Difference between being redemptively "in Christ" versus Representatively in Christ?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Dr. Walter, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    Brethren,

    Do you believe there is a distinction between being "in Christ" redemptively and being "in Christ" representatively/metaphorically.

    Let me rephrase it and put to you this way, do you believe there is a difference between being "in Christ" redemptively/individudally/Personally and being "in Christ" representatively/metaphorically/institutionally/publicly?

    May I illustrate? Are believers personally and redemptively in Christ in the following ways:

    1. In Christ by eternal purpose of election "chosen in him"
    2. In Christ by federal headship - Rom. 5:12-22
    3. In Christ by regeneratively by creation - Eph. 2:10
    4. In Christ by justification positionally/legally

    In distinction from the above is there a metaphorical and public representative way that believers are "in Christ"

    1. In Christ figuratively through baptism - Rom. 6:5-6
    2. In Christ metaphorically through church membership - I Cor. 12:27
    3. In Christ figuratively through communion - I Cor. 5:6-8; 10:15-16

    In distinction from all the above is there a practical and experiential way that believers are "in Christ" from moment to moment

    1. Walking "in him" - Col. 2:6
    2. "in the flesh" versus "in the Spirit" - Gal. 5:16-22
     
  2. jaigner

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    Wow! What a great question.

    I think the first and third examples both deal with forensic association with Christ, as His righteousness becomes ours when we are in Him.

    The second also applies, of course depending upon your personal view of the sacraments/ordinances. Most Baptists are close with a view of memorial, but some differ slightly toward an ex opere operato position, which would also be forensic in nature. Church membership, in my opinion, relates to our membership in the Church (big "C") universal, which all regenerate are regardless of local body participation, so that might also be forensic in nature.

    I think in all cases, being in Christ relates to wearing His name and sharing in His righteousness.

    Maybe I'm off base here, but I welcome a more stirring theological, non-political, prompt. Thank you and blessings.
     
  3. Dr. Walter

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    Thank you for your response. This has been a subject of interest of mine for some time. I have tried to think it through. The first category is inseparable from our spiritual and legal union with Christ and therefore soteriological.

    Also the last category is simply the outworking of our spiritual and legal union with Christ in regard to our inward person as expressed in life.
    However, the middle category, I believe is the public and institutional expression that may or may not be inseparable from category one and two. If the person is in spiritual and legal union with Christ then the second category would be the proper public identifying expression.

    The second aspect of the second category "membership" in the church runs into a snag.

    If we apply this to the universal invisible church idea there are several problems that we encounter. First, if we are a dispensational church proponent we have the problem of reconciling "in Christ" redemptively with this church without excluding pre-Pentecostal saints from being "in Christ" redemptively. That is, if to be "in Christ" is equal to be in this church and to be oustide this church is to be outside of Christ then we run into a major problem of explaining how pre-pentecostal saints can be saved OUTSIDE of Christ. This is particular a problem if we furthermore define the baptism in the Spirit as the modus operandi or mechanism for placement "in Christ" as this denies such a mechanism is in place for pre-Pentecostal saints. Thus a different salvation for pre versus post Pentecostal saints.

    If we apply this to the non-dispensational universal invisbile church position then we have another problem. How can this church precede its own foundation and first admittants (Eph. 2:20; 1 Cor. 12:28)? In both cases the "prophets" are New Testament prophets as the "secondarily" demands this in 1 Cor. 12:28.

    Lastly, both positions when they inseparably connect redemptively "in Christ" with the church = church salvation - as to be in is to be saved and to be outside is to be lost then we fundementally are forced into the same position in regard to the ordinances and thus a consistent sacramental soteriologically.

    I for one, reject the church salvation idea of "in Christ" altogether and hold to an ecclesiology that is consistent with gospel salvation "in Christ" alone both before and after Pentecost and a salvation that does not include the church either before or after Pentecost.

    I know this is probably not the popular view but I have far less theological problems than the other option and I have a gospel and salvation unattached to the church and ordinances.


