Falling Away from Grace?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by nate, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. nate

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    This is something I saw mentioned in the other post something that some arminianist believe. Can someone help me know what this means exactly? How according to them can you fall away from grace?
     
  2. nate

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    Here is a point I strongly like about the Arminian belief:
    "Free Will with Partial Depravity: Freedom of will is man's natural state, not a spiritual gift - and thus free will was not lost in the Fall, but cannot be exercised toward good apart from the grace of God. Grace works upon all men to influence them for good, but only those who freely choose to agree with grace by faith and repentance are given new spiritual power to make effectual the good they otherwise impotently intend. As John Wesley stated more forcefully, humans were in fact totally corrupted by original sin, but God's prevenient grace allowed free will to operate. Contra the Calvinist view of depravity which denies universal prevenient grace and moral ability to turn to Christ."
    According to this point we cannot work our way to heaven correct?
     
  3. nate

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    Universal Atonement Applicable Only to the Believer: Christ's death was suffered on behalf of all men, but God elects for salvation only those who believe in Christ. Contra the Calvinist doctrine of Limited atonement.
    Isn't this one a core Baptist belief?
     
  4. nate

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    Conditional Election: God has decreed to save through Jesus Christ, out of fallen and sinful mankind, those foreknown by Him who through the grace of the Holy Spirit believe in Christ; but God leaves in sin those foreseen, who are incorrigible and unbelieving. Contra the Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election.
    This one's okay to.
     
  5. Benjamin

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    Fair question Nate, the Arminian view that it may be possible for a BELIEVER to fall from grace puts their definition of God’s grace to man’s level not Gods. As far as I’m concerned it’s pretty easy to be contra C or A alike from a simple understanding of God’s Word in faith. The arrogance of trying to prove either of these philosophies of man to be 100% truth always reminds me of Luke 14 especially verse 11.
     
  6. Artimaeus

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    Don't ya just love theological debates based on reasoning without one reference to scripture in context.

    Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

    The only people who are fallen from grace are those who are justified by the law. Now, how many people will that be?
     
  7. webdog

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    Justified by the law? ZERO!
     
  8. Artimaeus

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    [​IMG] :D
     
  9. eloidalmanutha

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    but how many keep the law to be justified by it? and if you keep the law to be justified, you will be judged by the law.

    Rom 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
     
  10. AresMan

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    These were Galatian believers who were trying to Judaize the church and teach that circumcision is initially necessary for salvation. They were "falling from grace" as in falling from the teaching of grace or the practice of a life of grace. This phrase does not mean that they actually "fell from God's saving grace" and "lost their salvation." Context is king.
     
  11. Mark Osgatharp

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    AresMan,

    Amen. That is the correct understanding of the passage. It is possible to "fall from grace" but that does not equate to losing eternal salvation.

    In II Corinthians chapter 6 Paul warned them not to receive the grace of God in vain. I think that means basically the same thing. When we don't let God's grace operate in our lives as believers we have received grace in vain.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  12. rlvaughn

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    Nate, could you give us a link/source of the Arminian statements you're posting above? Also are there two more of them, possibly one dealing specifically with falling from grace or something like that?

    IMO, those who find losing one's salvation in Galatians 5:4 are reading a preconceived definition into "fallen from grace" rather than letting the context define it.

    Also the article on "Free Will with Partial Depravity" seems somewhat curious to me. It first mentions partial depravity and then later gives Wesley talking about a total depravity overcome by prevenient grace. That seems like two different things to me.
     
  13. StraightAndNarrow

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    This is true salvation, believing in and abiding in Christ. Christ says that we must continue to abide in Him and keep His commandments or:

    1) We will be thrown into the fire. Isn't the use of the phrase "thrown into the fire" clear about the eternal destiny of those who do not follow these commands?

    2) We will no longer abide in His love. How far do you think anyone will get on the Judgement Day if Christ does not love them?

    *********************************************

    Jhn 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
    Jhn 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
    Jhn 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
    Jhn 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
    Jhn 15:5 I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
    Jhn 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.
    Jhn 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
    Jhn 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
    Jhn 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
    Jhn 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
     
  14. AresMan

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    Just because a metaphor uses the word fire doesn't mean it is talking about hell. That is a common misapplication based on preconceived ideas, and is missing the point of the passage.

    The point of the passage is that Jesus, being the vine, is the source of life and spiritual fruit for the branches. The branch cannot bear fruit of itself because it cannot contain fruit-bearing minerals except as provided by the vine. If a branch is disconnected from the vine, it will lose its fruit-bearing capabilities and will wither into useless firewood, which will bear no fruit.
     
  15. StraightAndNarrow

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    No, I do understand the point of this passage. I agree that Jesus is the source of life and spiritual fruit for us. However, just because fire doesn't always stand for the eternal fire of Hell every time it's used in the Bible doesn't mean it doesn't stand for that here.

    What do you think the meaning is of the branches being cast into the fire? How do you interpret the statement:

    Jhn 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.

    Do you think that being withered and cast into the fire is not a warning? If so, what do you base that on?

    What about this statement:

    Jhn 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

    This says clearly that we must keep Christ's commandment in order to abide in His love. Do you think that someone who is not loved by Christ will go to Heaven? I notice you didn't address that point. You see, I do think that this passage has been missinterpreted based on preconceived notions but by you not by me.
     
