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RogerW
Sep 26th 2007, 03:33 PM
Question for discussion:

Should the proclamation of the gospel begin with the call to faith and repentance? Why or why not?

Many Blessings,
RW

enarchay
Sep 26th 2007, 03:44 PM
Question for discussion:

Should the proclamation of the gospel begin with the call to faith and repentance? Why or why not?

I don't believe so. First you bring God's blessing to the nations by helping the poor and so on, and when they ask you why you are acting so different from the rest of the world, you can explain why. To me, we must follow in Jesus' footsteps, and often Jesus' verbal proclamation was an explanation of what he was physically doing.

So I believe we should be out doing what Jesus was doing and explaining why we are doing it: because Jesus is the risen Messiah and the Lord of the world and we have been called to be his servants.

RogerW
Sep 26th 2007, 03:51 PM
I don't believe so. First you bring God's blessing to the nations by helping the poor and so on, and when they ask you why you are acting so different from the rest of the world, you can explain why. To me, we must follow in Jesus' footsteps, and often Jesus' verbal proclamation was an explanation of what he was physically doing.

So I believe we should be out doing what Jesus was doing and explaining why we are doing it: because Jesus is the risen Messiah and the Lord of the world and we have been called to be his servants.

Greetings Enarchay,

If I am understanding you correctly you believe we must first meet the felt needs, or physical needs of people and this will make them more readily receive the gospel?

Blessings,
RW

Gard
Sep 26th 2007, 03:58 PM
I am inclined to believe that calling for faith and repentence would not make much sense to anyone unless they first understand who Jesus is and why we are called to be His servants.

But then again, John the Baptist was preaching repentence before Jesus came on the scene so i will be interested to see other view points on this issue.

enarchay
Sep 26th 2007, 04:01 PM
If I am understanding you correctly you believe we must first meet the felt needs, or physical needs of people and this will make them more readily receive the gospel?

Something like that. Before Jesus gave parables (i.e. Luke 15) explaining his welcoming of sinners, he welcomed the sinners. So action comes before explanation, in my opinion.

Unlike the Romans who welcomed people into their kingdom at the edge of the sword, we welcome people into our kingdom with love. This is why helping the poor and those who are in need of comfort and so on is so important prior to the proclamation of Jesus as the risen Messiah.

I think my opinion ties in with James statements:

"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (Jas 2:14-17).

The promise made to Abraham is that in him the nations will be blessed (Gen 18:18). The same is true for us. So start blessing the nations!

enarchay
Sep 26th 2007, 04:03 PM
But then again, John the Baptist was preaching repentence before Jesus came on the scene so i will be interested to see other view points on this issue.

True. However, I think John's audience understood what he meant more than our audience 2000 years later. The proclamation of the "kingdom of God" is all-Greek to the average, Biblically ignorant, modern person.

Gard
Sep 26th 2007, 04:11 PM
True. However, I think John's audience understood what he meant more than our audience 2000 years later. The proclamation of the "kingdom of God" is all-Greek to the average, Biblically ignorant, modern person.

Excellent point. John's "audience" was a jewish population that already knew a messiah was to come. Therefore, his message was not foreign to them.

enarchay
Sep 26th 2007, 04:20 PM
Excellent point. John's "audience" was a jewish population that already knew a messiah was to come. Therefore, his message was not foreign to them.

Yes. On the other hand, we live in a society that has largely lost touch with its Jewish roots. Therefore, we must act out the Kingdom of God, rather than verbally explain its arrival, so we can afterward explain it in a way that is easy to understand. Remember Jesus' statement: "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 19:1). What other things can be said to be "such is the kingdom of heaven"? Ask yourself that. Do those things that are such in the kingdom of God. When people ask you why, explain it: Jesus is Lord. I'm pretty sure that is easy to understand.

My point is, the gospel is not all about "saving souls" as it is understand by most modern Christians. It is about helping others as we would help ourselves and then giving them the opportunity to become a part of the people of God, the seed of Abraham.

We are a Kingdom and we have a King. We are the servants of that King. We serve that King by serving others. When people wonder why we are serving them, we explain we are servants of the King. If they want to become servants as well, we explain how. That is our job in my mind.

Sold Out
Sep 26th 2007, 04:25 PM
Question for discussion:

Should the proclamation of the gospel begin with the call to faith and repentance? Why or why not?

Many Blessings,
RW

Well, there's no prescribed order...I think it will depend on the individual. There are some folks I've talked to that understood their sinful state even before I began witnessing to them...in that case, they are READY for the gospel (good news) and repentance & faith comes easily. They desperately WANT to be forgiven & saved.

For others, they are prideful and either:

a) think they are a good person so they deserve heaven

- or-

b) don't think their sin is bad enough to send them to hell.

In this case it is necessary to first show them (using the scriptures) that no one is good enough and that all sin is punishable by death & eternal separation from God in a place called hell.

A person can't repent unless they understand their sinful position before God.

enarchay
Sep 26th 2007, 04:31 PM
I honestly don't think "hell" as many interpret it today has any place in the gospel, but that's just me.

Sold Out
Sep 26th 2007, 04:43 PM
I honestly don't think "hell" as many interpret it today has any place in the gospel, but that's just me.

So in a witnessing situation, what would you tell a person the penalty for their sin is?

RogerW
Sep 26th 2007, 04:58 PM
I am inclined to believe that calling for faith and repentence would not make much sense to anyone unless they first understand who Jesus is and why we are called to be His servants.

But then again, John the Baptist was preaching repentence before Jesus came on the scene so i will be interested to see other view points on this issue.

Greetings Gard,

Yes, John the Baptist did come preaching repentence, and yet as you have stated it would not make much sense to anyone unless they first understand who Jesus is. Do you find it interesting (if so, why) that the first sermon preached by Peter was to "devout Jews" (Acts 2:5), and yet the message he preached began with the sovereinty of God and fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel, and the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God?

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Sep 26th 2007, 05:05 PM
Yes. On the other hand, we live in a society that has largely lost touch with its Jewish roots. Therefore, we must act out the Kingdom of God, rather than verbally explain its arrival, so we can afterward explain it in a way that is easy to understand. Remember Jesus' statement: "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 19:1). What other things can be said to be "such is the kingdom of heaven"? Ask yourself that. Do those things that are such in the kingdom of God. When people ask you why, explain it: Jesus is Lord. I'm pretty sure that is easy to understand.

My point is, the gospel is not all about "saving souls" as it is understand by most modern Christians. It is about helping others as we would help ourselves and then giving them the opportunity to become a part of the people of God, the seed of Abraham.

We are a Kingdom and we have a King. We are the servants of that King. We serve that King by serving others. When people wonder why we are serving them, we explain we are servants of the King. If they want to become servants as well, we explain how. That is our job in my mind.


Greetings Enarchay,

This is a very common thinking today. It does indeed (James) demonstrate living faith. But how is this any different then a world wide organization such as the American Red Cross? I mean, wouldn't you agree that even the world takes care of its own when it comes to physical/felt needs, even if not very well at times? Please don't misunderstand me, I am not saying that we are not also called to care for the needs of others. Is meeting felt/physical needs Paul's primary focus?

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Sep 26th 2007, 05:13 PM
Well, there's no prescribed order...I think it will depend on the individual. There are some folks I've talked to that understood their sinful state even before I began witnessing to them...in that case, they are READY for the gospel (good news) and repentance & faith comes easily. They desperately WANT to be forgiven & saved.

For others, they are prideful and either:

a) think they are a good person so they deserve heaven

- or-

b) don't think their sin is bad enough to send them to hell.

In this case it is necessary to first show them (using the scriptures) that no one is good enough and that all sin is punishable by death & eternal separation from God in a place called hell.

A person can't repent unless they understand their sinful position before God.

Greetings Sold Out,

What do you mean when you say, that some folks understand their sinful state even before you begin witnessing to them and are therefore ready for the gospel and repentance? How are they aware of their sinful state? I'm not trying to be difficult, I just want to understand where their understanding comes from, and if they already know they are without hope, should we then proceed to the proclamation of the gospel? And if we do how will this affect the call to faith and repentance?

Many Blessings,
RW

Amazedgrace21
Sep 26th 2007, 05:15 PM
Question for discussion:

Should the proclamation of the gospel begin with the call to faith and repentance? Why or why not?

Many Blessings,
RW

IMHO, I do not abide by "gospel peddling" in contrast to Paul and others who proclaimed and taught the 'good news' with a call to the faith and repentence.

Those who peddle the word of God, tend not to rely upon or do not believe that the Holy Spirit is the one who gives sight to the spiritually blind or life to the spiritually dead, with "motivational tactics" to get results..and avoid the issue that they are sinners and headed for eternal damnation..

Paul and his fellow-laborers in the gospel were not gospel peddlers. They speak the truth of the gospel, plainly, and with purity of motive. They did not speak so as to please men and gain their approval and applause; they spoke in the sight of God, seeking to glorify Him by accurately representing His Son, and thereby pleasing Him with the sweet smell of Christ. Nor was this unloving, the priorities were to love God first and to apply the 'agape love' to those they imparted the gospel to.

I am concerned about worldly wisdom that does not focus on Christ crucified, whichis the true gospel being lost, watered down or abandoned if we rely upon "tactic's" beyond a point..that almost become seductive in the spirit of persuasion and doctrine of "results".

I also believe that the Commandment to love God first and others next is not a religious mandate of spiritual authority with how to preach the word of God, but a relational imperative of spiritual life..that is to be the authority over our lives.

In this respect, we can look at others concerns and needs in repsect to having a sincere and authentic desire to serve them, but in such a way that never overrides or departs form keeping our relationship in Christ from being compromised. So our motives are subject to scrutiny when we approach this concern..

What matters most?

Do we love folks into faith by "conditionally" avoiding offending them with the word of God ? Or by our love for Christ will we live our faith unconditionally and simply love others unconditionally?

Like Paul, we can be confident as we obey our Lord’s command to proclaim the gospel to lost sinners. Our confidence must not to be in ourselves, but in God, through Jesus Christ. This confidence in God, rather than in ourselves, strikes a death blow to the “human potential” teaching which is so popular in our day.


4 And such confidence we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Paul’s troubled spirit does not deprive him of his confidence in proclaiming the gospel. The gospel is not rendered powerful to save by Paul’s state of mind or by any persuasive methods he employs.

It is the Christian’s duty to faithfully proclaim the Word of God; it is God who uses the preached word to glorify Himself by saving some and condemning others.

IMHO, 200o years ago, societies problems were not so different, so cultural diferences are not the problem that has to be addressed, Society today has "sinful priorities". it's all about "me worship"..yet another form of idolatry that is not any less substantial or problematic than the Pagan worship of false idols in Paul's day..nor did Paul atempt to"persuade' with motivational tactics or depart from preaching the Wordof God with the good news of Christ and the bad news for sinners whenit came to their sin..

So why should we change our tacitc's to accomondate the world? We do not save sinners, the Gospel of Christ does..

We should approach this as thermostats, willing to allow the Holy Spirit to adjust us in respect to what degree we proceed with in respect to the passion we bring to this..but the Word of God is like a thermometer...it measures the condition of the ones we bring the Word of God to. We are to be submissive to the Holy Spirit to be adjusted accordingly (regardless of the culture), it is not our job to adjust others, just love them in any climate to tell the the truth and the essentials.no mater what the reception is...no differently today than in Paul's day..Gods truth and His Word are the same now as then, and forever.

RogerW
Sep 26th 2007, 05:18 PM
I honestly don't think "hell" as many interpret it today has any place in the gospel, but that's just me.

Well enarchay perhaps its just me, but I would not want to go to the grave (hell) in unbelief. For to go there in unbelief is absolute assurance of Judgment in the lake of fire. To me this is a very important fact that should not be left out. Granted we don't want to focus only on this, as it has been said, "you can't frighten anyone into salvation" however, Christ did not leave this teaching out, and I don't believe we should either.

