I Cor. 1.21 and Calvinists

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Frogman, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. Frogman

    Frogman
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    What is the Calvinistic interpretation of I Cor. 1.21?

    Often we read and hear it said that PBs are not Calvinists. I have given some thought to this statement and have put it in the light of the scripture at 1 Cor. 1.21.

    you will note the passage reads:

    I have recently been studying this passage and have discovered the following:

    'that' is an adjective conjunction and is written in the phrase 'them that believe.'

    It is commonly held that this passage teaches that it is by the preaching of the Gospel that God is pleased to save individuals. I do not believe this is the correct interpretation of this passage.

    It is of course what is said here: "...it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.'

    But, for 'that' to be an adjective conjunction, it is restrictive [essential] to the sentence structure to provide clear understanding.

    I beleive the Spirit would have used the word 'which' in place of 'that', if the passage was to be understood that souls are saved by preaching.

    "which" is also an adjective conjunction, but it is non restrictive. By this I mean the usage of 'that' makes the group or audience particular, to "believers" then they are believers already and are not made so through the preaching of the Gospel by man.

    Were they to be understood to be made believers as such through the preaching of the Gospel, the Spirit could have chosen to rendered the passage non restrictive by the use of 'which' believe.

    Note that the use of 'who' is also a restrictive conjunction that does not describe any "which" fulfill a condition of believing the message preached, but that "who" is similar to "them that" believe. This group being already believers and therefore already in Christ.

    I suppose the PB's who are on this forum will have a better way of explaining why they are not Calvinistic in their theology, but just thought I would share some thoughts I have had on the subject.

    On the basis of what I have shown, I do not believe then that the preached Gospel is the 'means' by which God is pleased to 'save'. This is also a passage of scripture which IMHO will provide support for the doctrine of timely salvation, in as much as I am able to understand it as being taught by PB's.

    I welcome any comments from anyone. I am not without error, but I have arrived at the conclusion of this post through prayer, study and difficulty in laying aside of my missionary teaching that except they be sent (Rom. 10.15).

    I do not deny this as being truth, but confirm it is a truth found in scripture that must not be taken from its context.

    God Bless All
    Bro. Dallas Eaton [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    That is interesting Brother Dallas and I as A PB would like to add something else... If preaching is used to save eternally then ALL those saved MUST hear the written gospel message and believe!... Notice I said ALL!... None are excused!

    Which brings us to this point since none are excused then babies or those that die in the womb or as zygotes having life because life begins at conception... MUST ALSO HEAR!... If not than God has two means of Eternal Salvation... One for infants or the mentally impaired or those unable to act on their salvation and those who have the ability to believe when God gives them the offer of Eternal Salvation... Follow me go to heaven... Don't follow me go to Hell... Which any PB on here will tell you they don't believe... We believe in God's Operation of Grace but no free offers... Eternal Life is a gift for ALL the elect and we believe that ALL babies and those mentally impaired and having not the ability to act on their own salvation... Belong to him!... I have NEVER heard a PB preacher say these individuals are headed anywhere but Heaven!... ALL MUST be saved alike by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as that is the only way any of us are saved... Not by an offer but by the Son Of God's offering to God for us who were sinners and needed Eternal Salavation!

    Any PB is free to correct me if I am wrong but I believe being a PB for 35 years that they would agree with me and tell you and back up what I have said as the PB Truth and our interpretation of that truth according to thus saith the word of God!... To each his own but not us PB's... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  3. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Yes Bro Glen,

    I have made that point strongly in the last week. It is supposed that preaching and teaching from the pulpit is 'over' the head of teens in the church; but the point you have made I brought up that if this is over the heads of any age group, then we can no longer affirm to ourselves that infants or the mental retarded who obviously cannot receive in understanding a gospel offer either requires that some one be capable of bringing that message "down" to their level of understanding that they may then receive the offer, or that it simply means the Holy Spirit performs this work in the elect according to the appointed time of God the He is sent to visit them.

    If not, then imho, the devil has accomplished a means by which he is out stripping the Sovereign authority of God in His decreed redemption in Christ---that means is of course abortion, yet we know satan is not greater than He that is in us--so then it cannot be possible that he [satan] has devised a scheme to divert and destroy life before the appointed means of God can be employed that they 'hear' the preached Gospel.

