1 COR. 12:3 DOESN'T SUPPORT TOTAL INABILITY

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by William C, Feb 28, 2003.

  1. William C

    William C
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    1And now, dear brothers and sisters, I will write about the special abilities the Holy Spirit gives to each of us, for I must correct your misunderstandings about them.2You know that when you were still pagans you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols.3So I want you to know how to discern what is truly from God: No one speaking by the Spirit of God can curse Jesus, and no one is able to say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

    Let's remember our hemeneutical priniciples. "Don't take a verse out of its context to prove a point the text is not attempting to address." What is Paul attempting to address in this passage?

    Paul is speaking to the Corinthians about spiritual gifts, of which some pagans at that time seemed to possess. They were having difficulting decerning at times which was a gift of the Spirit of God and which was a gift of an evil spirit. Paul was simply giving them an easy way to find out. The person who can say that "Jesus is Lord" has the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit cannot call Jesus "accursed."

    We know this is not speaking about salvation or how to even determined if someone is saved because Jesus clearly taught us that their will be many who say "Lord, Lord" who will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.

    This passage in no way teaches that men are unable to respond to the general callling of the HS through the Gospel message.
     
  2. Kiffin

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    True

    True

    But you contradict yourself here. First you say, "The person who can say that "Jesus is Lord" has the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit cannot call Jesus "accursed" but then say, "We know this is not speaking about salvation or how to even determined if someone is saved" You are correct in your first statement but wrong in your second statement.

    You are correct that Jesus taught many who say "Lord, Lord" will not enter the Kingdom of heaven but comparing it to Paul's teaching here is taking scripture out of context. Jesus in the Gospels was warning those who vainly profess Him as Lord without faith.

    Paul makes it clear that no one speaking by the Spirit of God can call a curse on the name of Jesus and no one can say Jesus is Lord accept by the Holy Spirit.

    Young's Literal Translation
    wherefore, I give you to understand that no one, in the Spirit of God speaking, saith Jesus [is] anathema, and no one is able to say Jesus [is] Lord, except in the Holy Spirit.

    The Amplified Bible
    Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking under the power and influence of the [Holy] Spirit of God can [ever] say, Jesus be cursed! And no one can [really] say, Jesus is [my] Lord, except by and under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit.

    Certaintly Paul is making a distiction between the pagans who exercise false spiritual gifts and the believer who exercises true spiritual gifts. Declaring Jesus is Lord in the context is not simply a lip service to Jesus but in the context -"Speak" implies the act of uttering and "say" refers to that which is uttered. Here, "say" means a spiritual and believing confession on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Paul is very clear that one who is regenerated by the Holy Spirit cannot pronounce an anathema on Jesus and the only one from the heart that can pronounce Jesus is Lord from the heart is one who is regenerate. (1 John 4:2-3)


    You are correct that this passage is not really talking about a General calling BUT Paul is drawing a distinction between the pagans (unregenerate) and the Believer. The pagan who is unregenerate cannot profess Jesus as Lord in a real believing confession. The regenerate can profess Jesus as Lord in a real believing confession. The Implication? Only a regenerated person can profess faith in Christ and naturaly means that Regeneration produces a living Faith in Christ.
     
  3. William C

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    This passage is speaking about the supernatural "spirits" confession that indwells the pagan or the believer. In other words, can the spirit with in the man supernaturally utter the words, "Jesus is Lord." The Geneva Study Bible, edited by Sproul (a Calvinist) says,

    "It is not clear whether anyone was actually uttering curses against Jesus (the statement may only be an illustration), but the focus of v. 3 is on the content of religious speech. In view of 14:6-19, we may infer that the apostle is anticipating his argument for understandable speech."

    In other words, this is not just about any man's ability to say, "Jesus is Lord." This is specifically about those who are expressing some kind of supernatural gifting of "religious" or "supernatural" speech. It cannot be applied to man's inability to respond to the calling of the gosple. But, even if you took those liberities on the text it still doesn't exclude the "general call" of the Holy Spirit to all man as a necessary means to bring salvation.

    With Respect,
    Bill
     
  4. sturgman

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    I don't disagree with you that there is a general call, but only the elect will hear that call. No one is arguing that you don't preach to the world, we are just saying that many will not hear. This is evident when you see that there are many who do not hear the call.

    1 Cor 12 may be speaking of gifts, but it clearly differinciates between believers and unbelievers. This passage does not mean that they can mearly say the words "Jesus is Lord" but that they put their trust in the fact that Jesus is Lord. This being that of salvific nature.

