Election and Free Will, now ........

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by IFB Mole, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. IFB Mole

    IFB Mole
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    OK OK we have two long and very interesting threads on these issues. I'm sure no one will argue that the Holy Spirit is essential in conversion and man's will is tainted by sin, yea a willing bondservant. Here's my question and solicate for input:

    A man...ooops....a person is convicted by the Holy Spirit through a Gospel message by an annointed Baptist preacher, thier eyes are opened and they clearly see thier sinful condition yet they make a "choice" not to accept the "free gift" of salvation - they say NO.

    Is this possible or is Grace "irresistable". I wonder because after 15yrs in IFB churches I have seen people clearly under conviction by God yet one says NO (in action) and the other says YES (in action) and is saved and growing in Grace and the other is in gross sin and a God hater, yet they were under the same conviction by the same Holy Spirit at the same time from the same message.

    What say ye???
     
  2. bjonson

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    Good question. I think election and predestination mark a soul for ultimate salvation but that doesn't indicate exactly when that regeneration will happen. Election is not salvation, if you will. I am elect because I am saved today, but I wasn't saved before 1982, even though I was still elect.

    I don't know if anyone can answer your question with certainty because we can't see into the heart. I do believe, strongly, that scripture teaches that the elect will be saved (Romans 8:28-30) and nothing will stop that. Jesus said the "wind blows where it wills" when He described being born from above to Nicodemus.

    I'm interested in hearing what others think.
     
  3. HankD

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    This issue has been contemplated for centuries with books galore claiming to have
    "The Answer", some of the authors being famous, some not so famous.

    My current view: I don't have a solid conviction yet as to the solution of the apparent conflict between election and free-will.

    For now I'm leaving it in the category called "the Mysteries of God" while rejoicing daily in the salvation of God provided through the death burial and resurrection of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

    HankD
     
  4. Helen

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    If God's grace could not be resisted, then the writer to the Hebrews would not have to beg them not to harden their hearts.

    If God's grace could not be resisted, then all would be saved, for He is not willing that one should perish (unless the absurd idea of His will and His grace being at odds with one another is argued!).

    If God's grace could not be resisted, then He would not have to invite anyone to "Come, let us reason together..."

    If God's grace could not be resisted, then Judas would never have betrayed out Lord.

    If God's grace could not be resisted, then those who were His own would not have refused Him.

    If God's grace could not be resisted, then Jude would not have talked about "godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord." (4)


    If God's grace could not be resisted, how could the writer to the Hebrews have written (10:29) "How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covanant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?"

    If God's grace could not be resisted, how could Isaiah write (26:10)
    "Though grace is shown to the wicked,
    they do not learn righteousness;
    even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil
    and regard not the majesty of the Lord."

    If God's grace could not be resisted, Paul would not have written to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 6:1) "As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain."

    If God's grace could not be resisted, then God would have never told Noah that His Spirit would not always strive with man. (Gen 6)

    To say God's grace is irresistable is to deny many passages of Scripture.
     
  5. bjonson

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    Helen,

    I don't think anyone is saying God's grace is never resisted because we can all give examples of places where it is. The issue is - can God's elect resist ultimately to the point of missing salvation? Or, word it some other way, but you see what I mean.
     
  6. IFB Mole

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    Helen,

    There are those that will argue that man is without excuse because of God's general Grace upon ALL mankind through His creation. The fact that a God hater is even alive is by God's Grace. Man resists this type of Grace as a race as a whole. His Creation is evidence of His Godhead.

    Now I was posting on Salvitic Grace. Can a person truly resist God's SAVING Grace. I mean when you listen to most peoples testimonies (mine included) The free gift of eternal life by Grace was an IRRESISTABLE offer - can a man resist SAVING Grace or does a person ULTIMATELY have the FINAL say so of Yes I want it or NO I don't want it??

    This does not preclude God from telling mankind to beleive and repent, the Prophets always preached to believe in God.

    Hmmmm......
     
  7. OldRegular

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    James P. Boyce, cofounder and first president of the Southern Baptist Seminary, defines election to salvation as follows [Abstract of Systematic Theology , page 347]:

    “God, of His own purpose, has from eternity determined to save a definite number of mankind as individuals, not for or because of any merit or works of theirs, nor of any value of them to Him; but of His own good pleasure”.


    John L. Dagg in his Manual of Theology [page 309] defines election to salvation simply as:

    “All who will finally be saved, were chosen to salvation by God the Father, before the foundation of the world, and given to Jesus Christ in the Covenant of Grace.”

    Dagg [page 322] comments on the natural man’s inability regarding salvation, as follows:

    “Every proposed method of salvation that leaves the issue dependent on human volition is defective. It has always been found that men will not come to Christ for life. The Gospel is preached to every creature; but all, with one consent, ask to be excused. The will of man must be changed; and this change the will cannot itself effect. Divine grace must here interpose. Unless God works in the sinner to will and to do, salvation is impossible.”


