Choose to believe?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by AresMan, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. AresMan

    AresMan
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    Do people "choose to believe" something (especially the Gospel), or do people believe as a reaction to outward factors or work within to convince hearts as to the truth of a matter? Is not belief a reaction to revealed truth (or what appears to be revealed as truth)?

    I can say all I want that I believe the moon is made of green cheese. However, it is impossible for me to choose to believe this because it will never be revealed to my soul as truth. I would content that faith in the Gospel is the result of an effectual work of the Holy Spirit to illuminate a soul as to the truth of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God as the vehicle to do this.

    What? You mean it takes an act of God before someone can truly believe? Could he not just simply choose to believe? Also, after Jesus revealed the truth by casting out the demon, would there have been any other possible reaction than to believe?

    Paul thanks God for the faith of the Ephesians. Why? Because God gave it to them. He enlightened their understanding. It was His power to us-ward according to the working of His power due His raising of Christ from the dead whereby we believe through His enlightening.

    In verse 8, grace and faith are feminine and saved is masculine (as a plural predicate adjective referencing a combined group of males and females would be). That and it are neuter; therefore, neither can directly reference any one specific word in the phrase. Clearly the antecedent of
    that and it is the entire phrase before used as an abstract.

    Faith is given to us by God the Holy Spirit by His supernatural revealing in our hearts the truth of the Gospel.


    I do not see a "choice" to believe. The choice is rather, having faith, what to do with that faith.
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    This makes some sort of distinction between fiath and believe that the Bible doesn't have. Yes, we choose to believe because we are convinced that something is worthy of believing.

    This type of parsing is what confuses the conversation. It isn't helpful in the least.
     
  3. Jon-Marc

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    I didn't CHOOSE to believe. It was a gradual realization that what the Bible said was true. It wasn't a matter of one day I didn't believe, and the next day I chose to believe. It took nearly a year of hearing the truth and reading it for myself to come to the realization that I was lost.
     
  4. ReformedBaptist

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    I bet Ray Boltz chose to believe. And now his sodomy is made manifest.

    RB
     
  5. skypair

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    "Revealed truth" and "outward factors" are the same thing. The only thing that can change the heart is "revealed truth" from an outward source -- the Holy Spirit.

    You are apparently trying to minimize the fact that believing something, anything, new is within our power. We do it every time we change our minds.

    We don't believe something new that we hear just because we hear something that we inwardly already know. We believe because we choose to believe or disbelieve that we hear.

     
  6. Revmitchell

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    There is no difference.
     
  7. skypair

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    Ares,

    I believe that "decisional justification" means that I must choose to receive Christ as my "Savior from death."

    Then, immediately subsequent to justification, I receive "sovereign [God-given] regeneration" -- as "Lord of life."

    BUt this, to me, is where the LS bunch seem to "short-cut" the process.
    They appear to leave out "choose Him as Savior" and jump to "receive Him as Lord."

    Do you see that by describing it this way, they are able to claim salvation is "all of God?" and take away the "decisional" element of salvation that is so repulsive to their theology?

    skypair
     
  8. sag38

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    I would bet that there are some Calvinists (who used to serve the Lord in a conservative manner) who have now come out of the closet. I find it funny how some will suggest that if you don't believe in Calivinism then your evangelism is somehow incomplete, one's salvation experience comes into question, and it's a reason why so many have fallen by the way side. It sounds as if Reformed Baptist is saying that his salvation is more secure, his evangelism is better, and his retention rates are better simply because he is such a staunch calvinist. It's insulting to anyone who doesn't fully buy into the reform movement lock stock and barrel. The movement has my sympathy but because of their militant posturing I cannot and will not have anything to do with them.
     
  9. ReformedBaptist

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    Like we all do from time to time, you took my comments and ran too far with them. And concerning your reason for rejecting the doctrins of grace, its weak. Sounds like you have hardened your heart despite the truth.
     
  10. sag38

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    I stated it exactly as you stated it. If I'm wrong then please explain your post better. And, the militancy is evident in you comment. You suggested that I have a hard heart because I don't fully buy into Calvinsim or at least your brand of it. Attitudes like that don't build the church. They are going to split apart even further.
     
