Can God Recall Without Denying Himself?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    We have all heard the notion by many on this list that all past present and future sins of the believer have been atoned for. It is the accepted belief of those that hold to this notion that a literal payment has been made for specific sins and as such are forgiven and considered by God as if though they now do not exist.

    It is easy to simply state a doctrinal position, especially if one does not consider carefully the ramification it imbibes. To get started, let’s first settle what it means to have ones sins forgiven. Does that really mean that the penalty of the law has been set aside for all eternity on their behalf? Follow the logic.

    If in fact God has forgiven the elect for all sins that are past present and future, and it is also a firmly held belief that those that are elect have been chosen from before the foundations of the world, does it not follow that the sins of the elect were already paid for before man ever existed on this planet? Can you say that the elect are chosen from eternity past and their sins were paid for in a literal sense without concluding that in essence there was no time in which their sins could have actually existed, for they had been forgivenen and cast into the sea as far as the east is from the west, never to be remembered again, i.e., set aside from the time they were called elect, i.e., from eternity past? If They were the elect from eternity past, and their sins have been forgiven from eternity past, and God says that once forgiven they will never be remembered again, then God's forgetfulness has to be from eternity past, which necessitates there was never a time in which he knew about their sins. If God forgets, and that forgetfulness is the means by which he calls them elect and sees them as righteous, would not God have to be the victim of eternal amnesia?

    Would it not follow logically that if there were ever any sins that God could not have ever even known about (in relationship to the elect) due to the fact that He had chosen them and forgiven them and predestined them to be the elect from eternity past, and that no sins can be charged against the elect without charging God of remembering and holding against them that which He stated he never would? Why does this not make sin an actual impossibility for the elect, and punishment for something already forgiven, and that from eternity past, an absolute travesty of veracity on God’s part to even suggest that it was ever even possible?

    Can God forgive something He never knew about, and promised in his Word He would never remember, due to the fact He predestined them from eternity past as the elect without being seen as far less than truthful? Would not God have to remember something that He could not have known existed, and deny Himself in the process in order to forgive sins in the case of the elect? Does not even the mention of sin ever in the life of the elect allude to the fact that something exists that is and always has been a natural impossibility?
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    I believe God is speaking anthromorphically when he speaks of remembering sins no more. The nature of God demands that there is nothing he cannot know, and nothing he cannot remember. To suddenly not remember our sins would represent a change in the omnicient and immutable God.

    God here is saying that he will treat our sins as if they never existed.
     
  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I like your adventurous spirit Tom. :thumbs: I believe you have given a true response, although it does not answer all the nagging questions I posed. :)
    Still, I give you an A- so far. To raise it to an A+ you have to answer the following question correctly. Which did God bring into being first, the sins of the elect which of necessity were preordained (according to some on this list,) or the all encompassing forgiveness before they were ever committed?
     
  4. David Lamb

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    See my answer to the same question you posted on another thread in this forum (Chicken and Egg was part of the thread title)
     
  5. Pastor_Bob

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    All sin was paid for (atonement was made) when Christ gave His life. Not just for the "elect," but for all mankind (I John 2:2). For us, then, to have our sins "forgiven," we must simply appropriate that atonement and take advantage of the payment. In other words, we simply place those sins on His account that He has already established for us.

    1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
     
  6. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: In this we are in complete agreement.:thumbs:



    HP: If that was the first and only statement I had heard I might tend to find great agreement there as well. The problem is that I have lived long enough to hear these remarks made on one Sunday but something else is preached directly following that is inconsistent with such remarks. We are told that we are part of the elect, and that we are predestined to be one of the elect and that once an elect always of the elect. We are told that we have nothing to do with our salvation, that we are dead and unable to do anything other than to sin and that continually. We are informed that God first regenerates the hearts of the believers so that they are made able to respond. Now that they have the needed abilities to respond granted to them by God, they must of necessity respond, for who can thwart the very will of God? Now you come along and act as if though salvation has something to do with our ‘appropriating’ something while we are still dead in our trespasses and sins as IF though we actually have to take our sins, in the dead state we born into, and place them on His account. I thought in the last message I heard Christ already did that for the elect? Are you preaching salvation by works?

    In all honesty Brother, can you not start to get a grasp on the inconsistency that abounds in the message we are proclaiming to the church as well as a lost and dying world?
     
