Calvinism and belief

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Helen, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    In another thread Ransom and I had the following exchange:

    Helen: If God predestined you to salvation, then what can you do about it in terms of belief?

    Ransom: I can believe, as I have been commanded.

    Helen: Can you cancel His decision by not believing?

    Ransom: My belief is also part of God's plan.

    Helen: Your attempt to combine the necessity of belief denies the very sort of omnipotence and sovereignty that Calvinists claim for God.

    Ransom: Not so. Calvinists affirm that "very sort of omnipotence and sovereignty" and human responsibility.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now, it appears to me that Calvinists are trying to have it both ways. They claim that to believe before salvation is a 'work'. This has been their point a number of times in this forum. However in the above we see that "human responsibility" is necessary to work with God's predestination for salvation! This would certainly be just as much a 'work' even if Ransom only is referring to believing, as believing is before salvation!

    So which is it? Belief is either a work or it is not. If it is not, then there is no problem with the request/command to believe which echoes through all the pages of the Bible. If it is a work, then God does not require belief for salvation.
     
  2. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    4,319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Now, Helen, you're being too logical and making too much sense. [​IMG]
     
  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
    John 6.29
    Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

    [​IMG]


    May God Bless
    Bro. Dallas
     
  4. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Yes, and it is a completed work of God. Completed 2000 years ago by Jesus the Son of God. What remains is man's response in belief or lack thereof to determine man's eternity!
     
  5. massdak

    massdak
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, and it is a completed work of God. Completed 2000 years ago by Jesus the Son of God. What remains is man's response in belief or lack thereof to determine man's eternity! </font>[/QUOTE]and it is God who is responsible for our belief, and it is your responsibility if you do not believe.
    in other words it is a persons fault if a person goes to hell but it is Gods fault if a person goes to heaven. not meaning God has faults but it is Gods mercy
     
  6. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Yes, and it is a completed work of God. Completed 2000 years ago by Jesus the Son of God. What remains is man's response in belief or lack thereof to determine man's eternity! </font>[/QUOTE]and it is God who is responsible for our belief, and it is your responsibility if you do not believe.
    in other words it is a persons fault if a person goes to hell but it is Gods fault if a person goes to heaven. not meaning God has faults but it is Gods mercy
    </font>[/QUOTE]Not true sir,
    God did all the work we either accept it or reject it. God does not force anyone to accept, nor does he prevent anyone from rejecting! God established the reward for accepting and the penalty for rejecting. Yes sir, it's entirely up to you!
     
  7. Frogman

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

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2001
    Messages:
    5,492
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, and it is a completed work of God. Completed 2000 years ago by Jesus the Son of God. What remains is man's response in belief or lack thereof to determine man's eternity! </font>[/QUOTE]But Scripture plainly says this is a work of God. Not to say that God must believe anything, but it is worked by God in the elect.

    Please note, Jesus said this, not me. This should be enough to settle the question for anyone.

    BTW, this is in line with other passages of scripture.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  8. Frogman

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

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2001
    Messages:
    5,492
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, and it is a completed work of God. Completed 2000 years ago by Jesus the Son of God. What remains is man's response in belief or lack thereof to determine man's eternity! </font>[/QUOTE]and it is God who is responsible for our belief, and it is your responsibility if you do not believe.
    in other words it is a persons fault if a person goes to hell but it is Gods fault if a person goes to heaven. not meaning God has faults but it is Gods mercy
    </font>[/QUOTE]Not true sir,
    God did all the work we either accept it or reject it. God does not force anyone to accept, nor does he prevent anyone from rejecting! God established the reward for accepting and the penalty for rejecting. Yes sir, it's entirely up to you!
    </font>[/QUOTE]Better that you would have said 'the free gift'. 'the reward' carries overtones of working for a living...etc. etc. Don't let me put words in your mouth, if you did not mean it is a reward for works performed, then please explain your meaning.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  9. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Would you please post the scripture that states it exactly as you have?
     
  10. tnelson

    tnelson
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rom. 1:16
    "for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes,"

    Rom. 9:16
    "So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy."


    by His Grace
    mike
     
  11. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Seeing as how I would never say that works are involved in man's eternal life, it appears that you are attempting to put words in my mouth. Further I would never say that man's belief is a work of anykind, belief is however a condition of man that results in the reward of eternal life, where unbelief results in the punishment of being thrown into the lake of fire.
     
  12. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    True it is by the power of God that man is given everlasting life. But, for CAUSE! The Cause of Salvation of man by God is man's belief in God. That is in accordance with the plan of God. He set the stage we are the actors!

    Absolutely, Salvation is of God who shows mercy, but the final judgment of man is based upon the condition of each man's faith in God.
     
