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VerticalReality
Mar 24th 2008, 03:22 PM
Why is it that basically all Christians agree that it is God who saves, only He can enlighten someone to truth, and man cannot and will not see the truth of God's work without God's help, but in the same breath they say that unbelievers are capable of choosing the Lord and they must do so by their own faith? Furthermore, why do so many say that it is by faith that man is saved, and unbelievers are simply refusing to operate in faith that they should already have when Scripture makes it apparent to me that faith comes from and is given by God?

Do others see the contradiction in this also?

Buck shot
Mar 24th 2008, 04:58 PM
Why is it that basically all Christians agree that it is God who saves, only He can enlighten someone to truth, and man cannot and will not see the truth of God's work without God's help, but in the same breath they say that unbelievers are capable of choosing the Lord and they must do so by their own faith? Furthermore, why do so many say that it is by faith that man is saved, and unbelievers are simply refusing to operate in faith that they should already have when Scripture makes it apparent to me that faith comes from and is given by God?

Do others see the contradiction in this also?

Ephesians 2:8 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=56&chapter=2&verse=8&version=9&context=verse)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

It don't matter who else says it, God did, so it is so.

I think where there is confusion is the thought that unbelievers are capable of choosing by their faith. Unbelievers cannot understand to make the right choice without God opening their eyes to the truth. God does (I believe) give everyone at least one chance to see when His time is right for Him to do so. If the person chooses not to open the door when He knocks there is no promise of a second chance.

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

I hope this helps...

Illumined
Mar 24th 2008, 05:22 PM
Why is it that basically all Christians agree that it is God who saves, only He can enlighten someone to truth, and man cannot and will not see the truth of God's work without God's help, but in the same breath they say that unbelievers are capable of choosing the Lord and they must do so by their own faith? Furthermore, why do so many say that it is by faith that man is saved, and unbelievers are simply refusing to operate in faith that they should already have when Scripture makes it apparent to me that faith comes from and is given by God?

Do others see the contradiction in this also?

God makes Himself known to the lost. Everyone knows and has been approached by Him. It is at that point that each must choose, BUT....some people love their sin more than to turn from it.

John 3:19 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=50&chapter=3&verse=19&version=31&context=verse)
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

I have a good friend just like this.

The choice to turn is tough. If one is willing, God grants the faith to do so.

VerticalReality
Mar 24th 2008, 05:48 PM
God makes Himself known to the lost. Everyone knows and has been approached by Him. It is at that point that each must choose, BUT....some people love their sin more than to turn from it.

John 3:19 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=50&chapter=3&verse=19&version=31&context=verse)
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

I have a good friend just like this.

The choice to turn is tough. If one is willing, God grants the faith to do so.

God making Himself known is not the issue. The issue is that even though mankind knows about God they still run from Him. Of course God has made Himself known to all men. That is completely true and biblical. However, the Word also says that it is God that saves. So, if all men run from God, and it is God that changes mankind so that they can be saved, where does that leave us so that we don't fall into ditches and contradict ourselves?

Buck shot
Mar 24th 2008, 05:58 PM
God making Himself known is not the issue. The issue is that even though mankind knows about God they still run from Him. Of course God has made Himself known to all men. That is completely true and biblical. However, the Word also says that it is God that saves. So, if all men run from God, and it is God that changes mankind so that they can be saved, where does that leave us so that we don't fall into ditches and contradict ourselves?


Heb 13:5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

It leaves us "never left". We can still fall into the ditch but we are not the same as we once was. We have something that we used to not have. We have Christ who will pull us from the ditch and keep us on the right path.

amazzin
Mar 24th 2008, 06:06 PM
Why is it that basically all Christians agree that it is God who saves, only He can enlighten someone to truth, and man cannot and will not see the truth of God's work without God's help, but in the same breath they say that unbelievers are capable of choosing the Lord and they must do so by their own faith? Furthermore, why do so many say that it is by faith that man is saved, and unbelievers are simply refusing to operate in faith that they should already have when Scripture makes it apparent to me that faith comes from and is given by God?

Do others see the contradiction in this also?

The contradiction comes from people listening to too many different denominations. They listen to theologies and doctrine that are man made and they don't challenge those doctrines using scripture.

God saves because He made a way for us to be saved. That is through faith in Christ Jesus.

When God created you and me he gave us the ability to choose to be saved or not. To receive God's forgivess or not, to receieve the promise of the Father or not. All God did is make a way. It's like s road map. But we are the ones who chose to go on that journey the road map leads to.

So what do you choose?

VerticalReality
Mar 24th 2008, 06:07 PM
Heb 13:5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

It leaves us "never left". We can still fall into the ditch but we are not the same as we once was. We have something that we used to not have. We have Christ who will pull us from the ditch and keep us on the right path.

I'm not sure what it is you're trying to say here. The question is . . .

If unbelievers run from God . . . and unbelievers cannot save themselves . . . and they can't choose to all of a sudden turn in God's direction . . .

Then how are they supposed to choose by faith to live for the Lord?

visus
Mar 24th 2008, 06:10 PM
Why is it that basically all Christians agree that it is God who saves, only He can enlighten someone to truth, and man cannot and will not see the truth of God's work without God's help, but in the same breath they say that unbelievers are capable of choosing the Lord and they must do so by their own faith? Furthermore, why do so many say that it is by faith that man is saved, and unbelievers are simply refusing to operate in faith that they should already have when Scripture makes it apparent to me that faith comes from and is given by God?

Do others see the contradiction in this also?


I believe the faith the non-Christian acquires is through God via his Word/bible. As faith cometh by hearing the Word.

VerticalReality
Mar 24th 2008, 06:14 PM
The contradiction comes from people listening to too many different denominations. They listen to theologies and doctrine that are man made and they don't challenge those doctrines using scripture.

God saves because He made a way for us to be saved. That is through faith in Christ Jesus.

When God created you and me he gave us the ability to choose to be saved or not. To receive God's forgivess or not, to receieve the promise of the Father or not. All God did is make a way. It's like s road map. But we are the ones who chose to go on that journey the road map leads to.

So what do you choose?

So, you would say that God is not willing that any should perish, but also that many will reject God's will and choose otherwise, correct?

What would you then proclaim to those who say God's will cannot be successfully opposed or thwarted?

amazzin
Mar 24th 2008, 06:17 PM
So, you would say that God is not willing that any should perish, but also that many will reject God's will and choose otherwise, correct?

What would you then say to those who say God's will cannot be successfully opposed or thwarted?

Yes, and I don't want to get into a Once saved always saved discussion because I beleive that discussion is evil and demonic.

But to answer your last question; God's will cannot be opposed or thwarted but let it be no surprise, the Word of God already states what His perfect will is. It is not something that comes to us out of the blue

VerticalReality
Mar 24th 2008, 06:28 PM
Yes, and I don't want to get into a Once saved always saved discussion because I beleive that discussion is evil and demonic.

But to answer your last question; God's will cannot be opposed or thwarted but let it be no surprise, the Word of God already states what His perfect will is. It is not something that comes to us out of the blue

Well, this really isn't a "once saved always saved" discussion but more an arminian/reformed/universalist discussion. It seems to me that all three of those teachings fall into ditches, so it makes me leary to accept any of them.

But anyway, if God's will is that all come to repentance and God's will cannot be thrwarted then how do you reconcile that with teachings that all will not be saved and there will be an eternal punishment?

amazzin
Mar 24th 2008, 06:37 PM
Well, this really isn't a "once saved always saved" discussion but more an arminian/reformed/universalist discussion. It seems to me that all three of those teachings fall into ditches, so it makes me leary to accept any of them.

But anyway, if God's will is that all come to repentance and God's will cannot be thrwarted then how do you reconcile that with teachings that all will not be saved and there will be an eternal punishment?

Easy,...God gives the invitation and we either accept it or we don't. Those who don't go for an eternal bath in very hot coals!

VerticalReality
Mar 24th 2008, 06:47 PM
Easy,...God gives the invitation and we either accept it or we don't. Those who don't go for an eternal bath in very hot coals!

And that, being the arminian viewpoint, falls into the ditch that God's will is that none perish, His will cannot be thwarted, but still many will perish anyway.

VerticalReality
Mar 24th 2008, 06:53 PM
Here's the ditches as I see them . . .

Arminian -- God's will that none should perish is not accomplished but rather thwarted by man's own free will.

Reformed -- God is willing, and in fact has destined, that many folks will go to hell.

Univeralist -- Has to interpret a different meaning for "eternal" throughout the Scriptures that doesn't all the time mean "eternal".

Buck shot
Mar 24th 2008, 07:10 PM
I'm not sure what it is you're trying to say here. The question is . . .

If unbelievers run from God . . .


No "if", they do not want to be in the light.



and unbelievers cannot save themselves . . .


true, true...



and they can't choose to all of a sudden turn in God's direction . . .


I would think when God calls us and all of the sudden we understand, this is when we turned.



Then how are they supposed to choose by faith to live for the Lord?

Because this is what the Bible says...
Mark 2:5 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=48&chapter=2&verse=5&version=9&context=verse)
When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

VerticalReality
Mar 24th 2008, 07:17 PM
Because this is what the Bible says...
Mark 2:5 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=48&chapter=2&verse=5&version=9&context=verse)
When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

I realize that's what the bible says, but you are still not answering the question. Everyone already knows that it takes faith to believe and be forgiven of sin. However, that still does not address how this takes place.

amazzin
Mar 24th 2008, 09:25 PM
Here's the ditches as I see them . . .

Arminian -- God's will that none should perish is not accomplished but rather thwarted by man's own free will.

Reformed -- God is willing, and in fact has destined, that many folks will go to hell.

Univeralist -- Has to interpret a different meaning for "eternal" throughout the Scriptures that doesn't all the time mean "eternal".

We are a messed up bunch of people aren't we?

VerticalReality
Mar 24th 2008, 09:44 PM
I feel your pain VR. People just love to say that salvation is by grace and not works and that there is nothing we can do to obtain it. Then those same people in the same breath will say the all we have to DO is have faith or accept Christ. Well which is it? Grace alone or grace plus our works?

The bible clearly teaches that we should believe and clearly teaches that we are saved by grace. But the bible also clearly teaches that belief/faith is works and as such cannot help in salvation. People read the bible through their doctrinal eyes and only want to see the verses that prove their theology. People don't want to see it any other way. If I say that there is nothing we can do to contribute to salvation, noone will disagree. But if I explain exactly what that means and say the even faith contributes nothing then people get very defensive. Why is that? Because many self proclaimed "Christians" don't want to question their salvation. They would say "I accepted Christ 20 yrs ago. I know that I'm saved. I have to be, look at the wonderful Christ-like life I live. Noone will tell me different." Such a pity that is.

God gets the glory for my salvation. All the glory. Not most, all. A salvation that includes my works (faith or belief included) robs God of His rightful glory. If we must 1st believe then we get part of His glory. That is so because people are trying to say the God couldn't save us if we refused to believe. Our faith, they say is required. So in the end, God needed us. God needed us to have faith or He couldn't save us. In heaven we would have reason to boast. "I'm so glad I made the decision to accept YOU Jesus. I'm glad I was smart enough too. It feels good that I could make you God owe me something because I believed."

The biblical method of salvation would result in God getting all the praise. "Thank you Father for showing me such unspeakable mercy. I deserved your wrath but instead received your mercy. What did I do to deserve this? I know what I did, nothing. It was all You Father and I will praise you forever." No room to boast.

Just remember VR to follow the bible. Do not under any circumstances follow what the established Christian world follows. They hate this doctrine. If you follow what the bible says about this then you will for sure be rejected by 99% of the Christian world. Remember what Jesus said....

Jhn 15:18-19 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Doctrines that are of the world, unsaved man will gravitate toward. But the doctrine of the bible people naturally despise. If you follow the truth then you should expect to see much resistance. If you follow a lie then you will see little resistance but be accepted by the masses. I know that this post will sound harsh to 99% of the readers of it but I felt I needed to show you that you are not the only one who thinks this way.

I see what you're saying. However, this still ends up in a ditch as far as Scripture is concerned because if you take things from a reformed perspective you are saying one of two things . . .

1) God has simply chosen that some people are going to hell and doesn't want some folks to be saved, which totally doesn't fit the whole of Scripture, IMO

or . . .

2) God wants all to be saved, everyone will be, and the whole doctrine of eternal torment is a mistranslation

I find both of those views to be very difficult to believe.

VerticalReality
Mar 24th 2008, 09:46 PM
We are a messed up bunch of people aren't we?

That we are . . . :lol:

John146
Mar 24th 2008, 09:50 PM
I'm not sure what it is you're trying to say here. The question is . . .

If unbelievers run from God . . . and unbelievers cannot save themselves . . . and they can't choose to all of a sudden turn in God's direction . . .

Then how are they supposed to choose by faith to live for the Lord?

Who says they can't choose to turn in God's direction or choose to continue to run from God? Scripture itself says they can.

6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. - Isa 55:7

Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own mercy. - Jonah 2:8

8But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. - Jonah 3:8-10

For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. - Matt 13:15

9The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 2 Thess 2:8-9

15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. - Joshua 24:15

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

Eric

John146
Mar 24th 2008, 09:54 PM
I realize that's what the bible says, but you are still not answering the question. Everyone already knows that it takes faith to believe and be forgiven of sin. However, that still does not address how this takes place.

By the choice that people make within their hearts to believe or not.

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

John146
Mar 24th 2008, 09:59 PM
So, you would say that God is not willing that any should perish, but also that many will reject God's will and choose otherwise, correct?

What would you then proclaim to those who say God's will cannot be successfully opposed or thwarted?

Scripture teaches that God has both an unconditional will that can't be thwarted as well as a conditional will in which He reacts to man's behavior. An example of God's conditional will:

8But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. - Jonah 3:8-10

It was God's will to destroy the people of Nineveh IF they did not turn from their evil ways. But they did. So He relented and did not destroy them. There are plenty of other examples like this in Scripture.

Eric

VerticalReality
Mar 25th 2008, 12:09 AM
However, John146, the Word also says . . .



Psalm 5:9
For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.





Psalm 14:1-3
The fool has said in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.

The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one.




Romans 3:9-13
What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
As it is written:

“ There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
“ Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;


Clearly this says that none choose or seek after God. We all run from God. How do you reconcile these verses with the ones you presented, John146?

watchinginawe
Mar 25th 2008, 12:53 AM
Why is it that basically all Christians agree that it is God who saves, only He can enlighten someone to truth, and man cannot and will not see the truth of God's work without God's help, but in the same breath they say that unbelievers are capable of choosing the Lord and they must do so by their own faith?
...
Do others see the contradiction in this also?That was a long sentence. :lol: For me, it seems the whole godhead is involved in solving the contradiction:

It is God who saves: of course.Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; )

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Without grace there is no salvation. Without Jesus Christ, there is no grace. God saves through Christ Jesus.

