Calvinists please help me as I am trying to understand.

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by zrs6v4, Jan 18, 2009.

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  1. zrs6v4

    zrs6v4
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    I tend to lean towards this view of predestination. My question is this and please correct.

    basically God does it all, He is the all sovereign God that calls His elect that He pre knew beforehand. God is completely just in sending everyone into hell due to the fact that we deserve punishment for our iniquities. This to me means in depth that we cannot really reject God when He is truly working in someone He has called to Himself in whatever fashion. I am in no means saying that we are to sit back and preach sit back to anyone, but rather preach the Word to them so they may choose to surrender humbly and brokenly to God. We in fact have no clue when God is working in someone or not, although we might sense it or whatever, but we really cant say. SO everyoen to us is of equal fishing, but only few are chosen in which we have no clue. We also know that faith comes by hearing the Word, which is God. So in other words God is calling these people through His Word to faith.

    So seeing as none are born believing or of faith can we reject faith, or more importantly the grace of God when He choses to have compassion and mercy on us? or is it an unavoidable thing? To me, when you are given eyes to see and ears to begin to hear God, how can you reject?

    I realize the bible has preaching of repentance, believing and all the sort but obviously none are possible to truly do without the Holy Spirit at work and calling the sinner from death to life. Again, I am in any way saying to NOT invite a sinner, b/c for one our great comission is to make disciples and two anyone who is thirsty, desires, or hears "COME". Again these 3 things are all blessings and can they be possible without God first being at work?

    Thanks and my answer seems to be leading to God being the only reason for salvation, and even though we make a choice by faith, all those things that we go through at that time of conversion are not possible without God's Spirit. In other words we must be saved before we believe, and we cannot trust God without God giving it b/c all things are from God....

    Thanks
     
  2. zrs6v4

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    I cant stress enough that I am not saying to tell people they cant trust God, but in other words we as growing believers should be in tune adn this should fuel our prayers to be more depended on God for the ones we are praying for. It seems that when a true convert comes it is a work of unmerrit and the results of a convert are repentance, fruits, hunger, fear, etc...
     
  3. J.D.

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    Seems to me you're understanding more than you're not understanding. Just some refining needed. For starters, you said "we must be saved before we believe". Calvinists teach that we must be regenerated (or effectualy called) before we believe, and when we believe, we are saved. Also, this order of salvation is not seen by all as a chronological order, but a logical order, with all the elements of conversion taking place simultaneously.
     
  4. zrs6v4

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    yea I honestly havent read any books or studied the calvanist view, but I understand the foundation of it by a beginners stage of systematic theology. Sorry about my wording, I do mean regenerate. Yes to the last comment I agree.

    So in a sense to those called there will not be rejection of the Holy Spirit once regenerate?

    I also see the non-cals view point, because this brings a whole new level of humbleness, helplessness, and effortless attempts to gain a thing when we cant choose. Along with various verses that can be thrown out to say that we can have a choice. But again like I said the depth of it gives glory to God more so than beign able to choose.

    I heard a anonymous big time pastor, in which I like, say, "we have to believe in order to be born again. God isnt gonna force us to get in the boat when we are drowning." But I really thought about it and made more biblical sense on the opposing perspective. How the heck is a dead man sinking in the water supposed to get in a boat? He basically has no hope other than that God might pull Him in the boat. That is more of a true cry than trying to convince God that you believe when you absolutely dont, unless He has already given you the true belief that He speaks of which involves faith and trust. It is a lowly humbled, sick, helpless act of crying out for help.

    Isaiah 64:7 There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and you have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities."

    Isaiah is seeming to pray this desperation true prayer of humbleness that Im trying to capture in chapter 64.
     
  5. J.D.

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    Right. One way to say it is that Jesus cannot fail to bring his sheep into the fold.

    Actually, we do have a choice. Man freely chooses to do that which is his nature dictates. The unsaved have a sinfull nature by which they freely choose to reject God while the saved have a new nature given them by God by which they freely choose to trust Christ as their savior. The will is free to choose what it desires by nature, but cannot choose what it does not desire by nature. So it is free yet bound.

    This is a good illustration. Although God does not "force" his children to believe, he does bring them to life so they will "get in the boat". And besides that, wouldn't you use force to get your child into the boat? I would. But remember, God does not force anyone, but he does change them, bringing them to life from the deadness of tresspasses and sins.
     