     
  4. Benjamin

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    To know Him is about having a loving relationship with Him, trusting and believing in Him and His goodness through being “in” this relationship. In knowing that He loved us first and being thankful for what He has done for us who love this Truth we know that in this relationship we have a Redeemer. If we have this relationship with Him then we know He speaks for us, and because of His love for us we faithfully have this hope of redemption in the Day of Judgment.

    Being “in Christ” is all encompassing. Being in Christ is to be new, born from above, adopted, and as a child of God we know we have been both redeemed and are represented “in” the Son as a child of God. I don’t think any difference between redemptive and representative qualities can be separated in this sense. Much like the Trinitarian Nature of God is all encompassing and works together as One.

    Ok, I was sort of rambling and the above may not make any sense to anyone but me. Just thought that I better be acknowledging this possibility since I don’t have the time to rewrite it, don’t even know if this is what the OP is looking for, but will throw it out there anyway.

    I see this is getting much deeper from the last post. Adding in here about OT and NT differences: It is faith leading to the type of spiritual baptism (1Cor 10:1-4) needed for salvation. Therefore ultimately faith results in the adoption, (the thing necessary to the meaning of being “in Christ” and being a child of God), so is still very similar in the means and final result. Only the mediation has changed.

    I give up! My brain isn’t cooperating right now to let me articulate or sift through the depth of the questions.

    Maybe later
     
  5. kyredneck

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    Heheh, Walter, I'm like Benjamin, this thread has made my brain hurt trying to figger out what you're asking or how to answer it. Maybe you've presented it more complex than need be?

    Yes, I most definitely believe in 'a salvation that does not include the church either before or after Pentecost' that has applied to all the Saints throughout all the ages.

    It's not been taught to hoi polloi, that's the problem.

    I agree totally.
     
  6. kyredneck

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  7. Dr. Walter

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    Yes sir, I am in basic agreement with your post on the effectual call and gospel call. Personally, I think the gospel call becomes the effectual call when the Holy Spirit empowers the gospel call as His creative word of command (1 Thes. 1:5; 2 Thes. 2:14). However, when He does not empower the gospel it comes in "word only."


     
  8. Benjamin

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    I am in agreement that the Gospel becomes effective upon belief, which happens in love for the Truth,(Luke 7:50, 18:42) while accepting that every man has been given a true measure of faith and a true opportunity to respond to the influences of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 12:3)

    Wouldn’t buy into any theory that the Holy Spirit empowers the ability for some to believe the Truth and others not to based on any other pretense than through His judgments towards every man’s real time response after having been offered the Gospel words in truth. (Deut 32:4)
     
  9. Dr. Walter

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    I beleive the empowered gospel is what creates a beleiving heart in the gospel (Deut. 5:29; 29:4; Ez. 36:26-27; Rom. 10:10). I believe that saving faith is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8) and the work of God (Jn. 6:29) which is given unto all the Father gives the Son and every single one comes and is saved because of it (Jn. 6:37, 44, 64-65).

    Prior to this work of grace (effectual call) that individual is at enmity with God and will not come to Christ and will of their own free choice ALWAYS resist the Holy Spirit.


     
  10. Benjamin

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    Ookay... [​IMG] ...lol:

    I believe the Gospel is empowered because it is given in truth (2Tim 2:25) and preach this peradventure that God will give repentance to those who seek the truth out of a pure heart. (Psa 145:17-21) The Word says in “truth” that faith is near; with the heart a person believes and whosoever believes in Him will not be disappointed (Rom 10:8-11). “Choose you this day”; it is up to the individual to believe/have faith:

    (Eph 1:13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,

    God truly gave Himself as a ransom for all (1Tim 2:3-6). He is a God of Truth and a Rewarder of those who seek Him. (Heb 11:6).

    (*) Faith is not a work and the command to do what is right and seek the Lord in faith is not an empty statement nor void of truth (Isaiah 1:18-20; Jeremiah 29:13; Acts 17:24-27; Malachi 3:1; Zephaniah 2:3; Hosea 10:12; Psalm 83:14-16) Faith has not been predetermined for man and it is God’s will that all would come: (2Peter 3:9; Rev 22:19).