    And as you say, if God deals with these in this manner but with ourselves in another, would it not be best that none ever obtain the understanding necessary to receive and belive the Gospel?

    I do not mean it is better that we do not preach the Gospel, or that men not hear the Gospel, but I am saying there is one revealed way of salvation in the Bible, and as T.P. Simmons said, I agree, the apostles never gave an invitation, but only preached the Gospel and left it right there in the face of all hearers. Those who are God's are the sheep of the flock of Christ and they will hear his voice and they will go in and come out and find pasture.

    God Bless
    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  4. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    You know Brother Dallas... You better watch it my dear christian brother in the Lord... There is a PB inside you ready to jump out at any time and preach the whole counsel of God... Anytime you want to pack up and move to San Diego you are welcome at Little Bethany/Mt. Calvary at any time... We can always use another preacher and love to hear good sound doctrine!... Is there any other kind?... Unloose those missionary shackles my Brother and slide on over to our side!... You know you want to and you will be much happier [​IMG] We will take you WARTS and all [​IMG] ... Brother Glen :D
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    There is a much easier solution that doesn't involve all those gymastics. "Preaching" is a noun, not a verb. It is the thing preached or the content of the message that is what saves. It is not the act of preaching.

    It is strange to me that you guys who believe in sovereignty have a hard time believing that God can get the gospel preached to all of his elect. When Scripture says that people are saved in response to the word, we ought to leave it there. I think you guys are way too insistent on adding your own brand of logic to it.
     
  6. William C

    William C
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    Speaking of adding to it, I think its Calvinists in general who are adding to
     
  7. tyndale1946

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    Pastor Larry... A little friendly debate here... You know where I stand... Spiritual Regeneration vs Gospel Regeneration... What saves Eternally... The Logos or the written word of God?... God preaching... My word shall not return unto me again void but it shall accomplish ALL that I send it to do!... Or man preaching the word of God?... Feed my sheep and feed my lambs!... Not to save thenm eternally they are already his sheep and lambs but to save them from error as they live in the world on their way to glory... And I know there is a difference!... To us PB's there is definately a difference no matter what any say... One is Sovereign and controlled by God and him alone... The other is according to our walk in this world on the way to glory!... I don't have a hard time believing God can preach to all his elect by the Holy Spirit without a preacher, but to say that it takes a preaching flesh and blood man to make it so... The Bible doesn't teach it eternally speaking!... To each his own!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  8. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Glen,

    You are drawing a dichotomy that I cannot find in Scripture however. To say 'God preaching" vs. "man preaching" is not one that I can sustain. When man preaches the word of God, he is the voice of God to the people. I just can't find a way for salvation to come without faith and for faith to come without hearing (Rom 10:17). But hey ... we have been here before have we not??? :D
     
  9. Sularis

    Sularis
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    This passage is not so much concerning direct preaching - although that is vehicle for the concept introduced - one has to expand to ther verses around it

    There have been mighty orators - whose very words can cause the earth to move, and the skies to weep with their skill. God doesnt want that

    Yes He wants people to go forth and preach - but not using emotional altar calls, hystrionics, smooth funky, popular music. He wants us to use the Word. Both the Gospel and the Spirit forms of the word Word.

    He wants us to go out and talk to people - not fighting to get every punch and kick in - so that people are brought to their knees by our skills, and our smooth logic; (although, God doesnt mind us playing around with it, between ourselves).

    If that means a person is not saved immediately, and may take another 20 years - thats God's plan

    We become too focussed on results - rather then the purpose - The purpose is to let God do His work. God doesnt need us to save a single person - He can do it all on His own but he chooses rather to insist that we as flimsy, biased, people will choose to help Him in His great task of redeeming mankind.

    This ties really neatly into the Ephesians passage: "... not of works, lest any man should boast."

    Im appreciative of the fact that there are Billy Grahams and people out there who go around delivering thundering orations, to music, and media; but thats not what God wants, He wants relationships, not personal power seminars, or great big conferences

    This passage is one of the major arterial passages of the Bible - it links so many together that even trying to deal with it properly can take books and books
     

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