By faith or by choice

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Luke2427, Jan 26, 2012.

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  1. Luke2427

    Luke2427
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    Arminians and "non-cals" believe that salvation is the result of a person's free will choice. Whether one goes to heaven or hell is up to his own personal choice.

    But Scripture everywhere affirms that salvation comes through faith- not through some choice made by the sinner.

    The Arminian just ASSUMES that Scripture implies choice for salvation.

    He assumes that faith is the result of choice- that we CHOOSE to believe.

    But it is not so. Faith is something that happens TO us. It is not something we conjure or create in ourselves.

    Faith is the result of being convinced by outside forces.


    For example. A long time ago I did not believe that you could catch catfish with pieces of hot dogs.
    But something happened in my sphere of observation that caused me to repent of that thinking and believe.
    A friend caught buckets of catfish with hotdog pieces before my eyes.

    Did I CHOOSE to believe that? NO! I had no choice BUT to believe it.

    Something outside of myself PERSUADED me that it was so.

    Faith did not come to me as a result of my own free will choice. I was MADE to believe by persuasive information employed by my friend.

    The information that came to me persuaded me. That's the important point. I WAS persuaded. That means something happened to me. It was not something I created in me.

    Was it proper to say "I believed"? Yes. The Bible often says "He believed." But this does not mean that he CHOSE to believe. "Believe" is truly something I did- but not of choice. The tree leans in the hurricane. It does this because something is happening to it. It is not doing it itself. It is doing it, but only because something is CAUSING it to do it.

    To believe is to BE persuaded. It is to have something happen to you. It is for you to be on the receiving end of the action. The action in this case is the impartation of persuasive information.

    To CHOOSE is for you to be the one doing the action. And we do choose things ONCE WE BELIEVE. We choose to sit in the chair, but only because we already BELIEVE that it will hold us. Belief precedes the choice.

    Choice comes as a RESULT of faith. My choice is not the creator of my faith.
    My faith drives my choices. My choices do not drive my faith.


    SALVATION DOES NOT COME FROM MAKING A CHOICE.

    SALVATION COMES FROM HAVING BEEN MADE TO BELIEVE.

    The difference is as great as night and day.

    What causes one to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? The regenerative power of the Holy Spirit through the Gospel.


    We are not saved through our choice- something we do.

    We are saved through our faith- something that is done to us.


    If this is true, and it is, Arminianism cannot be true. It cannot be true because Arminianism rests fully upon the faulty premise that one CHOOSES to believe.

    But one cannot help but believe when he is persuaded and one cannot help but NOT believe until he is persuaded.

    Being persuaded is being on the receiving end- it is not being on the acting end.

    You are CAUSED to believe. You don't choose to believe. You CANNOT choose to believe. Belief comes as a result of BEING persuaded- not as a result of choosing.

    Both grace and faith are things that happen TO the saved. Neither of them have to do with our own choice. Once they happen to us, then we make all kinds of choices toward God. But the choices are a RESULT of that which actually saves- not a part of it.
     
    #1 Luke2427, Jan 26, 2012
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  2. convicted1

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    Welcome back Brother Luke.........
     
  3. Winman

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    Faith is a choice.

    Jhn 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

    Thomas could have believed, all the other disciples told Thomas they had seen the Lord, but he refused to believe them.

    Evidence does not necessarily convince anyone, there are many folks who believe the world is flat, even today. You can show them a satellite photo of the Earth from space and they will say it is fabricated. They refuse to believe the evidence shown them.

    There is an old movie called "12 Angry Men" that actually deals with the subject of why men believe what they do, you should watch it sometime.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_Angry_Men_(1957_film)
     
  4. convicted1

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    To borrow a line from the old Popeye cartoons; "You'll be sorry"!!
     
  5. Luke2427

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    Two things.

    1- Thomas was wrong. He did not thrust his hand in his side and he did not place his finger in the prints of the nails.

    The words you used from Thomas prove nothing.

    2- Saying, "I will believe if I see evidence," does not indicate a choice.

    It indicates a statement of fact. The tree WILL bend if the hurricane blows it.

    The tree did not choose to bend. The tree was CAUSED to bend. It is silly to purport that because the word "will" was used it has anything to do with choice.

    Believing is not something you choose to do. It is something that you are caused to do.

    I love 12 angry men. I first saw it in highschool. I have seen it several times since then. I can come close to quoting the movie. I have also seen the newer version with George C. Scott. It is very good too but not as good as the old one with Henry Fonda.

    12 angry men does not prove anything because it is just a movie. But if it did, it would support my point. As much as those 11 men did not WANT to believe- THEY WERE PERSUADED. The evidence DID CAUSE THEM to believe.
     
    #5 Luke2427, Jan 26, 2012
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  6. Luke2427

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    Thanks Willis.

    Tell me your diet, if you will, wherein you lost so much weight.
     
  7. Winman

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    Thomas refused to believe. He was hardened and skeptical, even though his trusted friends all told him they had seen the Lord.

    There was one juror that believed the defendant was guilty simply because he was Hispanic. He was a bigot and believed false stereotypes. Many people fail to believe the truth because they have been deceived by a lie like this.
     
  8. Luke2427

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    They do not believe because they do not have ears to hear. They CANNOT be persuaded because they cannot hear the Gospel that causes men to believe.

    He that hath ears to hear, hears the word of God and the Holy Spirit causes him to believe. When he believes he is saved.

    That people are not able to believe is no argument that faith is a choice.

    The two on the cross experienced the same very Gospel.

    One COULD NOT believe.

    The other COULD NOT BUT believe.

    But you are getting off topic.

