Believe it or not

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by npetreley, Mar 27, 2003.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some of the freewillers here have said that it is the role of the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth, but it is our responsibility to respond in faith.

    I find this to be a bit confusing, given that there is a difference between "believing in" and "believing on". The former is to believe something is the truth. The latter is to place one's trust in something.

    My starting question for freewillers: Are you saying that the Holy Spirit reveals the facts of Who Jesus is, and it is up to us to believe whether or not it is true? Or is it safe to assume that you mean that the Holy Spirit reveals the factual truth of Who Jesus is, but it is up to us to decide whether or not to put our trust in Jesus? Or both?
     
  2. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is required for salvation? Can a person believe that Jesus is Lord and that He has risen from the dead and not be saved? Is this not factual knowledge? Is this not what is necessary for salvation, as Paul said in Romans 10:9?
     
  3. Frogman

    Frogman
    Expand Collapse
    <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2001
    Messages:
    5,492
    Likes Received:
    0
    If the Holy Spirit reveals the truth and man responds in or by faith to believe, or a man rejects, but Christ died for all sin, this choice is not sin, and then God condemns those who do not accept His Son based on a choice and not as sinners or the sin nature.

    This is the natural end of the thought that man can reject the truth when it is revealed, if that man is of the elect. The difference is that the man who would 'reject' does not reject at all, he simply does not 'hear' the truth of the Gospel.

    To him, he has rejected nothing, because there has been nothing offered to reject. To him he then is free to follow any system or no system again as he chooses.

    Believe it, or not.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  4. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are you saying you disagree with the premise, and believe that salvation is based on factual knowledge of Who Jesus is?
     
  5. Frogman

    Frogman
    Expand Collapse
    <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2001
    Messages:
    5,492
    Likes Received:
    0
    It worked for Thomas :rolleyes:

    Brother Dallas
     
  6. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ironically, I'm willing to accept either premise to get to step two. I just wish the freewillers would make up their minds what they believe about faith/belief/salvation and come clean on how they think it works. ;)
     
  7. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Merely believing the facts concerning Christ are true doesn't constitute saving faith according to James 2. Even the demons believe the facts, true saving faith is as Nick says, "believing on" Christ which is trusting him with your life.

    The gospel presentation reveals the facts of who Jesus is and it is required of us to believe in the validity of that presentation, which is why the authors of scripture back up their claims with a large amount of evidence proving that their claims are true.

    This gospel is presented in the power of the Holy Spirit; in that those who present the message are indwelled by the Spirit and guide the messengers. So I guess you could say the answer is both. The HS works in and through people to reveal the facts and it is "up to us to decide whether or not" it is true and whether or not we are willing to "count the cost" to give up out lives for Him. If we do determine it is true our behavior will reflect that belief. Belief determines behavior. If one claims with his lips he believes one thing but consistantly acts as if he believes another then he really doesn't believe at all. He is just giving lip service.
     
  8. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are you saying you disagree with the premise, and believe that salvation is based on factual knowledge of Who Jesus is? </font>[/QUOTE]I'm just asking a question (or a few questions.) Got an answer?
     
  9. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    What about Romans 10:9? Is belief that Jesus is Lord factual knowledge? How do we define that?
     
  10. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not sure what "freewillers" believe, but if you'd like to read something, read what Arminius wrote. That'll help you understand. He came quite clean with the whole idea.
     
  11. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    What about Romans 10:9? Is belief that Jesus is Lord factual knowledge? How do we define that? </font>[/QUOTE]Yes, belief is based upon the facts, but true belief (faith) will affect behavior. "You will know them by their fruits." etc.

    Otherwise, confessions of faith are just lip service. One may be fooling others and possibly even fooling themselves into thinking they have "believed" the facts of Christ, but how does one know for sure if they really have the type of faith that James 2 speaks of? It works.

    So, we are saved through faith, but how do we know who has faith? Through works (or fruit). Behavior demonstates one's true beliefs.

    Let me give you a practical example:

    If you pastor were standing beside you, would you look at porn on the internet? Of course not.
    If you truly believed God was always watching you and you also believe that he cannot be mocked and you would reap what you sow would you continually look at porn on the internet? Some do. How can that be?

    Why would someone refrain from sin when their pastor was watching and not refrain if God was watching? There are several options:

    1. They really don't believe God is watching
    2. They don't believe God can or would do anything about it.
    3. They have become hardened (or addicted) in sin to the point that they ignore what they may believe to be true.

    All three of these lead to death.
     
  12. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    .
    The gospel presentation reveals the facts of who Jesus is and it is required of us to believe in the validity of that presentation, which is why the authors of scripture back up their claims with a large amount of evidence proving that their claims are true.

