Does the Christian Have ONE NATURE?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Lou Martuneac, Jul 27, 2008.

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Does the Christian have ONE Nature?

Poll closed Aug 10, 2008.
  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. No

    7 vote(s)
    87.5%
  3. I am not sure

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    In the Can God-Given Faith be Defective thread I included a link to an important article on Lordship Salvation by Pastor George Zeller. I will link to it again- John MacArthur’s Position on the Lordship of Christ

    In that series of articles you will find this:
    There are dozens of quotes from various MacArthur publications showing he rejects the biblical teaching that Christians have within them two natures at war with one another. To arrive at this ONE NATURE position he must ignore clear Bible teaching to the contrary and/or force others passages into conformity with his ONE NATURE presuppositions.

    Read George Zeller series John MacArthur’s One Nature Position for documentation and George Zeller's commentary.


    LM
     
  2. EdSutton

    EdSutton
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    Whaddaya' know!

    A poll that I can vote in, for a change.

    One can hardly confuse the numbers "one" and "two" (or more), so I will vote this time.

    Everyone is born with his or her 'human nature', a.k.a., 'theologically', the old sin nature. This nature has a propensity to sin.

    When one becomes a Christian, one receives a 'new nature', in addition. This 'new' nature has no propensity to sin, at all.

    Yet the Christian still does sin. Why?

    Becuase the "old nature" is not eradicated, but is just as strong as ever. And we as Christians, though we have only one 'personality', still have two 'natures', just as did the Lord Jesus Christ have both a 'human' nature and a 'divine' nature.

    The IFCA position above is correct, here, and is the one that represents accurate Bible teaching.

    The 'opposing' position is actually no different that that of the extreme ('Arminian') 'sinless perfection' teaching which, incidentally, happens to be entirely consistent with the most extreme 'hyper-Calvinism' position, although I have seen little evidence that many actually have thought this through, completely.

    Certainly, most I have seen fail to see the contradiction in their own manner of thinking, here, who advocate either of these ideas, theologically, or that the two are in reality, no different in the final analysis.

    "Think about it!" ;)

    Ed
     
  3. Jon-Marc

    Jon-Marc
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    The nature that we feed is the one that will grow strong.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    I have a wicked and sin-cursed FLESH, body. I have a old MIND that is constantly being renewed by the Word of God. Both lead me into sin and away from the God I love. Obviously, my NEW, BORN AGAIN nature does not sin!

    But oh how thankful I am that I have a blessed and regenerated SPIRITUAL nature within.

    What was "born again" when a person was regenerated? My old nature is DEAD and GONE. I am a new creation. Just like my body WILL BE. At the last trump this corrupted flesh and its propensities to sin will be TOTALLY ERADICATED and born again a new, celestial body that cannot sin!!

    And then I will have the MIND OF CHRIST so will not sin because of my old mind that leads me in error today.

    So Paul battles with the "Body of Death" that causes his sin, not some evil remnant of an old nature. Sarx, flesh. Not nature. He is NEW in nature, but old in body/mind.

    Sorry about those so confused by their sin-cursed flesh and sin-cursed mind that they cannot see we have a NEW NATURE that has been born again. Mac is, of course, correct and Lou is, well, Lou.
     
  5. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001
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    What? Yet another misrepresenting of MacArthur?

    Same Lou...
    Different day..
     
  6. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001
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    Questioner



    John MacArthur's Answer



    http://www.biblebb.com/files/macqa/SC2005-QA-1.htm

    What's next Lou?
     
  7. exscentric

    exscentric
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    If you look at milk you can determine its nature. If you stir in a little poison, you do not have milk any longer, you have poisoned milk, not two but one.

    IFCA leadership gathered and put out a statement relating to the MaCarther Lordship position in that some wanted to give him the boot and others did not. I will try to find it and post it in a bit.

    Some one nature take it to Ed's description but not all believe in sinless perfection. That dread broad brush again :)
     
    #7 exscentric, Jul 27, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2008
  8. exscentric

    exscentric
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    I will try posting this in two sections as it did not appear when I posted it in one blob.

    SALVATION BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH
    Adapted by the National Executive Committee, November, 1990

    We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 2:8-10: John 1:12; Ephestans 1:7; 1 Peter 1: 18, 19). Constitution of the Independent
    Fundamental Churches of America, Article IV, Section 1, Paragraph 6

    I. THE PROBLEM OF FAITH THAT DOES NOT SAVE

    Some individuals profess faith in Christ but have failed to trust in the person and work of Christ alone. This kind of faith will show no evidence of spiritual life.

