Does Paul's conversion prove Calvinism's teaching on Irresistible Grace?

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Skandelon, Jun 1, 2014.

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  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    If there is an example of irresistible grace, the story of Paul's conversion certainly represents it, but let's unpack it and see if it teaches what Calvinism suggests:

    1. God has a purpose in electing Israel. To bring the Messiah and his message of redemption to the world.

    2. God uniquely intervenes in the world by using persuasive means (sign, miracles) to ensure this purpose stands.

    3. Paul is one of those divinely appointed messengers from Israel that God persuades to follow Him in order to ensure his elective purpose of Israel stands.

    4. Proof that God uses externally persuasive means like miracles, to ensure the commissioning of his messengers IS NOT proof that God uses internally irresistible means to guarantee the willing response of their hearers.​

    Put another way, pointing to the storm and big fish in the story of Jonah only goes to prove God's willingness to use persuasive circumstances to convince a stubborn will of his prophet, it does NOT prove God uses inward secret irresistible means to make some people believe that prophet's message.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Winman

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    A miracle does not guarantee someone will believe.

    Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
    28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
    29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
    30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
    31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.


    The rich man who died and went to hell in Luke 16 asked Abraham to send Lazarus from the dead to warn his brothers. Abraham responded that they had Moses and the prophets, which means the OT scriptures. The rich man objected and said that if one went from the dead they would repent. Abraham answered that if they do not believe the scriptures, they would not repent if one went to them from the dead.

    This shows that the will is involved in believing, and that if a person does not want to believe the word of God, even a miracle would not convince them.
     
  3. Skandelon

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    I agree. That passage is in reference to hardened Jews, and it is true that if they have hardened their hearts so much as to reject the clear teachings of men like Moses, then even miracles may not work.

    It most certainly proves the will is involved in the process though!
     
  4. Winman

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    I believe it clearly refutes Irresistible Grace, Abraham said these persons could not even be persuaded by miracles. The word of God is sufficient evidence for any man to believe. God is not going to jump through hoops to persuade you, and it wouldn't work even if he did. That is what Abraham clearly said.
     
  5. steaver

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    Excellent and accurate biblical observation. God is very persuasive, which is why all men will be without excuse. In God's foreknowledge God knows some will be persuaded and many will not. God knows exactly who will be persuaded and who will not before the foundation of the world. God knew Judas would not be persuaded and therefore chose Judas to be the one who would betray Jesus, turning him over to his own will of unbelief for he loved this world. God does harden the hearts of those whom He has endured with much longsuffering as Romans 9:22 teaches. It is only after His longsuffering does He choose to let the unpersuasive to their own folly.

    Psa 86:15 - "But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth."
     
  6. Winman

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    Seems like the whole purpose of Reformed theology is to convince people they cannot believe. Even if you did believe they tell you that you really didn't want to believe, but God "made you willing". Then they say God didn't force you against your will, no, he made you "willing against your will" which is nonsensical and a direct contradiction. That seems to escape them all. :rolleyes:
     
  7. steaver

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    Paul and Jonah are perfect examples proving TULIP's irresistible grace is false. If TULIP's irresistible grace were true, there would have been no need for Jonah and the whale and no need for Paul and an encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. Paul heard the gospel many times and hated it! Finally Paul was persuaded when he met the power of Jesus Christ face to face. Thomas, another example, refused to believe unless he seen and touched the risen Lord, no irresistible call given to him either.
     
  8. Winman

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    Jhn 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

    Thomas only believed because he saw Jesus, but Jesus said blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed. No miracle is required for people to believe, just the word of God as Abraham said in Luke 16.

    Now, once you believe your sins are washed away and you receive the Holy Spirit. THAT is a miracle.
     
  9. steaver

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    Amen! A Miracle performed solely by the will of God (John 1) No man can rebirth himself, even if he wills to. God is willing, and will upon the calling upon the Lord in submission.
     
  10. Rippon

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    That would be too humbling to your pride --wouldn't it?
    No one would be saved unless the Lord intercedes. He specializes in changing stony heats into hearts of flesh. The will of man is in direct opposition to the will of the Lord. The Lord must change man's will or their is no hope. He doesn't change the will of every single individual but of His elect alone.

    I know it's a hard pill for you to swallow --but it's the biblical truth. You don't have the power, ability, desire or wherewithal to do anything to bring yourself into the Kingdom of God. Salvation is all of God --not puny man.
     
  11. Winman

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    It has nothing to do with humility, the scriptures do not teach total inability. It is false doctrine.

    Well, unless God had sent Jesus to die for our sins, no man could possibly be saved.

    And the gospel does melt the heart of the hardest sinner, but God doesn't zap him to believe. It is Christ's great love in dying for us when we were sinners that melts the heart.

    Your doctrine is not even close to biblical truth. First of all, you get the new heart AFTER you believe, not before.

    Pro 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

    We must turn to God in repentance and THEN he pours out his Spirit to us.

    Luk 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

    We ask the Father for the Holy Spirit while we are yet sinful, and afterward he gives the Spirit to us, just as Pro 1:23 showed.

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    We repent or turn to Jesus while we are yet sinners and believe on him (for only believers are baptized) and afterward we receive the Spirit.

