Arminians and eternal security

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Ps104_33, Jan 4, 2003.

  1. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
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    On one side of the coin there is the Calvinist position who believes that regeneration comes before faith by an irresistible act of God alone who changes our stony heart into a heart of flesh and causes our will to go in His direction and the believer is eternally secure. ( ex. Presbyterians, and other Reformed churches)

    On the other side is the Arminian who believes in some sort of "prevenient grace" as the Calvinist does but believes that man is able to resist it and decide for himself if he will turn to God or not, making regeneration an act of man instead of God and since it is up to man is not eternally secure.
    (Roman Catholics, Pentacostals etc)

    Then there are the others who believe that we are "saved by grace through faith" alone but man has a free will to accept or reject God's atonement of Christ on the cross and upon accepting Christ is eternally secure. (Independent Baptists of the C.I. Schofield variety, Dispensationalists)

    My question is this:

    Is not eternal security of the believer a Reformed Calvinist position and is it possible to believe that faith comes before regeneration and still believe in eternal security?

    [ January 04, 2003, 04:37 PM: Message edited by: Ps104_33 ]
     
  2. Yelsew

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    I don't know about Calvin or Armenius or any other, but you have it right about faith preceding regeneration. Without faith there would be no regeneration, God does not regenerate the faithless. Why would he? What would be the purpose of Faith if God regenerates the faithless?
     
  3. Ps104_33

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    Then your ordo salutis (ordr of salvation) is synergistic rather than monergistic. How can a man dead in tresspasses and sins and is totally depraved possibly have the faith he needs to believe that God will save him? Why would God have to regenerate anyone who already had faith in the first place? The whole idea behind forensic justification is that God performs an operation on our heart and changes it from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh and gives us the will to turn to Him. It is ALL God and none of man.

    To say that faith precedes regeneration is to limit God's ability to save an individual according to the faith a person has before! he is even regenerated! Your salvation was a work on your part because your own prevenient faith was what determined your salvation.
     
  4. Yelsew

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    Regeneration is the making new of something that previously existed. God created us to have some of himself in us, just as our own procreated children have some of us in them.

    We (Humans) sinned thus breaking the tie that binds us to God. Now all that is left is a void that we seek to fill. God gave man the Law, which if fullfilled would result in our restoration to God. We could not fulfill the law, so God sent his only human son to us to teach us about God and to be the sacrificial atonement for our sins. The only reason we do not see Jesus for what he is, is that we have great difficulty understanding that which is dramatically different than what we expect. We are guilty of Sin, every one of us, we expect from our own upbringing to be punished when we do wrong if our parents did their job. We do not expect to receive forgiveness and acceptance without the involvement of punishment.

    It is recorded only once in scripture that I know of where God changed a person before that person had a belief in him...Saul on the road to Damascus.

    I have never met, in my 60 plus years, a person who was regenerated prior to being convinced there is such a thing as regeneration, and before they could express a faith in Jesus. Everyone that I know received a call from God that said, "you are guilty of Sin and your future is death, but if you believe in my only begotten son, I shall give you eternal life with him. I shall cleanse you from within, and make you whole. You shall repent from your sins and live a holy life as I am holy" To which most responded by stepping out at an altar call to publically profess belief in Jesus and to receive the regeneration God promises in his call. Once they made such a profession, they all expressed having a burden lifted from them.
     
  5. Ps104_33

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    If two people are sitting in a church service and listening to the same man preaching the same gospel message, why does one person respond and come to Christ and the other one does not? Was the person who responded positively gifted with more faith than the other? Did one unregenerate sinner have prevenient faith and the other one did not?
    What you are saying is that you happened to have the faith necessary to respond positively and that means that your salvation depended on something you were able to do and not depended totally on God.
    There are many factors that lead up to a person accepting Christ such as hearing the word of God. Maybe tragedy in a person's life led him to a point of asking God to save him but it is God who makes us willing to accept. It is God's Sovereign Grace that makes us willing. I quote John Calvin on John 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.

