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DSK
Sep 12th 2007, 03:43 PM
I have heard many people say that the grace of God cannot be thwarted and that grace is irresistable.

Question:
If the grace of God cannot be thwarted, and is irresistable, then how should we interpret the following Scripture. Is that verse really saying that a person can receive God's grace in vain?

2 Cor 6:1 And working together with him we entreat also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain (ASV)

Below is the same verse from another translation:

2 Cor 6:1 Since, then, we are working with God, we plead with you not to accept God's grace in vain. (ISV)

and below is the same verse for you KJV only persons

2 Cor 6:1
¶ We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

.

Sold Out
Sep 12th 2007, 04:54 PM
I have heard many people say that the grace of God cannot be thwarted and that grace is irresistable.
.

You probably heard this from someone who believes in Calvinism/predestination. Irresistable grace is the 'I' in the T.U.L.I.P (5 point calvinism)

Based on the verses you referenced, it appears you have answered your own question....

Toolman
Sep 12th 2007, 05:00 PM
I have heard many people say that the grace of God cannot be thwarted and that grace is irresistable.

DSK,

Just to make sure we are all on the "same page of the hymnal" :) before we start:

1) I have heard the "will" of God cannot be thwarted but not the grace of God. And then further that it is ultimately that God's will is not thwarted when the plan of redemption is complete.

2) Are you speaking specifically of salvific grace? i.e. the grace that brings a person to faith in Christ and justifies them before God or just grace in general in all areas of life?


Question:
If the grace of God cannot be thwarted, and is irresistable, then how should we interpret the following Scripture. Is that verse really saying that a person can receive God's grace in vain?

2 Cor 6:1 And working together with him we entreat also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain (ASV)

Below is the same verse from another translation:

2 Cor 6:1 Since, then, we are working with God, we plead with you not to accept God's grace in vain. (ISV)

and below is the same verse for you KJV only persons

2 Cor 6:1
¶ We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

.

What is the context of Paul's statement and what does he mean within the context of his letter?

DSK
Sep 12th 2007, 05:01 PM
You probably heard this from someone who believes in Calvinism/predestination. Irresistable grace is the 'I' in the T.U.L.I.P (5 point calvinism)

Based on the verses you referenced, it appears you have answered your own question....

Then can we rightly deduce from the verse which I posted that grace is not irresistable?

DSK
Sep 12th 2007, 05:10 PM
DSK,

Just to make sure we are all on the "same page of the hymnal" :) before we start:

1) I have heard the "will" of God cannot be thwarted but not the grace of God. And then further that it is ultimately that God's will is not thwarted when the plan of redemption is complete.

2) Are you speaking specifically of salvific grace? i.e. the grace that brings a person to faith in Christ and justifies them before God or just grace in general in all areas of life?

What is the context of Paul's statement and what does he mean within the context of his letter?

I don't claim to have the answer. Those are questions I hope others will help me answer. When Paul pleads with individuals to not receive the grace of God in vain, what exactly was he referring to? How should we interpret 2 Cor 6:1 -We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

Below is what one commentary has to say:
That ye receive not the grace of God in vain - The “grace of God” here means evidently the gracious offer of reconciliation and pardon. And the sense is, “We entreat you not to neglect or slight this offer of pardon, so as to lose the benefit of it, and be lost. It is offered freely and fully. It may be partaken of by all, and all may be saved. But it may also be slighted, and all the benefits of it will then be lost.” The sense is, that it was possible that this offer might be made to them, they might hear of a Saviour, be told of the plan of reconciliation and have the offers of mercy pressed on their attention and acceptance, and yet all be in vain. They might notwithstanding all this be lost, for simply to hear of the plan of salvation or the offers of mercy, will no more save a sinner than to hear of medicine will save the sick. It must be embraced and applied, or it will be in vain. (Barnes Notes)

Personally I agree with that.

How about you Roy?

Toolman
Sep 12th 2007, 05:30 PM
I don't claim to have the answer. Those are questions I hope others will help me answer. When Paul pleads with individuals to not receive the grace of God in vain, what exactly was he referring to? How should we interpret 2 Cor 6:1 -We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

Below is what one commentary has to say:
That ye receive not the grace of God in vain - The “grace of God” here means evidently the gracious offer of reconciliation and pardon. And the sense is, “We entreat you not to neglect or slight this offer of pardon, so as to lose the benefit of it, and be lost. It is offered freely and fully. It may be partaken of by all, and all may be saved. But it may also be slighted, and all the benefits of it will then be lost.” The sense is, that it was possible that this offer might be made to them, they might hear of a Saviour, be told of the plan of reconciliation and have the offers of mercy pressed on their attention and acceptance, and yet all be in vain. They might notwithstanding all this be lost, for simply to hear of the plan of salvation or the offers of mercy, will no more save a sinner than to hear of medicine will save the sick. It must be embraced and applied, or it will be in vain. (Barnes Notes)

Personally I agree with that.

How about you Roy?

I tend to see Paul's statement more inline with the context of causing a stumbling block before others and causing the ministry to be bad mouthed.

It seems to me Paul is addressing practical daily issues of Grace's effects and not justification issues. I don't see justification within the context.

That word kenov (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=2756&version=kjv) translated vain is an interesting study.

As far as "grace" is concerned from a reformed standpoint (since that is what you are addressing), the grace that God extends to justify a person before Him is monergistic in that God actually changes the person's desire from unbelief to belief in Christ. Being monergistic it is only God doing the work of change. The man just responds in the result of belief.

Regarding the grace of sanctification this is synergistic as our will is being daily changed and formed by God.

The fullness of this work will be complete in the grace of glorification when our will will completely be free of the presence of sin and our bodies redeemed and God's plan of redemption is complete.

Don't know if any of that helps :)

DSK
Sep 12th 2007, 05:51 PM
I tend to see Paul's statement more inline with the context of causing a stumbling block before others and causing the ministry to be bad mouthed.

It seems to me Paul is addressing practical daily issues of Grace's effects and not justification issues. I don't see justification within the context.

That word kenov (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=2756&version=kjv) translated vain is an interesting study.

As far as "grace" is concerned from a reformed standpoint (since that is what you are addressing), the grace that God extends to justify a person before Him is monergistic in that God actually changes the person's desire from unbelief to belief in Christ. Being monergistic it is only God doing the work of change. The man just responds in the result of belief.

Regarding the grace of sanctification this is synergistic as our will is being daily changed and formed by God.

The fullness of this work will be complete in the grace of glorification when our will will completely be free of the presence of sin and our bodies redeemed and God's plan of redemption is complete.

Don't know if any of that helps :)

2 Cor 6:1 -We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

I tried to find some contextual reasons for forming my thoughts on that verse. I first read every thing in Chapter 6 that follows that verse, then I looked at what precedes that verse, especially in chapter 5, and found that chapter 5 may have provided me with a clue as to what is meant in 2 Cor 6:1. Allow me to post some Scripture from chapter 5 which leads up to chapter 6.
2 Cor 5:20 Therefore, we are Christ's representatives, as though God were pleading through us. We plead on Christ's behalf: "Be reconciled to God!"

Paul as an ambassador of Christ, is pleading with individuals to be reconciled to God. I see Paul saying that reconciliation isn't an automatic done deal for individuals, otherwise a plea to those he was speaking to would be unnecessary. I believe this ties into Barnes comments on 2 Cor 6:1 which I previously posted. I will post them again. I believe the whole commentary is right on the money, unless someone can provide me with a better explanation.

That ye receive not the grace of God in vain - The “grace of God” here means evidently the gracious offer of reconciliation and pardon. And the sense is, “We entreat you not to neglect or slight this offer of pardon, so as to lose the benefit of it, and be lost. It is offered freely and fully. It may be partaken of by all, and all may be saved. But it may also be slighted, and all the benefits of it will then be lost.” The sense is, that it was possible that this offer might be made to them, they might hear of a Saviour, be told of the plan of reconciliation and have the offers of mercy pressed on their attention and acceptance, and yet all be in vain. They might notwithstanding all this be lost, for simply to hear of the plan of salvation or the offers of mercy, will no more save a sinner than to hear of medicine will save the sick. It must be embraced and applied, or it will be in vain. (Barnes Notes)

Sold Out
Sep 12th 2007, 06:02 PM
Then can we rightly deduce from the verse which I posted that grace is not irresistable?


Correct. God does not impose His Will on us. We all must individually choose Christ.

Saved7
Sep 12th 2007, 06:20 PM
I don't really know what any of those commentaries were saying, they confused me. *chuckles*
But I suppose that if we read it in context, it is saying something along the lines that the people he was writing to were believing what they were told about Jesus, but they were exactly "receiving" it and not living it. Like saying I am a christian, but I have no intentions of living it or bearing any fruit.
When we do something in vain, that means what we did was useless to us. Like many who have been christians have kept their faith to themselves, and lived unholy lives. I THINK that's what it's talking about.:confused


2Cr 5:20 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=2Cr&chapter=5&verse=20&version=kjv#20)Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.


2Cr 6:2 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=2Cr&chapter=6&verse=2&version=kjv#2)(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.)

2Cr 6:3 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=2Cr&chapter=6&verse=3&version=kjv#3)Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:

DSK
Sep 12th 2007, 07:33 PM
When we do something in vain, that means what we did was useless to us.

So if we receive the grace of God in vain, then isn't that grace useless to us?


2Cr 6:2 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=2Cr&chapter=6&verse=2&version=kjv#2)(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.)

I believe it is taught here, that the time will come when it will not be an accepted time. Now is the accepted time; not at some future period.

"The world is under a dispensation of mercy, and God is willing to show compassion, and while this exists, that is, while people live, the offers of salvation are to be freely made to them. The time will come when it will not be an acceptable time with God." - Albert Barnes

Toolman
Sep 12th 2007, 07:39 PM
"The world is under a dispensation of mercy, and God is willing to show compassion, and while this exists, that is, while people live, the offers of salvation are to be freely made to them. The time will come when it will not be an acceptable time with God." - Albert Barnes

His Mercy Endures Forever (42 scripture references) (http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search='mercy%20endures%20forever'&version1=50&searchtype=all&spanbegin=1&spanend=73)

FWIW.

Steven3
Sep 12th 2007, 08:04 PM
I have heard many people say that the grace of God cannot be thwarted and that grace is irresistable.Hmm, well well he certainly has the power to do so, but the question is why should he? A parent wants unforced love from his children.

I think your 2 Cor 6:1 quote (that ye receive not the grace of God in vain) looks back to something Paul said in the previous letter:

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

Paul wasn't a grace-potato, he didn't just bask in how lovely he was in God's eyes, he got up off the couch and got to work. That's not to say that Paul's "worked harder than any of them" was 'works' in the Jewish sense, or that he was saved through them. Obviously not:

Acts 15:11 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”
Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
2 Timothy 1:9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,

Instead, as he says "not I (worked), but the grace of God that is with me (worked)". This is what marks off the grace-worker from the grace-potato, (or the grace-policeman who suddenly springs into action when he sees a fellow christian get off his couch ;)), that some of what God is giving, giving, giving, giving all the time finds an outlet in life and walk. Without that, yes grace can end in being "in vain", sterile.

God bless :)
Steven

SemperReformanda
Sep 12th 2007, 08:56 PM
DSK, you are mixing your categories. There is a difference between God's grace found in the gospel, and the grace referred to in the I of TULIP. In the context of the verse you are quoting, Paul is urging the church to persevere.

The gospel is a word of grace sounding in our ears; but it will be in vain for us to hear it, unless we believe it, and comply with the end and design of it. - Matthew Henry

Now, the specific grace referred to in TULIP is to do with God's decree and work in the heart of a sinner:

"This conversion is that regeneration, new creation, resurrection from the dead, making alive, so highly spoken of in the Scriptures, which God works in us without us. But this regeneration is by no means brought about only by outward preaching, by moral persuasion, or by such a mode of operation that, after God has done His part, it remains in the power of man to be regenerated or not regenerated, converted or not converted. It is, however, clearly a supernatural, most powerful, and at the same time most delightful, marvellous, mysterious, and inexpressible work. According to Scripture, inspired by the Author of this work, regeneration is not inferior in power to creation or the resurrection of the dead. Hence all those in whose hearts God works in this amazing way are certainly, unfailingly, and effectually regenerated and do actually believe. Therefore the will so renewed is not only acted upon and moved by God but, acted upon by God, the will itself also acts. Hence also man himself is rightly said to believe and repent through the grace he has received." Canons of Dordt, 3rd and 4th Heads of Doctrine, Paragraph 14

"Paragraph 7
Error: The grace whereby we are converted to God is only a gentle advising. This manner of working which consists in advising is the most noble manner in the conversion of man and is most in harmony with man’s nature. There is no reason why this advising grace alone should not be sufficient to make the natural man spiritual. Indeed, God does not bring about the consent of the will except through this moral suasion. The power of the divine working surpasses the working of Satan, in that God promises eternal while Satan promises only temporal goods.