    My question to you is why you think God cannot save someone outside the cooperation of man?
     
  5. Kiffin

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    Bro Bill,

    No doubt Paul is not giving a disertation on Total Inabilty but it actually can be used whether a person can or cannot respond to the Gospel in a secondary sense because of what Paul states regarding those making these speeches.

    Some Biblical scholars hold that those declaring curses on Christ were members of a pre Gnostic cult that had entered into the Corinthian Church. Paul is making it clear that the validity of any religious talk is determined by it's truthfulness. No one can say Jesus is Lord accept by the Spirit of God.

    The NIV Study Bible on 1 Cor. 12:3 states,
    "One who is regenerated by the Holy Spirit cannot pronounce a curse on Jesus; rather he is the only one from the heart can confess, 'Jesus is Lord'"

    Paul is showing that the pagan who is unregenerate cannot profess Jesus as Lord in a real believing confession. He is also stating that the regenerate can profess Jesus as Lord in a real believing confession. The Implication can only be that a regenerated person can profess faith in Christ because they have the Holy Spirit. The unregenerate person cannot profess Jesus as Lord in a real believing confession because they lack the Holy Spirit of God which gives problems for those who say that a unregenerate person can have faith in Jesus Christ.
     
  6. William C

    William C
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    No according to Paul the Gentiles will hear that call. And according to the Bible the general call will go out to all the world. You say many will not hear because of passages that are in reference to Israel hardening, not because everyone is made unable to hear by the Fall of man.

    I agree, if they truly are people who have placed their faith in Christ and have been gifted by the Holy Spirit they can say, "Jesus is Lord" not only with their mouth but their hearts as well.

    But this passage, as Sproul, points out is obviously in reference to a spiritual or supernatural gifting of "religious" speech. Or tongues, if you will; therefore, it is in reference to the ability to speak the actual words "Jesus is Lord." An evil spirit can't utter those words, only one who has truly believed and has recieved the the HS gifting could say this out loud.

    God could do anything he wanted. I think he does supernaturally intervene in the lives of some to gaurentee that his purpose is carried out through them. For example, Paul, Jonah, Pharaoh, Judas or even hardened Israel. But, I don't believe that God supernaturally does this with every individual. In a way that is what Paul is speaking about when he says that God has the right to use part of the lump of clay for noble purposes and some for common use. Remember some of the Israelites were not hardened, in fact, some of them were chosen to carry the mystries of the kingdom (ie Paul) and that would have seemed "unfair" to the rest of the Jews.

    So, to answer your question, I think God could save people outside of their cooperation if that was a part of his plan, but His plan was to allow people to respond to the call of the gospel.
     
  7. sturgman

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    You say that this is his plan, yet we know that no one will do this according to Romans 3:10-12
     
  8. William C

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    That fact alone should disqualify this text from your consideration in this matter, because you could be altering the author's intent by trying to make his point (decerning supernatural gifting of spirit's utterances) to support your point (no man can respond to the call of the HS through the gospel presentation). That is taking huge liberities on this text and I think you can see that.

    Once again, even if you were permitted to apply this passage as a proof text for "Total Inability" it in no way disqualifies the general calling of the Holy Spirit as a sufficient means to enable one to confess, "Jesus is Lord." So either way, this text doesn't say what you need it to say in order to support your view.

    That's is my point.

    With Respect,
    Bill
     
  9. sturgman

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    If no one will seek God, and there is no one outside of that "no one" how can you not reach the fact that we are unable to seek God?

    Is the gospel the power to save? Yes, but not as a group of words that add knowledge. Knowledge does not save anyone, God saves men. The gospel is the means by which God calls his sheep. It is the voice of the shepherd and His sheep know his voice.
     
  10. William C

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    You are correct in that knowledge doesn't save anyone. But, no one is saved without knowledge of the gospel. Faith involves knowledge of the message and assent to the truthfulness of it.

    The gospel is not merely the means to call "the elect" as you seem to assert. The gospel is clearly presented to all man. The "voice" of the shepherd in no longer on this earth. He left the message of the gospel through the voice of man or the written word and the calling of the HS to continue His work of seeking and saving that which is lost.
     
  11. Kiffin

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    Bro. Bill,

    Often there are seconday interpretations to scriptures and that is the case here. Paul is not giving a disertation on Total Inability per se but he does make it clear that the unregenerate cannot truly confess Jesus is Lord because they lack the Holy Spirit. That gives major problems for those who believe the unregenerate can have faith in Christ since Paul is clear they can't.