Many Blessings,
RW

Mograce2U
Sep 26th 2007, 05:29 PM
Greetings Gard,

Yes, John the Baptist did come preaching repentence, and yet as you have stated it would not make much sense to anyone unless they first understand who Jesus is. Do you find it interesting (if so, why) that the first sermon preached by Peter was to "devout Jews" (Acts 2:5), and yet the message he preached began with the sovereinty of God and fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel, and the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God?Hi Roger,
Both Peter's first sermon to a mainly Jewish audience and Paul's sermon on Mars Hill to the Athenians have some parallel points. Peter draws on prophecy to introduce Jesus as Lord, while Paul draws on God as Creator and shows Jesus as their Judge - both use the resurrection to make their point which is to show the need to repent. Repentance is the need shown because judgment is the reality which both groups are facing.

God's sovereignty in His creation is the common ground for both whether thru His word or His works - the 2 witnesses which testify of Jesus (John 5:31+) to all men.

enarchay
Sep 26th 2007, 08:02 PM
So in a witnessing situation, what would you tell a person the penalty for their sin is?

I wouldn't focus on their sins. I would focus on Jesus being the Lord of the world calling to him and his Father servants to be his people. The consequence of sin is less of a scare tactic and more of an assurance to the people of God that they will be avenged.

enarchay
Sep 26th 2007, 08:06 PM
This is a very common thinking today. It does indeed (James) demonstrate living faith. But how is this any different then a world wide organization such as the American Red Cross?

The difference is the Lord Jesus Christ calls for our actions, not some secular organization.


I mean, wouldn't you agree that even the world takes care of its own when it comes to physical/felt needs, even if not very well at times?

Yes but the church should be chief among these people.



Is meeting felt/physical needs Paul's primary focus?


Paul's primary focus is Jesus' Messiahship, but with that comes a calling to be a servant of Jesus, which is why I recommend we do the serving first, and the proclamation after. We must realize our context is much different than Paul's. People, as I said, have lost touch with their Jewish roots, so it is not so easy to say, "Jesus is the Messiah the prophets have foretold" if people do not even know who the prophets are and what Christos means.

Sold Out
Sep 26th 2007, 08:08 PM
I wouldn't focus on their sins. I would focus on Jesus being the Lord of the world calling to him and his Father servants to be his people. The consequence of sin is less of a scare tactic and more of an assurance to the people of God that they will be avenged.

Whoa...that is not right. This kinda of 'soft-evangelism' just innoculates people's view of their sin and produces a lot of false converts.

What do you think you need to be saved from? YOUR SINS

People cannot understand why Christ died for them if they don't see their NEED for him. It's like telling someone to take medicine when they don't think they are sick. It won't make any sense to them.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." I Tim 1:15

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

enarchay
Sep 26th 2007, 08:12 PM
Well enarchay perhaps its just me, but I would not want to go to the grave (hell) in unbelief. For to go there in unbelief is absolute assurance of Judgment in the lake of fire. To me this is a very important fact that should not be left out. Granted we don't want to focus only on this, as it has been said, "you can't frighten anyone into salvation" however, Christ did not leave this teaching out, and I don't believe we should either.

Jesus' marginal warnings of geenna were mostly directed specifically at the Pharisees of the Jewish people. He did not run around and yell at the sinners and the sick "you are going to hell." He healed them; showed them love; etc. When the Pharisees lifted an eyebrow, he proclaimed judgment. In that sense, if we find people discouraging our preaching of the gospel to the meek and eager to learn, then that might be the fitting time to speak of "judgment". I don't think we should use the word "hell." Judgment is good enough.

enarchay
Sep 26th 2007, 08:19 PM
What do you think you need to be saved from? YOUR SINS

"Saved" is too vague of a word. I pointed out in two other posts in how many different ways, past, present, and future, "saved" is used.

The Jews of the first century understood (but not all in Jesus' case) the significance of a blood sacrifice, but as we have lost a strong sense of our Jewish roots, such talk is rubbish to most today.

If I were to say anything, I would say the Torah was given to the people of God to keep them in line, but since it produced sinners, there needed to be a sacrifice of atonement. Jesus became that sacrifice and thus cleansed the small remnant of faithful Israel's sins and broke down the borders that once divided Gentiles and Jews.

If we want to talk about repentance, let us talk about how pretending to be self-righteous is wrong and how we are all sinners (according to the Torah or our conscience), and that becoming a Christian implies a change of life style.

I'm really tired right now (I have had barely any sleep), so my ideas may be coming out incoherently. If so, sorry. I will post more tonight or tomorrow.

Redeemed by Grace
Sep 26th 2007, 09:15 PM
Question for discussion:

Should the proclamation of the gospel begin with the call to faith and repentance? Why or why not?

Many Blessings,
RW

Yep, in part...

Matthew 4:17
From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Acts 20:18-21
18 And when they had come to him, he said to them, "You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time,
19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews;
20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house,
21 solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.


For God's Glory...

RogerW
Sep 27th 2007, 02:16 AM
The purpose for my question is trying to show how our proclamation of the gospel may cause confusion, and be partially responsible for how we view God and man in the act of saving.

I've never heard a message of the gospel that does not begin with man's need. A typical proclamation of the gospel almost always goes something like this: (1) Ro 3:23; all men are fallen, there is none good (2) Ro 6:23; the wages of sin is death (3) Jo 14:6; the only way to the Father is through Christ (4) Ro 10:19; confess and believe and you will be saved.

Not always exactly like that but basically:
1. Man is altogether without hope
2. Left in his sin man will perish
3. The only way of forgiveness is through Christ
4. We must admit we are a sinner, repent and believe

In this manner of proclaiming the gospel we place the burden of salvation on fallen man. Salvation becomes a choice left for fallen man to decide to accept or reject.

What if we began from the book of life? Or, why don't we begin from before the foundation of the world with the covenant of redemption made in heaven before creation? If we tell unbelievers that God in His Sovereign decree desires to save a people for Himself, and therefore made the necessary preparations to carry out His will, then all of the choice is of God, and none of fallen man. If we show from the beginning that God has predestined, and elected a certain people for Himself, and sent His Son to redeem them, then we would not make salvation an offer, but a free gift given to all the Father, in His Sovereign will desires to save.

God looked down from heaven through history and saw that all of His creation became polluted through sin. In his fallen nature, no man will seek after God because no man has any desire for Him. But God wants a people for Himself, a people to dwell with Him throughout eternity. So God presdestined some men, and elected them to become saved or no man would be saved. God sent His Son, born of a woman to seek and to save those whom He has predestined to eternal life. Christ died for their sins, and fully satisfied the wrath of God on their behalf. God uses the preaching of the gospel to call those who will be saved. These will hear, with spiritual ears the proclamation of the gospel, and be given the gift of faith enabling them to turn away from their sin and turn to Christ.

In bringing the whole gospel in this manner we see salvation is all of God and none of fallen man. Even in santification after salvation, we see God is working through us enabling us and preserving us unto That Day!

Many Blessings,
RW

Sold Out
Sep 27th 2007, 02:29 PM
"Saved" is too vague of a word. I pointed out in two other posts in how many different ways, past, present, and future, "saved" is used.

I understand the concept of SAVED as being three-fold, but you can't have the last two without the first!

1. We are justified (saved) the moment we trust Christ
2. We are sanctified
3. We are eventually glorified

You can't have sanctification or glorification without JUSTIFICATION!


The Jews of the first century understood (but not all in Jesus' case) the significance of a blood sacrifice, but as we have lost a strong sense of our Jewish roots, such talk is rubbish to most today.

Every OT sacrifice was a picture of Christ. That is why John said in John 1:29, "Behold the lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world."

[QUOTE]If I were to say anything, I would say the Torah was given to the people of God to keep them in line, but since it produced sinners, there needed to be a sacrifice of atonement. Jesus became that sacrifice and thus cleansed the small remnant of faithful Israel's sins and broke down the borders that once divided Gentiles and Jews.

The sacrificial system did not save anyone...it was only a PICTURE of what saved. Not only that, the sacrificial system was being used BEFORE the law (Torah) was given to Moses. See Genesis 3 for the first mention of a blood sacrifice.

OT and NT are saved the same - by faith in the Messiah.


If we want to talk about repentance, let us talk about how pretending to be self-righteous is wrong and how we are all sinners (according to the Torah or our conscience), and that becoming a Christian implies a change of life style.

Trusting in Christ's atoning death does not come with 'implications'. Either He saves us or He doesn't. Either His blood was enough or it wasn't. We cannot save ourselves. When we get saved (justified) only our DESTINY changes (we are now going to heaven), our CHARACTER takes a lifetime.

Bottom line - soft-peddling the gospel will only produce tares amongst the wheat - false converts. People HAVE to understand that they are spiritually sick with sin before they will see their need for the Savior. Otherwise they will think 'asking Jesus into their heart' means they will feel all warm & fuzzy inside and that God will grant them their every wish. Then when tribulation sets in, they will become disenchanted with Christianity, shove it to the side, and go back to living the way they did before, having never been truly converted.

Mograce2U
Sep 27th 2007, 03:44 PM
The purpose for my question is trying to show how our proclamation of the gospel may cause confusion, and be partially responsible for how we view God and man in the act of saving.

I've never heard a message of the gospel that does not begin with man's need. A typical proclamation of the gospel almost always goes something like this: (1) Ro 3:23; all men are fallen, there is none good (2) Ro 6:23; the wages of sin is death (3) Jo 14:6; the only way to the Father is through Christ (4) Ro 10:19; confess and believe and you will be saved.

Not always exactly like that but basically:
1. Man is altogether without hope
2. Left in his sin man will perish
3. The only way of forgiveness is through Christ
4. We must admit we are a sinner, repent and believe

In this manner of proclaiming the gospel we place the burden of salvation on fallen man. Salvation becomes a choice left for fallen man to decide to accept or reject.

What if we began from the book of life? Or, why don't we begin from before the foundation of the world with the covenant of redemption made in heaven before creation? If we tell unbelievers that God in His Sovereign decree desires to save a people for Himself, and therefore made the necessary preparations to carry out His will, then all of the choice is of God, and none of fallen man. If we show from the beginning that God has predestined, and elected a certain people for Himself, and sent His Son to redeem them, then we would not make salvation an offer, but a free gift given to all the Father, in His Sovereign will desires to save.

God looked down from heaven through history and saw that all of His creation became polluted through sin. In his fallen nature, no man will seek after God because no man has any desire for Him. But God wants a people for Himself, a people to dwell with Him throughout eternity. So God presdestined some men, and elected them to become saved or no man would be saved. God sent His Son, born of a woman to seek and to save those whom He has predestined to eternal life. Christ died for their sins, and fully satisfied the wrath of God on their behalf. God uses the preaching of the gospel to call those who will be saved. These will hear, with spiritual ears the proclamation of the gospel, and be given the gift of faith enabling them to turn away from their sin and turn to Christ.

In bringing the whole gospel in this manner we see salvation is all of God and none of fallen man. Even in santification after salvation, we see God is working through us enabling us and preserving us unto That Day!

Many Blessings,
RWThe only problem with that view of election is that it fails to make the transition that the cross brought. God's sovereign purpose in election is what brought Jesus to the earth thru the people He kept holy for that purpose. If we are now to come to Christ thru Judaism then you might have a point in preaching this. But the question that is to arise in the heart of the man who is hears the gospel is, "What must I do to be saved?" The answer to that is to call upon the name of the Lord; repent and believe in Christ and receive the Holy Spirit, and thou shall be saved.

RogerW
Sep 27th 2007, 03:58 PM
The only problem with that view of election is that it fails to make the transition that the cross brought. God's sovereign purpose in election is what brought Jesus to the earth thru the people He kept holy for that purpose. If we are now to come to Christ thru Judaism then you might have a point in preaching this. But the question that is to arise in the heart of the man who is hears the gospel is, "What must I do to be saved?" The answer to that is to call upon the name of the Lord; repent and believe in Christ and receive the Holy Spirit, and thou shall be saved.