    Through the promises of God all men will be drawn (John 12:32) and are commanded to seek (*) and not without purpose for all God ways are judgment (Deut 32:4). The invitation of grace through faith extends to all (1Jn 2:2).
     
  11. Dr. Walter

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    In John 6:29-65 "coming" to Christ is a metaphor for believing in Christ. John 6:37 makes it clear that the cause for "coming" originates with the act of being given to the Son by the Father. It does not originate with the truth but with being given.

    ALL that the Father gives come to the Son. NONE fail to come to the Son. NONE are lost. Now either all mankind was given and therefore all mankind do come and none will be lost = universal salvation OR God has chosen a people to give to His Son and ALL those given to His Son for that purpose will come and will be saved and not one given shall be lost.

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

    In John 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."

    In addition to being given by the Father in verse 37, ALL who come must be drawn by the Father as well or they will not come. EVERY SINGLE ONE the father draws comes to the Son as the latter part of verse 44 demands that not one who is drawn fails to come. Therefore, "all men" in John 12 refers to "all kinds and classes" included in all those given to Christ by the Father. Gentiles are in view in John 12 coming to Christ.

    NONE drawn by the Father fail to come as the last sentence in verse 44 demands. Also this drawing power is an INTERNAL work performed by God in ALL given and drawn to the Son by the Father as verses 45-46 clearly teach. "EVERYONE" receiving this internal work by the Father comes to the Son.

    In John 6:64-65 "But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

    Those described in verse 64 are professed "disciples" of Christ who "followed him no more." The reason they did not believe in him is clearly stated in verse 65. The word "therefore I said unto you" refers back to verse 44. However, Jesus replaces the word "draw" in verse 44 with the words "given unto him" by the Father in verse 65. Those not "given unto him of my Father" do not come, do not believe? The ability to savingly believe in Christ must be "given unto" them or they will not believe. Therefore, believing in Christ is "the work of God" (Jn. 6:29) and the "gift" of God (Eph. 2:8). Unbelief and unwillingness to come to Christ is naturally.

    The ONLY ones who will come to Christ are ALL those the Father gives to Christ for that very purpose (Jn. 17:2). The ONLY ones that come to Christ are ALL those the Father draws. In this act of drawing, the Father "works in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure" thus producing a beleiving heart in Christ.

    This inward work of the Father is the effectual power of the Holy Spirit producing a NEW heart because their old heart is incapable of spiritual perception, spiritual hearing, spiritual seeing and thus incapable of DESIRING to come to Christ.


    Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. - Deut. 29:4

    The "heart" is inclusive of both your intellect and desires. The unregenerate man has NO DESIRE to seek God and therefore WILL NOT CHOOSE to do so of his own free choice. God must give him a NEW HEART. It is with this new heart "with the heart man believeth"

    This new believing heart is a creative act of God (Eph. 2:10). The gospel is empowered by God as His creative word to produce inward light and faith in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6).
    The gospel truth has no power to save anyone. You can preach it until your blue in the face and none will be saved if it comes in "word only" (1 Thes. 4-5).
    God gives a people to His son to save and this is election:

    " Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God." 1 Thes. 1:4

    How can you know your election by God? You know it by the Father effectually drawing you by empowering the gospel as His creative word:

    "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake." - 1 Thes. 1:5

    As Paul says "WHEN IT PLEASED GOD who separated me from my mother's womb and called me by his grace...."

    The same God who effectually gave you physical life and brought you safe out of your mother's womb also effectually called you by his grace to spiritual life manifested by coming to Christ in faith.

