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Bible Doctrine
Dec 9th 2007, 06:26 PM
Abiding in Christ: The Real Meaning Confronts an Error of Calvinism

John 15:1-8

The confusion of Calvinism brings to many, misguided ends regarding the proper understanding of Bible texts. One well known and often cited text that is claimed by a “Dominant Majority” (DM and from here on in the post I refer to the DM and not every single Calvinist) of Calvinists to purportedly support their doctrine of “Perseverance” is John 15, the True Vine and Branches passage.

The Calvinist takes the position that the branches that do not bear fruit and are “aken away” (v1) and/or “cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” (v6) were never “really” believers or those belonging to Christ (the true vine) in the first place.

Their contention is that only true believers will be fruit bearing branches and evidence that branches that do not bear fruit aren’t really believers stems (no pun intended) from:

A. They didn’t bear fruit because they didn’t abide in Christ.
B. They are removed and described as branches good for only burning.

The Calvinist appeals to the idea that if a believer is truly one of Christ’s then he will abide in Christ and bear fruit because no true believer would be removed and treated as that which is only good to be burned as kindling wood. Right?

John MacArthur’s (http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/1551.HTM) thoughts reflect this view:
The Father "taketh away" the branches that fail to bear fruit. Verse 2 doesn't say He fixes them up; it says He cuts them off. Verse 6 says that those branches are gathered, thrown into a pile, and burned. The Father deals with them with finality. Now if that refers to a Christian, we've got some problems. I believe that the fruitless branches refer to people who profess to have a relationship to Jesus Christ--who apparently are in the vine as a follower of Christ--but are like Judas and have never been saved. That is obvious because they never bear spiritual fruit. At a certain point in the Father's timing, the fruitless branches are cut off for the life and health of the vine and the other branches. Professing Christians who aren't really saved and therefore don't bear fruit will be cast away and burned in an act of divine punishment.But since this is not a treatment of the erring Calvinist view but of the text, let’s look at the text and find the problems and solutions regarding what it says:
John 15:1-8

1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. The context of this lesson by our Lord is a post-seasonable dressing of the vineyard, right before the dormant season when the most severe pruning occurs (determined by the reference to withered branches use for burning that were cut off during this time).

______________
1. Verse 1 is without dispute among Calvinist and non-Calvinist as to its meaning. Hence its treatment is minimal. God the Son is the means of life and fruit for the branches and God the Father is the one that keeps the vineyard.

2. Verse 2 begins with “every branch in me that beareth not fruit”. Obviously to the undistracted observer the first problem for the Calvinist view is a branch being in Christ and then being determined to not have actually been in Christ but “superficially attached”. To claim the attachment was not real but superficial violates the claim of Christ Himself, which the branch “is” in Him. And any branch that is in any vine, especially here, begins its life directly from that vine as a sprout unless it is grafted and here NOTHING about grafting is presented (and even the Calvinist argument doesn’t present a grafting debate).

A branch begins its life IN THE VINE and grows from the vine as a sprout. It does not become a branch until it has grown to some extent. And from that vine it did gain sustenance and life. If indeed this branch really was never “truly” attached then how did it sprout from the vine? How did it grow from a sprout to a branch? From whence did its nourishment come to become a branch? From the vine.

You see the dire straights the Calvinist is in here?

Of course the end of the life and purpose of a branch isn’t just to be a sprout or a branch but eventually to bear fruit. Hence the reason our Lord implores believers to “abide” in Him.

Believers that experience some growth (but not to mature purpose) are described aptly as ones that do not abide in Christ. They, at some point, quit getting their nourishment from Christ and fail to bear fruit.

But imagine the Calvinist trying to, in hoping to support his erring doctrine of perseverance, that though this branch clearly is presented as "in" Christ as are fruit bearing branches, and though for it to have come to life it had to spring from the vine and grow, it never really was attached to the vine. Talk about DRAMATIC CONTRADICTIONS and confusion.

3. Verse 4 presents the command from Jesus to believers “abide in me”. There is a significant and telling clue in the Greek grammar here that provides conclusive evidence that abiding is NOT talking about SALVATION but about the post-salvational RELATIONSHIP of the believer to Christ.

The command “abide” is a 2nd Person Plural Aorist Active Imperative.

The use of the “active” in the Greek means that the subject performs the action of the verb. The subject of the command “abide in me” is the plural “you”. Jesus is commanding “(You) abide in me”.

In other words, the abiding is NOT done by Jesus but by the believer, hence that is why Jesus commands the believer to do the abiding. Jesus doesn't command you to do something He does. Jesus died for your sins, that is what He does and did and the command to you is to believe.

And in salvation, Jesus KEEPS you saved, that is His job and it is YOUR job to maintain the relationship through obedience, i.e. positive volition to Christ.

So since the command given by Jesus for the believer to do the abiding, the Calvinist is faced with saying that here, that it is up to the BELIEVER to keep themselves saved (since they argue abiding refers to Salvation and not Relationship) and if they don’t abide, well they weren’t really saved or lost their salvation.

In truth, the reality is that the command represents that we, as believers, can choose to NOT abide, hence the very purpose of the command. The reason we are given commands is because alternative are possible and here the context of the command is for believers to abide, understanding that in the context of a believer's life NOT ABIDING is the alternative. And if only “true” believers did abide and did not choose to NOT abide, then what is the purpose of the command if by default all believers are guaranteed to abide.

Why? Because not all believers ARE guaranteed to abide. But the Calvinist, here, is faced with a dilemma.

If they admit what is present in the text, particularly in the active voice where the believer is commanded to be the one that abides as opposed to Christ keeping them, they have to admit that it is not a SALVATIONAL context but a RELATIONAL context because in a SALVATIONAL context Christ does the keeping and in a RELATIONAL context, we are responsible for maintaining fellowship. For an exhaustive treatment I recommend this article, Viticulture and John 15:1-6 (http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2005i/derickson.html#_ftn5)by Gary W. Derickson , Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, Western Baptist College.

Jesusinmyheart
Dec 9th 2007, 07:27 PM
Here's something to collapse your house of cards right fast:


A branch begins its life IN THE VINE and grows from the vine as a sprout. It does not become a branch until it has grown to some extent. And from that vine it did gain sustenance and life. If indeed this branch really was never “truly” attached then how did it sprout from the vine? How did it grow from a sprout to a branch? From whence did its nourishment come to become a branch? From the vine.

If that is what you base your viewpoint on then it's doomed to fail. If we aren't from the original tree AKA Jews, then we are grafted in. Which means we don't grow as a sprout for that original tree, but are branches...

Therefore your premisis that those who were branches of this tree are guaranteed believers and guarenteed to abide is false.

