Duty Faith

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by pinoybaptist, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
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    In another thread, there are those who would impose upon mankind things which God, in a careful study of His word, does not impose.
    I do not accuse them of deliberately twisting God's word, but perhaps it is because of a zeal for God (which, unfortunately, must come under the description Paul gives of that ignorant, but, elect part of national Israel, "not according to knowledge"), and a desire to see souls "come" to Christ, such "coming to Christ" always and only in the eternal sense, rather than the "timely" sense which is a more proper way of applying the term.

    Now, without a doubt, this subject makes for interesting discussion, and, might be worth exploring some more.

    Pastor Larry asked me this question:

    Is it the duty of all men to exercise faith and repentance to be saved and is such faith and repentance necessary for salvation? LINK

    My answer was: NO. Such a duty (and I do not really agree to this word) falls on those who profess to have come to a saved (in the eternal sense) relationship with the Christ of God, AND who, having thus professed to have had an experience of grace, comes under the hearing and preaching of the gospel.
     
  2. pinoybaptist

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    I am posting herewith, in connection and in continuation of the first post, an excerpt of a letter exchanged between two Old Baptists of the Primitive Faith (I believe).

    Now, there are those who out of rancor or such, might point out that Brother Beebe, and the letter writer from whom I took the excerpt, were both Absolute Predestinarians.

    That maybe so, but it does not mean and should not be taken to mean, that all Primitive Baptists are absolute predestinarians. I am certainly not.

    The excerpt:

     
    #2 pinoybaptist, Jul 21, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2007
  3. PrmtvBptst1832

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    This idea of "duty-faith" plagued the Particular Baptists quite some years ago. Some Primitive Baptists today seem to be divided over this issue as well. I have always looked at it this way: Is unbelief a sin? If it is, and I certainly believe it is, God does not wink at it. God does not wink at adultery, fornication, lying, stealing, etc. and neither does he wink at unbelief, EVEN IN UNREGENERATE PEOPLE.

    Now as to the theory that it is the duty of all men to "savingly believe" and respond to the "offer of divine mercy," absolutely not. God has not offered anything to anybody.
     
  4. skypair

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    Pinoy,

    Quite a critical question among Calvinists, isn't it? Even gets to the issue of whether they can have unity of the Spirit among Calvinists, Eph 4, eh? That is, whether some Cavlinists are saved.

    It seems obvious to an outsider that if one's theology doesn't require belief, repentance, and prayer for salvation, then one is hypocritical. That was the purpose of my Packer thread -- to show that all men, elect or unregenerate, must believe (be CONVINCED by the Spirit) and repent toward.

    Now it appears that, among Calvinists, there are 2 schools of thought: 1) believing that belief, repentance, and prayer come after election/salvation/regeneration as a "duty" -- a law or work that might ought to be obeyed. 2) Those who say that they should teach their children to believe, repent, and pray in order to "make Christians of them," the presumably natural and unregnerate taught alongside the elect, to be saved as if the free will paradigm were applicable.

    Please correct me if I have the issues wrong but the point is that sotierological scriptures REQUIRE the free will pattern of personal belief, repentance, and prayer at some point. The efficacioiusness of such acts by elect or unregenerate depends, then, upon motives. It does nothing for the elect because they don't believe it will --- it may save ("make a Christian of") the unregnerate child if they believe. Obvioiusly, these options are antimonous. And one bears striking resemblance to free will, no?

    Would it be too hard to drop the presumption of "election" just say that whoever desires to be saved needs to believe, repent, and pray?

    skypair
     
  5. psalms109:31

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    Scripture

    To believe all scripture without trying to change one scripture to our own understading. To actually believe that God does want all men to be saved and come to the knowldge of the truth is simple.

    Jews are the chosen people of God. God cut out Jews for unbelief. God included with the believing Jews whosoever believes in His Son and we who believe is His messenger.

    No one can come to the Son unless the Father draws Him tells us that we who are the messenger of the Father do not go out no one can come.

    It is easier to follow the crouds out there, but following the crouds out there does not mean you were drawn by the Father.

    It is the work of God that you believe, but those who trust in the Lord will not be disappointed. As you see with those who do not believe that God wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth is that if you do not trust in God and His word, you cannot believe.

     
    #5 psalms109:31, Jul 21, 2007
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  6. pinoybaptist

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    Yes. Although I would take exception to your statement's suggestion that I am a Calvinist, I am not. But it is a critical issue if the Doctrine of Total Depravity is to be consistent since this doctrine states in essence that natural man is unable on his own to do anything that can be truly pleasing to God and in conformity with God's will unless God Himself should enable such a natural man.

