Exposed: False Illustrations to ‘Prove’ Doctrine – Part 3

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Protestant, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. Protestant

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    In this third illustration our well-meaning board member attempts to prove that belief in the true God and Jesus Christ is well within the natural ability of all men. Therefore, the doctrine of man’s Total Inability to any spiritual good - unless regenerated - is false.

    Example # 3:

    “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” (John 14:1)

    “You had the ability to believe in many things before you actually heard of them and believed them. Did you have to be supernaturally regenerated to believe that George Washington was our first President? So this is an utterly ridiculous argument from you.

    Men are born with the ability to believe.

    Men have the ability to believe in God, but not believe in Christ. Jesus here shows a man can believe in God, but not believe in him. Men have the ability to believe.”

    Refutation: Believing facts about Jesus Christ is similar to believing facts about George Washington. However, believing in and trusting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is altogether a different matter.....a matter of eternal life or death.

    In speaking to His Elect Disciples – (yes, the devil Judas was there also. He was not Elect.) – Jesus was confirming His Deity. He was not confirming their unbelief. He was strengthening their faith for the trials which lay ahead. However, it was not until the infilling of the Holy Spirit (which occurred on Pentecost) that their faith was able to overcome extreme adversities, fearlessly proclaiming the Gospel.

    The board member makes the fallacious argument equating the human ability to believe earthly truths as that same ability to believe spiritual truths.

    Jesus says otherwise. He teaches man’s Total Inability to discern spiritual truths.

    “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again [with a new nature regenerated by the Holy Spirit], he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

    The new birth is absolutely necessary before a sinner can comprehend anything spiritual, God and Jesus included.

    The Apostle Paul concurs.

    “But the natural [unregenerate] man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. 2:14)​


    Please note that Paul teaches unregenerate man does not receive spiritual truth because he cannot. Paul teaches Total Inability.

    The board member further makes the pronouncement that men are able to believe in the true God and yet not believe in Jesus.

    But that is impossible. Jesus is fully and truly God. To receive [i.e., believe and trust in] Jesus is to receive [believe and trust in] the Father.

    “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” (Matt. 10:40]

    The inverse is also true: To not receive Jesus is to not receive the Father. For no man comes to the Father but by Jesus.

    Conclusion: The well-meaning board member has made an idol of ‘free will.’ In his theology nothing and no one need assist, bend, influence or coerce man’s ‘free’ will. Man, he teaches, has the power to make good use of his will, should he so choose. This is nothing less than the ancient heresy of Pelagianism.

    • He teaches man, by his innate natural ability, has the will power to shake off the chains of bondage to sin and Satan. This he teaches despite Jesus’ statement in John 8:34-36 which contradicts the board member.

    • He teaches man, by his innate natural ability, has the power to believe and trust in Jesus Christ. The board member teaches this despite the testimony of John 3: 3, John 14:17 and Cor. 2:14 which posit man with total spiritual blindness as well as total inability to receive spiritual truth. To further end any controversy as to man’s ability, the Apostle declares man spiritually dead. (Eph. chapter 2)

    • He teaches man, by his innate natural ability, has the will power to surrender his life, loving that which, by nature, he loathes and despises, despite Romans 8:5-8 which contradicts the board member.
     
  2. Yeshua1

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    Sinners can know thru general revealtion that there is a God, who exists, but ONLY when that God grants them a special Revelation of Jesus can they get saved! that is the work directly of the person of the Holy Spirit!
     
  3. InTheLight

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    This well meaning, let's say a "winning type of man", must really get under your skin. You've dedicated three lengthy screeds specifically to him.
     
  4. JonC

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    Illustrations don’t prove – they illustrate.
     
  5. Winman

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    I do not believe that a man could possibly believe on Jesus unless God has revealed Jesus to that man. No man is born with the knowledge of the true God, or the the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul asked how a man can believe on him (Jesus) of whom he has not heard;

    Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

    No other verse addresses ABILITY like Romans 10:14. First Paul asks HOW shall a man call on him in whom he has not believed. If you do not believe Jesus is the Son of God who rose from the dead, you will not call on him.

