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  • Prevenient Grace

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

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

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

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

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

    God bless,

    js


    Prevenient grace

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (Redirected from Prevenient Grace)•


    John Wesley





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

  • #2
    I haven't thought about it that way, good point.
    "Everyone needs a Hobab"~ Brother Mark

    δολος Χριστός ησος
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    Comment


    • #3
      To become mature... to receive full revelation... this is the path as I see it in illumination and discernment: completely separate good from evil in our own understandings.

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

      Hebrews 5:13-14 (New International Version)

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



      God is good. The devil is bad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      God bless!

      js

      Comment


      • #4
        May you all be blessed by the rememberance of what Christ has done for each one of us... Prevenient grace!!! While I was being knitted together in my Mother's womb, His Prevenient Grace was available to me already...
        It is impossible to live without sin for us humans.... and G_d made that grace available for us, even before we are born.... yet we need to accept His agape love..... and once you have done that, you are moved to a life of gratitude....

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

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

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

        G_d was gracious He has shown favor


        Hope is a seed
        God plants in our hearts
        to remind us
        there are better things ahead.
        -Holley Gerth

        Comment


        • #5
          Hmmm.

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

          We are told to choose. So choose we must. Let's not get in one ditch or the other. One ditch suggest only God chooses. The other ditch suggest only men choose. But scripture teaches both.
          Matt 9:13
          13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
          NASU

          Comment


          • #6
            [QUOTE]
            Originally posted by ACCM View Post
            May you all be blessed by the rememberance of what Christ has done for each one of us... Prevenient grace!!! While I was being knitted together in my Mother's womb, His Prevenient Grace was available to me already...
            If preventative grace was available to you... you would have been able, by your will, to prevent your birth being greater than God who knit you together in your mothers womb.

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

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

            It is impossible to live without sin for us humans.
            Amen.

            G_d made that grace available for us, even before we are born
            God had to do more than just make birth available to you. As your Creator, He had to decide by total 100% grace to create you, love you, form you, watch over you, walk with you, carry you, and do all things pertaining to your needs.

            Yet we need to accept His agape love..
            The old man does not do this work of faith. The new man does... by God's 100% glorious, magnificent, total, all-sufficient grace!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            .. maybe yes, because we were not created to be robots, but with a mind of our own to choose Him as Savior of our souls
            Amen. We are lovers.. not robots. This isn't the Stepford Wives. We are the bride of Christ... and we are spirit... and we are loving because God who is Love has shed the love of God abroad on our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

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

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

            It's about... looooooooooooooooove.

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



            The emphasis is not on our choosing, but on that what was made available for us!![
            The emphasis must be on God's Love... and that at the level of 100%. Then the will of the flesh will not counterfeit the Love of God or the will of the new man in love to choose Christ.

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

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

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

            God bless,

            js

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
              Hmmm.

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

              We are told to choose. So choose we must. Let's not get in one ditch or the other. One ditch suggest only God chooses. The other ditch suggest only men choose. But scripture teaches both.
              God tells us to obey the law perfectly. But we can't.

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

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

              Galatians 6:15
              Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

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

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

              Galatians 1:14-16 (King James Version)


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



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

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

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

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

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

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


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



              John 17:6

              [ Jesus Prays for His Disciples ] "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.

              God bless!

              js

              Comment


              • #8
                G_d's grace is avaiable to all, He gives it to you, it is His love-gift to you, but you still have to choose to unwrap that gift..... just sitting with it on the shelf is no good at all, you need to accept, unwrap and enjoy it!! G_d stands at the door of your heart, and He knocks, and it is for you to choose to open that door, He will not barge it .... I suppose yes, He has to knock for you to open but then we move into predestination... ???
                The LORD is my Miracle

                G_d was gracious He has shown favor


                Hope is a seed
                God plants in our hearts
                to remind us
                there are better things ahead.
                -Holley Gerth

                Comment


                • #9
                  From the Church of the Nazarene, Articles of Faith, Section 7, Prevenient Grace:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    [QUOTE]
                    Originally posted by ACCM View Post
                    G_d's grace is avaiable to all, He gives it to you, it is His love-gift to you, but you still have to choose to unwrap that gift..... just sitting with it on the shelf is no good at all, you need to accept, unwrap and enjoy it!!
                    But the gift isn't on a shelf. The gift is applied to our hearts the moment we believe. You hear a message, you believe it... you've received it.... by believing it.

                    G_d stands at the door of your heart, and He knocks, and it is for you to choose to open that door, He will not barge it .... I suppose yes, He has to knock for you to open
                    If you don't hear Him knocking, will you answer the door?



                    but then we move into predestination... ???
                    Is there anything not scriptural about predestination?

                    Romans 8:29
                    For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

                    Romans 8:30
                    Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

                    Ephesians 1:5
                    Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

                    Ephesians 1:11
                    In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    Heads up. "Red flag" on the play.