    #5 J.D., Jan 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2009
  6. pinoybaptist

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    I have a question about this order of salvation, J.D.
    First, if one must be regenerated before one can believe and thus be saved, will it not follow that the salvation of sinners and of God's elect people began only when there was something and someone to believe in and someone to preach what and whom to believe in ?

    If that is logical, then doesn't it follow that Christ's work of eternal salvation began only after the cross ? Or when there was a gospel to preach and gospel preachers to preach the gospel ?

    Whether or not your answer is yes or no, my question is, how far and wide, geographically and chronologically, then, will such a salvation following your ordo salutis, go or reach ?

    Thank you for any forthcoming reply.
     
  7. webdog

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    "free yet bound" :confused: If it's bound, it's not free :)

    Choice involves more than one thing. If one "chooses" to reject God, the choice is also present to accept God, else it's not a choice. Kind of like your "bound freedom".
     
  8. Grasshopper

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    Will a lion climb a tree and eat leaves? No. Why not, because it goes against its nature to do so. Can a lion climb a tree and eat leaves, yes. Will he ever do it, no. He has no desire to do so.

    Will a man dead in sin ever call out to God for mercy when that same man is a war with God? NO. Why not? It goes against his natural desires and will. Is he physically able get on his knees and cry out to God for forgiveness? Yes, but like the lion will never do so.

    So "free but bound" is not that hard a concept to understand, assuming of course one wants to understand.

    Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

    Joh 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.
     
  9. webdog

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    Red herring. We are not talking about lions.

    I have seen your "proof text" many times, and what you want it to say (although it doesn't) is "those that don't come to Me were not drawn by the Father". That's eisegesis.

    There is no Scripture stating man will only do what his nature dictates, either.
     
  10. zrs6v4

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    thanks everyone for the replies, but lets state our scriptures and then show our conclusions off of them, if possible. There is no way to me to explain "no one comes to the father unless he is drawn." other than that God is totally sovereign over even our crying out. The key to me is that we are 0% good and God is 100% so how can we do a good act without God giving it?

    I understand that we seemingly have a choice, and we do but deeper than that choice must be the Holy Spirit or we are turning to another god.
     
  11. zrs6v4

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    I am not saying God makes us cry out or believe, but when we encounter (not experience or feel) God then it will produce a bunch of things that are explained in the bible. The outcome of Gods spirit for example would result in crying out as we are regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

    For example we cannot choose to be in a rebellious relationship with anyone, say our dad. it just happens due to a series of events. then one day say we realize our actions are our fault and see the ruins they have made and what they have created in our lives and others around us. So we out of pure free choice with no merit turn out of a broken and humbled heart back to our fathers honor. This isnt to be loved or accepted, but because we are already accepted and the dad was waiting all along to poor out his blessings.

    God is the same way, but the calvanist view is saying that God produced this whole thing before time in eternity past. Somehow God made this all possible?

    This doesnt mean God is using us like robots, but He chose few to poor out blessings on and others he did not. the results of blessings are many actions as we walk by the spirit. So while we actually make decisions, they are only good because of the result of God's good work. Not that all decisions we make even as converts are good, but the godly ones are, as they are produced by the Holy Spirit.
     
    #11 zrs6v4, Jan 19, 2009
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  12. webdog

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    Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

    If the acts we do fall back on God, you can't negate the bad as well. God doesn't determine our actions, else God causes sin.
     
  13. Grasshopper

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  14. MB

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    Hi zrs6v4;
    I believe you'd be better off relying entirely on the Bible for a answer. You will find several answers to your questions here at BB.Com. God may have a message for you and other men just won't have that answer. Trust the Bible it is the best source available.
    MB
     
  15. zrs6v4

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    Thanks everyone, and Webdog I am not convinced, not to sound ignorant but it seems that many scriptures will have to be ignored in order to back up what I think you are getting at. maybe give a few if you feel like talking further. This is good fellowship so we may know and understand God better, so please dont take offense as we sometimes tend to resort to. Im not battling you but Id like to think of it as working together. I am also not calling you a false convert by disagreeing with you, just to throw that out there.