Refutation: This is entirely Pelagian and contrary to the whole Scripture, which teaches beyond this moral suasion yet another, far more powerful and divine manner of the working of the Holy Spirit in the conversion of man: A new heart I will give you and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh, Eze_36:26.

Paragraph 8
Error: In regenerating man God does not use the powers of His omnipotence so as to forcefully and infallibly bend man’s will to faith and conversion. Even if all the works of grace have been accomplished which God employs to convert man and even if God intends his regeneration and wills to regenerate him, man may yet so resist God and the Holy Spirit, and indeed often does so resist, that he entirely prevents his regeneration. It therefore remains in man’s power to be regenerated or not.

Refutation: This is nothing less than the denial of all the efficiency of God’s grace in our conversion, and the subjecting of the working of Almighty God to the will of man. It is contrary to the apostles, who teach that we believe according to the working of His great might, Eph_1:19, pray that our God may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by His power, 2Th_1:11, and declare that His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, 2Pe_1:3." Canons of Dordt, 3rd and 4th heads of Doctrine, Rejections 7 and 8

kejonn
Sep 12th 2007, 09:51 PM
Well, sometimes (OK, rarely, you caught me!) I will refer to a more "dynamic" translation of scripture if I'm unsure of a passage. Maybe this is better than checking out a commentary, but then again, maybe the dynamic translation ends up reading like a commentary! So here is how the NLT translates the verse in question:

2Cr 6:1 As God's partners, we beg you not to reject this marvelous message of God's great kindness.

Is this accurate? Hard to say. Going back to the other translations, how can you truly accept God's grace but do so in vain? It is almost an oxymoron.

Saved7
Sep 12th 2007, 10:05 PM
So if we receive the grace of God in vain, then isn't that grace useless to us?



I believe it is taught here, that the time will come when it will not be an accepted time. Now is the accepted time; not at some future period.

"The world is under a dispensation of mercy, and God is willing to show compassion, and while this exists, that is, while people live, the offers of salvation are to be freely made to them. The time will come when it will not be an acceptable time with God." - Albert Barnes

yes, then it is useless to us...while I agree that the acceptable time of salvation comment could be applied toward some future time that it will not be there for us. I think the point of that particular verse means,
"don't put it off just because you want to continue in sin, you could die today, now is your chance, don't dely; you believe, now accept the offer while you still have breath in your lungs". Believing without repenting because you want to continue to live in sin would in a sense make God's grace useless to us, because we have received it in vain, without living it.
Just my take on it.:dunno:

DSK
Sep 13th 2007, 10:28 AM
DSK, you are mixing your categories. There is a difference between God's grace found in the gospel, and the grace referred to in the I of TULIP. In the context of the verse you are quoting, Paul is urging the church to persevere.

The gospel is a word of grace sounding in our ears; but it will be in vain for us to hear it, unless we believe it, and comply with the end and design of it. - Matthew Henry

Now, the specific grace referred to in TULIP is to do with God's decree and work in the heart of a sinner:

"This conversion is that regeneration, new creation, resurrection from the dead, making alive, so highly spoken of in the Scriptures, which God works in us without us. But this regeneration is by no means brought about only by outward preaching, by moral persuasion, or by such a mode of operation that, after God has done His part, it remains in the power of man to be regenerated or not regenerated, converted or not converted. It is, however, clearly a supernatural, most powerful, and at the same time most delightful, marvellous, mysterious, and inexpressible work. According to Scripture, inspired by the Author of this work, regeneration is not inferior in power to creation or the resurrection of the dead. Hence all those in whose hearts God works in this amazing way are certainly, unfailingly, and effectually regenerated and do actually believe. Therefore the will so renewed is not only acted upon and moved by God but, acted upon by God, the will itself also acts. Hence also man himself is rightly said to believe and repent through the grace he has received." Canons of Dordt, 3rd and 4th Heads of Doctrine, Paragraph 14

"Paragraph 7
Error: The grace whereby we are converted to God is only a gentle advising. This manner of working which consists in advising is the most noble manner in the conversion of man and is most in harmony with man’s nature. There is no reason why this advising grace alone should not be sufficient to make the natural man spiritual. Indeed, God does not bring about the consent of the will except through this moral suasion. The power of the divine working surpasses the working of Satan, in that God promises eternal while Satan promises only temporal goods.

Refutation: This is entirely Pelagian and contrary to the whole Scripture, which teaches beyond this moral suasion yet another, far more powerful and divine manner of the working of the Holy Spirit in the conversion of man: A new heart I will give you and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh, Eze_36:26.

Paragraph 8
Error: In regenerating man God does not use the powers of His omnipotence so as to forcefully and infallibly bend man’s will to faith and conversion. Even if all the works of grace have been accomplished which God employs to convert man and even if God intends his regeneration and wills to regenerate him, man may yet so resist God and the Holy Spirit, and indeed often does so resist, that he entirely prevents his regeneration. It therefore remains in man’s power to be regenerated or not.

Refutation: This is nothing less than the denial of all the efficiency of God’s grace in our conversion, and the subjecting of the working of Almighty God to the will of man. It is contrary to the apostles, who teach that we believe according to the working of His great might, Eph_1:19, pray that our God may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by His power, 2Th_1:11, and declare that His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, 2Pe_1:3." Canons of Dordt, 3rd and 4th heads of Doctrine, Rejections 7 and 8

Many of your comments address the topic of regeneration, however I don't believe any of that addresses 2 Cor 6:1 in it's contextual setting. If you read 2 Cor chapter five which leads up to chapter 6, then I believe you will get a better understanding of this portion of Scripture in it's proper context.
I believe 2 Cor 6:1 is referring to a post regeneration situation. Paul is pleading with individuals not to receive the Grace of God in vain. That is, once this regenerating grace is received, then they shouldn't waste the opportunity which this regenerating grace has provided them. It seems to me that in the contextual setting, the word "vain" kenos in 2 Cor 6:1, should be defined as follows:
vain = kenos
Thayer Definition:
1d) metaphorically of endeavours, labours, acts, which result in nothing, vain, fruitless, without effect
1d1) vain of no purpose

DSK
Sep 13th 2007, 10:36 AM
His Mercy Endures Forever (42 scripture references) (http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search='mercy%20endures%20forever'&version1=50&searchtype=all&spanbegin=1&spanend=73)

FWIW.

I don't see how that takes away from what is plainly stated in 2 Cor 6:1

2 Cor 6:1 And working together with him we entreat also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain (ASV)

2 Cor 6:1 Now working together [with Him] we also call on [or, plead with] [you* that] you* do not receive the grace of God in emptiness [fig., without results]- (ALT)

I personally believe that in 2 Cor 6:1 the grace being referred to is God's regenerating grace.

The fact that individuals undeservedly receive the grace of God, is in itself proof that God shows mercy, even to those who will "receive this grace of God in vain"

.

DSK
Sep 13th 2007, 10:41 AM
Well, sometimes (OK, rarely, you caught me!) I will refer to a more "dynamic" translation of scripture if I'm unsure of a passage. Maybe this is better than checking out a commentary, but then again, maybe the dynamic translation ends up reading like a commentary! So here is how the NLT translates the verse in question:

2Cr 6:1 As God's partners, we beg you not to reject this marvelous message of God's great kindness.

Is this accurate?

I believe that can be implied as being a result of the effect of receiving God's grace in vain. Those who do receive the grace of God in vain will likewise reject the message of God's great kindness to them.

stacie1872
Sep 13th 2007, 10:50 AM
Sold out was correct in saying that this is a calvinist teaching. I was recently engaged in a debate on this board with someone else who was being told this same thing in a Bible study (or with someone who disagreed with my answer to her). She is a new Christian, and my advice to her was that she read scripture that tells otherwise, and then maybe consider never going back to that study again. (no offense anyone).

I believe that this is a false doctrine and a dangerous one. Preordination is a licence to sin. If God has chosen us, and we have no say in the matter, then there would be no purpose in going to church, reading our Bible, having christian fellowship, living a moral life, etc. It would also make the scripture that says God has given us free will null and void. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Or, putting it another way, if we choose to believe in Him. There are tons of scripture that refute the doctrine of calvinism. And only a few that might be interpreted as such. Good luck to you, and please listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling you, and pray about it :pray: . If that teaching feels wrong, and it obviously does, then that is probably God telling you that it is so.

It amazes me how a new Christians first reaction is always that this is a false doctrine, they always have to be talked into calvinism. If we would learn to listen to the voice of God, we wouldn't be so deceived.

9Marksfan
Sep 13th 2007, 11:42 AM
Sold out was correct in saying that this is a calvinist teaching. I was recently engaged in a debate on this board with someone else who was being told this same thing in a Bible study (or with someone who disagreed with my answer to her). She is a new Christian, and my advice to her was that she read scripture that tells otherwise, and then maybe consider never going back to that study again. (no offense anyone).

I'm sorry but I really do take offense at your attitude to the glorious doctrines of grace, which are all over the Bible if you will only look at them without blinkered vision. I'm deeply saddened that you would actually encourage someone never to return to a bible study that would appear to be teaching the truth - "the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost". Christ seeks us (parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin), not the other way round - "There is none who seeks God".


Preordination is a licence to sin.

It isn't - however I accept there are those who twist Scripture to make it imply that it is (many who believe OSAS would take that approach) and I am conscious from other threads that there are many churches in the US that preach this false doctrine (there, we actually agree on something!) and have eg youth leaders living in sin, no holiness, esp among the youth etc etc - but the doctrines of grace teach that if a person does not show the reality of their faith in a transformed life, then they are NOT born of God - perseverance of the saints is a MILLION MILES AWAY from the typical OSAS teaching of "I trusted Jesus - it doesn't matter how I live now - I can do what I like and I'll just lose my reward" - I could not agree more that this is one of THE most dangerous heresies being promulgated in the West - and the US in particular - today (actually, I suspect it is being taught in any countries that have had Western missionaries go there) - you won't find the underground churches in China or believers in the former Communist countries believing this nonsense! They understand the true nature of discipleship and are prepared to be imprisoned or even die for their faith.


If God has chosen us, and we have no say in the matter,

You're looking at this from a fatalistic approach, which Scripture does not teach us to do nor is it correct to do so - we are to rejoice in divine sovereignty (God wouldn't be God if he wasn't absolute sovereign, would He?) but also be mindful of human responsibility - BOTH are taught in Scripture - the classic verse is 2 Tim 2:2.


then there would be no purpose in going to church, reading our Bible, having christian fellowship, living a moral life, etc.

Not at all - the elect must and will do these things - "Be holy, for I am holy, says the LORD" - they are part of the proof of being elect! And God has commanded it!


It would also make the scripture that says God has given us free will null and void.

What Scripture is that, exactly?


For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Not this one! That's a truth - that is the universal gospel promise - it doesn't say anything about free will.


Or, putting it another way, if we choose to believe in Him.

It doesn't say that - you will not find ONE NT verse that says we "choose" - none of us chooses to believe in Him, because our sinful nature, which is dead in trespasses and sins, will never do so - we need to be born again first by the Spirit of God before we are able to do anything spiritually, including "seeing" (ie perceiving) and "entering" (here and now - not in Heaven) the kingdom of God.


There are tons of scripture that refute the doctrine of calvinism.

I've yet to find even one, taken properly in context. However there are countless verses that teach that Pelagianism (the idea that we have complete free will and can choose God without His assistance, which is what you appear to be believe) is completely without Biblical foundation.


And only a few that might be interpreted as such.