Even Jews can be cut off and grafted in again....

Rom 11:13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry
Rom 11:14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.
Rom 11:15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?
Rom 11:16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Rom 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,
Rom 11:18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.
Rom 11:19 Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in."
Rom 11:20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe.
Rom 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
Rom 11:22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.
Rom 11:23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.
Rom 11:24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.


Shalom,
Tanja

Alaska
Dec 9th 2007, 08:58 PM
I think you missed the point Tanya,

Even those grafted in are in. Many Calvinists are saying that if someone who was in falls away was never in to begin with.
He is not addressing what we were before getting in the vine.

In the same chapter Jesus says:
26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
30 I and my Father are one.

The concept of abiding, as in a vine, is also applicable here. If we do not abide in His hand then we won't be there. As long as we choose to remain there we are safe, no man is able to pluck us out.
Notice verse 27. The souls who are claimed to have never been saved to begin with are those who did hear his voice. It is just that they did not continue as in the parable of the sower where we see a reception of the word and yet a failure to continue that leads to falling away.
The claim they were never saved to begin with, reeks of ______________. You fill in the blank.

Jesusinmyheart
Dec 9th 2007, 09:12 PM
Even those grafted in are in. Many Calvinists are saying that if someone who was in falls away was never in to begin with.
He is not addressing what we were before getting in the vine.

Hi,
Sorry about that, i guess i missed that. I agree, i do think it's wrong to say that a person who falls away was never in to begin with. The bible has numerous scriptures which are indicative of those who once were enlightened falling away.

Shalom,
Tanja

Bible Doctrine
Dec 9th 2007, 10:11 PM
Hi,
Sorry about that, i guess i missed that. I agree, i do think it's wrong to say that a person who falls away was never in to begin with. The bible has numerous scriptures which are indicative of those who once were enlightened falling away.

Shalom,
TanjaYes, you did miss the point and I went to the trouble of REFERRING to the GRAFTING issue. It is not a point of dispute here. But at least you do get the point now.
BD

9Marksfan
Dec 11th 2007, 01:54 PM
If we do not abide in His hand then we won't be there.

That's correct - that's what John 15 is teaching.


As long as we choose to remain there we are safe, no man is able to pluck us out.

Er, where is the word "choose" in the John 10 passage you quoted? In fact where is there ANY such "condition" mentioned?


Notice verse 27. The souls who are claimed to have never been saved to begin with

These are the elect - Christ's sheep. Why are you equating them with those who fall away?


are those who did hear his voice. It is just that they did not continue

Again, where in this passage is there any such idea?


as in the parable of the sower where we see a reception of the word and yet a failure to continue that leads to falling away.

Yes - THOSE are the ones who professed faith, but showed by their falling way that it was never genuine in the first place, because they didn't persevere.


The claim they were never saved to begin with, reeks of ______________. You fill in the blank.

Well I would say it's a sweet aroma!

Let's look at the John 10 passage again, shall we?

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." Jn 10:27-30 NIV

I don't think the language could BE any clearer! Let's draw some very simple conclusions:-

1. Jesus has a people whom He calls "my sheep".
2. They listen to His voice.
3. Christ knows them.
4. They follow Christ.
5. Christ gives them eternal life.
6. They shall never perish (got that? NEVER!!!!!)
7. No one can snatch them from Christ's hand (got that? NO ONE!!!!!)
8. God the Father gave Christ's sheep to Christ.
9. God the Father is greater than all (including Christians mad enough to want to leave Christ's hand - I KNOW those who hate this doctrine will try to use that argument).
10. No one can snatch Christ's sheep from God the Father's hand.
11. Christ and the Father are one.

Now, would someone like to tell me from this passage how it is that any true sheep of Christ's is able to escape from either Christ's or God the Father's hand?

If you do think it does happen, there are some heretical conclusions you MUST come to and for which I believe you will have to give an account before God, unless you repent:-

1. Christ is either a liar; or is not omnipotent; or cannot be trusted, because the UNCONDITIONAL promise "they shall NEVER perish" will have been broken.
2. Christ was wrong and God is not greater than all - Christians can overcome His omnipotence by their stronger free will!
3. Free will is so strong that it can overcome both God and Christ - it is therefore worthy of all praise, worship and adoration and should therefore govern EVERYTHING we believe about God and salvation.

So - who is God? THE LORD? or your free will?

I pray that some of you will see the error of your idolatry, because for some of you, that's exactly what it is.......

alethos
Dec 11th 2007, 03:50 PM
That's correct - that's what John 15 is teaching.


OK, but did you read the OP? I couldn't help but notice that you didn't comment on the OP.

9Marksfan
Dec 11th 2007, 04:05 PM
OK, but did you read the OP? I couldn't help but notice that you didn't comment on the OP.

I've replied to it in the other thread (OS, AS). Such an interpretation (from Bible Doctrine) flatly contradicts passages like Jn 10:27-30, so John 15 must mean something else. I argued that the words "in me" shouldn't be interpreted too literally (always dangerous when a spiritual metaphor is being used) - remember that the whole picture of the vine and the branches is meant to mean that we need to abide in Christ in order to BE His followers - Jn 10 says that true Christians WILL DO just that (because, as Paul later said, it is God who is at work in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure). Those whose faith is not real will not abide in Him, will not bear good fruit and will ultimately be condemned because they have not shown any EVIDENCE of having TRULY been in Christ - why not? Because, although grafted into the VISIBLE body of Christ (the professing church), they failed to draw upon Him and thereby showed the emptiness of whatever apparent "faith" they had. This is the great lesson of ALL the parables where there are two types of professing believers - it's not that ALL are genuine and SOME of them will lose their salvation - it's that there are the TRUE and the FALSE - ALL the true will ultimately be saved and ALL the false will die in their sins.

alethos
Dec 11th 2007, 04:28 PM
I've replied to it in the other thread (OS, AS). Such an interpretation (from Bible Doctrine) flatly contradicts passages like Jn 10:27-30, so John 15 must mean something else. I argued that the words "in me" shouldn't be interpreted too literally (always dangerous when a spiritual metaphor is being used) - remember that the whole picture of the vine and the branches is meant to mean that we need to abide in Christ in order to BE His followers - Jn 10 says that true Christians WILL DO just that (because, as Paul later said, it is God who is at work in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure). Those whose faith is not real will not abide in Him, will not bear good fruit and will ultimately be condemned because they have not shown any EVIDENCE of having TRULY been in Christ - why not? Because, although grafted into the VISIBLE body of Christ (the professing church), they failed to draw upon Him and thereby showed the emptiness of whatever apparent "faith" they had. This is the great lesson of ALL the parables where there are two types of professing believers - it's not that ALL are genuine and SOME of them will lose their salvation - it's that there are the TRUE and the FALSE - ALL the true will ultimately be saved and ALL the false will die in their sins.