    Coming to the Father does not precede being drawn and drawn does not precede being given by the Father to the Son and ALL that come were ALL that were drawn and ALL that were drawn were ALL that were given. He did not lose one "of all" in verse 37a. He did not lose one of "all" in verse 44b and so Jesus says in John 6:39:

    And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

     
  12. Benjamin

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    I’m all too familiar with the Calvinist’ proof texting and continuations to teach a doctrine here through circular reasoning scripture food fights over their interpretations being based off a belief of “cause and effect” origins; yet, this subject of “origins” is where the Calvinist system fails. Yes, aim at the roots of the matter as well of the repercussion from these Determinist doctrines, which inevitably lead to theological fatalism, and their misconceptions SHOULD become clear.

    The common claim that the sovereignty of God mandates that it = “cause” or otherwise = a belief in “Universalism” falls short on many pretenses. To begin with, Determinist theology tragically discounts the promises as only to the SPECIALLY PRE-SELECTED and overlooks the better term “Universal Atonement” and the purposes. Thereby mistakenly stipulating that the invitation to “all”, to “seek” and to hear these promises given before the foundation in God’s loving grace through faith is not given by God in sincerity except for to the few “specially predetermined elect”. This doctrine can only logically void creaturely volition and unavoidably leads to theological fatalism because of this. It attempts to express a character of God = (to being the author of sin and creator of evil creatures by His predetermination) clearly contrary to the true nature of God; a God of Truth and judgment, not a god of predetermination on His creatures through creation.

    As for the stability of His nature, sincerity, ALL His administrations in the world, the very counsels He gives to ALL His creatures – ALL His ways are managed with wisdom and JUSTICE constant to His promises.

    (3) Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.
    (4) He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
    Deuteronomy 32:3-4

    God does not command men to seek Him in insincerity while having created man with no ability to do so. One of the main problems the Calvinist’ position of Determination has in the attempt to “glorify God” at the expense of the free will of man is that it violates the truths laid out in scripture.

    (Hebrews 10:22) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

    Conscience is worthless without Free Will/Volition/Ability to Choose.

    (Hebrews 10:23) Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)

    (Romans 10:9) If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heartthat God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

    Note: You is used 4 times in this verse. You’ll be surprised how much “you” there is in a Book that supposedly says that we can do nothing.

    God manifests his love to the creation (through the cross) so as to FREELY win the hearts of those who have fallen into rebellion as the scriptures say; it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.

    (Romans 2:4) Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

    What leads us to repentance, a change of heart, is His “goodness forbearance and longsuffering”. These are the influences of God, we respond to His goodness, and any true response logically needs be of the free volition of man; certainly His methods are not something to despise or deny. God does not do His drawing by the force of Determinism while the man kicks and screams and claws at the dirt as the Calvinist position would have us believe. We freely respond in our faith, our intellect, our desire, our heart to give reciprocation of the great love He freely offers us in grace and truth.

     
  13. RAdam

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    People who argue against particular redemption and effectual calling do so without scripture, just as you did. They claim the bible system leads to fatalism. Really? How? Give me some scripture for that.

    While you are looking, I'll point you to Hebrews chapter 10. Here we have an argument for the excellency of Christ's sacrifice to those offered under the Mosaic covenant (which was really just a shadow of Christ's). In verse 10 he says, "By the which will (God's will, Lo, I come to do thy will O God) we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." He tells us we are sanctified (set apart for a holy purpose) not by faith, not by hearing the gospel, not by making a free will decision, but through the offering of the body of Christ. At calvary we are sanctified. In verse 14 he says, "For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified." Now we have news that them that are sanctified were perfected at calvary. Here we have a group of people said to be sanctified at Calvary, and perfected forever by what Jesus did at Calvary. Thus Jesus is said to sit down, meaning the work of redemption is done. The Jewish priests did not sit down but were daily offering oftentimes the same sacrifices which couldn't take away sins. Christ offered one sacrifice and sat down because HE DID TAKE AWAY SINS.

    The error of universal atonement applied only through conditions met by the sinner is that it says Christ didn't really put away sins. Universal atonement denies the clear teaching of these verses. The reason the animal sacrifices under the Mosaic Covenant weren't stopped prior to Christ is because they didn't get the job done, else they would have ceased to be offered. But Christ offered one sacrifice and sat down because it did get the job done. It really put away the sins of "them that are sanctified." Christ died, not for all humanity, but for them that are sanctified and really put away their sins forever. In Hebrews 2 "they who are sanctified" are also contextually the many sons He will bring to glory, those He is not ashamed to call brethren, the children which God had given Him, and those He delivered from the bondage of death.
     