There are countless and if you will only renounce your blinkered, man-centred approach to understanding salvation, you may find the sovereign Spirit of God opening your eyes ;) he might even be using this post to do so! :o


Good luck to you,

I see you've used this phrase before - I put it in my top 10 things no Christian should ever say - do you actually believe in luck? Do you think it is compatible with the way God rules the universe?


and please listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling you, and pray about it :pray: . If that teaching feels wrong, and it obviously does, then that is probably God telling you that it is so.

So we base our faith on our feelings, then? Where does Scripture teach us to do that? Don't get me wrong, stacie1872, I used to believe exactly the same as you - I HATED Calvinism - predestination was THE stumbling block to my conversion 25 years ago - it still was an area I didn't want to "visit" for a couple of years after that, but when I did, my heart was changed and my eyes were opened and I came to see it as the "strong meat" of the Word we all need. My faith has had a real anchor, especially in times of trial, ever since.


It amazes me how a new Christians first reaction is [I]always that this is a false doctrine,

Only in that a newborn baby will always reject strong meat - although I have come across some folk who "move on to solids" spiritually speaking pretty quickly!


they always have to be talked into calvinism.

"Come let us reason together, says the LORD" - what's wrong with having a mind sanctified by the truth? It's what Jesus prayed for! Actually I saw a programme on TV about some Amish people who had been gloriously saved out of the dead religion of their culture - no one had ever "talked them into Calvinism" but it was clear from all that they said that they believed these wonderful truths, because they were "taught of God"!


If we would learn to listen to the voice of God, we wouldn't be so deceived.

:agree::amen:

But the voice of God is heard in the word of God - to be continued........

Toolman
Sep 13th 2007, 02:05 PM
I don't see how that takes away from what is plainly stated in 2 Cor 6:1

It addresses Barnes commentary which you posted which I believe is an incorrect assumption. Here was Barne's comment:

The world is under a dispensation of mercy, and God is willing to show compassion, and while this exists, that is, while people live, the offers of salvation are to be freely made to them. The time will come when it will not be an acceptable time with God."

Barnes says there is a dispensation of mercy. Scripture says God's mercy lasts forever. I'll side with scripture on this one.


2 Cor 6:1 And working together with him we entreat also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain (ASV)

2 Cor 6:1 Now working together [with Him] we also call on [or, plead with] [you* that] you* do not receive the grace of God in emptiness [fig., without results]- (ALT)

I personally believe that in 2 Cor 6:1 the grace being referred to is God's regenerating grace.

The fact that individuals undeservedly receive the grace of God, is in itself proof that God shows mercy, even to those who will "receive this grace of God in vain"

All individuals who receive God's grace receive it undeservedly. That's why it's grace.

Can believers mess up the sanctifying work of God? Absolutely? Ask the guy in Corinth who was sleeping with his father's wife. He messed it up pretty bad. Paul even said turn him over to satan so that the result would be his spirit would be saved.

DSK
Sep 13th 2007, 02:42 PM
Scripture says God's mercy lasts forever. I'll side with scripture on this one.

I always find it amazing how on the one hand you selectively believe that God's mercy lasts forever, while yet on the other hand you believe that everlasting punishment of the wicked is only temporal.


Can believers mess up the sanctifying work of God?

Where in 2 Cor 6:1, which is the verse currently under dicussion is there found any mention of santification?

Below is what I believe a good piece of commentary on the verse being dicussed.

Dr. Constable's Notes on 2 Corinthians
6:1 Since God appeals to the unsaved through heralds of the gospel (5:20), the herald is in that sense a partner with God in His work of bringing people into final reconciliation. Evangelism is a joint effort of the Lord and His human ambassador. Paul went beyond that specific function of an ambassador and, for God, also appealed to his Christian readers. In addition to responding to the call to be reconciled to God, they also needed to respond to another call. They needed to make sure that they were responding to God's grace as well. Paul's readers had received God's grace when they had heard the gospel message. Now Paul urged them to respond to it so God's gracious bestowal would not have been in vain. God gives grace to all people throughout their lives, but He gives more grace at the moment of conversion and from then on. It is not clear which manifestation of grace Paul had in mind, the grace the Corinthians received at conversion or the subsequent grace. I think he probably had both in mind and spoke of their response to divine grace generally since he did not clearly identify the past or the present manifestation. Receiving God's grace in vain would be not allowing it to have its divinely intended result in their lives. In the context, conflict between some of the Corinthians and Paul resulting in the discrediting of the gospel ministry seems to be in view (v. 3). More generally, disunity among believers frustrates God's desire and His provision of grace (help). Most broadly, any disobedience to God's will
frustrates His grace (cf. 7:1; 11:4; 12:20-21).

Toolman
Sep 13th 2007, 03:03 PM
I always find it amazing how on the one hand you selectively believe that God's mercy lasts forever, while yet on the other hand you believe that everlasting punishment of the wicked is only temporal.


And yet, you selectively believe that mercy will end and that punishment will be everlasting. You do the same selection.

As we have discussed the greek word "aion" and "aionios" are understood in context and subject. Since there is quite a bit of scriptural evidence for punishment ending, achieving the result God desires, and mercy continuing throughout all ages and into eternity I interpret the words within immediate context and the context of the whole of scripture.

I don't base what I believe on a singular greek (or hebrew) word, out of context, but upon what the whole of scripture is communicating.

If I regarded that "aion" or "aionios" always indicated eternity, then the mystery of Christ would still be hidden and not revealed.

If you regard that punishment is everlasting and that mercy is everlasting then you have a contradiction in scripture.

If you believe we are in a dispensation of mercy (a limited time), then you should as equally be able to accept that punishment is limited. Same words are used.


Where in 2 Cor 6:1, which is the verse currently under dicussion is there found any mention of santification?

The whole letter is about sanctification. The Corinthians were already justified, they were believers.

Paul is encouraging them to be sanctified:

2 Cor. 5:14-15 - Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?


Below is what I believe a good piece of commentary on the verse being dicussed.

Dr. Constable's Notes on 2 Corinthians
6:1 Since God appeals to the unsaved through heralds of the gospel (5:20), the herald is in that sense a partner with God in His work of bringing people
into final reconciliation. Evangelism is a joint effort of the Lord and His
human ambassador. Paul went beyond that specific function of an
ambassador and, for God, also appealed to his Christian readers. In
addition to responding to the call to be reconciled to God, they also needed
to respond to another call. They needed to make sure that they were
responding to God's grace as well. Paul's readers had received God's grace when they had heard the gospel message. Now Paul urged them to respond to it so God's gracious bestowal would not have been in vain. God gives grace to all people throughout their lives, but He gives more grace at the moment of conversion and from then on. It is not clear which manifestation of grace Paul had in mind, the grace the Corinthians received at conversion or the subsequent grace. I think he probably had both in mind and spoke of their response to divine grace generally since he did not clearly identify the past or the present manifestation. Receiving God's grace in vain would be not allowing it to have its divinely intended result in their lives. In the context, conflict between some of the Corinthians and Paul resulting in the discrediting of the gospel ministry seems to be in view (v. 3). More generally, disunity among believers frustrates God's desire and His provision of grace (help). Most broadly, any disobedience to God's will
frustrates His grace (cf. 7:1; 11:4; 12:20-21).

It seems the commentary is more agreeing with sanctification that justification.

Notice the commentator says:

"It is not clear which manifestation of grace Paul had in mind, the grace the Corinthians received at conversion or the subsequent grace."

It appears clear to me that it is subsequent grace (sanctification).

The commentator then notes:

"In the context, conflict between some of the Corinthians and Paul resulting in the discrediting of the gospel ministry seems to be in view (v. 3). More generally, disunity among believers frustrates God's desire and His provision of grace"

Those are clearly issues of sanctification and have nothing to do with being justified. Disputes over the resurrection and divisions among the believers were the issues Paul was addressing.

DSK
Sep 13th 2007, 03:38 PM
And yet, you selectively believe that mercy will end and that punishment will be everlasting. You do the same selection.

As we have discussed the greek word "aion" and "aionios" are understood in context and subject. Since there is quite a bit of scriptural evidence for punishment ending, achieving the result God desires, and mercy continuing throughout all ages and into eternity I interpret the words within immediate context and the context of the whole of scripture.

I don't base what I believe on a singular greek (or hebrew) word, out of context, but upon what the whole of scripture is communicating.

If I regarded that "aion" or "aionios" always indicated eternity, then the mystery of Christ would still be hidden and not revealed.

If you regard that punishment is everlasting and that mercy is everlasting then you have a contradiction in scripture.

If you believe we are in a dispensation of mercy (a limited time), then you should as equally be able to accept that punishment is limited. Same words are used.



The whole letter is about sanctification. The Corinthians were already justified, they were believers.

Paul is encouraging them to be sanctified:

2 Cor. 5:14-15 - Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?



It seems the commentary is more agreeing with sanctification that justification.

Notice the commentator says:

"It is not clear which manifestation of grace Paul had in mind, the grace the Corinthians received at conversion or the subsequent grace."

It appears clear to me that it is subsequent grace (sanctification).

The commentator then notes:

"In the context, conflict between some of the Corinthians and Paul resulting in the discrediting of the gospel ministry seems to be in view (v. 3). More generally, disunity among believers frustrates God's desire and His provision of grace"

Those are clearly issues of sanctification and have nothing to do with being justified. Disputes over the resurrection and divisions among the believers were the issues Paul was addressing.

If I were to comment any further, then I would be getting too far off topic of the OP, and would be turning this thread into another dicussion of universalism. Rather than do that, I will respectfully disagree with you, and allow others interested in the topic of this thread to add their input and thoughts.

Respectfully
DSK

Toolman
Sep 13th 2007, 03:50 PM
If I were to comment any further, then I would be getting too far off topic of the OP, and would be turning this thread into another dicussion of universalism. Rather than do that, I will respectfully disagree with you, and allow others interested in the topic of this thread to add their input and thoughts.

Respectfully
DSK

That's cool.. we can skip the portion of the post that has to do with the discussion of mercy and punishment and continue on with the portion about sanctification (the two were not related).

I'll repost just the sanctification portion again for convenience:

It seems the commentary is more agreeing with sanctification that justification.

Notice the commentator says:

"It is not clear which manifestation of grace Paul had in mind, the grace the Corinthians received at conversion or the subsequent grace."

It appears clear to me that it is subsequent grace (sanctification).

The commentator then notes:

"In the context, conflict between some of the Corinthians and Paul resulting in the discrediting of the gospel ministry seems to be in view (v. 3). More generally, disunity among believers frustrates God's desire and His provision of grace"

Those are clearly issues of sanctification and have nothing to do with being justified. Disputes over the resurrection and divisions among the believers were the issues Paul was addressing.

DSK
Sep 13th 2007, 04:24 PM
That's cool.. we can skip the portion of the post that has to do with the discussion of mercy and punishment and continue on with the portion about sanctification (the two were not related).

I'll repost just the sanctification portion again for convenience:

[i]It seems the commentary is more agreeing with sanctification that justification.

Allow me to repost part of that commentary

"It is not clear which manifestation of grace Paul had in mind, the grace the Corinthians received at conversion or the subsequent grace. I think he probably had both in mind and spoke of their response to divine grace generally since he did not clearly identify the past or the present manifestation."

The very next verse 6:2 for me rules out any possibility that sanctifying grace is what Paul was referring to.
2 Cor 6:2 (for he saith, At an acceptable time I hearkened unto thee, And in a day of salvation did I succor thee: behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation):
"The point is that God has offered the salvation, but that now is the accepted time, and it is not safe to neglect it." (PNT)

Either way you want to interpret 2 Cor 6:1 it is referring to the possibility of receiving a certain manifestation of God's grace in vain, or without effect or result. And Paul is pleading with individuals to not do it.

RogerW
Sep 13th 2007, 04:29 PM
Paul is dealing with an issue of pride throughout both epistles to the Corinthians. They believed they had arrived and needed no instructions, correction, or guidance from Paul or any other apostles. They saw themselves as rich in spiritual gifts, knowledge and all the graces of God. It becomes evident by the behavior Paul describes that they were still children in understanding, far from being what they thought themselves to be.