    To come to Christ being here used metaphorically for believing, the Evangelist, in order to carry out the metaphor in the apposite clause, says that those persons are drawn whose understandings God enlightens, and whose hearts he bends and forms to the obedience of Christ. The statement amounts to this, that we ought not to wonder if many refuse to embrace the Gospel; because no man will ever of himself be able to come to Christ, but God must first approach him by his Spirit; and hence it follows that all are not drawn, but that God bestows this grace on those whom he has elected. True, indeed, as to the kind of drawing, it is not violent, so as to compel men by external force; but still it is a powerful impulse of the Holy Spirit, which makes men willing who formerly were unwilling and reluctant. It is a false and profane assertion, therefore, that none are drawn but those who are willing to be drawn, 5 as if man made himself obedient to God by his own efforts; for the willingness with which men follow God is what they already have from himself, who has formed their hearts to obey him.
     
  6. Artimaeus

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    "Then your ordo salutis (ordr of salvation) is synergistic rather than monergistic."
    "...forensic justification..."
    "prevenient faith"
    "...the Evangelist, in order to carry out the metaphor in the apposite clause, "

    Huh! Come on people, speak plainly. I do not gamble but if I did I would bet the farm that James, John, and Peter NEVER used the phrase "forensic justification". I have had five years of college and I have never heard the word monergistic. I have been saved and studied the Bible for 30 years and "prevenient" faith has never came up in conversation or reading. I came to this forum to see what Calvinist and Arminians have to say about themselves. I guess I learned...

    Now, to respond to the question of the order of faith and regeneration.. There is an intant when salvation takes place. Regenerations takes place then. (II Cor 5:17) There is an instant when faith is saving faith and that is that same instant. The difficulties seen here are purely man made and made WAY more complicated than necessary.
     
  7. Ray Berrian

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    Scripture always speaks of believing, trusting and having faith in Jesus as a human beings response to the Holy Spirit's convicting and convincing move on the life of the sinner. [John 3:16 & 5:24] Contrary to Calvinistic teaching a sinner can ' . . . hear the Word and believe in Him.' [John 5:24] The King James Version states this and probably even Augustine's Latin Vulgate Bible would say the same.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    Where have you been Ray??? Did you just get here?? Calvinism maintains that a sinner can hear the word and believe in him. This is not contrary to Calvinism. It shows how unfamiliar you are with Calvinism.
     
  9. Charlie T

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    This is a valid complaint. I will try to either use more common terms or at least offer a arenthetical definition.
     
  10. Artimaeus

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    Where can I get a good CONCISE definition of Calvinism and Arminianism? Not a history or a defense of either side, "just the facts" as Jack Webb used to say.
     
  11. Jacob

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    A girl in my Sunday School class asked me for this so I've been searching the internet for the same thing - A 1 or 2 page description/comparision. However, I haven't found anything that I'd want to give her. It seems that everything out there is biased one way.

    Jacob.
     
  12. 4study

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    I agree with Aritimeaus. There is something to be said about keeping things simple.

    These debates will go on forever due to a lack of interest in defining terminology and presumptions.

    “Salvation”, “Faith”, “Sin”, “Regeneration”, “New Birth”, etc. are all terms that have different meanings from one person to the next. Until definitions of terms are agreed upon, discussions are worthless.

    Presumptions, assumptions, and preconceptions also cloud these discussions. Without taking time to go over them, misunderstandings, misrepresentations, and miscommunications will occur.

    For example, Ps104_33 said,

    The answer to this questions depends upon what you believe “dead in trespasses and sins” and “totally depraved” means. Not only as terms but in one’s theology.

    IMO, any debate over Calvinism goes back to one’s theology of Adam. You can’t properly discuss anything about faith, election, irresistible grace, etc., without considering Adam before/after the fall.
     
  13. Ray Berrian

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    I realize there are many, hybrid Calvinists but they used to say on this forum that no one can even turn toward the Lord because of their Total Depravity. Remember, they are totally dead and in traspasses and sins and cannot respond to Him.
     
  14. Ps104_33

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    Sorry.
    Let me put it where the "rubber meets the road".

    What is the relationship between faith and regeneration? Is the grace of regeneration operative or cooperative?
    Monergystic regeneration simply means that regeneration is accomplished by a single actor, God. Literally the word means "one-working".

    Synergism, on the other hand, refers to a work that involves two or more parties. A "co-working".