Greetings Mo,

Sorry, I'm not following your logic.:confused How does this view of election fail to make the transition that the cross brought? Who are the elect?

Blessings,
RW

enarchay
Sep 27th 2007, 04:06 PM
Here is a better statement of what I believe about the gospel. It is actually still brief.

The Gospel is the proclamation that Jesus, who died and raised from the dead, is the Messiah and Lord of the world. God has atoned for the sins of Israel (i.e. Exo 12:5 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Exo+12%3A5), cf. v. 13; cf. Heb 10:4, 11 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Heb+10%3A4):28), and those who are grafted into Israel or remain in Israel (according to promise), with Jesus' blood sacrifice (Heb 9:12, 14, 12 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Heb+9%3A12):24; basically all of the book of Hebrews), broken down the walls that once separated the Gentile from the Jew (cf. Rom 11:17 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Rom+11%3A17); i.e. Gal 3:14 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Gal+3%3A14); Eph 2:12 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Eph+2%3A12); cf. Heb 9:18 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Heb+9%3A18)), and formed a New Covenant of the Spirit. The euaggelion (Gospel) is the "good news" that Jesus is Lord, that the Kingdom has arrived in him, and that he is calling servants to become a part of the commonwealth of Israel (Eph 2:12 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Eph+2%3A12)), the Kingdom of God, and the seed of Abraham, who he expects to bring the blessing promised to Abraham (Gen 18:18 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Gen+18%3A18)) to the rest of the world. There is a call of repentance (e.g. Luk 18:13 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Luk+18%3A13)) in this Gospel of Jesus being Lord – a call to become his servant – and a call to follow Jesus on his narrow and sometimes dangerous path of peace and love by the will of God.

To expand upon the theme of repentance, it is important to investigation the theme of being born again.

To become a true Christian – a true member of Israel, the people of God, and the seed of Abraham – one must die to himself, and be born again (Joh 3:3; cf. Joh 12:24). This is achieved through the power, receiving, and indwelling of the Holy Spirt that God gives to those who ask (Luk 11:13 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Luk+11%3A13)). One becomes a "new creature" by being born again and is forgiven of his past transgression (e.g. Mat 9:2 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Mat+9%3A2)), so that the old is forgotten (i.e. Isa 65:16-17 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Isa+65%3A16-17)). However, one who is born again is expected to not build again upon a foundation of sin or continue as a servant of sin (Rom 6:6 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Rom+6%3A6); cf. Gal 2:18, 29 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Gal+2%3A18); i.e. 1Co 3:10), but live in the newness of Spirit (Rom 7:6 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Rom+7%3A6)), walking as a child of light (Eph 5:9 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Eph+5%3A9)), producing fruit for the Lord (i.e. Mat 21:43 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Mat+21%3A43); cf. Gal 5:22 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Gal+5%3A22)). One is born again by repenting (Luk 18:13 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Luk+18%3A13); cf. the parable of the prodigal son) and asking God to give him or her the Holy Spirit.

In short, I have some more thoughts. I think it is important we stop thinking in individualistic terms ("personal salvation") and start thinking of the church as the Kingdom of God, a renewed Israel, that one can become a part by faith in Jesus Christ. Stop thinking of me, me, me, and I, I, I, and start thinking of us and them. We are the body of Christ together, not apart. Too many times people say the "sinner's prayer" and go off and do their own thing, never thinking twice about Jesus or their local community of believers; that's not how it should be.

I also think we need to help people before we try to convert them. Some are hungry for food in words, but many are hungry for food for their stomach. If you are starving, it is going to be hard to worship the one true God.

"If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?" (Jas 2:15-16).
That is why we tend to the world's physical needs and then tend to the world's spiritual needs. That's how I see it. We need to be like Jesus and be producing wine from water (that is, tending to people's physical needs), but at the same time, we need to be giving people the manna from above by proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah (Joh 6:50). Sometimes the order in which we do it (physical first or spiritual first) may be different depending on who we encounter.

Mograce2U
Sep 27th 2007, 04:14 PM
Greetings Mo,

Sorry, I'm not following your logic.:confused How does this view of election fail to make the transition that the cross brought? Who are the elect? All who look to Jesus for their salvation. Prior to that salvation only came thru the elect of Israel - the end of which was to bring Messiah. Now that Jesus has come, He draws all men to the cross to see what transpired there. The scope of election is now much broader and so we can call all men to drink of the living waters and be saved.

(John 12:32 KJV) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

(Rom 10:17 KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

(Rev 22:17 KJV) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

(Acts 10:35 KJV) But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

(2 Cor 6:2 KJV) (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.)

RogerW
Sep 27th 2007, 04:25 PM
Here is a better statement of what I believe about the gospel. It is actually still brief.

The Gospel is the proclamation that Jesus, who died and raised from the dead, is the Messiah and Lord of the world. God has atoned for the sins of Israel (i.e. Exo 12:5 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Exo+12%3A5), cf. v. 13; cf. Heb 10:4, 11 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Heb+10%3A4):28), and those who are grafted into Israel or remain in Israel (according to promise), with Jesus' blood sacrifice (Heb 9:12, 14, 12 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Heb+9%3A12):24; basically all of the book of Hebrews), broken down the walls that once separated the Gentile from the Jew (cf. Rom 11:17 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Rom+11%3A17); i.e. Gal 3:14 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Gal+3%3A14); Eph 2:12 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Eph+2%3A12); cf. Heb 9:18 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Heb+9%3A18)), and formed a New Covenant of the Spirit. The euaggelion (Gospel) is the "good news" that Jesus is Lord, that the Kingdom has arrived in him, and that he is calling servants to become a part of the commonwealth of Israel (Eph 2:12 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Eph+2%3A12)), the Kingdom of God, and the seed of Abraham, who he expects to bring the blessing promised to Abraham (Gen 18:18 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Gen+18%3A18)) to the rest of the world. There is a call of repentance (e.g. Luk 18:13 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Luk+18%3A13)) in this Gospel of Jesus being Lord a call to become his servant and a call to follow Jesus on his narrow and sometimes dangerous path of peace and love by the will of God.

To expand upon the theme of repentance, it is important to investigation the theme of being born again.

To become a true Christian a true member of Israel, the people of God, and the seed of Abraham one must die to himself, and be born again (Joh 3:3; cf. Joh 12:24). This is achieved through the power, receiving, and indwelling of the Holy Spirt that God gives to those who ask (Luk 11:13 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Luk+11%3A13)). One becomes a "new creature" by being born again and is forgiven of his past transgression (e.g. Mat 9:2 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Mat+9%3A2)), so that the old is forgotten (i.e. Isa 65:16-17 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Isa+65%3A16-17)). However, one who is born again is expected to not build again upon a foundation of sin or continue as a servant of sin (Rom 6:6 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Rom+6%3A6); cf. Gal 2:18, 29 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Gal+2%3A18); i.e. 1Co 3:10), but live in the newness of Spirit (Rom 7:6 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Rom+7%3A6)), walking as a child of light (Eph 5:9 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Eph+5%3A9)), producing fruit for the Lord (i.e. Mat 21:43 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Mat+21%3A43); cf. Gal 5:22 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Gal+5%3A22)). One is born again by repenting (Luk 18:13 (http://biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NASB&passage=Luk+18%3A13); cf. the parable of the prodigal son) and asking God to give him or her the Holy Spirit.

I think it is important we stop thinking in individualistic terms ("personal salvation") and start thinking of the church as the Kingdom of God, a renewed Israel, that one can become a part by faith in Jesus Christ. Too many times people say the "sinner's prayer" and go off and do their own thing.


Greetings enarchay,

This is the very purpose for which I ask the question. You have just presented a gospel based entirely upon the work of fallen man. This is man saving himself. This salvation depends on (1) dying to self (2) asking for the Holy Spirit (3) repenting. But this way of salvation does not explain how these things are possible for one who is spiritually dead to achieve. Nor do you explain how the spiritually dead can have faith in Jesus. This is an imaginary salvation which is not the way of salvation according to the Word of God.

Blessings,
RW

enarchay
Sep 27th 2007, 04:38 PM
Greetings enarchay,

This is the very purpose for which I ask the question. You have just presented a gospel based entirely upon the work of fallen man. This is man saving himself. This salvation depends on (1) dying to self (2) asking for the Holy Spirit (3) repenting. But this way of salvation does not explain how these things are possible for one who is spiritually dead to achieve. Nor do you explain how the spiritually dead can have faith in Jesus. This is an imaginary salvation which is not the way of salvation according to the Word of God.

Blessings,
RW

Most of the above was pulled from my "statement of faith" from another thread. If you read my statement about "salvation" you'd understand I believe it is the result purely of the grace of God. I also established in my above post that it is the blood of Jesus that broke down the walls that once separated Gentile from Jew. Though I forgot to write about this, there is the strong sense that Jesus achieved (as the "last Adam") what no man could have ever achieved before. Clearly, there was an act of divine intervention, but perhaps I didn't focus enough on that act. Romans 3 would be a good place to focus on God's act of righteousness toward sinful humanity, which seems to be what you are focusing on (but then again we all have our own focuses and areas of expertise, so to say). In any case, what I wrote is all very brief. If I actually sat down and spent some time trying to get my beliefs into writing, I think God's righteousness and grace would be further established.

DSK
Sep 27th 2007, 05:02 PM
One is born again by repenting

While it may seem to be that way, actually a person repents because they have been born again or regenerated. Repenting is evidence that a person has been born again.

1 Cor 2:14 Now the natural man (meaning the unregenerate, not born again person) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged.

"faith and repentance, according to the Scriptures, are the fruits of regeneration (or the new birth)." (Charles Hodge)

"The regenerating power of the Holy Spirit enables the sinner to see, hear and live; therefore, after regeneration (the new birth) the sinner can repent and turn to Christ." (an excerpt from an article entitled the "new birth" by Brian Schwertley)

RogerW
Sep 27th 2007, 05:04 PM
All who look to Jesus for their salvation. Prior to that salvation only came thru the elect of Israel - the end of which was to bring Messiah. Now that Jesus has come, He draws all men to the cross to see what transpired there. The scope of election is now much broader and so we can call all men to drink of the living waters and be saved.

(John 12:32 KJV) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

(Rom 10:17 KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

(Rev 22:17 KJV) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

(Acts 10:35 KJV) But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

(2 Cor 6:2 KJV) (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.)

Greetings Mo,

Yes the gospel is a call to all men to drink of the water of life freely. But the fact remains that only some who hear receive from God the gift of faith, and others do not. This stems from [God's] eternal decision. For all His works are known to God from eternity (Acts 15:18). In accordance with His eternal election from before the foundation of the world God softens the hearts of His elect chosen ones and inclines them to believe, but by His just judgment He leaves others in their hardness of heart because they have not been chosen.

Election is God's unchangeable purpose by which He did the following: Before the foundation of the world, by sheer grace, according to the good pleasure of His will, He chose in Christ to salvation a definite number of particular people out of the entire human race, and wrote their names in the Lamb's Book of Life. Those who were chosen are no better nor more deserving than any others. God did this in Christ, whom He also appointed from eternity to be the Mediator, the Head of all those chosen, and is the foundation of their salvation.

How else can you explain why some people hear and are given the gift of faith, and others remain in hardness of heart?

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

All of these blessings flow from God's gracious election! Before the foundation of the world, God the Father set His eye upon His own people in and for the sake of His Son. These He elected and predestined in love to be a people for His own possession. Had God not elected and predestined a people for Himself, then no people would be saved.

God has always had only one eternal plan. This was purposed in eternity before the foundation of the world. The decree of eternal election is unto all the elect throughout redemptive history, including, but not limited to the remnant from the nation saved by grace.

