Hey Calvinists--What is the role of the Holy Spirit?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Jimmy J., Mar 6, 2003.

  1. Jimmy J.

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    In scripture we agree that the Holy Spirit provides guidance, gifts and comfort for the saints.

    But what is the role of the Holy Spirit to those who are unsaved?

    Arminians believe that the Holy Spirit calls all people to the Father as seen in Rev. 22:17:

    And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come: he that will, let him take the water of life freely.

    Now, I assume that Calvinists admits that there is a general calling of the Holy Spirit which according to them is unable to have any effect on humanity due to mankind's total inability.

    So, Calvinist's have created the dual calling of the HS. The general call and the effectual call.

    The general calling can be resisted and will be resisted by the natural man.

    But the effectual calling can't be resisted, but it is only a call for the elect.

    Have I represented Calvinist view of the Holy Spirit's dual callings correctly? If not, please correct me.

    If I am correct, this is my question:

    What is the purpose of the general calling of the Holy Spirit if it can have no effect on fallen humanity?

    Just seeking truth,
    Jimmy
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    Technically speaking I don't think the general call is attributed to the Holy Spirit. It is ususally attributed to the gospel. The gospel goes to all without regard. You might find some who attribute it to the Holy Spirit. I don't know. The purpose of it is to spread the gospel.

    The effectual call is not "created" by the calvinists. It was taught by Christ, Paul, and the other apostles. John 6 says "All that the FAther gives to me will come to me." That is effectual. Rom 8 talks of a call that surely results in justification and glorification. That is effectual.
     
  3. Ray Berrian

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    The general call of the Gospel cannot be disenfranchised from the Holy Spirit. God the Spirit {the third Person of the Godhead/Trinity would not 'turn away' from the possibility of regenerating a lost sinner. The purpose of Christ's sacrifice was to spiritually save every person; [John 3:16; Romans 5:18; I Timothy 2:4,6] therefore, the Triune God would also minister His reality and effect in the lives of all sinners who hear the Gospel.

    The two calls concept, {the Effectual Call and the General Call} fails because if only the Effectual Call is competent, there would be no need for the impotent call to the non-elect. Think about it. Saying that the Holy Spirit is ineffectual in the non-elect is playing in the neighborhood of blasphemy. Is anything that God does pointless and unproductive?

    God does not act and minister to people other than in unity. He did not die on the Cross and then minister the Gospel, regeneration, justification and then tell the Holy Spirit not to intervene in the lives of the non-elect because of some alleged ineffective general call. Impartiality is not His intended effect or one of His attributes, but rather it is to reach everyone who hears the Gospel. Wherever the Gospel is preached or witnessed to--the Spirit of God is the Acolyte ministering to the lost.

    As to the Gospel . . . {My} ' . . . word shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.' [Isaiah 55:11]

    As to the Holy Spirit . . . 'He is come to reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.' Notice Jesus did not say that the Holy Spirit was only coming to minister to the elect, those who were predestinated to this felicity above. [John 16:8]
     
  4. Ray Berrian

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    Believing and trusting in Jesus for salvation opens the doors to justification and regeneration. Refusal to believe in Christ results in remaining under the condemnation and judgment of Almighty God. Remaining in unbelief is in fact a sin against the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. [John 3:16 & 18]
     
  5. Jimmy J.

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    Rev. 22:17 says the Spirit AND the bride say Come.

    Meaning not only the bride (church) which would be more in reference to the gospel, but also the Spirit.

    It sounds like your really not sure one way or the other or that it really doesn't matter one way or the other. Am I right?

    Are these the only two passages you base effectually calling upon?

    These don't seem as if they must be teaching an effectual calling.

    John 6 can be viewed as the ones who the Father gives are those in verse 40 who see the Son and believe. Look at the context:

    Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

    I hadn't ever really read the text with hardening in mind, but what Bro. Bill says sounds like it's even more likely. That Christ only had a set chosen number to be his apostles who were "given to Him by God."

    He could be speaking about coming to him in the flesh as an apostle. It does say "everyone who sees the Son." Have you or I ever seen the Son? No. Maybe his comments are meant to be interpreted in the context of His day. He is speaking to Israel who is Hardened, except for the Remnant that he has "enabled" to come to Him and learn from Him personally. Should we automatically apply that to the nature of our salvation, especially in light of all the verses that lead us to believe we have a choice?

