can the natural man. a sinner, overcome the Flesh by His own works and deeds?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Yeshua1, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    Or will he always be caught up to sin, just amatter of by his self efforts limiting that to some degree?
     
  2. padredurand

    padredurand
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    A natural man will always be natural. He/she can be a decent person, polite, generous, helpful and possess many other positive attributes. What natural man will never be is righteous. That takes a Savior. A natural man won't seek Him either.

     
  3. Winman

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    A natural man can obey God, he could return a lost wallet for example. He cannot earn salvation, no one can do that.

    What folks do not understand is that a natural man is under the law, a spiritual man is not. Nobody can perfectly obey the law, including a saved man. The natural man is condemned the moment he sins. He is "sold" to sin, he belongs to it, and the wage of sin is death, there is no escape except Christ. It is not so much about performance as it is about position. A Christian is not under the law, he is under grace.

    Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
    18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

    Folks think Paul is speaking about performance when he says a man was a slave or servant to sin. People think this means a man is compelled to sin. This is not what Paul is saying. He is speaking of position. It is like the ancient slave markets, when you sin you are "sold under sin" as Paul said in Rom 7:14. You BELONG to sin, he is your master, you are his slave. And no matter what you do, whether it be good or bad, sin has one wage, and that is DEATH.

    But the moment you believe or obey the gospel, you are baptized into Jesus's body and you died to sin on the cross with Jesus. Sin no longer owns you, he no longer has any dominion over you. It is not about performance it is about position.

    Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

    The scriptures are not saying an unconverted man cannot do good. An unconverted man can do many good things, but none of them will save him. Because he has sinned just once he belongs to sin and is under sin's dominion. No matter what he does, he will be paid the wage of death.

    Once you trust Jesus you are baptized into his body and are dead to sin. Sin no longer owns you or has any power over you . You are now under grace, you are bought and belong to Jesus, and the gift of Jesus is eternal life.
     
    #3 Winman, Jan 2, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2014
  4. JohnDeereFan

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    According to Arminians, yes. According to the Bible, no.
     
  5. Winman

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    You didn't get that from me, I said;

    Why are you trying to overcome your flesh? What does that accomplish?

    Some folks can exercise a great degree of self discipline, so what?

    Do you think a man has to overcome his flesh to be saved?
     
  6. agedman

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    I am assuming by "natural man" you are meaning one who is not a believer.

    The answer is no. Even the "good" a person does, attempts to do, or considers but never gets around to doing is repugnant to God.


    If you are having in mind the believer who in the struggle against the "natural man" has surrendered the high ground of Grace, that is a completely different issue.

    I like this illustration:

    Walking past the back yard glass door, I saw my son jumping off the picnic table like superman.

    Opening the door, I told him to not jump off the table.

    After some time, I came back across the doorway, and he was again jumping off the table. I put him in "time out."

    The scene problem was repeated again the next time - I gave him a bit of physical attention.

    The problem was repeated again - so I brought him into the house.

    God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) will deal with the believer who surrenders to the "natural man" even taking them home.
     
  7. Baptist Believer

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    Your Question:
    “Can the natural man. a sinner, overcome the Flesh by His own works and deeds, or will he always be caught up to sin, just a matter of by his self efforts limiting that to some degree?”

    The wording of your question is tortured and vague, and seems to assume some things that may not necessarily be true.

    Let me define some of these terms in your question, as I understand your meaning, so I won’t be misunderstood:

    “Natural man” – I assume you mean a man who has not re-aligned themselves (repented) for living according to their own desires and aligned themselves with the Kingdom of God.

    “…a sinner…” – A person whose bent is toward sin by nature and by habit – a person who does not have access to the resources of the Kingdom of God (grace).

    “…overcome the flesh…” – Come to a place where they have mastery over their mind and body to do good in all circumstances. This does not necessarily involve a change in desires or nature.

    “…caught up in sin…” – To be someone who regularly commits specific acts of sin (rebellion against the good).

    “…self efforts limiting that to some degree.” – The possibility that disciplines that build character can be somewhat effective against specific acts of sin.

