If the Holy Spirit can be resisted, how can he be effectual?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Jimmy J., Mar 10, 2003.

  1. Jimmy J.

    Jimmy J.
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    Acts 7:51
    "You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.

    Calvinists always seem to be arguing that the HS will always accomplish His purpose in someone's life, yet we see passages, like this one, that the Holy Spirit can be resisted.

    If the gospel can be resisted and the call of the Holy Spirit can be resisted why do Calvinists insist that God's purposes in salvation can't be twarted by man's will?

    We know for certain that God calls all men through the general call of the gospel and the call of the HS, if that is not God's purpose to bring those who hear it to faith and salvation, what is it?
     
  2. William C

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    Jimmy,

    I won't try to answer for all the Calvinists on this board but when I was a Calvinists I would have explained passages like these as being the "general" calling or the "general" working of the Holy Spirit.

    As a Calvinists I would have said, "God calls everyone in general with the gospel and the Holy Spirit, but this "general calling" is not sufficient to actually have any effect on the depraved hearts of fallen man, so there must be another more powerful calling. An "effectual call" which is irresistable and is only applied to the elect, no one else."

    Calvinists please correct me if I've misstated your position.

    The reason I don't hold to that view anymore is because I don't believe the scripture ever clearly teaches that there are two different callings from God, one effectual and the other not.

    The scripture says that God's word will not return void and that it is sharper than any two edged sword. I believe the gospel, presented with the power of the HS, has everything needed to enable fallen humanity to respond in faith. I reject the doctrine that inserts an additional (secretive or hidden) call that can't be refused.

    IMO, Calvinist take a couple of proof texts and tie them together while ignoring the rest of scripture to prop up this unfounded doctrine. The fact is God calls all men and some respond in faith while others don't, trying to determine why some respond in faith and other's don't is pure speculation. Personally, I give all credit to God for those who respond in faith and I place all blame on those who don't, period. To take it further than that is to go beyond the scripture into speculation.

    These are all good questions, I hope this helps.

    Bill
     
  3. KenH

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    The general call of the gospel is simply words spoken by man. The effectual call is empowered by the Holy Spirit to effect regeneration in man's soul so that he then willingly comes to Christ in repentance and faith. Everyone so empowered always comes without fail to Christ. [​IMG]
     
  4. William C

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    1 Peter 1:12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you concerning things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.

    And my speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

    The gospel is not just simple words spoken by man, it is the power of God unto Salvation!

    You don't believe in the general calling of the Holy Spirit as seen in Rev. 22:17? What about the fact that the Holy Spirit is resisted as seen in Acts 7:51? That doesn't sound "effectual" in the way you believe.
     
  5. The Archangel

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    Jimmy, Bill, et al.

    The calling and work of the Holy Spirit is not necessarily the issue.

    I think the Holy Spirit is at work in the lives of people and I think that there is a general gospel call and presentation.

    The issue here is whether a person can respond to the call or not.

    If a trumpet is sounded so that All should be able to hear, and there are deaf people who do not hear, the sound is still going out and the hearing people respond.

    In this example the hearing people respond simply because they can hear. The non-hearing people do not respond because they cannot hear.

    In the case of the Gospel and Salvation, the gospel goes out (as the trumpet sound) and the Holy Spirit regenerates some (gives hearing to some of the deaf) so that they are enabled to respond.

    I hope this helps!

    Archangel
     
  6. William C

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    Archangel,

    Where does the bible speak about man not being able to hear the gospel when it is preached to them?
     
  7. romanbear

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    Jimmy J; [​IMG]
    Freewill being a two way street we can either resist or surrender. We still have freewill. Thank God. He is merciful to all, even Calvinist. Real good Thread Jimmy I really like your proof.
    Romanbear [​IMG]
     
  8. tnelson

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    Acts 7:51-53 The climax of Stephen's sermon indicted the jewish leaders for rejecting God in the same way that their ancestors had rejected Him in the OT.


    Acts 7:51
    "stiff-necked" Obstinate,like their fathers(Ex.32:9;33:5).