    In Romans 8 I just see this as Paul's check list of what God does to work out all things for those that love the Lord.

    1. Those he foreknew -- God foreknew he was going to call both Jew and Greek. And of couse you could argue that he foreknew which ones would have faith.

    2. He also predestined -- God predestined to reconcile not only Israel but people of the World and he appointed the means by which he was going to do that.

    3. he also called -- God called all the people of the world as we see in the general call of the gospel and the Spirit

    (now I realize that Faith is not mentioned in this sequence, which is why you interpret it to mean effectual call, remember he is speaking in past tense as if he talking about those who already love God and he is talking about God's role, not man's. There are several passages that only speak of Man's roles or the conditions for man to receive salvation that don't mention God's work, but Calvinist always say that we shouldn't assume that God doesn't have a part in those things as well.

    Even Calvinist admit a man will not be saved apart from faith, right? So Faith has got to fit in this sequence somewhere, right? The fact that he doesn't even mention it, proves that Faith is assumed and that is not the point of this line of thought. We must study the source of faith in passages that actually speak of faith.)

    Those he called of the Jews and Greek [who had faith] he also justified. So the debate goes back to the source of faith and the ability of those who hear the call to have it.

    (Now I know what you're going to argue. You're going to say, "No, it specifically says, those he called, he will justify." Right? So are you dening that Faith must be a part of this justification process? I know you would say, "No, but faith is absolute because those he calls will most assuredly be Justified." Right? Wrong. There are many, many passages where the call of the Spirit or the call the gospel, or even the call of God are rejected by those who hear it. All of the sudden we are going to assume that there is a new type of calling more effectual than the first that can't be refused? Where is this calling supported in scripture? And look at what the teachings of this "new" calling do to the other "ineffective" ways God has chosen to call in the past.

    It makes the general call of the gospel seem trivial which is why so many people wonder why Calvinists bother to evangelize. And it makes the general call of the Spirit absolutely useless.

    It could'nt be that Paul was just assuming faith in the process of salvation?

    Look at this passage: "How can they believe in whom they have not heard?"

    Does this passage assume that everyone who hears the message will believe? It doesn't mention God's calling anywhere in this sequense so do we assume that he doesn't play a role?

    Or what about when the apostles say, "Repent and believe so that you will be saved."

    Does this passage assume that God doesn't play any role in that salvation process? No, of course not, so to assume that Romans 8 exclusively negates man's faith is absurb in light of the whole counsel of God.
     
  6. Jimmy J.

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    Well stated Ray! [​IMG]
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    Apparently you think so since you think he calls everyone without exception and a great number of them do not respond making his call unproductive.

    You are the only one that has implied that the Spirit is ineffectual. I have affirmed the opposite, namely that whomever the Holy Spirit intended to save, he certainly accomplished. He is not ineffectual by being rejected.

    You have not described my position; you have described your own.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    Yes, if you are talking about whether the general call is attached to the Holy Spirit.

    No and Yes.

    It can be, but should it be? Look at the context as you say. The context is those who "cannot come unless the Father gives them" but we are told that "all that the Father gives will come." The seeing and believing is a result of the Father's giving, in the context of the teaching of Jesus.

    "see and believe" are references to understanding and responding, not physical sight.

    I agree.

    This is not what it says. It says "those whom he foreknew" not "what he foreknew." Those who say that he "foreknew faith" cannot rightly explain the personal pronoun "who." God's foreknowledge in salvation is never attached to "what" but ot "whom." Furthermore, foreknowledge resulst in justification and glorification. If foreknowledge is simply knowing ahead of time, then he also foreknew who wouldn't believe but they do not end up justified and glorified.

    But notice how you quit here. The context is that those whom he called, he justified, and those whom he justified he glorified. The fact of this passage is that the ones who are called are the ones who are justified. Your position is inadequate because it has a number of people called who are not justified. That is to make the text a lie.

    I interpret it as the effectula call because he uses the word "called" and mentions that it is a call that certainly results in justification and glorification. You are required to add something in that Paul did not write.