Well that certainly is a take on the OP, however it's not one which I believe can be supported by the text presented in the OP. Once again the fact that we disagree doesn't come as any surprise. :pray:

9Marksfan
Dec 11th 2007, 05:35 PM
Well that certainly is a take on the OP, however it's not one which I believe can be supported by the text presented in the OP. Once again the fact that we disagree doesn't come as any surprise. :pray:

So what's your interpretation of Jn 10 and Rom8?

Mark F
Dec 11th 2007, 05:44 PM
BD,

I agree with you understanding in the OP. I think another thing to remember is that Jesus is addressing the 11 remaining disciples not a crowd. The last supper was the Lord's words of direction prior to His departure. He was warning them to remain and be fruitful.

Consider this from 1 Corinthians 3:9-15;

9 "For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." NKJV

Isn't this the same just said differently? Paul is addressing believers, verse 9 makes that clear. I agree this is not a teaching on salvation.

Good post.

Mark

9Marksfan
Dec 11th 2007, 05:57 PM
BD,

I agree with you understanding in the OP. I think another thing to remember is that Jesus is addressing the 11 remaining disciples not a crowd. The last supper was the Lord's words of direction prior to His departure. He was warning them to remain and be fruitful.

Consider this from 1 Corinthians 3:9-15;

9 "For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." NKJV

Isn't this the same just said differently?

No - this is speaking about how individual local churches should be "built" (spiritually, that is) - it is NOT about individual believers' lives, although so often it is quoted as such. Many think it actually refers to pastors or church leaders, as they are responsible for the oversight of how each local church is "built". See the the thread "How should we build our churches?"


Paul is addressing believers, verse 9 makes that clear.

Amen!


I agree this is not a teaching on salvation.

What - the OP? Or the 1 Cor 3 passage? Or both?

Alaska
Dec 11th 2007, 06:15 PM
The condition of abiding or not abiding, living or dying isn't lost in the aspect of them being in his hand. We have the choice to abandon Jesus and get out of his hand, otherwise love would not be of choice.
Choice of life or death was given to those before the fall in the garden and it also exists for us who have been atoned for, reconciled to God through Christ, and are walking in the presence of God in faith.

Paul relates this well in 2 Cor. 11:
2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

These believers had been effected by some who had introduced bad doctrine. He feared for their salvation along the lines of how Eve was beguiled and lost life. They had gotten to the point by way of these bad influences that if another Jesus or spirit was introduced by some false teacher they might even entertain him instead of not receiving him into their midst as exhorted by John and as exemplified by Pauls testimony in Gal. 2. where no place was given to the falseness.

I believe the error of the doctrine you hold lies in the misappropriation of priority of verses. Instead of incorporating the precedent of the possibility of a person to not abide, which reality exists for all believers as it did for Adam and Eve, that reality as found throughout the NT is being dismissed with regard to the John 10 account.
Instead of throwing out the repeated Biblical reality of the possibilty for someone to abide and then fall away, simply look at John 10 as Jesus speaking with regard to those who he takes for granted will abide and not fall away.

Let no man take thy crown. That warning wouldn't be there if it were not possible for a persons crown to be taken. Yet for those abiding, true, their crown cannot be taken, no man is able to pluck them out of his hand.
Abiding is walking in His Spirit and growing. Not abiding is not walking in the spirit which means sin will enter. Jesus spoke of the deceitfulness of sin. Those are not idle words. What we believe affects our behaviour; our behaviour determines our eternal destiny.

alethos
Dec 11th 2007, 07:45 PM
So what's your interpretation of Jn 10 and Rom8?

Thats a topic for a new thread. The topic of this thread according to the OP is John 15:1-8 :hmm:

9Marksfan
Dec 11th 2007, 11:36 PM
The condition of abiding or not abiding, living or dying isn't lost in the aspect of them being in his hand. We have the choice to abandon Jesus and get out of his hand, otherwise love would not be of choice.

Would you like to cite me one verse that even REMOTELY justifies that humanistic concept?


Choice of life or death was given to those before the fall in the garden

I believe that was the Covenant of Works. We now live under the Covenant of Grace.


and it also exists for us who have been atoned for, reconciled to God through Christ, and are walking in the presence of God in faith.

Well, if it's the same scenario as Adam and Eve, in what way is the new covenant "better", as Hebrews so clearly contends that it is?


Paul relates this well in 2 Cor. 11:
2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

These believers had been effected by some who had introduced bad doctrine. He feared for their salvation

Well forgie me but my reading of it doesn't pick up anything about salvation - rather about their minds being corrupted.


along the lines of how Eve was beguiled and lost life. They had gotten to the point by way of these bad influences that if another Jesus or spirit was introduced by some false teacher they might even entertain him instead of not receiving him into their midst as exhorted by John and as exemplified by Pauls testimony in Gal. 2. where no place was given to the falseness.

I guess so - but, left to our own devices, sure - every believer would fall away. The whole point of my reference to Jn 10 and Rom 8 is: will God allow that to happen? The answer is clearly "no". That is the whole point of the new covenant!


I believe the error of the doctrine you hold lies in the misappropriation of priority of verses. Instead of incorporating the precedent of the possibility of a person to not abide, which reality exists for all believers as it did for Adam and Eve, that reality as found throughout the NT is being dismissed with regard to the John 10 account.

I'm not dismissing it - I'm saying that God's commitment to His people under the new covenant will ensure that not one is lost.


Instead of throwing out the repeated Biblical reality of the possibilty for someone to abide and then fall away, simply look at John 10 as Jesus speaking with regard to those who he takes for granted will abide and not fall away.

I see - so I have to bow down and worship the doctrine of falling away permanently and make sure I violate the clear meaning of such passages, even though that would mean negating the most glorious promises in the universe? Wow - I really am missing out here!


Let no man take thy crown. That warning wouldn't be there if it were not possible for a persons crown to be taken.

See above. I'll go one further - it's more than a possibility. If God were to leave it up to regenerated Christians to keep themselves, as you're advocating, falling away completely wouldn't just be a possibility - it would be a certainty for every one of us.


Yet for those abiding, true, their crown cannot be taken, no man is able to pluck them out of his hand.

And who are those who abide, according to John 10?


Abiding is walking in His Spirit and growing. Not abiding is not walking in the spirit which means sin will enter. Jesus spoke of the deceitfulness of sin. Those are not idle words.

Well, at least we're agreed there.


What we believe affects our behaviour;

Correct.


our behaviour determines our eternal destiny.

