Arminian Theology

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Ray Berrian, Oct 18, 2002.

  1. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    The Arminian View

    1. Prevenient Grace —

    The Fall of Man does not render human beings incapable of yielding his or her life to Christ. [John 1:9] Through conviction and the convincing power of the Holy Spirit [John 16:8] He has the power to offset the effects of inherited depravity, thereby making people capable of cooperating with God in salvation. [John 3:16 & Ephesians 2:8] God calls this faith. [Romans 5:1]

    2. Election Conditioned By Foreknowledge —

    God's elective scheme took place within the Triune Godhead in eternity past. [Ephesians 1:4]
    The Godhead's election was/is always according to His foreknowledge. [Acts 2:23; Romans 8:29; I Peter 1:2] The word ‘foreknowledge' in the Greek is {prognosis} and means forethought or to know before hand. Election takes in the whole structure of Divine and human involvement and response. God draws people to the understanding of salvation and humans respond by believing in Jesus Christ. [Acts 16:31]

    3. Unlimited Atonement —

    God ‘ . . . wishes all men to be saved' as indicated in I Timothy 2:4 in keeping with the Greek text. His ransom on the Cross was not for just a few; His love is unfettered and extends and reaches all of humankind. [I Timothy 2:6 & Hebrews 2:9d] The free gift of grace and His love is to all people just as Adam's sin brought judgment and condemnation on all individuals. [John 3:16 & Romans 5:18]

    4. Resistible Grace —

    The Holy Spirit's ministry touches all who hear the Gospel. While God desires all human beings to be saved, He does not violate their choice {free will} as indicated in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistle to the Hebrews. [Acts 7:51 & Hebrews 4:2]

    5. The Possibility of Falling From Grace —

    The saved person through repeated ‘quenching of the Spirit' [I Thessalonians 5:19] will find himself or herself in a backslidden condition and in rebellion against Almighty God. Chastisement is ministered by God to correct the erring sheep of His fold. [Hebrews 12:5-11] Hebrews 6:4-8 & Hebrews 10:26-29 are usually sited as being proof texts about the possibility of falling of Divine grace.

    {Personally, I believe the first four points of Arminian theology as noted above, but do not believe that a true believer will ever totally fall from God's grace and care, because of the intercession of Christ as corroborated in I John 2:1 where He sits as our Advocate or attorney. This same Greek word, {parakletos] is also used in John 14:16 for 'Comforter', meaning the Holy Spirit. Christ is our Advocate in Heaven and the Holy Spirit is our Attorney in our hearts while Christians live on this earth. In other words, I believe in the fifth point of Calvinism which formally is spoken of a Perserverance of the Saints or as most refer to as Eternal Security.}
    :cool:
     
  2. KenH

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    The problem is that if the first four points of Arminianism are true, then there is no such thing as eternal security or the preservation of the saints. If a man can be saved by his corrupted "free will", then he must continue to be saved by his corrupted "free will", which just can't happen as no man can live a life of faithfulness and holiness by his corrupted "free will".
     
  3. BobRyan

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    The Cavlinist response to that is to ignore the point that it is God who DRAWS and convicts and ENABLES the lost supernaturally and to "pretend" that the the Arminians HAD said "man's corrupted will can do all that is needed without God's supernatural divine powerful drawing".

    They have to "pretend" that the Arminians say that - because Calvinism itself ADMITS that the Drawing of God IS sufficient to deal with the "innactivity caused by depravity".

    Calvinism's consistent reponse is to argue that God chooses in the ABSENCE of His foreknowledge - that "election" is in fact "arbitrary selection" and the reason is that this guarantees that man played no part in the selection process.

    Indeed - God is "NOT WILLING that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance".2Pet 3:9

    Dying for "OUR sins and NOT our sins only but for those of the WHOLE world". 1John 2:2

    The Calvinist response is to 'redefine world' and "redefine All" (in the case of 5 point Calvinism".

    So that they become "the arbitrarily select FEW of Matt 7".

    Having "Drawn ALL" to enable them to come - enable free will, He does not reject their choice not to come - "He CAME to HIS OWN and HIS OWN received Him not".

    But that is the "mechanism" for allowing Adam to fall, Lucifer to fall, and it is the mechanism for the Matt 18 (last 10 vs) scenario of "forgiveness revoked".

    IF God had desired to abort free will - He should have started with Lucifer and saved 1/3 of the Angels. Or at least got around to it with Adam and saved mankind as well as the death of His Son.