Many Blessings,
RW

enarchay
Sep 27th 2007, 05:09 PM
While it may seem to be that way, actually a person repents because they have been born again or regenerated. Repenting is evidence that a person has been born again.

And yet John the Baptist calls for repentance before the one who baptizes with fire and spirit appears. I think repentance happens before becoming born again, but is a sign that God is working in the person.

DSK
Sep 27th 2007, 05:39 PM
And yet John the Baptist calls for repentance before the one who baptizes with fire and spirit appears. I think repentance happens before becoming born again, but is a sign that God is working in the person.

John Chapter 3 talks about being "born again" more than any other chapter of the Bible, and a study of the term "born again" reveals to us that being "born again" literally means born of God, or born from above. That means being "born again" is solely and entirely God's work, without any assistance from man. If we are to say that a person is "born again" because he repents, then we would likewise have to change the meaning of the term "born again"
If our repenting produces our being "born again" then being "born again" is no longer "from above" it's from below.

Below are some facts about being born again which is also called regeneration.

There are no conditions (such as repenting) to Regeneration (the new birth)

It is probably true that the majority of professing Christians in the world today believe that the order of our salvation is this: Faith precedes regeneration. We are exhorted to choose to be born again. But telling a man to choose rebirth is like exhorting a corpse to choose resurrection. The exhortation falls upon deaf ears.
R C Sproul - http://www.the-highway.com/genesis_Sproul.html

enarchay
Sep 27th 2007, 05:56 PM
John Chapter 3 talks about being "born again" more than any other chapter of the Bible, and a study of the term "born again" reveals to us that being "born again" literally means born of God, or born from above. That means being "born again" is solely and entirely God's work, without any assistance from man. If we are to say that a person is "born again" because he repents, then we would likewise have to change the meaning of the term "born again"

I didn't say that a person is born again strictly because he repents. But there is a call to repent prior to rebirth, and this is what John the Baptist and Jesus were doing. This is why Jesus constantly calls for repentance (e.g. Luk 13:3) and for people to "deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me" (Luk 9:23). There is also the sense that one is to ask to receive the Spirit of God (Luk 11:13). So it is sort of two step: 1) The individual repents and calls out to God for the Holy Spirit and 2) God, as an act of grace, fills the person with the Holy Spirit, so he is born again. God is involved in both steps because repentance is motivated by God (i.e. Php 2:13) and calling on the name of the Lord is only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit (1Co 12:3).

Mograce2U
Sep 27th 2007, 06:13 PM
Roger,

How else can you explain why some people hear and are given the gift of faith, and others remain in hardness of heart?I don't think it was ever intended that we ought to be trying to do that. What we are told is that grace is given thru faith - and no longer thru works of law. Which we can see was true even before law was given, because Abraham believed God and it was his faith that was accounted as righteousness. If God had not given Abraham a promise there would not have been anything for him to believe. Therefore it is thru the hearing of the gospel that faith comes to us for those who believe it. What God has told us is how His grace comes to us which we may receive of when we hear the gospel. That He is sovereign is without doubt in my mind.

The 4 soils of the heart also explains why some do not receive the seed of the word that is sown in their heart. There is much more to it than the idea that before we were even born we were predestined to salvation. What has been predestinated (IMU) is salvation in Christ. He is the One who existed from all eternity. Faith is not a work, rather it is the spiritual vehicle God has chosen to bring His grace to us - into the heart of those He prepares. Such preparation comes thru revelation of Himself to us. God makes Himself known to us thru creation, His word and His miraculous works. What He requires from us is to respond to that revelation. Just like Abraham did - in faith.

The brass serpent is another example. Only those who looked to it were healed of the snakes who had bitten them. Moses may have been holding it but glancing at him was not what was needed but the understanding of what was being represented. The CROSS. Therefore this is the gospel we preach.

enarchay
Sep 27th 2007, 06:30 PM
Roger,
I don't think it was ever intended that we ought to be trying to do that. What we are told is that grace is given thru faith - and no longer thru works of law. Which we can see was true even before law was given, because Abraham believed God and it was his faith that was accounted as righteousness. If God had not given Abraham a promise there would not have been anything for him to believe. Therefore it is thru the hearing of the gospel that faith comes to us for those who believe it. What God has told us is how His grace comes to us which we may receive of when we hear the gospel. That He is sovereign is without doubt in my mind.

The 4 soils of the heart also explains why some do not receive the seed of the word that is sown in their heart. There is much more to it than the idea that before we were even born we were predestined to salvation. What has been predestinated (IMU) is salvation in Christ. He is the One who existed from all eternity. Faith is not a work, rather it is the spiritual vehicle God has chosen to bring His grace to us - into the heart of those He prepares. Such preparation comes thru revelation of Himself to us. God makes Himself known to us thru creation, His word and His miraculous works. What He requires from us is to respond to that revelation. Just like Abraham did - in faith.

The brass serpent is another example. Only those who looked to it were healed of the snakes who had bitten them. Moses may have been holding it but glancing at him was not what was needed but the understanding of what was being represented. The CROSS. Therefore this is the gospel we preach.

I'm not sure if I agree entirely, but I think you made some valid points that need to be considered. Nice post.

Toolman
Sep 27th 2007, 06:35 PM
The purpose for my question is trying to show how our proclamation of the gospel may cause confusion, and be partially responsible for how we view God and man in the act of saving.

I've never heard a message of the gospel that does not begin with man's need. A typical proclamation of the gospel almost always goes something like this: (1) Ro 3:23; all men are fallen, there is none good (2) Ro 6:23; the wages of sin is death (3) Jo 14:6; the only way to the Father is through Christ (4) Ro 10:19; confess and believe and you will be saved.

Not always exactly like that but basically:
1. Man is altogether without hope
2. Left in his sin man will perish
3. The only way of forgiveness is through Christ
4. We must admit we are a sinner, repent and believe

In this manner of proclaiming the gospel we place the burden of salvation on fallen man. Salvation becomes a choice left for fallen man to decide to accept or reject.

What if we began from the book of life? Or, why don't we begin from before the foundation of the world with the covenant of redemption made in heaven before creation? If we tell unbelievers that God in His Sovereign decree desires to save a people for Himself, and therefore made the necessary preparations to carry out His will, then all of the choice is of God, and none of fallen man. If we show from the beginning that God has predestined, and elected a certain people for Himself, and sent His Son to redeem them, then we would not make salvation an offer, but a free gift given to all the Father, in His Sovereign will desires to save.

God looked down from heaven through history and saw that all of His creation became polluted through sin. In his fallen nature, no man will seek after God because no man has any desire for Him. But God wants a people for Himself, a people to dwell with Him throughout eternity. So God presdestined some men, and elected them to become saved or no man would be saved. God sent His Son, born of a woman to seek and to save those whom He has predestined to eternal life. Christ died for their sins, and fully satisfied the wrath of God on their behalf. God uses the preaching of the gospel to call those who will be saved. These will hear, with spiritual ears the proclamation of the gospel, and be given the gift of faith enabling them to turn away from their sin and turn to Christ.

In bringing the whole gospel in this manner we see salvation is all of God and none of fallen man. Even in santification after salvation, we see God is working through us enabling us and preserving us unto That Day!

Many Blessings,
RW

Roger,

It seems to me what you are driving at is the difference that exists between arminian and reformed soteriologies and how those differences effect the way each group preaches the Gospel or influences Gospel preaching.

You see the arminian group influencing a "decision" based Gospel that relies on man's will to choose.

You would rather see a Gospel presentation that is reformed in nature and displays that salvation is all of God's grace.

Can you give an example of the type of Gospel preaching that you would like to see from the book of Acts?
We have several examples of Gospel preaching that the apostles left us with and were recorded. Can you point to an example from scripture? That might help in understanding and strengthening your point.

RogerW
Sep 27th 2007, 07:58 PM
Roger,
It seems to me what you are driving at is the difference that exists between arminian and reformed soteriologies and how those differences effect the way each group preaches the Gospel or influences Gospel preaching.

You see the arminian group influencing a "decision" based Gospel that relies on man's will to choose.

You would rather see a Gospel presentation that is reformed in nature and displays that salvation is all of God's grace.

Can you give an example of the type of Gospel preaching that you would like to see from the book of Acts?
We have several examples of Gospel preaching that the apostles left us with and were recorded. Can you point to an example from scripture? That might help in understanding and strengthening your point.

Greetings Toolman,

You are correct in saying I would like to see a presentation of the gospel that shows us that salvation is all of God's grace. I don't however see this as being particularly reformed in nature. I find even in the reformed camp much confusion, because many, if not most reformed proclaim the gospel in the same way as the Arminian. They too will often say in the end that now it is up to us to receive, accept, believe etc. thereby making salvation real because of an action on man's part. This is urged as if it is a requirment for salvation, often times in both Arminian and Reformed.

I would argue that salvation is a done deal...salvation will be acknowledged by those made spiritually alive, however acknowledgement is not a necessary requirement to make salvation effectual. Repentance will be there, turning from sin and toward Christ is already effectually wrought in the one having become saved. It is our lives, rather our changed lives that will demonstrate new birth, a new heart, new life. This is something that will be made manifest in time. No one can know at the moment of salvation that he/she is indeed securely in Christ. This will become evident as the one who has been saved yearns for the glory of God, hungers for His Word, and falls at His throne of grace in prayer often. Will those saved make a public profession of faith and hope...absolutely! But, this should not be made to appear a necessary requirement for becoming saved...in either camp.

Is there evidence of the proclamation of the gospel I espouse in the book of Acts? First look at the choosing of Matthias to replace Judas. Matthias was chosen by lot to show which of the two God had chosen.

Ac 1:24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
Ac 1:25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
Ac 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

In the first sermon by Peter, he speaks of prophesy being fulfilled through the foreknowledge and deteminate counsel of God Who ordained that Christ would suffer and die. Even David seeing the resurrection of Christ, and that His body would not see decay, nor would His soul be left in hell (the grave). Peter shows us the foreknowledge of God in predestination and election when he says the promise of salvation is unto as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Ac 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Who are the called of the Lord? Why does Scripture tell us "many are called, but few chosen"? Also Christ tells us no one can come to Him unless drawn by the Father, and that all whom the Father draws will come to Him.

Christ also teaches divine predestination and election.

Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Joh 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Joh 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Joh 10:11, 14-16 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep... I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

I don't believe the proclaiming of election should be separate from the call to faith and repentance through the gospel. Nor should it be separate from the summons that goes out through the gsopel to "all" men without distinction, calling them to faith. Believers must be assured that "their election and calling" are confirmed and established in Christ by the foreknowledge and predeteminate counsel of God. In this we have great assurance and comfort that what God has begun He will complete.

Many Blessings,
RW

Steven3
Sep 27th 2007, 08:10 PM
Hi DSK :)

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38

not “Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will repent and be baptized" ;)


If our repenting produces our being "born again" then being "born again" is no longer "from above" it's from below.Given that "born again" and "born from above" are the same word in Greek I'm not sure that's a valid distinction. "From below" is what Christ calls those born of dust - those with 2 human parents, though the context may be more a reference to human thought patterns than the virgin birth.


We are exhorted to choose to be born again. But telling a man to choose rebirth is like exhorting a corpse to choose resurrection. The exhortation falls upon deaf ears.

Well fortunately it's not quite the same because we aren't corpses, we're alive, and there is something in us that can "draw near to God" so that he will draw near to us. But I suppose that's opening a big can of Calvinist worms... ;)

The bottom line is the NT presents "repentence" as a process we have a choice in. We aren't randomly zapped by lightning or "possessed" by the HS as if it is a kind of good demon and then repent, we are rational beings, given brains and free will by God - that's what makes us able to "choose life, or choose death".

God bless :)
S

Toolman
Sep 27th 2007, 08:26 PM
The bottom line is the NT presents "repentence" as a process we have a choice in. We aren't randomly zapped by lightning or "possessed" by the HS as if it is a kind of good demon and then repent, we are rational beings, given brains and free will by God - that's what makes us able to "choose life, or choose death".