To quote Paul, if that were the case "grace would not be grace".

Rather, our behaviour DEMONSTRATES our eternal destiny.

9Marksfan
Dec 11th 2007, 11:37 PM
Thats a topic for a new thread. The topic of this thread according to the OP is John 15:1-8 :hmm:

Do you wanna start it or will I?!?

coldfire136
Dec 11th 2007, 11:55 PM
Hi guys. I looked through the first few posts here, and am a bit surprised at the amount of hardliners in here. There are some verses that support a Calvinist side of the world, and there are some verses that support an arminian view of the world. There have been church fathers from both traditions. Some say we have free will, and others say that God has preordained all things.

I can't prove this right now, but I think the Old Testament actually shows that man has quite a bit of free will, and it is mostly Paul and sometimes John that argue for a Calvinist view of the world. John, however, is complicated because scholars do not agree whether he was writing to a Greek or a Jewish audience (but this is a story for another thread). The reality is, that we can quote bible verses and logical arguments to each other all day, but the Bible supports both views, and I would argue that this means we are to accept both views when necessary.

RogerW
Dec 12th 2007, 12:05 AM
Hi guys. I looked through the first few posts here, and am a bit surprised at the amount of hardliners in here. There are some verses that support a Calvinist side of the world, and there are some verses that support an arminian view of the world. There have been church fathers from both traditions. Some say we have free will, and others say that God has preordained all things.

I can't prove this right now, but I think the Old Testament actually shows that man has quite a bit of free will, and it is mostly Paul and sometimes John that argue for a Calvinist view of the world. John, however, is complicated because scholars do not agree whether he was writing to a Greek or a Jewish audience (but this is a story for another thread). The reality is, that we can quote bible verses and logical arguments to each other all day, but the Bible supports both views, and I would argue that this means we are to accept both views when necessary.


Sorry coldfire but these two views are incompatible. If the Bible supports both views then we may as well throw it in the trash because to support both views causes contradiction in the Word. How can "All scripture be given by inspiration of God, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" if it is not harmonious, and one passage contradicts another?

Many Blessings,
RW

coldfire136
Dec 12th 2007, 12:12 AM
Hi Roger,
I am more of an arminian than a Calvinist, but I have to leave room open for Calvinism because the Bible leaves room open for it. To say that, because I leave room open for both, makes the Bible untrue is a Western leap in logic. The Bible was not written for the west, but for a small nation in the ancient near east who didn't understand why God could allow certain things to happen, and for a small group of people known as "the way" who were standing up against the customs of the Roman empire for a no-name carpenter turned Rabbi named Jesus. If we let our western logic get in the way of the powerful texts and throw them out, then we are wise fools.

Danny

SemperReformanda
Dec 12th 2007, 12:42 AM
Hi Roger,
I am more of an arminian than a Calvinist, but I have to leave room open for Calvinism because the Bible leaves room open for it. To say that, because I leave room open for both, makes the Bible untrue is a Western leap in logic. The Bible was not written for the west, but for a small nation in the ancient near east who didn't understand why God could allow certain things to happen, and for a small group of people known as "the way" who were standing up against the customs of the Roman empire for a no-name carpenter turned Rabbi named Jesus. If we let our western logic get in the way of the powerful texts and throw them out, then we are wise fools.

Danny

Hi Danny,
I've remained silent so far on this thread, but I have to come in now.

Something that both Calvinist and Arminian alike believe is that the Bible is God's inerrant and infallible word, and that it will never contradict itself. "Logic" is not a Western construct, logic is something we know is an attribute of God. God doesn't (and cannot) tell a lie, and if He tells us two things that contradict each other, it is no longer God's word.

Mark F
Dec 12th 2007, 01:03 AM
9Marksfan,

I agree with your disection of Alaska's reply.

The comparison I used from 1 Corinthians I agree is speaking of the leaders in the Corinthian Church, howerver, we also need to apply this principle if we are responsible for teaching others. I as a husband and father must be right in the building of those given to my instruction, I expect to answer for what materials I supplied in the building of my family's faith. And to offhandedly reject a single interpretation is too quick of a response. Many passages in Scripture have more than one practical application.

John 15 is clear in stating that we will be fruitless if we don't keep our eyes on Christ. He told them clearly that all they can do is depend on Him to be able to do any work of His. Had one of them been puffed up and thought in his heart that he was now smart enough on his own to carry out the will of God I would assume he would have been taken out of the way by God.

You made it very clear to Alaska that we are kept secure in our salvation if it was true to begin with, but to remain in a right adjustment to the Holy Spirit does require us to continue in dependence of Jesus. Even if we are saved we still can sin and disqualify ourselves from the usefulness of God. Paul addresses this in 1 Cor. 9:24-27;

24 "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." NKJV

Paul could say "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Tim. 4:7 NKJV) because he did "abide in Christ".

alethos
Dec 12th 2007, 01:12 AM
Do you wanna start it or will I?!?

You can if thats your desire. I will look at what you post, but I cannot guarantee you that I will reply. But who knows?

Alaska
Dec 12th 2007, 01:45 AM
Quote: Alaska
Let no man take thy crown. That warning wouldn't be there if it were not possible for a persons crown to be taken.


See above. I'll go one further - it's more than a possibility. If God were to leave it up to regenerated Christians to keep themselves, as you're advocating, falling away completely wouldn't just be a possibility - it would be a certainty for every one of us.


You are jumping to conclusions. It is impossible for us on our own to obey, yet obedience is required for salvation. By walking in the Spirit, which is abiding in Him, we will not commit the works of the flesh. In our weakness is his strength made perfect. The avenue for His life to be made manifest in us is by realizing that it is not in us to direct our way. Christanity works that by accepting Jesus and his promise, we get grace to obey so that we can say our obedience is not of ourselves lest we should boast but rather of that grace that teaches us to deny ungodliness and live righteously. Much of modern Christianity is promoting a different grace, a different Jesus, a different Spirit, than that of the rightly divided Word.

Paul does not throw out works of obedience to the NT as necessary for salvation, as you must also agree to. What is thrown out is the boasting that the fruit of obedience is of ourselves.

Another example of placing a misunderstanding of Paul's writing as a priority verse upon which other verses are forced to wrongly align:
Eph. 2:8,9 are probably the most violated verses in the NT along with other verses in Rom. taken out of context negating that works along with faith are necessary for the Christian to be right with God (justified).

By works a man is justified and not by faith only. Being right with God and salvation cannot be divided.

Rom. 8:
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Rom.6:
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

9Marksfan
Dec 12th 2007, 01:51 AM
9Marksfan,

I agree with your disection of Alaska's reply.

