Can anything that man does hinder God's work?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by William C, May 10, 2003.

  1. William C

    William C
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    1 He went away from there and came to His hometown, and His disciples followed Him. 2 When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard Him were astonished. "Where did this man get these things?" they said. "What is this wisdom given to Him, and these miracles performed by His hands? 3 Isn't this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren't His sisters here with us?" So they were offended by Him. 4 Then Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his household." 5 So He was not able to do any miracles there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He was amazed at their unbelief. (Mark 6)

    Matt. 13:58 And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.

    It seems that unbelief is a prerequisite for God to work, yet Calvinists maintain that belief is work of the Spirit in man, not man's response to the Spirit's call.

    Jesus continually throughout the text rebukes man's unbelief. Why? If it is a work of God, why would he rebuke man for not doing it? That is absurd!
    That is like rebuking your children for not unlocking the door that only you have a key to.
     
  2. Frogman

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    Even as is evident in our day Jesus personally dealt with those who WOULD NOT BELIEVE except he perform some great miracle before their very eyes...preferably to their personal benefit...please Lord. Jesus was not hindered from performing that which was the Will of the Father at this time, as is very evident by the scripture stating 'except' but he is not a Carnival side show meant to be put on display either in the days of his flesh, nor at the present date.

    Too many want to compete with the entertainment industry and count the 'costs' of service against the 'profits' of service and these are IMHO most pitiful creatures.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  3. KenH

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    The clear teaching of the Bible is that man is responsible for his lostness and inability, contrary to the charge that some make that God is responsible and that God should not be holding man responsible for his inability.

    Even the Gentiles who were not given the Law of Moses are without excuse for their unbelief as the apostle Paul wrote in Romans:

    Romans 1:18-25(NASB)
    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
    19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
    20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
    21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
    23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
    24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
    25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

    Further in Romans, Paul tells us that Jews and Gentiles are responsible for their unbelief:

    Romans 3:9-18(NASB)
    9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;
    10 as it is written,
    “There is none righteous, not even one;
    11 There is none who understands,
    There is none who seeks for God;
    12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
    There is none who does good,
    There is not even one.”
    13 “Their throat is an open grave,
    With their tongues they keep deceiving,”
    “The poison of asps is under their lips”;
    14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;
    15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,
    16 Destruction and misery are in their paths,
    17 And the path of peace they have not known.”
    18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

    So we see that the Bible clearly teaches that it is man who is responsible for his unbelief and not God. And man's inability is not an excuse as man is responsible for his inability, not God.

    God must save and God alone, as man can do nothing to save himself, as without the regenerating power of God the Holy Spirit man does not seek God as Paul wrote to the Roman Christians.
     
  4. William C

    William C
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    Ken, your post proves that man is responsible for his unbelief, but it fails to show how man is unable to believe. In fact the reason that Rom. 1 says they are "without excuse" is because they "clearly saw" and "understood" God's divine attritubutes and eternal nature. Calvinism tries to argue that man is without excuse while maintaining that man cannot understand spiritual matters. To me it seems quite obvious that having understanding is what makes man have no excuse and thus makes God perfectly just in condemning man for not doing that which he clearly saw and understood he should do.

    You need to understand Ken, I am not fighting so much for man's free will here, I'm fighting for what I believe is the truth of God in scripture which fully protects God's justice by explaining how God is right in condemning unbelievers. Your system nullifies that explaination of just condemnation by removing understanding from man's capasity. I will fight against any system that undermines the justice of God tooth and nail!
     
  5. William C

    William C
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    Neither one of you really addressed my argument, at least what I understood didn't.

    What kept Jesus from preforming more supernatural signs in his own hometown? Their unbelief.

    Jesus said that had other cities seen these types of miraclous signs they would have repented and rebuked them for their unbelief. What? Don't you Calvinists believe that no one would repent unless they were inwardly called by an irresistable calling of the Holy Spirit, not an outward display of supernatural ability. How do you explain Jesus' words when he says other cities would have repented had they seen such signs?

    Also, think about Thomas and the other disciples who didn't believe following Christ's resurection. Where was the irresistable calling of the Holy Spirit there? Jesus had to show Thomas his side and hands before he believed, why would Jesus need to do that if Thomas was irresistably called by the Holy Spirit?

    In fact, Jesus openly rebukes the disciples for their unbelief. Why? Did God not give them enough? Should'nt Jesus be rebuking God for not giving the unbelievers faith? This system just doesn't make any sense! I still just can't believe I held to this system for over 9 years. :(
     
  6. Frogman

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    Are you still holding to it?