    Next Paul asks HOW can a man believe in Jesus unless he has heard of him. Does Paul imply a man must be regenerated to believe? NO, he simply implies a man must hear of Jesus to believe.

    Next Paul asks HOW shall a man hear of Jesus without a preacher. Does Paul imply a man must be regenerated to have the ability to hear the gospel? NO, but Paul implies that men are naturally ignorant of the gospel and cannot believe on Jesus unless a preacher comes and preaches the word of God to them.

    So, not man can believe on Jesus of himself, he must hear the gospel which is the revelation and grace of God.


    You have not quoted one verse of scripture to support that believing on Jesus is some "special" form of grace. Charles Spurgeon said that believing on Jesus is the same faith that you place in a friend. He gave common examples such as this one:

    Spurgeon believed that all men are able to exhibit and exercise faith, and he explained saving faith with ordinary illustrations such as a child being trapped in a fire and trusting firemen below who urge him to jump into their net, promising to catch him.

    This verse does not say men cannot understand the gospel, it says they cannot see the kingdom of heaven. This means they cannot enter heaven.

    You can't go about inventing your own definitions for words. :rolleyes:

    The problem is, in verse 12 Paul says they had already received the Spirit that they might know these things, and in numerous verses Paul shows a person received the Spirit AFTER believing the gospel.

    Gal 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

    Paul's question demands the answer that these Galatians received the Spirit by first believing the gospel, so 1 Corinthians 2:14 cannot possibly be teaching that a natural man is unable to believe in Christ.

    No, Paul teaches that men received the Spirit AFTER believing, so obviously the natural man has the ability to believe.

    Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

    Paul asked these disciples if they had received the Spirit SINCE they had believed. So Paul believed that natural men could believe on Jesus, and if they did so they would receive the Spirit. This is exactly what Peter taught as well.

    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.

    Peter said if these Jews repented and believed on Jesus (for only believers are baptized), then AFTERWARD they would receive the Spirit.

    All of these many scriptures easily refutes your view as false doctrine.

    It is not I that teaches that natural men are able to believe, it was Peter and Paul, who both believed that a man first believes on Jesus, and then afterward received the Holy Spirit.

    Total Inability is false doctrine, plain and simple.
     
  6. Yeshua1

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    Only those who have been granted the ears to hear, and the hearts to be able to respond to Jesus shall come to him to get saved....

    man can know God exists thru His creation, but ONLY a special act of His can allow them to know jesus in a saving fashion!
     
  7. Winman

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    Here's a well deserved reward for you;

    [​IMG]

    You are the #1 Calvinist suck up at BB. No matter what anyone says about Calvinism, you can depend on you to come along with your little non scriptural remarks. Of course, you never present scripture to back up anything you say, because there is no scripture that supports it.
     
  8. evangelist6589

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    And you frequently misinterpret what others say. I am not going to attack you as you attacked my fellow Calvinist brother.
     
  9. evangelist6589

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    Amen!!! Amen!! Well said brother. Natural Revelation is not saving, as one needs Special Revelation from Christ.

    What happens to those in Africa whom have not heard the gospel and die? I have no idea, but God will deal with them fairly. What happens to Mentally disabled people whom live and die? God will deal with them fairly.
     
  10. evangelist6589

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    So you believe that man can save himself without God granting them repentance and faith? If so what do you say of Acts 13:48?

    When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. (NIV)


    Do you believe that man can choose God by his freewill without divine intervention?
     
  11. steaver

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    There are just as many passages found in scripture which supports freedom of choice. So both predestination and freewill choice must be working together.

    "Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles".

    They were presented the gospel and they made a choice. Really, the only way to accept the statements of predestination found in the scriptures is to receive them as Peter put it..."according to the foreknowledge of God". God already knows who will receive the gospel and God already knows who will reject the gospel. Those who receive the gospel are the elect according to the foreknowledge of God and those who reject the gospel have judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life.