    Actually I am permitted to do just that ;) . You believe an unregenerate person can confess Jesus is Lord. The Apostle Paul states one cannot confess Jesus is Lord without being in the Spirit. It requires mental gymnastics to believe otherwise.

    And your point my brother misses the mark.

    God bless [​IMG]
     
  12. William C

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    Where did you get this load of dung? "Secondary Interpretations"???????

    What if you wrote a letter to your friends and they started apply "secondary interpretations" to things you wrote to prove points you weren't even attempting to address. This is exactly how heresy is created, by take liberties with the text that obviously were not the author's intent.

    You are right Paul does not even have "Total Inability" in his mind when he writes this passage, or any other passage for that matter (except when he discussing the hardening of Israel).

    That is not what this text says at all. It says "no one is able to say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. So even if you apply your "secondary interpretation" this text never says the Holy Spirit must "indwell" a person for them to confess Jesus is Lord.

    Yep, they do it all the time. Read Matthew 7. Hey, if you want to apply this passage to issues it's not addressing, so can I.

    No, it requires textual gymnastics to get the author to mean what you want him to mean when he is not even addressing this issue. He is talking about supernatural gifts, probably tongues, and this in no way applies to your claims.

    BTW, have you even spoken in tongues saying, "Jesus is Lord?" If not, according to your application of this passage, you must not be regenerate!
     
  13. William C

    William C
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    Kiffen,

    Your silence is noticed and quite revealing.

    Bill [​IMG]
     
  14. Kiffin

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    Oh, Bro. Bill! I got scared and ran from your enormous debating skills :eek: :D [​IMG] [​IMG] Seriously though, I try to limit my time here to about only 2 -3 hours a week now. My life does not revolve around the Baptist board but is only a hobby.

    Well, if I told them I won the Boston Marathon in my letter(Which I have NOT but hypothetically speaking). They could learn that
    1. I am a Champion marathon racer. but on a secondary level they would know that I am in GREAT physicall condition (I Wish!) ;)


    Actually a more literal translation is "in the Spirit" (Young's Literal translation) "Speaking in the Spirit" (Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament). Can a unregenerate person be in the Spirit?


    Already addressed it. It's apples and oranges. See previous post.


    Well, you are wrong again my brother. Paul is writing how to distinguish between the true and the counterfeit not teaching all have to speak in tongues. He is clear that in exercising the gifts that only the regenerate can truly say Jesus is Lord in a real believing confession and the NIV study Bible (certaintly no Calvinist Bible)actually affirms my interpretation.

    Bro. Bill, This is my first and only post for this week. I probably will not be on this board again until at the earliest, Monday of next week...if even then. So don't think I'm ignoring you or that I got SCARED! :eek: :eek: Grace to you. [​IMG]
     
  15. sturgman

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    You never answered my point that if Romans 3 says that there is no one who seeks God, who is left outside that "no one" who can seek God. Our belief in total inability is not just wrapped up in a few scriptures. It is wrapped up in scriptures that say it (which you believe is about "hardened Israel) and because of how the bible shows the nature of man. To say that man will respond to the gospel on his own, puts way more hope in man than scripture ever does. I cannot concede that man left to himself will choose God. You may have (I don't believe this either) but I did not. God saved me, and caused me to see my sin for what it was, and I repented of it and turned to him. I did not do this because I wanted to better myself, I did this because he sought me.
     
  16. William C

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    Thanks for making my point with your illustration.

    One thing you friends would not assume is that everyone who has ever been in a marathon is in great physical condition.

    Just like everyone who is a Christian doesn't speak with the gifts of tongues. Sproul's Geneva study Bible and many other more scholarly commentators agree with my interpretation. Are you saying the NIV is more reliable than theirs?

    Of course not. A unregenerate person can't speak tongues and confess "Jesus is Lord" by their supernatural ability, which is why Paul is telling them how to discern who is speaking "in the Spirit" and who is speaking by the power of an evil spirit (which is seen throughout the text).

    Fine. You say I can't compare apples to oranges and based on that you dismiss my argument.

    So, I'll return the favor and dismiss yours because you are comparing apples to grapes.

    apples = people who are speaking by a supernatural gifting are being tested to see by what spirit they are speaking

    grapes = Proves that no one can express faith in Christ until they recieve the Holy Spirit. Eventhough this contradicts Gal. 3:14 and other texts they show the Spirit comes through faith, not before it.

    So, since you dismiss my argument on the grounds of comparing apples to oranges and you have already admitted that this text is not even addessing you point, it is clear that you are the pot calling a kettle black (as Sturgman says)

    The only reason I compare it to Matt. 7 is because you insist on comparing it to the means of salvation, why can't I?
     
