Do ALL Calvinist Say that faith Itself Comes From God, is A Gift Directly?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JesusFan, May 18, 2011.

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  1. JesusFan

    JesusFan
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    Do all "camps" within the ranks of calvinism hold and teach then that faith itself is a direct Gift from God, that we Cannot exercise free will at all, that we MUST be giving it in order to believe and receive in Jesus Christ?

    SO Cals all say that we really have no decision to make on Christ, all done beforehand by God, we just "do it?"
     
  2. glfredrick

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    They should, that is what the Scriptures say...
     
  3. Skandelon

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    Actually, I've debated many Calvinists here and read many Calvinistic scholars who are very careful to say that men do make a choice or a decision. They just believe that the choice is determined by their desire and that desire is always according to their nature, which is determined by God through His effectual working. It's called "compatibilism."
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    Congratulations, my brother. You have accurately defined the position held by those whose view you oppose. When each side understands the position of the other, it contributes to profitable debate. Thank you.
     
  5. JesusFan

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    so than all calvinists except for those of the so called Hyper camp would say man still MUST excercise his personal faith in Christ, make a decision to believe and receive Him?
     
  6. Skandelon

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    I don't know of any Calvinistic scholar who would deny that men still must chose to follow Christ...even of the "hyper" persuasion. It is my understanding that in the Calvinistic system the choice is made according to their nature and if that nature is "fallen" they will always choose rebellion and if that nature is regenerated (or some say "effectually called") they will always choose to follow.
     
  7. JesusFan

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    But don't those of the "higher" camps posulate that even the faith we use to believe on jesus is a free gift from God? that it is 'so determined" that God gets full glory, as we do not even use own own faith, its God gift of faith direct causing salvation?
     
  8. Skandelon

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    We all affirm that faith is a gift of God. What do we have that he has not granted to us?

    We disagree as to the efficaciousness of the call of God to salvation. We believe that God grants faith by clearly revealing himself and his message of reconciliation, but man may choose to reject it... "trade the truth for a lie." For such, they will perish. 2 Thess 2:10

    Some go that far I suppose but not typically "scholars."
     
  9. percho

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    To me the free will of man is like a camel trying to pass through the eye of a needle. We have it alright. I'm just not sure where we can get to with it.

    All that the LORD has said we will do.

    I will put, I will write, I will be there God, I will remember no more.
     
    #9 percho, May 18, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2011
  10. AresMan

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    The difference is likely that you believe God has given every individual "faith" (i.e. an objectless attribute), and then each person has the autonomous ability to "place" it in whatever object. Either that, or you believe in Total Depravity that is overridden by "prevenient grace" once a person hears the gospel message.


    I believe that when the Scriptures talk about "faith" in soteriological contexts, it is really a synonym for "faith in the gospel," "faith in God for Who He is", etc. "For all men have not faith" (2 Thessalonians 3:2).

    If someone actually has "faith" (given by God) that person is a believer in the gospel (2 Peter 1:1; 1 Peter 1:21; Philippians 1:29).
     
  11. Rippon

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    DHK denies that faith is a gift of God. The word "all" needs to be severely truncated.
     
  12. Skandelon

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    Well, I haven't read all his posts, but generally speaking even non-Calvinists affirm that all abilities, gifts or good things we have or can do is from God. Could it be that he is simply denying that faith is an "effectual" gift of God, but that he would agree that our ability to believe in God is given to us by Him, whether "naturally" (from birth) or through some sort of "prevenient" grace?" I would guess so, but he can speak for himself.
     
  13. savedbymercy

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    Faith an effect of New Birth



    New Birth or Regeneration is inseparable from it's effect, one of which is Faith [For Faith is a fruit of the Spirit Gal 5:22], now without New Birth, a Spiritual Renewal Titus 3:5, we cannot savingly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is so because the message of the cross, the gospel of His accomplishments, must be apprehended by a spiritual faith in order to be converted.

    New Birth is God's act, particularly the Holy Spirit, but Faith or believing is the act of the regenerated person by the enablement of the Spirit of God Heb 13:21

    21Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    The parable of the sower and the different soils illustrate a good point about subjective Faith, believing to the saving of the soul Heb 10:39.

    Now Matt 13:23; Mk 4:20; Lk 8:15, The good ground is a New Heart or a Regenerated Heart given as a Covenant Blessing Ezk 36:26. Now the message of the Gospel, the seed, sowed on such a Heart or Ground Understands, keeps it, and bears fruit [ Gal 5:22]. Now one cannot believe they are Justified, unless they are Justified. The regenerated heart heart cannot but believe the message of the gospel, for thats the end for which the New Heart was given, to receive the good news of salvation Eph 1:13

    Back up in Heb 13:21. It states that God works in us that which is wellpleasing in His sight.