    This gospel is presented in the power of the Holy Spirit; in that those who present the message are indwelled by the Spirit and guide the messengers. So I guess you could say the answer is both. The HS works in and through people to reveal the facts and it is "up to us to decide whether or not" it is true and whether or not we are willing to "count the cost" to give up out lives for Him.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Okay, so just to be sure I have this right:

    You are saying that men reveal the facts of the Gospel. These men have the Holy Spirit, but it is not the Holy Spirit that is actually revealing it, it is the men who have the Holy Spirit. Is that correct?

    Then, you say it is up to us to believe whether or not the Gospel is factually true.

    Then, after we've decided whether or not we believe the facts of the Gospel are true, we decide whether or not we will place our trust in Christ. Is this correct?

    Assuming I have reflected Mr. Bill's description properly, do all the arminians/free-will advocates agree with this? Or do you see it differently?

    I'd like to get the arminian/free-will consensus on this before proceeding.
     
  13. Frogman

    Frogman
    Expand Collapse
    <img src="http://www.churches.net/churches/fubc/Fr
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2001
    Messages:
    5,492
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do they have a concensus? Most I have seen on here just jump on anything that will ascribe salvation to the free choice of man prior to spiritual regeneration.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  14. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't think they do. If I recall correctly, there's also the opinion that the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of the person to the truth, after which it is up to them to believe or not. That's quite different than what Mr. Bill described.

    That's why I'm waiting for a consensus on the answer to this question. But I'm getting pretty much nothing in the way of clear, simple answers, as you can see.

    Either they simply don't know what they believe, or they can see what's coming if they 'fess up, which is that arminianism would crumble.
     
  15. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just as Calvinism has a spectrum of beliefs within it, Arminianism does as well. If you want to know what I think, I would suggest you read Arminius. For the record the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and enlightens us. We then have the choice to say "yes" or "no" to the offer of eternal life in Christ.

    BTW, I don't know how you get that Bill doesn't think that the HOly Spirit doesn't convict men of sin. He said, "The HS works in and through people to reveal the facts and it is 'up to us to decide whether or not' it is true." That reads to me that the Holy Spirit speaks through people, such as pastors, teachers, and missionaries, but He also speaks within the person.
     
  16. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Enlightens you as to what? Only about your sin? About the factual truth of the Gospel? That Jesus is Lord? What? And are you talking about a direct interaction with the Holy Spirit, or indirectly through what men say, as Mr. Bill suggested?

    The way he put it, the Holy Spirit works in the people who preach the Gospel to others. It doesn't sound like he thinks the Holy Spirit works directly on the person who is receiving the Gospel. I agree that the Holy Spirit works that way in addition to other ways, but is that the same thing you are talking about? Are you saying the Holy Spirit "enlightens" (whatever that means - you still need to define it) us directly or only by what others say?
     
  17. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    If Paul were alive today and sat down with you and taught you the same truths he wrote in Romans. You might say, "Paul has enlightened me."

    Just as one who sits down and reads Romans might say, "Paul has enlightened me."

    Would it also be true to say that the Holy Spirit has enlightened you? Yes. In what way?

    He gave Paul the words to speak so in reality the Holy Spirit is revealing truth to you through Paul's words. His words are sharper than any two edged sword. Why? Because Paul is an eloquent and persuasive speaker? No, because they are the words given to him by the Spirit.

    Truth is truth regardless of who chooses to accept it as truth. And truth is powerful regardless of who is proclaiming it. Some accept it as truth and others don't. Why? The bible tells us many reasons why some people turn from the truth to lies, but not once does it say it is because they are not elect. Nor does it ever say that it is because they were born unable to understand the truth when it was presented to them.

    Was George Washington our first president? Yes.

    How did you come to believe that? Through the testimony of those who lived during that time recorded in books. The evidence is their to show us that GW was truly our first president and I have the ability without the supernatural help of God to determine that to be true.

    Why do we have the ability to determine facts such as these to be true or false, but for some reason you think we can't determine facts concerning Christ to be true or false without a direct and supernatural working of God in our lives?

    If I have the capasity to determine that George Washington was our first president based upon the evidence that I'm presented with, why wouldn't I have the capasity to determine that Jesus was the Son of God based upon the evidence that I'm presented with?

    Truth is truth. Truth about our history and truth about Christ are one in the same because Christ is a true historical figure who claimed to be the Son of the Living God. Anyone can determine whether they will believe that to be true or false just as anyone can determine whether or not to believe the history books about any other historical fact.

    So, what is the role of the HS?

    Who inspired Paul's words? Who gave them truth in the first place in order to write the most reliable history book of all time?

    The Holy Spirit.