  17. Jimmy J.

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    First time I've seen a Calvinist that rather that the interpretation of a "non Calvinistic" commentator over a "Calvinistic" one.

    Proves they'll take whatever interpretation serves their purpose at the moment. [​IMG]

    Plus, the NIV never goes as far as you take the text. It leaves it open to both possibilities.

    Either way, however, this passage proves nothing:

    Look at the order of events in the process of Salvation:

    Gospel preach by power of HS ----> Gospel Heard -----> Faith in gospel comes -----> The HS enters man -----> Gives man ability to call out (or as we see in Acts speak in tongues).

    Either way faith comes first and the HS still gives man ability to say "Jesus is Lord." Your point is moot.
     
  18. Jimmy J.

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    I'm sure Bill could handle this himself, but I thought I would point out that he has answered this question several times:

    Bill wrote: He left the message of the gospel through the voice of man or the written word and the calling of the HS to continue His work of seeking and saving that which is lost. Sounds like an answer to me!

    This question is also answered in his post titled: ROMANS 3:10-12 DOESN'T SUPPORT TOTAL INABILITY. (I'll let you look it up)

    In one of the other posts he asks this question, that was never responded to:

    What does man's lack of desire to seek God have to do with their lack of ability of responding to God when he seeks them?

    I would add this question: What does his "unrighteousness in light of the law" have to do with the "new righteousness" that comes through faith in Christ?

    I believe Bill has also asked why Paul in Romans 3:21 and following mentions faith several times and not once mentions that man is "totally unable" to express this faith.

    Does the scripture ever express man's inability to believe except in reference to hardening like in John 12:37-41?

    I'm interested in knowing how you guys answer these questions and I've been watching 3 different threads where these arguments are never answered.
     
  19. sturgman

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    That does not answer my question. If man will not seek God, how can man choose God? Call it can't or call it won't. Man does not seek after God. If you say it is the gospel alone without the intervention of God, then why aren't all who hear the gospel saved? And don't say because man has to accept it, because Romans 3 says that he will not do that. (Unto himself) Spurgeon said it best, what makes the difference in two men who hear the gospel, one is save the other is not. Man or God? If you are consistant with scripture you must say that God makes the difference. That is what I am contending too.

    Secondly, scripture is not unclear about the nature of man. To say that man has a hope, left to himself, is not the way scriptures see men. It shows men to be wicked. So inability plays right along with the nature of man.
     
  20. William C

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    Thanks Jimmy, you tried.

    I don't know how to be any clearer than Jimmy and I have been.

    If left to himself man would not seek God. We agree!

    God didn't leave man to himself. He sent Christ, the apostles, preachers, evangelists, disciples, prayer of the saints, the scripture, teachings about the fear of God's punishment and the joy of His blessings, jealousy to provoke the Jews and the general calling of the HS. These are the means He has selected to seek out the lost and to draw us to himself.

    The only difference between my view and yours is that you say all of this that I've mentioned really amounts to nothing. So, you feel that it is necessary to add something...."effectual calling." Which is not supported by the whole counsel of God's Word. I know you disagree with that, which is why we are both on this board, but you have to see that Roman 3:10 has absolutely nothing to do with man's ability to respond to God means of seeking out man.

    If I said no one ever calls me on the phone. Would you interpret that statement to also mean that no one I call can answer their phone? Of course not. Now, can you see the difference between "no one seeking" and "no one responding to God's seeking?"

    Don't you see that the gospel is God's intervention, as are all the other means I've already mentioned. When you witness to a lost friend, its not you speaking, its God working through you. When someone picks up a Bible and begins reading, are they not reading God's inspired Word? You make these things sound trivial as if they are not of God.

    Ok, I will say because they did not accept it by faith. Romans 3 says nothing about man's inability to accept the gospel by faith. Is says on their own men are not righteous and they don't seek God--that's it. Nothing is said about their inability to accept the gospel by faith. Faith is not even in focus until he get to verse 21 and he clearly presents it as being in opposition to the "righteousness" gained through the works of the law. He never once says men are not capable having faith in Christ.

    Why do some not respond. They resist the Holy Spirit!

    I completely disagree. If the man is saved--God made the difference because He called him through the gospel and the Holy Spirit. If the man is remains lost--it was the man who made the difference because he refused to believe the gospel and resisted the Holy Spirit!

    God is fully responsible for our salvation, but man is fully responsible for his rejection of the gospel and his resistance of the Holy Spirit.
     

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