Only God can enlighten someone to truth: Yes.John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;

10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

The Holy Ghost is on the job. The Holy Ghost also works through Christians to carry the Gospel and to testify to God's grace.

Man cannot and will not see the truth of God's work without God's help: Has God not helped?Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

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

The gospel of Christ contains the truth of God's work.

Unbelievers are capable of choosing the Lord: Unbelievers are capable of rejecting the Lord.Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.


Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

God Bless!

Mark F
Mar 25th 2008, 01:03 AM
Who says we are supposed to comprehend these things? I read that we are just to believe them even if to us, they seem to be in contrast to each other.

Abraham didn't understand how God was going to accomplish what He had promised him, but the Scriptures testify that Abraham believed.

I know the tension that you see here as I have seen it too. I have resigned to trust God that even when the Scriptures say that only the elect will be saved, then it says that those who do not believe will be found guilty. How can we reconcile these things? Surely arguing and belittling other's beliefs cannot be edifying.

So the Scriptures tell us that it is God who calls, that if the Father does not reveal the Son to us we can never know Him, yet if we don't believe the testimony that God has given of His Son will not see God.

This is all way beyond me, all I can do is recognize my complete insignificance and abandon my self-righteousness and fall before His feet and praise His holy name for His unexplainable mercy and grace! What the Scriptures declare is way too much for me!

John146
Mar 25th 2008, 02:51 PM
However, John146, the Word also says . . .


Clearly this says that none choose or seek after God. We all run from God. How do you reconcile these verses with the ones you presented, John146?

If you take a closer look at Psalm 14, you should see that it is the fools who say there is no God who do not seek God. None of them do. It is the workers of iniquity "who eat up my people" (Ps 14:4) who do not seek God. You are missing the context. It is their choice to believe there is no God and not seek Him. It is not saying that literally no one can seek God. If that was the case then that would directly contradict what is clearly taught in passages like Isaiah 55:7-8 and Hebrews 11:6-7. It would make no sense to tell the wicked to forsake their ways and seek the Lord while He may be found if no one was able to do so.

So, that's how I reconcile those passages with the ones I quoted. How do YOU reconcile them with your position?

Eric

VerticalReality
Mar 25th 2008, 03:04 PM
So, that's how I reconcile those passages with the ones I quoted. How do YOU reconcile them with your position?

Eric

First of all, you are misunderstanding here because I don't have a position. That is the purpose of this thread. The fact of the matter is that all the positions that I've seen fall into ditches at some point including yours, which seems to be arminian from what I can tell thus far. So, basically your position indicates that mankind can thwart God's will that none should perish and choose not to repent. However, others of the opposing positions will say that God's will cannot be thwarted by man and the arminian approach is unbiblical because of it. Looking at things honestly, they indeed have a good point. Each side has good points, but eventually they all fall into ditches and contradict other passages of Scripture.

John146
Mar 25th 2008, 03:36 PM
First of all, you are misunderstanding here because I don't have a position. That is the purpose of this thread. The fact of the matter is that all the positions that I've seen fall into ditches at some point including yours, which seems to be arminian from what I can tell thus far.

I don't fit into any of the 3 groups (Universalist, Calvinist, Arminian) that you think everyone must fit into. If I happen to agree with the Arminian view on some point, so be it, but I don't consider myself an Arminian.



So, basically your position indicates that mankind can thwart God's will that none should perish and choose not to repent.Yes, because that is what Scripture clearly teaches. Here is one example:

8But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. - Jonah 3:8-10

Here, we can clearly see that had they not turned from their evil ways they would have been destroyed. But they did turn from their evil ways so God relented and did not destroy them. It was clearly God's will that they turn from their evil ways, but it was not automatic that they would.

Here is another passage which is similar to Jonah 3:8-10 except this time the people chose not to repent and turn from their evil ways:

37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. - Matt 23:37-38

In that passage, Jesus was speaking specifically to the Pharisees and scribes and other religious Jews who refused to repent and believe in Him. He tells them what He would have done had they only repented and believed in Him. It was His will that they repent and believe in Him, but they "would not!".

Here is another example:

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. - Acts 7:51

In this verse Stephen tells the "stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears" that they resist the Holy Spirit just as their fathers did. This shows that the Holy Spirit can call a person but that person can choose to resist the Spirit rather than heed the call of the Spirit.




However, others of the opposing positions will say that God's will cannot be thwarted by man and the arminian approach is unbiblical because of it.I explained earlier that God has an unconditional will that cannot be thwarted. Who was going to stop Him from sending His Son to die for the sins of the whole world, for example? But He also has a conditional will in which He acts based on the beliefs or actions of people and that can be clearly seen in the Jonah 3:8-10 passage among many others.



Looking at things honestly, they indeed have a good point. Each side has good points, but eventually they all fall into ditches and contradict other passages of Scripture.Please tell me which passages I have contradicted.

IBWatching
Mar 25th 2008, 09:15 PM
I'm not sure what it is you're trying to say here. The question is . . .

If unbelievers run from God . . . and unbelievers cannot save themselves . . . and they can't choose to all of a sudden turn in God's direction . . .

Then how are they supposed to choose by faith to live for the Lord?

Don't confuse repentance with faith or Salvation. Man chooses when he repents. God grants (a grant is something which is asked for) them that repentance. Without it, Salvation is not possible. Jesus, Peter and Paul all said so. Repentance is not part of Salvation but is a prerequisite to it. Once God has granted (accepted) the repentance as genuine, then He can Work Salvation and give us the faith we need to live as a Believer.

Diolectic
Mar 26th 2008, 02:20 AM
Why is it that basically all Christians agree that it is God who saves, only He can enlighten someone to truth, and man cannot and will not see the truth of God's work without God's help, but in the same breath they say that unbelievers are capable of choosing the Lord and they must do so by their own faith?First of all, what is being "enlighten to truth"?
All mankind is able to acknowledge truth.
Man even seeks after truth.
It is when man finds God in the process of seeking the truth.

However, it is what they do with that truth when they find it.

Furthermore, why do so many say that it is by faith that man is saved, and unbelievers are simply refusing to operate in faith that they should already have when Scripture makes it apparent to me that faith comes from and is given by God?If God is responsible for mankind having faith, then HE is responsible for the lack of faith of mankind.
This is obviously not true.
All mankind has faith allready.
What matters is what/Who they have faith in.


The issue is that even though mankind knows about God they still run from Him.That is not all true.
Some run to Him when they find the truth.


If unbelievers run from God . . . and unbelievers cannot save themselves . . . and they can't choose to all of a sudden turn in God's direction . . .However there is apoint when one becomes a believer and then runs to HIM.
Why can't they all of a sudden turn in God's direction?


Then how are they supposed to choose by faith to live for the Lord?By changing their mind, and that by being persuaded of the truth.


What would you then proclaim to those who say God's will cannot be successfully opposed or thwarted?God's will was for Adam not to eat of that tree.
Adam ate of it, God's will was thwarted.
However, there is the Ultimate Will of God(His perfect will) that has been ordained from the beginning.


arminian/reformed/universalist. It seems to me that all three of those teachings fall into ditches, so it makes me leary to accept any of them.Are the ditches the logical conclusion of these theologies/doctrines?
It is good to be leary of them.
If something has a bad logical conclusion, it can not be true.


But anyway, if God's will is that all come to repentance and God's will cannot be thrwarted then how do you reconcile that with teachings that all will not be saved and there will be an eternal punishmentThat is not God's Ultimate Will.


Everyone already knows that it takes faith to believe and be forgiven of sin. However, that still does not address how this takes place.Are you asking how one puts his faith in Christ?
It is being persuaded of the truth and acting upon that truth.
Sure, one may be persuaded of the truth and hate the truth, he will not act upon it and not be saved.


Clearly this says that none choose or seek after God.Yes, but men do seek after truth and may find God in the process.

We all run from God.Where does it say that?


First of all, you are misunderstanding here because I don't have a position. That is the purpose of this thread. The fact of the matter is that all the positions that I've seen fall into ditches at some point including yours, which seems to be arminian from what I can tell thus far. So, basically your position indicates that mankind can thwart God's will that none should perish and choose not to repent. However, others of the opposing positions will say that God's will cannot be thwarted by man and the arminian approach is unbiblical because of it. Looking at things honestly, they indeed have a good point. Each side has good points, but eventually they all fall into ditches and contradict other passages of Scripture.I like this thread because it is attempting to find a posission that the logical conclussion is no in a ditch.

RogerW
Mar 26th 2008, 02:49 AM
I feel your pain VR. People just love to say that salvation is by grace and not works and that there is nothing we can do to obtain it. Then those same people in the same breath will say the all we have to DO is have faith or accept Christ. Well which is it? Grace alone or grace plus our works?

The bible clearly teaches that we should believe and clearly teaches that we are saved by grace. But the bible also clearly teaches that belief/faith is works and as such cannot help in salvation. People read the bible through their doctrinal eyes and only want to see the verses that prove their theology. People don't want to see it any other way. If I say that there is nothing we can do to contribute to salvation, noone will disagree. But if I explain exactly what that means and say the even faith contributes nothing then people get very defensive. Why is that? Because many self proclaimed "Christians" don't want to question their salvation. They would say "I accepted Christ 20 yrs ago. I know that I'm saved. I have to be, look at the wonderful Christ-like life I live. Noone will tell me different." Such a pity that is.

God gets the glory for my salvation. All the glory. Not most, all. A salvation that includes my works (faith or belief included) robs God of His rightful glory. If we must 1st believe then we get part of His glory. That is so because people are trying to say the God couldn't save us if we refused to believe. Our faith, they say is required. So in the end, God needed us. God needed us to have faith or He couldn't save us. In heaven we would have reason to boast. "I'm so glad I made the decision to accept YOU Jesus. I'm glad I was smart enough too. It feels good that I could make you God owe me something because I believed."

The biblical method of salvation would result in God getting all the praise. "Thank you Father for showing me such unspeakable mercy. I deserved your wrath but instead received your mercy. What did I do to deserve this? I know what I did, nothing. It was all You Father and I will praise you forever." No room to boast.

Just remember VR to follow the bible. Do not under any circumstances follow what the established Christian world follows. They hate this doctrine. If you follow what the bible says about this then you will for sure be rejected by 99% of the Christian world. Remember what Jesus said....

Jhn 15:18-19 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Doctrines that are of the world, unsaved man will gravitate toward. But the doctrine of the bible people naturally despise. If you follow the truth then you should expect to see much resistance. If you follow a lie then you will see little resistance but be accepted by the masses. I know that this post will sound harsh to 99% of the readers of it but I felt I needed to show you that you are not the only one who thinks this way.


I see what you're saying. However, this still ends up in a ditch as far as Scripture is concerned because if you take things from a reformed perspective you are saying one of two things . . .

1) God has simply chosen that some people are going to hell and doesn't want some folks to be saved, which totally doesn't fit the whole of Scripture, IMO

or . . .

2) God wants all to be saved, everyone will be, and the whole doctrine of eternal torment is a mistranslation

I find both of those views to be very difficult to believe.

Greetings VR,

MikeyO has shown what the Bible clearly teaches...excellent reply! VR try looking at the Sovereign God from a different perspective. You say if the Reformed doctrine is correct then God chose some people to go to hell, because He doesn't want some folks to be saved. That's not true.

Before the foundation of the world, God looks down from heaven at what mankind becomes, and finds there are "none righteous, no not one, there is none that understand, and none who seek God." But God desires to have a holy people for Himself. God can do nothing, and leave all of fallen, hopeless humanity to perish, or God can intervene in the lives of some men, and save a holy people for Himself. The second option is what God has done. Had God not chosen to save some people, then no people could be saved.

So instead of saying that God has chosen some people to go to hell, you should say had God not chosen some people as His own special people, then all humanity would go to hell.

Nowhere in Scripture do we find that God desires that every single human to be saved. This is a gross misunderstanding of those apparent universal passages. If it were God's will that all of humanity be saved, then rest assured all of humanity would be saved. Because nothing can thwart the will of God. And hell and the lake of fire make little sense indeed if it were God's will that all humanity be saved.

Hope this gives you another way of looking at the Reformed doctrine. Now, you might wonder why God chooses some men while leaving others? This is not a question we are permitted to speculate about, we are simply told that God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and compassion on whom He will have compassion.

Many Blessings,
RW

Diolectic
Mar 26th 2008, 04:03 PM
May I suggest that we take all of these theologies that run into ditches by their logical conclusions and find out the truth of the matters?

We could start with T.U.L.I.P. since it is an outline of a theology that runs into ditches.

Buck shot
Mar 26th 2008, 04:44 PM
Now, you might wonder why God chooses some men while leaving others? This is not a question we are permitted to speculate about, we are simply told that God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and compassion on whom He will have compassion.

Many Blessings,
RW

Howdy RW,

I think a lot of time we misuse the "will" of God as the "want" of God. I know I do myself. I agree that God is Almightly in every way and it will be His way or it will be His way. I do think He wanted all men to be saved just as I believe He did not want a portion of His angels to turn. I also believe that He knew the outcome of this planet and it's inhabitants before He created it all.

I think I understand why He "chooses" some. Before we were born He knew each of our hearts. He knew which "would" choose to be His children just as He knew the majority would not. He even knows each hair on our heads (it's getting easier for mine as I get older).

We don't have to understand all the details to have the faith He expects.

drew
Mar 26th 2008, 07:29 PM
we are simply told that God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and compassion on whom He will have compassion.
What text are you referring to specifically here? If you are referring to Paul's use of this statement in Romans 9:

What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."[f (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=ROmans%209&version=31#fen-NIV-28156f)] 16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."[g (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=ROmans%209&version=31#fen-NIV-28158g)] 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden

....Paul is not even talking about the issue of human eternal destiny. He is instead addressing the issue of God using people and / or nations in the context of working out his redemptive purposes in the here and now. Whatever support may or may not exist in respect to the issue of "election to loss" - even in the sense you describe in your post, the "I will have mercy on whomever...." text is not relevant to that (at least not the Romans 9 version of it).

grptinHisHand
Mar 26th 2008, 07:59 PM
Okay, I have been trying to follow this thread. I may have overlooked it, but I can't recall anyone offering the following verse.

Romans 12:3 "For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith." NKJV

If God gives to every man a measure of faith (and I believe He does as Paul says so here) then every man has the opportunity to receive or reject the gift of grace through faith.