    A person must be prepared to believe in Christ. He must be aware of his need of salvation as was the Phillppian jailer (Acts 16:30). He must be conscious of his hopeless condition apart from God and the sinfulness that has caused this estrangement (Isaiah 64:6: Romans 3:10, 11. 18, 23; Ephestans 2:12). He must also have had presented to him information about the death of Christ and His resurrection and the sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice in dealing with sin (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

    True salvation requires the work of God. An unsaved man, who is spiritually dead, must be enabled by the Spirit of God to believe. This involves the convicting work of the Spirit of God concerning sin and unbelief, God's righteousness which can be bestowed on the individual, and that Christ died for the sins of the world (John 16:7- 1 1: I John 2:1,2). The unsaved person must receive grace and enablement from God to believe as stated in Ephesians 2:8- 10, "For by grace are ye saved throughfaitk and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of GocL" That is, that salvation is a work of God, not a human work, "Not of works lest any man should boast" Such salvation is "unto good works which God has before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2: 10).

    II. DEFINITION OF FAITH

    Saving faith consists of two indispensable elements:

    A. The intellectual, an awareness ofthe facts of the gospel, particularly about Christ's sacrificial death for sins and His physical resurrection, and a persuasion that these facts are true (I Corinthians 15:3-8), and

    B. The volitional, a total personal reliance upon Christ and the power inherent in His death to provide forgiveness of sins and everlasting life (John 3:16; 14:6; Acts 4:12: 16:3 1; Romans 1: 16; 3:21-26). 'Thus, saving faith in Christ is an act of the person's mind and will.

    The absence of either of these elements indicates that the seeker's faith is not of a quality that leads to salvation. The intellectual apprehension of orthodox doctrine alone will avail nothing (James 2:19). A volitional act of faith in the wrong object (e.g., John 2:23-24: 6:26-27; 8:31, 44) is useless. To save, faith must be directed toward the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ 3:22).

    Some suitable expressions equivalent to the reliance on Christ that brings salvation include "believe in," "trust in," and "depend on. " Other terminology that may be misleading in representing this relationship include "submit to," "yield to," "dedicate [oneself] to." and "make Jesus Lord of one's life." These are better reserved for a stage of sanctification that usually comes subsequent to saving faith. Two additional phrases, "make a comniitment to" and "become a disciple of," are ambiguous because they could or could not refer to reliance on Christ, depending on how they are defined. "Repent" is not a suitable way to describe saving faith. because it only partially represents what it is to rely on Christ alone.

    III. RESPONSIBILITY FOR FAITH

    The exercise of saving faith is the responsibility of the sirmer in need of salvation. For the one coming to Christ, saving faith (a) is uncomplicated (Acts 16:3 1). He decides to put his eternal well being into the hands of Christ as his Savior. Subsequent to regeneration, he has a growing awareness of the far-reaching effects of what he has done, but this fuller grasp of the implications of saving faithisnotaconditionforsalvation. (b)Rests squarely on his shoulders. The responsibility for the choice is wholly his. At the time of or subsequent to regeneration, he realizes that the totality of the salvation process is a gift of God, including the grace of God and his own choice to believe (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is something for which he himself can take no credit.
     
  9. exscentric

    exscentric
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    part two

    IV. IMPLICATIONS OF FAITH

    Faith that is saving faith carries with it certain implications, that is, characteristics of which the one coming to Christ may or may not be conscious at the point of initial trust In Christ. The one under conviction is persuaded that the finished work of Christ is sufficient and that nothing else is needed. At the time of his decision, he may be so overwhelmed with his dependence on Christ that the implications of such dependence are not his primary focus of attention. The absence of the following implications may indicate that his dependence is not on Christ alone:

    A. Christ is God and consequently sovereign Lord over all things and as such is the object of saving faith (Acts 16:31: Romans 10:9. Hebrews 1:8). Few people at the moment of salvation understand fully the implications of Christ's sovereignty for their own lives well enough to comply with the exhortation of Romans 12:1-2.

    B. Obedience to the command of the gospel to believe in Christ (Romans 1: 5-,10:16) is another way of looking at saving faith, but beyond that initial obedience is implied an absence of rebemon against what Christ stands for (John 3:36). One can hardly place his full trust in Christ wlifle harboring enmity against Him or having a predisposition to oppose Him.

    C. Repentance is a change of mind toward sin, self, and the Savior (Acts 2:38; 17:30; 1 Thessalonians 1:9). A person can hardly seek forgiveness for something toward which he has no aversion (Acts 2:36: 11:18-, 20:21; 26:20; 1 Peter 2:24).