God bless :)
S

Post Regeneration Synergist (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=88564&highlight=regeneration)

RogerW
Sep 27th 2007, 09:08 PM
Post Regeneration Synergist (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=88564&highlight=regeneration)

:rofl:Perfect...and I thought we were gonna have a repeat.

DSK
Sep 27th 2007, 11:09 PM
Hi there is something in us that can "draw near to God" so that he will draw near to us. But I suppose that's opening a big can of Calvinist worms... ;)

I first need to state than I am not a Calvinist. I didn't know whether or not you knew that.

Having said that, let me briefly address the above comment of yours.

A person cannot take the initiative to draw near to God, unless God first takes the initiative of drawing that person which then allows him to draw near to Him.
John 6:44,65 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.
In other words; before a man can seek God, God must first have sought the man.


the NT presents "repentence" as a process we have a choice in.

I agree with that. However, there isn't a single verse of Scripture which decribes being "born again" as a process, or an event we have a choice or decision in.

The following verse specifically states that the new birth can't be brought about by any decision on the part of humans.

John 1:13 "children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husbands will, but born of God."

If we posit that repentance is required to be born again, then how would we explain the verse above, which says our decision does not play a part in our being born again? Repentance being a decision would also be excluded as a condition for being born again.

.

enarchay
Sep 27th 2007, 11:20 PM
In other words; before a man can seek God, God must first have sought the man.

But the question is: how does God seek man? Does he possess man like some sort of evil spirit and force him against his will to do this or that? Or does it work differently? God sought Abraham by revealing himself to him, but Abraham had the choice of whether to listen or not; same with Moses. God's way of drawing people to himself in the first century was by sending Jesus, but now that Jesus is in Heaven, God has sent us. So is not the proclamation of the gospel one way of God seeking man?

I think it is important to understand that though God seeks man, man must also seek God. For example, God revealed himself to Abraham, but Abraham was justified by his faith. There are countless Old Covenant passages we could look to where man is told to seek God regardless of whether God is seeking man.

I'm not an expert on this subject because frankly it never interested me. However, I think my above points are worthy of consideration.


The following verse specifically states that the new birth can't be brought about by any decision on the part of humans.

And yet Jesus makes it clear he gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask. Obviously one will not be born again if he does not want to.

DSK
Sep 27th 2007, 11:46 PM
But the question is: how does God seek man?

Every person since Adam has been born in a physically alive, but spiritually dead condition. Now a spiritually dead person will not naturally desire things of a spiritual nature. Before a man will ever desire things of a spiritual nature, God must first impart spiritual life into man. When God imparts spiritual life to a man who previously was in a spiritually dead condition, that can be said to be a spiritual birth, which is what being born again is.


Does he possess man like some sort of evil spirit and force him against his will to do this or that?

I would only say that, God being rich in mercy, makes us spiritually alive, which enables us to choose to repent and believe. He never forces a person to repent or believe. Repenting and believing are mans responsibility. In fact God commands man to repent and believe (Acts 16:30-31; 17:30), and man doesn't always obey God's commands.


God sought Abraham by revealing himself to him, but Abraham had the choice of whether to listen or not.

Exactly; but God had to first reveal Himself to Abraham, and He must first reveal Himself to us whom He makes alive spiritually. And yes, we can choose to listen or to not listen.


So is not the proclamation of the gospel one way of God seeking man?

Yes, however the spiritually dead will not be drawn by any gospel. The spiritually dead cannot grasp the message of the gospel.
1 Cor 2:14 But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


I think it is important to understand that though God seeks man, man must also seek God. Abraham was justified by his faith.

Absolutely, but God seeking of man always precedes man's seeking of God.

"There is no one who seeks God" (Rom 3:11); The sinner would never turn to God without divine enablement. A desire for God is not part of the spiritually dead.


And yet Jesus makes it clear he gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask.

The only ones that will or could ever ask are those who have received the new birth.

Mograce2U
Sep 28th 2007, 02:07 AM
This is what Paul said to the Athenians:

(Acts 17:23-31 KJV) For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. {24} God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; {25} Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; {26} And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; {27} That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: {28} For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. {29} Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. {30} And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: {31} Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

In Lycaonia, Paul said a similar thing to the men who wanted to offer sacrifices to him after he healed a man. (Acts 14) It would seem creation with its seasons and such (Noah's covenant), is a sufficient witness to any man to consider God and seek Him. The fact that many do not; is not because they cannot, but because they will not.

Sowing and reaping is another way that God draws men to reconsider what they do. This one worked for me personally. When the fullness of my sin was reached and I was desparate, I called upon the name of the Lord to help me (having been told by someone to do this). What little faith this evidenced was genuine because I knew of no one else who could help me. What this set in motion was that THEN I began to see God work in my life - externally, for about 7 years. Until such time as I finally heard the gospel and believed and was saved. Did God bring these consequences to bear? Of course, that is why He set laws of sowing and reaping in motion.

We do not see God creating every single man from the dust of the earth like He did Adam. Or even Eve, who was made from Adam. Rather what we see is that a seed is placed in man by which he can then multiply himself in the earth. The Lord personally called each of the Apostles by name - even appearing after the ascension to Paul. But is this how He has determined that all men will come to Him? Or is it that we will hear the word of the Lord from those men? (See Deut 6)

When God begins something new, He is personally involved to make it happen. But then He sets in motion a process by which what He begins continues. This is how His word goes forth into the world and accomplishes the thing for which He sends it. It does not return to Him void.

When Israel's remnant was wedded to Christ (a new thing), we see election at work. Even Gentiles were part of this marriage - like Cornelius. This was God establishing His new covenant fulfilling His prophetic word. But is this individual election still at work past the 1st century once the Bride was established? Or do we multiply ourselves by sharing the gospel?

enarchay
Sep 28th 2007, 08:43 AM
The only ones that will or could ever ask are those who have received the new birth.But does not the receiving of the Holy Spirit proceed or at least coincide with being born again?

I think we need to reevaluate, moreover, how God speaks to man. I believe God speaks to man through the gospel and then man has the choice to listen or not. Recall the parable of the sower and the seeds where seeds represent the message (the words) of the gospel (Mat 13:19). Depending on where the word is sown it will grow differently, so there is a sense that man must be on good ground to grasp God's revelations. Sometimes we put ourselves, of our own will, on good or bad ground.

DSK
Sep 28th 2007, 11:59 AM
But does not the receiving of the Holy Spirit proceed or at least coincide with being born again?

The Holy Spirit doesn't take up residence or indwell a person until the person puts faith in Christ.


I think we need to reevaluate, moreover, how God speaks to man. I believe God speaks to man through the gospel and then man has the choice to listen or not.

True, however only those who He has made alive spiritually are able to hear the message of the gospel

John 6:65 Jesus said, no man can come unto me, except it be given unto him of the Father.

Question
In the above verse, who are those who can came come unto Jesus?
Answer those to whom it has been given or granted by the Father.
The Greek word for "given" here is didōmi which also means to be given the power to come, which basically means that before or until this power is given to us we cannot come. That much is clearly stated in the "no man can come" part of the verse. "no man can come" denotes absolute inability. God must first give man the ability to come to Christ.

Toolman
Sep 28th 2007, 02:04 PM
True, however only those who He has made alive spiritually are able to hear the message of the gospel

John 6:65 Jesus said, no man can come unto me, except it be given unto him of the Father.

Question
In the above verse, who are those who can came come unto Jesus?
Answer those to whom it has been given or granted by the Father.
The Greek word for "given" here is didōmi which also means to be given the power to come, which basically means that before or until this power is given to us we cannot come. That much is clearly stated in the "no man can come" part of the verse. "no man can come" denotes absolute inability. God must first give man the ability to come to Christ.

DSK,

A question.

1) Does God give this gift of "rebirth" to all men or only some?

Are infants who die at birth given this gift? Do they hear the Gospel and are able to respond by repentance and belief? What of those who never hear the Gospel in their lifetime, how are they justified before God without the Gospel?
Is there another path to salvation?

DSK
Sep 28th 2007, 04:04 PM
DSK,

A question.

1) Does God give this gift of "rebirth" to all men or only some?

If I were a universalist, I would say all men, because if universalism is true then "rebirth" could occur in this life or in the next. But seeing how I am not coming from a universalist perspective I would have to say some.


Are infants who die at birth given this gift? Do they hear the Gospel and are able to respond by repentance and belief?

I first have to ask myself, what purpose does the new birth serve? As far as I can tell it imparts spiritual life to those who are spiritually dead for the purpose of giving them hears to hear, a mind to comprehend, and a heart to understand the saving message of the gospel. I personally don't see what purpose the new birth would serve in cases such as infants, and those whose capability to think, due to mental problems is incapacitated. It may be possible that God makes allowances for such individuals to be saved without coming to maturity or knowledge of salvation. Then again I may be wrong. I don't claim to know everything. I can only offer speculation. Do you have an answer for that question?


What of those who never hear the Gospel in their lifetime, how are they justified before God without the Gospel?
Is there another path to salvation?

I think Romans 1:20-32 may provide some clues which deals which such individuals. Either way, Rom 1:20 says that even those who receive the natural revelation of God, are likewise without excuse.

How would you answer your own questions?

Mograce2U
Sep 28th 2007, 04:17 PM
The Holy Spirit doesn't take up residence or indwell a person until the person puts faith in Christ.
...
True, however only those who He has made alive spiritually are able to hear the message of the gospel

John 6:65 Jesus said, no man can come unto me, except it be given unto him of the Father.

Question
In the above verse, who are those who can came come unto Jesus?
Answer those to whom it has been given or granted by the Father.
The Greek word for "given" here is didōmi which also means to be given the power to come, which basically means that before or until this power is given to us we cannot come. That much is clearly stated in the "no man can come" part of the verse. "no man can come" denotes absolute inability. God must first give man the ability to come to Christ.This is why formulating a doctrine out of the tense of a few words is not wise. Whereas context explains it for us.

(John 6:45 KJV) It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

Here is where election, as it concerns Israel's remnant, is the context. The remnant will hear the gospel and believe it while the others will not. These are the ones who SEE Jesus, hear His words and believe. The manna analogy is also a key - did not all Israel eat the manna, yet many did not believe? A reference is here also about Judas, whom the Lord knew from the beginning would betray Him. After Jesus explains to the Jews that He is the Bread of Life come down from heaven that they must eat His flesh & drink His blood, the disciples murmur about who can hear that and believe it. This is when Jesus says that all cannot - only those whom the Father has chosen will. Why is that? Because the rest have been blinded - and that by God. This was not a permanent supernatural blindness, but one to bring about the cross.

To then place this unique work being done in Israel in the 1st Advent upon the whole rest of the world from then on and determine that God wills some to be condemned before they were ever born - is a gross misrepresentation of the nature of God. When such absolutist ideas are not being taught here at all. Notice that many of the disciples then left off following Jesus at this point. What a curious response that is after hearing about God's elective purposes and His power to save. I imagine that it was the guilt of their own hypocrisy which caused them to leave.

The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10). Everything that concerns Jesus' ministry, death and resurrection was according to God's prophetic word about it. This is an even greater witness than the eyewitness testimony of the apostles when it comes to understanding the gospel.

(2 Pet 1:19 KJV) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

(John 20:29 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [I]are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

(John 17:20 KJV) Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

DSK
Sep 28th 2007, 04:26 PM
To then place this unique work being done in Israel in the 1st Advent upon the whole rest of the world from then on and determine that God wills some to be condemned before they were ever born - is a gross misrepresentation of the nature of God.

I never said "God wills some to be condemned before they were ever born."

That comment is not relevant to anything I have said in any of my posts

Mograce2U
Sep 28th 2007, 04:37 PM
I never said "God wills some to be condemned before they were ever born."

That comment is not relevant to anything I have said in any of my postsI apologize for attributing that to you, I was thinking of Calvin...