The comparison I used from 1 Corinthians I agree is speaking of the leaders in the Corinthian Church, howerver, we also need to apply this principle if we are responsible for teaching others. I as a husband and father must be right in the building of those given to my instruction, I expect to answer for what materials I supplied in the building of my family's faith. And to offhandedly reject a single interpretation is too quick of a response. Many passages in Scripture have more than one practical application.

Agreed, although I am concerned at the individualistic approach taken by so many to this passage as if it referred to an individual believer's life only - the "you" is plural and Paul says "you are God's building" not "buildingS".


John 15 is clear in stating that we will be fruitless if we don't keep our eyes on Christ. He told them clearly that all they can do is depend on Him to be able to do any work of His. Had one of them been puffed up and thought in his heart that he was now smart enough on his own to carry out the will of God I would assume he would have been taken out of the way by God.

I'd love to believe that's all the passage means but I can't escape "and they are burned" - now there's really only one thing that can be referring to, isn't there?


You made it very clear to Alaska that we are kept secure in our salvation if it was true to begin with, but to remain in a right adjustment to the Holy Spirit does require us to continue in dependence of Jesus.[quote]

Of course, I believe that - but, you're right, I should have emphasised it more.

[quote]Even if we are saved we still can sin and disqualify ourselves from the usefulness of God. Paul addresses this in 1 Cor. 9:24-27;

24 "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." NKJV

While I agree with the concept (for example it's taught in eg 2 Pet 1:8), I think Paul is actually accepting here that he could have been entirely deluded about his own Christian experience - the word "disqualified" is very strong in the Greek - adokimos - which really means "reprobate" - a "castaway" who had made shipwreck of his faith.


Paul could say "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Tim. 4:7 NKJV) because he did "abide in Christ".

But he would be the first to admit that he was only able to do so because he could "do all things through Christ, who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13)because it was no longer he who lived but Christ who lived in Him (Gal 2:20)!

Alaska
Dec 12th 2007, 02:02 AM
"Logic" is not a Western construct, logic is something we know is an attribute of God. God doesn't (and cannot) tell a lie, and if He tells us two things that contradict each other, it is no longer God's word.

Hence we acknowledge that Jesus is speaking of those that he knows will abide in Him after accepting him, as branches that abide in the vine, when He speaks of the sheep which cannot be plucked out of his hand.

Otherwise we are forced to do some gymnastic exercise to show that 15 and 10 do not contradict.

Abiding is necessary as walking in the Spirit is necessary. Abiding is directly connected to walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

Whether it be branches in the vine or sheep in his hand
Abiding is necessary to enter that Land

Rev. 22:
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

9Marksfan
Dec 12th 2007, 02:07 AM
You are jumping to conclusions. It is impossible for us on our own to obey, yet obedience is required for salvation.

Not in the way you are meaning. It is the necessary fruit of being justified, but our justification has to be by faith apart from the works of the law (ie ANY kind of obedience). That's why in Titus Paul says that we have been justified "freely by His grace".


By walking in the Spirit, which is abiding in Him, we will not commit the works of the flesh. In our weakness is his strength made perfect. The avenue for His life to be made manifest in us is by realizing that it is not in us to direct our way. Christanity works that by accepting Jesus and his promise, we get grace to obey so that we can say our obedience is not of ourselves lest we should boast but rather of that grace that teaches us to deny ungodliness and live righteously.

Amen to all of that, but I'm very concerned at your starting point for justification - do you believe Luther was wrong?


Much of modern Christianity is promoting a different grace, a different Jesus, a different Spirit, than that of the rightly divided Word.

If you mean antinomianism and a "cheap grace", you're dead right - but don't go to the other extreme!


Paul does not throw out works of obedience to the NT as necessary for salvation,

Actually he does as far as justification is concerned! But justification CANNOT be separated from sanctification - one will produce the other, but justification MUST come first! It is a forensic act of God, not something that man does to gain God's approval - you are confusing justification with sanctification!


as you must also agree to.

A million miles away from the way I think you mean it. Do you believe in the New Perspective on Paul, as proposed by eg NT Wright?


What is thrown out is the boasting that the fruit of obedience is of ourselves.

Not just that!


Another example of placing a misunderstanding of Paul's writing as a priority verse upon which other verses are forced to wrongly align:
Eph. 2:8,9 are probably the most violated verses in the NT along with other verses in Rom. taken out of context negating that works along with faith are necessary for the Christian to be right with God (justified).

Now I REALLY think you believe in NPP! Are you aware of John Piper's recent book "The Future of Justification: A Response to N T Wright"?


By works a man is justified and not by faith only.

Now it is you who are taking JAMES out of context!


Being right with God and salvation cannot be divided.

Of course - but do we need to do any kind of work for God to justify us? If so, at what point are we justified?


Rom. 8:
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Rom.6:
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

These verses are describing sanctification - not justification!

Alaska
Dec 12th 2007, 02:40 AM
Quote:
Rom. 8:
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Rom.6:
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

These verses are describing sanctification - not justification!



Couldn't Romans 6:16 above be shown to a person about ready to accept that he must repent and as an encouragement to do so? And would we not acknowledge that that person is being affected by the working of God's grace as a result of hearing the word, which is the cause of his repentance, that it is not of himself lest he should boast but of the word of Christ's grace that works in him?

The principle of yielding, whether applied to someone not yet yielded and hence unjustified or someone already justified seeking to yield further just validates the point being made in the discussion; Abiding is necessary; John 10 does not negate the principle that we at any time have the potential to yield to sin and to becomed deceived thereby to the extent that though once saved, we will instead be damned.

Rom. 11:
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

I have no knowledge of the men that you refer to. But I have knowledge of the Word, which is what should be discussed here.

Mark F
Dec 12th 2007, 02:42 AM
RogerW, SemperReformanda,

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." Eph. 1:3-6 NKJV

The above is one of hundreds of verses that talk of election, being chosen by God for salvation, predestined, called according to His purpose before time began.

"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36 NKJV

The above is one of hundreds of verses that tell us if we do not believe we will be held guilty of sin.


"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9 NKJV


You both say with certainty that if the Bible says something we see as contadictory we can't believe any of it. SemperReformanda, you said that all God says has logic, consider this:

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Cor. 1:18 NKJV

and this:

"For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." 1 Cor. 1:21 NKJV

What's logical about the saving of sinful men?


I know this thread got hi-jacked, and I in your eyes will most likely be written off as someone who dosen't have a clue, but an honest evaluation of Scripture has many things that we cannot take an "I have it all figured out" stand on. I surely take more by faith than logic or understanding, the Bible says God "spoke" the world into existence, I simply cannot comprehend that in any way, shape, or form....yet I believe it absolutely. Why does blood have to be shed for the remission of sins? Because God decided it. I accept that.

"Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith." Habakkuk 2:4

I hope we are not self deceived to say to ourselves that "I have got it all figured out", that would be the beginning of error.

I should quit now, my simple use of words must be killing some of you who only use words my english teacher knows the meaning of.;)


Mark

Alaska
Dec 12th 2007, 02:53 AM
Quote:
Being right with God and salvation cannot be divided.

Of course - but do we need to do any kind of work for God to justify us? If so, at what point are we justified?



Is not repentance a work, an action necessary to be right with God?
Is not prayer a work, an action necessary to be right with God?
Jesus called "believing" a work.
Will you deny that these are works, actions?

As long as our sins have not been remitted, they are held against us, we are not right with God, we are not justified in Christ.
Some steps need to be taken by the hearer of the Gospel in order for that to happen. Do you not agree? Can a newly introduced person to the Gospel be justified and yet refuse to repent, or pray?

SemperReformanda
Dec 12th 2007, 03:00 AM
RogerW, SemperReformanda,

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." Eph. 1:3-6 NKJV

The above is one of hundreds of verses that talk of election, being chosen by God for salvation, predestined, called according to His purpose before time began.

"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36 NKJV

The above is one of hundreds of verses that tell us if we do not believe we will be held guilty of sin.
I affirm both your statements here.



"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9 NKJV

You both say with certainty that if the Bible says something we see as contadictory we can't believe any of it.
I did not say that. I said that if the Bible contradicts itself, it is no longer God's word, because God doesn't contradict Himself. I was arguing against Danny's assertion that we can say that the Bible contradicts itself and still be a Christian.


SemperReformanda, you said that all God says has logic, consider this:

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Cor. 1:18 NKJV

and this:

"For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." 1 Cor. 1:21 NKJV
Do these passages have anything to do with logic? All they say is that the non-believer sees the message of the cross as foolish.

What's logical about the saving of sinful men?
If God does it, then it is logical. ;)

Brother Mark
Dec 12th 2007, 03:16 AM
If God does it, then it is logical. ;)

Then we are not and should not be surprised if we find seeming paradoxes and contradictions in scripture. For his ways are not our ways nor do we often understand them.

God may be orderly, but logic is defined often by culture.

SemperReformanda
Dec 12th 2007, 04:15 AM
Then we are not and should not be surprised if we find seeming paradoxes and contradictions in scripture. For his ways are not our ways nor do we often understand them.

God may be orderly, but logic is defined often by culture.
Your second point I agree with, but I do not subscribe to the idea that God's word presents us in Scripture with something that cannot be understood by the human mind. Sin can create paradoxes, but God's word is clear to the mind renewed by the Spirit.

Theophilus
Dec 12th 2007, 02:20 PM
...I do not subscribe to the idea that God's word presents us in Scripture with something that cannot be understood by the human mind. ...

Oh, I don't know...I can't fully comprehend eternity, or every facet of the Trinity, or how God could love humanity so much to sacrifice Himself for us, to name but a few.

I think I know in part...but not everything in full. :)

Partaker of Christ
Dec 12th 2007, 03:20 PM
John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.


John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Jesus says "I am the 'TRUE' vine"
He did not here say, 'I am the vine', but the True vine.
There are a number of vines in scripture, and Israel is the vine out of Egypt , but He is the True Vine.

John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

This is a branch in the True Vine; "every branch in me" If the branch is in the True Vine, then it is abiding in Him.
The "taketh away" is not a 'cast forth, cast out or cast down action. It is lifting action to the taking.

So why would a branch in the True Vine, not produce 'true' fruit. The life for the fruit comes from the vine, not the branches. The branches are mere vehicles/vessels for the wine to pass through. Many Christians are struggling to produce their own 'true' fruit, in their own strength.

John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Jesus says that now you are clean or pure, through the word that I have spoken, abide in me, and I in you.
They are now clean, separate from the world and the old vine, but as Christ has not yet died and risen, they are not yet in the True Vine, (planted into His death and resurrection) That was still to happen, and though clean, they could not bring forth fruit by themselves. Christ could not yet be in them, and they could not yet be in Christ.

John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Apart from Him, we can do nothing.

The 'Abiding' is 'belonging to' Belong to the True Vine.
A branch does not have to struggle and strive to stay in the tree, by self effort. You just don't walk through the park, and see a whole lot of branches shaking themselves, to stay on the tree. A branch may be broken off

John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

This, "If a man abide not in me", Is not 'If a branch abide not in me'
This is not the same condition as the one in verse 2. That branch was in the vine.

Anyone not in me, is cast forth as[like] a branch, and is withered, and gathered, and cast into the fire. Is this 'fire' the lake of fire? What about the Judgment first?

John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
This "ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you" is for the now, and not some future enduring/staying to the end. Is it that we have finished the course, and then ask what we will?

DeafPosttrib
Dec 12th 2007, 05:01 PM
Actually, both 'abide' and bringeth' are action of present tense, yes they are conditional. We must meet of being abide and being bringing in our lifetime. Everyone are branch in the vine. At the beginning, when we accepted Christ, we are start to growing as branch. Branch have to be growing like as we 'carry' our fruits forth while we are remain in Christ same time. If we stop remain in Christ in the midst of our life, and not carry our fruits, then we would be cut off and cast in fire like as Romans 11:19-23 described.

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

Partaker of Christ
Dec 12th 2007, 07:11 PM
Actually, both 'abide' and bringeth' are action of present tense, yes they are conditional. We must meet of being abide and being bringing in our lifetime. Everyone are branch in the vine. At the beginning, when we accepted Christ, we are start to growing as branch. Branch have to be growing like as we 'carry' our fruits forth while we are remain in Christ same time. If we stop remain in Christ in the midst of our life, and not carry our fruits, then we would be cut off and cast in fire like as Romans 11:19-23 described.

In Christ
Rev. 22:20 -Amen!

If we are not remaining in Christ then we are cut off?
Cut off from what?

And were in Romans 11: 19-23 does it describe being cast into a fire?

SemperReformanda
Dec 12th 2007, 07:59 PM
Oh, I don't know...I can't fully comprehend eternity, or every facet of the Trinity, or how God could love humanity so much to sacrifice Himself for us, to name but a few.

I think I know in part...but not everything in full. :)
I agree we cannot comprehend every facet of the Trinity. However, we can comprehend the Trinity in the way that the Bible presents it: One God, in Three Persons. I don't believe that it is a seeming paradox or contradiction to say that.

