1 Corinthians 2:14 - How does God explain truth?

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Skandelon, Dec 9, 2013.

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  1. Skandelon

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    1 Cor. 2:14 is probably the most quoted proof text to support the Calvinistic concept of total inability, but does it say what needs to be said in order to support the Calvinist's claims?

    9 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"-- 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.​


    So, can we all agree that spiritual truth must be spiritually discerned? I do.

    But, the real question at hand is this: What means does God use to "spiritually discern" divine truth?

    1) Calvinism's Answer: An irresistible awakening or quickening which changes man's very nature making them not only understand the divine truth, but to desire it and accept it. (Does the text ever say this? Or does it just affirm what we all already accept, that we need spiritual discernment?)

    2) Non-Calvinistic Answer: As Paul says in verse 13, God uses "spiritual words," from inspired men (like Paul) to bring spiritual discernment of spiritual truths. Paul is writing carnal 'brethren' in Corinth who cannot accept these deep spiritual truths (see a few verses down into chapter 3). Why is he writing them if not to help discern the 'deep things of God,' the 'meat of the Word?' God's means to discern spiritual truth is spiritual words, which are provided to us through the pages of scripture being written down for the first time, but which were mysterious prior to these inspired teachings.​

    Are we to believe that the spiritual inspired words sent by God through divinely appointed messengers are insufficient to provide discernment? Are we to read more into this text than what it actually states by PRESUMING that not only are spiritually inspired messengers needed to explain spiritual truth, but much more is needed...a inward, irresistible work that not only discerns truth but causes acceptance and adherence is likewise needed? How can that be supported by this text? It cannot. That is read INTO the text by Calvinism.
     
    #1 Skandelon, Dec 9, 2013
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  2. Iconoclast

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    I remember Biblicist gave a good explanation and response to this.Look in the archives and learn from his post.
     
  3. Skandelon

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    And I think Jesus, Paul and the the other biblical authors gave good explanations and response to all of your posts. Look at them and learn from what they wrote.

    :love2:

    Oh, btw, the good 'dr' Walter still has an active log in if he'd like to join the conversation (in accordance with the rules of the forum, of course).
     
    #3 Skandelon, Dec 9, 2013
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  4. Iconoclast

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    [Skandelon

    Yes I and many others have learned those things....some call it the doctrines of grace...some call the teaching calvinism.
     
  5. Winman

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    I think the problem is that folks assume an unregenerate man must be a "natural" or "carnal" man, and cannot behave or think any other way.

    But the scriptures show that unregenerate men can be "devout" and "spiritual" if they so choose to be. An excellent example is Cornelius.

    Acts 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
    2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

    We know for a fact that Cornelius was neither saved, nor did he have the indwelling Holy Spirit in Acts 10:1,2, yet the scriptures do not describe him as a natural or carnal man, but as "a devout man". We are told he feared (believed) God, prayed always, and did many good works which God recognized as true works of righteousness (Acts 10:35).

    So, the scriptures are not teaching that unsaved, unregenerated men are always natural or carnal men, they can choose to be spiritual or "devout" if they so choose.

    Another example where men that we know were not saved and did not have the Holy Spirit yet were called "devout" is those many thousands of Jews in Jerusalem for the Passover in Acts 2;

    Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

    These Jews were not saved, and they did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit, yet the scriptures say they were devout. They believed in God and were religious, they had come to Jerusalem in obedience to celebrate the Passover.

    The scriptures say of wicked men that "God is not in all his thoughts";

    Psa 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

    This does not describe Cornelius who feared God and prayed "always". This does not describe those thousands of Jews who were gathered to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. And we know that over 3000 of these men and woman trusted Jesus Christ that day and received the Holy Spirit.

    So, I believe this is the problem, especially in Calvinism, in assuming that unsaved men do not have the ability to shun the natural or carnal mind and attend to spiritual matters.
     
    #5 Winman, Dec 9, 2013
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  6. OldRegular

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    That is new to me but then I am not a Calvinist. I simply trust what Scripture saya!

    I like the Words of Jesus Christ: And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.{John 6:65} That sounds like total inability to me!
     
    #6 OldRegular, Dec 9, 2013
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  7. kyredneck

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    The Biblicist saw the Jn 6 passage in the same way OR.
     
  8. quantumfaith

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    Now you are just being a patooty toot.
     
  9. Skandelon

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    Really? How does a verse which doesn't even mention the gospel prove that fallen men are unable to respond to the gospel?

    No one denies we must be drawn, but what are the means by which God draws all men to himself (Jn 12:32)? THE GOSPEL is sent after Jesus is lifted up and that is the powerful enabling means by which God draws all men to himself.
     