In 1Co 10:1-13 Paul uses the church in the wilderness as an example for the church at Corinth. They had become puffed up with their so-called knowledge, gifts, and privileges with which God had blessed them. Paul had laid a good foundation (1Co 3:10,11), they knew the gospel (1Co 15:1-4) and their church appears respectable and well known by all. But factions, divisions, open sin, intellectualism, and all sorts of ideas and wrong practices had crept into their midst. Therefore, to warn them against 'vain persumption', Paul sets before them the church in the wilderness, the example of Israel. They too had received God given priveleges, and special favor of God and they too had been exposed to the gospel of Christ in type, yet most of them perished in the wilderness in unbelief. Israel for the most part had received the grace of God for naught, or in vain. It did not profit them because it had not been mixed with faith from those who heard it.

Every believer is to be about the work of the gospel of Christ. This work requires perseverance, faithfulness, and diligence. It's not a work of competition, but work together, in unity for the glory of God. We are called to be 'workers together with Him'. Paul says, 'We beseech you to receive the gospel we preach; believe it, embrace it and walk therein.' For to hear the gospel, or to be exposed to it, or only to give lip service to it, or to profess to believe it and then turn back is to receive it 'in vain'!

Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Heb 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
2Pe 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

RW

Toolman
Sep 13th 2007, 04:39 PM
Either way you want to interpret 2 Cor 6:1 it is referring to the possibility of receiving a certain manifestation of God's grace in vain, or without effect or result. And Paul is pleading with individuals to not do it.

Right, but most reformers would agree that God's grace, in sanctification, is something that is synergistic (not all agree). IOW man is a work in progress and oftentimes falls into grievious sin and error. If sanctification were immediate then none of us would sin EVER.

So, when reformers speak of Irresistable Grace it must be understood with the context of what was intended, which is justification, which is a monergistic work of God changing the will and desire of man to WANT to believe on Christ. Not in a context of sanctification.

The whole of the reformation was over this central issue of the blurring of distinction about justification and sanctification. The reformers believed that Rome had mixed the 2 and not scripturally understood the distinction between the 2 and because of not recognizing that distinction had arrived at soteriological error.

So, regarding this text, it seems clear to me (though not to the commentator) that Paul is speaking of sanctification and the passage does not address the I of the TULIP because they are 2 distinct things.

My 2c.

DSK
Sep 13th 2007, 04:48 PM
Right, but most reformers would agree that God's grace, in sanctification, is something that is synergistic (not all agree). IOW man is a work in progress and oftentimes falls into grievious sin and error. If sanctification were immediate then none of us would sin EVER.

So, when reformers speak of Irresistable Grace it must be understood with the context of what was intended, which is justification, which is a monergistic work of God changing the will and desire of man to WANT to believe on Christ. Not in a context of sanctification.

The whole of the reformation was over this central issue of the blurring of distinction about justification and sanctification. The reformers believed that Rome had mixed the 2 and not scripturally understood the distinction between the 2 and because of not recognizing that distinction had arrived at soteriological error.

So, regarding this text, it seems clear to me (though not to the commentator) that Paul is speaking of sanctification and the passage does not address the I of the TULIP because they are 2 distinct things.

My 2c.

Allow me to reiterate what I see.

For me 2 Cor 6:2 rules out the possibilty that in 2 Cor 6:1 the grace which is being referred to cannot be sanctifying grace. Because of verse 2, it seems verse 1 must thererfore be referring to grace unto salvation.

2 Cor 6:2 (for he saith, At an acceptable time I hearkened unto thee, And in a day of salvation did I succor thee: behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation):

It appears to be referring to salvation not sanctification

.

RogerW
Sep 13th 2007, 05:01 PM
Allow me to repost part of that commentary

"It is not clear which manifestation of grace Paul had in mind, the grace the Corinthians received at conversion or the subsequent grace. I think he probably had both in mind and spoke of their response to divine grace generally since he did not clearly identify the past or the present manifestation."

The very next verse 6:2 for me rules out any possibility that sanctifying grace is what Paul was referring to.
2 Cor 6:2 (for he saith, At an acceptable time I hearkened unto thee, And in a day of salvation did I succor thee: behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation):
"The point is that God has offered the salvation, but that now is the accepted time, and it is not safe to neglect it." (PNT)

Either way you want to interpret 2 Cor 6:1 it is referring to the possibility of receiving a certain manifestation of God's grace in vain, or without effect or result. And Paul is pleading with individuals to not do it.

What 'Now is the day of salvation' means is that the work of salvation is done. Righteousness has been brought in and man has been reconciled unto God through Christ. God has purposed, promised and pictured this day throughout the OT. It is all fulfilled in Christ (He 3:6-12). Since this day is now fulfilled in Christ give no offense that might be a stumbling-block to others and hinder the success of the gospel preached.

Look beyond vs 2 to vss 3-10 and you see Paul speaking of sanctifying grace. Paul speaks of showing ourselves to be true and faithful of the gospel. This is done through patience, under trials sent by God without murmuring, being gentle and kind toward one another. In afflictions we are to be examples to the church, and depend on God to supply our needs for we are called to live by the gospel (Ph 4:19; Gen 14:22,23). We are called to endure distresses of both mind and body. We must show courage and faith under persecution for the gospel, even in stripes (2Co 11:23,24), in prison or bonds for Christ's sake and in tumults or uproars and opposition from people. We are called to be servants in constant labor, not laziness. Watchful, keeping from doctrinal error.

The whole context is living a santifying life as assurance we have not received the grace of God in vain. We have left all to follow Christ and, therefore, have little or 'nothing'; but in Christ we 'possess all things' pertaining to true life!

RW

Toolman
Sep 13th 2007, 05:04 PM
Allow me to reiterate what I see.

For me 2 Cor 6:2 rules out the possibilty that in 2 Cor 6:1 the grace which is being referred to cannot be sanctifying grace. Because of verse 2, it seems verse 1 must thererfore be referring to grace unto salvation.

2 Cor 6:2 (for he saith, At an acceptable time I hearkened unto thee, And in a day of salvation did I succor thee: behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation):

It appears to be referring to salvation not sanctification

.

I did not say it was not referring to salvation. Sanctification is salvation.

Sanctification (and Glorification) is just as much a part of salvation as Justification is:

Salvation is made up of 3 distinct, yet inseparable events:

Justification: - We are delivered from the Penalty of sin. The act of God forgiving ALL our sin and lawless deeds and declaring us righteous. This is what puts us in a right standing with God, to be righteous. God declares us just as pure, holy and righteous as Jesus Christ himself because of the sacrifice of Christ. This is also called "imputed righteousness". God gives Christ's righteousness to us, we do not earn it. This act happens at the very moment a person places faith in Christ(trust). All that is required to justify a person before God is to trust in the person and work of Christ alone.
Also called "positional sanctification".

Sanctification: - We are being delivered from the Power of sin. This is the process, in this life, of being conformed to the image of Christ. We come to realize more and more just how sinful and in need of a savior we are. God begins to work in our will to show us our great need for Him and to change our will to follow and obey Him. This is a daily process for the duration of earthly life.
Also called "progressive sanctification".

Glorification: - We will be delivered from the Presence of sin.This is the final part of salvation when God will complete redemption of His believers and actually remove sin and satan, establish His everlasting kingdom and resurrect the saints to their new bodies.
Also called "completed sanctification".

Toolman
Sep 13th 2007, 05:07 PM
Allow me to reiterate what I see.

For me 2 Cor 6:2 rules out the possibilty that in 2 Cor 6:1 the grace which is being referred to cannot be sanctifying grace. Because of verse 2, it seems verse 1 must thererfore be referring to grace unto salvation.

2 Cor 6:2 (for he saith, At an acceptable time I hearkened unto thee, And in a day of salvation did I succor thee: behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation):

It appears to be referring to salvation not sanctification

.

Adam Clarke (whom I know your respect) had this to say in his commentary:


I rather think that this second verse should be read immediately after the last verse of the preceding chapter; as where it now stands it greatly disturbs the connection between the first and the third verses. I will set down the whole in the order in which I think they should stand. chap. v. 20: Now then we are ambassadors for Christ; as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, to be reconciled to God. For he hath made him a sin-offering for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him: for he saith, "I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Immediately after this, the sixth chapter will very properly commence, and we shall see that the connection will be then undisturbed:- We then, as fellow workers, beseech you also, that ye receive not this grace of God in vain, giving no offense in any thing, that this ministry be not blamed. This change of the place of the second verse, which every one allows must, if it stand here, be read in a parenthesis, preserves the whole connection of the apostle's discourse, and certainly sets his argument before us in a stronger light.

Clark makes a case that the second verse is disputed amongst translators as to it position in the original. I have not studied out exactly how much of a case he has but it is worth noting.

Still, Clark, as an arminian also sees the context as justification but I post it here just as something to observe and seek out.

DSK
Sep 13th 2007, 06:05 PM
Righteousness has been brought in and man has been reconciled unto God through Christ.

Context is key

Look back at 2 Cor 5:20 - Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ; certain that God is appealing through us, we plead on Christ's behalf, "Be reconciled to God."

If man has already been reconciled as you stated, then Paul wouldn't need to be found pleading with these individuals to become reconciled to God.

A few verses later, in 2 Cor 6:1 we now see Paul once again pleading with individuals to not receive God's grace in vain, or to no effect.

2 Cor 6:1 Since, then, we are working with God, we plead with you not to accept God's grace in vain.

That ye receive not the grace of God in vain - The “grace of God” here means evidently the gracious offer of reconciliation and pardon. And the sense is, “We entreat you not to neglect or slight this offer of pardon, so as to lose the benefit of it, and be lost. It is offered freely and fully. It may be partaken of by all, and all may be saved. But it may also be slighted, and all the benefits of it will then be lost.” The sense is, that it was possible that this offer might be made to them, they might hear of a Saviour, be told of the plan of reconciliation and have the offers of mercy pressed on their attention and acceptance, and yet all be in vain. They might notwithstanding all this be lost, for simply to hear of the plan of salvation or the offers of mercy, will no more save a sinner than to hear of medicine will save the sick. It must be embraced and applied, or it will be in vain. (Barnes Notes)

DSK
Sep 13th 2007, 06:08 PM
Still, Clark, as an arminian also sees the context as justification but I post it here just as something to observe and seek out.

And how does a person become justified?

DSK
Sep 13th 2007, 06:11 PM
I did not say it was not referring to salvation. Sanctification is salvation.


Is a person sanctified before becoming saved, or after he becomes saved?

Toolman
Sep 13th 2007, 06:26 PM
If man has already been reconciled as you stated, then Paul wouldn't need to be found pleading with these individuals to become reconciled to God.

Context most clearly states that man has already been reconciled:

14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

Christ died for all. All have died. The purpose of Him dying was so that those who live should not live for themselves but for Him (which the Corinthians were not doing).

18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Now, here Paul clearly states that God has ALREADY, in Christ, reconciled the world to Himself (Romans 5:10 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%205:10;&version=50;)) and is not imputing their sins to them.

He has given this word of reconciliation to the apostles (and believers).

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Notice that man's response in his sanctification is part of the reconciling work of God.

Had the Corinthians already believed on Christ and been justified? Obviously.

So, Paul's plead here is in regards to their sanctification that "those who live should no longer live for themselves".

I'm not negating that the ministry of reconciliation does not also "sound the horn" of justification but here, IMO, the context is clearly sanctification.

And reconciliation, like many biblical topics, is a "now, not yet" fact. We have been reconciled and we will be reconciled. When dealing with a being who is not bound by time you will have those points of view, within time and outside of time.

Toolman
Sep 13th 2007, 06:28 PM
And how does a person become justified?

From my earlier post:

Justification: - We are delivered from the Penalty of sin. The act of God forgiving ALL our sin and lawless deeds and declaring us righteous. This is what puts us in a right standing with God, to be righteous. God declares us just as pure, holy and righteous as Jesus Christ himself because of the sacrifice of Christ. This is also called "imputed righteousness". God gives Christ's righteousness to us, we do not earn it. This act happens at the very moment a person places faith in Christ(trust).
All that is required to justify a person before God is to trust in the person and work of Christ alone.
Also called "positional sanctification".

Toolman
Sep 13th 2007, 06:31 PM
Is a person sanctified before becoming saved, or after he becomes saved?

When you say "saved", do you mean justified or saved in the complete sense of the word (justification, sanctification and glorification)?

If you mean justified then sanctification follows justification.

If you mean glorification (the resurrection) then sanctification precedes glorification.