Toolman
Sep 28th 2007, 07:04 PM
If I were a universalist, I would say all men, because if universalism is true then "rebirth" could occur in this life or in the next. But seeing how I am not coming from a universalist perspective I would have to say some.

So, then you will agree that your view puts a limit on the love of an all benevolent God?

Let me quote you here if you don't mind:

There are two men. I will call them Paul, and Tom. God gives Paul a new heart and he will believe, and ecsape God's wrath. God never gave Tom a new heart, and he is unable to believe because God never gave him a new heart like Paul's to believe. Even so God's wrath will be poured out on Tom. Basically that means that Tom will face God's wrath and judgment for his inability to believe. If Tom like Paul had been given a new heart then he too would have believed. That kind of thinking in my view limits the love of an all benevolent God.
http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1292001&postcount=445

Yes, gracious to those who He has given a new heart to. But not so gracious to those not given a new heart or desire to do so. That makes God a semi-benevolent God, and a respecter of person's as well.

I see my view as founded upon Scripture. God desires the salvation of all men. 1 Tim 2:4, and in order for that desire to be both sincere and true, then God would have to provide the means for the same "all men" to actually become saved. On the other hand I see opposing views as being philosophical in nature, and they lean upon theological systems which must find loop-holes in such verses in order to maintain their systems of man-centered theology.
http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1292057&postcount=448


So, your soteriology, now, states that God only regenerates some people and not all. Therefore, by your own words, God is only loving and gracious towards some and not others.

Your soteriology has effected your theology. What you believe about God and His character has been formed by what you believe about salvation.

Just an observation that may assist (or may not :)).


I first have to ask myself, what purpose does the new birth serve? As far as I can tell it imparts spiritual life to those who are spiritually dead for the purpose of giving them hears to hear, a mind to comprehend, and a heart to understand the saving message of the gospel. I personally don't see what purpose the new birth would serve in cases such as infants, and those whose capability to think, due to mental problems is incapacitated.

Well, if all are born under sin, condemnation and total depravity (quote below) then it would appear that there would be a need for salvation from that condemnation and death just like it would for any and all people, if all are equally dead?

Every person since Adam has been born in a physically alive, but spiritually dead condition. Now a spiritually dead person will not naturally desire things of a spiritual nature. Before a man will ever desire things of a spiritual nature, God must first impart spiritual life into man. When God imparts spiritual life to a man who previously was in a spiritually dead condition, that can be said to be a spiritual birth, which is what being born again is.

Can the spiritually dead have eternal life outside of faith in Christ and belief in the Gospel?


It may be possible that God makes allowances for such individuals to be saved without coming to maturity or knowledge of salvation. Then again I may be wrong. I don't claim to know everything. I can only offer speculation. Do you have an answer for that question?

My answer comes from a very different soteriological framework (in which God brings all to faith in Christ) but my question was asked within the framework of your soteriology to reveal what I believe are some areas that are "problem" areas for the view.


I think Romans 1:20-32 may provide some clues which deals which such individuals. Either way, Rom 1:20 says that even those who receive the natural revelation of God, are likewise without excuse.

I'm not sure that actually answers the question. If the believing of the Gospel is required for salvation, from your understanding, what happens to those who never hear the Gospel?

Are there some who are saved apart from believing the Gospel?


How would you answer your own questions?

From a different framework of scriptural understanding.

God is powerful enough, wise enough and loving enough to bring every single person to faith in Christ. Neither death nor life is able to fail the mission of Christ, to save that which was lost and none that the Father has given Him shall be lost. He will be completely successful in His redemption of the world and infants and those who never hear the Gospel in this life are not without hope.

That would be my answer.

DSK
Sep 28th 2007, 09:53 PM
So, then you will agree that your view puts a limit on the love of an all benevolent God?

I personally don't believe my view limits God's love. I believe God shows mercy to all. The fact that I disagree with unversalism's belief that all people will be saved may seem to you as if I do.


Let me quote you here if you don't mind:

There are two men. I will call them Paul, and Tom. God gives Paul a new heart and he will believe, and ecsape God's wrath. God never gave Tom a new heart, and he is unable to believe because God never gave him a new heart like Paul's to believe. Even so God's wrath will be poured out on Tom. Basically that means that Tom will face God's wrath and judgment for his inability to believe. If Tom like Paul had been given a new heart then he too would have believed. That kind of thinking in my view limits the love of an all benevolent God.
http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1292001&postcount=445

That was an illustration. In that illustration I wasn't stating my actual view, but was presenting a senario of a certain type of thinking.


Yes, gracious to those who He has given a new heart to. But not so gracious to those not given a new heart or desire to do so. That makes God a semi-benevolent God, and a respecter of person's as well.

That comment goes along with the above illustration


I see my view as founded upon Scripture. God desires the salvation of all men. 1 Tim 2:4, and in order for that desire to be both sincere and true, then God would have to provide the means for the same "all men" to actually become saved. On the other hand I see opposing views as being philosophical in nature, and they lean upon theological systems which must find loop-holes in such verses in order to maintain their systems of man-centered theology.

http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1292057&postcount=448


The above comment actually is a reflection my my view.


So, your soteriology, now, states that God only regenerates some people and not all. Therefore, by your own words, God is only loving and gracious towards some and not others.

I believe that is incorrect. It would be more accurate to say that in my view God loves all men, but not all men love God.


Your soteriology has effected your theology. What you believe about God and His character has been formed by what you believe about salvation.

That's a blanket statement thats true of everyone, including you.


Just an observation that may assist (or may not :)).

Well, if all are born under sin, condemnation and total depravity (quote below) then it would appear that there would be a need for salvation from that condemnation and death just like it would for any and all people, if all are equally dead?


Every person since Adam has been born in a physically alive, but spiritually dead condition. Now a spiritually dead person will not naturally desire things of a spiritual nature. Before a man will ever desire things of a spiritual nature, God must first impart spiritual life into man. When God imparts spiritual life to a man who previously was in a spiritually dead condition, that can be said to be a spiritual birth, which is what being born again is.

Sure theres a need for salvation. Who doesn't need to be saved. The question is, who actually will be saved? For me the answer is believers in Christ, not unbelievers.


Can the spiritually dead have eternal life outside of faith in Christ and belief in the Gospel?

In universalism's view they can. According to universalism a person can die in unbelief and still be saved and have eternal life. According to universalism even the likes of Hitler will have eternal life.


My answer comes from a very different soteriological framework (in which God brings all to faith in Christ) but my question was asked within the framework of your soteriology to reveal what I believe are some areas that are "problem" areas for the view.

Yes indeed. Your view comes from an entirely different framework. That is not meant in a bad sense, because I do respect your view. It's just that I haven't been convinced that your view is correct. In my opinion, there seems to be just as many problems with your view as there is with any other person's view. Lets not be so naive and pretend that your view is all sewed up, and is correct in all areas.


I'm not sure that actually answers the question. If the believing of the Gospel is required for salvation, from your understanding, what happens to those who never hear the Gospel?

Once again, if an infant dies, what happens to that infant? Does God make allowances for that infant that didn't have a chance to hear the gospel? According to universalism He does. Therefore even universalism believes that many will be saved apart from hearing the gospel.


Are there some who are saved apart from believing the Gospel?

See above response. See your comments below.


From a different framework of scriptural understanding.

God is powerful enough, wise enough and loving enough to bring every single person to faith in Christ. Neither death nor life is able to fail the mission of Christ, to save that which was lost and none that the Father has given Him shall be lost. He will be completely successful in His redemption of the world and infants and those who never hear the Gospel in this life are not without hope.

That would be my answer.

My hope is that your view is correct, and that mine is wrong, however as I already said, I haven't been convinced.

One last question:
Are you 100% sure your view is entirely correct?

.

RogerW
Sep 29th 2007, 12:28 AM
This was God establishing His new covenant fulfilling His prophetic word. But is this individual election still at work past the 1st century once the Bride was established? Or do we multiply ourselves by sharing the gospel?

Greetings Mo,

If election is only unto Israel before Christ, why does Paul call the NT church saints, chosen before the foundation of the world, predestined according to the good pleasure of His will?

Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

If in the foreknowledge of God, Israel is the only elect of God, then isn't Paul saying that only the nation is conformed to the image of Christ, called, justified and glorified? Isn't Paul also here speaking to the NT church?

Ro 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Ro 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

God has chosen to use what He calls the foolishness of preaching to bring His elect into the Kingdom (them that believe), and this is the reason we go into all the world proclaiming the good news.

1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

So yes, the Kingdom does grow through faithful preaching, for it is through hearing the Word that many receive faith, and become saved. Since faith comes by hearing why is it that all the nation heard and yet most of them remain in unbelief?

Ro 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Ro 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Ro 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Ro 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Ro 10:18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
Ro 10:19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
Ro 10:20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

The Word Israel heard did not profit them because it was not mixed with faith in them that heard it. Why didn't the hearing of the Word result in faith for most of the nation since Scripture says, "faith comes by hearing the Word"? But for those who did receive faith (believed) enter into His rest from His works that were finished from the foundation of the world.

Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Some things to ponder: When were names of all who would be saved written in the Book of Life? Was the "counsel of peace" or the plan for redeeming a people unto Himself decreed in heaven before the foundation of the world? Why does Scripture speak of the Lamb as slain from the foundation of the world?

Many Blessings,
RW

justsurfing
Sep 29th 2007, 01:10 AM
Begins with the preaching of the cross - Jesus Christ and Him crucified.. then a call to Christ in salvation by faith.

That's the model of Peter preaching on the day of pentecost. Throughout the NT, we are called to preach Jesus Christ and the cross. God assures us that when we preach Jesus Christ and the cross, God will draw men to Jesus Christ by His Spirit.

justsurfing
Sep 29th 2007, 01:30 AM
[quote=enarchay;1395423]But does not the receiving of the Holy Spirit proceed or at least coincide with being born again?


I'd agree with you.

Romans 8:9 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=8&verse=9&version=9&context=verse)
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Everything happens at once. One is in the Spirit if the Spirit is in one. If the Spirit is not in a person... that person is not in Christ.

No man can be "in Christ"... then... "until"... the Spirit is in him.

The Spirit coming in must coincide: the Spirit "in"... = "in Christ".





I think we need to reevaluate, moreover, how God speaks to man. I believe God speaks to man through the gospel and then man has the choice to listen or not.

But he can't even hear without the Spirit in him causing him to hear. The Spirit has to come in... or the man cannot hear from within.

Just bounces off him... without the Spirit "planting" the Word in his heart.

Good soil is determined by whether the Spirit makes it such by "planting" the Word in the heart... thus changing the heart from bad to good.... stone to flesh.

Hebrews 8:10 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=65&chapter=8&verse=10&version=9&context=verse)
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

It is God who decides whether to write the Word on a heart or not. When He writes the Word on a heart... He does so by the Spirit. The Spirit entering by God's supernatural means is what determines whether the heart "hears"... and, therefore, believes.

Romans 10:17 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=10&verse=17&version=9&context=verse)
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

If the Holy Spirit does not write the Word on a person's heart, that person can neither hear nor believe... nor be saved... all of which happen by the Spirit operating on a heart from within... meaning the Spirit is within.. bringing that person with"in Christ".

It's 100% God by grace done by the Spirit writing on our hearts by His Life... and nothing a man can do of himself... even if he hears by himself.

It takes the work of the Holy Spirit. Man, who is flesh, profits nothing by hearing the Word himself. It takes the Spirit to "quickeneth" (meaning "make alive".)

This inner action of the Holy Spirit quickening and writing the Word on a person's heart is what makes us "believers". Without this work of the Spirit, the Word is not alive (rhema) to anyone... and they cannot believe in and of themselves. (The flesh profiteth nothing. Flesh and blood hath not revealed this to you but my Father... said Jesus when Peter declared who Jesus was.)

We can't "reveal" the Word of God to our hearts by our own human choice or will. We are powerless, then, to believe. The Word by the Spirit is life. The Word apart from the Spirit is death.