  7. Pastor_Bob

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    That is why I eschew the damning doctrine of Calvinism. It is a dangerous doctrine in my opinion. It attacks the very nature and character of God. I choose to believe that "whosoever" means whosoever.
     
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I completely agree with that statement. What a wonderful platform of truth to build upon and together. :thumbs:
     
  9. Martin

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    ==The "damning doctrine of Calvinism"? What is so "damning" about Calvinism? Is it the Calvinist belief in a Sovereign, all powerfull God? Or maybe it is the Calvinists belief in a Holy, Just God? Or, could it be the Calvinists belief in the idea that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone?

    Which Calvinist do you believe was more dangerous?

    George Whitefield
    Charles Spurgeon
    Jonathan Edwards
    John Robinson
    John Newton

    ==In what way? Be specific.


    ==No Calvinist that I am aware of denies that whosoever believes will be saved.
     
  10. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: What a sly twisting of words. It almost sounds on the surface as if though the Calvinist believes that man plays a part in fulfilling the conditions of salvation, but I know better, and I believe you do as well.

    Are we being intellectually honest Martin? This is what the Calvinist really means by what you say. God implants belief into the heart of the dead puppet and the puppet responds just as programmed to do. The puppet has nothing to do with his salvation has nothing to do with keeping his salvation, and cannot do anything to lose his salvation. It is all of God and none of man. That’s right Martin, all of God and none of man. That is what the Calvinist really believes.

    Don’t act for a minute like a Calvinist honestly believes that man believes in order to be saved. What a Calvinist calls belief is nothing more than a necessitated impulse from God that is irresistible and has nothing at all to do with mans will. Nothing man does in any way affects his salvation. Belief is again a code word to the Calvinist of irresistible necessitated force upon a dead log or puppet. ‘Whosoever’ to the Calvinist is a code word that really means the ones God predetermined from before the foundations of the world to be His elect, all others He withholds the needed abilities. The Calvinist scheme makes it an absolute impossibility for any other than a select few predestined souls to be saved.
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: What a question. May I ask in which specific sermon on which specific date? The problem with Calvinism is that they preach real good at times, but stick around for just a little longer and they will refute most everything they said before. It is a maelstrom of confusion, preaching on one hand that we need to live godly before God, and on the other tells us that it is impossible to do so. The sometimes preach repentance and then tell us that nothing we can do has anything to do with our salvation. They preach that we need to believe, and then tells us that we are dead to the point that we cannot do anything without God regenerating us and granting to us the ability to believe. When preaching repentance they say no man can honestly repent unless God grants to him special ability to do so, and even then it is only to His elect or selected few that he grants any abilities to change.

    All you have to do Martin is read the men you listed and see if what I am saying is indeed the case. If what I am saying applies to them, they were all dangerous to the truth on at least every other Sunday. So again, you point to the specific sermon they preached and let’s examine it in light of what they really believed. Better yet, tell us what you believe. Lets see what you know about Calvinism.
     
    #11 Heavenly Pilgrim, Sep 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2007
  12. Martin

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    ==Yes we believe what the Bible says: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Eph 2:8-9) "Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness" (Rom 4:4-5). There is nothing a person can do to earn or gain salvation. This is because man is dead in sin (Eph 2:1-3) and can do nothing to please God (Rom 8:8, Heb 11:6). Salvation is of the Lord, not of man. It is God who "made us alive together with Christ" (Eph 2:5) and "by His doing" we are in Christ that is why we can only boast in the Lord and not in ourselves (1Cor 1:30-31).


    ==Let's get back to the issue at hand. The implication was, from a statement Pastor Bob made, that Calvinist do not believe in whosoever will. That statement, that implication, is not true. All Calvinists believe that whoever turns to Christ will be saved. Period. Do we also believe that only those who are elect will turn to Christ and believe? Yes. Why? Because that is the teaching of Jesus (Jn 6:37-40,44, 10:26-29). There is nothing in those verses about puppets and programs. Calvinists do not believe that either. We believe that God so works in the heart of the elect that they come to Him in faith. It is the work of God and not of man but man is not dragged to Christ against his will.


