) and Christ in His rightful place (Provider).

Stumbling block to human effort but nonetheless He is the answer to the question.


Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't. Maybe Wesley's understanding of the five articles of the remonstrants was better than your understanding of those same five articles. Maybe it only seems to you that they disagree. Here is what I mean. I have never before read the five articles of the remonstrants, but now that I look at them they seem to be unclear in their wording, and I see how they might cause confusion. The words of those articles don't seem defined as well as I think they should be. Look at articles 3 and 4 together.

Article 3.
[Deprivation - corresponds to the first of TULIP’s five points, Total Depravity]
That man does not posses saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, inasmuch as in his state of apostasy and sin he can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do any thing that is truly good (such as saving Faith eminently is); but that it is necessary that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, and will, and all his faculties, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John 15:5, “Without me you can do nothing.”

Article 4.
[Resistible Grace - corresponds to the fourth of TULIP’s five points, Irresistible Grace]
That this grace of God is the beginning, continuance, and accomplishment of all good, even to the extent that the regenerate man himself, without prevenient or assisting, awakening, following and cooperative grace, can neither think, will, nor do good, nor withstand any temptations to evil; so that all good deeds or movements that can be conceived must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ. But with respect to the mode of the operation of this grace, it is not irresistible, since it is written concerning many, that they have resisted the Holy Spirit (Acts 7, and elsewhere in many places).

Now I personally believe regenerating grace is irresistable, but from those two articles of the remonstrants, I can't really tell which grace it is that they believe is resistable. I am not sure from the wording whether the grace that is resistable to them is prevenient grace, regenerating grace, awakening grace, etc. In article 4, they also use the phrase "regenerating man ... without prevenient grace," as to make a distinction between those two. It even seems from the wording that they might possibly be placing prevenient grace before regenerating grace, and if that's the case then maybe Wesleyan Arminianism agrees with traditional Arminianism more than you may think. Thats just what I see in wording that the Remonstrants use. And if I am reading it correctly, then my own theology is not as comparable to Arminianism as you may believe.

Since you pointed me towards the articles of the Remonstrants (see above), I am now even more inclined to believe that my view differs quite substantially from Arminianism.

Well, we can't really blame the Remonstrants for being a bit vague. They are trying to maintain a biblical balance but realize that some of what they present is not logical and disrupts other parts of their doctrine.

For instance your own position on whether all men are regenerated. You (like the remonstrants) stated that you are unclear whether that is the case or not and agreed that if God did not regenerate all then, IYO, that would not be just or fair.

So, the Remonstrants were men attempting to understand the biblical text within a framework of free-will. Not always an easy task :)

DSK
Sep 18th 2007, 08:56 AM
If they are only blind then they have no sin and cannot be judged (John 9:41) but scripture declares that all have sinned and fallen short and man is without excuse before God.



I didn't say they were "only" blind.