  14. Benjamin

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    Obviously, you have not read the tread very carefully or would have seen the scripture along with your missing my point about how the arguments about this are usually tirelessly directed toward circular reasonings.

    You claim, by argument the Determinist system as the Bible system while forming a ridiculous strawman! No, my friend, I addressed the oposition's problems with a common dogmatic claim of either cause and effect or Universalism. I pointed to the fallacies in that argument and where it will lead.

    If you want to engage in such ridiculous strawmans and circular reasoning debates by use of scriptural food fights I'm sure there are plenty here that will oblige you. Happy hunting.
     
    #14 Benjamin, May 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2010
  15. RAdam

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    And I see you provided no scripture to support you. Not surprised. It's pretty easy to sit back and hurl the age old "cirular reasoning" argument, but it becomes a lot harder to do it from scripture.

    You accuse me of strawman arguing and then do that very thing yourself. Again, meet me with scripture. Prove to me with scripture that the system of particular redemption and the effectual call are erroneous and lead to other errors. Better yet, prove wrong the 10th chapter of Hebrews I discussed.
     
  16. Benjamin

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    I’ll tell you what; go back and read more carefully, take note of the issues and the scripture that I DID USE, [snipped] and address these issues that I raised instead of approaching me while claiming your Determinist system is the “bible system”, whining about “fatalism”, and asking for more scripture without giving any premises and while stepping in here to simply to make argument without addressing mine. Then, maybe we can talk.
     
    #16 Benjamin, May 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2010
  17. RAdam

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    "The common claim that the sovereignty of God mandates that it = “cause” or otherwise = a belief in “Universalism” falls short on many pretenses. To begin with, Determinist theology tragically discounts the promises as only to the SPECIALLY PRE-SELECTED and overlooks the better term “Universal Atonement” and the purposes. Thereby mistakenly stipulating that the invitation to “all”, to “seek” and to hear these promises given before the foundation in God’s loving grace through faith is not given by God in sincerity except for to the few “specially predetermined elect”. This doctrine can only logically void creaturely volition and unavoidably leads to theological fatalism because of this. It attempts to express a character of God = (to being the author of sin and creator of evil creatures by His predetermination) clearly contrary to the true nature of God; a God of Truth and judgment, not a god of predetermination on His creatures through creation."

    I would address the scriptures used to support this argument if there were any. As you can see, there aren't.
     
  18. Dr. Walter

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    My friend,

    The primary difference between your approach and my approach is that yours is more philosophical than Biblical whereas mine is more Biblical than philosophical.

    The few scriptures you do bring to the table in no way contradict what I have said. Your philosophical arguments begin with wrong premises.

    You confuse sincerity with responsiblity. God commands all men everywhere to repent - that is their responsibility. Nothing prevents them from repenting and obtaining salvation but their own free will to resist and reject all light and goodness provided by God. They are as free to choose righteousness as God is free to choose sin. Nothing prevents God from sinning but His own free choice.

    We live in a cause and effect universe created by God. Failure to distinguish between cause and effect in many areas of soteriology results in damnable heresies. For example, the failure to distinguish between regeneration and progressive sanctification in a cause and effect relationship produces the damnable doctrine of justification by works. You may not like cause and effect relationships because they expose your soteriology as defective but these relationships do exist and a correct understanding is necssary to avoid false doctrines. For example, you quoted Hebrews 10:22 to prove that the free will cannot be violated when this text does not refer to lost people but to redeemed people. Does God work in saved people to effect their choices - "For it is God that worketh in you both TO WILL and TO DO of His good pleasure" - Philip. 2:13

    Your logic is wrong because the scripture you attempt to support your logic is jerked out of their proper context. This is characteristic of your philosphical arguments.