    Must a person exercise faith before he is born again or must he be regenerated before he can exercise any faith?

    To say that an unregenerated person has to exercise faith is to say that all the people in hell for some reason didnt have the faith that you had to believe in God's plan of redemption. You as an unregenerated sinner had faith and they did not.

    So your salvation was a cooperative effort between you and God and without that faith that you had before you were regenerated God couldnt save you.
    The only answer is that God for reasons known only to Him chose through his foreknowledge to regenerate certain individuals in order that they could believe.
     
  15. Johnv

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    If Calvin's and Arminius's point of view were 100% clear in the Bible, we wouldn't be debating them today. Their points are NOT 100% clear, yet they are derived from the same Scripture that we follow. I think it more important that we adhere to scripture, not the simple Calvinistic or Arminian view of it.
     
  16. Yelsew

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    One must possess faith before regeneration can occur.

    How many kinds of Grace do you think there are?
    that which happens to the singular individual who comes to faith in God. mono y mono!
    God in three persons, blessed trinity plus any and all who will believe and be willing to be regenerated!
    How does one exercise faith? It is, afterall, faith that motivates all other exercises.
    First, one cannot exercise faith, you either gain faith through hearing the Word or you do not! You do not have to do spiritual calisthenics to be regenerated.
    That is not what has been said. No one has said that God cannot save. What has been said is that God does not, for his own purposes, save the unwilling.
    And then he opened the invitation to any who will believe!
     
  17. Artimaeus

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    A girl in my Sunday School class asked me for this so I've been searching the internet for the same thing - A 1 or 2 page description/comparision. However, I haven't found anything that I'd want to give her. It seems that everything out there is biased one way.

    Jacob.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I decided to search a little myself and this is what I came up with.

    From a Primitive Baptist site:

    5 point Calinism:
    1. Total Depravity
    2. Unconditional Election
    3. Limited Atonement
    4. Irresistable Grace
    5. Perserverance of the Saints

    From another site:

    5 point Arminianism
    1. Total Depravity
    2. Conditional Election
    3. Unlimited Atonement
    4. Resistable Grace
    5. Present Assurance of Salvation (Not Secure)

    I don't know what I am because I would say...

    1. Total Depravity
    2. Unconditional Election
    3. Unlimisted Atonement
    4. Resistable Grace
    5. Perserverance of the Saints.

    I am three of each. I guess that makes me a REALLY independent Baptist.
     
  18. Scott J

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    I don't agree. It is much like the concept of choosing variant readings in textual criticism.

    I ask "Which system does the best job in accounting for the proof text of the other system?"

    IMO, there are Bible text such as Romans 8 and Ephesians 1 that non-Calvinists cannot account for. On the other hand, even the strongest "proof texts" for Arminianism are not conradictory to Calvinism.

    In other words, I see several places where Arminianism directly conflicts with scripture. I have yet to see any instances where Calvinism cannot be reconciled to the text.
     
  19. Ray Berrian

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    G. Campbell Morgan said, 'We cannot study this Bible without being brought face to face with personal responsibility. . . . when the voice of God speaks, man's will is free to obey or to disobey.' {The Westminster Pulpit (Fleming H. Revell, 1954) II:306-307.}

    Kenneth Foreman said, 'If there is anything the Bible shows it is God does hold men responsible for their actions. God's 'thou shalt' is spoken to free men, not to puppets.' {God's Will and Ours (Outlook Publishers, 1954), p 42.}

    Calvinism suggest that God prevents the non-elect from coming to Him, because they are 'totally depraved' having no interest or ability to step toward the Lord God.

    The Bible says, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.' God is not asking himself to believe but the human being. Believe is an action word; a verb. Apparently, a human has a role in the expedition of his or her personal salvation to everlasting life.
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    Once again Ray, you show either a misunderstanding or an absolute disregard for truth. The vast majority of Calvinists do not believe that God is preventing people from coming to him. Their own free choices, acting in accordance with their nature, are the only things that prevent man from coming to him.

    Your complete misunderstanding and now willful misrepresentation (having been told the truth time and again) are becoming old when you have been back so short a time. Start learning here; don't keep repeating the same baseless oft-answered arguments.
     

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