Does this help answer the original post?:hmm:
g

John146
Mar 26th 2008, 09:00 PM
Roger W,

I couldn't have said it better myself. Though I've never been to a Reformed church of any kind, I do seem to agree with much of their interpretations of the doctrines of the bible. You are, as far as i've seen in these forums, a rare voice RogerW. I rarely people who properly got a grasp on these most important concepts of the bible. Keep it up and don't let the masses try to lead you away from what is truth. Don't be afraid to speak up and spread these things either. The world is in desperate need of truth. It's nearly impossible to find it anymore in the world's "Christianity". God has truly been merciful to all that have HIS GOSPEL.

The world is in desperate need of truth? While that's true I don't understand why you would say that. According to your doctrine those who don't have the truth were never meant to have it.

John146
Mar 26th 2008, 09:21 PM
Howdy RW,

I think a lot of time we misuse the "will" of God as the "want" of God. I know I do myself. I agree that God is Almightly in every way and it will be His way or it will be His way. I do think He wanted all men to be saved just as I believe He did not want a portion of His angels to turn. I also believe that He knew the outcome of this planet and it's inhabitants before He created it all.

I think I understand why He "chooses" some. Before we were born He knew each of our hearts. He knew which "would" choose to be His children just as He knew the majority would not. He even knows each hair on our heads (it's getting easier for mine as I get older).

We don't have to understand all the details to have the faith He expects.

It's clear that people are elect based on God's foreknowledge of what they would believe concerning Him and His Son. Election is clearly not unconditional but conditional. One must repent. One must believe in Christ. Man has the responsibility to make a decision regarding Christ. It's very clear. God did not randomly elect people before the foundation of the world through some criteria that is not defined in scripture. That's what those who believe in limited atonement would like us to believe but that is not what scripture teaches.

28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29For 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. - Rom 8:28-29

1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. - 1 Peter 1:1-2

64But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. - John 6:64

Buck shot
Mar 27th 2008, 05:42 PM
It's clear that people are elect based on God's foreknowledge of what they would believe concerning Him and His Son. Election is clearly not unconditional but conditional. One must repent. One must believe in Christ. Man has the responsibility to make a decision regarding Christ. It's very clear. God did not randomly elect people before the foundation of the world through some criteria that is not defined in scripture. That's what those who believe in limited atonement would like us to believe but that is not what scripture teaches.


I agree we have to decide which path we take. God also knew which path we would choose. Let me try to make an example. If you were to choose a team to root for during the 2007 Superbowl, who would it be? I know it's already happened so you could choose the winners. I think of God in this light. He chose us because He knew we would choose Him.

Superfundy
Mar 27th 2008, 05:46 PM
Why is it that basically all Christians agree that it is God who saves, only He can enlighten someone to truth, and man cannot and will not see the truth of God's work without God's help, but in the same breath they say that unbelievers are capable of choosing the Lord and they must do so by their own faith? Furthermore, why do so many say that it is by faith that man is saved, and unbelievers are simply refusing to operate in faith that they should already have when Scripture makes it apparent to me that faith comes from and is given by God?

Do others see the contradiction in this also?

I do, I do!!:pp

Superfundy
Mar 27th 2008, 05:49 PM
Okay, I have been trying to follow this thread. I may have overlooked it, but I can't recall anyone offering the following verse.

Romans 12:3 "For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith." NKJV

If God gives to every man a measure of faith (and I believe He does as Paul says so here) then every man has the opportunity to receive or reject the gift of grace through faith.

Does this help answer the original post?:hmm:
g

Note the underlined group exclusion. He is speaking of believers, not of "every man on earth".

Faith is "that" gift of God in Eph 2:8.

RogerW
Mar 27th 2008, 06:02 PM
I agree that TULIP runs into a ditch with the very 1st acronym. T= Total Depravity. I don't agree with this point because humans are not totally depraved. We do have the law of God written on our hearts and thus have a concience that convicts us of sin. That is why most people are descent and moral. Since that is the case we are not totally depraved. Mostly, yes but not completely. We are only totally depraved when it comes to us being able to contribute to our salvation in any way.

Greetings MikeyO,

You make the right assessment of our condition before God prior to salvation. Speaking to the position of the Canons' of Dort on total depravity by Cornelis P. Venema. "The Canons' have rigthly observed that their teaching does not claim that sinful man is absolutely depraved, in the sense that his sinful nature expresses itself in the fullest and worst possible manner. The point of the Canons' is to say that sinful man is pervasively depraved; no part of his nature remains uncorrupted or unaffected by sin, so that in all his affections and actions he is a slave to sin."

"Reformed theologians have maintained that the natural man is able to do some relative good in certain areas. In the language of the Canons, "There is, to be sure, a certain light of nature remaining in man after the fall, by virtue of which he retains some notions about God, natural things, and the difference between what is moral and immoral, and demonstrates a certain eagerness for virtue and for good outward behavior." However, nothing of this enables the sinner to come to a knowledge of God and conversion to Him. Nor does it enable the sinner to do anything "good" in the strict sense, that is, as a fruit of true faith, to the glory of God, and in accordance with the standard of God's law. Thus, the argument of the Canons is that, though sinful man is not absolutely depraved, and though he may be capable of some limited, relative "good," he is in no condition to do any saving good."

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Mar 27th 2008, 06:09 PM
I agree we have to decide which path we take. God also knew which path we would choose. Let me try to make an example. If you were to choose a team to root for during the 2007 Superbowl, who would it be? I know it's already happened so you could choose the winners. I think of God in this light. He chose us because He knew we would choose Him.

Greetings Buck shot,

How do you respond to Ro 9 where God choosing to love Jacob and hating Esau is done prior to their birth, and while God says He sees neither of them as "having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of him that calleth"? If God chose one based on knowing he would choose Him, wouldn't His choice have been according to works?

Many Blessings,
RW

John146
Mar 27th 2008, 06:14 PM
Note the underlined group exclusion. He is speaking of believers, not of "every man on earth".

Faith is "that" gift of God in Eph 2:8.

If faith is the gift, then it's saying that faith is not of ourselves and faith is not of works? That would not be consistent and would not make much sense. Instead, the gift of God is salvation, which is by grace through faith and not of ourselves and not of works.

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

One must willingly put their faith in Christ before they can be saved:

11He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: - John 1:11-12

Superfundy
Mar 27th 2008, 06:23 PM
Who says we are supposed to comprehend these things? I read that we are just to believe them even if to us, they seem to be in contrast to each other.

Abraham didn't understand how God was going to accomplish what He had promised him, but the Scriptures testify that Abraham believed.

I know the tension that you see here as I have seen it too. I have resigned to trust God that even when the Scriptures say that only the elect will be saved, then it says that those who do not believe will be found guilty. How can we reconcile these things?

We believe only what we are given the grace to believe.

We walk (rightly) with God only by His soveriegn grace.

All of us are guilty of breaking the law; this is guilt, and has resulted in separation from God. That much is simple enough to understand.

It is the pardon that many seem to want to take out of the hand of God. Is he not God? Can he not pardon whomever He wishes? And should He be held accountable by any of His creation for making that sovereign choice?


Surely arguing and belittling other's beliefs cannot be edifying.

For some reason, this particular issue does bring that out among brethren more than any other. Mostly because I think it impacts loved ones, as it could threaten the salvation of some of them. I don't really believe it does that, but I know some who believe it does.

Other than that, ones belief about this issue either way directly reveals ones beliefs about the character of God. Some see the reformed view as making God unfair, of course others see the Arminian view as making God impotent.

It is these extremes that drive the bitterness I suppose.


So the Scriptures tell us that it is God who calls, that if the Father does not reveal the Son to us we can never know Him, yet if we don't believe the testimony that God has given of His Son will not see God.

This is all way beyond me, all I can do is recognize my complete insignificance and abandon my self-righteousness and fall before His feet and praise His holy name for His unexplainable mercy and grace! What the Scriptures declare is way too much for me!

Is it really all that confusing? It may be that the way you have heard it presented is unbiblical, and therefore difficult to understand. I don't believe that scriptural truth is in any way complicated. Though it may be veiled.

Ask yourself how one can be a good tree, and another an evil tree.

Then ask yourself why an evil tree cannot bear good fruit.

Weren't we all evil trees at one time or nuther?

And why can't a good tree bear evil fruit?

I believe the answer lay in this statement, "Can the thing formed say to him that formed it, why have you made me thus?"

And so what makes the soil good, stony, or to bear briars and thorns?

The answer can only be "God".

The new birth cannot be a consequence of belief, because you cannot even see the kingdom of God apart from it. Therefore belief must be a result of being born again. Therefore he who believeth (a continual verb) will be saved. Simple.

As for the rest (the arguments about God's character etc). It is the scriptures which reveal it, and I make no apologies for mans (mis)perceptions.

I completely agree with Charles Spurgeons statement (paraphrased), "In salvation all glory to God, in damnation all responsibility to man."

That is what the scriptures teach.

Superfundy
Mar 27th 2008, 06:31 PM
If faith is the gift, then it's saying that faith is not of ourselves and faith is not of works?

That is correct.


That would not be consistent and would not make much sense.

Why not?


Instead, the gift of God is salvation, which is by grace through faith and not of ourselves and not of works.

Well, what the scriptures teach is that salvation is a gift. If salvation is by faith, then faith must be a gift. You cannot have one without the other, as that would indeed be logically inconsistant.


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

One must willingly put their faith in Christ before they can be saved:

11He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: - John 1:11-12

Agreed. But the source of that faith cannot be simply resident within us, and bring about salvation. And it must be placed in a God who must reveal himself to us in an undeniable way.


This is something God certainly does not do for "all"; for if he did, surely "all" would be saved.

I mean, think about it, if your unsaved friend knew God the way you do, do you really think they could remain unsaved?

The way I know God, they would have to be literally out of their mind. Especially since the judgment of God, and the reality of hell accompanies the reality of God.

Buck shot
Mar 27th 2008, 06:51 PM
Greetings Buck shot,

How do you respond to Ro 9 where God choosing to love Jacob and hating Esau is done prior to their birth, and while God says He sees neither of them as "having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of him that calleth"? If God chose one based on knowing he would choose Him, wouldn't His choice have been according to works?

Many Blessings,
RW

Howdy RW,

Not exactly. I find it very hard to find words to explain this. It would be better discussed around a table with a couple of pots of coffee. I believe God in His infinite knowledge and wisdom knew Jacob and Esau's hearts before they were born. He even knew their future before either of them won the battle to come out first. We have a hard time looking at these twins and saying God loved one and hated the other because of any certain act since both were deceptive. God does not have this problem with this because He does not look at the outside but the inside.

I hope that was a little clearer than the muddy water down here in East Texas, Myrton

John146
Mar 27th 2008, 07:14 PM
That is correct.

Why not?

Why would he need to point out that faith is not of works? That's obvious. It is salvation that is not of works.

4But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; - Titus 3:4-5




Well, what the scriptures teach is that salvation is a gift. If salvation is by faith, then faith must be a gift. You cannot have one without the other, as that would indeed be logically inconsistant.

How do you conclude that faith must be a gift in light of what scripture teaches elsewhere, which is that we are required to willingly put our faith in Jesus Christ in order to be saved? Nowhere does it say that we are given faith in order to believe in Christ. What did Paul say in Romans 10:9? He said, "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.". Clearly, salvation is conditional upon one being required to confess Christ and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead. This is not automatic. One must make this decision to believe Christ has been raised from the dead and they must confess that they need Christ, and only Christ, to save them from the penalty of sin. In the next verse Paul says "with the heart man believeth unto righteousness". This shows that one is capable of deciding in their heart to believe. You say they must be given faith first. That's not what Paul taught in that passage.


Agreed. But the source of that faith cannot be simply resident within us, and bring about salvation.

Why not? We all have a God-given conscience with which we use to make moral decisions all the time.



And it must be placed in a God who must reveal himself to us in an undeniable way.

He reveals Himself through the preaching of His Word. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Think of the parable of the sower. Some hear the Word but the devil quickly comes "and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart" (Matt 13:19). Some hear the Word and "anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended." (Matt 13:20-21). And some hear the Word and "the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful" (Matt 13:22). All these kinds of people had the Word preached to them because salvation was being offered to them. But for various reasons, they chose to follow other things rather than putting their faith in Christ and His gospel.


This is something God certainly does not do for "all"; for if he did, surely "all" would be saved.

How do you come to this conclusion? You know how it says in Romans 1 that what may be known of God, even his eternal power and Godhead has been made known to all people, yet not everyone even believes that God exists. God's existence is clear by what He has made, yet many people still have decided not to believe there is a God. They have no excuse for this. In the same way, the gospel has been preached to many who have decided to reject it. They also have no excuse for not believing in Christ.



I mean, think about it, if your unsaved friend knew God the way you do, do you really think they could remain unsaved?

I didn't know God until I had first heard the gospel preached and read the Bible and then later was convicted by the Spirit in my conscience of my sins and I repented of my sins and put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. My unsaved friend can do the same, but he must make that decision in his heart. It would be arrogant of me to think that God isn't working on him the same way He did me.



The way I know God, they would have to be literally out of their mind. Especially since the judgment of God, and the reality of hell accompanies the reality of God.

Have you always known God? Were you not ever unsaved?

drew
Mar 27th 2008, 07:24 PM
How do you respond to Ro 9 where God choosing to love Jacob and hating Esau is done prior to their birth, and while God says He sees neither of them as "having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of him that calleth"? If God chose one based on knowing he would choose Him, wouldn't His choice have been according to works?
I believe that Romans 9 has been widely misunderstood. A strong case can be made that Paul is not even remotely addressing the issue of the eternal destiny of individuals in Romans 9. He is talking about God's treatment of the nation of Israel and he refers to "election" in relation to God's use of people and nations in the here and now in order to fulfill his redemptive purposes.

While there may be texts that deal with the issue of whether individuals are elected to salvation or to loss, it is clear that Romans 9 is talking about something entirely separate from the question of the eternal destiny of individuals.

Superfundy
Mar 27th 2008, 08:17 PM
Why would he need to point out that faith is not of works? That's obvious. It is salvation that is not of works.

Correct. It says "and that" not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works.

So by your interpretation Paul is saying; By grace you are saved through faith, and grace is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works.....

I may be missing something in your argument, but I think it is clear that Gods grace is not of ourselves.

You see, there is a two pronged statement being made; "that" either refers to grace, or to faith. For "that" to refer to the term "saved" would make it redundant.


How do you conclude that faith must be a gift in light of what scripture teaches elsewhere, which is that we are required to willingly put our faith in Jesus Christ in order to be saved?

Because faith, given as a gift, becomes our own, just as salvation, given as a gift, becomes ours.


Nowhere does it say that we are given faith in order to believe in Christ.

No where does it say that we are capable of obtaining salvation apart from grace either. nor does it say we are "required to willingly put our faith in Jesus Christ". That makes faith a work which obligates God to respond.


What did Paul say in Romans 10:9? He said, "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.". Clearly, salvation is conditional upon one being required to confess Christ and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead.

