How dead is man that God's word cannot revive him?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Skandelon, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Calvinists spend much time on this board trying to prove that mankind is born dead and thus unable to save themselves. True Arminians do not disagree with this truth of scripture.

    The debate lies with the means God has chosen to give men new life. You have 2 choices:

    1. Has he chosen His word alone, presented to us in the preaching of the gospel? ( 1 call)

    Or

    2. Has he chosen the inward, secret, irresistable call of the Holy Spirit followed by the preaching of the gospel? (2 calls)

    I can find biblical support for #1 but the scripture seems to be silent about the irresistable call in #2.

    Consider these verses:

    Notice the two things Jesus has done. He abolished death and brought life.

    Through what means did he accomplish these two things?

    Is it through the irresistable, inward call of God? Nope, no mention of that calling here.

    Is it through the gospel? Yes.

    Here is another passage to consider:

    Notice once again the means through which mankind is "born again." Is it the irresistable calling of the Holy Spirit? Nope, no mention of it here anyway. Once again it is the "Word of God"...by which the gospel was preached to us.

    The Word gives life. The words of Christ are Spirit and they bring life. (John 6:63)

    The only people who cannot be brought to life by these words are those that God hides these words from. He hid them from the Jews of the 1st century in parables and sent them a "spirit of stupor" so they would not understand and repent. He hardened their hearts (John 12:39-40) Why? To accomplish redemption on the cross and to ingraft the rest of the world into his covenant of grace.

    The 1st century Jews weren't born that way as the doctrine of Total Depravity suggests. They are not the non-elect as the doctrine of Unconditional Election suggests. They have not gone unbought by Christ's blood as the doctrine of Limited Atonement suggests. And they do not need to be effectually called as the doctrine of Irresistable Grace suggests.

    They are people God "held out his hands to" for generations (Romans 10:21) and yet in spite of God's patience they they were unwilling to be gathered under his wings of salvation (Matt. 23:37). Thus, they were sealed in their unbelief and hardened in their rebellion in order for God to accomplish His purposes in and through them.
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    If the word alone brings life, then everyone who hears it should be alive. Yet that is clearly not true. There is clearly something else involved. The Holy Spirit works through the word to bring life. You cannot separate these two. The word brings life because the Spirit brings understanding.

    The effectual call is clearly taught in SCripture, in places like John 6, Rom 8, and 1 Cor 1. In these places, the "call" is what distinguishes between teh believer and the unbeliever. One has it, the other does not. That truth hasn't changed.
     
  3. Skandelon

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    Yes, you are correct, man's response is involved. But you missed the point. There is only one means by which life comes; through the word. There are not two means or three means, only one mentioned in the text. There is only one way for life to come; through the words of life.

    Not one of those passages mention anything about a secret irresistable calling being the means to life. You may infer it through some around about way, but there is nothing clearly laid out for such a hard and fast doctrine. One who has the call could simply be understood as one who responded to the general call of the gospel.

    Many are called to preach but only those who preach are refered to as ones receiving that call. Why? Because the call is not revealed until it is received. These small passages you base your entire doctrine on can be easily explained with that understanding.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    Your statement is based on a false presupposition.

    This would be true if the words of life were effectual to everyone who heard them. It is your assumption that the words of life are effectual to those who have in a since already been made alive by the secret, irresistable calling never mentioned in the text.

    If you believe that men have the ability to respond positively or negatively then it would be clear that your statement is not necessarily true, but because you don't believe that clear reality you assume that your statement is true.

    You assume men can't respond to the gospel because they are dead, yet its the gospel that brings life. That is your contradiction. You can quote scriptures all day about how dead men are, but unless you can show me a scripture that teaches that the gospel alone, God's life giving means, is not able to revive a dead man you have no foudation for your doctrine.
     
  5. John Gilmore

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    Why one is saved and another is not saved is a mystery of God. The Arminians and the Calvinists have devised clever systems to explain what God has not revealed.
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    Heb 4:2 ... the Word did not profit them because it was not mixed with faith.

    Clearly, the "word alone" was not enough, and while I say that very carefully, it is a direct refutation of your point. The word brings life because of the work of the HOly Spirit. The two go hand in hand.