  10. Winman

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    John 6:44 does say no man can come to Jesus unless he is drawn, but verse 45 explains how a man is drawn;

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

    Again, verse 44 clearly says no man can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him, but verse 45 says every man who has been taught by the Father, every man that has heard and has learned of the Father comes to Jesus.

    So verse 45 explains how God draws a man, by teaching him. And how does God teach a man? By either hearing the word of God preached, or by reading the word of God. There is no other way to be taught by God.

    Verse 45 also shows man must participate in the process. Yes, God the Father does the teaching, but man must hear and learn.
     
  11. agedman

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    But you are mistaken in stating "no one denies."

    That is EXACTLY the point of Winman's post(s). Look back and see if he does not say that without any influence or direct contact from God a person in the natural estate in effect chose God.

    Ok, that aside, consider this problem with the thinking expressed in the statement.

    I have read your statements often INCLUDE that the "gospel enables" men to be drawn.

    Now, I am not as smart as I was yesterday, but it seems to me what you are saying is that WITHOUT the gospel men are not drawn ("No one denies we must be drawn").

    Therefore, WITHOUT the gospel no person has ability of their own innate fallen nature to draw themselves to righteousness in Christ.

    So, in effect, are you not supporting total inability while expressing a desire it to be refuted?
     
  12. Skandelon

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    1. I don't speak for Winman...he can do that for himself. When I say 'no one' I'm speaking of the majority of non-Calvinistic Baptist scholars...

    2. Total inability denies the ability of the gospel to enable a response, so how would I be supporting that doctrine by affirming that? How can can they believe in someone they have never heard about? (Paul asks the same question in Rm 10) You can't believe a truth you don't know about. Faith comes by hearing, so if one doesn't hear they can't believe. The doctrine of total inability teaches that even if one hears the clearly spoken truth it isn't enough...they need more than an inspired writer discerning the mysteries of the spirit for them in human language, they need an inward secret irresistible power which causes the person not only to understand the truth but to accept it and follow it. That is the part I'm refuting.
     
  13. agedman

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    I don't expect you to speak for Winman, but in your posts the broad brush statement can be viewed as actually supporting Winman, when I don't think that, in light of all you have written on this matter, you actually do. I just didn't want the casual readers of the BB to be mislead.

    Let me restate what you said to see if I have the meaning. You are contending that it is the gospel that enables a response and total inability is presenting that God enables so one can actually be effected by the gospel to respond. So, you take that as a denial that the gospel enables a response.


    There are innumerable folks who have read the Scriptures. They remain unsaved. How, if one accepts that it is the gospel alone that awakens a person to belief, these not automatically saved? They certainly had the means? Did not multitudes even Scholarly schooled in the Scriptures hear from the very Lord Jesus Christ and not actually hear?

    Did they not need some other "force" working? Some "inward secret irresistible power which causes the person not only to understand the truth but to accept it and follow it?"

    In effect, did they not need the work of the Holy Spirit?

    If I have read you correctly (which I may not have done), it seems that you are attempting to take Paul's statement for the need of folks to be busy "about the Father's business" and trying to refute inability and irresistible grace.

    Do you recall Simeon? The Scriptures state that he was a devout man looking forward to seeing the messiah because the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he saw the messiah.

    Yet, we also read that the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost.

    How can it be that the Holy Spirit was imparting to Simeon when it wasn't yet given?

    Jesus presents the answer when talking to Nicodemus. The Spirit goes about and no one knows were it has been or where it is going. It is rather self evident that the Holy Spirit is at work when humankind don't even recognize it is at work and (IMO) often folks assign some human ability as a result of what the Holy Spirit has already awakened.

    The work of the Holy Spirit does not have to wait on the Gospel, rather is already a convicting force, a judgment force, a force showing the need for more righteousness than the natural man can muster.

    This is what I have attempted to show Winman when he uses Cornelius, the Philippian jailor, or the eunuch in the chariot.

    The Holy Spirit doesn't wait around for someone to show up with the gospel and then start to work. He is already busy, unknown, unseen, and preparing the ground for the seed. Remember the sower/seed parable? What dirt was prepared already? Was it not called the good dirt?

    My garden has "good dirt" because I have spent time working the soil, long before I plant the seed.

    Skandelon, consider the virgins. What was it that some had that the others did not? The oil - the Holy Spirit. What was told to those who didn't have oil? Go to the oil man and buy some. Who is in charge of the oil? The oil men. Who is in charge of the Holy Spirit (the oil)? God.

    Therefore, the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1). No doubt. The presentation of Christ is essential for "there is no other name given by which we must be saved" (Acts 4).