Obviously, belief in the heart has to come before confession can be made, for it is from the heart that the mouth speaks. After all, anyone can make a confession.


This is not automatic. One must make this decision to believe Christ has been raised from the dead and they must confess that they need Christ, and only Christ, to save them from the penalty of sin.

That means that I am saved by my own power. By my own decision.


In the next verse Paul says "with the heart man believeth unto righteousness". This shows that one is capable of deciding in their heart to believe. You say they must be given faith first. That's not what Paul taught in that passage.

Paul did not address the source of that heart condition. He does not say that belief in the heart is decided by the power of mans reason as you are suggesting here. The natural man cannot know the things of God, because he is spirtually dead, and the things of God are spiritually discerned.


Why not? We all have a God-given conscience with which we use to make moral decisions all the time.

He reveals Himself through the preaching of His Word. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Think of the parable of the sower. Some hear the Word but the devil quickly comes "and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart" (Matt 13:19). Some hear the Word and "anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended." (Matt 13:20-21). And some hear the Word and "the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful" (Matt 13:22). All these kinds of people had the Word preached to them because salvation was being offered to them. But for various reasons, they chose to follow other things rather than putting their faith in Christ and His gospel.

They chose to have stony soil?? I think not.

They chose to act upon their condition, that is true, but they did not choose their condition, anymore than a child chooses their parents.

Those choices are made for us by the sovereign hand of God.


How do you come to this conclusion? You know how it says in Romans 1 that what may be known of God, even his eternal power and Godhead has been made known to all people, yet not everyone even believes that God exists. God's existence is clear by what He has made, yet many people still have decided not to believe there is a God.

Actually, that passage makes the conclusion that they deny to themselves what they know to be true, that there is a God.

But this is general revelation, and indeed it can be denied by the will of man, and by his reasoning. I agree, they do choose not to believe, and if they persist God himself eventually "turns them over" so they cannot believe at all. This is my point. God is actively responsible for all things, yet he holds man accountable for the actions he commits under the conditions in which he is placed.

A perfect "for instance" is the crucifixion. Those men actively chose to murder Jesus, and at the same time they were acting in Gods will by doing so. Yet God held them accountable as guilty for the action. Jesus even hid himself from them through parables to insure that they would do what they did. And yet still, they are held accouitnable for their unbelief.

Did they have a choice? Not really, because the condition of the human heart only needs to be allowed to follow it's natural course, to commit evil. And God used that fact to crucify Jesus.


They have no excuse for this. In the same way, the gospel has been preached to many who have decided to reject it. They also have no excuse for not believing in Christ.

That is true. I don't disagree with any of your points as regards reprobation, and the evil of mans heart. I think we probably agree there. The problem then is that mans heart as to be changed BEFORE it even desires to seek after God. The seed has to find "good ground". The question then is why was my ground good, and anothers not?


I didn't know God until I had first heard the gospel preached and read the Bible and then later was convicted by the Spirit in my conscience of my sins and I repented of my sins and put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Yes, but you did not hear that gospel with your physical ears, and did not read that bible with your physical eyes. Apart from Gods intervention, your eyes you have closed and your ears grow hard of hearing.


My unsaved friend can do the same, but he must make that decision in his heart. It would be arrogant of me to think that God isn't working on him the same way He did me.

Well, we don't know who God is working on, we just preach the gospel to every creature (sow the seed) and pray that it finds good ground. That's really all we can do.


Have you always known God? Were you not ever unsaved?

I assume your question is directed at the assumption that I believe I was "saved before God ever called me"?

No, that is not the scriptural teaching at all. Though to discuss it, often does seem to imply that.

God chose to reveal himself to me at certain point in my life, and it is only then that I was saved. That is, it is only then that I was able to believe. Prior to that, I was a sinner without hope, just as anyone else.

Thanks for the responses, I know this can get heated sometimes.

:)

Diolectic
Mar 28th 2008, 12:21 AM
Greetings Buck shot,

How do you respond to Ro 9 where God choosing to love Jacob and hating Esau is done prior to their birth, and while God says He sees neither of them as "having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of him that calleth"? If God chose one based on knowing he would choose Him, wouldn't His choice have been according to works?

Many Blessings,
RWRomans 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calls;)
:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

This is about whom God will choose to be of the liniage of the SEED.
Gen 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in your womb, and two manner of people shall be born of you; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
&
Mal 1:1-2 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
:2I have loved you, says the LORD. Yet you say, How have you loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? says the LORD: yet I loved Jacob

This is corporate Election and that is allways of Israel the nation.
Individual Election is always according to foreknowledge.
1Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father...
Rom 8:29For whom he did foreknow...Rom 8:30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called(Elect):

Corporate Election and predestination is like this:
I know my wife so well that I make reservations to "Olive Garden" before I give her a choice to choose all the restaurants in the state.
She has all the chances to choose any restaurant she wills.
However, She chooses "Olive Garden" that was already pre-chosen by me with reservations.
I foreknew that she would choose "Olive Garden".
Another example:
I invite all the people in my town to "Olive Garden", but I only make reservations for those who I know that will come.
While every one has an invitation and has equal chance to be with me and all have a choice to come or not, only those who I foreknow will choose to come are reserved to sit at my table.

RogerW
Mar 28th 2008, 01:20 AM
Romans 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calls;)
:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

This is about whom God will choose to be of the liniage of the SEED.
Gen 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in your womb, and two manner of people shall be born of you; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
&
Mal 1:1-2 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
:2I have loved you, says the LORD. Yet you say, How have you loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? says the LORD: yet I loved Jacob

This is corporate Election and that is allways of Israel the nation.
Individual Election is always according to foreknowledge.
1Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father...
Rom 8:29For whom he did foreknow...Rom 8:30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called(Elect):

Yes, but there are two nations in the womb. One represents the physical seed, the other the Spiritual. The physical is the nation, symbolized by Esau, hated by God. The Spiritual are the Church, symbolized by Jacob, loved by God. The Spiritual seed is made up of individuals, and they are named in the Lamb's Book of Life from before the foundation of the world. The nation (less the remnant saved by grace) is cast away because of unbelief, leaving the Spiritual seed loved that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him that calls. God foreknows all who will be saved, having predestined (limit in advance) them to be conformed to the image of Christ. Those predestined individuals God calls that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works.

If election were simply a matter of God knowing who would choose Him, then salvation would be according to our works. But God very clearly tells us that God calls according to His purpose in election, not of works. There is no denying that God knows His predestinated, elect people, and loves them. He has after all written their names in the Book of Life before creation. But those not predestined to salvation are not known by God (Mt. 7:23).

Many Blessings,
RW

drew
Mar 28th 2008, 02:01 PM
Why would he need to point out that faith is not of works? That's obvious. It is salvation that is not of works.

4But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; - Titus 3:4-5
As some here may know, I think Paul is to be taken "literally" and without qualification in Romans 2 when he writes about people receiving eternal life based on the works their lives have exhibited. Try as I might, I can see no legitimate way to avoid this.

So I would respond to the Titus text with the following interpretation: We cannot deny Romans 2, so works are indeed salvific. What Paul may be saying in the Titus text is that works that we do through our own moral self-effort are not salvific - it is only works that are done by the Spirit acting in us that count to our salvation.

Diolectic
Mar 28th 2008, 04:05 PM
Originally Posted by Diolectic
Corporate Election and that is allways of Israel the nation.

Individual Election is always according to foreknowledge.

1Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father...

Rom 8:29For whom he did foreknow...Rom 8:30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called(Elect):If election were simply a matter of God knowing who would choose Him, then salvation would be according to our works.
If what you say is true, then that "works" is called obediance.
Salvation is according to obediance.
Romans 6:16 Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?


But God very clearly tells us that God calls according to His purpose in election, not of works.That is about corporate Election.
His purpose in election(Rom 8:28) is to have a nation to be conformed to the image of his Son(v:29)
Godís original purpose for Election is first declared to Abraham:
Gen 17:4As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.
Gen 18:18Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

There is no denying that God knows His predestinated, elect people, and loves them. He has after all written their names in the Book of Life before creation. But those not predestined to salvation are not known by God (Mt. 7:23).
Mat. 7:23 "I never knew you" - That is, I never approved you or your works.
Psalm 1:6a The LORD knows the way of the righteous.
1Corinth 8:3 But if any man loves God, the same is known by him.

In Mat. 7:23, the way of those who said, "Lord Lord" did not truly love Him, but loved another.
They did not do what he had planed for them, they were going their own way & not doing the true "work of the lord" which is the approved work that they should do.

Again, individual Election must be as I exampled.

John146
Mar 28th 2008, 05:02 PM
If election were simply a matter of God knowing who would choose Him, then salvation would be according to our works. This is simply untrue. You are equating decisions made in the heart and/or conscience with works. That is not how scripture defines works. Scripture defines works as things we physically do. Help the orphans and widows. Feed the hungry. Cloth the naked. Visit the hurting in prison. Etc. Works are righteous deeds, not spiritual decisions or beliefs. Show me one verse that says repentance is a work. Show me any verse that says putting one's faith in Christ is a work.

Faith and works are clearly differentiated in the book of James. Why would James say that faith without works is dead if faith was a work? There would be no need to say that if faith was a work. Because if faith was a work then everyone who has faith would also have works and therefore it would be needless to point out that faith without works is dead. As James said in James 2:18, "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.". Our works reflect our faith but faith itself is not a work.

Some who hold your position try to point to either 1 Thess 1:3 or 2 Thess 1:11 as evidence that faith is a work but when we read Young's Literal Translation, instead of "work of faith" it translates it more accurately as "the work of the faith". What is the work of the faith? Preaching the gospel, making disciples, helping the poor and needy, etc.

Eric

John146
Mar 28th 2008, 05:11 PM
As some here may know, I think Paul is to be taken "literally" and without qualification in Romans 2 when he writes about people receiving eternal life based on the works their lives have exhibited. Try as I might, I can see no legitimate way to avoid this.

So I would respond to the Titus text with the following interpretation: We cannot deny Romans 2, so works are indeed salvific. What Paul may be saying in the Titus text is that works that we do through our own moral self-effort are not salvific - it is only works that are done by the Spirit acting in us that count to our salvation.

I believe that is exactly what scripture teaches. We know that our righteousness is as filthy rags. So it is not possible that our own moral self-effort or works done in and of ourselves could possibly have anything to do with our salvation. Jesus says in John 15:5 that apart from Him we can do nothing. It has to be the works that are done by the Spirit's power that relate to our salvation and justification. We know that these works have something to do with salvation because look at Matthew 25:31-46 and how people are sentenced to either everlasting fire or everlasting life based on how they treated "the least of these". One who has true faith will not ignore the plight of the needy because the Spirit constantly reminds us that the harvest is plentiful and there is plenty of work to be done...through the power of the Spirit. If we recognize a need and then try to address the need in our own power it will be fruitless. Only the Spirit can produce fruit that is lasting.

Eric

Diolectic
Mar 28th 2008, 05:38 PM
As some here may know, I think Paul is to be taken "literally" and without qualification in Romans 2 when he writes about people receiving eternal life based on the works their lives have exhibited. Try as I might, I can see no legitimate way to avoid this.

So I would respond to the Titus text with the following interpretation: We cannot deny Romans 2, so works are indeed salvific. What Paul may be saying in the Titus text is that works that we do through our own moral self-effort are not salvific - it is only works that are done by the Spirit acting in us that count to our salvation.
If you want to be more specific to what Paul says, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done"

The word "by" means "out of" and it denotes origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds or "cause".
All that mean is the "works of righteousness which we have done" are not why God saves us or they are not the cause of His/our salvation. Our salvation is according to or by His grace "through faith" or He saved us through the washing of regeneration and renovation of the Holy Spirit & that is only by faith.

And the fraise "works of righteousness which we have done" is being contrasted by v.3 - foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy hateful, and hating one another that we once were & did.

RogerW
Mar 28th 2008, 09:24 PM
If what you say is true, then that "works" is called obediance.
Salvation is according to obediance.
Romans 6:16 Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Greetings Diolectic,

We are not saved by our works. This verse is speaking to those who profess having been saved. This is a good way to determine if we have been saved. We should know that if sin master us, if we delight to do evil, if we enjoy evil companions, if we walk in darkness, then Christ is not our Master.



That is about corporate Election.
His purpose in election(Rom 8:28) is to have a nation to be conformed to the image of his Son(v:29)
Godís original purpose for Election is first declared to Abraham:
Gen 17:4As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.
Gen 18:18Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

Mat. 7:23 "I never knew you" - That is, I never approved you or your works.
Psalm 1:6a The LORD knows the way of the righteous.
1Corinth 8:3 But if any man loves God, the same is known by him.

Yes, that is the purpose of election. The nation to be conformed to the image of His Son is represented by Jacob, and symbolizes His Church. Elect means favorite or chosen, and you want me to believe that God corporately elected the whole nation to be conformed to the image of His Son? These verses show us that God knows His elect, but says of those who remain in their sins, "I never knew you." Of course He does not approve of them or their works. The knowing spoken of hear is knowing savingly.



In Mat. 7:23, the way of those who said, "Lord Lord" did not truly love Him, but loved another.
They did not do what he had planed for them, they were going their own way & not doing the true "work of the lord" which is the approved work that they should do.

Again, individual Election must be as I exampled.

They were doing good deeds in His name, they had His character, yet their good deeds were of the flesh, and they thought these good deeds would be enough to get them to heaven. So they relied on their own works, rather than resting in the finished work of Christ alone for salvation. Christ was not deceived, He saw through their deeds of the flesh and calls their so-called good deeds works of iniquity.

Nowhere in Scripture do we find corporate election. Individual election was predestined in heaven before creation, and all who would be saved were written in the Book of Life before any life existed. God chose based on nothing done either good or evil of those whom He has chosen.

Electing based on choices we make shows God to favor some people over others, only those who make the right choice will be saved, but those who don't make the right choice can never be saved. How is this any different then saying God elects some to go to heaven, and leaves others in their sins, predestined to hell? Could not God make sure that every man would make the right choice? You'll argue God doesn't want robots, so He gives man free will...so God would rather allow some men to suffer eternal torment then to give them the ability to choose Him? What's worse being robots, or suffering eternal death forever?

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Mar 28th 2008, 10:00 PM
This is simply untrue. You are equating decisions made in the heart and/or conscience with works. That is not how scripture defines works. Scripture defines works as things we physically do. Help the orphans and widows. Feed the hungry. Cloth the naked. Visit the hurting in prison. Etc. Works are righteous deeds, not spiritual decisions or beliefs. Show me one verse that says repentance is a work. Show me any verse that says putting one's faith in Christ is a work.