    John I. Packer, an Anglican theologian, writes about the doctrine of election as follows [Concise Theology , page 149; see also the New Geneva Bible, page 1784]

    “The biblical doctrine of election is that before Creation God selected out of the human race, foreseen as fallen, those whom He would redeem, bring to faith, justify, and glorify in and through Jesus Christ. This divine choice is an expression of free and sovereign grace, for it is unconstrained and unconditional, not merited by anything in those who are its subjects. God owes sinners no mercy of any kind, only condemnation; so it is a wonder, and a matter for endless praise, that He should choose to save any of us; and doubly so when His choice involved the giving of His own Son to suffer as sin bearer for the elect.”

    W. T. Conner, a professor at the Southwestern Baptist Theological seminary early in the 20th century writes of election as follows [Christian Doctrine , page 155]:

    “It [Election] means that God has decreed to bring certain ones, upon whom His heart has been eternally set, who are the objects of His eternal love, to faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour. When a man is saved he is not saved as a matter of chance or accident or fate; he is saved in pursuance of an eternal purpose of God. God saves man because He intends to. He saves a particular man, at a particular time, under a particular set of circumstances, because He intends to.”
     
  8. IFB Mole

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    OldRegular,

    Getting a bit off poiunt -but good post for sure, the central point of this thread was more IRRESISTABLE Grace than election
     
  9. johnp.

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    Hello IFB Mole nice to meet you. :cool:

    Irresistable Grace by it's very nature is irresistable and it will produce an effect. It might not be noticable though.

    The elect cannot refuse salvation. He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit... Titus 3:5.

    He saved us is the message I keep getting. He did not enable us to save ourselves. He is the Saviour because He saves and He saves only His elect. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Matt 1:21.

    Whatcha think? :cool:

    john.
     
  10. OldRegular

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    I have never cared much for the TULIP discussion of the doctrine of salvation. I agree with it as far as it goes but think it omits some important aspects. Actually the reason Calvin discussed these 5 points is that they were in response to the 5 remonstrances [I believe they were called] of Arminius.

    However to simplify the discussion I will simply repeat the words of Conner again. I think his statement brolliantly summarizes the Sovereignty of God in Salvation.

    W. T. Conner, a professor at the Southwestern Baptist Theological seminary early in the 20th century writes of election as follows [Christian Doctrine , page 155]:

    “It [Election] means that God has decreed to bring certain ones, upon whom His heart has been eternally set, who are the objects of His eternal love, to faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour. When a man is saved he is not saved as a matter of chance or accident or fate; he is saved in pursuance of an eternal purpose of God. God saves man because He intends to. He saves a particular man, at a particular time, under a particular set of circumstances, because He intends to.”
     
  11. HankD

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    OH, there goes that headache again!

    Where's my icepack?
     
  12. donnA

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    The bible says we are dead men, we are slaves to sin (before salvation), dead men don't make decisions, and slaves don't have the freedom to make decisions.
     
  13. Helen

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    donnA, spiritual death is separation from God, not spiritual unconsciousness. If it were unconsciousness, how could the writer to the Hebrews beg them not to harden their hearts? How could the Bible command people to seek God?

    And having free will is not making decisions, it's having desires. When we are slaves to righteousness we are also slaves, and yet, when we disobey, we are disciplined (Hebrews 12).

    Even slaves can disobey -- no matter who or what we are slaves to. And most certainly a slave can want something he or she does not have. And that is all it takes for our Lord to say "Here I am, I stand at the door and knock..."

    OldRegular, if we, and only we, are the objects of His love, then He did NOT love 'the world' did He? Then it is NOT true that He does not desire one to perish, is it? Then Jesus' words, "Come unto me ALL ye that labor and are heavy-laden," are meaningless, aren't they? Then the command to "Seek God" is nonsense, isn't it?

    No, God so loved the WORLD, not desiring that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance, that He gave is only Son, that, simply, whoever believed should not perish, but have eternal life, which, Jesus defined, simply also, was knowing the Father and the Son. And so the invitation goes out to every man who has ever lived, "Seek God". Don't suppress the truth you know to be true and so blaspheme the Holy Spirit of Truth.

    johnp. "irresistible grace" is a man-made term and a man-made idea. It is nowhere in the Bible.

    He has saved us ALL from our sins. ALL sins were atoned for at the cross -- see Hebrews. It is not sin which sends anyone to hell. It is a refusal to believe on Christ, the fulfilled Promise of God, the Messiah. THIS is what condemns a man. See John 3:16-18.

    You are right that we cannot save ourselves. But we are told we may believe. We have that free choice in life. We may follow the truth or suppress it. "Seek and ye shall find" is a double-edged statement.
     
  14. IFB Mole

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    Helen,

    If Christ paid for ALL our sins (with out exception) of ALL men (inclusively) then did he pay for the sin of unbelief since unbelief IS sin?
     
  15. Helen

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    All sins are atoned for, which is a legal thing.

    Not all sins are forgiven, which is a personal thing.

    Forgiveness is ONLY in Christ. When you walk away from Christ you have walked away from the only place there is forgiveness. Your sin may have been paid for, but your forgiveness cannot be received by you for you have walked away from it.

    Atonement is something Christ did by Himself, a payment made which was sufficient for all sin for all time (see Hebrews).