    "uncircumcised in heart and ears!" Thus as unclean before God as the uncircumcised Gentiles.

    "resist the Holy Sirit" by rejecting the Spirit's messengers and their message. cf.Matt.23:13-39.


    mike
     
  9. Jimmy J.

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    This is exactly my point Mike. The one who resists the message and the messenger resists the Holy Spirit's call, thus showing that the Spirit's call in not irresistable as Calvinism claims it is. The resisting of the gospel is resisting the Holy Spirit and resisting the Holy Spirit is resisting the gospel, they are one and the same, as you have pointed out!

    Let's look at one of these verses:

    "O Jerusalem! Jerusalem that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, yet you were not willing!

    God wanted them, but they were not willing. Who made the decision here? How could God want to gather them and fail in his intentions (this is what Calvinist's argue isn't it?) What is it that hindered Him from getting what He wanted? THEIR WILL!

    It doesn't make any sense for God to say these words if he knew that they were unable to be willing due to their fallen nature (which was imputed by His design).

    You make it sound as if God is just pretending like He wants to save them when secretly we know he hasn't chosen them to be saved at all, in fact He has designed a plan in which Adam would represent them in the Fall and they would receive the imputed sin nature which He decided would cause them to be totally unwilling to come to Him, yet He would act like He was really upset at them for not being willing though that was actually apart of His divine plan in election, so really He is glorified in their unwillingness, God is just acting like he wanted to save them so that He is not guilty of their blood when it comes time for judgement, so to wash His hand of their blood He acts like He is calling them to repentance as if they could respond, because, Hey, He gave them all an opportunity so they are without excuse, right? GIVE ME A BREAK!

    The more I read scripture and the more I study these doctrines of Calvinism they seem to grow more opposed to each other everyday.
     
  10. Ray Berrian

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    Beyond Acts 7:51 Jesus said in John 5:40 'Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.'
    It is the responsibility of the sinner to bow the knee; God has always been calling men and women through the Gospel by the movement of the Spirit on the life of the unregenerate person. God absolutely does not manipulate the sinner into a kind of 'exported' repentance and faith from the portals of glory. Men and women have minds and consciences by which they can turn to the Lord God after being convicted and convinced by the Spirit. This is true faith and worship before the Triune God.

    In John 5:40 God places the responsibility on human beings to respond to Him during this life time; He does not pick and choose from His resplendent place in Heaven. In other words, He is saying, "Come to Me so you might have life." {eternal life}
     
  11. William C

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    Ray and Jimmy, two great posts! I'm interested to see how some respond to your points. Keep it up! [​IMG]
     
  12. KenH

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    Hey, if you people want to claim you are saved by exercising your "free will", have at it. As for me, I will refuse to claim such. I am saved by the work of Jesus Christ alone and that is all I will claim. [​IMG]
     
  13. William C

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    We claim the same truth brother! Faith is not a work -- (Romans 3:27 and following.)

    Hey but thanks for addressing the arguments. ;)
     
  14. The Archangel

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    Bill,

    This is going to be quick--It is late.

    Look at this part of John's Gospel

    John 8:39-47 (ESV)
    They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing what Abraham did, [40] but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. [41] You are doing what your father did." They said to him, "We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God." [42] Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. [43] Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. [44] You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. [45] But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. [46] Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? [47] Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God."


    Here Jesus is speaking to the scribes and pharisees. The text should be self-explanitory. It is not given to everyone to hear. Why? Some are not of God. Only those of God can hear Him.

    Can a non-saved person hear God? No. Why? Because he is not of God.

    If, however, the spirit regenerates that person, giving him a new heart that can hear God, he or she can respond to the call of Christ and His Gospel.

    Now, I've seen where you argue this is only for Israel. If you take that track, which I believe is not prudent, you will be forced to disqualify Gentile Christians from many things, not to mention that Gentiles are called spiritual children of Abraham. Galatians 3:6-9 (ESV)
    just as Abraham "believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"?
    [7] Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. [8] And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed." [9] So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.



    There is no dichotomy between the Jew and the Gentile. We are all, now, on equal footing after the cross. Some are elect; some are not.

