Intellectual salvation

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Brother Adam, Dec 22, 2001.

  1. Brother Adam

    Brother Adam
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    I'm starting a new thread that is branching off of the sinner's prayer thread.

    It seems that many of you believe that there is some type of intellectualism on our part that is required for salvation. I have to disagree. I believe salvation is 0% us in any way what-so-ever and 100% God.

    Why is it that you believe that someone must understand salvation in order to be saved. Do you see faith as something that we do or a work of God? What about Elizabeth's child?

    John 6:44
    No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    UNP
    Adam
     
  2. preacher

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    Would you agree a person, no matter the age,
    need not understand salvation, but they must
    understand the need for salvation?
     
  3. Helen

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    I understand where youare coming from ,Adam, but there are a few points I would want to bring to your attention first.

    About John, as an unborn child, responding to the presence of the Lord. That is NOT an indication that he was going to be in heaven or was 'saved'. At that point he was not lost! (See Romans 7:7-11). In fact, we read this strange thing from Jesus Himself, later:

    I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
    Matthew 11:11

    "He who is least in the kingdom of heaven in greater than he"! If the least person in the Kingdom is greater than John, then John is not there! At least, that was the judgment at that point in time! How John was later, only God knows. Nevertheless, we have clear indications of John's intinctual (in the womb) and intellectual (at the Baptism) understanding of who Jesus was!

    James says even the demons KNOW (intellectually) about God (James 2:19) -- but that is not going to save them.

    Can any of us understand, really, what salvation is before we are saved? I don't think so. It's like a man living in a cave who says he knows what light is. He doesn't.
    Does this negate the consciousness of the decision to respond to God in shame and repentance? No, it doesn't. Conscious understanding can be separated from intellectual understanding here. In other words, one cannot be saved without one's conscious assent to the event/process, but neither is it required for one to intellectually 'understand' it.

    In the meantime, your remark about faith is something different. Faith is the bridge between belief and action. Faith is why we do the things we do -- it is based on what we believe to be true in life. So everyone has faith -- in something! It is what they have faith in which makes all the difference.

    Another word for faith is sometimes courage -- the courage to act and speak according to the truth you know. "Lord, increase my faith" can just as easily be prayed, "Lord, increase my courage to do what is right in the face of the odds that are appearing before me." Because faith without action is, as James said so bluntly, dead.

    And, lastly, John 6:44 should not be taken out of context, Adam. Without quoting massive Bible verses, which certainly can be done, let it simply be noted that assent to Christ is what is 'done' on the part of the human being, while God does all the rest. But NO ONE will be born again without his or her agreement. The fact that few find the narrow gate is very indicative of that. The response of a person to the truth that they are shown (Romans 1) is also indicative of that. No, a man can't do anything to save himself, BUT, he can TURN, and then be healed. We may be stuck in the quicksand of sin and sinking fast, but we can at least turn our heads toward God. That much we can, and must, do, to be saved. He does all the rest.

    We don't have to understand a thing, but we do have to consciously assent.

    There is a seeking, a knocking, an asking which must be done.
     
  4. Chris Temple

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    Adam:

    I am a staunch 7-point Calvinist and affirm that salvation is all of the Lord. Yet God has ordained the means of salvation as well as the fact, and that means involves hearing the gospel, repenting, and turning to Christ in faith. There must be more than head knowledge, and their must be more than heart knowledge. A person must "shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." Heart soul and mind must be given to God.

    Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
     
  5. Brother Adam

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    Helen, maybe I just don't understand but you seem to be contradicting yourself.

    You make a comment to say that salvation is not intellectual:

    "James says even the demons KNOW (intellectually) about God (James 2:19) -- but that is not going to save them"

    Then you make a comment to say that it is:

    "We don't have to understand a thing, but we do have to consciously assent."

    Isn't consciously assenting a intellectual process?

    Now if we allow the possibility that God saves infants and severally handicapped people, why do we limit God in other fashions- such as saying a person must understand and assent to salvation in order to be saved.

    I see the only unforgivable sin of the Bible rejecting Christ to the end.

    All in all this is what I am trying to get at: I believe we are saved before we accept salvation or say "the sinner's prayer" or whatnot. Salvation is a work entirely of God. A work which we can reject, but not that we can bring about to ourselves through any means of our own- works, want, understanding, or acceptance.