    No, I do not. God must open their eyes and draw them. They must see the truth and repent. Many see and do not repent. I have witnessed to many who would say to me "I understand, but...........not today". Even shaking and crying, but just do not want to repent and follow Jesus. They love this world more.
     
  12. Winman

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    Read that verse again, it does not say "and as many as were ordained to believe" as you falsely intepret, it says "and as many as were ordained to eternal life". HUGE difference.

    Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

    It is not saying they were ordained or appointed to believe, it is saying they were ordained or appointed to eternal life. This is easily understood within God's foreknowledge, God knows who would believe before the foundation of the world and ordained them to eternal life.

    And I have repeatedly said that no man could possibly believe on Jesus Christ unless God had revealed him to us through preaching of God's word.

    Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

    You could not have faith in Jesus unless you have heard of him, and you could not hear of Jesus unless there be a preacher. But note that Paul does not mention or imply the necessity to be regenerated to have the ability to hear or believe whatsoever. That would be an amazing omission of vital doctrine by Paul and the Holy Spirit if Calvinism were true (it isn't).

    No, Paul says faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    It is God that provides his word so that we may believe, but man is the one who has to choose to hear and believe for himself. God does not believe for you.

    And man does not save himself, only God has that power, but if a man believes on Jesus as God commands he will be saved. In this sense man can save himself, and this is what Peter directly said to the Jews at Pentacost.

    Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

    Obviously, Peter was no Calvinist. :laugh:
     
    #12 Winman, Sep 13, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2013
  13. evangelist6589

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    So man can save himself without divine intervention?
     
  14. Winman

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    OK, I am going to say this one more time.

    No man could possibly believe on Jesus Christ as their Saviour unless God the Father had revealed Jesus to us through the Holy Scriptures.

    Does that sound like divine intervention to you?

    No man is born knowing about the true God, no man is born knowing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to earth as a man, lived a perfect life under the law, died on the cross for our sins, and was raised from the dead three days later.

    If you know these facts, it is because someone told you. It might have been your parents taking you to church, or a friend told you the gospel, etc... but someone preached the gospel to you, and this is how you heard of Jesus so that you might be enabled to believe on him. You cannot believe in what you do not know.

    So then, you could not possibly have faith in Jesus without the word of God.

    Again, does this sound like divine intervention to you?

    Now, don't ask me again, I have told you several times now, you have no excuse for your ignorance.
     
  15. evangelist6589

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    Thanks for the backhanded insult. Anyways yes you have told me and have confirmed what I thought about you, but I was not 100% sure so I had to ask. I know that you do not believe in Pelganism but I was not entirely sure, but thank you for the confirmation. We disagree on many issues, but you believe in the right gospel.
     
  16. Winman

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    Yes, it was a backhanded insult, but I get tired of folks (Yeshua1 especially) who will ask questions exactly like yours, often several times in the same thread, to try to insinuate that I hold to false doctrine. I thought you were using his tactics.

    It may sound like a stereotype, but generally speaking this is how many Calvinists debate. They usually cannot win a debate on merit (because the scriptures do not really support Calvinism when carefully examined) and so they use smear tactics especially to attempt to discredit their opponent. Usually only very simple folks are deceived by this sort of false argument.

    And yes, I believe in the right gospel, but Calvinism does not. Calvinism teaches that a person is elected OUTSIDE of Christ, and then given to Jesus. Scripture teaches that a person is chosen IN Christ. HUGE difference.

    If you are chosen OUTSIDE of Christ, this glorifies YOU. If you are chosen IN Christ, this glorifies Jesus. Jesus is the ELECT ONE, we are only elect because we are IN HIM.

    Calvinists often accuse Arminians or non-Cal theology of being "man-centered" while they claim their doctrine is God-centered. You will find the EXACT OPPOSITE to be true. Calvinism often teaches the exact opposite of scripture.
     
  17. evangelist6589

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    EXCUSE ME?????? You are know saying that I have a different Jesus and a different gospel than you????? Are you saying I am not saved????????
     