In a thelogical discussion the term "saved" is too ambiguous. It could mean multiple things (and does in scripture) so its important to distinguish what you are speaking of when using the word.

RogerW
Sep 13th 2007, 06:51 PM
Context is key

Look back at 2 Cor 5:20 - Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ; certain that God is appealing through us, we plead on Christ's behalf, "Be reconciled to God."

If man has already been reconciled as you stated, then Paul wouldn't need to be found pleading with these individuals to become reconciled to God.

A few verses later, in 2 Cor 6:1 we now see Paul once again pleading with individuals to not receive God's grace in vain, or to no effect.

2 Cor 6:1 Since, then, we are working with God, we plead with you not to accept God's grace in vain.

That ye receive not the grace of God in vain - The “grace of God” here means evidently the gracious offer of reconciliation and pardon. And the sense is, “We entreat you not to neglect or slight this offer of pardon, so as to lose the benefit of it, and be lost. It is offered freely and fully. It may be partaken of by all, and all may be saved. But it may also be slighted, and all the benefits of it will then be lost.” The sense is, that it was possible that this offer might be made to them, they might hear of a Saviour, be told of the plan of reconciliation and have the offers of mercy pressed on their attention and acceptance, and yet all be in vain. They might notwithstanding all this be lost, for simply to hear of the plan of salvation or the offers of mercy, will no more save a sinner than to hear of medicine will save the sick. It must be embraced and applied, or it will be in vain. (Barnes Notes)


Barnes Notes:

INTRODUCTION To 2nd Corinthians Chapter 6

THIS chapter, closely connected in sense with the preceding, is designed as an address to the Corinthian Christians, exhorting them to act worthily of their calling, and of their situation under such a ministry as they had enjoyed. In the previous chapters, Paul had discoursed at length of the design and of the labours of the ministry. The main drift of all this was to show them the nature of reconciliation and the obligation to turn to God, and to live to him. This idea is pursued in this chapter; and in view of the labours and self- denials of the ministry, Paul urges on the Corinthian Christians the duty of coming out from the world, and of separating themselves entirely from all evil. The chapter may be conveniently contemplated in the following parts :--

I. Paul states that he and his associates were fellow-labourers with God, and he exhorts the Corinthians not to receive the grace of God in vain. To induce them to make a wise improvement of the privileges which they enjoyed, he quotes a passage from Isaiah, and applies it as meaning that it was then an acceptable time, and that they might avail themselves of mercy, 1Co 6:1-2.

II. He enumerates the labours and self-denials of the ministry. He refers to their sincerity, zeal, and honesty of life. He shows how much they had been willing to endure in order to convey the gospel to others, and how much they had in fact endured, and how much they had-benefited others. He speaks of their afflictions in a most tender and beautiful manner, and of the happy results which had followed from their self-denying labours, 2Co 6:3-10. The design of this is, evidently, to remind them of what their religion had cost, and to appeal to them in view of all this to lead holy and pure lives.

III. Paul expresses his ardent attachment for them, and says that if they were straitened, if they did not live as they should do, it was not because he and his fellow-labourers had not loved them, and sought their welfare, but from a defect in themselves, 2Co 6:11-12.

IV. As a reward for all that he had done and suffered for them, he now asked only that they should live as became Christians, 2Co 6:13-18. He sought not silver, or gold, or apparel. He had not laboured as he had done with any view to a temporal reward. And he now asked simply that they should come out from the world, and be dissociated from everything that was evil. He demanded that they should be separate from all idolatry, and idolatrous practices; assures them that there can be no union between light and darkness; righteousness and unrighteousness; Christ and Belial; that there can be no agreement between the temple of God and idols; reminds them of the fact that they are the temple of God; and encourages them to do this by the assurance that God would be their God, and that they should be his adopted sons and daughters. The chapter is one of great beauty; and the argument for a holy life among Christians is one that is exceedingly forcible and tender.

Verse 1. We then, as workers together with him. On the meaning of this expression, Cmt. on 1Co 3:9. The Greek here is, sunergounteV "working together;" and may mean either-that the apostles and ministers to whom Paul refers were joint labourers in entreating them not to receive the grace of God in vain, or it may mean that they co-operated with God, or were engaged with him in endeavouring to secure the reconciliation of the world to himself. Tindal renders it, "we as helpers." Doddridge, "we then as the joint-labourers of God." Most expositors have concurred in this interpretation. The word properly means, to work together; to co-operate in producing any result. Macknight supposes that the word here is in the vocative, and is an address to the fellow-labourers of Paul, entreating them not to receive the grace of God in vain. In this opinion he is probably alone, and has manifestly departed from the scope and design of the passage. Probably the most obvious meaning is that of our translators, who regard it as teaching that Paul was a joint-worker with God in securing the salvation of men.

DSK
Sep 13th 2007, 08:28 PM
Context most clearly states that man has already been reconciled:

I must strongly disagree once again. That would reduce Paul's pleading those he addresses to "be reconciled" as sheer nonsense and tautology.


18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now, here Paul clearly states that God has ALREADY, in Christ, reconciled the world to Himself

I believe a study of the use of the pronoun "us" in that text, would reveal that "us" is in reference to Paul and his fellow workers.


Notice that man's response in his sanctification is part of the reconciling work of God.

I disagree. Your argument for that in my opinion remains very weak. However if you believe that's the case I won't attempt to convince you otherwise. You haven't presented a strong enough case to convince me otherwise.

DSK
Sep 13th 2007, 08:41 PM
When you say "saved", do you mean justified or saved in the complete sense of the word (justification, sanctification and glorification)?

If you mean justified then sanctification follows justification.

If you mean glorification (the resurrection) then sanctification precedes glorification.

In a thelogical discussion the term "saved" is too ambiguous. It could mean multiple things (and does in scripture) so its important to distinguish what you are speaking of when using the word.

To remove much confusion, and so we can communicate better, it might help if you were to give me your ordus salutis.

Would you mind putting the following terms in the logical order which you understand them as chronologically occuring? Include brief notes if you wish.

Conviction, reconciliation, regeneration, justification, faith, sanctification, saved, grace, illumination, drawing, calling, election, predestination.

This may help me to understand your personal theology better, and assist in any future discussions with you.

Toolman
Sep 13th 2007, 08:54 PM
I must strongly disagree once again. That would reduce Paul's pleading those he addresses to "be reconciled" as sheer nonsense and tautology.

Well, let's observe the text:

2 Cor. 5:18-19 - Now all things are of God, who HAS reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Now, Paul here clearly states that God HAS (that is past tense) reconciled us to Himself.

He then states, in Christ God WAS reconciling the world to Himself (that's past tense).

So, obviously Paul's plea is for the Corinthians to walk in (respond to) the reconciliation that God has already done and accomplished universally.

That is the only thing that makes sense of the text. Otherwise God has not really done what Paul said He has really done and was doing in Christ on the cross.

Scripture further supports this (scripture interpreting scripture):

Romans 5:10 - For if when we were(past tense) enemies we WERE (past tense) reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been (past tense) reconciled, we shall be(future tense) saved by His life.

Human logic and wisdom often call the things of God as "nonsense and tautology" but God's wisdom is not earthly and His ways often go beyond human reason and logic.

Case in point, the person of Christ. Fully man and fully God. That is logically impossible yet scripture is clear. So just because something appears "nonsense and tautology" to human logic doesn't mean its not scriptural.



I believe a study of the use of the pronoun "us" in that text, would reveal that "us" is in reference to Paul and his fellow workers.

Well, let's observe the text:

2 Cor. 5:18-19 - Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

So, we have several nouns and pronouns.

1) Us
2) The world
3) Their
4) Them

Now, careful study shows that Paul proclaims God has reconciled us to Himself. This is clearly the apostle and his fellow workers and perhaps his audience (IMO it does include his audience).

Then we have "the world", which Paul states that God was, in Christ, reconciling to Himself.

Then to differentiate us from the world Paul clearly uses the pronouns their and them, which obviously does not include himself, his fellow workers or his audience.

It is the universal group of mankind that was reconciled to God by Christ. Us, the world, and them. Pretty much sums it up.


I disagree. Your argument for that in my opinion remains very weak. However if you believe that's the case I won't attempt to convince you otherwise. You haven't presented a strong enough case to convince me otherwise.

I can live with that :)

I still enjoy the discussion and appreciate the opportunity to share and discuss the scripture.

Toolman
Sep 13th 2007, 09:09 PM
Would you mind putting the following terms in the logical order which you understand them as chronologically occuring? Include brief notes if you wish.

Conviction, reconciliation, regeneration, justification, faith, sanctification, saved, grace, illumination, drawing, calling, election, predestination.

This may help me to understand your personal theology better, and assist in any future discussions with you.

A good idea!

election
predestination
grace
reconciliation
conviction
regeneration
calling - drawing - conviction - illumination
faith
justification
sanctification
glorification

Now, I really don't like to think or believe that I can contain God's ways in a box, and He can surely choose to move anyway He determines in any life but I believe this is generally what I see in scripture as how he works in salvation.

You will note that I put conviction prior to regeneration because I do believe it possible for the unregenerate man to be convicted by God's Law and to hate God and His Law. I also believe it possible for the conviction to come to the regenerate man, especially in his immaturity, to bring about maturity.

Some things I put on the same line because they are synonymous or can occur at the same times.

I'm not completely dogmatic on all points above. Very strong on some and a bit more lenient on others.

DSK
Sep 14th 2007, 01:59 PM
Well, let's observe the text:

2 Cor. 5:18-19 - Now all things are of God, who HAS reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Now, Paul here clearly states that God HAS (that is past tense) reconciled us to Himself.

He then states, in Christ God WAS reconciling the world to Himself (that's past tense).

So, obviously Paul's plea is for the Corinthians to walk in (respond to) the reconciliation that God has already done and accomplished universally.

That is the only thing that makes sense of the text. Otherwise God has not really done what Paul said He has really done and was doing in Christ on the cross.

Scripture further supports this (scripture interpreting scripture):

Romans 5:10 - For if when we were(past tense) enemies we WERE (past tense) reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been (past tense) reconciled, we shall be(future tense) saved by His life.

Human logic and wisdom often call the things of God as "nonsense and tautology" but God's wisdom is not earthly and His ways often go beyond human reason and logic.

Case in point, the person of Christ. Fully man and fully God. That is logically impossible yet scripture is clear. So just because something appears "nonsense and tautology" to human logic doesn't mean its not scriptural.




Well, let's observe the text:

2 Cor. 5:18-19 - Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

So, we have several nouns and pronouns.

1) Us
2) The world
3) Their
4) Them

Now, careful study shows that Paul proclaims God has reconciled us to Himself. This is clearly the apostle and his fellow workers and perhaps his audience (IMO it does include his audience).

Then we have "the world", which Paul states that God was, in Christ, reconciling to Himself.

Then to differentiate us from the world Paul clearly uses the pronouns their and them, which obviously does not include himself, his fellow workers or his audience.

It is the universal group of mankind that was reconciled to God by Christ. Us, the world, and them. Pretty much sums it up.



I can live with that :)

I still enjoy the discussion and appreciate the opportunity to share and discuss the scripture.

I couldn't help but sense that something was being ignored concerning "reconciliation" in the 2 Cor 5 passages, especially since Paul commands individuals to "be reconciled to God" and while at the same time other passages in that chapter speak of reconciliation as something that has already taken place. So in an attempt to tie this together I did a bit of studying and even consulted a pastor who knows the Greek quite well. Through my study I learned that there is both a Godward aspect, as well as a manward aspect to this reconciliation. Below I will post a few interesting findings on this subject. I will try to keep it short as possible.

First from the pastor whom I mentioned
"What does it mean to "be reconciled" to God? Why is it an imperative?
Cor. 5:20, I noticed that the command to be reconcilied is in the passive voice. That confused me totally for awhile! Typically, an active voice refers to the subject doing the action of the verb, while a passive voice refers to the subject receiving the action of the verb. The confusing part of this verse was that the verb is a command. How can a command be passive? Then it struck me. An excellent (and legitimate) way to translate that command would be: "Allow yourself to be reconciled." The reconciliation is totally a work of God, accomplished on the cross. However, we have to allow ourselves to be reconcilied. Therefore the command is an aorist, passive, imperative."