Therefore, it is the work of the Holy Spirit when the Word is preached that... determines... who believes and who doesn't... who lives or dies.

It's completely out of man's hands. Which is why, for one reason, all the scriptures that talk about God saving all... reveal the truth, imo. Some people think others really had a choice and made a full decision to go to hell of their own "free wills"... and could never change their mind... and God would be powerless to change their decision.

God is fully powerful to do so. In fact, that's the only reason we came to believe: because God had mercy on us and wrote Jesus, the Word, on our hearts by the Spirit by His own sovereign choice and will in mercy and unmerited favor.

John 6:63 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=50&chapter=6&verse=63&version=9&context=verse)
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

2 Corinthians 3:6 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=54&chapter=3&verse=6&version=9&context=verse)
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

God bless,

js

Toolman
Sep 29th 2007, 04:26 AM
I personally don't believe my view limits God's love. I believe God shows mercy to all. The fact that I disagree with unversalism's belief that all people will be saved may seem to you as if I do.


DSK,

If God only regenerates SOME people (as you stated in post #51) then how do you proclaim He shows mercy to all?

By your own statements you said that if God only regenerates some then that "makes God a semi-benevolent God, and a respecter of person's as well". Those were your own words, not mine.


That was an illustration. In that illustration I wasn't stating my actual view, but was presenting a senario of a certain type of thinking.

The above comment actually is a reflection my my view.

The illustration was used by you to present the belief that if God only regenerated some then He would be unfair. That was your point of the illustration.


I believe that is incorrect. It would be more accurate to say that in my view God loves all men, but not all men love God.

But if He only regenerates some and not others does He then love all men equally? Why does He not give the ability to choose salvation to some if He loves them equally as much as those He regenerates?


That's a blanket statement thats true of everyone, including you.

Not exactly. Either soteriology or theology can drive one or the other.

My theology drives my soteriology, not the other way around. Because I believe God is all powerful, all wise and all loving (theology), I believe He is willing and able to save every single person (soteriology).

In this case my soteriology is derived from my theology. Not the other way around. Just something to think about. I think it is the correct approach but I reserve the right to be wrong :)


Sure theres a need for salvation. Who doesn't need to be saved. The question is, who actually will be saved? For me the answer is believers in Christ, not unbelievers.

That returns us to the original question. What happens to infants. They are unbelievers correct? They have need of salvation.


In universalism's view they can. According to universalism a person can die in unbelief and still be saved and have eternal life. According to universalism even the likes of Hitler will have eternal life.


That is inaccurate. Biblical universalism testifies that only those who have faith in Christ are made alive in Him.

My point was that the question regarding infants and those who never hear the Gospel has not been answered by your position.

What becomes of the unregenerate infant?

BTW - even within traditional evangelical Christianity the likes of Hitler can be saved. Observe Jeffrey Dahmer. If we didn't believe God could forgive sin then we wouldn't preach the Gospel.


Yes indeed. Your view comes from an entirely different framework. That is not meant in a bad sense, because I do respect your view. It's just that I haven't been convinced that your view is correct. In my opinion, there seems to be just as many problems with your view as there is with any other person's view. Lets not be so naive and pretend that your view is all sewed up, and is correct in all areas.

I am absolutely willing and able to discuss any problem areas and give answers within that framework, to the best of my ability.


Once again, if an infant dies, what happens to that infant? Does God make allowances for that infant that didn't have a chance to hear the gospel?

That question has not been answered by your position yet? Does God make allowances and save people apart from faith in Christ.


According to universalism He does. Therefore even universalism believes that many will be saved apart from hearing the gospel.

That is incorrect. Biblical universalism holds to the position that none will be redeemed apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ. If that faith is born after this life so be it. Apart from faith in Christ none can be justified before God.
This is the biblical universalist answer.


My hope is that your view is correct, and that mine is wrong, however as I already said, I haven't been convinced.

And what I often say to those who express this hope is... why?

Why do you have this hope? Is that hope from God or from your flesh? Why is it that almost 100% of believers express this hope that all men will be saved?

I talked with many unbelievers who are adamant that they hope there is an eternal hell for people like Hitler, etc. But almost 100% of believers say they hope all men will be saved.

Is this because God has planted that hope in their heart?

Not saying He has but it is something worth pondering IMO.


Oe last question:
Are you 100% sure your view is entirely correct?


I am 100% sure my view is correct within the framework of my understanding of scripture.

Could my understanding of the framework of scripture be incorrect?

Yep.

But universalism IMO is the most accurate understanding of scripture.

It upholds the belief that God truly desires and wills the salvation of all men.

It upholds that God's plan of redemption and Christ's mission to save the lost will actually be accomplished and will not fail.

It upholds Christ's redemption as more powerful (in scope and number) than Adam's condemnation. That where sin abounds grace much more abounds.

It is consistent in its view that God's judgements are for the purpose of driving the soul to faith in Christ.

So, yes I see it as the most accurate of the frameworks of course. But as a man I could be absolutely wrong and God is either unwilling or unable to save all people.

justsurfing
Sep 29th 2007, 04:41 AM
This is what Paul said to the Athenians:

(Acts 17:23-31 KJV) For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. {24} God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; {25} Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; {26} And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; {27} That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: {28} For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. {29} Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. {30} And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: {31} Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

In Lycaonia, Paul said a similar thing to the men who wanted to offer sacrifices to him after he healed a man. (Acts 14) It would seem creation with its seasons and such (Noah's covenant), is a sufficient witness to any man to consider God and seek Him. The fact that many do not; is not because they cannot, but because they will not.

Sowing and reaping is another way that God draws men to reconsider what they do. This one worked for me personally. When the fullness of my sin was reached and I was desparate, I called upon the name of the Lord to help me (having been told by someone to do this). What little faith this evidenced was genuine because I knew of no one else who could help me. What this set in motion was that THEN I began to see God work in my life - externally, for about 7 years. Until such time as I finally heard the gospel and believed and was saved. Did God bring these consequences to bear? Of course, that is why He set laws of sowing and reaping in motion.

We do not see God creating every single man from the dust of the earth like He did Adam. Or even Eve, who was made from Adam. Rather what we see is that a seed is placed in man by which he can then multiply himself in the earth. The Lord personally called each of the Apostles by name - even appearing after the ascension to Paul. But is this how He has determined that all men will come to Him? Or is it that we will hear the word of the Lord from those men? (See Deut 6)

When God begins something new, He is personally involved to make it happen. But then He sets in motion a process by which what He begins continues. This is how His word goes forth into the world and accomplishes the thing for which He sends it. It does not return to Him void.

When Israel's remnant was wedded to Christ (a new thing), we see election at work. Even Gentiles were part of this marriage - like Cornelius. This was God establishing His new covenant fulfilling His prophetic word. But is this individual election still at work past the 1st century once the Bride was established? Or do we multiply ourselves by sharing the gospel?
Mo,

To simplify... if a man will not seek God... something's broken.

There's something wrong with his will. His will is lacking what it takes to will to seek God. If a man's will is lacking what it takes to seek God... he cannot seek God. It is not in a man's will to seek God. That's why he can't seek God. That's why God's will must "make up for" the lack in man's will... by God's will.

If a man's will to seek God, for example, ran on gas... if it was out of gas... he wouldn't have the will to seek God. When you asked him to seek God, being out of gas, he'd rightly say, "I cannot. I have no will to do so." What fuels man's will to seek God? God's Spirit in man's heart. Without that, man's out of gas on the side of the highway... stalled out. Call him to get in the car and drive... and he just... can't.

Gotta fuel him up, mo. And only God can do that when not just the Word is spoken... but the Spirit does His work... to infuse man's will with "divine energy".

(Please don't make me do the "dead battery" in the heart... God jumpstarts the heart.. analogy!!! lol ;) )

:)

God bless,

js

RogerW
Sep 29th 2007, 03:23 PM
Begins with the preaching of the cross - Jesus Christ and Him crucified.. then a call to Christ in salvation by faith.

That's the model of Peter preaching on the day of pentecost. Throughout the NT, we are called to preach Jesus Christ and the cross. God assures us that when we preach Jesus Christ and the cross, God will draw men to Jesus Christ by His Spirit.

Greetings Laura,

It is true we preach the cross and Christ crucified. But the Covenant of Redemption begins long before the cross and Christ crucified. It begins from before the foundation of the world. In eternity past, before creation God enacted the covenant through the mediatorial work of Christ. This is why Scripture speaks of Christ as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. And Scripture also tells us that all who worship the dragon and the beast do not have their names written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, but all those who enter the holy city, new Jerusalem are they which have been written in the Lamb's book of life.

Re 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Re 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Re 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

God's eternal Covenant of Redemption was established in heaven before creation. So we begin by telling unbelievers that in eternity past God decreed to have a people for Himself. God saw the hearts of all men, and knew that if He left coming to Him for salvation to them, then no man would be saved, because no man desires to seek for Him in their spiritually dead fallen nature. So God the Father made an eternal Covenant in heaven before creation. Christ is the sacrificial Lamb to make atonement for the sins of God's people, it is for these, who are written in heaven (Lu 10:20) before the world began that Christ died. In redemptive history, Christ would literally go to the cross to fulfill all the requirements set forth in the Covenant (Counsel of Peace) (Zech 6).

God uses the foolishness of preaching to draw His people to Himself. It is through hearing the message of the cross with spiritual hearing that hearts are softened, and the gift of faith is given (Eph 2:8) enabling His people to turn from their sin and become saved. In their salvation they will joyfully declare to the world their love for the Savior, but when we make accepting, receiving, believing a work of man then we have failed to show that salvation is all of grace and none of fallen man. This is why we begin with the eternal covenant established in heaven before the world began. All whom God has predestined and elected to save in time will come to Him, and none of them will be lost. These were predestined and elected in the providence of God (Eph 2) not because they were better, or because God saw they would choose for Him, but "that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth" (Ro 9:11).

When we begin proclaiming the gospel with the Sovereign Providence of God in predestinating and electing His people, then we see how salvation depends not one whit on anything we do, but solely of the grace of God.

Many Blessings,
RW

Mograce2U
Sep 29th 2007, 03:25 PM
Mo,

To simplify... if a man will not seek God... something's broken.

There's something wrong with his will. His will is lacking what it takes to will to seek God. If a man's will is lacking what it takes to seek God... he cannot seek God. It is not in a man's will to seek God. That's why he can't seek God. That's why God's will must "make up for" the lack in man's will... by God's will.

If a man's will to seek God, for example, ran on gas... if it was out of gas... he wouldn't have the will to seek God. When you asked him to seek God, being out of gas, he'd rightly say, "I cannot. I have no will to do so." What fuels man's will to seek God? God's Spirit in man's heart. Without that, man's out of gas on the side of the highway... stalled out. Call him to get in the car and drive... and he just... can't.

Gotta fuel him up, mo. And only God can do that when not just the Word is spoken... but the Spirit does His work... to infuse man's will with "divine energy".

(Please don't make me do the "dead battery" in the heart... God jumpstarts the heart.. analogy!!! lol ;) )

:)

God bless,Hi JS,
That was David Jeremiah on the radio just yesterday wasn't it? Good analogy, but like all analogies, fails to give a full picture.

The Holy Spirit (Source of gas) needn't fill the man to point him to the gas station. Working thru the word of the Lord, is the quickening given to the man that he might understand the solution to remedy his need. This is the seed that is cast abroad into the field (world), which some receive and others do not. When the man does not understand where to go he is unlikely to find the gas station. And if when he hears and understands where it is but fails to make the trip, he won't find the gas he needs either. Then the one who focuses upon his flat tire instead and neglects to go for the gas will have a similar end - no gas. But the one who hears and obeys the instruction he is given and actually does what is required, he is the one who gets filled up and is ready to go!

somuchforanalogies...