    I agree. That is where passages like 2 Thess 2:13 come in where both are mentioned. We are chosen for salvation through the setting apart (effectual call) of the Spirit and belief in the truth. So the belief is after the effectual call.

    But again, notice how you say something the text does not say. I am not denying that faith is a part of it. What I am denying is that he called those who had faith. That is no where seen in the passage and it takes a man size crowbar to get it in there.

    You are so determined to support your view that you are ignoring what the text actually says: It says the one who are called are justified. Period. No conditions. No nothing. It leaves no room for an exit. Your position makes this false. It has some called who are not justified. That is why I cannot buy your position.

    No it doesn't. The general call is the means through which the effectual call works. "How shall they believe when they have not heard?" The general call serves a damning function as well for those who reject. The word of the Lord will not return empty without accomplishing that which it was sent out to do." You apparently think it is sent out to save all people but will fail in that since some will reject. That is why I reject your position.

    No. :(

    It is not as absurd as thinking that anyone here has argued that. You have made up a straw man. And even then you failed to refute it. We are not denying the absence of faith or the uselessness of faith.

    Let me sum it up again: Rom 8 says that the ones who are called are justified. There is no way, in this verse, to get called but not get justified. Anyway you look at it, this call results in justification. That is why it is called the effectual call -- because it is effectual to accomplish its purpose of bringing people to justification.
     
  9. William C

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    Jimmy, I know what you were trying to say, but let me take a stab it simplifing it for the pastor.


    Larry,
    The bible also has a passage that says that everyone who has faith and repents will be saved. Do you agree? Of course you do.

    Does that mean God doesn't call them to repentance and faith? No. But this passage doesn't say that specifically, does it? We have to go to another passage to see God's part.

    That is all Jimmy is saying here. Romans 8 tells us God's part, we have to go to other passages to see man's responsibility.

    Look for example at these passages (Matt. 6:14; 18:35; Mark 11:25-26; Lk 6:37) They all teach that God's forgiveness is actually said to be conditional upon our forgiving others. I bet you like to look at other passages to help you explain those verses, don't you? So, don't pretend that Romans 8 is a "say all and do all" for proving effectual calling when man's response is not even addressed.
     
  10. Ray Berrian

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    I want to 'pear down' a summary of my 3/6/ 10:05 a.m. post.

    The Holy Spirit and the Gospel are on the same mission; the mission is to save souls. The Gospel would not be preached to everyone [Mark 16:16] and then the Holy Spirit only be ministering to the few who will be saved. [Matthew 7:14d] John 16:8 and Revelation 22:17 strongly suggests, if not says, the call is a general all inclusive one, not for an alleged, Effectual Call to the relative few in all of human history.
     
  11. Jimmy J.

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    First, let me say thank you Bill for your clarity and Ray for you very pointed argument. Ray, I understand your point. Calvinists make the general call of the Holy Spirit useless (if indeed they believe it exists, no one is clear on that point...revealing).

    Larry, is saying that we make the Spirit's call ineffective because it doesn't save everyone that it intends to save. But that is not true. It saves every single person it intends to save. IT SAVES WHOSOEVER BELIEVES!

    But, because he doesn't see it that way he redefines the calling of God as only having the intent to save the elect, eventhough we know from 2 Peter 3:9 and 1 Tim 2:4 that God desires all men to be saved. And we can see throughout scripture that God calls all men to himself, thus allowing any and all who believe to be saved. Yet, Calvinism says mankind is unable to do that despite the calling of the gospel and the HS.

    Larry, let me ask one other question:

    Why is the gospel and the general calling of the Holy Spirit not sufficient to enable mankind to respond to God?
     
  12. TheTravelingMinstrel

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    The question is, who will beleive?


    "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day"

    That is why the general call does not enable all to believe.

    "No man can come" all men are inable to come
    "except the Father which hath sent me draws him"
    man will only come if the Father draws him
    "And I will raise him up on the last day"
    these ppl who are drawn, *will* be raised up on the last day.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    I understood what he is trying to say. But it still doesn't do justice to the passage. Allow me once again to state it.

    Yes

    Again, no argument from any of us.