    But as is pointed out in the letter, there is a difference between believing Christ and believing IN Christ, or ON Christ. Much as we often tell those to whom we witness to: Oh, you believe there is a God, but the real question is do you believe God ?

    As for your Ephesians 4, such unity is a local unity, and not a denominational one, or a universal one. There can only be true unity of One Church in the presence of Christ and that is in eternity future, out of time. Here in time, there will be divisions among those who name themselves with the name of Christ, for Christ Himself said to His angel: Let the wheat and the tares grow together until the time of harvest.


    And likewise, whether some freewillers, Arminians, and semi-pelagians are saved. Heck, we don't even know if half of the membership of the church you and I or others here go to will actually be in heaven when the time comes, so you might as well forget about insinuating that some Calvinists have no salvation at all. Point one finger, there are three bent and pointing at you, you know what I mean ?

    On the contrary, it will seem obvious to an astute reader of the Bible that if one's theology demands belief, repentance, and prayer for salvation then one's theology is at odds with God's assessment of man, and would rather honor man's assessment of God in his limited and fallen mind. Now you may not probably call that hypocritical, but it most certainly is idolatrous - towards man, that is.

    What you lack is an understanding of the difference between eternal salvation (one that was conceived, authored, and finalized by the eternal triune God Himself), and timely, or temporal salvation.

    Of course, you will not understand the difference between these two since to you there is only one salvation and that is the eternal aspect.

    However, if you will allow me to once more state what I have often stated not only to you, but to others:

    Eternal salvation is all OF the Lord, it comes from the Lord, it is a gift of the Lord, it is something that the Lord Himself authored and accomplished for and in behalf of fallen sinners. It is all OF grace, grace being unmerited favor, unmerited meaning there was not one iota of input from fallen man. Belief is input, repentance is input, prayer is input. You dont want to call it works ? Fine. But these are all inputs.

    Temporal salvation, on the other hand, requires input. The one already, as you say, convinced by the Spirit, therefore, regenerated, born again, and converted, must make good that conversion by evidencing such rebirth and conversion in his works and in his life, his inputs equal his outputs,and this he can do only with guidance from one who brings the gospel to him.

    Paul to the professing churches of his day: let him who stole, steal no more, husbands, love your wives, wives, love your husbands, neglect not the gathering of saints, worship God in your midst, and all that in the Book.

    You get the drift.

    But to demand godly repentance of an unregenerate sinner in order to get God's favor and thus, eternal salvation ? You might as well ask a wild bear not to be predatory, or a kitten to attack a leopard, or a leopard to get rid of its spots.

    I don't know. Ask the Calvinists. I am not a Calvinist.
    I am an adherent to the Doctrine of Grace, and Calvinists will also say they are, too, but, as you may surmise, Primitive Baptists and Calvinists seem to have different perspectives on the Doctrine of Grace.

    That point is AFTER regeneration, within the hearing of the gospel, as evidence of grace and not as requirement of eternal salvation. In a sense, you are right. If you will remember, I agreed with you on this point in one of your threads.

    Well, the elect may in fact think that such acts resulted in his salvation, as a matter of fact. And indeed many Calvinists think that bringing up their children in church could possibly put them in an environment where salvation will be within their reach.I thought it did for me, and I am sure that there are certain of the Calvinists here on this board who started out thinking that repentance, faith, and belief were the predicates of their salvation.

    As they grew in grace and in the knowledge of their Savior though through study of the Scriptures, those who adhere to the Doctrine of Grace later understand that such acts were antimonic to the Creator's will for them, and actions in their behalf.

    Don't get me wrong, I have no objections at all to bringing children to church and exposing them to the word, since God Himself says so, but I believe that the eternal fruits of such an upbringing depends finally on God's knowledge of and relationship with that individual child.

    However, the temporal blessing and protection God provides to His elect child passes on to his family as well, just as the chastisement God does to a disobedient child (by way of the natural consequences of disobedience and unholy living) passes on to the family, as well.

    Would it be too hard for you to try and grasp the principles and differences between eternal and temporal salvation and the requirements for each ?
     
    #6 pinoybaptist, Jul 22, 2007
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  7. skypair

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    First, if you are not a Calvinist, why would you be bound by their concept of "total depravity?" It is totally flawed, pinoy. You apparently attempt through your sotierology to overcome a hurdle that is not even there.

    Absolutely! The former 2 are called "belief in vain" as the belief is not accompanied by repentance toward God.