  16. StraightAndNarrow

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  17. Benjamin

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    OK since you bumped it, here is this layman’s view of understanding this passage and I do not see it supporting that a believer can fall from grace but only as instruction that the only way to produce fruit is by abiding in Him.

    (Joh 15:1) I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

    The subject in the following passage is “abiding” in Him (the true vine) and if a branch is abiding in Him it WILL produce fruit by Him, otherwise not. This has nothing to do with falling from grace; it has to do with or not having the grace to begin with and where it will lead.

    (Joh 15:2) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

    V2, Every branch (He is the vine… men are the branches, some saved and some unsaved) “in me” here it does not say “abiding” in me like the rest of the verses, I think the reason for that is it means: ( because of Him, being the true vine, –the only way) “that beareth not fruit he taketh away:” (WHY? obviously not saved and abiding in Him these branches can do nothing…not born again, never were under God’s grace) this is a different branch from:

    “and every branch that beareth fruit,” (which only can be through abiding in Jesus) “he purgeth it,” (cleanses, expiates) “that it may bring forth more fruit.” (this has a purpose and is leading to the subject…discipleship)

    Jesus goes on to explain the differences between those who do not abide in Him (aren’t born again) so don’t bear fruit and are taken away by the Husbandman and those that do abide in Him that do bear fruit. Those “branches” that don’t bear fruit were never under the grace of God (born again) that is why they can do nothing, so they could not have had God’s grace to fall from in the first place.

    (Joh 15:3) Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

    V3, Jesus is now addressing those “cleansed, believing” branches through the Word of truth and instructing them that only by abiding in Him can they bear fruit v5; we know who Jesus is speaking to here because He said, “Now ye are clean” referring to every branch that has the grace of God with further instruction coming about the only way one can be a disciple with a purpose, to glorify God.

    (Joh 15:4) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

    V4, This is speaking of a commandment not a temporary arrangement, the branch must abide in the true vine (be born again) to produce fruit.

    (Joh 15:5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

    V5, In other words if you’re born again “ the same ” will bring forth fruit (and He is the only judge) those without (not born again) can do “nothing” and the following verse of being cast in the fire is for the unfruitful, unsaved branches that…never were… in the “true” vine, and the fate of a branch that the fruit is gathered by men instead of God.

    (Joh 15:6) If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

    Now comes the good part for those who do abide in Him; His Words abide in you, Does our Father know how to give good gifts or what?

    (Joh 15:7) If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

    Here is a key verse compare this to Mat 7:11 it is “ your ” Father that gives good gifts of what you ask; at this point being a son (adopted living through Jesus) can you lose your Fathers grace? Look again at John 15:10.

    Now being in His love (by abiding in Him) we are told how to glorify the Father. (the disciple part)

    (Joh 15:8) Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

    V8, By living through the true vine and His Words living in you is how you bear fruit and naturally leads toward discipleship.

    (Joh 15:9) As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

    V9, We are being told to continue spreading the love as a disciple and glorify God. This is not a warning to a BELIEVER that he might fall from grace it is instruction and encouragement to a disciple.

    (Joh 15:10) If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

    Jesus kept His Fathers commandments by laying down His life and abides in His love as a Son and we’re told if we keep His commandments to love one another as He had loved us, so to lay down our life which comes from faith in Him, then by being born again in the Spirit we will abide in His love as an adopted son.

    Like that comparison? Jesus CAN NOT FALL from the grace of His Father’s love and neither can His adopted sons.
     
  18. StraightAndNarrow

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    I agree wholeheartedly with your emphasis on "abiding in Him" as a vital characteristic of a true Christian. However, I see nothing in these verses that says that only those that did not have an authentic conversion can reach a state of not abiding in him.

    Why would an unsaved person be on the vine at all? Being on the vine signifies a close role with Christ to receive His love and sustenance. Unsaved people never obtain that position. I believe you're starting with the iron clad rule that Eternal Security is correct and trying to interpret the Bible in that light. It just doesn't work.
     
  19. StraightAndNarrow

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    The last two verses are conditional, not a statement of fact.

    Jhn 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
    Jhn 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

    Your interpretation changed the "IF you keep my commandments" to SINCE YOU WILL keep my commandments. Once again here you are assuming the answer and trying to make the scripture fit your belief. It doesn't fit.
     
  20. AresMan

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    There is no such a thing as a branch that was not part of a root to begin with. A branch does not wither unless it previously had life to begin with.

    So, either this is saying that one can be saved and later lose it, or maybe it is not talking about justification in the first place. Often our interpretations of Scripture are based on cultural influences and religious history. Just because the word fire is used doesn't mean it is talking about hell fire. Fire is often a picture of punishment or judgment (of any kind). Especially with parables, too much interpretation of minor details in the parable stories, rather than focusing on the single main point of the story can lead to bad doctrine.

    The illustration of fire here is simply a note on what is done with withered branches: they become firewood because they are useless for bearing fruit. The point of the passage is that one cannot bear fruit unless he abides in Christ because Christ alone is the source of fruit. You cannot produce profitable fruit for God unless you are abiding in the sole source of this fruit. Spend too long not abiding in Christ and He may deem you worthless for the ministry and place in you in situations where you can't get in the way, or even take your life.
     

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