    UNP
    Adam
     
  6. Brother Adam

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  7. Brother Adam

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by preacher:
    Would you agree a person, no matter the age,
    need not understand salvation, but they must
    understand the need for salvation?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't think a person has to understand anything. They may, and in many cases I think they do, but it is God who saves, despite our knowledge or lack there of.

    UNP
    Adam
     
  8. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flyfree432:
    All in all this is what I am trying to get at: I believe we are saved before we accept salvation or say "the sinner's prayer" or whatnot. Salvation is a work entirely of God. A work which we can reject, but not that we can bring about to ourselves through any means of our own- works, want, understanding, or acceptance.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Adam:

    If we are saved before accept salvation, then how can we reject it? This is the error of hyper-Calvinism. While I agree that the elect are in one sense are eternally saved (Eph 1:4-11)there is nevertheless a moment in time when they are regenerated and believe that Christ died for them.
     
  9. Brother Adam

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    "If we are saved before accept salvation, then how can we reject it?"

    Hey- never said I had all the answers ;)

    "nevertheless a moment in time when they are regenerated and believe that Christ died for them."

    So they are regenerated and then believe? Or believe and then are regenerated?

    UNP,
    Adam
     
  10. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flyfree432:

    So they are regenerated and then believe? Or believe and then are regenerated?

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Go to the Calvinism-Arminianism board and find out! :D

    [ December 22, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  11. Harald

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    Hi. There was some person on this thread who affirmed one had to do something in order to be born again. I object to that, but more importantly the word of God objects to that.
    Let's look at John 1:13:
    "Who, not out of bloods, nor on the basis of the thing willed (desire) of [the] flesh (totally depraved humanity), nor on the basis of the thing willed (desire) of a male, but to the contrary of God they were begotten".
    The last word, egennêthêsan, were begotten, is a passive verb. It means the object of the begetting (the elect sinner) is passive and God the Lord is the one who is active in the begetting unto spiritual life. John 3:3 also talks about the new birth from above -"Unless someone (or, one) be begotten from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of God."
    gennêthê anôthen - be begotten from above. Mark well, the verb is again in the passive voice. The sinner is spiritually dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1)and thus passive, and God is the begetter who is actively regenerating according to His sovereign will. Never will you find a passage in God's word where any servant of the Lord exhorts people to do something IN ORDER TO be born anew. It is an arminian heresy, and if it is not in the Bible it is unbiblical and thus heretical (Jes. 8:20, 1Tim. 6:3-5).

    As to the question if salvation has to do with intellectual understanding the Bible says yes. But this understanding is by no means a condition for salvation, but it is God's gift, Eph. 1:19, John 6:29. The Bible calls this gift Faith. But I do not mean God given faith is merely intellectual knowledge. The Bible somewhere calls conversion to come to the full knowledge of the truth. So it involves understanding certain core truths of the Gospel of grace. But bear in mind that the Bible uses the word salvation in different ways. Sometimes salvation refers to God's quickening operation (Tit. 3:5) and sometimes to Gospel conversion in the power of the Spirit (Eph. 2:8). Gospel conversion always involves knowledge and understanding, because the one converted is taught by God (John 6:45). Salvation is all of God and of grace, in and by Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God.

    Harald
     
  12. Don

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    Adam, if I remember correctly, you were a Lutheran at one time. If that is correct, I see exactly where you're coming from (and if not, well, you're sounding like a Lutheran!).

    The Lutherans like to use Jesus calling Lazarus from the tomb as an example of how spiritually dead we are; but there are at least a half dozen examples of people reaching out to Christ, as opposed to the one example of Jesus calling Lazarus from the tomb.

    Intellectual response? More like a realization of the hopelessness of our situation, and the realization that Christ is our salvation, and acceptance of His forgiveness. These aren't intellectualizations in the sense that we consciously take these steps and wham, we're saved; instead, it's more the work of the Holy Spirit convicting us and bringing us to God.

    The path you're going down is one that I'm discussing with a Wisconsin Synod Lutheran right now; she is trying to convince me that what happened is that one day I "woke up" because the Holy Spirit worked on me through the Word and I was saved.

    In that regard, I almost agree; but she's taking it to the extreme that I had no say in the matter--even though she states that I can tell God "no."