    I don't assume men can't respond because they are dead. That is not an assumption. It is a plain statement of Scripture. The call mentioned in Rom 8 and 1 Cor 1 is clearly the difference betweeen the saved and the unsaved. That is undeniable from an honest reading fo the text.

    But since we have been here before, and since the truth hasn't changed, and since I don't have any new way to say it, I am not going to pursue this. We simply have to get back to the authority of Scripture for our doctrine rather than the systems of man.
     
  7. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Why one is saved and another is not saved is a mystery of God. The Arminians and the Calvinists have devised clever systems to explain what God has not revealed. </font>[/QUOTE]I don't know that it all that much of a mystery. The scripture tells us that those who are not saved are not saved because they were unwilling. (Matt. 23:37)
     
  8. Skandelon

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    Faith is man's response to the word. This verse is simply stating that they didn't choose to believe God's word.

    You are forgetting that the word is the Spirit. The coming of the gospel was and is the work of the Holy Spirit. You are trying to make the work of the Holy Spirit into this unseen, mysterious act that scripture never speaks of. The work of the spirit is done through the means of the word.

    Here we go again :rolleyes:

    Nothing in these verses is about man's response to the gospel message, that has been clearly shown time and time again. I sure wish you could at least find a verse that uses one of these words: Faith, response, or gospel.

    AMEN! Now drop your system and find me a verse that teaches men cannot respond in faith to the life giving force of God's word, the very power of salvation, the gospel message!
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    Exactly ... which refutes your whole point. You said that the word alone brings life. The Bible says that the word must be mixed with faith. Faith is man's response, but where does it come from? The Bible is clear on that too ... It comes from God.

    The word is not the Spirit. The coming of the gospel and the word is the work of the Holy Spirit, but they are distinct. The Spirit is personal; the word is not. The Spirit gives understanding of the Word.

    John 3 said it was pretty mysterious ... like the wind ... you don't know where it comes from or where it goes ...So the Bible refutes you yet again.

    Which is what I have said from teh beginning, all the way back when you first started here.

    Those verses do talk about man's response to God and teh gospel. Read them ... 1 Cor 1 says that the difference between teh believer and unbeliever is that the believer is "called," and therefore they accept Christ as his gospel. THat is the whole point of 1 Cor 1.

    1 Corinthians 1:23-24 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

    Notice that to the JEws and Gentiles, Christ is foolish. To "the called" he is the power of God and the wisdom of God. That is, plainly put, man's response to the person of Christ, which is what salvation is all about. You cannot say that "man's response is not in these verses." It plainly is. When Rom 8 says natural "cannot submit," it is a statement about man's response. Again, you cannot honestly say that man's response is not in those verses.

    I have no system. I have only the SCripture.

    We have been through this many times. You didn't accept it last time. Why would you accept it this time? JOhn 6 teaches that; Rom 8 teaches that; Eph 2 teaches that; 1 Cor 1 teaches that ... and on and on and on ... When will you change your belief to line up with Scripture?

    [ June 07, 2004, 10:31 AM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  10. Skandelon

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    What!?! My point is that there is one means God has chosen to bring life and a response of faith and you think the fact that there must be faith mixed with the Word is proof that the word is not working alone to bring faith. That makes no sense.

    Yes, it does come from God in that when he sends his word man responds to it. You're not suggesting that God enter man and responds for him are you? Man alone is responsible for his response. It would make little sense for God to rebuke and condemn men for His not responding for them.

    I meant to write "the word is spirit." Is that better?

    Do you know where the gospel has gone or is going? The word is spirit and its like a wind that comes and goes through God's people to all places throughout the world. In that way I guess you could call it mysterious, but its not a mystery to us who read the text and know what means God has chosen to make himself known to the world. My point was that its not through some secret hidden means unknown and unaddressed in the text. It is the word.

    Yes, but you deny its power by saying that the word alone is not powerful enough to revive a dead man but that it must be preceded by an inward, secret calling unknown and unrevealed to man. The only thing you have as support is a couple of verses that refer to God's calling which could be applied to his general call if you don't approach the text with presuppositions.