    V. RESULTS OF FAITH

    GOOD WORKS

    At the time of saving faith, a believer is regenerated by the Spirit (Titus 3:5), indwelt by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). sealed by the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30), and baptized by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13). Always associated with saving faith is the impartation to the believer of a new nature (Romans 6:5-7; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:9-10) which displays its presence through good works (I Corinthians 4:5: James 2:18, 21-26). Good works may not always be inimediately discernible by man, but are an inevitable consequence of the new birth which occurs in conjunction with saving faith (John 3:3, 5; Ephesians 2: 10; Titus 2:11-12, 14;3:8: 1 Peter 1:3, 23). Salvation is in no way contingent on good works.

    Faith in Christ which does not result in "good works" (Ephesians 2:9- 10) is not saving faith, but is dead faith (James 2:17, 20, 26). The missing element in such faith may be intellectual, a failure to grasp or accept the truthfulness of the facts of the gospel, or it may be volitional, a failure to trust Christ wholly for forgiveness of sins. Failure to trust Christ completely may be traceable to attempts to accumulate merit through the performance of human works by attempting to add to the ftnished work of Christ (Romans 4:5; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 2:16: 2 Timothy 1:9).

    SANCTIFICATION

    Sanctification in the experience of the believer is the logical continuation of saving faith, namely:

    1. The believer is expected to submit to the lordship of Christ over all things in his life (Romans 6:11-13; 12:1-2).

    2. The implied obedience to Christ is expected to become an active obedience to Christ's explicit commands (James 4:7-10: 1 John 2:3-10).

    3. The implied repentance is expected to become expllcft, resulting in a purging of sinful behavior (I Corinthians 5:7: 6:9-10, 18, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; 1 Peter 4:15-16).

    The lack of such progress in sanctiflcation is characteristic of a carnal Christian (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). God may tolerate this lack of response to the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit for a time, but will eventually bring chastening against the delinquent savcd person. Such delinquency without correction may serve notice that the person's profession was not saving faith (I Corinthians 1 1:30-32, Titus 1: 15- 16; Hebrews 12:5- 1 1).

    A biblical method of confronting a Christian with his carnality and a pretending Christian with the insufficiency of his faith is through presenting the fact that God judges sin (Matthew 16:24-28; 1 John 3:6, 9; 5: 18). The carnal Christian is faced with the illogical nature of his behavior and forced to reevaluate his spiritual standing, and the pretending Christian Is faced with the realization that he was never saved.

    Assurance of eternal life is provided by God's written Word (1 John 5: 13). Yet, the Scripture brings reminders and tests to cause those who have professed faith in Christ to examine themselves (1 Corinthians 11:28; 15:2, 2 Corinthians 13:5: 2 Peter 1: 10;). When carnality creeps into the life of a believer, causing him to fafl the test of self-exaniination, he may entertain doubts about whether he has met the biblical criteria of saving faith. The solution for such doubt is for the believer to confess the sin which has broken Ws fellowship with God (I John 1: 5- 1 0).

    The Constitution of the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (Article IV, Section 1. Paragraph 7) states: We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 38, 39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:5).

    We believe it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God's Word, which however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Romans 13:13, 14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).

    IFCA STUDY COMMITTEE ON SAVING FAITH

    Dr. George Harton
    Capital Bible Seminary
    Dr. Robert Lightner
    Dallas Theological Seminary
    Dr. Leslie Madison
    Calvary Bible College
    Dr. Robert Thomas
    The Master's Seminary
    Dr. John Walvoord
    Dallas Theological Seminary
    Dr. Lowell Wendt
    past president, Independent
    Fundamental Churches of America

    AUGUST 21,1990
    CICERO, ILLINOIS
     
  10. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Hi:

    I appreciate your interest and desire to find and post documentation. I have done that research and published on it. If you go to the articles that I link to below, you will find the articles I wrote that include links to the IFCA site. I include links to the IFCA interview transcripts of a two part interview with John MacArthur.

    IFCA Statement on the Nature of Saving Faith

    Insights From the IFCA Interview with John MacArthur

    Dr. Robert Thomas of The Master’s Seminary was on the committee. Dr. Thomas is considered a world class New Testament scholar, he taught at Talbot for years (1959-1986) where John MacArthur was one of his students. Dr. Thomas has been at The Master’s Seminary since 1987. This is just a sample from the statement:
    That paragraph addresses several of the controversial terms/phrases that are inherent in the Lordship gospel. They appear in The Gospel According to Jesus and in the later works by MacArthur on Lordship Salvation.

    This IFCA statement was adopted by the Executive Committee (Board of Directors) in November 1990 and was affirmed by 93% of the individual members participating in a straw poll. Incidentally, another Master’s Seminary faculty member, Dr. James Rosscup (retired June 2005), also wrote about his reservations with MacArthur’s expressions of his Lordship theology.

    LM

    PS: A significant number resigned from the IFCA over MacArthur's heresy on the eternal sonship of Christ, which later he repented of that error and published a retraction.
     
    #10 Lou Martuneac, Jul 27, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2008

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