  18. Herald

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    It is not whether they intellectually understand, but whether they spiritually understand. I believe scripture teaches that the sinner is incapable of "receiving the things of the Spirit of God" because he cannot understand them (1 Cor. 2:14). Certainly he can understand the words. The sentence makes sense to him. This is called external illumination; the outward call of the Gospel. What the sinner does not understand is that truth which only the Spirit can reveal (John 3:8). The Spirit reveals that truth through internal illumination, or regeneration.

    That is the root issue at play. When Paul refers to the Ephesians previous spiritual condition as "dead" (Ephesians 2:1), did he really mean they were spiritually dead or just spiritually ill? Paul uses a very definite word for death, "nekros". It means a corpse. It is a medical term used to describe dead skin, "necrosis". Paul was telling the Ephesians that they were once not ill or sick in their trespasses and skin but dead like a corpse. That is a significant teaching because something that is dead no longer has life. If that is what Paul meant (and I believe he did) then the sinner is unable to receive or understand the Gospel. Something outside of man has to take place in order to make man capable of receiving and understanding. I believe that something is regeneration through the Spirit. Once the Spirit regenerates then man freely chooses and believes.
     
  19. steaver

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    Greetings Herald,

    This is probably one of the best explanations I have read explaining the "why" behind the TULIP version of the doctrine of election revealed in the born-again. It is not too long and makes a precise point. And I will admit a good point, however, I do not believe either camp really has a slam dunk although each camp will declare they do.

    I will point to John 7:38-39, here it is just as clear as the dead spirit case you presented that the rebirth has not yet been implemented. An attempt to apply this passage to the out pouring of the Holy Spirit's power at Pentecost just doesn't fit for this passage is not speaking about "power" but about the "living water" which is the rebirth, a well springing up to eternal life (John 4). It is certain that both regeneration AND power AND gifts were taking place at Pentecost, but John having begun speaking of the rebirth is continuing to speak of the rebirth as he speaks of the "living water", the same as Jesus spoke of with the woman at the well.

    So, how was Abraham "saved" without the rebirth? The rebirth is a special dispensation which has ushered in the spiritual kingdom of God, the Church age. The "kingdom of God" is cited 91 times in the NT and 0 times in the OT. The preaching of the kingdom of God is the reason and purpose Christ came.

    The doctrine of Election and the doctrine of Freewill Choice are held in tension throughout the scriptures. The only way I can see to harmonize the two is by defining the foreknowledge of God in the way for it to allow both truths to coexist in the scriptures and in the church since it is obvious that they do. You heard what John MacArthur had to say about the "whosoever will" and "ye would not", he said, "I don't know".

    I believe the Calvinist has taken a stand that must simply ignore the scriptures which speak of mankind having been called to make a choice for God. I see the scriptures the Calvinist present, all very good points, and the Calvinist expects the non-cal to give an answer. But does the Calvinist give an answer for the "ye would not"? I presented this scripture many times here and not one answer for it from the Calvinist.

    Blessings! :thumbsup:
     
  20. Herald

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    Steaver,

    I never once suggested that the sinner does not choose. Of course he does! But the sinner cannot choose until he is first made able to by the Spirit.

    Do not conflate the pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost with the saving work of the Spirit. The Spirit's manifestation at Pentecost was to formerly commission the NT church and the authority of the Apostles. The Holy Spirit has always been operative in salvation, including during Abraham's time. OT saints were saved based on the future promise of the Messiah but still through regeneration by the Spirit.

    As far as "ye would not", understand Jesus' larger message. His direct appeal was to Israel. When he uttered His great lament over Jerusalem ("Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem!) He was not making a doctrinal statement. He was lamenting the continued unbelief of God's covenant people. It was a lament over the nation.

    Lastly, all people everywhere are called to repent (Acts 17:30 ). The fact that no one can do so without the regenerating work of the Spirit does not lessen the command. All men have sinned and transgressed God's law (Romans 3:23). All stand under the same sentence. Where you and I probably differ is that not all men are able to repent. But ability, or lack thereof, is no excuse. That is why salvation is of grace. God gifts it to whom He wills. I am thankful He has not revealed to us who are His elect, so that we will continue to preach the Gospel to all who have ears to hear.
     

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