    ==You clearly know nothing about Calvinists. All mainstream Calvinists teach/confess that a person must believe in order to be saved. We can look at the teachings of men like Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, George Whitefield, John MacArthur, or we can look at the various confessions. The Scriptures are clear, and therefore Calvinsts are clear, a person must believe in order to be saved. The issue is not whether a person must believe in order to be saved, everyone agrees on that, the issue is the source of that belief/faith. Is it from man? Does the man who is dead in sin, and who cannot do anything to please God, produce this belief/faith on his own? with God's help? Or does God give the man faith? That is the issue.

    ==I can't believe any professing Christian who describe saving faith as a "impulse". That is not what Calvinists believe at all. We believe that God works in the heart and draws the person to Himself. The result is that the person comes to Christ (Jn 6:37,40,44). That is not an impluse, something done without thinking or against the will of the man, it is the work of God in the heart of the man.

    ==Whosoever means, whosoever. The Gospel is to be preached to all people, and whosoever believes is saved. Period. That is what Spurgeon preached and did, that is what Whitefield preached and did. That is why many of history's greatest evangelists have been Calvinists. Whoever believes will be saved and not turned away (Jn 6:37). That is the teaching of Calvinists.

    Now, who will come to Christ? Who will believe? Clearly it is those the Father has given to Jesus (Jn 6:37,17:1-2, etc). Not everyone believes, not everyone comes, because not everyone is given to the Son by the Father. Those who are given to the Son by the Father come to Jesus, those who are not do not. They are left in their sin and unbelief (preterition). There is nothing unBiblical and unfair about that. The Bible is full of various examples of preterition (Matt 13:10-17, etc). It is perfectly fair, right, and just of God to judge the lost. Why? Because they are sinners. God is clear, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion" (Ex 33:19, Rom 9:15). God is not obligated to save any, the fact that He saves some is an act of His mercy and grace.






    ==Actually it is Jesus who taught, and who teaches, that only a few will be saved. What did He say? "Enter through the narrow gate...for the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matt 7:13,14). "And someone said to Him, Lord, are there just a few who are being saved? And He said to them, Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able." (Lk 13:23-24).
     
  13. Martin

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    ==George Whitefield, the man God used to bring about the Great Awakening in Colonial America, was dangerous to the truth? Amazing.

    Btw, I hope you don't sing "Amazing Grace". It was written by a strong Calvinst who you say is "dangerous to the truth on at least every other Sunday" (John Newton).


    ==If you want to know what I believe, read the Second London Confession (Baptist) of 1677.
     
    #13 Martin, Sep 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2007
  14. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: One thing is for certain, Scripture says whosoever will may come and drink of the waters of life freely. The picture you are painting is that only select few are force fed water that they could not resist, and all others are denied even the possibility of eternal life. Double predestination is a unavoidable consequence of Calvinistic dogma, I will have to agree with Brother Bob on this one for certain.

    Why not state your position as it really is rather than to try and make it sound as if though you believe something you do not? You speak of grace, but your grace is nothing more than justice. If God condemns a man for something he played no part in being, having been born a sinner, and condemns man that cannot do anything but sin and that continually again by no fault of his own, it is not grace that would provide the needed abilities to obey that which is commanded, but justice in light of the punishment meted out for refusing to believe in that which God Himself withholds the abilities. Sorry Martin, your Calvinist dogmas are not founded upon the Word of God, but rather are the product of men like Augustine and Calvin.
     
  15. BobRyan

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    Amen!

    Preach it brother.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  16. BobRyan

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    Indeed - "doublespeak" is afoot dear Watson.

    It is like saying " I will give 1000 dollars to every man woman and child in Altanta today" -- but what I really mean by "Atlanta" is that I renamed my family room "Atlanta" and I only let my children in the room. I just "say it" the other way to make it look like I am being truly more generous than in fact I am.

    Only as Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards would point out - my illustration above still does not go to sufficient levels to show how "arbitrary" the arbitrary selection process is for letting someone into the "Atlanta" room.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  17. Martin

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    ==As I have already stated, Calvinists believe this. We also believe the rest of Scripture. You can't cherry pick the verses you like and ignore the verses you don't. The whole Bible is the Word of God. Yes, all are called to salvation but only those given to the Son by the Father will come (Jn 3:16, 6:37,44, 17:1-2).