    Consider also that (what I consider) an unfortunate teaching has to do with those who contend that the Holy Spirit isn't involved or given to a person until after salvation. I don't find that teaching truly and fully consistent with all the statements concerning the Holy Spirit in Scriptures.

    Rather, Scriptures indicate (as Christ said to Nic.) that the work of the Holy Spirit must be in play preparing the unsaved to hear with actual ears to hear the gospel. As Christ said, those who have ears will hear. Not that all didn't hear the words, but you and I both know there is hearing and hearing.

    Oh, that I could shorten the post. There is so much more that I desire to express as to this matter to show by Scriptures how that the Gospel must be presented - no doubt, but only the good (prepared) dirt will have seed (the gospel) grow to salvation.
     
    #13 agedman, Dec 10, 2013
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  14. Winman

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    You are speaking of one single man whom the Spirit was "upon".

    Luk 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

    Like all OT prophets, the Spirit was "upon" Simeon not "in" him. No one in the OT had the permanent indwelling Spirit that would "abide for ever" (Jhn 14:16). David was a prolific prophet, yet he had to pray that God would not take the Spirit away from him when he sinned with Bathsheba (Psa 51:11)

    But the average believer in the OT did not have the Holy Spirit at all, else why would God promise it?

    On the day of Pentacost, when the disciples and apostles spoke in tongues, Peter had to assure the crowd that they were not drunk, but this was the promise of the Holy Spirit being poured out on all believers, promised in Joel;

    Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

    The very persons Peter is speaking of here had believed on Jesus, some as long as three and a half years, but they were only now receiving the Holy Spirit.

    So before this time, only certain believers had the Spirit "upon" them, not "in" them and prophesied. The Spirit could leave these persons as happened with king Saul.

    That didn't prevent thousands of persons from believing God and his promises throughout the OT.

    More later...
     
    #14 Winman, Dec 10, 2013
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  15. Winman

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    The problem is many folks believe man has to be "brought up" to God's level to understand the gospel. Therefore they insist a supernatural work has to be performed on the unbeliever to enable him to hear and understand the gospel.

    But the exact opposite is true, the scriptures teach that God "came down" to our level and spoke to ordinary men with ordinary words they could hear and believe if they so chose to listen. And if they do listen and believe God's word, then God supernaturally regenerates them. This regeneration is a supernatural work, not to be confused with hearing and believing.

    The day of Pentacost is a perfect example. Did God supernaturally cause all these Jews from many various nations to understand the Galilaean language? NO, he caused the apostles and disciples to speak in his Spirit in these persons native language so that they could easily understand the gospel just as they were.

    Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

    This is why we call this gift "tongues" and not "ears".

    These unbelieving Jews did not have to be regenerated to hear and understand the gospel because God "came down" to their level and spoke to them in their own language.

    This is why Jesus "came down" and became flesh and dwelt among us. God does not require us to "come up" to his level, he "comes down" to ours.
     
  16. BobRyan

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    Bart Ehrman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_D._Ehrman

    is perhaps one of the great illustrations of Paul's point above. Here you have what amounts to an atheist touted world-wide as American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at UNC Chapel Hill.


    A more confused Bible scholar you could hardly ever hope to find.

    Paul's point is not about the lost being unable to be "convicted of basic truth by the Holy Spirit". In Romans 1 Paul says the lost are "without excuse" because of the great conviction and revelation about God given to them -- of which they are indeed aware according to the chapter. John 16 says the Holy Spirit convicts "the WORLD of sin and righteousness and judgment" but He does not turn "The world" into first class top notch accurate Bible scholars -- atheist or not.

    But what Paul speaks to in 1Cor 2 is the depravity of the lost that does not allow them to go much beyond that Romans 1 level.

    The lost might read the letter to the Corinthians only to confirm and solidify their desire for the religion of atheism doubt and unbelief.

    The first step for the lost is to stop rejecting the light, the truth that they DO have. When they try to get advanced degrees in Bible knowledge while being lost - it only results in confusion and error. Bible vacuous positions that rely on doubting and ignoring the details of scripture that do not fit their atheist-religion and traditions.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #16 BobRyan, Dec 10, 2013
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  17. webdog

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    That us what you are reading into it. When you understand God has given every man what I coined the 4 C's (creation, conscience, circumstances, ceaselessness), it is clear even at the point of conception the Holy Spirit had already been at work directly influencing us.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    Winman is not a good example of a non call. Many of his positions are unorthodox among no cals.
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    Nice work but cals will jump around this because of their view of irresistible grace.
     
  20. Skandelon

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    This is well stated. We may disagree on some other points, but this is very good!
     
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