                    God is the God of all grace.

                    1 Peter 5:10
                    But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

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

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

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

                    God bless,

                    js


                    Comment


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


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

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

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

                      Abortive "grace".

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

                      God?

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

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

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

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

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

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

                      There's a better way. Jesus.

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

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



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

                      Let's go for the glory.



                      Love in Christ,

                      js

                      Comment


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

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

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

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

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

                        Let's call it abortion. What God seeks to birth... man aborts. It's his will, his body, his baby! And he has power to abort... Jesus Christ.
                        That's a rather caustic term to apply to something that you continue to define incorrectly (presuming, of course, that I'm neither lying or incorrect about the definition of prevenient grace). From my perspective, you are calling God's grace an "abortion."

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

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

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

                        Abortive "grace".

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

                        God?

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

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

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

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

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

                        There's a better way. Jesus.

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

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



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

                        Let's go for the glory.



                        Love in Christ,

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

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

                        As for giving quarter, why would I expect any?

                        Rather ironic, though, given the topic.
                        θεοφιλε

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                        • #13
                          Let me get this straight because I've never heard of the term "prevenient grace" but are some here saying that the flesh is glorified because the final decision to accept the free gift of God lies with the individual? This seems to be the summation of the OP. If that is the case, do not all of our final decisions lie within ourselves? We choose to follow God's chosen path for our lives or not. God draws but we must answer. We are not mindless meat puppets, and to me that is what makes our relationship with Him so awesome: free will, and choosing by free will to serve Him. It makes the love so much more meaningful.

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

                          Just my opinion based on my own life .
                          Last edited by kejonn; Sep 12th 2007, 02:06 PM. Reason: spelling

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                          • #14
                            [QUOTE]
                            Originally posted by Theophilus View Post
                            Ma'am, I daresay as someone studying to be ordained in the Church of the Nazarene that I know a shade more about prevenient grace than a Wikipedia article (bastion of theological truth that Wikipedia is, notwithstanding ). I also have no reason to lie...no motivation whatsoever. Thus, you can believe me, or you can believe Wikipedia...your choice.
                            Perspective. I believe you see an angle of it... but a diamond (and a concept) has numerous facets.

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

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

                            As for grace being able to be prevented...well...grace is a gift, freely given. Something that can be given can also be rejected...unless we're talking irresistible grace, and then we're going down another path, and there's no need to even discuss prevenient grace if you hold to Calvin...that is, unless this is a not a "discussion" about prevenient grace, but instead a thread started with the intent of refuting Wesleyan teaching...
                            There are only 2 ways to understand grace: irresistable or preventable. If grace is preventable... the will of man and of the flesh is responsible for salvation, the old nature/sinful nature is stronger than God and makes the decision for salvation. The old nature is called the new nature and awarded the attributes of the new nature.


                            That's a rather caustic term to apply to something that you continue to define incorrectly (presuming, of course, that I'm neither lying or incorrect about the definition of prevenient grace). From my perspective, you are calling God's grace an "abortion."
                            Preventing God's grace is abortive. It's merely clearly defining the reality of what aborting the grace of God represents. God's grace clearly is not nor could ever be "abortive".

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

                            And I'd like to point it out.

                            You know, I may not agree with, for example, all the tenets of Calvinism, but before I'd ever discuss them, I'd make sure I knew what the terminology truly meant.
                            Again, "abortive grace" is a core component feature of the doctrine. According to the doctrine, man aborts Jesus Christ by the will of the flesh... or births Jesus Christ by the same will. The old nature is given credit for what the new nature does... and God's grace. There is no separation of good and evil in this doctrine... and confusion results. Clearly separating the old from the new takes the sheep's clothing off what underlies this doctrine.

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

                            ...and respecting John Calvin as I do (and as John Wesley did), I for sure would never liken the doctrine of, say, "Irresistable Grace" to an abortion. (I would note that irresistable, like prevenient, is an adjective describing grace, just as an aside.)
                            One modifies the term "grace" by the adjective... and to modify God's grace in a matter the opposite of the meaning of grace is to wrap a wolf in the sheep's clothing of "grace". As a Christian, I call sin sin and error error according to my understanding of biblical truth.

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

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

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

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

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

                            You'll get more flies with honey than vinegar. You could have refuted prevenient grace with scripture, and with what you perceive the truth to be, spoken in love...but, in my humble opinion, you didn't. You may call it speaking plainly, or heralding the truth, or offending the mind to save the soul...but I call it harsh and ingracious, disguised as a truth.
                            When I call physical abortion murder... that's regarded as harsh and ingracious. I didn't call John Wesley any names. I called a doctrine the reality of what the doctrine says and does... showing, imo and from my perspective, the reality of what the doctrine says man does.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                            Have a great day.