    You know how Calvinist's qualify verses with the word "all of the elect" Or "people from all the world" because they say the author could have been intending that. I agree. The author could be intend that, we have suppose based upon other texts. In the same what when Paul writes, "But to those God has Called" he could be intending, "But those who have accepted God's call." It's like I've stated, we refer to ministers as being the ones God called, but does that mean God has not called anyone else? No. We refer to the ones who have accepted the call as the called ones by the nature of the fact that they have accepted it. Plus, it seems to me that Paul is emphasizing the fact that God calls both Jews and Greeks eventhough both Jews and Greek have their problems, I don't read it saying that he only calls some from each group. WHY? Because all the other scripture refers to the universal calling of scripture to all the world, so why would we just assume there are two calls, one that works and the other that doesn't. You are bringing an awful big assumption to this text.

    How many times do I have to say this??? It is about man's response, but its about mans response to the LAW, not to the gospel of Grace. Proof that man cannot submit to the law is not proof that he can't believe the message of the one who fulfilled the law for us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Honestlly, I don't know why you can't see that, or if you just choose not to see it.

    Then use it and show me where it teaches that God's solution, the word alone, is not sufficient solve man's problem.

    I could ask you the same question brother. We may just need to agree to disagree. God bless.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. John Gilmore

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    I don't know that it all that much of a mystery. The scripture tells us that those who are not saved are not saved because they were unwilling. (Matt. 23:37) </font>[/QUOTE]Through the Word, the Holy Spirit makes willing men out of unwilling men. Yes, men stubbornly resist and are lost of their own fault. Yet, no man is saved because he put up less resistance than another man or else we would be saved by merit not grace. This is illogical to man and remains a mystery.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Of course it doesn't make sense in your paradigm. BUt agian, get back to what Scripture actually says. It says that the word without faith does not save. There must be somethign else. The same word says that man cannot understand the things of God without spiritual illumination. How can he believe what he does not understand? What doesn't make sense is the lengths to which you will go to get aroudn this ...

    No, and yes. Man is responsible for his disobedience and failure to believe.

    Yes I do. Read it. John 3 is talking about being born of the Spirit which is what regeneration is.

    [qutoe]The word is spirit and its like a wind that comes and goes through God's people to all places throughout the world.[/quote]That is not what the text is about. You are misuing John 3. REad the context and use it as Christ said it.

    The calling is not unknown and unrevealed. It is very clear. What we don't know is how exactly the calling works. The word brings faith as the HOly Spirit opens the mind.

    No it can't be applied to the general call. If you think that, you haven't read it closely. 1 Cor 1 is very clear that the difference between the saved and unsaved is "the call." EVeryone who has "the call" accepts Christ as the power of God and the wisdom of God.

    YOu notice that I haven't done that here. While that is a proper thing to do, that is not the topic here.

    If that is what Paul intended, then why isn't that what Paul said? He said nothing of the kind. You have added to Scripture to support your own doctrine.

    Totally unconnected with this discussion. "Call" does not always mean the same thing.

    That is true.

    I didn't read it that way anyway. What he clearly says is that the difference between thsoe who accept and those who don't is the call. You have to add to Scripture to get your position.

    No, all other SCripture does not refer to that. There are many other passages that refer to "the call" with the sense of an effectual call limited to the elect. My presumption is that the text means what it says. I don't have to change to support my doctrine.

    It doesn't matter how many times you say it. Until you get it right, you will be saying it wrong. Romans 8 is about man's response to God. He cannot respond. The gospel of grace is a command to which man cannot respond. Again, you are failing to understand the passage. Put aside your conceptions and see what it says.

     
  13. Skandelon

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    Who says? And don't say Paul and quote Eph 2, because it is clear from Romans 3 and throughout scripture that Paul is fighting against those who believe in salvation by the works of the law when he speaks of boasting. He is not speaking about people who are "boasting" because of their faith, that is ridiculous to assume such things. There is nothing in the text that indicates that is Paul's intent.
     
  14. calvin4me

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    Here is my personal experience:

    Before I was born again, I did not care about the Word, nor was I concerned with religoun; indeed, religoun and politics were of no interest to me. Sure, I could freely choose to believe in the Word, but what good is this free will when you have no interest in excercising it. I was dead in sin and trespasses, care nothing for Christ or any religoun, for that matter. But when the Father drew me to the Son, and I became regenerated, I then was able to 'exercise" my faith. I studied psychology for a decade, and it shows that there are so MANY factors that determine a mans thoughts and choices. Determinism, behaviorism, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. These can all effect how a man responds to God's Word. Harldly seems fair if I'm psychotic or mentally retarded. Faith must come after regeneration. Man can hardly be trusted over such an important matter.
     