    In short, a person can exercise character-building disciplines that help control and regulate their external lives in such a way that they do not commit many overt acts of sin. Many religious people are in exactly this position. (There is some social and moral benefit to being a person of good character, but inwardly, that person is still in rebellion against God and may develop a hardness toward God because of pride.) However the problem is that the desire to sin and the sin nature is not strongly affected by character-building exercises without the grace of God empowering the person exercising them.

    The ancient Greek philosophers struggled with this very issue but they could not effectively deal with the sin nature. When the Christian gospel hit the Gentile/Hellenized world, many of those who were knowledgeable of Greek philosophy realized that Christ solved the problem of the sin nature.

    A person who is born from above (John 3), is now empowered to be transformed by Christ by use of character-forming exercises (spiritual disciplines) energized by the living and active grace of God in our lives.

    As Jesus taught, we are not to be “white-washed tombs” that appear to be good, but we should be persons who naturally do good simply because our nature has been changed – just like a good tree that bears good fruit.

    Yes, character-building effort is important for both believers and non-believers, but only the believer can truly succeed at becoming a person who does what is right, inwardly and outwardly, because of their new nature.
     
  8. padredurand

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    If you use a brush that broad you could paint the barn in one swipe, JDF.

    They don't come any more Arminian than Mr. Wesley. This comes from the same message I linked in post#2. I just want to highlight what Wesley says about being born again:

    From hence it manifestly appears, what is the nature of the new birth. It is that great change which God works in the soul when he brings it into life; when he raises it from the death of sin to the life of righteousness. It is the change wrought in the whole soul by the almighty Spirit of God when it is "created anew in Christ Jesus;" when it is "renewed after the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness;" when the love of the world is changed into the love of God; pride into humility; passion into meekness; hatred, envy, malice, into a sincere, tender, disinterested love for all mankind. In a word, it is that change whereby the earthly, sensual, devilish mind is turned into the "mind which was in Christ Jesus." This is the nature of the new birth: "So is every one that is born of the Spirit."

    See, even the prince of Arminian theology gives credit where credit is due. The only time man is mentioned here is when Wesley speaks of the transformation wrought by the new birth. When He brings to life speaks of God working in us. The change wrought in the whole soul is accredited to the work of the Holy Spirit.
     
  9. JohnDeereFan

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    I know how much you guys like ad homs, but Arminianism is Pelagianism.
     
  10. quantumfaith

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    That is a little bit low JDF. A little low.
     
  11. padredurand

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    ad hom? As in ad hominem? I apologize if you were offended by the broad brush remark. I wasn't aware anyone would find that insulting. :tear:

    To the same degree a duck is a goose. Pelagianism teaches the first steps are taken by natural man and grace follows. Arminianism teaches that the first steps of grace are taken by God.

     
  12. agedman

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    But NEITHER have God not needing "help" to save.

    Only the Cal gives total glory to God as both the author and finisher.
     
  13. padredurand

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    Help in what respect?
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    I do not know a non cal that believe God needs anyones help to save man. That is a poor characterization and only intended to demonize those cals disagree with. It has not facts in basis. It is just not honest.

    Non cals give God all the glory.
     
  15. JohnDeereFan

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    It's not that the believe God needs help, but that man takes the initiative in salvation.

    I have no doubt that Arminians mean to give God the glory but their soteriology makes God a spectator, sitting helplessly by hoping someone decides to "accept Jesus" like the homely fat girl who sits at home on Saturday night, desperately hoping the handsome school quarterback will call her.
     
    #15 JohnDeereFan, Jan 2, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2014
  16. Revmitchell

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    I do not know a non cal that believes man takes the initiative. That is false.
     
  17. JohnDeereFan

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    Funny, I don't know one who doesn't. That is not false.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    Cals think they know what non cals believe but they get it wrong most of the time as we see in this thread.
     
  19. JohnDeereFan

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    Sounds just like the Catholics who say, "Oh, you don't really disagree with Catholicism. You just don't know what Catholicism teaches."

    Are you really telling us that Arminians are monergists now? That Arminians believe God initiates salvation? Why, then, do we not see Adrian Rogers sermons on monergism, election, or the effectual call?
     
  20. Revmitchell

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    I cannot answer for what arminians believe. However initiating salvation and the false teaching of effectual calling are two completely different things. And Adrian Rodgers was not an Arminian.
     

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