                            God bless,

                            js

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by justsurfing View Post

                              Perspective. I believe you see an angle of it... but a diamond (and a concept) has numerous facets.
                              Well, I guess my myopia could be attibuted to my youthfulness. God grant that we all grow in grace and wisdom, and that the Holy Spirit guides us into the fulness of truth...not my truth, or your truth, but His Truth.

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


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

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

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

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

                              Who will go to that lake of fire described in Revelation 21:8? Included in that list there is "the unbelievers". What do they not believe? The Gospel...and in rejecting the Gospel, they've rejected the grace contained therein.
                              Originally posted by justsurfing
                              Preventing God's grace is abortive. It's merely clearly defining the reality of what aborting the grace of God represents. God's grace clearly is not nor could ever be "abortive".
                              Preventing God' grace? I don't think anything can prevent it ...He is sovereign, after all. He will graciously extend His grace even if we reject it...and go right on extending it, until one of two things happen:

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

                              -or-

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

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

                              If you choose to imply that Wesleyans somehow claim superiority to God because we can reject His grace, that's your perogative...but I humbly submit that Wesleyans will deny such a thing to their dying breath.
                              Originally posted by justsurfing
                              Hence the conflict of calling grace preventable or abortive is shown to be error. The doctrine that declares God's grace is preventable is not positive, nor beneficent, but rather as inconsistent with God's character and nature as "abortive grace" would be. It's completely deceptive in packaging it in any form of glowing terms... because the doctrine, to me, is a wolf in sheep's clothing. And calling sin sin is what we do as Christians... and calling it "abortive grace".. to me, is absolutely consistent with the wolf under the sheep's clothing of "preceding grace". It's there under the sheep's clothing... when I've looked.

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

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

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


                              Originally posted by justsurfing
                              Again, "abortive grace" is a core component feature of the doctrine. According to the doctrine, man aborts Jesus Christ by the will of the flesh... or births Jesus Christ by the same will. The old nature is given credit for what the new nature does... and God's grace. There is no separation of good and evil in this doctrine... and confusion results. Clearly separating the old from the new takes the sheep's clothing off what underlies this doctrine.
                              Abort Christ? Something must be living inside you to abort it. Although I contend you're defining prevenient grace incorrectly to start with, it can't be an abortion of Christ if He's never allowed to grow in us in the first place...it's more akin to spiritual "birth control." (Thanks for pointing this out, mystery poster...you know who you are.)

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

                              Originally posted by justsurfing
                              That's what I want to discuss. I would not necessarily accept the labels Calvinism places on it's points. I'd rename them from my own perspective according to the reality I see.
                              ...and I've endeavored to discuss it...albeit from a different...facet

                              Originally posted by justsurfing
                              One modifies the term "grace" by the adjective... and to modify God's grace in a matter the opposite of the meaning of grace is to wrap a wolf in the sheep's clothing of "grace". As a Christian, I call sin sin and error error according to my understanding of biblical truth.
                              Ah, and there's the rub. If what I say is true, and you're in error, then you are the one doing the wrapping. Quite the conundrum.

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

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

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

                              Originally posted by justsurfing

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

                              Originally posted by justsurfing
                              I have called preventative grace in a more clear term of what it actually represents.
                              In your opinion. I beg to differ.

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

                              Originally posted by justsurfing
                              Likewise, prevenient grace can be called, accurately, abortive grace.
                              ...and here I cry "Foul!" It may be an accurate perception from your vantage, but that's only your opinion...and again, an incorrect definition of prevenient grace, based on John Wesley's writing and sermons, Wesley/Holiness doctrine in general, and from what I've been taught in my church specifically.
                              Originally posted by justsurfing
                              And abortive or preventative is not an adjective consistent with the term "grace". It completely alters the meaning of the noun it modifies.
                              Agreed. So quit using it to define prevenient.
                              Originally posted by justsurfing
                              It needs to be exposed for what it is...
                              Actually, it needs to be defined as Wesley defined it.

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

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

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

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

                              Originally posted by justsurfing

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

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

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

                              I don't raise my voice. Incredible power of the Holy Spirit moves through me... and folks say it's like being struck by lightning at times. Sometimes it's glory, sometimes it's like electricity, others like a river pouring out, and sometimes it's like when lightning strikes... people have told me... It's not intended to be vinegar... sorry if it sounds that way on a screen.
                              It is good to hear that God moves on you in such power. I believe, however, that God is not limited by distance, lack of a person's physical presence, or even by supposedly inert words on a page...for His word is, as Hebrews states, alive, and powerful, and capable of cleaving bone and marrow, soul and spirit...and His Spirit is ever present and all powerful...So if you've got something to impart to me, let it come, and to God be the glory!

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

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

                              Originally posted by justsurfing
                              Have a great day.

                              God bless,

                              js
                              And you, as well.
                              θεοφιλε

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