  13. John Owen

    John Owen
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    Helen, something that was not discussed, and it seems that according to your original question it should have been, was the point regarding belief and when or how it takes place, in a Calvinistic understanding of the salvation event. That is, you said
    It is good that you brought this up, and whether you disagree with Calvinistic/Augustinian soteriology or not, this is an issue that is key, and so a Calvinist (that is, a Christian) says that

    So you are right in saying that from a Calvinist's perspective, one does not (ie possess the ability) exercise saving faith prior to their being saved, as understood temporally or logically. And really, what we are talking about here is a logical order, not so much a temporal order, for when one's stony heart is taken out, and given a heart of flesh, then one also and immediately savingly believes. You can't really separate these things temporally. I am not sure this came up in your earlier conversation, but at least from what you have started the OP with, Ransom did not have a chance to address this particular point.

    So the human responsibility to believe is important, salvation would not occur without the faith response. In this case however, it is God who supplies the ability for a person to believe by so changing their will that where once they hated God, now they see, as if their eyes have been opened for the first time, the beauty of Christ and the Gospel that they had previously spurned. That is the miracle of the new birth, of being born again, or better... "born from above".

    So (saving) belief would be considered a work if done without God's granting the ability to have believed in the first place. It would have been done in the flesh, and as the Bible says, the flesh profits nothing. And as Luther wryly noted, "nothing is not a little something". And savingly believing in Christ Jesus would indeed be a big something! Thus you are right, that is what the Calvinist believe the Bible teaches concerning belief and its being a work, if not given as a gift. The Calvinist is not trying to have it both ways, s/he is trying to have it the biblical way. And please, lets not forget this. The Calvinist and the Arminian both passionately believe that theirs is the biblical view. Imagine the contrary! The Calvinist wants to believe something because it is not biblical?!?!? No. We believe that man cannot pull himself up by his own bootstraps and just decide one day to savingly believe. Salvation is of the Lord, from first to last. I think the dynamic (human responsibility and divine sovereignty) is shown well in the following:

    They claim that to believe before salvation is a 'work'.
    Phil 2:12-13 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. NASU

    Blessings
     
  14. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    John Owen,
    Being a Calvinist does not make one a christian! Being a Christian makes one a Christian! Please don't confuse the issue with such inane comments!
     
  15. John Owen

    John Owen
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    Helen, I should have mentioned the following comentary by the Puritans on the above passage in Phil.;


    Philippians 2:13


    5 For it is God which worketh in you both n to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

    (5) A most sure and grounded argument against pride, because we have nothing in us praiseworthy, but it comes from the free gift of God, and is outside of us, for we do not have ability or power, so much as to will well (much less to do well), except only by the free mercy of God.

    (n) The reason why we are not statues; and yet we do not will well by nature, but only because God has made of our wicked will a good will.
    (from Geneva Notes)

    This seems to sum it up well.....
     
  16. John Owen

    John Owen
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yelsew;

    Don't trouble me by thinking that I must please you with what I write. You are confusing yourself with God.
     
  17. KayDee

    KayDee
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2001
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    Helen and others:

    This was the last part of the Doctrines of Grace that I wrestled with before understanding the truth of Scritpure. Regeneration comes before salvation - I know most of you have heard this before (from Pastor Larry, anyway). God had to give us a new heart (of flesh) beofre we were able to believe...had to get rid of that ol' stone one that couldn't do anything good in the Lord's eyes.

    Titus 3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life[/I}

    2 Thess 2:13-14But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Eph 2:5 4But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

    Of course Jesus also told Nicodemus He must be born again to see/understand the Kingdom.

    I know those that oppose the Doctrines of Grace will hit the roof over this one but when the whole counsel of God is considered I don't see how it can be any other way.

    I'm thrilled these discussions have stayed civil. We are all a part of the body of Christ and are able to discuss our differences in love and with respect. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    In His Grace
    KayDee
     
  18. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    John Owen, Why do you ignore the biblical truth that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" Faith does not come by regeneration, regeneration comes by faith! Hearing the Word of God comes first, then faith. Faith is regeneration!
     
  19. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    I personally don't care what you think Owen, it is what you post that I respond to. If you can't handle the critique, don't post!

    If you can prove me wrong, feel free to do so! if you can't, accept the critique from a brother. Of course I am assuming you are a brother. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  20. Frogman

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

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2001
    Messages:
    5,492
    Likes Received:
    0
    Any time someone (anyone, whosoever...etc.) receives something as a reward, that 'something' becomes the object of a service rendered, that service rendered becomes a work.

    That which is eternal life is bought for the elect by Christ Jesus and it is a free gift, there is no where it is imagined by Scripture to be a reward of any kind.

    where do you find salvation (eternal life) being a reward of any kind?

    Kindly list that vs(s) and I may consider your point more seriously.


    God bless
    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     

Share This Page

Loading...