    For example, look at your false philosophical argument "God does not command men to seek Him in insincerity while having created man with no ability to do so."

    No one denies that God "created" Adam and Eve with the ability of free choice! These are the only two human beings God ever "created" as all others are "born" into this world. What you fail to see is that our position concerning the depravity of the human will is not based prior to the fall but after the fall. It is not an argument having to do with how God "created" them but with the results/consequences of the fall. It is not based upon the pre-fall ability but the post-fall inability.

    Again, you present a straw man argument concering the origin of sin and our position. Our position does not demand that God is the author of sin except in an indirect way. God created the ability in man which made sin possible - free choice - and with that ability came full responsibilty in choosing to sin and full responsibility of the consequences of sin - complete bondage of the will to a depraved nature.

    Without God's permission sin could not enter into the world because God could have prevented it. We make a distinction in the decrees of God. The Bible is God's revealed will but it can be despised and rejected by men. However, there is the sovereign will of God that no man can flaunt. All evil and sin is by God's permission (Psa. 76:10) for His own glory and our ultimate good (Rom. 8:28). There is a distinction between God's will of approbation and will of permission.

    Another false philosphical argument you make is that "conscience is worthless without free will/volition/abillity to choose." The human will responds always as it pleases and its pleasure is always determined according to state of mind and/or state of heart - always without exception. Here is where your philosophical argument runs in direct contradiction to many scriptures which explicitly deal with the depraved human will and its response to God and the things of God (Rom. 3:9-11; 8:7; 1 Cor. 2:14). All these passages are found in the explicit context of the depraved condition of the fallen man. Paul says "neither indeed can be" and you call Paul a liar by your philosphical argument.

    Another false philosophical argument you make concerns the extent of the atonement. The reason you make this argument is because you fail to understand the JEWISH mindset which is the major problem dealt with in the New Testament Scriptures. Jesus rightly said to the Samaritan women that "salvation is of the Jews" and yet the Jews took that truth to a whole different level. Even though Jesus gave a world wide commission (Mt. 28:19; Acts 1:8) the jewish believers would not go to the "world". God had to give Peter three visions just to get him to go to a gentile house and yet when he got there Peter immediately told them it was unlawful for him to be there. The Jews beleived that God's love and salvation were restricted to Jews and not for - all classes and kinds of people. The term "world" in the mind and ears of the Jew was something unclean and to be avoided. Paul used it in Romans 11 to be synonomous with "gentile". The twelve believed their mission was to the circumcision (Jewish believers)whereas Paul's was to the uncircumsion (world) - Gal. 2:9. The New testament use of "world" in the mind of the Jews and apostles meant all mankind WITHOUT ETHNIC DISTINCTION . This was a new revelation for the Jewish scholars like Nicodemus (Jn. 3:16). This was something the early church at Jerusalem was not ready to accept (Acts 1-11) as it took a persecution to get them to go beyond Israsel to Samaria and only the proselyte Jews (gentiles) would go preach to gentiles (Acts 11:20-21). The first big problem was recognizing gentile believers as saved apart from becoming Jews (Acts 15). The apostles had to repeatedly remind Jewish believers that God's love and redemption and status in the assemblies went EQUALLY to the "world" (I Jn. 2:2; Eph. 2:11-20). The terms "world" and "all men" mean "all mankind without distinction" not "all mankind without exception."

    Another philosphical argument that is fallacious is that this distorts the love of God. God loves all men but does not love all men equally. The same word "love" (agape) is used for our relationships between one another. I am commanded to love my enemies but I don't love my enemies in the same degree as I love my friends. I love my friends but I don't love them in the same way as I love my general family. I love my general family but I don't love them in the same way I love my immediate family in my home. I love my children but not in the same way I love my wife. God loves His creation and all mankind but he loves Jacob in a different sense than Esau and in regard to redemption the differnce can be properly distinguished between "love"and "hatred" (Rom. 9:11).

