How Do They Know?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by OldRegular, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. OldRegular

    OldRegular
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    The debate continues over the issue of the Sovereign Grace of God in Salvation and Freewillism. Some wish to hang the moniker “Calvinism” on the Doctrine of Sovereign Grace in an attempt to evoke bias. Clearly there are a number of passages of Scripture which to meny of us support the Doctrine of Sovereign Grace, that the Salvation of man is totally a Supernatural work of God. So I ask: Since Salvation is a Supernatural work of God how do those who hold the doctrine of Freewillism know that God has not performed an act of Grace in their life and given them the Faith to receive Jesus Christ? The truth is they don’t; neither can they!

    First it should be noted that Scripture teaches that before the Foundation of the World God chose some to Salvation in Jesus Christ, as follows:

    Ephesians 1:3-6, KJV
    3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
    4. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    5. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.


    Romans 8:29, 30, KJV
    29, For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    30. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.


    John 5:21, NKJV
    21. For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.


    The question now becomes: Since God has chosen or elected some to Salvation in Jesus Christ how does He ensure that His Will is accomplished. In order to clearly understand how God accomplishes His Purpose in the Salvation of His Elect we must understand that Salvation is a Supernatural, not a natural event. iI is an individual transaction between God and man. Scripture does not leave us in doubt as to the truth of this Supernatural event.

    Jesus Christ Himself tells us very clearly for those willing to understand in the following Scripture:

    John 3:3-8, KJV
    3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    4. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
    5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    7. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
    8. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.


    John 5:25, NKJV
    25. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.

    This rebirth or birth from above in which the soul/spirit of man is born anew is the work of God the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul tells us the same truth in the following Scripture:

    Ephesians 2:1-8, NKJV
    1. And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
    2. in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
    3. among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
    4. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
    5. even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
    6. and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
    7. that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
    8. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,


    God the Holy Spirit makes him who was dead in trespass and sin spiritually alive and the grants the gift of faith through which God’s chosen one will believe. Now how is this gift of faith exercised in the life of the one who has been new birthed or regenerated by the Holy Spirit. The following Scripture give explanation..

    John 6:36-39, KJV
    36. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
    37. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
    38. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
    39. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.


    John 10: 14, 26-29, KJV
    14. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
    26. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
    27. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
    28. And I give unto them eternal life;
    and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
    29. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.


    Now it is certain that those who believe in Freewillism will counter with Scripture such as the following:

    John 5:24, KJV
    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

    or John 3:16, KJV
    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    First it should be noted that nothing in the above two passages of Scripture contradict the Scripture showing the Sovereign Grace of God in Salvation.

    Second it should be noted that there is nothing in the above Scripture that establishes that a person comes to Jesus Christ for Salvation. I ask again: Since Salvation is a supernatural work of God how do those who hold the doctrine of Freewillism know that God has not already performed an act of Grace in their life and given them the Faith to believe Gospel? The truth is they don’t; neither can they!
     
  2. David Michael Harris

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    I wonder if any in the crowd when Jesus said negative things against them were in the crowd that were cut to the heart after Peter preached to them on Pentecost and said, "what shall we do to be saved" ?

    Please notice the "we do" !
     
  3. David Michael Harris

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    It is probably no coincidence that Acts is so placed in our Bibles either. It's an amazing book and a joy to read.

    I think of some words by FF Bruce.

     
  4. Skandelon

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    I am not a Calvinists and I believe that we do have "free will." But I aslo believe that God has performed an act of Grace in my life in order that I might believe unto salvation.

    I believe God sending his Son to disciple the apostles and to die on the cross was an act of Grace.

    I believe God sending the Holy Spirit to inspire the scripture and send the powerful truth of the gospel to the whole world was an act of Grace.

    I believe that when my parents, full of the Spirit themselves, witnessed to me and shared this powerful truth with me that was an act of Grace.