    Thanks MB, that is the best advice anyone can give. I have spent much time in prayer and in God's word searching certain scriptures, but obviously there is no end which is awesome. I agree with: God giving people messages in scripture, and I thank you for the encouragement. To me this seems like a point all agree on but some dont do what they say (not hinting anyone by the way, hah). I have to say it is tough for even God's people to stay in trust of scripture with all of the sources, but again that is where God upholds those He choses so they will be reminded of their first love, the Word.

    I seem to learn and understand by hearing all view points and testing them with scripture, but I know that all of God's people are taught by God and the bible is the Word, so the answer "must" be within the context.
     
  16. zrs6v4

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    Mathew 7:11 I agree Jesus says ask for the gift. I in no way want to try to avoid this scripture or take it in my own hands. I think in Luke their is a similar verse. But what we have to ask ourselves is the next question in line. I never said God determines our actions but our action choices are determined by Gods work inside, or else they are no good. Yes I believe in praying and asking for gifts like strength, and wisdom, and such. I also believe in asking for the Holy Spirit, because we will when we are at our end of self. The better one is in Luke I dont have a bible with me, but I think around ch.9. He says He gives the HS to those who ask. So as I was saying its all about our heart setting and what God is doing inside of us, prayer is an outcome of God already working.

    "If my People who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn, I will hear from heaven forgive their sin and heal their land."

    1. calling 2. humble 3. pray 4. seek 5. turn

    "anyone who asks recieves, and anyone that seeks finds, and the one who knocks, the door will be opened."

    similar, but your heart and focus cannot be on God without God drawing you to himself.

    I see that you are hinting surrender to God and yes we can surrender without knowing these deeper things or even the bible at all. We dont have to know that God is chosing us, but no matter what it seems that God has created a humble heart within anyone who asks and receives and turns to Him with their lives truly.
     
  17. webdog

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    ...which doesn't corrolate to the sin nature in any form.
    I believe 2 Peter 3:9 at face value.
    What Scripture was Paul quoting from in Romans 3? When you see "as it is written..." it's a good starting point to start there.


    Those passages don't say anything about only doing what our nature dictates, particularly Romans 8 speaking of believers. Of course if left to ourselves, nobody would seek God...but God has never left man to themselves, as Romans 1 attests to. There are only two groups of humanity, those that have accepted the Truth, and those that have rejected the Truth...not those that are enabled, and those that are disabled.


     
  18. Grasshopper

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  19. webdog

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    Non sequitur, God's drawing doesn't mean all will heed His drawing. Apparently from Romans 1 all men have been presented with the Truth, meaning all have been drawn. One cannot reject that which is not presented.
     
  20. zrs6v4

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    I dont have an answer for the verse, but I am storming through the chapter and trying to see what Peters message is. here is what immediatly comes to mind thanks to skeptics questions to this-

    2 Peter 3:9- "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that ALL should reach repentance."

    Im going to try to look at it from your perspective with some common questions so I can understand your view.

    -Peter is talking about the Day of the Lord
    -seems to be hinting that God longs for all men should turn to Him
    -in His final words of the chapter Peter is encouraging people to stay in faith and basically be ready
    -you are saying that God gives everyone the strength to repent and choose Him for salvation, aka surrender/trust God without works.
    - the Holy Spirit is a part of it but doesnt use force, but in fact basically waits for you to open the door..
    - you say how can God love everyone equally if he only gives few salvation and others have no choice, that would be showing favoritism.
    -all are great statements and please expland for me whats on your mind

    My questions to you-
    Is God completely sovereign? Youd probably say yes, but doesnt mess with free will of man. why not?
    If He can turn hearts then why not turn everyones to Him completely to be saved (which is an act of messing with free will, right)?
    What about those in other countries who do not hear the gospel? I's this our fault for not answering to God when He told us to go to them?
    What do you do with Romans 9:11?
    What if God does love everyone greatly and for his plan they must not be born again. Is he still JUST in letting them die in their sins? or do they deserve a chance?

    all of these questions are good questions but Id like to see how you deal with them..

    anyone feel free to comment on the verse he gave, I have nothing because it does seem to simply imply free choice of man. The big question I think he is getting at is how can God love the world so much and long for everyone to be saved, while only choosing a few?
     
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