    Again, no argument. But still not the point. God's part in Romans 8 is that everyone he calls, he also justifies. There are no exceptions for any reason. "Those whom he called, he also justified." There is no room for a person to be called with this call but not be justified. That is the point I am making.

    This passage neither affirms nor denies the work of faith. As you have rightly said, this is about the work of God.

    But again, you miss your own point. This is not about man's response. I am not arguing that man has no response. I have long affirmed the necessity of faith and repentance. But as you say, this passage does not addresss that. This passage addresses what God will do. Notice what this passage says God will do: It says that those whom he calls, he also justifies.

    So on what basis do you suggest that there are some who receive this call who are not justified? Let's deal just with that question for the time.
     
  14. Pastor Larry

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    According to who??

    [
    But again, you have missed the point. We are not arguing against a general call. We believe in one. So put that thought in your folder labeled "items we agree on." We fully affirm John 16:8 and Rev 22:17. But Rom 8 clearly states that there is a call from God that surely results in justification for those who receive it. This call cannot apply to those who are not justified. If it did, the passage would not be true.

    Rom 8 teaches that "those whom he called, he also justified." It makes clear that the call has it intended affect of justification. There can be no one who gets called by this call who does not also get justified.

    Thinking out loud: How can something so simple be missed?
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    If you have read my posts, you know that we have been clear on that point.

    I haven't said that at all. Again, if you have read, you know that. I believe that the Spirit's call saves everyone who believes.

    You do not know what you are talking about here. I have not redefined the calling of God. I have given clear support for my understanding of it, support that you have not even dealt with. Any and all who believe will be saved. We do not argue with that.

    Becuase man is dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1-3). His heart has deceived him (jer 17:9). He has no interest in the things of God (Rom 3:10-12_. He cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor 2:14).

    That is a question that you should know the answer to, at least know what our answer is, whether you agree with it or not.
     
  16. William C

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    The bible also says, "If you forgive men their sins, God will also forgive you."

    Does this mean God will forgive you all your sins if you forgive everybody who has wronged you? That's what it says! So, salvation is given to all who forgive others?

    And, "If you don't forgive men their sins, God will not forgive you."

    Does this mean that if you hold something against someone and happen to die, you will go to hell because you didn't forgive someone? That is what it says!

    Or Romans 5:18
    Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men.

    Does this mean everyone is going to be saved? According to this one verse it does! Larry, we know that Paul means "...leads to acquittal and life for all men [who believe]." Why? Context of the whole word. Faith is assumed in this passage, becasue that is not what he is speaking about!

    Larry, you can take any passage out of the scripture and make it mean whatever you want. Just because Paul doesn't spell out everything that takes place in salvation doesn't necessarily mean that every single person who is called will be justified. Paul is merely assuming the faith is there because he is speaking about the steps God takes in the life of a believer. You assume that the faith is supplied irrestiabily by God, I believe it is man's response but either way it has to be there.

    Your question: "So on what basis do you suggest that there are some who receive this call who are not justified?" You are assuming he has those who don't believe in mind, he is talking about those with faith, he calls them, justifies them, and glorifies them. Like I've said, he is assuming their faith. This passage doesn't address faith, others do. That's were the focus should be.

    Honestly, I'm arguing this as one possiblity as Jimmy introduced it. I have a tendency to think that Paul is starting his discourse of "the elect" in chapter nine here in Romans 8:28 and following. If the chapter division wasn't there it would be clearer I think but I believe he is speaking about showing how God works out all things for those who love Him by giving his readers an example of what God has done for the remnant of Israel, of which he belongs. This idea flows right into chapter 9 has he expresses remorse for those of Israel who have been "cut off." I personally don't think Paul even had the Gentiles in mind when he was saying these things (that doesn't mean some of it wouldn't apply to us, but just that Paul had another referent in mind when he was writing these words.) I hesitate to even introduce this view becasue I don't want it to distract from Jimmy's arguments, which are very good. So, please address his arguments first, if you have time we can hash out my views later.
     
  17. Jimmy J.

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    First, way to go Bill. It's like Larry wants to base his entire theology of God's call on one passage that can obviously be taken more than one way.