    I just don't believe that any of the acts of Grace were "irresistible" and unique only to those "unconditionally elected." Find some passages that support these parts of your dogma and then maybe your point will be valid and worthy of further consideration.
     
  5. David Michael Harris

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    I found God's grace quite irresistible I could not ignore such a Divine person and a beautiful and wonderful offer but I still opened the door to Him and that was after some weeks of conviction. Ultimately I can't quite get my head around it. I tend to look at it as a man drowning who knows he is in big trouble and a hand is offered to him. You would be have to be completely crazy not to reach for that hand. We do resist I think, but as to resisting something as beautiful as God I would say it's just not possible.

     
    #5 David Michael Harris, Dec 26, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2009
  6. Skandelon

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    Oh, unless something has changed since the bible was written, then it's possible: Romans 10:21: But concerning Israel he says, "All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people."

    See? People have been rejecting and resisting the hands of God for a long time. If that doesn't convince you...
    Acts 7:51 NIV

    "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!

    Matthew 23:37 NIV

    "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.

     
  7. David Michael Harris

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    As I said, I can't get my head around it. I guess it's just that the Son of God loved me!

    Maybe one day I might be able to explain it. And that will be by the Grace of God.

    Complete paradox to me and that after 25 years.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    Yeah, I understand. I think when we get to heaven God will get us all in a room and explain everything too us.




    By the way, he has asked me to help in that process, so you can get an early start and just listen to what I'm saying. :laugh:
     
  9. David Michael Harris

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    :) Happy new year matey.
     
  10. OldRegular

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    Would you be kind enough to quote from my OP where I used the word "irresistible"? I would certainly appreciate your kindness.
     
  11. David Michael Harris

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    Another interesting area to study on this would be 'insulting the Spirit of Grace' Which has to happen for it to happen. :) God seems to have limits in some things.
     
  12. OldRegular

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    Harris, Skandelon

    Instead of rubbing each others back why not address the question posed in the OP?

    Since Salvation is a supernatural work of God how do those who hold the doctrine of Freewillism know that God has not already performed an act of Grace in their life and given them the Faith to believe Gospel? The truth is you don’t; neither can you!

    This question has been asked numerous times on this Forum: What was it in your psyche, character, whatever, that made you receive Jesus Christ as Savior while others just as smart as you, just as moral or sinful as you, have rejected the Gospel Call? To date I have not seen a valid answer. A few people have quoted a passage of Scripture typical of John 3:16 or John 5:24 but I have yet to see an answer that deals with you or anyone else as an individual.
     
  13. Skandelon

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    Oh, I am sorry. I assumed that you believed the doctrine sometimes referred to as "irresistible grace" or "effectual calling." If you don't, then I doubt we have a disagreement on the subject.
     
  14. OldRegular

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    Then you have a poor understanding of God. But given your previous banter with Skandelon about a serious question that is perfectly understandable.
     
  15. OldRegular

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    I presented what I believe in the OP. Why not address the question? As a reformed Calvinist it should be a breeze for you!:thumbs:
     
  16. Skandelon

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    I did address your question. I addressed is assuming you believe in "irresistible grace." If you don't, just say so. If you do, then you have your answer...
     
  17. David Michael Harris

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    That's the very thing isn't it.

    For me God pitied me. Others He does not, but in Righteousness.

    David is my name btw. :) Love is never rude.

    Clanging cymbal. :)
     
    #17 David Michael Harris, Dec 26, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2009
  18. OldRegular

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    Then please tell us what act of Grace God performed in your life "in order that I [you] might believe unto salvation?"
     
  19. OldRegular

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    Your response is ambiguous. Why did God pity you and not others? How did that affect your freewill acceptance of the Gospel Call? Surely you can communicate better.

    And certainly the back rubbing by you and Skandelon was rude in light of the seriousness of the question!
     
  20. David Michael Harris

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    Well for me it would be the conviction of sin and the offer of Salvation, which I accepted.
     

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