    However forgiveness is a two-way street. Without repentance, there is no forgiveness. I can have it in my heart to forgive you, but if you never come and say you are sorry, then that forgiveness stays in my heart and never becomes active in your life. It hasn't happened except as a potential.

    So yes, there is a sin which cannot be forgiven. But it was atoned for.

    And that makes the lack of forgiveness all the more tragic.
     
  16. johnp.

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    Hello Helen.

    1 Cor 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

    Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved...

    It is by grace not by works otherwise grace is not grace and it is by grace because man is incapable of receiving the Truth. the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Man cannot submit. Cannot is a special word meaning cannot Helen.

    JN 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. "

    One must be born again to understand anything about the gospel.
    1 Cor 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    You are wrong: Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, `The guilt of Eli's house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.' " 1 Sam 3:14 states unequivocally that it is a limited atonement, another man made expression that encompasses the truth. This verse alone proves limited atonement so you're understanding of said Hebrews passage must be false.

    That is not my gospel. My gospel says that the wages of sin is death. Jesus died for my sins. Man stands condemned at conception and is dead in sins and transgressions. That is why babies die, they receive the wages of sin. PS 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

    If you don't believe you go to Hell. If you do believe you are saved. If it is your choice to chose then you save yourself, Jesus has only enabled you. A neat trick for a dead person to save themselves I think. Believing is a work and it is not by works but by grace. JN 6:29 Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

    Faith is a work.

    The truth is suppressed by man never followed in and of himself, ...They stumble because they disobey the message--which is also what they were destined for. 1 Peter 2:8.


    john.
     
  17. Rhetorician

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    IFB Mole,

    May I ask:

    How do you know "they are under conviction?" You and I do not know the heart. What we may see may very well be only a "sorrow" for the result of their sins.

    They may be like the felon who gets caught for stealing. He is "sorry" for the results of his crime but not for the crime itself.

    Some of the old Puritan Divines would say that a man who was truly trying "to close with Christ" would flee to Christ and cry with Esther of old, "if I perish--I perish!" They talked in language like, "If God sees fit to consign me to Hell, then that is what I deserve and I know that God is righteous when He does it."

    An outward emotional display is no guarantee of an internal change of heart, is it?

    sdg! [​IMG]

    rd
     
  18. Helen

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    john, God's grace is quite resistable and many have.

    That does not alter the fact that all salvation is by His grace THROUGH our faith. But all is of Him, yes.

    "Seek and ye shall find" is for all men. And many do seek the truth, not knowing, perhaps, it is connected to Christ Jesus, but if they really want the truth God will lead them to Christ, who will not turn them away.

    You will note that though the sinful mind cannot submit to God's law, it can want to. As Paul writes of that condition: "We know that the law is spiritual, but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Since the born again Christian is NOT a slave to sin, but a slave to righteousness, it is clearly the unsaved person Paul is referring to here.

    This is the battle that rages in the man who does want the truth but cannot achieve it on his own.

    And yes the wages of sin is death. And JESUS PAID THOSE WAGES! So how can anyone say that a person is born dead in sin? Was Jesus remiss? Did He forget the babies?

    Hardly. If sins are paid for, and those wages WERE paid for on the cross, then no baby is born dead in sin, but rather, simply with a sin nature which will exert itself as life goes on.

    Paul is extremely clear about this in Romans 7:7-11.
     
  19. johnp.

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    Hello Helen.

    So you are saying that God draws a person only so far? Is that not a violation of the will? Is it a violation of a man's will to keep him in the dark? RO 2:12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law...

    If Jesus died for everybody then why did He not let everybody know? If He died for everybody then scripture contradicts itself because it says Eli's family had no atonement or sacrifice made for them.

    How have I erred? Please explain it to me. If Eli's family had no atonement made for them then isn't limited atonement a fact and not a theory?

    God said: "Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli... He put Himself under oath that no atonement would ever be given for them. `The guilt of Eli's house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.' " 1 Sam 3:14

    Now if I am wrong please show me where, it's our duty, but if I am right then that's your duty. :cool:

    An outward emotional display is no guarantee of an internal change of heart, is it? (sdg).

    Not all because you say you must originate faith first. You cannot please God without it. You save yourself.

    John 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
    How does that verse fit with what you said? Does 'no one can' mean everyone can? All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:16-17.

    Does John 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. Mean no one can go to Jesus unless God draws them? And does the promise to rise all those that do go mean once saved always saved? Of course it does.

    Since no one can go to Jesus unless God draws them why did He neglect so many millions in the withholding of the imformation needed for one to decide a thing? PS 147:19 He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. 20 He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws. Romans 2:12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law...

    Romans seven is Paul describing his condition as a man of God for ...in my inner being I delight in God's law... (7:22) cannot be said by unregenerate men because the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.
    And, The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. How then can unregenerates delight in God's law? They cannot.

    The only battle that rages in man is the battle for sovereignty and it shows itself in the unregenerate as well as the reborn. :cool: My will be done.


    john.
     
  20. StraightAndNarrow

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    Act 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
    Act 26:29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
     

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