Are words of life meant for only those already living?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Skandelon, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Jesus calls his words "spirit and life" yet Calvinists maintain that men cannot accept them unless they have first been made alive (regenerated).

    Doesn't it seem redundant for God to send words meant to bring men new life only to those who he has made alive already by some other means?
     
  2. Southern

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    Skan,

    Depends on what you mean by your question. Some "Hardshells" probably do believe that you can be regenerated (Time wise) before you believe.

    I thought this quote from the London Baptist Confession of 1689 might help you on your question:

    Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling
    1.
    Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace. ( Romans 8:30; Romans 11:7; Ephesians 1:10, 11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14; Ephesians 2:1-6; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 1:17, 18; Ezekiel 36:26; Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 36:27; Ephesians 1:19; Psalm 110:3; Song of Solomon 1:4

    In Christ
     
  3. Wes Outwest

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    You speak the truth here Skandelon! It not only is redundant, it is not true!

    Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God! Faith requires that you have something for your spirit to work with, and the word of God is that something! Once your spirit has something to work with, the Holy Spirit has something to ILLUMINATE! So, you first feed on the word, then the Holy Spirit works on you!

    You must first plant the seed (the word of God) in the ground (your spirit) before the seed becomes a living, growing plant (faith) able to produce fruit (the fruits of the spirit)!

    AH! The Calvinist says, you must prepare the ground first before you plant the seed! Amazingly God's created earth makes that a lie! Where do you think the Great forests of the world came from? Some of the trees still living today are over 5000 years old. One seed out of maybe hundreds or thousands, fell on the right soil, took root and grew.

    God's word is like that, it may take hundreds or thousands of "seeds of faith" for one seed to find furtile ground! And when it does, Lookout, that seed is going to produce many thousands more seeds some of which will find furtile soil.

    The word of God contains the seeds of faith! Just be the ground that accepts the seeds!
     
  4. whatever

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    Only if Jesus is being redundant, and if Jesus is being redundant then I want to be redundant too. Here's the whole verse:

    John 6:63 (ESV)
    It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

    Since it is the Spirit who gives life then what are the words for?
     
  5. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Whatever;
    Yes it is the spirit that gives life this is why it makes no sense to say we are actually dead spiritually. If we were we would also be dead physcially.
    The spirit that gives life to the body is man's spirit not the Holy Spirit. No where is the Holy Spirit ever referred to as just plain spirit.
    May God Bles You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  6. whatever

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    Yes it is the spirit that gives life this is why it makes no sense to say we are actually dead spiritually. If we were we would also be dead physcially.
    The spirit that gives life to the body is man's spirit not the Holy Spirit. No where is the Holy Spirit ever referred to as just plain spirit.
    May God Bles You;
    Mike [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]Hi Mike,

    That's just not true.

    John 1:32-33
    And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'

    John 3:5-8
    Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

    John 3:34
    For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.

    John 7:39
    Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

    John 14:17
    even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

    John 15:26
    "But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.

    John 16:13
    When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
     
  7. Skandelon

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    Only if Jesus is being redundant, and if Jesus is being redundant then I want to be redundant too. Here's the whole verse:

    John 6:63 (ESV)
    It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

    Since it is the Spirit who gives life then what are the words for?
    </font>[/QUOTE]I see it differently than Mike. I agree that it is the Holy Spirit who gives life. But it seems to me that the means he choose to do that is through the words. Faith comes by hearing.

    Southern, thanks for the quote. I do see how the reformed side also reconciles this and being objective, I can see that being a possible interpretation. However, I just don't see the Spirit working in an inward, secretive, irresistable way. I see the Spirit working through the ordained means. The word. The Spirit inspired the words, the Spirit comforts and guides us who carry the words, the Spirit keeps the word spreading, but its the word itself that is the work of the Spirit, not some additional extra supernatural thing that the bible never really addresses.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    One other point.

    Whatever, you quoted John 14. Here is the whole passage:

    15 "If you love Me, *keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

    Notice that the Spirit was not IN them at this point, yet they were considered to be believers and followers of Christ. How is it that the apostles had not yet received the indwelling of Holy Spirit but they still had faith, if indeed faith can't come until the Spirit indwells us?
     
  9. whatever

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    I don't have time for a full answer now, so just a couple of quick points.

    1) This was before Pentecost, and we are after Pentecost. The nature of the relationship between the Holy Spirit and believers changed that day.

    2) Speaking for myself, the Holy Spirit regenerates us, then we believe, then He indwells us. Also, I think that is a logical precedence, but not necessarily chronological, if that makes sense. What I mean is that normally it all happens in the same instant so that we can't really tell from our experience which one happened first. I think most Calvinists would agree but maybe I'm wrong.
     
  10. Wes Outwest

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    Whatever,
    You are simply stated, wrong!
     
  11. Skandelon

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    Wes, no offense but just telling people they are wrong without presenting any type of support is not benefical to anyone and only gives others the impression you don't take them seriously.

    Whatever,

    1) This really doesn't answer the problem. The problem is that people were believing without the indwelling of the Spirit. My question was how is that possible with you system.

    2) Is there some biblical support for this view or is this just an assumption you make based upon the necessity to explain your system?
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    The Spirit gives life through the word, or in conjunction with the word. Read 1 Peter 1 where you are made alive through the word that was preached to you. The Holy Spirit brings life through the preaching of the word of God.

    It is why Calvinists heavily emphasize the necessity of evangelism, as another thread asked. It is through the communication of the message about Christ that the Holy Spirit works regeneration and saving faith.
     
  13. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Whatever;
    I stand corrected. Forgive me
    May God Bless you;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  14. whatever

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    Now that I have (a little) more time -

    We don't say that a person must be indwelt to believe. (I don't, anyway.) The Holy Spirit regenerates, then the subject believes, then the Holy Spirit indwells. And (I believe) it all happens so quickly that we really can't tell that one thing happened before the other. I can't imagine that there is such a thing as a regenerate unbeliever, even for a second. Neither can I imagine an unregenerate believer. I don't think Scripture allows for either.

    As for biblical support, I think there is plenty. We could get into a proof text war, but you've seen them and I've seen them and I really don't think that I have anything new for you, and I'm tired. I think the language that Jesus uses in John 6 is clear - whosoever will may come, but you can't come unless the Father grants it. I think the language that Paul uses is clear - you were dead in you sins but God made you alive, and His truth must be spiritually discerned, and the unregenerate can't accept it. I think the rest of the Scriptures support this view, and that's enough for me.

    I also understand that others disagree with these conclusions - I used to disagree too. So I try to not get bent out of shape when others reach a different conclusion.
     
  15. whatever

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    Mike - nothing to forgive, brother. May God bless you too.
     
  16. whatever

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    LOL! It's not the first time, and it won't be the last, I'm sure.
     
  17. Skandelon

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    I totally agree. I just believe the regeneration comes through faith and not the other way around, but everything else was right on track with what I believe.

    But I do have a follow-up question Larry. You said that the Holy Spirit bring life throught the preaching of the word of God. However, the word of God is preached to many who are not brought to life, therefore isn't there another factor involved? I believe that "factor" is man's will. What say you?
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    You make a great calvinist point, Skan. If that other factor is man's will, then you have a direct violation of John 1, where it specifically states that the new birth is not the product of man's will. The other factor is the illuminating/regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, the effectual call that results in justification and glorification (Rom 8:29-30; 1 Cor 1:18ff).
     
  19. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Larry;
    I just read John 1, and it says nothing of the kind about the will of man. You are mistaken.
    Mike
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    You must not have read it all ...

    How much clearer does it get?
     

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