    The fall produced a race of mankind who hate God and refuse to submit or seek after God no matter how much natural light and goodness they are shown by God (Psa. 14:2-3; Rom 118-3:9-23; 8:7; 1 Cor. 2:14). Nothing keeps any of them from responding to the light they are given or the goodness they are shown by God but their own free choice to hate and resist!

    God is extremely gracious to choose to save an innumberable multitude of such god-haters in spite of their rejection and resistance to him by working in them "both to will and to do of His good pleasure" while allowing the rest to simply follow the dictates of their own free choice. That is the meaning of grace versus justice.

    There are none that want to be saved. There are none that deserve to be saved. God is not obligated to save any god hating human being. If God chose to be JUST toward all mankind they all would go to hell and by their own free choice as well.

    I was 13 years old when the Lord saved me. Before that time, I was made to go to church. The only way I read the Bible was because my dad bribed me by giving me a quarter for every verse I memorized. Because of that I knew more scriptures than all the saved kids in my sunday school class and everyone wanted me on their team in sword drills or Bible games. However, I was lost. I sat on the back pew closest to the door so I could get out of church as fast as possible.

    However, one day I was sitting in the pew and something was occuring inside of me that I was not in control of. I became sensitive to my sins and more than sensitive, for the first time in my life my sins bothered me so much that I could not bear them. I felt like a bowl of jello on the inside. I didn't know what was happening inside me and I was not in charge of it. But when the Holy Spirit was finished, I hated myself, my sins and saw clearly I deserved the wrath of God and saw that Jesus Christ was the only hope for rescue, deliverance from the aweful burden and despair that sin was causing me and I feld to Him as my refuge and deliverer from my sins - He saved me from my sins. I wasn't looking to be saved that day. I wasn't in charge of what was happening inside of me! I didn't change my view of sin so that sin became my plague, my dread, my terror and Christ became my only hope to be saved FROM SIN. God did that and I had no part in that INWARD CHANGE that MADE me willing to flee to Christ for salvation from sin any more than I had anything to do with my first birth from my mother's womb:

    But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me,

    Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. - Deut. 29:4

    There was a distinct cause and effect in my own salvation. I love him because he FIRST loved me. I chose him because he FIRST chose me.

    I would like to know your salvation experience!
     
  19. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    As a Christian Theist one must take all the information available from the Word and philosophy as to the meanings. Calvinism is based on a philosophical system which teaches to interpret the Bible on the principles of Determinism/Cause and Effect.

    My approach is focused on examining precept upon precept, line upon line and to compare scripture to scripture. As a “Berean type” who hears many verses being used to teach a particular philosophical system (Calvinism) I use my own philosophical reasoning upon examining the Word to evaluate the truths in what has been preached using the aforementioned approach.

    I think if you go back you would see I used many verses which would contradict the Calvinist theories of TULIP while aiming at the roots of that philosophy (Cause/Determinism). Further, it is no less Biblical “if” I were to use only one verse which clearly contradicts your interpretations and teachings than if I were to use ten verses. The difference here may be that in your approach is the insistence on throwing out a barrage of particular set of verses thinking they support your philosophical roots, but your interpretations to support TULIP can and have all be challenged at one time or another. I, on the other hand, rather than wading through a smokescreen of proof texting look to chop off your system at the roots.

    I could dogmatically throw out a barrage of verses which I believe support my position while discounting yours, as I did in post #10, sorta in jest because I know it amounts to returning smokescreen for smokescreen and ends in circular argument. The science of Philosophy breaks down these arguments in order to pave to way to arriving at the truth.

    Contrary to your opinion, I would contend that my approach is more reliant of Biblical interpretation than on the reliance of a philosophical system (Calvinism) which would inject from the beginning (philosophically) a preconceived belief rooted on the systematic teachings of a philosopher (Calvin).

    I’m afraid your claim to have an approach that is more Biblical than philosophical in origins falls short at its very roots.
     