    Hey, Bill the Bible also has a verse that says, "Those who sin will die." That must mean no one can have eternal life because that's what that verse says. How can something so simple be missed? :D

    Eph 2:1-3 -- nope, nothing about the general call of the HS and the gospel not being sufficient.
    Jer. 17:9 -- nope, nothing about the general call of the HS and the gospel not being sufficient.
    Romans 3:10-12 -- nope, nothing about the general call of the HS and the gospel not being sufficient.
    I Cor. 2:14 -- nope, nothing about the general call of the HS and the gospel not being sufficient.

    Keep looking, nothing in any of these passages that speak about the power of the gospel and the call of the HS not being sufficient to overcome man's sinfulness and enable him to respond to God's geniune call to faith and repentance. :confused:
     
  18. William C

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    Good post Jimmy. (The bible also says that one of Jesus' disciples went out and hung himself, that must mean that is what every follower of Christ is supposed to do. :D )

    Pastor lets look at a verse you mentioned earlier:

    2 Thess 2:13
    But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

    2:14
    To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    What are the means that one is saved listed in this passage (notice I recognize that we are only looking at one passage and it may not be all inclusive):
    1. through sanctification by the Spirit
    2. belief in truth
    3. He CALLED you through our gospel

    Now, Larry, it appears to me that Paul is listing these in the order of the most recent happenings, not in the order that they happened but the most recent first, like you would your Jobs on a resume. Even Calvinists believe that one must hear the gospel before he can believe, so why would we assume that he would be sanctificed by the Spirit until after he believed. It's obviously in reverse order.

    1. God called through the gospel,
    2. belief in truth
    3. and then sancification by the HS.

    Gal. 3:14 confirms this teaching that the Spirit comes to us through faith. Not that faith comes through the Spirit as you seem to assert.
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    It would be nice to see you guys interact with actual issues instead of continuing on the same old things that have already been answered. Neither of you is interacting with the text.

    No. It clearly means that if you do not have an attitude of forgiveness towards others, that you have not been forgiven by God, that you have never understood what forgiveness is and what God did for you.

    Read the passage Bill. This is so frustrating dealing with people who will not let the passage say what it says. I get so tired of it.

    The passage is about how we become righteous. It teaches that we get saved the same way we became sinners --- by imputation. The "all in Adam" are sinners; the "all in Christ" are righteous. Faith is certainly assumed for those who are in Christ, but that has absolutely nothign to do with Paul's argument here.

    This coming from you??? I am desparately trying to get you to read the passage and deal with. So far, you have shown your unwilling for some reason.

    I was tempted to delete this because once again, you make it appear that I disagree when I don't. Let me emphasize it so hopefully you won't miss it this time:

    We agree on the necessity of faith. It is no longer necessary to bring that up. Please do not. let's talk about more profitable issues.

    Notice how you did not deal with the text in the slightest, and in fact ignore the plain meaning of the text. It says, "Those whom he called, he also justified." You deny that. You think there are some called by this call who are not justified. That is the point. Faith does not enter into this conversation. We agree on faith.

    Bill, are you even thinking???? I am the one assuming that he does not have those who don't believe in mind. How else could he say this?? He is obviously not talking about unbelievers because justification comes by faith.

    Where are his good arguments? I have yet to see one good argument for why the text doesn't mean what it says. I keep looking and asking but no one offers.
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    In no way. But you haven't even answered this passage yet. You hvae given not even one good argument for why it doesn't mean what the words say. How can this obviously be taken more than one way?? What are the other options. Those whom he called, he also justified. How does a called person get out of justification here? Why do you insert faith between call and justified? Why not between predestined and called?? Or between justified and glorified?? why here?? Paul didn't put it here.

    Those who sin will die. Nothing tricky there. But it doesn't mean that no one has eternal life. But even those with eternal life die.

    You asked a question about the nature of man. Man is these things. That is why he cannot respond in faith. I believe the call of the Holy Spirit and the message of the gospel does have the power to save because it has the power to overcome man's nature.

    I seriously wish you guys would talk about the passage and quit making stuff up.

    The passage says, "Those whom he called, he also justified." Explain to us how someone is called but not justified. Tell us why what Paul wrote isn't true.
     

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