    BY THE WAY, Bill, Where have you been? It's been a while. I'm glad to hear from you--I hope all is well, my friend.

    Blessings,

    Archangel
     
  15. Yelsew

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    This then, disqualifies the "elect" for until the elect are saved (regenerated) they are not of God!
    How shall they be saved, become regenerate, except they hear, and how shall they hear but by the Word of God!

    Interesting dilemma you Calvinists have! You cannot hear unless regenerated, and you cannot be regenerated unless you hear.
     
  16. William C

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    Good point Yelsew. [​IMG]

    Archangel, I've been around, we have just been on two different threads.

    You are trying to dismiss the differences between Israel and the Gentiles by showing that they are both saved through faith and that does not address the issue.

    We agree that they are both saved through faith, as Abraham, the problem is that the Gentiles were being grafted in while the Israelites were being hardened.

    You quote John 8 showing that hardened Israel cannot hear while ignoring Acts 28:28 which in opposition to that says the Gentiles will hear.

    You believe that no one can hear unless they are regenerated. Were the Gentiles regenerated because Paul specifically says "they will hear."

    And as Yelsew clearly pointed out they can't be regenerated until they hear.

    Plus, we know that its the Spirit who regenerates and the Spirit comes to us through faith (Gal. 3:14).

    There are so many scriptural contradictions to you line of reasoning that I don't know where to begin. Start by reading Acts. You have dozens of people who have faith in Christ but don't receive the Spirit until a later time. In John you see people displaying faith in Christ before the Spirit had yet been poured out on those who believe. Faith is a prerequesite to the Spirit.
     
  17. KenH

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    Your point is wrong. You claim that man must do something by his own power to be saved - you do not teach that salvation is 100% the work of God alone. Therefore, you add works to the process regardless of what kind of semantics you wrap your scheme up in.
     
  18. William C

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    Your point is wrong. You claim that man must do something by his own power to be saved - you do not teach that salvation is 100% the work of God alone. Therefore, you add works to the process regardless of what kind of semantics you wrap your scheme up in. </font>[/QUOTE]No, Ken your wrong. Once again you are equating faith with works, Paul doesn't do that in Roman 3 or any where else for that matter. Look at this passage in Romans 9 and 10:

    30 What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness--namely the righteousness that comes from faith. 31 But Israel, pursuing the law for righteousness, has not achieved the law. 32 Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works...1 Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God concerning them is for their salvation! 2 I can testify about them that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 Because they disregarded the righteousness from God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted to God's righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes...This is the message of faith that we proclaim: 9 if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 WITH THE HEART ONE BELIEVES, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 Now the Scripture says, No one who believes on Him will be put to shame, 12 for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 14 But how can they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How welcome are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things! 16 But all did not obey the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message? 17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

    Righteousness is not attained through works but through faith. Faith is required! It is with ones HEART that he believes. It doesn't say its with the New Spirit of Christ that we believe, it says it is with OUR HEART. How? "Faith comes from what is heard!"

    God is 100% responsible for making salvation available for all men and I give him 100% credit even for my faith, but man is 100% responsible for his decision to "submit to God's righteousness" by faith. You may think that is contradictory, but it's no more contradictory than saying God responsible for you coming to Christ because He elected you and gave you the faith to believe while neglecting the others, yet men are still held responsible for not believing. You call that a paradox, well I can call my view a paradox too, but I believe my paradox is more in line with scripture.
     
  19. KenH

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    1) Actually, you are saying doing something is not a work. You claim God is 100% responsible for making salvation available. I believe that God is 100% responsible for actually saving people. You see, Bill, my God actually saves people. Yours does not. Your scheme requires man to finish what Christ started at the cross.

    2) No, I don't think there are any contradictions in the Bible. Maybe you do. No, I don't think there are any paradoxes in salvation. I do believe there is antinomy which has two lines that eventually meet at the throne of Almighty God. God is sovereign and man is responsible, both are true and they do not contradict but are in perfect agreement at the throne of Almighty God.
     
  20. William C

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