As I have been studying 2 Cor. 5:18-20, I was interested in the way in which the word 'reconcile' is use throughout it. It is used in three very different ways in this passage. In verse 19, it is a present, active, participle describing what God was doing through Christ. He was reconciling the world to Himself.
However, vv. 18 and 20 indicate that people stand in differing relationships to God. Verse 18 uses the aorist, active, participle to describe the past action of God on behalf of those who are in Christ.While verse 20 uses the aorist, passive, imperative to call those who are not currently in Christ to enter into a new relationship, made possible by Christ's death.

Basically, Paul is pleading with those not yet reconciled from the manward aspect; If you have not been reconciled, I appeal to you to do so now.

2 Cor 5:18 And gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation (kai dontos hēmin tēn diakonian tēs katallagēs). It is a ministry marked by reconciliation, that consists in reconciliation. God has made possible through Christ our reconciliation to him, but in each case it has to be made effective by the attitude of each individual (Robertsons Word Pictures)

The following interesting statement comes from Matthew Henry
"by his ministers he beseeches sinners to lay aside their enmity, and accept of the terms he offers, that they would be reconciled to him, to all his attributes, to all his laws, and to all his providences, to believe in the Mediator, to accept the atonement, and comply with his gospel, in all the parts of it and in the whole design of it."

From the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
2 Corinthians 5:18-20.
(a) The Godward Aspect Primary:
In the same way the great passage in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 cannot be understood apart from the conception that there is a reconciliation on the divine side. There is unquestionably reference to the human side of the matter as well, but, as in Romans, the Godward aspect is primary and dominating:
"All things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation." It might be possible to argue from the King James Version that this describes the process going on under gospel influences, men being brought into gracious relations with God, but the aorist of the Greek rightly rendered by the Revised Version (British and American), "who reconciled us to himself," points back to the historic time when the transaction took place. It cannot be simply the surrender of the sinner to God that is meant, though that comes as a consequence; it is a work that proceeds from God, is accomplished by God, and because of the accomplishment of that work it is possible for a ministry of reconciliation to be entrusted to men. To make this mean the human aspect of the reconciliation, it would be necessary unduly to confine it to the reconciliation of Paul and his fellow-workers, though even then it would be a straining of language, for there is the other historic act described, "and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation." The plain meaning is that through Jesus Christ, God established the basis of agreement, removed the barrier to the sinner's approach to Himself, accomplished the work of propitiation, and, having done so, He entrusts His servants with the ministry of reconciliation, a ministry which, basing itself upon the great propitiatory, reconciling work of Christ, is directed toward men, seeking to remove their enmity, to influence them in their turn to be reconciled with God. This is more clearly set forth in the verse which follows, which in explaining the ministry of reconciliation says: "To wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses." Here there can be no question that the historic Incarnation is meant, and the reconciling of the world can be nothing other than the objective work of atonement culminating in the cross. And in that transaction there can be no thought of the sinner laying aside his hostility to God; it is God in Christ so dealing with sin that the doom lying upon the guilty is canceled, the wrath is averted, propitiation is made.
(b) The Manward Side also Prominent:
God, in a word, enters into gracious relations with a world of sinners, becomes reconciled to man. This being done, gracious influences can be brought to bear upon man, the chief of which is the consideration of this stupendous fact of grace, that [U]God has in Christ dealt with the question of sin. This is the substance of the "word of reconciliation" which is preached by the apostle. So he continues, "We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God." Here is the human side. The great matter now is to get the sinner to lay aside his enmity, to respond to the gracious overtures of the gospel, to come into harmony with God. But that is only possible because the reconciliation in the Godward aspect has already been accomplished. If the first reconciliation, "the reconciliation of the world unto himself," had been the laying aside of human enmity, there could now be no point in the exhortation, "Be ye reconciled to God. (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

After reading the above comments, it becomes clearer to me why Paul was pleading in 2 Cor 6:1 for individuals to "not receive the grace of God in vain" Only those who have received the regenerating grace of God can fulfill the command to "be reconciled to God" and lay aside their enmity towards God and respond to God's gracious offer, because for them now is the day of salvation. Now is the gospel message preached to them. Those who have regenerated ears are pleaded with to not allow the opportunity that now is to pass them by, and be lost without any effecting results.

I personally believe the above notes only confirms what I have been stating since I began this thread.

"God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself" (2 Cor. 5:19). All that remains is man's decision: "be ye reconciled to God" (v. 20). As Meyer affirms (as we have earlier observed), "The reconciliation of all men took place objectively through Christ's death, although the subjective appropriation of it is conditioned by the faith of the individual. - page 130 - Elect In The Son - by Robert Shank

Toolman
Sep 14th 2007, 02:28 PM
I couldn't help but sense that something was being ignored concerning "reconciliation" in the 2 Cor 5 passages, especially since Paul commands individuals to "be reconciled to God" and while at the same time other passages in that chapter speak of reconciliation as something that has already taken place. So in an attempt to tie this together I did a bit of studying and even consulted a pastor who knows the Greek quite well. Through my study I learned that there is both a Godward aspect, as well as a manward aspect to this reconciliation. Below I will post a few interesting findings on this subject. I will try to keep it short as possible.

First from the pastor whom I mentioned
"What does it mean to "be reconciled" to God? Why is it an imperative?
Cor. 5:20, I noticed that the command to be reconcilied is in the passive voice. That confused me totally for awhile! Typically, an active voice refers to the subject doing the action of the verb, while a passive voice refers to the subject receiving the action of the verb. The confusing part of this verse was that the verb is a command. How can a command be passive? Then it struck me. An excellent (and legitimate) way to translate that command would be: "Allow yourself to be reconciled." The reconciliation is totally a work of God, accomplished on the cross. However, we have to allow ourselves to be reconcilied. Therefore the command is an aorist, passive, imperative."

As I have been studying 2 Cor. 5:18-20, I was interested in the way in which the word 'reconcile' is use throughout it. It is used in three very different ways in this passage. In verse 19, it is a present, active, participle describing what God was doing through Christ. He was reconciling the world to Himself.
However, vv. 18 and 20 indicate that people stand in differing relationships to God. Verse 18 uses the aorist, active, participle to describe the past action of God on behalf of those who are in Christ.While verse 20 uses the aorist, passive, imperative to call those who are not currently in Christ to enter into a new relationship, made possible by Christ's death.

Basically, Paul is pleading with those not yet reconciled from the manward aspect; If you have not been reconciled, I appeal to you to do so now.

2 Cor 5:18 And gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation (kai dontos hēmin tēn diakonian tēs katallagēs). It is a ministry marked by reconciliation, that consists in reconciliation. God has made possible through Christ our reconciliation to him, but in each case it has to be made effective by the attitude of each individual (Robertsons Word Pictures)

The following interesting statement comes from Matthew Henry
"by his ministers he beseeches sinners to lay aside their enmity, and accept of the terms he offers, that they would be reconciled to him, to all his attributes, to all his laws, and to all his providences, to believe in the Mediator, to accept the atonement, and comply with his gospel, in all the parts of it and in the whole design of it."

From the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
2 Corinthians 5:18-20.
(a) The Godward Aspect Primary:
In the same way the great passage in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 cannot be understood apart from the conception that there is a reconciliation on the divine side. There is unquestionably reference to the human side of the matter as well, but, as in Romans, the Godward aspect is primary and dominating:
"All things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation." It might be possible to argue from the King James Version that this describes the process going on under gospel influences, men being brought into gracious relations with God, but the aorist of the Greek rightly rendered by the Revised Version (British and American), "who reconciled us to himself," points back to the historic time when the transaction took place. It cannot be simply the surrender of the sinner to God that is meant, though that comes as a consequence; it is a work that proceeds from God, is accomplished by God, and because of the accomplishment of that work it is possible for a ministry of reconciliation to be entrusted to men. To make this mean the human aspect of the reconciliation, it would be necessary unduly to confine it to the reconciliation of Paul and his fellow-workers, though even then it would be a straining of language, for there is the other historic act described, "and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation." The plain meaning is that through Jesus Christ, God established the basis of agreement, removed the barrier to the sinner's approach to Himself, accomplished the work of propitiation, and, having done so, He entrusts His servants with the ministry of reconciliation, a ministry which, basing itself upon the great propitiatory, reconciling work of Christ, is directed toward men, seeking to remove their enmity, to influence them in their turn to be reconciled with God. This is more clearly set forth in the verse which follows, which in explaining the ministry of reconciliation says: "To wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses." Here there can be no question that the historic Incarnation is meant, and the reconciling of the world can be nothing other than the objective work of atonement culminating in the cross. And in that transaction there can be no thought of the sinner laying aside his hostility to God; it is God in Christ so dealing with sin that the doom lying upon the guilty is canceled, the wrath is averted, propitiation is made.
(b) The Manward Side also Prominent:
God, in a word, enters into gracious relations with a world of sinners, becomes reconciled to man. This being done, gracious influences can be brought to bear upon man, the chief of which is the consideration of this stupendous fact of grace, that [U]God has in Christ dealt with the question of sin. This is the substance of the "word of reconciliation" which is preached by the apostle. So he continues, "We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God." Here is the human side. The great matter now is to get the sinner to lay aside his enmity, to respond to the gracious overtures of the gospel, to come into harmony with God. But that is only possible because the reconciliation in the Godward aspect has already been accomplished. If the first reconciliation, "the reconciliation of the world unto himself," had been the laying aside of human enmity, there could now be no point in the exhortation, "Be ye reconciled to God. (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

I completely agree with the conclusions above. My greek knowledge is limited, so I won't speak there, but the conclusions are dead on and completely align with my former statements:

"Now, Paul here clearly states that God HAS (that is past tense) reconciled us to Himself.

He then states, in Christ God WAS reconciling the world to Himself (that's past tense).

So, obviously Paul's plea is for the Corinthians to walk in (respond to) the reconciliation that God has already done and accomplished universally.

Romans 5:10 - For if when we were(past tense) enemies we WERE (past tense) reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been (past tense) reconciled, we shall be(future tense) saved by His life."

From God's vantage point, man is already reconciled to Him. He does not impute our sins.

From man's vantage point, he does not realize this reconciliation until faith is born and his enmity with God is done away with.

Reconciliation is universal :)

The Corinthians had already responded to the Gospel message to believe on Christ as Saviour (Paul is writing to a Church!). They have already been justified by faith in Christ alone.

Paul's plead here now is for their sanctification. The Corinthians had divisions in the Church (Paul, Apollos), they were selfish at communion (eating all the food and getting drunk), they allowed sexual perverts to remain in fellowship, they were still involved with some forms of idolatry. They needed to be admonished to daily put aside the old man.


After reading the above comments, it becomes clearer to me why Paul was pleading in 2 Cor 6:1 for individuals to "not receive the grace of God in vain" Only those who have received the regenerating grace of God can fulfill the command to "be reconciled to God" and lay aside their enmity towards God and respond to God's gracious offer, because for them now is the day of salvation. Now is the gospel message preached to them. Those who have regenerated ears are pleaded with to not allow the opportunity that now is to pass them by, and be lost without any effecting results.

The only part we will disagree on here is obviously the "lost" portion.

I obviously don't believe Christ will lose any that He came to save but will save them to the uttermost and will be successful at what he came for, to seek and save that which was lost.

Because you believe a justified person can lose salvation we will obviously disagree here and perhaps why you view the text different than I.
You do run into a problem there though, because God has already reconciled the person to Himself and does not impute their sin to them.


I personally believe the above notes only confirms what I have been stating since I began this thread.

"God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself" (2 Cor. 5:19). All that remains is man's decision: "be ye reconciled to God" (v. 20). As Meyer affirms (as we have earlier observed), "The reconciliation of all men took place objectively through Christ's death, although the subjective appropriation of it is conditioned by the faith of the individual. - page 130 - Elect In The Son - by Robert Shank

I will once again state that Paul is writing to a Church of believers. He is not calling for initial faith in Christ as Saviour but is calling for a sanctifying walk of believers. The context is clear IMO. Sanctification (being a part of salvation) is as much a part of the reconciling work of God as is justification.

DSK
Sep 14th 2007, 03:12 PM
From God's vantage point, man is already reconciled to Him. He does not impute our sins.

From the Godward side yes. From the manward side, some hadn't reached that point as yet. Whether it's the church in Corinth, or any church, not all those who attend are reconciled and justified. Among every church there are those who are being drawn but haven't yet responded


From man's vantage point, he does not realize this reconciliation until faith is born and his enmity with God is done away with.