    In every case - God chose to endorse free will at great cost to Himself.

    As is Matt 18, Ezek 18, Gal 5 (Falling from Grace) etc.

    Point 5 is simply a correlary to point 4.

    As Ken says - the points of Arminianism tend to be intertwined so that the result is hard to avoid if all the previous points are true.

    Basically I agree with Calvinist on their criticism of Arminians on that point - though they seem to refuse to address the previous points at times because they 'need' Arminians to be saying something a little bit different than what they are saying.

    Your point 1 also shows agreement with Calvinists on depravity and the ability of the drawing of God to compensate. That is a point we have in common with them. They just turn "Draw" into force-without-choice at some point - whereas Arminians leave it as 'draw' that "enables" choice.

    In Christ,

    Bob

    [ October 19, 2002, 07:14 PM: Message edited by: BobRyan ]
     
  4. Ray Berrian

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    Ken Hamilton,

    No Christian should be taught to try to struggle to live the Christian life in his or her own strength. I John 3:9 tells us that ‘Whosoever is born of God does not practice (Greek) {poieo} sinning because His seed, {the Holy Spirit} remains in him and he cannot continue to sin, because he is begotten of God.' Also, take note of Colossians 1:27b which indicates that ‘Christ in you is the hope of glory.'

    Whoever spawned the false concept that you cannot let the Bible speak for itself surely did not get their prompting from the Lord. James Arminius and John Calvin were in no way a kind of bishop to the Christian world. Both had spiritual truth and both had some error in their ideas. Our job is to know the difference.
     
  5. ForumChaplain

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    The problem is that if the first four points of Arminianism are true, then there is no such thing as eternal security or the preservation of the saints. If a man can be saved by his corrupted "free will", then he must continue to be saved by his corrupted "free will", which just can't happen as no man can live a life of faithfulness and holiness by his corrupted "free will".</font>[/QUOTE]Are all Calvinist this reluctant to think things through. When one is saved by Christ, the Holy Spirit enters. (You have heard of the indwelling Holy Spirit have you not)Regeneration begins. He is our security. Another straw man catches fire and burns... This strawman gone, hopefully it will bring you atleast one step closer to the truth...

    [ October 19, 2002, 11:13 AM: Message edited by: Chappie ]
     
  6. KenH

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    If one is going to argue that man can be saved by exercsing his free will, then you must also stand for the idea that man can reject salvation by the same free will. Otherwise you are saying that once someone is saved, he no longer has the free will you previously said he exercised to be saved in the first place. If you are going to argue that man has the ability to come to Christ, then you must also stand for the the idea that man has the ability to leave Christ.
     
  7. Yelsew

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    Free will is neither corrupt nor incorrupt! Belief is what is corrupt or incorrupt.

    Free will is the excercise of belief. The saved and unsaved alike exercise their own free will. The difference is the basis of belief upon which they exercise their free will. Therefore when one changes ones belief, the free will also changes to reflect that belief.

    One cannot force another to believe a certain way (as witnessed on these forums). However, one can provide belief changing persuasion that influences the beliefs of another. Change comes from within, and cannot be "caused" externally.
     
  8. ForumChaplain

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    Why must I stand for anything that I do not stand for. Freewill is the ability to make a choice. Having made a choice you will suffer the consequences unless Christ removes the consequences. The consequences of accepting Christ as your savior; is that you will be saved

    Just like, when you are in hell, it is too late to have a change of mind. Once in Christ, you have made your choice. Now suffer the consequences. Get on up to heaven and stop your whining. (he he)

    In Christ, you can walk away from Christ, but he will not walk away from you. In Christ, you are not the caretaker of your salvation, Christ is. And true to his word to the Father, you belong to him; and he will not lose a single one to Satan.

    Your perseverance of the saints, is tenuous at best. Even in Christ, sometimes we persevere, some times we do not. Just as you do not save yourself in the first place,(Christ did) you cannot stay saved in the second place.

    So my salvation is not based on my perseverance, it's based on Christ’s. You still think that I say that I do something that saves me. No, No, NO, No, No..... I accept what Christ has done.

    For my perseverance, I shall receive a reward. Salvation is not my reward for persevering, for that I shall receive a crown of righteousness, but only if I have been saved.

    See, I do not have to believe what you say I believe.
     
  9. Helen

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    Ken, you can choose to jump out of an airplane, but you cannot choose to undo that jump once you are falling!

    Same idea. To be born again is to be given a NEW heart with a NEW will. One cannot be unbornagain as a return trip! Christ is absolutely faithful to those who are his, and should one of us wander, He has said He sets out in search for that lost sheep.