Mograce2U
Sep 29th 2007, 03:45 PM
Roger, #62 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1396490&postcount=62)
The names written in the book of life before the foundation of the world are the same ones from whom Christ would come - Israel's faithful remnant. The rest who were not in this book beforehand can only be the Gentiles who come to faith in the Church age. All who dwell in the earth that worship the Lord would not seem to include any unbelievers. The reason being is that the verse following shows those who are taken into capitivity or killed with the sword. This is told for the patience of the saints who are waiting for this judgment to come. What they need is to understand the prophecy that is being revealed to them, during this time that the devil is causing tribulation - to give them hope. This is not the end of the world, but an end coming upon Israel.

The purposes of election end in Christ, Abraham's ONE Seed. Now all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved and joined to the Olive Tree of the elect of Israel whose Root is Christ. That is how we are joined to them - the ones who were chosen to bring forth Messiah.

RogerW
Sep 29th 2007, 04:48 PM
Roger, #62 (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1396490&postcount=62)
The names written in the book of life before the foundation of the world are the same ones from whom Christ would come - Israel's faithful remnant.

That cannot be true because if our name is not found written in the book of life then we are cast into the lake of fire.

Re 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.



The rest who were not in this book beforehand can only be the Gentiles who come to faith in the Church age.

Are you suggesting that names are added to the Book of Life when we become saved? If this is what you are suggesting, please support this opinion with Scripture.



All who dwell in the earth that worship the Lord would not seem to include any unbelievers. The reason being is that the verse following shows those who are taken into capitivity or killed with the sword. This is told for the patience of the saints who are waiting for this judgment to come. What they need is to understand the prophecy that is being revealed to them, during this time that the devil is causing tribulation - to give them hope. This is not the end of the world, but an end coming upon Israel.

I'm assuming from this statement that you are either full or partial Preterist? The passage doesn't say all who dwell in the earth worship the Lord, it says all who dwell in the earth who worship the dragon, and the beast (Rev 13:1-10). None of these who worship the dragon and the beast have been written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world. The Kingdom through the universal church has always been built upon the blood of the martyrs, they are the ones led into captivity, and killed with the sword. I believe Rev 13 is showing us the great tribulation that comes against the seed of the woman (the church in the world) we are shown in Rev 12.



The purposes of election end in Christ, Abraham's ONE Seed. Now all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved and joined to the Olive Tree of the elect of Israel whose Root is Christ. That is how we are joined to them - the ones who were chosen to bring forth Messiah.

This is true, but this does not do away with having the names of all who would be saved written in the Book of Life before creation. Who will call upon the name of the Lord, and be saved? And how are they able to do this? Why does God give only some who hear the Word, the gift of faith and leave some in unbelief?

Yes, Messiah came through the chosen remnant, but those chosen unto salvation is not limited to the remnant of Israel. What does Christ mean when He says, "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: [not of Israel] them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."? Who are these other sheep? What does Christ mean when He says, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."? Who are these who are drawn from the Father? How can the chosen consist only of the chosen remnant from the nation since Christ says, "they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful." If those who are with Christ are called, chosen and faithful how can those chosen be limited to only the elect remnant from the nation?

Why does Paul say to church, "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth"? And, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love"?

There are far too many passages of Scripture to show us that all who are predestined, elect, are chosen of God from the foundation of the world. While it is true the elect remnant of Israel are included, predestination and election are in no way limited to only the Jew.

Many Blessings,
RW

Mograce2U
Sep 29th 2007, 06:34 PM
Roger,
There is so much here to consider. Christ before the cross, mentioned that He had another fold which He would call. This certainly implies election of Gentiles - which can be seen in Cornelius and the Samaritan woman at the well. These were reached directly by the Lord or the Apostles. But this is still the 1st century and the time of the 1st Advent fulfilling prophecy, before the judgment came upon the non-elect of Israel.

I have read that John's gospel was the last written, probably when he returned to Ephesus to take over the churches in Asia which Paul established - after his release from Patmos. I think it makes sense because the presentation he makes of Christ seems to be in accord with the Revelation he received. That Revelation I think is dated best as being after Paul's martyrdom, sometime around or before 68 AD. And yes, I suppose this makes me a partial preterist.

Look what he writes in his gospel - is this said to a predestined elect group of people who are already written in the Book of Life?

(John 5:26 KJV) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

(John 5:40 KJV) And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

(John 10:10 KJV) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

(John 20:31 KJV) But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

John used the word "life" 44 times in his gospel (KJV). He seems to give access to this Life a much broader scope than did Paul who zealously desired to reach the elect as soon as possible so that none of them would be lost. I see a different perspective at work in each of them.

justsurfing
Sep 30th 2007, 08:56 AM
[quote=Mograce2U;1396493]Hi JS,
That was David Jeremiah on the radio just yesterday wasn't it? Good analogy, but like all analogies, fails to give a full picture.


Hey Mo, :),

No, I didn't hear David Jeremiah on the radio. Sincerely. Was this same analogy on the radio? I don't even know who David Jeremiah is. Perhaps... just sayin'... God's trying to get a message to you... and maybe it's time you "got your ears on".

To me, people who take themselves "oh so seriously"... are most likely depressed... more so than me.

I tend to laugh. It could be my personality. But it could be a defense mechanism. Probly a little of both. I know how completely sovereign God is. I know how completely powerless I am. The level at which God works in and through me in power... by His choice... is challenging to "adapt to" at times. I absolutely love it... yet, am a tad nonplussed... at the same time. So what's a girl to do? I laugh.

Like the time I was having a Bible study with a next door neighbor who "mugged me" into allowing her into my prayer closet... and another friend who likewise "barged in". :) (They insisted they want what I got.) :)

So, the one... (I'm reading the Bible to them... having prayed.)... shouts, "There is a glory cloud above you!" (I could roll my eyes) Then they're flipping out, "It's like a fog of glory is filling the room!" (I'm like, "Yeah,... so. That would be the manifest presence of God in glory. Been communing with Him in glory for years.")

I kinda can understand how Moses, perhaps, may have felt. But he did not appear to have my same sense of humor.

They treated me like a "pez dispenser of glory". Kept coming over... finally, I had enough... and that was it. I'd already ministered to them the doctrine I'm "speaking" over this pc to you... they'd already experienced the outpouring... and, to me, it was frivolous and they were out of balance. (Especially the way they treated me like an object of access into the manifest presence of God in glory. And I didn't like how they treated the Holy Spirit. Like the experience of being in His presence at that level was a mere "feel good" experience. God is much more than that. He is Lord. He's meant to come under... as if one is laying flat on one's face in one's heart in total recognition of His "omnificence". I had to coin a word to describe how I feel about His Person and presence. He's God. We're nothing. We should fall down before Him and give Him His place above us... not act like being in His presence is like a ride at an amusement park. It was awful... for me... the lack of sheer submission to His glory... when, to me, instead they seemed to "feed on it" in what was to me... a truly impersonal manner. The Holy Spirit is a PERSON... who needs to be treated with love and respect... or He is grieved. They grieved me... and I believe Him as well.)

Sis, hear me when I'm a talkin' to you. :)

Hear David Jeremiah.

Man is not nearly so "great" as one would believe... from your analogy. ;)

He's not that... smart. He has not ability to hear and obey... apart from divine intervention and "infusion" of God.

Some say man is totally unable... totally depraved. I do believe it's biblical to describe mankind in sin... compared to God... as... totally stupid.

Yes, stupid.

My biblical support is 3-fold (I could go further... on and on... about how spiritually stupid man really is apart from God... totally.)

#1 - Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God. Apart from Christ, man can do nothing. That gives man, apart from Jesus Christ and God's grace in divine intervention, a spiritual IQ of... "0" = "ZERO".

#2 - Consider Adam in the Garden of Eden. Ever really consider how STUPID he really was? Satan comes one time to tempt Adam and Eve... and they both fall. The first time they hear his stupid story of what will happen if they eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Bought it. Hook line and stupor... sinker. Goners. Stupid. Why? Because God, in His sovereignty, didn't choose to "wise them up"... and grant them the gift of ignoring Satan and remembering what God said. Just really consider how stupid Adam was. Didn't even need to hear Satan directly... like Eve did. So stupid Eve hands him the apple... says 2 sentences... perhaps... and Adam is "Duh. Otay."

Adam. What a "Duh."

#3 - If you read in the Bible... God gives man a "spirit of stupor". In other words, every unsaved person is under this spirit of "stupor"... ie... stupidity. Your Bible, the infallible Word of God... declares to you thusly: man is stupid... totally... spiritually. (Doesn't even know his right hand from his left.)

Romans 11:8 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=11&verse=8&version=31&context=verse)
as it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day."

Now, you tell me, mo. :) Just how spiritually stupid... is the human race??? God has given them a spirit of stupor... so they cannot hear or see.. spiritual truth. A spiritual IQ and senses of "0" = "ZERO".

And what amuses me is this. What is the name, the title, the personhood of this "spirit of stupor"?

That would be... Satan... blinding their minds. Because that/he is the "spirit of stupor"... the very definition... of... spiritual... STUPIDITY!!!

:)

How is it that I approach God in such proximity? Very simple. I face the truth... and don't try to approach Him in my own strength. Subdued... knowing exactly what man is apart from Him.. I "enter into my rest"... and "give up".

I surrender all. On the inside. I have faced just how stupid the Bible says we are... and, on the inside, said, "Amen." Then said, "I need thee... oh I need thee. Every hour I need thee. Bless me now my Father... I come to thee."

If you would like to rely on man's ability to know where a gas station is... sorry, he's too stupid. He can't put gas in the car. He doesn't know his right hand from his left.

If ever there was a candidate for the 100% grace of God... man... is... it.

Helpless, powerless, stupid...

lost...

and too proud in and of himself...

to ask for directions.

That's man.

(This is why I am so close to God. I freely admit it. Why? He's proven it to me without shadow of doubt... according to His own sovereign will and plan. Mo, if I try to fight Him... He'd knock me straight to the floor... my will that is... perhaps me bodily. If I even tried to say He's not entirely sovereign... I'd end up on the floor. That's how "tight" we are. I can't get away with some things others can. It's like that saying, "If I tell ya... I gotta kill ya." Well, I asked to know the truth... with all prejudice. My ability to resist the knowledge and the truth.... the power and the glory... of just how stupid man is... how powerless, how helpless... vs. how great God is and how sovereign... has died. Hence, the glory of His presence. We're close.)

Hear me now... believe me now... or later.

God's sovereign... and man could never do what you attribute to man the ability to do. He's too stupid.

Love in Christ,

js

Mograce2U
Sep 30th 2007, 06:26 PM
JS,
I gotta quote Paul here:

(1 Cor 7:40 KJV) But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

I did not say God was not sovereign in salvation. But this idea that man is regenerated prior to believing faith, I think is in error. However, I have heard testimony that when the Spirit came upon some men when they heard the gospel, that it was the very first time they were even aware of God and it was a Pentecost sort of experience to them; being indwelt and filled at the same time (for a better way of explaining it). It was like that for me too when I heard the gospel and believed.

But I also have a testimony that preceded that event which came about because I heard a promise from God's word and acted on it - and called upon the name of the Lord Jesus and He helped me. This was before I heard the gospel and was born again. It was during this time that the Lord began to show me Himself as Creator - dispeling my belief in evolution. I also became aware of His judgment upon my sin. And I experienced some miraculous turns in my life that showed me God was working - though I did not yet know Him. I see this as the Lord working upon my heart to prepare me for receiving the gospel. But I was not "regenerated" by this process. And as for sanctification, well that began immediately AFTER I believed. It was only then that I knew I was forgiven. And I think this is scriptural - according to this verse:

(Rom 10:13 KJV) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

My calling upon the Lord in response to hearing His promise is the seed sown by the word of God. This tiny sprout of belief took 7 years to achieve believing faith however - which did burst forth suddenly into regeneration by the Spirit of God when I understood that Jesus is the Son of God.

My life has not been the same since!