    Eph 4 speaks for itself. It first speaks of the unity of believers as "unity of the Spirit." So the very first assumption is that Paul is talking about believers everywhere but especially, as you say, as applied in the local church. The next unity Paul speaks of is our "unity of the knowledge and faith of Christ" until we all come to the full measure of that same one Person, Christ.

    But the passage does not take into account the "tares" --- only believers. And they can be growing together in unity of knowledge and faith of Christ which is what I am trying to induce.

    Again I caution you -- total depravity is an illusion, a false issue which some, exaggerating scripture, have erected to their own glory and not God's. They feed you poison so that you must come to them for the antidote!

    Actually, I don't. What you call "eternal salvation" is the immediate salvation of the soul through belief, repentance, and prayer which the Bible calls "JUSTIFICATION."

    Your "temporal salvation" is the progressive salvation of the spirit (mind, emotions, and will) by growth in grace (Eph 4 knowledge and faith of Christ) which the Bible calls "SANCTIFICATION."

    BOTH are conceived, authored, and finalized by God in that He predestined the saved.

    Don't put on airs with me.

    Don't you mean "elect" fallen sinners?? Don't you mean that He did it for people who were already "favored" in eternity past so that it is that "favor" that is the cause of their eternal salvation?

    That's a good point for comparison, pinoy. "Input" in your instance is "election"/predestination -- God's pre-programming of the individual, I would suppose, for eternity. Even in the eternal New Earth, your beliefs are not your own but ones God has programmed, right? That kinda suggests to me that God programmed you to sin as well.

    Now as to my sotierology: Belief, repentance, prayer -- they are input. How do you expect that salvation applies to me if I don't believe, repent, and pray? And even you acknowledge the necessity of these at some point, right? Your objection is 1) timing and that based upon 2) a false paradigm of depravity and salvation.

    Here is where I object to Calvinists as well. They are convinced of something that doesn't exist. They are convinced of their own salvation BEFORE belief. Either because they think they are "elect" or because they think they are regenerated already, they want to get on with the sanctification -- the worldly proofs of election -- before ever being justified. Now they have a different motive for believing, repenting, and praying --- to APPEAR to be saved and to provide their own ASSURANCE of it. Like you say -- "inputs equal his outputs." They've neglected to believe and do the most necessary thing --- to reset their soul/conscience toward God instead of self.

    False premise, pinoy. Does not account for man's true capability to choose between options. Do you think that when presented with 2 options, even if a man doesn't like one of them, that he still has the freedom to choose the one he doesn't like?? for whatever reason??

    skypair
     
  8. pinoybaptist

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    Skypair:

    You and Pastor Larry go right ahead and believe what you want to believe.

    You both got my blessings.;)

    Somebody wiser than you and I once sat me on his knee (figuratively) and told me:

    "son, y'all kin tell a har'head what ya'll wan' him to hear, and he ain' gon' change his har'hea'd min', cuz' to you ya'll are right, and he's wrong, and to him, he'all is right, and ya'll are wrong. He's a har'head to ya, and ya'll are the har'head to him'all.

    Ya'll kin holler an' rant an' bite yer pink tongue off and him bite his blue tongue off an' it won' make no diff'rence to ya'll and to him'all. He's gon' b'lieve what he wan' b'lieve, an' yall 're gon' b'lieve what ya'll wan' b'lieve and fer all ya'll know, ya'll both gon' git a spankin' from the good Lord when ya'll git to heav'n, 'sumin' of course, ya both are headed fer heav'n.

    So, ya'll g'wan an' b'lieve what ya'll b'lieve an' let him b'lieve what he wanssa b'lieve, and it don' make no diff'rence cause heav'n is all about the blood of Christ, and it ain' 'bout some smar' alecky dingdong called the-ah-logy."

    And there I rest.:wavey:

    Hope you had a good Sunday service.:godisgood:
     
    #8 pinoybaptist, Jul 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2007
  9. skypair

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    Pinoy,

    Are you claiming a Southerner is smarter than you? :laugh: I thought I recognized that accent! That's not giving yourself much credit, boy.

    skypair
     
  10. pinoybaptist

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    Yes, sir, skypair. That southerner was smarter than I can ever hope to be, I don't mind saying.

    What all can we say against the wisdom of "heav'n is all about the blood of Christ, and it ain' 'bout some smar' alecky dingdong called the-ah-logy." ?

    He was smarter than me, and he ain't ever gotten past third grade, 'cordin to him.

    I loved that guy, and he doesn't always speak that way, only when he's about to wax philosophical, and I did a poooorr rendition of his southern drawl, which, by the way, is one of the most beautiful accents in the English tongue I hear.

    He's gone home to be with the Lord now.
     

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