Brother Mark
Dec 12th 2007, 08:07 PM
I agree we cannot comprehend every facet of the Trinity. However, we can comprehend the Trinity in the way that the Bible presents it: One God, in Three Persons. I don't believe that it is a seeming paradox or contradiction to say that.

But that is only because you believe it. To one who doesn't accept it, it is illogical.

Scripture is not always logical and God often tells us to do things that do not make sense. He told Peter to walk on the water. Any logical mind would reject it.

Faith is not always based in logic. For this reason, not many wise are chosen.

SemperReformanda
Dec 12th 2007, 08:15 PM
But that is only because you believe it. To one who doesn't accept it, it is illogical.
Because their mind is set on things of the flesh. If we believe that God created logic as an outworking of His nature (He cannot tell a lie), then we must believe that God defines logic, and that non-Christians are sinning when they say that Christianity is illogical. If it is true, then it is logical.


Scripture is not always logical and God often tells us to do things that do not make sense. He told Peter to walk on the water. Any logical mind would reject it.
Any sinful logical mind would reject it. Anything that our mind rejects in scripture as illogical is not illogical, rather our mind refuses to see the logic because of our sin.

If God tells us to do illogical things, then God is the author of confusion. What God tells us to do may seem illogical, but that is only the work of our sinful heart and mind.


Faith is not always based in logic. For this reason, not many wise are chosen.
Do you believe that it is rational and logical for someone to refuse to be a Christian?

Brother Mark
Dec 12th 2007, 08:24 PM
Because their mind is set on things of the flesh. If we believe that God created logic as an outworking of His nature (He cannot tell a lie), then we must believe that God defines logic, and that non-Christians are sinning when they say that Christianity is illogical. If it is true, then it is logical.

Oh no problem there. I just don't think your definition of logic and mine will be the same. For instance, in western society, Greek thinking is referred to as logic. However, I don't think this holds up upon closer inspection to say that is the kind of logic God always uses. Jesus is God. God is omnipresent. Was Jesus omnipresent while he was on the earth? Three persons that are all one is logical in eastern thinking more so than in ours.

What am I saying? That linear logic is limited but God is not. If we approach scripture with only linear logic we will miss much of what God is trying to teach us.


Any sinful logical mind would reject it. Anything that our mind rejects in scripture as illogical is not illogical, rather our mind refuses to see the logic because of our sin.

As long as we define logic as coming from God, I agree. Define it as linear, and I will disagree.


If God tells us to do illogical things, then God is the author of confusion. What God tells us to do may seem illogical, but that is only the work of our sinful heart and mind.

Correct. Just pushing the point that God is bigger than and not bound by linear logic.


Do you believe that it is rational and logical for someone to refuse to be a Christian?

Nope. But logic never won one convert.

SemperReformanda
Dec 12th 2007, 08:40 PM
I agree with everything you just said. I thought we were talking past each other.

Brother Mark
Dec 12th 2007, 09:03 PM
I agree with everything you just said. I thought we were talking past each other.

Just checking. Thanks for being patient.

Alaska
Dec 12th 2007, 09:32 PM
Deducing the meaning of a scripture is a form of logic. A logic that the Holy Spirit inspires.
Take for example:
Matt. 22:
23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,
24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:
26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.
27 And last of all the woman died also.
28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David.
43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

Deducing that Abraham Isaac and Jacob "live" is a form of logic. The Saducees logic was flawed because it wasn't according to knowledge, like the zeal Paul spoke that the Jews had that was not according to knowledge.
Look at the logic Peter used in Acts 2 and 4 with regard to why scriptures have to mean what he says they do.
Paul uses logic when preaching to the Gentiles.
Logic is not wrong, it is even inspired. But it has to be sound logic built on the truth of rightly divided scripture.
If by faith we perceive a depth of meaning in something because what other scriptures say about the same subject, is that perception going to be accused as logic and therefore be rejected?
Perhaps the religious folks in Acts and the Gospels rejected Jesus and the Apostles with an accusation that they used logic and it didn't fit their preconceived conclusions of what scriptures meant.

There are many examples of wisdom and logic employed by Jesus and the NT authors.

To take John 10 without the deduction that safety is on the condition of abiding in His hand as the vine must abide to flourish, lacks a basic and necessary use of deduction that Jesus takes for granted we will employ.
Paul makes reference to those who were not skillful in their handling of the Word. This would, among other things, apply to misapplying verses due to the inabilty to perceive some depth due to other verses that relate.

When I say "I came to America by air", is that to be taken without the acknowledgment that it is necessary to get on a plane to do that? Should we fear that someone will think it means I spread my arms and flew like a bird? Jesus took for granted that his hearers would have enough understanding to perceive that being safe in his hand as per John 10 is on condition of remaining there. As a branch not getting burnt is on condition of abiding in the vine.

Brother Mark
Dec 12th 2007, 09:37 PM
Perhaps I helped in derailing this thread. Maybe we should start another thread on logic. ;)

Alaska
Dec 12th 2007, 09:47 PM
The thread is not derailed.

See the First Post as it relates to John 15 and abiding as the condition as opposed to doctrine that denies condition.

Showing the wisdom of scripures to prove that the verses used to deny condition (John 10) are simply not being used correctly, is very much in line with the First Post.

Partaker of Christ
Dec 12th 2007, 10:19 PM
Deducing the meaning of a scripture is a form of logic. A logic that the Holy Spirit inspires.
Take for example:
Matt. 22:
23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,
24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:
26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.
27 And last of all the woman died also.
28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David.
43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

Deducing that Abraham Isaac and Jacob "live" is a form of logic. The Saducees logic was flawed because it wasn't according to knowledge, like the zeal Paul spoke that the Jews had that was not according to knowledge.
Look at the logic Peter used in Acts 2 and 4 with regard to why scriptures have to mean what he says they do.
Paul uses logic when preaching to the Gentiles.
Logic is not wrong, it is even inspired. But it has to be sound logic built on the truth of rightly divided scripture.
If by faith we perceive a depth of meaning in something because what other scriptures say about the same subject, is that perception going to be accused as logic and therefore be rejected?
Perhaps the religious folks in Acts and the Gospels rejected Jesus and the Apostles with an accusation that they used logic and it didn't fit their preconceived conclusions of what scriptures meant.

There are many examples of wisdom and logic employed by Jesus and the NT authors.

To take John 10 without the deduction that safety is on the condition of abiding in His hand as the vine must abide to flourish, lacks a basic and necessary use of deduction that Jesus takes for granted we will employ.
Paul makes reference to those who were not skillful in their handling of the Word. This would, among other things, apply to misapplying verses due to the inabilty to perceive some depth due to other verses that relate.