Faith and works are clearly differentiated in the book of James. Why would James say that faith without works is dead if faith was a work? There would be no need to say that if faith was a work. Because if faith was a work then everyone who has faith would also have works and therefore it would be needless to point out that faith without works is dead. As James said in James 2:18, "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.". Our works reflect our faith but faith itself is not a work.

Some who hold your position try to point to either 1 Thess 1:3 or 2 Thess 1:11 as evidence that faith is a work but when we read Young's Literal Translation, instead of "work of faith" it translates it more accurately as "the work of the faith". What is the work of the faith? Preaching the gospel, making disciples, helping the poor and needy, etc.

Eric

Greetings Eric,

It seems you are confusing the work of salvation with the works we do after salvation. Scripture does tell us that faith is a work. It is the work of Christ, and it becomes our work after salvation. That's why we read:

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

That salvation is the work of Christ is clearly documented in Scripture.

Joh 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Joh 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Joh 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?

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 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

Joh 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

Ro 9:28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

Ro 14:20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

Paul certainly considered keeping his faith a continual work. Fight here means to struggle, or labor fervently.

1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Many Blessings,
RW

Diolectic
Mar 29th 2008, 12:04 AM
Greetings Diolectic,

We are not saved by our works.True, however, obediance is not "works", it is a command.

This verse is speaking to those who profess having been saved. This is a good way to determine if we have been saved. We should know that if sin master us, if we delight to do evil, if we enjoy evil companions, if we walk in darkness, then Christ is not our Master.But, still, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness.


and you want me to believe that God corporately elected the whole nation to be conformed to the image of His Son?:hmm:Umm, yah. What do you think HIS purpose in election is(Rom 8:28)?


These verses show us that God knows His elect, but says of those who remain in their sins, "I never knew you."And why did HE not know them?
Because they remained in there sin(disobediant).


They were doing good deeds in His name, they had His character, yet their good deeds were of the flesh,They were not of the flesh. The deeds of the flesh are evident(Gal 5:19-21).
Jesus just got done talking about fruit. They had works which weren't the fruit that HE approved of.


and they thought these good deeds would be enough to get them to heaven. So they relied on their own works,They weren't relying on their own works, they actualy thought that they were doing HIS works.

rather than resting in the finished work of Christ alone for salvation.They weren't doing it for salvation, but for the work of the ministery.

He saw through their deeds of the fleshNot deeds of the flesh.(Gal 5:19-21)

Nowhere in Scripture do we find corporate election.Here is some:
Deu 7:6 For you are a holy people(Israel) unto the LORD your God: the LORD your God has chosen you to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
Psa 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he has chosen for his own inheritance.
Isa 45:4For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel my elect,
Isa 65:9And I will bring forth a descendant out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and my elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
1Pe 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.
Eph 1:4 according as He chooses us in Him...
1Pe 1:1 to the exiles scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2: Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father

I could go on, but you see, all these Scriptures are not individual, but corporate. Sure, there are individuals in the Elect of these Scriptures, but they are all corporate in context.


Electing based on choices we make shows God to favor some people over others, only those who make the right choice will be saved, but those who don't make the right choice can never be saved.That's how it works.

How is this any different then saying God elects some to go to heaven, and leaves others in their sins, predestined to hell?That would mean God creats those "non-elect for the sole purpose of being destroyed in hell.
This is rediculous!

Could not God make sure that every man would make the right choice?He commands them to, but still, not everbody does.


You'll argue God doesn't want robots, so He gives man free will...so God would rather allow some men to suffer eternal torment then to give them the ability to choose Him?First of all, All men have the ability to choose Him. They are judged because they do not when as they are able.

What's worse being robots, or suffering eternal death forever?Aperantly, being robots is worse, since we are not.

RogerW
Mar 29th 2008, 12:11 AM
Faith and works are clearly differentiated in the book of James. Why would James say that faith without works is dead if faith was a work? There would be no need to say that if faith was a work. Because if faith was a work then everyone who has faith would also have works and therefore it would be needless to point out that faith without works is dead. As James said in James 2:18, "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.". Our works reflect our faith but faith itself is not a work.

You're missing James point completely. James clearly shows us faith is wrought and held by works.

Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Jas 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Jas 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

Our works done in the body are works of faith. Faith is an inward principle of the heart, a hidden thing which can only be known and seen by external works. The faith of Christ, which is real, needs not be confirmed with words, but is confirmed and made manifest by good works. Good works necessarily flow from faith; e.g. a work of faith, just as surely as the natural body moves and lives.

Many blessings,
RW

StevenC
Mar 29th 2008, 03:44 AM
Do others see the contradiction in this also?

From a spiritual perspective we know God does the calling, but does that mean he also does the answering? And yet if it is we who answer does that diminish the glory of God's calling? I think not. Praise be to God that he chose to save us.

-Steven

Diolectic
Mar 29th 2008, 04:52 PM
Argue against the bible if you will but the truths of these statements remain. Faith is work.Notice in all the verses that you gave, they don't mean, "faith the work". It actually means faith's works, as Faith possesses the work.

Plain and clear. They want to put their faith as the instrument of their salvation.I doubt that any one will say that faith is the instrument of their salvation.
The fact remains that the relationship with Christ is the "instrument" of their salvation"


They want to say that since they had enough faith when they "chose" Christ, they became saved.It would be more like, since they had enough evidence to believe, they chose Christ and HE saved them.


We don't choose Him, He chooses us.John 15:16
That verse is about Jesus choosing or electing the apostles (see John 6:70a).

They hold on the free will doctrine.And why not?


I agree that we do have free will.Then, you hold onto it also.

It's just that our free will chooses sin every time.Wrong.
James 4:17Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.
You know that people, in general, do not choose to sin every time.

We choose to disobey God.That statement is too general to make any point.
We also choose to obey God.
Before I was saved, I chose to obey God, however, I would not consistently obey.


That is the extent of our free will.This is the extent of our free will:
The inclination/affections of our will effects individual choices that we make. The choice that you make will naturally follow your inclination/affections. Consequently, if you love yourself or the world more than the one commanding you, you cannot consistently do things that please the commander. Your decisions are in bondage to your affections and inclinations so that you only do what you have favor towards.
Love God, hate sin; Love yourself and the world, hate God.

We are completely unable to choose Christ.To command something implies the ability to obey.
God would not command anything that HE knows that is impossible to comply to.
To do so would be unjust. Otherwise, God condemns for that which is unavoidable and for that which is impossible to do.

We are all spiritually dead. How can the dead choose anything?All spiritual death is not having a relationship(knowing Christ) with Christ according to John 17:3.
Therefore, we must choose HIM as GOD commands. Again, to command something implies the ability to obey.

Why do so many insist on a salvation based on themselvesI doubt anybody insists on a salvation based on themselves.
I am sure that all Christians know that salvation is based upon the Life, death, and Resurrection of Christ.
To say that obedience to The command is the bases of ones salvation is to be rather ignorant.

Why do they not want to give God all the glory?Who is saying that some do not want to?
I could say that a lot of reformed theologists and Calvinist diminish God's Glory by making HIM out to be a sadistic tyrant in their own theology/doctrine.

Why do they want to take some of that glory for themselves?Choosing to Obey the command is not taking any Glory for ones self. It is actually Glorifying God.
It Glorifies HIM by humbling one's self, saying, "Yes God YOU are Right, I am wrong, I humble my self and submit to your command. I am a sinner, I Choose to repent, I choose to Believe in what Christ said and done. I choose because the evidence of Truth is overwhelming and it is factual. You did not have to make, me but I willfully submit and agree to YOU.
Please forgive me, make me clean and please let me have a right relationship with YOU!"

They say they are not doing this but by these statements about choosing and believing, that's what they are trying to do.Not really.

What's so bad about giving God all the glory?No one is trying to take any Glory.

9Marksfan
Mar 29th 2008, 07:49 PM
Here's the ditches as I see them . . .

Arminian -- God's will that none should perish is not accomplished but rather thwarted by man's own free will.

Agreed.


Reformed -- God is willing, and in fact has destined, that many folks will go to hell.

Wrong - God is not willing that any should perish (He does not desire it) - yet in His perfect purposes He permits it to happen. Not a ditch, just a mystery.....


Univeralist -- Has to interpret a different meaning for "eternal" throughout the Scriptures that doesn't all the time mean "eternal".

There are far more ditches, but I think you're getting at universal reconciliation? Remember, most universalists don't believe in ANY kind of condemnation and therefore deny Scripture.

Diolectic
Mar 30th 2008, 12:38 AM
Notice in all the verses that you gave, they don't mean, "faith the work". It actually means faith's works, as Faith possesses the work.I would agree if they said "work of THE faith". THE FAITH is used in the bible to describe the bible and all the commands within. But since it doesn't say that your interpretation doesn't hold water.With your logic, every time it says "work of" something, that something is work.
When it says "work of God", would that mean God is a work? Or "work of Christ"(Philip 2:30) would that mean Christ is a work?
Exactly how is faith a work?




I doubt that any one will say that faith is the instrument of their salvation.
The fact remains that the relationship with Christ is the "instrument" of their salvation"
But they will say that without faith in Christ they could not be savedDuh!!!!!
Hebrews 6:11But without faith it is impossible to please him...
Rom 3:25Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,
Romans 14:23bwhatever is not of faith is sin.
1Peter 1:5Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation...
And the most famous:
Eph 2:8by grace are you saved through faith...


So they will be saying that it is their faith that saves them in the end.
Why would they say that, when in fact it is Christ who saves by grace through faith?



It would be more like, since they had enough evidence to believe, they chose Christ and HE saved themI will answer this with a question. What if I don't believe? Will I be saved if I refuse to believe?You probably wouldn't repent.
Mark 1:15And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believethe gospel.
Luke 8:12Those by the wayside are they that hear; then comes the devil, and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

If you did believe then stop, you would fall away:
Luke 8:13b ...and these have no root, who for awhile believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

You would be declaring by your unbelief that the Light is false:
John 1:7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

The word would not abide in you:
John 5:38And you have not his word abiding in you: for whom he has sent, him you believe not.

You couldn't do the "work of GOD" (John 6:29)

Would betray Christ:
John 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who would betray him.

You surly wouldn't receive HIS Spirit:
John 7:39(But this spoke he of the Spirit, whom they that believe on him should receive:

You shall surly die in your sins:
John 8:24I said therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins.

I could go on, but by your question, you prove your self unlearned in the scriptures.


The answer to that question would have to still be yes if God desires.How would God Save them?
Would God save them without their knowing?
Would God save them against their will?(I know you would say amen to that)
That opens a whole new can of worms.
God saving against ones will is equivalent to God kidnapping, taking hostages and "raping the soul(as R.C. Sproul puts it)


So your statement has no biblical validation.Salvation without faith has no biblical validation!




To command something implies the ability to obey.
God would not command anything that HE knows that is impossible to comply to.
To do so would be unjust. Otherwise, God condemns for that which is unavoidable and for that which is impossible to doMat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
So I guess we can obey this command. Good luck if you can.
Sure, if you know what the word perfect means.
That word in Greek means "complete" or "of full age" and even "man"
The same word used in these verses:
1Corinth 14:20Brethren, be not children in understanding: but in malice be children, but in understanding be men("men" is the same word we are talking about).
Col 4:12b ...always laboring fervently for you in prayers that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
Heb 5:14But solid food belongs to them that are of full age(full of age is the same word we are talking about)
Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire,

10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.

Good luck with this one tooWhy would this one be impossible?
The way we would be obedient in doing so is coming to HIM to do it?
Deut 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart.
Col2:11 In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands(of the heart), in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Are you actually implying that God commands that which HE knows we can not do?

I guess according to you then that God is unjust.No.

Why would you think it is justifiable to command that which is impossible?
I have another question for you:
When you see an injustice done by GOD, to you look for a betterinterpretation of one that makes what God is doing justifiable, OR do you keep your first interpretation and just keep it as unjust and say to your self, "God is justified in doing injustices"?

Diolectic
Mar 30th 2008, 10:00 PM
But they will say that without faith in Christ they could not be savedDuh!!!!!
Hebrews 6:11But without faith it is impossible to please him...Rom 3:25Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,Romans 14:23bwhatever is not of faith is sin.1Peter 1:5Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation...And the most famous: Eph 2:8by grace are you saved through faith...You say duh, but said that you doubt anyone would say that faith is the instrument of their salvation.I said "duh" because it is a no brainer. One shouldn't even need to ask such a question.
However, faith is not THEE instrument of their salvation, but just an instrument.
Jesus is THEE means by which GOD saves. However, if one does not believe, he will die in his sin(John 8:24), therefore is must be a requirement.


Then turn around and say faith is a requirement of salvation.It is a requirement of salvation.
How is it that GOD saves if not through faith?

You are saying that Christ cannot save those who donít believe.Which is true!
Faith is how one is accounted as righteous.

You are saying that in the end of it all, Christ needs us after all.How are you getting that HE needs us?
Christ wants us.


If you study your bible you would know that faith is used at least 4 different ways.
2. as Christís faith
3. The faith = as the whole bible itself
4. as another name for Christ
2. Christ does not have faith, nor does HE need faith.
Christ would have empirical knowledge of every thing.
3. The faith = as our religion.
4. where do you get "faith as another name for Christ?


True faith is a result of salvation, not a cause of it.How would God save one who will not believe?

I donít need any verses to prove this because you should know this if you are learned in the scriptures.Please, do.
It is not that I am unlearned, but because I know that some have very outlandish interpretations of the Scriptures, Like one does need faith to be saved or one can be saved without faith.


Another is that we are spiritually dead before salvation. Again no verses needed for you if you are learned in the bible as you claim to be.True, but some don't understand spiritual life and death, they don't know what it is or the cause of.


In the verses you quoted above, the word faith is used as another name for Christ.That is a very big stretch. Like I said, some have very outlandish interpretations of the Scriptures.


the word faith is used as another name for Christ.
Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.That is like saying that He is called beautiful.
beautiful is not another name for Christ.
My wife is called beautiful.
Faithful and True are descriptive, adjectives, not as names or nouns.


So we have biblical validation to say the faith when it refers to salvation is actually Christ.Nope.


If we are spiritually dead, as you should know we are by nature, how can the dead have faith in anything?Mankind is not by nature spiritually dead. It is not natural for man to be spiritually dead.
Like I said before, some don't understand spiritual life and death, they don't know what it is or the cause of.
Spiritual death is not having a relationship with Christ. It does not affect our ability to have faith in HIM, it only accentuates the need.


We are not saved by our faith. We are saved by Christís faith.Again, Christ does not have faith, HE has empirical knowledge.


Our faith is sin tainted anyways.Prove that in Scripture.
If it is tainted, it would be because of lack of obedience.
Faith and faithfulness can not be separated.