The enmity from the Godward side has been removed, for those Paul is pleading with, but now it also needs to removed from the manward side.

2 Cor 5:18 And gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation (kai dontos hēmin tēn diakonian tēs katallagēs). It is a ministry marked by reconciliation, that consists in reconciliation. [u]God has made possible through Christ our reconciliation to him, but in each case it has to be made effective by the attitude of each individual (Robertsons Word Pictures)


Reconciliation is universal :)

Reconciliation from the Godward side is universal. From the manward side, thats not the case for everyone, thats why Paul pleads with those not yet reconciled, to "become reconciled" v 20.


The Corinthians had already responded to the Gospel message to believe on Christ as Saviour (Paul is writing to a Church!). They have already been justified by faith in Christ alone.

In any church there is in attendance those who have been reconciled and justified, who sit beside others, who as yet have need to be reconciled and justified. Attending church doesn't make one reconciled and justified, unless you believe that all who attend church are justified. Scripture tells us the wheat and tares will grow together, side by side.


Paul's plead here now is for their sanctification.

You can believe that if you want, in spite of the fact thats not what the text says. I'll believe what Scripture says Pauls plea was. His plea was:
1. that they "be reconciled to God" 2 Cor 5:20
2. that they not receive the grace of God in vain 2 Cor 6:1


The only part we will disagree on here is obviously the "lost" portion.

You do run into a problem there though, because God has already reconciled the person to Himself and does not impute their sin to them.

Actually my position on that is well supported by Scripture, which I would be more than happy to discuss with you, if you want to PM me or create a new thread to discuss that. I won't go into details concerning that topic in this thread.

Toolman
Sep 14th 2007, 03:34 PM
From the Godward side yes. From the manward side, some hadn't reached that point as yet. Whether it's the church in Corinth, or any church, not all those who attend are reconciled and justified. Among every church there are those who are being drawn but haven't yet responded

That is a definite truth in our day and age DSK, but I'm not convinced it was a truth at this time in Church history. Churches were not places where seekers attended. Evangelism was done outside the believers meeting and receiving of communion.

One would lose family for being a Christian, place in society and could very well lose their life. Completely different culture than our Church culture today.

I see nothing in Paul's letter where he agrees that his letter is directed at unbelievers. I see evidence that he knows them as believers:

Let's observe who he is writing to:

1 Cor. 1:2- - To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was CONFIRMED in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now I plead with you, BRETHREN, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Sorry, the context is clear that Paul is addressing believers and not unbelievers. I see absolutely nothing in the text to indicate different and think it is our Church culture that may be effecting your reading of the text.


The enmity from the Godward side has been removed, for those Paul is pleading with, but now it also needs to removed from the manward side.

I've have never said any different. But in the Corinthian letters it concerns the Corinthians sanctification not their initial faith in Christ.


Reconciliation from the Godward side is universal. From the manward side, thats not the case for everyone, thats why Paul pleads with those not yet reconciled, to "become reconciled" v 20.

Right, the universal reconciliation that God has accomplished has not been manifested in every persons life within linear time. But the reconciliation is universal nonetheless and will be manifest 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


In any church there is in attendance those who have been reconciled and justified, who sit beside others, who as yet have need to be reconciled and justified. Attending church doesn't make one reconciled and justified, unless you believe that all who attend church are justified. Scripture tells us the wheat and tares will grow together, side by side.

The parable is speaking of the world and not the Church. While I agree within our Church culture, with evangelical Christianity, there has been allowed into the church those who do not profess faith in Christ, have not been baptized, do not partake of communion.. This was not the case in the 1st century Church.

Only confirmed believers gathered together for fellowship to partake of worship, communion, fellowship and prayer.

Unbelievers were evangelized in the market places, the synagogue, streets, etc.

This changed when Constantine made Christianity the religion of Rome but prior to this was a much different environment.

I see nothing in Paul's address to the Corinthians to support your stance. Paul regards them as brothers and I see no reason to doubt the apostle knowing his audience.


You can believe that if you want, in spite of the fact thats not what the text says. I'll believe what Scripture says Pauls plea was. His plea was:
1. that they "be reconciled to God" 2 Cor 5:20
2. that they no receive the grace of God in vain 2 Cor 6:1

That is absolutely what the text says and what the WHOLE context of the letter is about. Paul is speaking to BELIEVERS.


Actually my position on that is well supported by Scripture, which I would be more than happy to discuss with you, if you want to PM me or create a new thread to discuss that. I won't go into details concerning that topic in this thread.

We'll pick it up at another time I'm sure :)

DSK
Sep 14th 2007, 04:05 PM
That is a definite truth in our day and age DSK, but I'm not convinced it was a truth at this time in Church history. Churches were not places where seekers attended. Evangelism was done outside the believers meeting and receiving of communion.
:)

You may not want to be so hasty in declaring such is the case.

I will briefly post the following for your consideration.

2 Cor 11:6 in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils from my countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

"false brethren"
pseudadelphos
Thayer Definition:
1) a false brother
2) one who ostentatiously professes to be a Christian, but is destitute of Christian knowledge and piety

Strongs definition
pseudadelphos
From G5571 and G80; a spurious brother, that is, pretended associate: - false brethren.

Among false brethren - This was the crowning danger and trial to Paul, as it is to all others. A man can better bear danger by land and water, among robbers and in deserts, than he can bear to have his confidence abused, and to be subjected to the action and the arts of spies upon his conduct. Who these were he has not informed us. He mentions it as the chief trial to which he had been exposed, that he had met those who pretended to be his friends, and who yet had sought every possible opportunity to expose and destroy him. Perhaps he has here a delicate reference to the danger which he apprehended from the false brethren in the church at Corinth. - Albert Barnes

False brethren - Persons who joined themselves to the Church, pretending faith in Christ, but intending to act as spies, hoping to get some matter of accusation against him. He no doubt suffered much also from apostates. - Adam Clarke

Toolman
Sep 14th 2007, 04:24 PM
You may not want to be so hasty in declaring such is the case.

I will briefly post the following for your consideration.

2 Cor 11:6 in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils from my countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;


There is a wide range of what Paul could be addressing there (including those of the synagogue) but it is a good point and duly noted.

But nonetheless NOTHING in Paul's address to the Corinthians indicates that he is addressing unbelievers. He believes himself to be addressing believers and makes no other indication.

I've already included his address in his 1st letter, which is extremely clear to that fact and I'll include some of his address from his 2nd letter here also:

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia:

Paul addresses his letter to the Church and to saints. No mention of unbelievers.

10On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our[a] behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

Paul calls on their prayers. The prayers of the saints.. not unbelievers.

18But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not "Yes" and "No." 19For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not "Yes" and "No," but in him it has always been "Yes." 20For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Its almost like Paul actually believes that Christ is able to make believers stand firm because of Christ's "yes" (not "no") and the guarantee of what is to come.

I just don't see Paul anywhere in this letter speaking to the Corinthians about initial faith in Christ. He is speaking about their walk with Christ and their sanctification in their daily walk.. not about coming to faith in a Christ they haven't believed on.

DSK
Sep 15th 2007, 01:04 AM
But nonetheless NOTHING in Paul's address to the Corinthians indicates that he is addressing unbelievers. He believes himself to be addressing believers and makes no other indication.

Paul addresses his letter to the Church and to saints. No mention of unbelievers.



Scriptural proof that in the Corinthian church there appears to have been unbelievers. There are more verses, but I will post them later if necessary.

1 Cor 5:9 I wrote unto you in my epistle to have no company with fornicators;
1 Cor 5:10 not at all meaning with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous and extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world:
1 Cor 5:11 but as it is, I wrote unto you not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no, not to eat.
1 Cor 5:12 For what have I to do with judging them that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within?
1 Cor 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.

2 Cor 13:5 Try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves. Or know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed ye be reprobate.

1 Cor 14:23 If therefore the whole church be assembled together and all speak with tongues, and there come in men unlearned or unbelieving, will they not say that ye are mad?
1 Cor 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one unbelieving or unlearned, he is reproved by all, he is judged by all;
1 Cor 14:25 the secrets of his heart are made manifest; and so he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is among you indeed.

Toolman
Sep 17th 2007, 02:38 PM
Scriptural proof that in the Corinthian church there appears to have been unbelievers. There are more verses, but I will post them later if necessary.

1 Cor 5:9 I wrote unto you in my epistle to have no company with fornicators;
1 Cor 5:10 not at all meaning with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous and extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world:
1 Cor 5:11 but as it is, I wrote unto you not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no, not to eat.
1 Cor 5:12 For what have I to do with judging them that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within?
1 Cor 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.

2 Cor 13:5 Try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves. Or know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed ye be reprobate.

1 Cor 14:23 If therefore the whole church be assembled together and all speak with tongues, and there come in men unlearned or unbelieving, will they not say that ye are mad?
1 Cor 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one unbelieving or unlearned, he is reproved by all, he is judged by all;
1 Cor 14:25 the secrets of his heart are made manifest; and so he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is among you indeed.

Those are some good points DSK and I would only point out that the "wicked man" was a believer who was excommunicated and reinstated to the fellowship.

Just some notes on Paul's comments about the man:

1 Corinthians 5:5 - deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

2 Corinthians 2:5 But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe. 6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, 7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. 8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. 9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.

The 1 Cor. 14 verse is a very nice example of an unbeliever coming into a Church meeting. I would also note here that this would be an exception and not the normal rule and communion would not be given to an unbeliever.

One more note is that Paul's letter was addressed to none of the above. His specific addressing is to those who are believers. So I must conclude that his exhortation to the believers is not initial faith in Christ (they already had that: 1 Cor. 1:4-9, 1 Cor. 2:1-5, 1 Cor. 3:1-3, 1 Cor. 4:14) but was in concern to their maturing and sanctification:

1 Cor. 3:1-3 - And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal.

Now, if you still adhere that Paul is speaking of initial faith in Christ then I am ok with that. I am just pointing out that I think the context lends itself much more to maturity in Christ and sanctification.

But I'm starting to repeat myself here a bit and will let my points stand as they are and let some others have an opportunity to perhaps share their observances of the text. Thanks for thread, very nice discussion!

DSK
Sep 17th 2007, 07:44 PM
Those are some good points DSK and I would only point out that the "wicked man" was a believer who was excommunicated and reinstated to the fellowship.

Just some notes on Paul's comments about the man:

1 Corinthians 5:5 - deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

2 Corinthians 2:5 But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe. 6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, 7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. 8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. 9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.

The 1 Cor. 14 verse is a very nice example of an unbeliever coming into a Church meeting. I would also note here that this would be an exception and not the normal rule and communion would not be given to an unbeliever.

One more note is that Paul's letter was addressed to none of the above. His specific addressing is to those who are believers. So I must conclude that his exhortation to the believers is not initial faith in Christ (they already had that: 1 Cor. 1:4-9, 1 Cor. 2:1-5, 1 Cor. 3:1-3, 1 Cor. 4:14) but was in concern to their maturing and sanctification:

1 Cor. 3:1-3 - And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal.

Now, if you still adhere that Paul is speaking of initial faith in Christ then I am ok with that. I am just pointing out that I think the context lends itself much more to maturity in Christ and sanctification.

But I'm starting to repeat myself here a bit and will let my points stand as they are and let some others have an opportunity to perhaps share their observances of the text. Thanks for thread, very nice discussion!