  20. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    You are making illogical comparisons. God is only Truth, therefore He can not lie. (Titus 1:2) I understand your necessity to support your position by attributing evil to God in your insistence here that God is free to choose sin, but that would make it a lie that God is only Good. (Deut 32:4) Your argument is as full of fallacy as the question that asks; If God can do anything can God make a rock so big that even He can not lift it?

    No, God can not do anything such as not be Truth or go against His own aseity. Scripture clearly states that God can not lie and that God is Truth; that is His nature. My friend, TRUTH, the very nature of God prevents Him from sinning, as GOODNESS, prevents Him from being evil. God can not choose to be evil or sin because there is no evil in Him and God does not change!





    Talk about “strawman”! Don’t get out the fire wood just yet.

    The fact that (Hebrews 10:22) is referring to the redeemed was not presented in failure to distinguish between justification and sanctification, but in that it makes no difference because it demonstrates that creaturely volition must exist even in the redeemed and this passage was effective to show His goodness is what we respond to. God works in saved people by influencing them, because of their love for Him and His goodness they desire to serve Him, thereby any works are His (John 5:15). God keeps us by His love, by being in a relationship “in Christ” through faith. Your failure is to distinguish between cause and effect and influence and response, thereby cheapening His goodness.

    Determinism is logically mutually exclusive to influence and determinism logically violates volition. If it were true that volition does not exist it logically follows that no judgment can be made on responsibility without it, therefore it goes to show the Calvinist belief in Determinism is contradictory to the scripturally clear and true nature of God.

    You present (Philip 2:13) as a proof text for Determinism yet avoid the issue that the influence is God’s goodness. The good pleasure of God is that we respond to His goodness; I also addressed “purpose”. It is his good work and pleasure to influence but you attempt to change His work into a determination on preselected elect.


    You attempt to project man as both totally deprived: meaning unable to respond in faith unless that very faith is predeterminately given him and at the same time say He gave man free choice. There is no strawman; Determinism and Volition are logically mutually exclusive and that is not misrepresenting the position you are trying to hold that both are possible.

    While you engage in the above fallacy you soft brush in God’s responsibility for evil saying, “However, there is the sovereign will of God that no man can flaunt. All evil and sin is by God's permission…” You then give (Psa 76:10) for a proof text but the context is that the wrath of God’s enemies shall cause others (His people) to praise Him; this shows the cause of evil is man and God using it for the good, IT DOES NOT SHOW GOD AS THE CAUSE OF ANYTHING BUT GOOD. James 1:13 says let no man say he is tempted of God, yet you attempt to make a distinction that God gives His permissive will to test man into condemnation and through His will to make him evil when James 1;13 says God can not be tempted to use evil, meaning to put a unelected man under “complete bondage” to sin by His will! Origin is origin.

    Deut 32:4 says that God is without moral evil, but you say God has this attribute as a part of His will. Again, I did not misrepresent your position, so no strawman.



    What a bunch of double talk!


    You are a clear contradiction to what you say are your views of volition as you pluck out passages to support your own philosophical arguments to suggest a robot style of total depravity, speak of the state of mind being predetermined and claim I made a false argument in stating “conscience is worthless without volition” while continuing in your fallacy. You simply disregard the logic of responsibilty and volition needing to go together in truth, which is my point.

    I reject the Calvinist implications that would suggest total depravity to be mean walking corpse unable apart from predetermination of election to respond to Gods influences through His grace which is offered to all (1John 2:2). Simply you are trying to have it both ways while avoiding logic and it appears to me in some senses you are calling yourself a Calvinist but in reality are an acting Arminian while trying to hold on to volition.

    In the context of Romans 8:7 Paul is speaking of being born from above in the spirit. Human beings are sinful and without God, incapable on their own of being righteous, they must be born again to be saved. There is no argument from me that without the aid of God man is unable to respond. Mt position is that God works through influences on the children of disobedience (Eph 2:1-2) Left to ourselves we would not choose to be with God. Judgment is rendered on our responsibility to respond to God influences; IF the influences are not sincerely given to all then not all can be held responsible.

    If we can’t establish some theological logic then we can’t even establish a simple truth.
     

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