We need perfect faith and only Christ has perfect faith.What do you mean that HE has perfect faith?


It says it over and over in scripture that it is the faith of Christ that saves us.There is no prepositions with the word "of" when it says "justified by the faith of Christ,"
On can easily translate it as "faith in Christ"
You are relying on the bias of the translator when you think that Christ has faith using Scripture that says "faith of Christ"


Let me make sure Iím understanding you correctly here. You are saying that if Mikey0 didnít believe and, lets just say, was an atheist who just knew that there is no God that I couldnít be saved. I would never repent, Iím firm in my beliefs that God doesnít exist. Can God save me? Yes or no.No.



Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.So I guess we can obey this command. Good luck if you can. In the context it can only mean just what it says. Perfect. The context of 1Cor is to be adult or mature. In Col the context suggests perfect. I can go on but you get the point. We must choose the definition that fits the context.If God commands it, it mast be able to be done.
Do you think that God commands impossibilities?
Don't you think that would be cruel and/or tyrannical?


That verse didnít say go to the Lord to circumcise your heart. It just said circumcise the foreskin of your heart. But you are correct that Lord must do it for us. He gives us the command then fulfills the command for us because He knows we canít do it. And yes I am saying He commands us to do that which we canít achieve.When God commands that which we can not do ourselves, He provides away for us to achieve or obey by/through HIM/

We can not, therefore. we do it through HIM, which is how one would obey a command that we are incapable of doing.
We obey an impossible command by coming to HIM to give us power to do it.
The command implies and ability to obey, or the ability to come to HIM for the fulfillment of the command.



When you see an injustice done by GOD, to you look for a better interpretation of one that makes what God is doing justifiable, OR do you keep your first interpretation and just keep it as unjust and say to your self, "God is justified in doing injustices"? Hard to answer this because God is just in all He does. No injustice whatsoever in Him. If I see something that appears unjust I know that it is my understanding that needs correction. So in a since I do look for correct understanding of the verse in question.
I do not trust my own understanding. I only trust in what the bible says. That is good.

Superfundy
Mar 31st 2008, 01:13 PM
As some here may know, I think Paul is to be taken "literally" and without qualification in Romans 2 when he writes about people receiving eternal life based on the works their lives have exhibited. Try as I might, I can see no legitimate way to avoid this.

So I would respond to the Titus text with the following interpretation: We cannot deny Romans 2, so works are indeed salvific. What Paul may be saying in the Titus text is that works that we do through our own moral self-effort are not salvific - it is only works that are done by the Spirit acting in us that count to our salvation.


I believe that is exactly what scripture teaches. We know that our righteousness is as filthy rags. So it is not possible that our own moral self-effort or works done in and of ourselves could possibly have anything to do with our salvation. Jesus says in John 15:5 that apart from Him we can do nothing. It has to be the works that are done by the Spirit's power that relate to our salvation and justification. We know that these works have something to do with salvation because look at Matthew 25:31-46 and how people are sentenced to either everlasting fire or everlasting life based on how they treated "the least of these". One who has true faith will not ignore the plight of the needy because the Spirit constantly reminds us that the harvest is plentiful and there is plenty of work to be done...through the power of the Spirit. If we recognize a need and then try to address the need in our own power it will be fruitless. Only the Spirit can produce fruit that is lasting.

Eric

If there was ever a question that Arminian doctrine leads to a false gospel these two posts should lay that question to rest.

While I agree that fruit is produced by God, for God, I cannot agree with the assertions that it is that fruit that saves us.

The reference to Matthew 25 shows such an unbelieveable misunderstanding of scripture, I am wondering if it is even worth making a response?

Just to set the stage, please note the dispensational change at Mat 25:31:

Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Obviously, this is after the rapture of the Church, and upon the start of the millenial kingdom, or some believe perhaps at the end of that period. But either way, these are NOT members of the Church as Jesus reference to "these my brethre makes clear:

Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

The Church is obviously a (raptured) third party standing by witnessing this event.

As for Romans 2, I will let Diolectic's great response stand.

These two posts are rather shocking to me, honestly. :eek:

Diolectic
Mar 31st 2008, 03:55 PM
Diolectic,
1st of all let me just tell you that we will not come to any agreement on this at all. Your theology is way on the other side of the spectrum in comparison to mine. But you already knew that. But I do like to discuss this just for the sakes of those who are earnestly seeking truth so they can compare these things themselves. I am not fooling myself to think I can change your mind. Only God can do that.You can change my mind by presenting your view that is persuasive of the truth.
I don't want to be wrong, however, you have not yet said anything that makes sense.

Clear. If some don't believe, It doesn't make the faith of God ineffectual. Basically it's saying that our faith isn't what's important. It's Christ's faith that's important. Please let me know how you plan on explaining away this verse to suit your doctrine.That would be the faithfulness of God not His belief(faith)


Those things I listed are fruits of the Spirit. They are a result of salvation, not the cause. If they were a cause of salvation then they wouldn't be fruits of the Spirit. Fruits come from the vine or tree. Who is the true vine? Christ of course.
Jhn 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Well looky here. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit. So it can't be a cause of salvation. My faith must be a result or product of salvation. It says it plainly.I think we'regetting faith & belife mixed up here.
I may concede that True Faith is after one is saved, but actual belief is what I have been intending all along.
The Faith = A system of revealed truths received by christians. The christian religion.
Faith = Loyalty, Fedelity, Careful and exact observance or adherence to truth or of that which is being emulated.
Belief = A persuasion of the truth, or an assent of mind to the truth.
Acknowledging the facts of that which is unseen and accepteding them as true &/or real.
In some cases, the word is used for persuasion or opinion, when the evidence is not so clear as to leave no doubt; but the shades of strength in opinion can hardly be defined, or exemplified. Hence the use of qualifying words; as a firm, full or strong belief.

With this in mind, one Can not be saved without belief first, however, true faith comes afterwards and stems from that first belife.


That is like saying that He is called beautiful. beautiful is not another name for Christ. My wife is called beautiful. Faithful and True are descriptive, adjectives, not as names or nouns.No. your wife IS beautiful. She is not called beautiful. That isn't her name I'm sure.She is called beautiful by me and others who agree.

If Jesus is naming Himself faithful, there must be a reason.
That would be like saying His actual name is actualy "Holy"(Isaiah 57:15), instead of His name is described as holy.



I was floored when you said this. He doesn't have faith? And here I was thinking that every Christian knew of the faith of Christ since it is mentioned many, many times throughout the scriptures. Psa 31 is a Messianic psalm speaking about Christ. What does it say?
verse 5: Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

pretty clear it's talking about Christ here. Did He not say the first part exactly on the cross?

verse 1: [[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.]] In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.

That's a statement of the faith of Christ when He was undergoing the wrath of God for our sins.
All that is showing us is the humanity of Christ, so that we may empathise &/or understand &/or emulate Him.

According to the definition of faith as I gave above, was Christ emulating God, or is He God in the flesh?
Was Christ He trying to stay faithful to God or is that Who He Is?
Was Christ He trying to stay faithful His Word, or is He the Word incarnate?



verse 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Another statement of the faith of Christ here.

verse 1 [[Michtam of David.]] Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.

And again in this Messianic psalm it speaks of the faith of Christ.
Again showing us is the humanity of Christ, was Christ emulating God, or is He God in the flesh?
Was Christ He trying to stay faithful to God or is that Who He Is?
Was Christ He trying to stay faithful His Word, or is He the Word incarnate?


These can't be denied. You can put your head in the sand if you want but the bible is perfectly clear concerning the faith of Christ.Only if you don't think that Christ is God.
Why & how does God need faith as defined above?

Diolectic
Apr 2nd 2008, 04:06 PM
You can change my mind by presenting your view that is persuasive of the truth.


I don't want to be wrong, however, you have not yet said anything that makes sense. I beg to differ. I can't change minds. Only God can change minds. If you become persuaded, I can't take any credit for it. God is the one that opens spiritual eyes and ears to the truth. Not me.
There s nothing about opening spiritual eyes with changing ones eyes.
If one is persuaded of the truth, he is able to change his mind without God doing anything.
Otherwise, it would be God's fault for people not changing their minds to the truth.
Don't over spiritualize things.




Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?

That would be the faithfulness of God not His belief(faith)
That's not what it says. The verse is clear.
Faithfulness is what the word is in context.
What would the God's belief have to do with the context?
Furthermore, what would God "believe" in?



The Faith = A system of revealed truths received by Christians. The Christian religion.

Faith = Loyalty, Fidelity, Careful and exact observance or adherence to truth or of that which is being emulated.

Belief = A persuasion of the truth, or an assent of mind to the truth.

Acknowledging the facts of that which is unseen and accepting them as true &/or real.

In some cases, the word is used for persuasion or opinion, when the evidence is not so clear as to leave no doubt; but the shades of strength in opinion can hardly be defined, or exemplified. Hence the use of qualifying words; as a firm, full or strong belief.



With this in mind, one Can not be saved without belief first, however, true faith comes afterwards and stems from that first belief.Belief and faith are essentially the same word.How could you say that, knowing these definitions?


I'm no Greek scholar but they are definitely from the same word in Greek (pistis). And since I'm no scholar on this language I can only go with commentaries I've heard about this word. And basically they say that belief is the verb form of the noun faith. In Greek the same word but just a slight change in the suffix. The meanings are just as nearly identical. Just enough change to reflect the difference in the grammar.
There are different meanings in English.
It doesn't matter if the root of the word is the same.
Example: Vacate = Vacation.
&
Universal = university

the same root-words but just a slight change in the suffix.
The meanings are not just as nearly identical.

Furthermore, the definitions that I gave are correct, which shows that they are different.

I should have given a definition of the word faithfulness:
Loyalty; firm allegiance and duty; as the faithfulness of a subject.

Do you think faith, faithfulness, & belief are all interchangeable just because they all have the same root-word?



That would be like saying His actual name is actually "Holy"(Isaiah 57:15), instead of His name is described as holy.In that passage, He is naming Himself Holy. God gives Himself names that help describe His attributes. And it's capitalized which really makes the point even though it didn't have to be capitalized to understand that He is naming Himself Holy.
Have it your way.
I'll take what the context is telling us.

[quote]Only if you don't think that Christ is God.

Why & how does God need faith as defined above?[quote]Why is it then that Jesus is called Faithful if He didn't have faith?
Because HE is Loyal, He has firm allegiance and duty to His Word.
You didn't answer my question: Why & how does God need faith as the definition I gave?

Tell me what or who God has faith in?
What is that object of His faith?


If someone is faithful then they have faith. The word faithful describes someone who has faith.Did you notice the two different meanings?


Again though it’s from the same Greek word (pistis). Just another form of the word faith. Here's part of the definition of faithful.

In the NT one who trusts in God's promises
1) one who is convinced that Jesus has been raised from the dead
2) one who has become convinced that Jesus is the Messiah and author of salvationThe definitions that I gave are more specific and better for what the words really mean.


Rom
3:22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
However, what I underlined is genitive forms of the nouns God and Jesus. Genitive forms of nouns in Greek are the same as the English possessive. They mean just that, possession. Greek genitive nouns describe other nouns in the sentence as belonging to the genitive noun. When a genitive noun is translated into English, the article "of" is added by the translators to indicate that it is possessive. As I said it's not in the Greek but necessary to get the meaning into the English language. So in the verse above righteousness is the possession of God. God is genitive. Also faith is the possession of Jesus. Jesus is genitive. The word "of" is used in the English to get the meaning across.
Genitive = used primarily to express possession, measure, or origin.

Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness from God [which is] by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Let's put this in context...
The righteousness which Abraham received is from or God.
How did he receive that righteousness?
He believed in/on God to be true.

The origin of faith is in or on the object of which we believe.

Please, if Christ(God) has faith, what or who does God has faith in?
What is that object of His faith?


Do you believe me now? If you were being honest with me and yourself, you would have to at least have a huge question mark over your stance that Christ doesn't have faith.
It doesn't make any sense at all for God to have faith.
He may be loyal(faithful) though.
Furthermore, He does not "believe" anything, He knows everything.


And with a little diligent study you would come to the same conclusion as I have.
Maybe, if you could answer what or who does God has faith in or what is that object of His faith, then I might accept it.

John146
Apr 2nd 2008, 06:41 PM
Greetings Eric,

It seems you are confusing the work of salvation with the works we do after salvation.

Nope.

5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; - Titus 3:5-6

This clearly says that we are not saved by our own works of righteousness. But we know we are saved by having faith in Christ. Therefore, faith is not a work of righteousness.



Scripture does tell us that faith is a work.Okay, you said this and then you proceeded to not give one single verse that says this.



It is the work of Christ, and it becomes our work after salvation. That's why we read:

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.This does not say faith is a work. So far, you haven't backed up your claim. So, I'll read on.


That salvation is the work of Christ is clearly documented in Scripture.

Joh 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Joh 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.This does not say that faith is a work of righteousness or a "good work" as that term is used in scripture. Ephesians 2:8-10 clearly says that we are saved by grace through faith and not of works. Since we are saved through faith and not of works, how can faith be a work in the sense that Ephesians 2 or Titus 3 defines works? Was Paul saying that we are not saved of works, which includes faith? No.




Joh 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?

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 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

Joh 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

Ro 9:28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

Ro 14:20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

Paul certainly considered keeping his faith a continual work. Fight here means to struggle, or labor fervently.

1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:Again, none of those say that the faith that we initially put in Christ when we repent of our sins and put our trust in Him is a work. If it was then Paul would have been in error by saying that we are saved partly through faith yet are not saved of works so that no one can boast. If we are not saved of works and faith is a work then we would not be saved through faith, either.

John146
Apr 2nd 2008, 06:51 PM
You're missing James point completely. James clearly shows us faith is wrought and held by works.

He also clearly shows that faith and works are not exactly the same thing, which is my point. He never said that faith is a work. Our works reflect our faith, but this does not mean that works and faith are the same thing. Abraham's faith was reflected in his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar. The work was sacrificing his son. His faith was his belief that God knew what He was doing by having him do that.

John146
Apr 2nd 2008, 07:16 PM
I agree completely with RogerW. Faith is a work and as such cannot contribute to our salvation. The bible can't be any clearer about this. It says it 3 times plainly.

1Th 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

2Th 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power:

Jhn 6:28-29 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Argue against the bible if you will but the truth of these statements remain.

But I believe your understanding of them is in error. Other translations translate it as "the work of the faith" rather than "the work of faith". The work of the faith is to preach the gospel, feed the poor, make disciples, and so on.



Faith is work. Plain and clear.

It's not a work of righteousness or a good work. Titus 3:5-6 says that we are not saved by our own works of righteousness. Yet we know we are saved through faith. If faith was a good work or work of righteousness then that would mean we are not saved through faith since we know we are not saved by works.