    Total Inability is shown to be false over and over again in scripture. Sinners can repent and believe, and when they do, THEN they are born again, they receive the Spirit and a new heart.

    You cannot possibly be regenerate before you believe, because until you believe you are dead in trespasses and sins. It is only AFTER you believe that you are made alive again, regenerated, born again, and receive the Spirit. All scripture shows this order over and over again.

    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,

    The exact order in salvation is shown in this verse. First, we hear the gospel. Second, we believe the gospel. Third, we receive and are sealed by the Holy Spirit.

    Plain as day.

    What is also plain as day is that you can show a Calvinist a thousand scriptures that refutes their view, and they will NEVER repent.
     
    #11 Winman, Jun 1, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  12. steaver

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    I like to find points of agreement when I can......Amen! :thumbsup:
     
  13. kyredneck

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    Has nothing to do with regeneration. Paul was 'saved' on the road to Damascus, he was born of the Spirit most likely loooong before that:

    ...when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me, even from my mother`s womb, and called me through his grace, to reveal his Son in me... Gal 1:15,16
     
  14. Skandelon

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    1. The Lord does intercede. That is the heart of the gospel. That appeal to be reconciled is sufficient to enable a response from those God holds response-able. Why wouldn't the gospel be sufficient?

    2. We are NOT born with stony hearts. Men's hearts 'become hardened' or 'grow calloused' over time according to many texts, some of which warn us against allowing this to happen (Acts 28:27-28; Jn 12:39-41; Heb. 3, etc)

    3. Our hearts are changed by God when we repent, not the other way around. "Repent and live." (Ez 18)

    Of course. But the humiliation, brokenness, giving up, letting go, and admitting you can't earn your own righteousness, but need forgiveness and help is the part that man 'response-able' for... God shows grace to the humble.

    "Humble yourselves and you will be exalted."
     
  15. kyredneck

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    Slight clarification:

    Your question has nothing to do with regeneration. Paul was 'saved' on the road to Damascus, he was irresistibly born of the Spirit most likely loooong before that:

    ...when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me, even from my mother`s womb, and called me through his grace, to reveal his Son in me... Gal 1:15,16
     
  16. pinoybaptist

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    right. take the word of God and apply it to all of humanity and humankind.
    Romans 15:4 and 1 Cor. 10:11-13 both say that ALL things that were written were written EXCLUSIVELY FOR God's own, not just for everybody/anybody else.

    Who were the recipients of God's oracles that have hardened their hearts ? the Romans ? the Jebusites ? the Babylonians ? the Greeks ?
    no, they were the Jews, a nation created by God for His own glory out of the loins of one man.

    and why was Paul turning to the Gentiles ?
    because God has His people among them who must hear of His salvation, which by the way is not the eternal one, but the salvation wrought by obeying the gospel.

    but what does that matter, right ?
     
  17. Winman

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    Man has to repent and believe, but God performs regeneration.

    It is like going to a doctor for a brain tumor. Nobody would take credit for a surgeon operating and successfully removing a deadly tumor from your brain, but he cannot operate and heal you unless you trust him to operate.

    Trusting God does not save us, but when we put ourselves into Jesus's hands he has promised to save us, just as a surgeon heals someone who trusts him. In fact, Jesus compared himself to a physician.

    Mar 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    We do not have to be regenerated to come to Jesus to heal us, that would be someone who has already been made whole, they have no need of a physician.

    No, it is just like the old hymn, "just as I am". We come to Jesus a sin-sick sinner, and Jesus the great physician heals us.

    You guys have got to get over this idea that man does not participate in salvation. We do not save ourselves, but we do have to come to Jesus like a sick person comes to a doctor to be healed. It is undeniable in scripture.
     
  18. Yeshua1

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    Basic truth in this is that sinners are dead in their sins, sin natures, so unless its God active saving sinners, if left to our own "free wills", we all would go to Hell!
     
  19. Yeshua1

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    We need to have that sin nature though rendered out of the way enough so that we will and can come to Christ in order to get saved, and we MUST have the quickening by the Spirit before we will do any of what you suggest!

    ALWAYS God working in and on us first, THEN we can respond in faith, NOT we come to Jesus freely, then....
     
  20. Winman

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    That is the exact opposite of what Jesus said. Jesus said those that are whole have no need of a physician, but those that are sick.

    Why should a well person go to a doctor? Absolutely nonsensical, but that is what you teach.

    God draws us with knowledge. When people heard of Jesus healing they went to him to be healed. This is exactly what John 6:45 teaches.

    Jhn 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.
    45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

    Yes, we must be drawn to come to Jesus. But how are we drawn? We are drawn by the word of God and preaching. It is those who have heard and learned, those who have been taught that come to Jesus. This is KNOWLEDGE. There is not one word that says a person has to be regenerated to come.

    Mar 3:7 But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea,
    8 And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.

    Why did great multitudes come to Jesus? Was it because the scriptures say they were regenerated? NO. It was because they HEARD of Jesus. The heard the great things he had done, it was KNOWLEDGE that drew them to Jesus just as John 6:45 teaches.

    This was what drew the sick, the blind, the crippled, the lepers to Jesus, and those who desired to be saved. It was hearing of Jesus that drew them.

    It was not some magical force as Calvinism teaches. That is nothing but RCC mysticism.
     
    #20 Winman, Jun 2, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2014
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