    Bro. Dallas

    P.S. maybe while Christ is working with them here in the flesh God is hardening them from the Throne of Grace, you know, communication being what it was in 33 A.D. and all, or perhaps the Holy Spirit wasn't able to loose himself from trying to convince some hardened Jew that he could provide the inner call to those of Christ's hometown. And maybe...well, I just don't like causing doubt of the Word of God. I would think if I could understand all points on this side of eternity (when I am certain there are things that God will not even reveal to us in eternity) well you know.

    But are you really not hanging on to the dear old doctrines once delivered to the saints?
     
  7. Yelsew

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    KenH,
    How can it be then that God alone is responsible for man's belief? If man is responsible for his unbelief, maybe you can explain the mechanics of how that works. No vague generalities please. Get to the Nitty Gritty of how one is an unbeliever, who cannot become a believer using the same means. Maybe you can define for us exactly what is required for man to become a believer. Remember, if man can do something all by himself in the non-God realm, he has exactly the same equipment with which to do it in the God realm.

    Agreed
    I do not agree, and I agree.

    I do not agree: If you have ever been pinned down in a foxhole with an enemy army trying to kill you, you don't wait for God to come calling, you do the calling out for God. If you have ever found yourself in a situation of hopelessness and fear, you do not wait for God to come calling, you cry out for God to save you. Even when the motivation is not fear, one comes to God because he instinctively knows there is a God and that God can fix what the man has broken. Man comes to God when he "hears" the word.
    I agree: When man is having his way, he does not have a need for God, therefore he does not seek God. When man is not having his way, such as the meek and lowly of spirit, the poor and poor in spirit, and the needy, do seek God of their own free will. They are always thinking about God, praying for relief, and praying for sustainance.
     
  8. Hardsheller

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    Jesus was limited by the Spirit of God in his hometown to only doing a few miracles. It wasn't that he was not able to do many miracles there....He is always able. It was that God because of the unbelief of Jesus' hometown people did not pour out his spirit as much there through the healing ministry of Jesus.

    John 5:19 in Jesus' own words he talks about this aspect of his ministry - He does the will of his Father and can do nothing the Father is not doing.

    (John 5:19 KJV) Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

    Why do some churches grow and others not grow? Is it not because of unbelief in the pews or in the pulpit?

    It seems to me that Jesus is doing nothing less than a traveling evangelist does when he exhorts a congregation to exercise more faith in God so that they might see God's Glory abound in their church. He chides people for their unbelief.

    Preachers do it all the time.
     
  9. William C

    William C
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    Yes, preachers do this all the time. Why would a Calvinistic preacher do it if he truly believed it was God who was solely responsible for man's faith.

    Why would a Calvinistic preacher say, "Ye of little faith!" Wouldn't he say, "Ye who God chose to give a little faith." ???

    Here is a good example: The other day at church one of the ushers had all of the bulletins in his hands and none of the other ushers knew where they were. The usher with all of the bulletins began passing them out as the congregation came in to be seated and he noticed that none of the other ushers were helping. He marched over and politely but firmly said to them, "Why aren't you guys handing out the bulletins?" They responded, "We don't have any, you've got them all." He sheepishly replied, "Oh," and divided them up.

    It was silly of the usher with all the bulletins to get upset at the others for not giving out bulletins when he had them all. But in his defense he didn't know that he had all the bulletins until they told him. Can you imagine if he did know that he had all the bulletins and he still got mad at the others for not passing them out. We would think that he was being an idiot holding all the bulletins in his hand and saying, "Why aren't you slackers handing out bulletins like your supposed to?" The reply would be, "You've got them all." And he would reply, "So, that's your problem, it makes me look good to have them all while you all look lazy, so I'm just going to keep yelling at you and telling you to do something you can't do without my help, so there!."

    We would think very poorly of such a man, yet that is what Calvinists would have us think about our Lord Jesus. It's just absurd!
     
  10. Frogman

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    There is a faith that saves and then there is 'growing in faith' this growing is not growing in faith unto salvation. Growing in faith is found described:

    3  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
    4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
    5  ¶And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
    6  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
    7  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
    8  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    9  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
    10  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
    11  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
    12  ¶Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
    13  Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

    Lest ye forget, would it not have been foolishness for Peter to have exhorted to the believers to increase their belief unto salvation?

    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  11. William C

    William C
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    So, Dallas you are arguing that God gives us just enough faith to save us and then it's up to us to add on to it by our own willful responses? :confused:
     
  12. Frogman

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    No, I didn't say what I quoted, Peter did.
     