    The challenge for you is to establish that faith is a choice.

    In the OP, I think I establish that it never is.
     
  9. convicted1

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    Patience, patience, patience, first and foremost. I basically watch my fat intake, and cut out pop(around here we call it pop, everywhere else, it's called soda). I drink Dr. Pepper 10, Sprite Zero, or Coke Zero, and Cherry Coke Zero for my pop intake now. At work, I rarely use the elevator, I use the stairs 99% of the time. Once in a while, I splurge all day, and then get back to watching my fat intake. I have found that this keeps me from going off the wagon completely. In May 2008, I weighed 305 lbs(look at my avatar, for crying out loud). I now weigh 212, and want to drop at least 12 lbs, hopefully 20 more. Oh yeah, did I mention patience? LOL
     
  10. kyredneck

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    Hello Luke! It's good to be reading your posts once again.

    I enjoyed your analogy, I relate. Question:

    Why were you with your fishing buddy to begin with? Wasn't it because you were already BY NATURE a fisherman?
     
  11. Carpenter

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    Brother Luke, thanks for sharing your convictions on this topic. You did a great job of explaining your position and it definitely provokes me to deeper study.

    I am interested to hear your thoughts on Jesus' encounter with the rich young ruler in Mark 10:17-22. The Bible tells us that "faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God", and this young man was face to face with The Word in the flesh. Did this young man make a choice not to believe, or was he not dealt a measure of faith in order for Jesus to make his point that we are not accepted on works, but faith alone?

    Thanks for your thoughts and thanks for the thread!
     
  12. preacher4truth

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    This rich young ruler was a sinner, and contrary to the belief of most, he did not keep the Law, for he was covetous, which is breaking the entire Law by failing in one point.

    His entire approach to Christ was deceitful from the beginning, he was seeking validation of his efforts. He didn't hear what he desired to hear. I'd bet that the Words of Christ began to penetrate his own heart as he pondered those words.

    There was nothing He could do to save himself. Jesus wasn't actually telling him to sell everything, and that doing this would save him, rather, He was exposing his covetous heart, something he would have to face, that he actually was not keeping the law, but had broken it and because he is lost he did these things.

    This ruler was blind still to his own sin and need of salvation. A point can be made that we must understand we are sinners, and we cannot understand the gospel when our minds are blinded to this truth, 2 Cor. 4:4.

    No one can be saved until they are first lost, and this is one of the points Christ was making to this rich young ruler.

    - Peace
     
  13. kyredneck

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    Bear in mind the young man in Mk 10 RAN to Christ, KNEELED before Him, and addressed Him with DIVINE RESPECT.

    Bear in mind that Christ loved the young man and did not dispute the young man's claim of doing those things of the law.

    Bear in mind that it was not Christ that the young man rejected, it was Christ's call to discipleship:

    "....All these things have I observed: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me." Mt 19:20,21
     
    #13 kyredneck, Jan 26, 2012
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  14. Amy.G

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    And your point is?
     
  15. kyredneck

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    The young man was one of His sheep.
     
  16. MB

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    Nothing could be further from the truth. Salvation is the work of the Lord. Man however does not have to accept this gift. There fore acceptance is a requirement and acceptance is our only choice. We do this when we submit to the righteousness of God. Rom 10:1-4. It stands to reason we have to receive or accept a gift in order to have the gift. Grace can only be had if it comes through faith.
    Inorder to have faith one must believe. This is a choice we are not forced to believe. In order to believe we must accept it as belief.
    Not so. Arminians like all who believe, must hear the gospel and the belief and faith come as a result of hearing the gospel.
    While it is true we do not conjure with in our selves. It is our choice whether to pay any attention to hear the gospel. Faith is not something that happens one must listen to the Word of God. Other wise he has nothing to place faith in. The Bible says clearly that every man has a measure of faith. In other words is capable trusting in God.
    I wouldn't call it a force because man can always turn away, and often does. Some would see this guy catching cat fish by doing something more than what he said he did. Like placing a piece of cheese inside of the piece of hot dog. Some would think he was crazy and just not pay any atention to him.

    Unless a person is passive enough to at least consider the possibility of what he see's he may not believe. The faith that brings us grace however is not the results of seeing Christ but hearing about Him. Our faith is not what saves but the faith of Christ is all that justifies. Gal. 2:16 This is a gift. it's with in His righteousness that we wear.
    You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink it.
    Yet we still must receive it. Faith is not a bolt of lightening. Persuasion is used by both sides in the spiritual realm. Satan used it on Eve. Yet we know we are not forced to sin. Your own convincing happened because you chose to allow it. Many could have heard exactly what you heard in your convincing and some of them rejected it. Just as most Jews did Jesus.

    True it does and it is a choice we make to submit to Him.
    Choice isn't the creator of faith. God is. While choice does not drive faith,we do not have faith in anything unless we choose to. Faith is hope. We do not hope for what we can see.Though faith and hope in action is placing trust in the object of our hope.
    No.Faith cometh by the hearing of the gospel. Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit and regeneration comes as a result of faith hope and trust in the Lord.
    I do wish you could understand this though I know it's been explained to you many times
     
    #16 MB, Jan 26, 2012
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  17. Amy.G

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    Why did he go away sad?
     
  18. kyredneck

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    "But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sorrowful; for he was one that had great possessions."
     
  19. preacher4truth

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    Because he was covetous.
     
  20. Carpenter

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    So, in trying to keep this in line with the point of the OP, did the rich young ruler make a conscious choice to remain covetous and go away sorrowful, or could he have in fact given up his covetousness and followed Christ?
     
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