    ==Since I have already dealt with the idea of "force", and since you have failed to respond to what I said, I will not re-address that issue. What I have said is what I believe about this matter. Repeating it changes nothing.




    ==I have stated my position clearly and even given you a statement of faith you can look up and examine. If you don't like that, I'm sorry, but please don't pretend that I am not sincere in my beliefs. I assure you, dear sir, I am very sincere. I take my stand upon the Word of God and I will not back down. You don't have to agree with me, that's fine, but please don't think that I am not stating my true position. What I have said is what I believe.



    ==And?? Do you not believe that God is a God of justice?



    ==Where did you get that? People are born sinners, yes, and then they sin. Man's condition results in his sinful actions. Do you deny this? If so, how do you deal with Romans 6:15-18 or 1John 3:9-10 or John 8:44?



    ==Where do you get this idea that man sins "by no fault of his own"? Where is your Scriptural support for this strange teaching?



    ==I am getting each of my points from Scripture. I don't know where you are getting your points from.

     
  18. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Does the word “IF” mean anything to you? Show us your favorite sermon or lecture that you feel had the greatest impact, and I will see if I can show you the inconsistency he preached. Let me say from the beginning that I believe it will be very apparent that the most results he had in his ministry was when he varied the furthest from his Calvinistic roots. The more inconsistent he preached the more results he had. Prove me wrong.



    HP: I do sing Amazing Grace and find it very refreshing. I find no Calvinistic dogma within its lines whatsoever.



    HP: The problem is not with Scripture, it is with Calvinism’s interpretation via the presuppositions it approaches the Word of God with.

    I find nothing whatsoever that support any notion of double predestination in Scripture for starters. Will you deny that Calvinism necessitates that to be so?
     
  19. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Heavenly Pilgrim
    One thing is for certain, Scripture says whosoever will may come and drink of the waters of life freely.




    HP: According to the Calvinist, dead men have no wills and make no choices. What makes you believe that Calvinists believe that all may come? Possibly you need to ask a real Calvinist what the implications of being one of the elect and not being one of the elect really means. Only the elect may come. How long has it been since you read the confessions you say you believe in? Do you need one to explain to yu the implications of this statement?

    No whosoever will in that confession statement. No salvation for all there. No possibility of salvation for any other than a select few according to this quote. Where was the ‘whosoever’ you speak of mentioned? Again, whosoever is obviously a code word for a select few to the Calvinist.




    HP: Absolutely. Justice never condemns men for an unavoidable fate, a fate designed by God Himself according to the Calvinist. Here is again your confessions statement.

    Scripture sates, “It is he that hath made us and not we ourselves.” If man is born in sin, it is God that ordained and planned it to be so. Would you disagree with that as a Calvinist?




    HP: Where do any of these verses state that men are born sinners? You have the condition and results exactly backwards. Man is a sinner because he sins just as Scripture clearly states, “For all have sinned.”



    HP: That is exactly what Calvinism implies. There is no place in Scripture that supports such a notion.

    Where do you get the notion that if it is impossible to do anything other than sin, man is blameworthy? Where do you arrive at the notion that man can be born in such a state, that nothing is possible other than sin, yet somehow is responsible for the way he is born or subsequently acts, when again, no other possibility exists? Where in Scripture do you arrive at the notion that sin is the necessitated results of being born sinful, and that God holds man accountable for failure to overcome necessity, a feat even God cannot do? Where do you get that Scripture blames man for failure to believe when th fact is according to the Calvinist, only a select few are granted the ability to believe? Some justice that represents. You present God blaming man for falure to exercise that which has been withheld by God Himself. Show me where I am wrong.
     
  20. Link

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    The Bible does not teach that when we put our faith in Christ, God forgives our future sins. Some preachers preach that. It is dangerous to preach things that aren't in the word. The Bible says IF we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteoussness. It also says if ye forgive not men their tresspasses, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your tresspasses.

    There is a passage about God not remembering sin against Israel. But notice that He did remember before the repented, when those words were written. Plus, I get the sense that there may be a special meaning to remembering sin against someone. I don't think it implies literal amnesia. God took away the guilt of David's iniquity, but the prophecy continues to say that because David had dishonored God's name before others that certain troubles would fall on David's household. The prophecy does not say, "I have forgiven the guilt of your iniquity... and I forgot what I was going to say."
     

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