When I say "I came to America by air", is that to be taken without the acknowledgment that it is necessary to get on a plane to do that? Should we fear that someone will think it means I spread my arms and flew like a bird? Jesus took for granted that his hearers would have enough understanding to perceive that being safe in his hand as per John 10 is on condition of remaining there. As a branch not getting burnt is on condition of abiding in the vine.

And does this logic say that a branch, has to strive to stay on the tree?

Does logic (as some claim) say that a branch that is not in the vine (not abiding), get cut off from the vine?
How can it 'logically' be cut off, if it is already off?

alethos
Dec 12th 2007, 10:43 PM
Does logic (as some claim) say that a branch that is not in the vine (not abiding), get cut off from the vine?
How can it 'logically' be cut off, if it is already off?

I hope you realize that no branch ever got to become a branch unless it was abiding in the vine at one time. It had to be connected at some time.

Partaker of Christ
Dec 12th 2007, 10:53 PM
I hope you realize that no branch ever got to become a branch unless it was abiding in the vine at one time. It had to be connected at some time.

Of course, but that does not answer the question.

I will put it a little different;
Can a branch that once abided, and now not abiding (not in the vine) be cut off from the vine?

alethos
Dec 12th 2007, 11:20 PM
Of course, but that does not answer the question.

I will put it a little different;
Can a branch that once abided, and now not abiding (not in the vine) be cut off from the vine?

Branches that were once abiding in vines are cut off all the time. Surley you have been outside and noticed dead branches laying beside what they previously were attached to. All disconnected branches had to have some connection to the vine at some time before. How do you think they get to be branches? Did they become branches without being connected?

Partaker of Christ
Dec 12th 2007, 11:52 PM
Branches that were once abiding in vines are cut off all the time. Surley you have been outside and noticed dead branches laying beside what they previously were attached to. All disconnected branches had to have some connection to the vine at some time before. How do you think they get to be branches? Did they become branches without being connected?

How can you cut it off, if it is not on?

Alaska
Dec 13th 2007, 12:18 AM
John 15:
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

In Rom. it is said of Gentiles that they of them who have believed are wild branches grafted in among the natural branches which represent the nation of Israel. Christians are made members of the commonwealth of Israel.

Notice the aspect of the need of abiding and the warning to Christians concerning the consequences for ceasing to abide after having abided.

Rom. 11:
16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

It could be said, IF we continue to abide in His goodness, otherwise we will be cut off. He is speaking to born again Spirit filled believers.

But someone not keeping his commandments isn't abiding in him anyway according to what Jesus said.
He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.
That is the condition: Abide in His hand and no man will then be able to pluck us out of his hand.

Rom. 6:
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

It takes a conscious effort to yield to his Spirit and grace and allow his life to control us. Yet this conscious effort is attributed to the working of God's word and grace in our lives for it is God that works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure, (obedience).

Gal. 5:
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

We are in a war. If someone isn't willing to fight, Jesus doesn't want them because we cannot be his disciple if we do not take up our cross and follow him.

alethos
Dec 13th 2007, 02:20 AM
How can you cut it off, if it is not on?

If you find a branch that is no longer connected to the vine, all that indictates is that it no longer is connected. But at the same time it doesn't take a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon to realize that it once was connected. There is no such thing as a branch that wasn't at least one time on the vine.
If you are able to answer the following questions you will have your answer. Can a branch even become a branch without the vine? How does a branch become a branch?

9Marksfan
Dec 13th 2007, 12:03 PM
Is not repentance a work, an action necessary to be right with God?
Is not prayer a work, an action necessary to be right with God?
Jesus called "believing" a work.
Will you deny that these are works, actions?

Of course not - would you agree that they are "righteous"?


As long as our sins have not been remitted, they are held against us, we are not right with God, we are not justified in Christ.

Amen to that!


Some steps need to be taken by the hearer of the Gospel in order for that to happen. Do you not agree?

No - God is the one who "took some steps" in Christ in order for us to be justified. Do you not agree? Don't you believe that salvation is "of the LORD" and "all this is from God"?


Can a newly introduced person to the Gospel be justified and yet refuse to repent, or pray?

No. Of course a justified person will pray and repent - but these things are the fruit not the cause of his being justified! Faith is the means of justification - and everything else flows from that!

Alaska
Dec 13th 2007, 06:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaska http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1468761#post1468761)
Is not repentance a work, an action necessary to be right with God?
Is not prayer a work, an action necessary to be right with God?
Jesus called "believing" a work.
Will you deny that these are works, actions?

Of course not - would you agree that they are "righteous"?



The only way I can see for one to say they are NOT righteous is to deny that it is God working in that person to both will and do of His good pleasure in fulfillment of the prophecy that the righteousness of God was to be manifested in those of the New Covenant. Christ working in them is of course righteous, that He might be glorified.

Isa. 61:
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.


Quote:
Some steps need to be taken by the hearer of the Gospel in order for that to happen. Do you not agree?

No - God is the one who "took some steps" in Christ in order for us to be justified. Do you not agree? Don't you believe that salvation is "of the LORD" and "all this is from God"?


So repentance, which we accredit to the working of grace as a result of faith, is not a required step?

9Marksfan
Dec 14th 2007, 10:37 AM
The only way I can see for one to say they are NOT righteous is to deny that it is God working in that person to both will and do of His good pleasure in fulfillment of the prophecy that the righteousness of God was to be manifested in those of the New Covenant. Christ working in them is of course righteous, that He might be glorified.

Isa. 61:
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

NOW we're getting somwehere! Yes, of course our repentance and faith are the "work of God" ("This is the work of God: to believe in His Son"; "God has granted even to the Gentiles repentance unto life"), BUT God does not repent and believe FOR us - rather He enables us to do so - agreed?


So repentance, which we accredit to the working of grace as a result of faith, is not a required step?

So long as we agree that Christ is the author of our faith and it is a gift from God and that repentance is as a result of the efficacious work of God's grace, then - yes! We're agreed!!!

Bible Doctrine
Dec 14th 2007, 06:05 PM
John 15:
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.


Correct. The person who asks, so what exactly is "abiding" and that is "if you keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love".

There are only two choices:

Abiding either means keeping saved or staying in fellowship. For those that believe this is SALVATIONAL then they, by default, are forced to believe that one can lose their salvation.

For the person that sees this as RELATIONAL, they understand that keeping His commandments is descriptive of receiving God's Word and applying it, i.e. relational, staying in fellowship. Hence they rightly conclude this is not about someone either losing salvation or not "really" ever being saved but a believer that either abides through received the Word (commandments), matures and bears fruit or fails to continue receiving the Word (does not abide) does not fully mature and does not bear fruit and is viewed as not useful, hence the description of using it as kindling wood.