They want to put their faith as the instrument of their salvation. They want to say that since they had enough faith when they "chose" Christ, they became saved. We don't choose Him, He chooses us. They hold on the the free will doctrine. I agree that we do have free will. It's just that our free will chooses sin every time.

Really? Is that why Joshua told people to choose who they would serve (Joshua 24:15)?.



We choose to disobey God. That is the extent of our free will. We are completely unable to choose Christ. We are all spiritually dead. How can the dead choose anything?

Why can't they? Don't you know that it says in John 5:24-25 that the spiritually dead can hear Jesus' voice and those who hear and believe in Him pass from spiritual death to spiritual life?



We must be born again of the spirit. Did we chooses to be born physically? Did we say to our parents "OK I want to be born so give birth to me". It is a much greater feet to be born of the spirit. Why do so many insist on a salvation based on themselves? Why do they not want to give God all the glory? Why do they want to take some of that glory for themselves? They say they are not doing this but by these statements about choosing and believing, that's what they are trying to do. What's so bad about giving God all the glory?

This is where you are mistaken. Why does one deserve to take glory in their own salvation by merely having faith? You make this assumption but it is erroneous. Look at it this way. Let's say you were on a boat that was sinking and you fell into the water and you couldn't swim. Then someone in a lifeboat comes by and offers you their hand and you take it and they bring you onto the lifeboat and save your from dying. Did you somehow deserve glory in taking the person's hand? Of course not. So, why does anyone deserve glory for merely accepting the free gift of salvation that is offered to all mankind? I believe differently than you about this issue, yet I give God all the glory for my salvation. I do believe that I was required to repent and believe in Christ, but how can I glory in the fact that I recognized that I was a pathetic sinner in need of a Savior?

In order to have faith one must hear the Word of God and then make a decision in their heart of whether what is being preached is the truth or not. If one concludes that it is the truth then they will realize that they are a sinner in need of salvation and will humble themselves and repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Christ. Where is boasting or taking glory for oneself in that? Acknowledging our sinfulness and inability to save ourselves is a humbling experience and is nothing to take glory in or boast about.

9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. - 2 Corinthians 7:9-10

John146
Apr 2nd 2008, 07:26 PM
If there was ever a question that Arminian doctrine leads to a false gospel these two posts should lay that question to rest.

While I agree that fruit is produced by God, for God, I cannot agree with the assertions that it is that fruit that saves us.

The reference to Matthew 25 shows such an unbelieveable misunderstanding of scripture, I am wondering if it is even worth making a response?

Maybe if you actually understood what I was saying, you wouldn't make this kind of judgment. It is not the works themselves that save. It is faith. But the works are the evidence that we have true faith. As James said, faith without works is dead. You can't try to convince anyone you have faith, if your works don't reflect it. But, again, it is the Spirit who works through us. We can't do anything apart from Christ (John 15:5).



Just to set the stage, please note the dispensational change at Mat 25:31:

Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Obviously, this is after the rapture of the Church, and upon the start of the millenial kingdom, or some believe perhaps at the end of that period. But either way, these are NOT members of the Church as Jesus reference to "these my brethre makes clear:

Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

The Church is obviously a (raptured) third party standing by witnessing this event.

What? Are you suggesting that people outside the church will inherit the kingdom (Matt 25:34) and receive "life eternal" (Matt 25:46)? Your understanding of Matthew 25 is quite flawed. The sheep are believers and the goats are unbelievers. The sheep are in the Church and the goats are not. That is why the goats are cast into "everlasting fire" (Matt 25:41) and everlasting punishment (Matt 25:46) and the sheep inherit the kingdom and receive "life eternal". This is clearly speaking of the day of judgment when believers will inherit the eternal kingdom of the Father and unbelievers will be cast into the lake of fire.



These two posts are rather shocking to me, honestly. :eek:

Only because of your lack of understanding of what we are really saying. Never once did I say that we are saved by our own works done by our own effort.

John146
Apr 2nd 2008, 08:16 PM
Diolectic,

Faith is not a requirement for salvation. The bible makes that clear as a bell.

Actually, it makes it clear as a bell that faith IS required for salvation.

15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. - John 3:16-18

I don't even have to go any further than this to show that faith is obviously required for salvation. Whosoever believeth in Him. He that believeth on Him. But faith isn't required? Obviously, to say that is to contradict John 3:15-18. Jesus repeatedly said that faith is required probably because He knew there would be people like you who would try to say otherwise.

36He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. - John 3:36

24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. - John 5:24

35And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
36But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. - John 6:35-36

40And 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. - John 6:40

47Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. - John 6:47

25Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? - John 11:25-26

30And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31But 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 20:30-31

12He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. - 1 John 5:12-13

49And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
50And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. - Luke 7:49-50

8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9Not of works, lest any man should boast. - Ephesians 2:8-9

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. - Mark 16:16

11Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. - Luke 8:11-12

30And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. - Acts 16:30-31

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



Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

Clear. If some don't believe, It doesn't make the faith of God ineffectual. Basically it's saying that our faith isn't what's important. It's Christ's faith that's important. Please let me know how you plan on explaining away this verse to suit your doctrine. Try taking the verse in proper context. Nowhere in the surrounding verses does it say that our faith isn't important. It doesn't even come anywhere near implying that. Paul was asking what if some of the Jews didn't believe? It wouldn't have changed the faithfulness of God and what He would do. Notice I said the faithfulness of God rather than the faith of God. God doesn't have or need faith. Faith in what? Young's Literal Translation translates it as faithfulness of God rather than faith of God, which makes more sense. Paul's point was that no one's unbelief could override God's faithfulness to those who do believe. He said absolutely nothing about our faith not being important!

Diolectic
Apr 3rd 2008, 12:29 AM
Genitive = used primarily to express possession, measure, or origin.

Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness from God [which is] by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
I was wondering how you would explain this. I knew that there was no way you could accept what the bible says to be true. In your translation you again put the word "in" when talking of the faith of Christ. Again it's too bad that you can't just accept what is clearly taught.
What do you mean that I don't accept what the bible says to be true.

I gave a sound Scriptural explaination of the reson for the interpretation that has "from" & "in".

You are the one who will not accept what the bible says to be true, if you don't accept the basis for the interpretation which I gave. Why didn't you include it in your quote of mine?


In your translation you again put the word "in" when talking of the faith of Christ. Again it's too bad that you can't just accept what is clearly taught.
It is taught that our righteousness apart from the law(Romans 3:21) comes from God which is by faith in Christ.
I am not diverting from sound doctrine.

You have not yet explained what or who Christ(God) would have faith in if it were "the faith "of" Christ.




Maybe, if you could answer what or who does God has faith in or what is that object of His faith, then I might accept it.Yes, yes Christ is God but do any of us understand the relationship between God and Christ? No. They are seperate entities and yet are the same perso
Actualy, They must be the same entity, God; but diferent persons.

Furthermore, if you don't understand the relationship between God and Christ, then why are you so firm in your interpretation of "faith of Christ"?


So don't try to explain it. Christ came as a human being and obeyed the law perfectly. Too bad He couldn't obey the law that says we must have faith in God according to you.Christ did not need saving, therefore, He did not need to obey the law that says we must have faith in God.


He has no faith according to you. Which makes Christ to you less than the perfect sacrifice since He can't obey that command.
How would Christ having no faith but having imperical knowledge make Him less than the perfect sacrifice?

Christ not having Faith(belief) does not mean that He was unfaithful(unloyal)


Christ came as a human, had to act as a human, and also had to believe as a human to obey the law perfectly.Why must he need to only believe?
Why couldn't he know perfectly(which is not believing) and obey the law perfectly.

Has it occurred to you that because He didn't only have faith but had imperical knowledge(he knew perfectly) is the reason why or how He was perfect & lived perfectly)?


Wow. When all else fails, find another translation that says it the way you want it said.Are you a "KJV onlyist"



Why can't they? Don't you know that it says in John 5:24-25 that the spiritually dead can hear Jesus' voice and those who hear and believe in Him pass from spiritual death to spiritual life? If they hear His voice then it means God is raising them from their spiritual death. It means they are saved by God. Not by their power do they hear, but by the power of God do they hear.
That is a classic case of reading into a text with no back up or co-text.


This is where you are mistaken. Why does one deserve to take glory in their own salvation by merely having faith? You make this assumption but it is erroneous. Look at it this way. Let's say you were on a boat that was sinking and you fell into the water and you couldn't swim. Then someone in a lifeboat comes by and offers you their hand and you take it and they bring you onto the lifeboat and save your from dying. Did you somehow deserve glory in taking the person's hand? Of course not. So, why does anyone deserve glory for merely accepting the free gift of salvation that is offered to all mankind?
I believe differently than you about this issue, yet I give God all the glory for my salvation. I do believe that I was required to repent and believe in Christ, but how can I glory in the fact that I recognized that I was a pathetic sinner in need of a Savior?

In order to have faith one must hear the Word of God and then make a decision in their heart of whether what is being preached is the truth or not. If one concludes that it is the truth then they will realize that they are a sinner in need of salvation and will humble themselves and repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Christ. Where is boasting or taking glory for oneself in that? Acknowledging our sinfulness and inability to save ourselves is a humbling experience and is nothing to take glory in or boast about. Your little story is nice but it doesn't reflect our condition. It would be better stated that I was dead on that boat anyway. My corpse fell overboard and was sinking into the waters.
If you were a dead corps, then there would be no hope for you. You already died, no second chances.


God comes along and says "Mikey0, come forth!" Then I was resurrected to life at that moment and walking on water.You would still need to have faith as Peter did after he started to sink & called out to Jesus for help.


I didn't do anything. God did it all. My faith had nothing to do with it because I was already dead. I had no will to respond, I was dead. I can't hear or see or speak or think. DEAD in my sins.You surely take the analogy of "dead in sin" to far.
All "dead in sin" & spiritually dead" means is that there is no relationship with Christ.(John 17:3)


It was God's mercy that He gave me spiritual life.No, it is the relationship that He has with you that gives you spiritual life.
His mercy is that, He made away for us to have that relationship.


That's mercy. Not that I must believe 1st. That's being confident in my faith.That's ridiculous.
Why would being confident in your faith be wrong? Being confident that ones faith is sure is a good thing.

Believing first or having faith first is proving that you agree to His charge against you.

Diolectic
Apr 3rd 2008, 02:02 AM
I can pick apart every verse you listed. I will have to be brief and to the point because I'm running out of time here. Here are some definitions of the key words of this passage. Notice what I have bold.

whosoever:
1) individually
a) each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything
2) collectively
a) some of all types

some of all types which means some of all races of humans.

World:
8) any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort
a) the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews (Rom. 11:12 etc)
b) of believers only, John 1:29; 3:16; 3:17; 6:33; 12:47 1 Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 5:19

Among the obvious definitions of world, here's the one that goes with the passage best. A collection of particulars. Believers only.

God so loved the elect only that he gave......that some of every race of humans....
You get the point but you just don't like it."Limited Atonement":
According to individual election (not cooperate), God elected some & thereby, not electing others.
This means that God elected & not elected people arbitrarily before creation.
In doing this, He must have judged and condemned mankind before anyone ever committed sin.
In doing this, God created these "non-elect" for the sole purpose of destroying them in hell.
This god is not all loving and very finite in grace!
This god is a sadistic tyrant that has pleasure in tormenting sentient beings for doing that which they are created for.


24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. - John
5:24 If we hear His word then we must have received spiritual life.

How do you come to that conclusion?
You must not understand what spiritual life is.
Since spiritual life is having a relationship with Christ(John 17:3) then He that hears HIS word is hearing the invitation to that relationship that gives eternal life.


Spiritual hearing is what its referring to.Where do you get that one?


Here's my belief. We are saved by the mercy of God only.Again, where do you get that one?
By grace through(by the means of) faith are we saved....


We are spiritually dead and unable to respond to Christ.Again, where do you get that one?
Since spiritual death is not is having a relationship with Christ, it does not mean that we are unable to respond.
If we were unable to respond, that would give a valid excuse for not believing.

God: Why didn't you believe?
Sinner: It's not my fault, it is because you didn't enable me to.

God: Why didn't you respond?
Sinner: It's not my fault, it is because you didn't give me spiritual life?

God: Why are you a sinner?
Sinner: It's not my fault, it is because you made me that way by making a sinner before I was born, being born spiritually dead.

Sinner: I am in hell for the very reason that I was created for.
I was hated before I was born before I did any good or evil, I was doomed before creation with no hope of redemption from that which God has done.
This god judged me as a criminal before I ever committed a sin by not electing me before he made the creation.
This god made sure that I became a sinner by charging me with a distant relative’s sin.
I never had grace to be saved because the Atonement was not for me.
I was never supposed to be saved in the first place.
I never could do what was required to be right with God which is to repent and put his faith in/on Christ.
I am condemned for that which is unavoidable.
God never let me obey because he never regenerated me.


Yours is this. We are saved by Christ but He requires our faith to do it.That's the way it is.


If we don't believe then Christ doesn't have the power to save us.How do you think HE saves without faith?


God depends on us to have faith because without our effort of faith, God is powerless to save.Do you not know that to have faith in Christ is humbling and brings humility?

You are basically saying that you were proud and refusing to believe God's judgment against you at the time you were saved in contrast to those of us who were in humility of faith agreeing to God's judgment against us at the time we were saved.
Hmmm...


God's effort plus our effort.Grace plus faith(Eph 2:8)
Remember, if God is responsible for every one to have faith, then HE must be responsible for the faithlessness of mankind.
This is ridiculous.


He needs us because He's not powerful enough to save us without our help.You think that faith saves?
Don't you know that it is the relationship with Christ that saves us?


Our creator is in need of us if He is to have a people for Himself. If He didn't have us, then HE wouldn't have a people for Himself. therefore, He needs us to have a people for Himself. Duh!
Who else would be a people for HIM if not us?


Like it or not, that's the jest of what people that hold to that doctrine believe.It makes sense.


They put their trust in their faith.That is redundant.
So also is what you say about being confident in your faith.

You are saying something equivalent to, one has faith that God will save them before HE saves them is believing in belief.
This makes no sense at all and therefore nullifies your argument.

Any way, why would being confident in your faith be wrong in the first place? Being confident that ones faith is sure is a good thing.

Answer this, do you even follow through with what you believe to the logical conclusion?
If a belief has a logical conclusion(an extreme) that is not true, then the belief is wrong.
Why wouldn't any one want to go to the logical conclusion to what they believe?
What is wrong with extreme Calvinism to a Calvinist?

John146
Apr 3rd 2008, 07:09 PM
Wow. When all else fails, find another translation that says it the way you want it said.

It's always good to check the original Greek and other translations. Are you one of those KJV-only people who acts as if the KJV is an original manuscript?