    We have examples in life of a good many irrevocable choices. It should come as no shock that a decision made to yield to Christ cannot be unmade. After all, He takes over completely from there! And the new heart never wants to leave Him!
     
  10. Robert J Hutton

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    Warm Christian greetings!

    Foreknowledge does not mean merely the knowledge of an event before it happens.

    See Acts 2 v 23; God did not merely know in advance that Jesus would die for our sins, He made it happen! In a similar way God did not simply know that a person would be saved if given the chance, He destined it to happen.

    Kind regards

    Robert J Hutton
     
  11. Yelsew

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    Helen,
    And if one turn away from the plow?

    One can change their own beliefs, we human's do that at various stages of our lives as a matter of living.

    When we were teenagers we believed one way, but when we became adults our beliefs changed too. I actually believed well into my 40s that I was indestructible, then I fathered my son and discovered how quickly I could be melted from the solid rock that is was to the soft clay that child caused me to become. From non conformer to conformer, virtually overnight! Perhaps I wasn't what I believed myself to be after all!

    As we progress through our lives, our beliefs continue to change, Senior citizens do not believe the same things they did as younger persons.

    When we are forced to face our mortality our beliefs take on some dramatic changes. We evaluate and categorize everything into two stacks, temporal and eternal!

    Before we have children we believe one way, but after we have that first child, our belief system changes.

    Unfortunately, beliefs that do not receive constant refreshment may become ineffectual and change or become lost due to stagnation.

    I believe there are irrevocable consequences to our choices, but our beliefs can change the instant we jump out of the airplane. It is by our belief alone that we are saved.
     
  12. KenH

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    According to free willism, if one's old heart and old will was good enough to save him, then why wouldn't it be good enough to keep him saved? Free willism falls by its own logic.

    [ October 19, 2002, 05:13 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  13. KenH

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    There is no way the Bible can be used to support the idea of a person becoming saved, living for the devil, and ending up in heaven. Yes, a child of God will sin as he is still in an unredeemed body. Yes, he may fall into grievous sin for a while. But he will not stay in that condition as the Holy Spirit's conviction working in the new heart will bring him back into full fellowship with God.
     
  14. Ray Berrian

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    Bob Ryan,

    I like almost all that you said and found it well thought out by you. I sense that you are open to the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

    Ray
     
  15. Ray Berrian

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    Ken Hamilton,

    Note in my first post dated Oct. 18 10:56 No. 5. that I refer to a Christian backsliding. Yes, a saved person who uses his will to bring about his salvation can also walk away from Christ. Calvinists and Arminian believers both believe that a Christian can backslide, but the question is can he lose his own soul. I believe before this would ever happen and it never does, that the Lord will take them out of this life, because they will have been disqualified from living here as a Christian. [I Corinthians 11:30-32 & I John 5:16]
     
  16. KenH

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    Could be, Ray. I have had thoughts like that myself.

    [ October 19, 2002, 06:33 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  17. Ray Berrian

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    Yelsew,

    Personally, I like what you said. You said, 'Free will is the exercise of belief.'

    Free will is the vehicle used to either yield to Christ or to turn away from Him.
     
  18. Ray Berrian

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    Chappie,

    Your post was very good, but you especially spoke to me needs when you said, 'In Christ, you are not the caretaker of your salvation.' I especially needed to hear that today. You blessed me when you spoke that truth.
     
  19. Ray Berrian

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    Robert J. Hutton,

    There are no chances offered to sinners by God. He is actively convicting and convincing sinners of their sins. If they yield to Him they are saved; if the reject or remain in their sins they perish in Hell.

    From eternity past the Godhead planned to send Jesus to died for all of humanity. [I John 2:2] May God grant you the will to not only accept 2a but 2b . . . ' . . . but ALSO for the sins of the whole world.'

    Without humans believing in Jesus God could never in His 'foreknowledge' elected them unto everlasting life.
     
  20. Ray Berrian

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    Ken Hamilton,

    Not every saved person always returns to fellowship with God. Sorry. That is why God uses His 'sin unto death,' as noted in I Corinthians 11:30-32. The ones who the Lord takes home to Heaven prematurely never confessed their wrong doing or they would not have been taken out of the fellowship of communing brethren.

    Ask one of your Calvinistic brethren to explain this to you if the Lord has not given you this 'light' yet. Please, don't take this from a Four Point Arminian believer in Jesus Christ.
     

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