  15. calvin4me

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    One last thing.
    Some people believe Christ's Atonement makes men SAVEABLE and others believe it makes them SAVED.
    In other words, "do-able" as opposed to DONE.

    We all talk SO much about man's free will.
    What ever happened to God's free will?
     
  16. calvin4me

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    Before I was saved, I was a drug addict, a raging alcoholic, loved porno, and not only was indifferent to the Bible, but LAUGHED heartily at it. Years in Catholic schools further hardened my "response" to the Word. Indeed, God could have sent ten thousand apostles into the world, not only leaving us with God's communication, but a CONTINUING communication...it would not have mattered to me. Why? Because I was DEAD.
    Suddently, many years later, far removed from any church or any hearing of the Word, I suddently felt drawn to Christ, not even understanding why. Suddently, I was filled from head to toe with a deep, irresitiable belief in the Bible. Yes I said, IRRESITABLE, because I could NOT resist this conviction, and it was not for any lack of trying. Yet The Father drew me to Christ, and THEN I believed. Why me? Why did this hard core drunk who detested ALL religoun, poked fun at the Bible and lacked all reverence for it...why, suddently, am I experiencing the presence of Christ, not resisting Him, believeing even AGAINST my own will...why? Because HE will it.
    This is why I cannot accept the Arminian posisition on Total Depravity. God was not letting down a rope ladder from heaven, pleading for me to climb up, because God would not drop down a ladder to a CORPSE.
     
  17. Skandelon

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  18. Frogman

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    AMEN Brother Calvin.

    For the praise of the Glory of HIS Grace.

    God Bless
    Bro. Dallas
     
  19. Skandelon

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    First, let me say thanks for sharing your experience. Let me warn you not to base you doctrine on experience along but always make scripture the foundation for your beliefs. Experiences change and are different with each person. One could argue that it was the seed of the gospel message planted in your heart that came back to you during a desperate time of your life. The Word is a powerful thing.

    Has it ever occured to you that maybe, just maybe it was God's will for men to choose him by their own will instead of creating them to be manipulated and controlled by effectual calls and unexplainable inward workings of his Spirit? I mean think about it. Why didn't he just skip it and get the rocks to cry out in the first place, there really isn't any difference over all if it all his doing.

    I don't know about you but I love the fact that my wife chose me and wasn't manipulated by drugs or magic of some kind to stay with me (though she may need some of that at times, I admit [​IMG] ) Maybe God desires for people to choose this day who they will serve. Maybe he wants men to consider the cost of being his follower like a man who considers going to war or building a tower. Maybe he wants men to consider his goodness and severity. Maybe God wants us to come reason together with him, not as puppets but as friends who have a will to follow him. Maybe, just maybe that is God's free and sovereign will.

    Oh, wait I didn't need to say "maybe" the scripture tells us all these things for certain:

     
  20. calvin4me

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    Yes, the Seed grew in my heart.
    But why not others? Why do others have a stony heart, others have good soil, others have the seed taken away by the birds of the air, or choked by the weeds?
    Why does God "have mercy upon who He shall have mercy, and harden whom He wills?" (Romans) Why does Psalm 33 say God fashions hearts individually? Is that just another "poetical" statement? In another post, you seem to give John 6 a very forced interpretation, saying, if I am correct, that we are no longer drawn to Christ as those were who lived in His day, yet in the same passage He says He will raise them up on the last day. Who? Only those who were drawn to Him while He was on earth. I don't think so.
    What about God hardening Pharaoh, hating Esau before he has ever lived. Prov.21:1 says very plainly, not peotically, that the king's heart is the hand of the Lord, and like rivers of water, He turns it WHEREVER HE pleases. Free will?

    Please explain:
    ""Therefore He has mercy on whom He has mercy, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me, 'Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?' But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it it, "Why have you made me like this?'" (Romans 9:18-20)

    If God can harden the Jews to save the Gentiles, where is the free will of the Jews? Throughout the entire Bible, God is seen sending confusion, deep sleep, hardening hearts, opening eyes for understanding...I guess I still don't get it. :confused:
     

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