My point all along has been that in attendence, it appears from the Scripture which I previously posted, that there oftentimes was a mixture of those who have responded in faith, along with those who had not as yet. The Scriptures I provided, proved that it wasn't unusual to have those of the latter category in attendance. Another verse from which we may deduce that the Corinthian Church had unbelievers is: 1 Cor 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in the brother: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. Those who had previously responded in faith are not the ones whom Paul was pleading with to be reconciled to God 2 Cor 5:20. The plea to become reconciled was to those in attendance that still needed to take the manward step of responding and becoming reconciled. Paul was pleading with them not only to "become reconciled to God" (2 Cor 5:20), but also to"not receive the grace of God in vain." (2 Cor 6:1) The sense of the plea in 6:1 is, “We entreat you not to neglect or slight this offer of pardon, so as to lose the benefit of it" - Barnes

"God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself" (2 Cor. 5:19). All that remains is man's decision: "be ye reconciled to God" (v. 20). As Meyer affirms (as we have earlier observed), "The reconciliation of all men took place objectively through Christ's death, although the subjective appropriation of it is conditioned by the faith of the individual. - page 130 - Elect In The Son - by Robert Shank

In vain (eis kenon). Into emptiness. The plan of God, the work of Christ on the Cross, the pleas of the ambassador may all be nullified by the recipient of the message. - Robertson's Word Pictures

That you receive not the grace of God in vain. The grace (favor) of God meant is the gospel, the ministry of reconciliation. To receive it in vain would be to receive it and then fall away. Compare 1 Cor 15:2. - Peoples New Testament Commentary

We learn, therefore, that it was possible to receive the grace of God and not ultimately benefit by it; or, in other words, to begin in the Spirit and end in the flesh. - Adam Clarke on 2 Cor 6:1

"the experience of God's grace is conditional upon human response. It can be rejected or accepted" - Holman Bible Dictionary- http://www.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?number=T2364

Toolman
Sep 17th 2007, 07:56 PM
My point all along has been that in attendence, it appears from the Scripture which I previously posted, that there oftentimes was a mixture of those who have responded in faith, along with those who had not as yet. The Scriptures I provided, proved that it wasn't unusual to have those of the latter category in attendance. Another verse from which we may deduce that the Corinthian Church had unbelievers is: 1 Cor 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in the brother: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. Those who had previously responded in faith are not the ones whom Paul was pleading with to be reconciled to God 2 Cor 5:20. The plea to become reconciled was to those in attendance that still needed to take the manward step of responding and becoming reconciled.

DSK,

Your comments and the commentaries you are quoting here don't match.

Let's observe:

To receive it in vain would be to receive it and then fall away. Compare 1 Cor 15:2. - Peoples New Testament Commentary

Ok, this commentator agrees that something must FIRST be received. He is speaking of a believer falling away from faith.

We learn, therefore, that it was possible to receive the grace of God and not ultimately benefit by it; or, in other words, to begin in the Spirit and end in the flesh. - Adam Clarke on 2 Cor 6:1

Clarke says the same thing here. Beginning in the Spirit indicates the person has had initial faith in Christ.

If a person has received grace, then they must have had initial faith in Christ. Then, after that point, vanity could become an issue.

An unbeliever has not received the grace of God by faith obviously.

So it seems to me that the commentaries are accurate in that they see Paul's exhortation is to believers and not unbelievers.

DSK
Sep 17th 2007, 08:22 PM
We learn, therefore, that it was possible to receive the grace of God and not ultimately benefit by it; or, in other words, to begin in the Spirit and end in the flesh. - Adam Clarke on 2 Cor 6:1

Clarke says the same thing here. Beginning in the Spirit indicates the person has had initial faith in Christ.



Neither Clarke nor the others stated that they had (past tense) already begun in the Spirit. He is merely saying that if a person were to begin in the Spirit and end in the flesh that would amount to receiving God's grace in vain. He is speaking of that which is a possibility.

Toolman
Sep 17th 2007, 08:29 PM
Neither Clarke nor the others stated that they had (past tense) already begun in the Spirit. He is merely saying that if a person were to begin in the Spirit and end in the flesh that would amount to receiving God's grace in vain. He is speaking of that which is a possibility.

Sure they did. Let's observe their comments again:

To receive it in vain would be to receive it and then fall away. Compare 1 Cor 15:2. - Peoples New Testament Commentary

Here the commentator says "to receive it" (that is a past action) and THEN to fall away (something that happens AFTER receiving).

Here is a simple way to see that progression:

"I received the ball on the 50 yard line and was running for the end zone. I THEN fumbled the ball on the 1".

You must receive something first before you can "THEN" lose it (fall away, whatever).

We learn, therefore, that it was possible to receive the grace of God and not ultimately benefit by it; or, in other words, to begin in the Spirit and end in the flesh. - Adam Clarke on 2 Cor 6:1

How does one "begin in the Spirit" without ever having initial faith? Without faith there is not a "beginning in the Spirit".

walked
Sep 17th 2007, 08:45 PM
I have heard many people say that the grace of God cannot be thwarted and that grace is irresistable.

Question:
If the grace of God cannot be thwarted, and is irresistable, then how should we interpret the following Scripture. Is that verse really saying that a person can receive God's grace in vain?

2 Cor 6:1 And working together with him we entreat also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain (ASV)

Below is the same verse from another translation:

2 Cor 6:1 Since, then, we are working with God, we plead with you not to accept God's grace in vain. (ISV)

and below is the same verse for you KJV only persons

2 Cor 6:1
¶ We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

.
Dear friend the context of these verses that were written in a letter to believers long ago are is this:
(there is one final sacrifice for all by Christ as compared to the continual sacrifices still offered in the temple for sin even after Christ work/sacrifice was done/complete/finished/final)..relying on temple sacrifices and Jewish regulations and laws was vain.
The continuation of the sacrifices at the temple after Christ sacrifice were/are vain and, an in my opinion its an abomination which lead to desolation of the temple in 70 AD. 34n a half years after Christ final sacrifice for all.

I'm well aware of the common interpretation of these verses (how many sins we can pile up and still rely on Christ blood for forgiveness) and even agreed and followed them in my walk until I studied them for myself in the original language it was written in and didn't rely on a mans interpretation.

Now I realize that the meaning of this letter was to make those who the letter was written to be aware of the teachings of troublemakers who will come to them and have came who will teach that the temple sacrifices, the Jewish regulations and laws are still legitimate and need to be observed by them.

DSK
Sep 17th 2007, 08:47 PM
To receive it in vain would be to receive it and then fall away. Compare 1 Cor 15:2. - Peoples New Testament Commentary

Here the commentator says "to receive it" (that is a past action) and THEN to fall away (something that happens AFTER receiving).

Your not totally correct. "To receieve" can denote past action, but doesn't always. If those addressed in 2 Cor 5-6 had received it, then Paul would be pleading with then to "become reconciled" they were not as yet reconciled, they needed as yet to become reconciled, and once reconciled to not receive the grace of God in vain.


[I][COLOR=blue]Here is a simple way to see that progression:

"I received the ball on the 50 yard line and was running for the end zone. I THEN fumbled the ball on the 1".

The commentator didn't use the past action word "received" you did a switcheroo. "To receieve" and "received" isn't the same.

Heres a progression for you that is a better fit than the one you gave

to receive the ball and not benefit with it by scoring would result in a lost benefit.

That statement doesn't say they actually received the ball. All it says is that if they were to receive the ball and not score it would not benefit them. It speaks of something which could take place. It speaks of that which is possible.


How does one "begin in the Spirit" without ever having initial faith? Without faith there is not a "beginning in the Spirit".

I never said a person could

DSK
Sep 17th 2007, 08:53 PM
Dear friend the context of these verses that were written in a letter to believers long ago are is this:
(there is one final sacrifice for all by Christ as compared to the continual sacrifices still offered in the temple for sin even after Christ work/sacrifice was done/complete/finished/final)..relying on temple sacrifices and Jewish regulations and laws was vain.
The continuation of the sacrifices at the temple after Christ sacrifice were/are vain and, an in my opinion its an abomination which lead to desolation of the temple in 70 AD. 34n a half years after Christ final sacrifice for all.

I'm well aware of the common interpretation of these verses (how many sins we can pile up and still rely on Christ blood for forgiveness) and even agreed and followed them in my walk until I studied them for myself in the original language it was written in and didn't rely on a mans interpretation.

Now I realize that the meaning of this letter was to make those who the letter was written to be aware of the teachings of troublemakers who will come to them and have came who will teach that the temple sacrifices, the Jewish regulations and laws are still legitimate and need to be observed by them.

Your gonna have to show me where any of the verses I used ever make mention of sacrifices. Neither chapter 5 or six of 2 Cor ever mentions sacrifices.

walked
Sep 17th 2007, 08:56 PM
Your gonna have to show me where any of the verses I used ever make mention of sacrifices. Neither chapter 5 or six of 2 Cor ever mentions sacrifices.


What is the "grace" spoken of in these verses then?

...I say that the "grace" spoken of in these verses are His Son Jesus Christ as a "sacrifice" for the restoration of all of creation to the Creator/the forgiveness of sin.

Toolman
Sep 17th 2007, 09:02 PM
Your not totally correct. "To receieve" can denote past action, but doesn't always. If those addressed in 2 Cor 5-6 had received it, then Paul would be pleading with then to "become reconciled" they were not as yet reconciled, they needed as yet to become reconciled, and once reconciled to not receive the grace of God in vain.

Unless sanctification is as much a part of reconciliation as justification (and glorification) is. Which it is.


The commentator didn't use the past action word "received" you did a switcheroo. "To receieve" and "received" isn't the same.

Heres a progression for you that is a better fit than the one you gave

to receive the ball and not benefit with it by scoring would result in a lost benefit.

That statement doesn't say they actually received the ball. All it says is that if they were to receive the ball and not score it would not benefit them. It speaks of something which could take place. It speaks of that which is possible.

You left out the "THEN" part of the commentary in your re-wording.

Note again the commentator says:
To receive it in vain would be to receive it and THEN fall away

Before one can fall away, one must first receive something.

Initial faith must be present first.


I never said a person could

Clarkes commentary is clear that he believes the audience Paul is addressing is people who have "begun in the Spirit".

We learn, therefore, that it was possible to receive the grace of God and not ultimately benefit by it; or, in other words, to begin in the Spirit and end in the flesh. - Adam Clarke on 2 Cor 6:1

So, once again, I point out that Clarke is supporting the position that Paul's comments in 2 Cor. 6 was to believers not unbelievers.

DSK
Sep 17th 2007, 09:09 PM
Unless sanctification is as much a part of reconciliation as justification (and glorification) is. Which it is.

A part of something isn't equal to the whole.


You left out the "THEN" part of the commentary in your re-wording.

So shoot me. I'm human and am prone to error.


Note again the commentator says:
To receive it in vain would be to receive it and THEN fall away

Before one can fall away, one must first receive something.

Initial faith must be present first.

Clarkes commentary is clear that he believes the audience Paul is addressing is people who have "begun in the Spirit".

We learn, therefore, that it was possible to receive the grace of God and not ultimately benefit by it; or, in other words, to begin in the Spirit and end in the flesh. - Adam Clarke on 2 Cor 6:1

So, once again, I point out that Clarke is supporting the position that Paul's comments in 2 Cor. 6 was to believers not unbelievers.

Believe what you want. I will have to respectfully disagree for now.

walked
Sep 17th 2007, 09:10 PM
Your gonna have to show me where any of the verses I used ever make mention of sacrifices. Neither chapter 5 or six of 2 Cor ever mentions sacrifices.



What is the "grace" spoken of in these verses then?

...I say that the "grace" spoken of in these verses are His Son Jesus Christ as a "sacrifice" for the restoration of all of creation to the Creator/the forgiveness of sin.

The meat of this letter is addressed to the believers who were in danger of receiving this grace in vain, by following the teachings of troublemakers who will come and who have came to them teaching that they must abide in Jewish laws and regulations and in temple sacrifices.

DSK
Sep 17th 2007, 09:14 PM
What is the "grace" spoken of in these verses then?

...I say that the "grace" spoken of in these verses are His Son Jesus Christ as a "sacrifice" for the restoration of all of creation to the Creator/the forgiveness of sin.

I am not saying I disagree.
Could you please show me what portions of chapter 5 and 6 you believe supports that?

Toolman
Sep 17th 2007, 09:16 PM
A part of something isn't equal to the whole.

Absolutely!


So shoot me. I'm human and am prone to error.

Count me in there with ya. Perhaps I have been a bit to much "like a dog on a bone" here. Forgive my tenaciousness brother.


Believe what you want. I will have to respectfully disagree for now.

Ok, I'll let it rest now. Respectful disagreement is not always a bad thing :)

walked
Sep 17th 2007, 09:22 PM
I am not saying I disagree.
Could you please show me what portions of chapter 5 and 6 you believe supports that?
Ill point to the book as a whole and not a chapter, it didn't have chapters and verses when it was written to the believers it was sent as a letter from the father of their local church long ago and, to understand what is meant by the author you have to digest it as a whole and not in (parts n pieces/chapters n verses)