  13. William C

    William C
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    :rolleyes:

    Dallas, I'm not questioning Peter's quote, I'm questioning your application of his quote. You know that your just being difficult.

    Anyway, I agree that the Bible teaches us to grow in faith. Arminians aren't the ones who are teaching faith is only of God, Calvinists are. Yet, you seem to be arguing that saving faith is God's work and the faith following salvation is ours. Am I understanding you correctly or not?
     
  14. Hardsheller

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    Bro. Bill,

    I think you're trying too hard to exorcise your own "private demon of Calvinism". Lighten up! It is not a "disease" unto death!

    I don't believe any Calvinists I know believe that faith is only of God. Faith is our human response to God's personal regenerative work in our lives.

    That it is a gift from God does not detract from the personal and human nature of faith.

    My faith is mine. My lack of it is also mine as well. I believed God when He opened my eyes and my heart and mind to the understanding of the personal nature of His Gospel for me.

    I think you're trying to make this too hard.

    Salvation is either a supernatural act of God in our lives or it is merely human driven religious affection and allegiance on our part. The former is what I see throughout the N.T. The latter is what I see in the erroneous and non-Christian religions of this world.
     
  15. Ray Berrian

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    Does anyone else here on the board think, like I do, that our lack of witnessing to our faith, definitely hinders the progress of His Kingdom and church in our world?
     
  16. Frogman

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    I once thought that way Brother Ray, but now I do not, the reason I don't is that if I fail to witness, then God simply calls on one who is obedient. What we do in failing is to quench the Spirit in our lives and miss out on a Blessing from God because of it.

    Have you ever thought of saying something pertaining to 'witnessing to your faith' and considered it in your mind and then before you could say your thought someone else did, though with different words, with the same message?

    I have been in this position. As a result, when I feel to do something I hesitate much less.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  17. William C

    William C
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    [​IMG] I don't know what I said in my last posts that made you think I was being overly serious, but whatever it was you took it the wrong way. I'm just have a good time seeking truth. [​IMG]

    Intersting semantical gymnastics. I've often heard Calvinists quote Eph 2 with great fervor saying faith is not of us but only of God, but if you want to explain it with different words, fine...tomato/tomatoe

    If its only a unique gift to the elect few, yet it does detract. Why? Because it makes Jesus' rebuke of those without faith into a nonsensical remark.

    "Woe to you unbelieving people because God didn't give you faith!!!" Shame on you for not having what your creator didn't give you.

    What if we were all born without eyes and God decided for whatever reason to give all women eyes and leave all men without. Then he sent messengers and even his own son to rebuke men for not seeing. They would say, "Men you are horrible because you won't see, open your eyes and look around you stupid men." What's the point of that? They can't do what God is rebuking them for not doing, how could He judge them for that? That is absurd by anyones standard!!! Only one who has been steeped in Calvinism wouldn't see this as complete nonsense.

    No, if faith is from God and its only given to some then the lack of it is because of God's choice not mans.

    You're placing Arminianism into false extreme in order to dismiss it as without merit, but what you say here is completely unfounded.

    We believe salvation is supernatual, and we don't believe it is "merely human driven religious affection and allegiance on our part." If you think you have described our views with these statments then you are not attacking us, your attacking your own straw man.
     
  18. Hardsheller

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    How can Salvation be supernatural if you (man) must trigger it? If it is an act of God it is not merely passive and waiting at some predetermined point that God will not move past as he waits for all or any sinners to appropriate at their pleasure.

    It is an Active Salvation, directed by its author, penetrating the very heart of the lost sinner and securing the personal salvation of the particular individual.

    To be sure the response is Personal Faith on the part of the sinner as will every salvation testimony reveal. How could it be otherwise?
     
  19. Ray Berrian

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    Brother Dallas,

    Yes, I do think that if I neglect to witness, our Lord will move on to someone else who is willing to be used of God.

    Never had the experience that you spoke about. Waiting to witness and then someone else stepped in and did what I should have done.
     
  20. William C

    William C
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    That's just it. We believe that God does trigger salvation. He fired the gun of redemption at the cross and the resurrection. He fired the gun of drawing all man unto himself has he was lifted up into heaven and sent his Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin through the gospel message delivered by his inspired apostles.

    How much more would you have Him do to consider it "supernatural"????

    I know. You'd have Him force some people to believe while leaving others helplessly trapped in the sin in which He bound them in through Adam's fall. Yep, that too is supernatural, but it's more supernatural than the scripture teaches because it removes man's responsiblity by removing his ability thus leaving God holding the bag while man has a perfect excuse.
     

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