  11. ReformedBaptist

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    Actually, you stated that your rejection of the doctrines of grace is because you percieve a "militancy" in the rhetoric of some Calvinists. This seems to be a hardening of the heart to me. I think if someone rejects a doctrine they should do it because they believe it is contrary to the Scriptures.

    My statement had this meaning: Decisions are not an indication of salvation. It takes a lifetime to bear out the fruit of the inward work of the Holy Spirit. True Christians are not sodomites. True Christians do not make sin the trade skill of their life. We ought to preach the Gospel. We ought to preach repentence and faith in Jesus Christ. We ought to preach perseverance in the faith of Christ.

    RB
     
  12. stilllearning

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    My interpretation of Mark 9:24, is that the father was a believer: (A saint)
    (But he needed for his faith, to be increased!)
    Today, we(as believers), are able to increase our faith, by studying God’s Word......
     
  13. skypair

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    Good remarks, stilllearning. :thumbs:

    skypair
     
  14. skypair

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    Decisions are the means by which we get anything done in our lives -- including salvation. We choose/decide to believe on Christ as Savior and then we are JUSTIFIED/RECONCILED to God forever.

    Yes, and this lifetime consists of daily - hourly - moment-to-moment decisions to bear fruit unto SANCTIFICATION.

    Luke 3:8 has a thought-provoking interpretation that may help some here to discern the difference between justification and sanctification. "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father:..."

    See, the Pharisees were wont to say they were "elect"/reconciled in Abraham but John the Baptist was telling them to show fruit that they had personally repented unto God and were not counting on "election" -- and that fruit would be works of sanctification and spiritual growth.

    skypair
     
  15. ReformedBaptist

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    What exactly are you disagreeing with in what I wrote? Please be specific.

    RB
     
  16. webdog

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    "Choose to believe" is as redundant as "free grace". Belief by definition includes choice. If it didn't, it would cease to be called "belief", but would be more consistant with instinct or the like.
     
  17. Salamander

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    I choose to believe what I have also found to to be the truth concerning salvation and the change it affords every one who will come to Jesus for that implicit Truth!

    Romans 12 tells us that God has given the measure of faith to every man. Many will argue with this isn't believing faith unto salvation, they can be wrong if they want to. We present our bodies as a living sacrifice not to be saved but to serve the Lord, but this service must first begin by faith unto salvation.

    The measure of faith is not given as to serve the Lord but to cause us to realize that this measure is given to every man so salvation is not according to our service! Else salvation would be of works and we have enough problems with the boasters of this day.

    I choose to believe according to what I have been offered by the Holy Ghost, else I have been programmed to believe something I had no prior choice in believing. The program just doesn't exist. If it did Jesus wouldn't invite us to "Come", he would rather have said, "Bow!"

    I'm glad I serve the God of opportunities and not made to perform service as if to prevent certain destruction for my disobedience to a tyrant!:godisgood:
     
  18. skypair

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    AMEN!! Another testimony to "faith unto salvation" preceding "faith unto service" -- justification preceding sanctification of the indwelling Spirit.

    skypair
     
  19. skypair

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    "Decisions are not indicative of salvation." - RB

    They certainly ARE! Decisions are the spiritual/heart process by which we get things done, or don't, in eternity and daily. Dr Rogers used to say that Satan would rather "mess with your mind" than with your body because everything done in the flesh begins in the mind. LSD -- lust, sin, death. Where did lust get it
    s "foothold?" in the spirit/mind.

    Of course, God looks to the same thing. Can He convict and convince your spirit to repent? The Spirit through Paul convicted and almost convinced Aggripa to "become a Christian." But Aggripa couldn't "pull the trigger" and decide to repent!

    RB, God wants us to choose Christ as Savior from death and when we have, He gives us the "power" (the Holy Spirit) to also decide to choose Him as Lord of life.

    skypair
     
  20. Jerome

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    "Do not refuse the free pardon, the full salvation which Jesus grants to all who trust Him. Do not hesitate and delay. You have had enough of resolving, come to action. Believe in Jesus now, with full and immediate decision. Take with you words and come unto your Lord this day, even this day." ---CHS, All of Grace
     

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