    Now what is it that is wellpleasing in God's sight ? The word well pleasing is the greek word euarestos:

    well pleasing, acceptable

    Now the word please as in Heb 11:6

    6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    The word please here is out of the root word for well pleasing.

    Its the word euaresteĊ:


    to be well pleasing

    2) to be well pleased with a thing

    So, Faith that which is well pleasing in God's sight is worked in us by the blessings of the blood of the everlasting Covenant by being given a New Heart.

    I don't believe it can be made more plainer that Faith that pleases God has to be worked in us or given by His Spirit !
     
  14. Skandelon

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    Actually, I believe as Paul explains in Romans 10, that "faith comes through hearing" and "how will they believe in whom they have not heard?"

    I believe all our systems over complicate the simplicity of the Gospel. Someone being lost and hearing the way out; someone being an enemy and hearing an appeal to be reconciled; someone reaching the end of their rope and crying out for help. It doesn't need to be anymore difficult than that.

    The only reason some don't have faith in God is because they have traded the clearly revealed and fully understood truth in for a lie. Their problem is NOT a lack of understanding, a lack of revelation, a lack of clarity, a lack of knowledge or anything of the like. If that is the problem then they are not "without excuse" according to Romans 1. Total Depravity teaches that men have the perfect excuse because they are born unable to understand or clearly see God's revelations. People are not born hardened or "given over" to their defiled minds. They GROW hardened and are only "given over" after continual rebellion in the face of a long-suffering God holding out his hands to them in mercy (Rm. 10:21; Matt 23:37).
     
  15. JesusFan

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    Think that Apostle paul and John calvin would agree on this one truth...

    That even "total depraived" , a human CAn and DOES see the handiwork of God in His creation, that they would know that thru a general revealtion that a God exists, and that He is all powerful , and knowing those facts...

    that is when rejection occurs, as man left to his own devices and will, refuses to accept/ackwoledge a power greater than themselves, preferring to build a god in 'their own image" god that they can control and call the shots over. That is what man always does without the special revelation from the Bible AND the direct inworking of the Holy Spirit bestowing means to hear and obey Gospel, men create gods in their image, religions that are based upon how good man can become...
     
  16. Skandelon

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    But, stop after your acknowledgement that men know of God's existence and his power and before man rejects that revelation.

    Prior to that FIRST act of rejecting the clear revelation of God, what is the condition of man's heart? Is he ALREADY "given over to the depravity of his mind" as Total Depravity suggests? Is he ALREADY defiled and hardened in rebellion? NO, the bible says that he grows calloused/hardened over time. He isn't born like that.

    That is not saying he isn't born with a sin nature, but its just pointing out that he is able to clearly see and understand truth, something Total Depravity denies.

    Now, if left to himself, we both agree man will rebel and reject, BUT we ARE NOT LEFT ALONE. God sent Christ to fulfill the law, remove the curse and send His Spirit to convict the world of sin. He inspired the writing of the scriptures, he sends Spirit indwelled messengers to preach to "every creature," He founds His church upon divinely appointed apostles which spreads to every corner of this earth. How can anyone say we are "alone?" He is seeking to save the lost through His divinely appointed means. WE ARE NOT ALONE!
     
  17. glfredrick

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    We can and do "see" the effects of God, but we don't or can't know that those effects are produced ex nihilo from the God of the Bible, who has revealed Himself to us. Without His special revelation, we would be as blind as naturalistic evolutionists. There is nothing in creation that spells out our need for salvation and/or God's provision thereof.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    According to Paul, men don't merely see the "effects of God."

    Here is what Paul actually says about what they knew and understood:
    1. "his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood"
    2. "what may be known about God is plain to them"
    3. "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him"
     
  19. glfredrick

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    You have to qualify that with Paul's context, which was creation, not details like soteriology or atonement.
     
  20. Skandelon

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    The point is however, that if natural man can clearly see and understand the divine nature and eternal qualities of God through this "general" or natural revelation, what would prevent him from clearly seeing and understanding the even clearer more detailed revelation of the gospel?

    Also, the reason men are without excuse is because they rejected what was clearly known and understood. If you insist that most of humanity cannot know or understand the gospel due to Total Depravity then you undercut the clear intent of the text by suggesting that men can't ever clearly see or understand God's revelations, general or special. You give men the perfect excuse.
     
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