Read those passages carefully. It's not saying choose between God and the idols. He's speaking to the heathen and telling them to choose between their heathen gods. Very easily seen if you read it carefully and without preconceived notions.

Why in the world would he tell them to choose which heathen god to serve? You don't need any preconceived notions to see that is obviously not what he was saying. He clearly was saying to either choose serve their gods and idols or choose to serve God.


If they hear His voice then it means God is raising them from their spiritual death. It means they are saved by God. Not by their power do they hear, but by the power of God do they hear.

And you miss that they must believe first before they are saved.


Your little story is nice but it doesn't reflect our condition. It would be better stated that I was dead on that boat anyway.

But everyone is still afloat while they are physically alive. Everyone has a chance to be saved while they are still physically alive unless God chooses to harden their hearts and give them over to their sins (make them reprobate) first.



My corpse fell overboard and was sinking into the waters. God comes along and says "Mikey0, come forth!" Then I was resurrected to life at that moment and walking on water. I didn't do anything. God did it all. My faith had nothing to do with it because I was already dead. I had no will to respond, I was dead. I can't hear or see or speak or think. DEAD in my sins. It was God's mercy that He gave me spiritual life. That's mercy. Not that I must believe 1st. That's being confident in my faith.

I totally disagree. We're not brain dead zombies, puppets or robots. Everyone has been given a conscience and heart with which to use to make decisions. If the spiritually dead can't make a decision to accept or reject Christ then why do those same spiritually dead people not have any excuse to not believe "that which may be known of God...even his eternal power and Godhead" (Rom 1:19-20)?

John146
Apr 3rd 2008, 07:47 PM
I can pick apart every verse you listed. I will have to be brief and to the point because I'm running out of time here. Here are some definitions of the key words of this passage. Notice what I have bold.

whosoever:
1) individually
a) each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything
2) collectively
a) some of all types

some of all types which means some of all races of humans.

World:
8) any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort
a) the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews (Rom. 11:12 etc)
b) of believers only, John 1:29; 3:16; 3:17; 6:33; 12:47 1 Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 5:19

Among the obvious definitions of world, here's the one that goes with the passage best. A collection of particulars. Believers only.

God so loved the elect only that he gave......that some of every race of humans....

You get the point but you just don't like it.

Yeah, I get your point and you're right that I don't like that you, in my opinion, blatantly misinterpret and explain away so many passages. Let's take a closer look at John 3:16-18.

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. - John 3:16-18

In each case "the world" is definitely speaking of the entire world. Everyone. Why? Because look what it says. Whosoever believes in Him will not perish. Whosoever means anyone and everyone. Anyone in the world who chooses to believe in Him will not perish. Then it says God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world. Is that saying God did not send His Son into the elect to condemn the elect? Of course not. That would be ridiculous. So, clearly the entire world is in view here. Whosoever believes in Him is not condemned and will not perish. Whosoever does not believe in Him is condemned.




This is true. But because we are saved already do we believe on the Son. True belief that is. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit.

Nowhere does it say that we are saved already before first believing in Christ. It often says quite the opposite, as I already showed.


If we hear His word then we must have received spiritual life. Spiritual hearing is what its referring to. As such we have been saved already.

But it doesn't say that. You are reading that into the text.



If we come to him it means God is drawing us to Him. Evidence of becoming saved.

Jhn 6:44 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.

You need to continue reading in John 6 to understand the context of John 6:44.

64But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
66From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. - John 6:64-66

Who does the Father draw to Christ? Those who believe in Him. Look at verse 64 above. Some of those who followed Jesus did not really believe in Him. Judas Iscariot is one obvious example. So, because of their unbelief, the Father did not draw them to Christ. It comes back once again to the requirement for a person to put their faith in Christ. That is a decision everyone must make.




Again, if we see him and believe, it's because of the work of God. Fruit of the spirit remember.

Don't you know that it's possible for someone to resist the Spirit? You act as if no one can resist God's call, but scriptures says that many are called, but few are chosen(Matt 22:14).

51Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. - Acts 7:51

You think people are incapable of making a choice to respond to the call of the Spirit. This verse says otherwise. The reason these religious Jews did not believe was not because God didn't allow them to believe or didn't choose them. It was because of their being stiffnecked and stubborn. They refused to believe. They resisted the Holy Spirit. They couldn't resist the Holy Spirit if the Holy Spirit wasn't calling them.



I can go on and on with you verses. I just don't have the time. Here's my belief. We are saved by the mercy of God only. We are spiritually dead and unable to respond to Christ.

Show me scripture that says people who are spiritually dead are unable to respond to Christ.


All God's effort and none of my own. He requires nothing from us.

He sure does. Repeatedly, people are commanded to repent and believe. The prison keeper asked Paul what he had to do to be saved? Believe in Christ. In Acts 2, the people asked what they needed to do? Repent and be baptized. Jesus commanded people to repent and believe the gospel. Yet, you say nothing is required of us?



Yours is this. We are saved by Christ but He requires our faith to do it. If we don't believe then Christ doesn't have the power to save us.

Of course He has the power to save those who don't believe, but He's not interested in saving people that hate Him. He wants them to come willingly to Him.


God depends on us to have faith because without our effort of faith, God is powerless to save.

You are looking at this from an unbiblical perspective and you are misrepresenting my view. God doesn't depend on us for anything. But He does require us to repent and have faith. Scripture is very clear about that. God saves us by the shed blood of His Son on the cross. We don't save ourselves. But we are required to humble and deny ourselves and acknowledge that we are sinners and we need Jesus to save us.



God's effort plus our effort. He needs us because He's not powerful enough to save us without our help.

No, He just doesn't want to have a relationship with a bunch of puppets and robots. He wants a loving relationship with people and He isn't going to force anyone to love Him.



Our creator is in need of us if He is to have a people for Himself.

He isn't in need of anything, but He does desire to have a relationship with people who He loves and who love Him back.


Like it or not, that's the jest of what people that hold to that doctrine believe.

Nice job misrepresenting our view. That was very mature of you.


But none will say they think this way. But by their actions, they do. They put their trust in their faith.

Absolutely false. Our faith and trust is in Christ and Him alone.


"No we don't! We trust in God!" No, you trust in your faith because that is the catalyst for your salvation. Not God's mercy and divine will. Go ahead and trust your faith. I will trust on God and pray that He will save me.

Just continue to misrepresent our view if you want. It only makes you look immature.

John146
Apr 3rd 2008, 07:58 PM
"Limited Atonement":
According to individual election (not cooperate), God elected some & thereby, not electing others.
This means that God elected & not elected people arbitrarily before creation.
In doing this, He must have judged and condemned mankind before anyone ever committed sin.
In doing this, God created these "non-elect" for the sole purpose of destroying them in hell.
This god is not all loving and very finite in grace!
This god is a sadistic tyrant that has pleasure in tormenting sentient beings for doing that which they are created for.Absolutely agree. Limited atonement goes against the character of God that is portrayed throughout the Bible! Scripture repeatedly says that God is not a respecter of persons. Limited atonement would mean that He is a respecter of persons. God is love. Limited atonement says God is love and hate and He loves and hates indiscriminately for no reason. Since Scripture teaches that few walk the narrow path to eternal life and many walk the broad path to destruction, limited atonement would say that this was God's will. God must get some kind of enjoyment out of creating most people to have no chance to be saved. Yet scripture says that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Scripture says that God grieved over the way mankind behaved in Noah's day. Why would He grieve if it was His will for the vast majority of them to reject Him? Limited atonement is clearly unscriptural. None of the early church fathers believed in it until Augustine around the year 400 AD.

Diolectic
Apr 3rd 2008, 09:03 PM
Amen to your whol post, but I would like to comment on this:
Limited atonement is clearly unscriptural. None of the early church fathers believed in it until Augustine around the year 400 AD.Augustine has been bad influence on the church.

His theology has crept into ever wing(left & right) and denomination of the church, especialy in the west.

John146
Apr 4th 2008, 03:24 PM
I wasn't going to continue with this post since really only 3 of us are participating anyway anymore. And since, as I knew from the beginning, that there wouldn't be any hearts changed. I felt though I needed to make at least a few more responses but still knowing that It will fall on deaf ears.

My ears are deaf to what I believe is false teaching.


That's like the pot calling the kettle black. You do the same IMHO.

Instead of going back and forth with accusations about each other's views, why don't we just stick with discussing the scriptures.


I guess you didn't look at the definitions I gave.

Yes, I did. I completely understand that certain words CAN mean different things. That's why we have to look at the context and what scripture teaches as a whole.


The world can and does in this case refer to a specific people. Whosoever in this case refers to some of all types. You don't want to believe that there are an elected people chosen from before creation. Quite a few places in the bible speaks of those people.

You are good at making false accusations. Never did I say that scripture doesn't say that there are people chosen from before creation. But what I believe is that we are chosen based on the foreknowledge of God. You somehow have concluded that election to salvation is unconditional despite the fact that conditions are laid out for salvation repeatedly. Believe in Christ. Repent. Deny yourself. Nowhere does it say that God does those things for us.


Fruit of the Spirit. If my fruit was a cause of salvation, it would mean that my longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, etc would be one way for me to be saved. Obviously that isn't the case. One of the fruits is faith. If it's a fruit it can not be a catalyst for salvation. It must be a result of salvation. This one verse kills the whole faith 1st argument.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

You are taking this out of context. Jesus commanded people who did not have the Spirit dwelling in them to "repent and believe the gospel". So, obviously Jesus knew that people could put their faith in Him without needing the Spirit to indwell them first.


64But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

Those that believed not were unsaved. God didn't save them so they didn't believe.
65And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

Absolutely true!! We can't come to Him unless we are given to Him by the Father. If we are given to Him then He will draw us to Him.

But notice that He knows beforehand who believes and who doesn't. That's how He determines who to draw and give to Christ.


All resist. I'm not saying we can't resist. I am saying that though we resist, God is stronger. If He wants us He will have us. Period. End of story.

Show me scripture that says this.


Of course they refused. That's called rebellion. We all are in rebellion against God. Every single human soul before salvation.

Rom 3:10-12 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Yes, people need God's help to believe. So, what does He do? He has the gospel preached to them. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. He also works on convicting people in their hearts by His Spirit. Yet some resist Him. Why would the Spirit work on convicting some people who choose to always resist Him if they were predetermined to resist Him? Wouldn't that be a waste of time? Of course it would. So, we have to assume that the Spirit is working on everyone, but some choose to resist Him and continue to do so even until the day they die. That doesn't mean it was God's will for that to happen. We can see this in the following passages:

37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. - Matt 23:37-38

18Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. - Isaiah 1:18-20

17Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
18O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
19Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me. - Isaiah 48:17-19

1Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
3If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
4Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
5He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
6But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
7So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
8When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
9Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
10Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?
11Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? - Ezekiel 33:1-11



If you won't believe even the basic stuff I stated above, you definitely won't believe what I'm about to say. The raising of Lazarus and the valley of dry bones in Ezk are pictures of salvation if progress. Parables of salvation.

Be baptized with water and the spirit. Or, after we work out that parable, with the gospel and with the Spirit. To be baptized means to wash away sins. Can we wash away our sins? Christ does that. Why did He command us to do that which we can't? He fulfills that requirement when He saves us. Same with repentance. We have a stony heart. We need God to give us a new heart to repent. Again God does it for us.

Where does it say that God repents for us?


It won't be a bunch of puppets. It will be a bunch of very grateful and humble people because they would know that they deserve hell. But it was by God's mercy that they are saved. And if left to our own faith or whatever, we would be lost forever.

If left completely to ourselves, we would be lost forever. But, thankfully, God sent His Son to be a propitiation for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2) so that anyone in the world who chooses to repent and believe in Him and accepts the free gift of eternal life will be saved. God doesn't leave people completely to themselves. He gives them the gospel that is preached throughout the world. His Spirit pricks people's hearts and let's them know they are sinners. But some resist the Spirit and some reject the gospel. That is their choice. Why would God predetermine that they would reject Christ even before they were born? Does that seem fair to you? Doesn't scripture teach that God is fair and just and is not a respecter of persons?



Am I really misrepresenting your view? I don't think I'm far from the truth.

Probably because you only understand your own view and don't want to hear any other view.


I once believed as you do until God opened my eyes to the truth.

God opened your eyes to the "truth" that He intentionally created most people with no chance of being saved and condemned them from before the foundation of the world to eternity in the lake of fire? Wow, are you sure it was God that revealed this "truth" to you?



I once believed that I had to have faith and accept Jesus as my Saviour.

Probably because at that time you knew that scripture clearly teaches that.



I'm so grateful to God to have been merciful enough to pull me out of that way of thinking.

Really? Why?


As I think back, I realized that yeah, that is essentially what people are doing. I can choose when I get saved by just choosing when I want to accept and believe in Him. Break it down to it's most common denominator and we end up with my faith as the souce of salvation.

That is just an erroneous way of looking at it. The source of our salvation is Christ and His shed blood on the cross. We do not save ourselves just because we are required to bow down to Him and acknowledge that we can't save ourselves and need Him to save us.



Didn't I just say in my previous post that that is what you would say? Strange that I knew how you think. Maybe because I was once there myself.

In my opinion, it's too bad that you drifted away from the truth regarding this issue by falling for this teaching that none of the early church fathers before 400 AD held.


I don't say these things to be hateful in anyway. Please understand that I only want people to see the truth of the matter. Call me immature if you want. I understand that the world hates this doctrine. I'm not here to follow the world's freewill gospel. If everyone liked what I had to say I would be concerned. I would be concerned because the world loves it's own.

Jhn 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

You may not like what I have to say but It doesn't make it any less true.

I don't see much truth in what you're saying. And should I say the same thing you're saying here because you and many others who hold your view disagree with me? This is not the way to support a view. Stick with scripture.


I say these things knowing full well that the world hates this doctrine.

Do they? I'd say most of the world doesn't even have an opinion on this doctrine because most of the world is lost.



Knowing full well that they will resist it to the very end. I don't say these things to be politically correct. I don't say things to try to get a better reputation score on this forum. I don't say these things thinking that people will agree with me and congratulate me on my understanding of the bible. I don't care ultimately about what people think of me. All I care about is doing what God commanded all true believers to do and that's spread the Word.

I feel the same way about the view I hold, so what you're saying has no bearing on the actual truth of the matter. Again, stick with scripture.


I'm a nothing. I am a rotten sinner and what I know I don't take credit for.

Me too. Your error is in assuming that those of us who disagree with you try to take credit for our salvation, but that is simply not the case.


I pray all the time for understanding of scripture.

So do I.



As I hope one day you and anyone else who is serious about these things will do. Pray, pray, pray for understanding and mercy.

I do. It is arrogant and judgmental of you to imply otherwise.