    So, the Holy Spirit gets all the credit when one sees the truth, because ulitmately He is the one who gave the truth in the first place.
     
  18. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brother Bill,

    I think you are blurring the lines.

    You wrote, "Truth is truth. Truth about our history and truth about Christ are one in the same because Christ is a true historical figure who claimed to be the Son of the Living God. Anyone can determine whether they will believe that to be true or false just as anyone can determine whether or not to believe the history books about any other historical fact."

    Believing that Jesus was a true historical figure and believing that he is the Son of God are not on the same level. The first is an intellectual proposition and the last is a theological and spiritual proposition.

    I read in history books, Newspaper accounts from the 1700's, that George Washington was the First President of our Country. His face is on the money in my pocket. I can visit his home at Mt. Vernon, VA. Yes it's true, I believe that G.W. was our first president because of the historical record.

    I read in the Bible that Jesus Christ was a real man. He taught parables. He claimed to be the son of God. The Bible says he was born of a virgin, healed the sick, raised the dead, was crucified and then arose from the dead and now lives in heaven. The church has preached this for over 2000 years. I believe that Jesus lived and I may even believe all the rest because of the historical record or the recorded words.

    But I think there is a third critical element that you overlook.

    I would never believe in a virgin birth simply because it's in the Bible.

    I would never believe that a man could raise the dead simply because it's in the Bible.

    I would never believe that Jesus could be crucified and come back to life simply because some man told me it happened.

    I would never believe that Jesus is the only way to God simply because it's in the Bible.

    Human Reason persuades me that G.W. was the first president of the USA.

    The Holy Spirit convicts me that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that the Biblical Account is Truth. The Holy Spirit reveals to me that Jesus Christ is the Savior, more specifically, My Savior.

    If my Human Reason totally accepts the reality of G.W. based on Reason alone....

    How could my same Human Reason reject the Reality of Jesus Christ when my Human Reason has been empowered to believe with an injection of H.S. Conviction? That's like Human Reasoning on Truth Steroids!

    Ah, you say, it takes Faith to believe in Jesus!

    But you said truth is truth.

    Believing in George Washington is not the same as Believing in Jesus Christ, and Thank God for that. ;)
     
  19. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, I should have used another historical figure. One whose home you could not visit etc. But that really doesn't matter. You can go to the holy lands and see where Jesus walked and where he was born just like you can with GW.

    If believing in these truths doesn't require the factual knowledge along with the evidence, why do the authors spead so much time giving us evidence to show Christ is the messiah. Why does God provide so many prophecies to be fulfilled and so many miracles for the people to see? All of these are obviously to provoke human faith. In the Calvinistic system they really have no purpose. If a person is "effectually called" he would believe if their was no evidence and confirmation whatsoever, so why is it provided so clearly if it is of no value?

    You say that there is a difference between believing GW was our first president and believing Christ was the Son of God. Why? Merely claiming to believe either of these true facts is not evidence of salvation. I'm sure the demons believe that Jesus was the Son of God, so what? Anyone can measure the facts and decide whether or not they are true.

    Historically it can be clearly shown that Jesus lived and claimed to be the Son of God. You can believe that he is telling the truth about himself, or you can believe that he or those writing the Book are liars.

    What about GW claim to have chopped down the cherry tree? Do you believe he really did it? Was this story true? The only way you can accept it as truth is by a measure of faith that what he said was acurate.

    How is that different than accepting the testimony of the disciples about Christ's claims? He backed his claims up with supernatural signs, his resurrection, inspired testimony and his indwelling of saints through the Holy Spirit. Is that not enough evidence for anyone who is willing to decide if His claims were true or false?
     
  20. npetreley

    npetreley
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is the more traditional description I've read here, even from arminians/free-will advocates. They deny regeneration, but they say that the Holy Spirit actually opens the eyes of the person to the fact that these things are true despite how totally ridiculous they seem to be to our rational/natural mind, but it is somehow still up to that person to decide whether or not he/she believes they are true.

    Do the arminians agree/disagree with this? Are we ever going to get a consensus on this?

    You can offer the excuse that not all calvinists believe the same things, but I'm willing to bet 99% of calvinists would say that the Holy Spirit regenerates a man before he is able to believe the facts of the Gospel, let alone the spiritual aspects (and that number could be 100% if one wants to argue that one is not a calvinist if one does not agree with this particular point). So it is a massive cop-out to say opinions differ, therefore it's not important.

    So what's it going to be? Mr. Bill has given the closest thing to a straing answer, but his theology is hardly conventional, so I'd hate to assume he represents all arminians unless you others want to say he does. Anyone besides Mr. Bill going to give a straight answer?
     

Share This Page

Loading...