    The premise doesn't work. If I have the ability to tell God "no," then how does God save me? Does He sneak up on me when I'm not looking, and indwell me?

    Look at the jailer in Acts 16; when he thought Paul and Barnabas were gone, he was about to fall on his sword. But Paul called out to him, and the jailer responded with: "What must I do to be saved?" He had been so convicted by the Holy Spirit, that he fell to his knees. He knew without a doubt that something had to change.

    Not an "intellectualization" per se, but a realization.

    Consider it like this: The other half of the Lutheran coin is that we are given the ability to say "no"; if we have the presence of mind to say no, then we also have the presence of mind to realize that God is calling us.
     
  13. Gina B

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    GETTIN' ON MY SOAPBOX
    I'm really having to ask if the argument is worth it.
    Are you saved or not? Are you going to go out and witness and tell the story of Jesus or not?
    Does whether or not you're regenerated two seconds before or after you realize you're a sinner and in need of grace really make a difference?
    You realize, you receive grace, sometime in there you're regenerated, then you continue on.
    Does the Bible really say 5 point Calvinism is the only way or you're still lost and going to hell?
    Or that free-will is the only way or you're going to hell?
    Or that if you choose to not take a firm stance in neither and just decide to try to decipher the scriptures you're going to hell?
    ---------------------------------------------
    WHAT HAPPENED TO PREACHING CHRIST CRUCIFIED? It's not enough to save anyone anymore? There's attachments now? I'm gonna ask the same question I asked on another board that didn't go over too well.
    Please tell me how you would answer the question: "What must I do to get saved" if someone asked you?
    da Gina
    (climbin' down)
    :rolleyes:
     
  14. Brian

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    Does anyone think it's possible for God to convict us of a need for salvation but be a 'perfect gentleman' and not force His salvation on us.

    Also didn't Paul cover some of this in Romans? i don't remember the verses right off but seemed that he outlined as a child he was alive because he was too young to be accountable (intellectually understand) then dead under the law and finally alive through Christ.
     
  15. Dr. Bob

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    He does not compel ANY to go against their will; He just makes His own "willing" to go.

    Salvation is 100% of God. He does it. But inherent in regeneration comes belief (faith) and repentance. Both of those aspects require action on man's part.

    So God, who chosen me before the foundation of the world, says on March 17, 1957 - today I am sending my Spirit to regenerate ol' sinful Bob. And part of the that process is giving Bob faith/repentance so Bob can call on the Lord.

    Bob has to have the intellectual capacity to do that. Can't be to a tiny child who does not yet have that capability.

    Kinda sets a minimum requirement for being saved. God does it all (regenerates, gives faith and repentance) and then Man reacts to it.

    No soapbox needed.
     
  16. Michael Wrenn

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    Chris,

    A 7-point Calvinist?! Sheesh!! That's more of a Calvinist than Calvin, isn't it? [​IMG] BTW, what are the other two points?
     
  17. Paul of Eugene

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    God as a gentleman:
    Its a great notion. But I don't think its a very great description of God! Oh He loves us, all right, but His eternal love is sometimes a thing to endure. For example, take Saul on the road to Damascus. He was blinded by the light. Not the most "gentlemanly" way for God to bring a convert to Himself. Or consider Jacob wrestling with the Lord all night long. He left that encounter limping.
    God is willing, if necessary, to blind us or to injure us to bring us to Him. What he is not willing to do is to force himself upon any of us, he does not make our decision for us. Every one of us is enough of "captain of our soul" to tell God no, I won't accept your offer of grace no matter what. Not the wisest choice, but its a choice we have the right to make.
    And another thing. It is not about saying the right words. "Not everyone", said Jesus, "that says to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven." Its about responding not to any words but to the very spirit of Christ as He entreats our spirits, spirit to spirit, heart to heart, as He put it, He stands at the door and knocks.
     
  18. Helen

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flyfree432:
    Helen, maybe I just don't understand but you seem to be contradicting yourself.

    You make a comment to say that salvation is not intellectual:

    "James says even the demons KNOW (intellectually) about God (James 2:19) -- but that is not going to save them"

    Then you make a comment to say that it is:

    "We don't have to understand a thing, but we do have to consciously assent."

    Isn't consciously assenting a intellectual process?

    Now if we allow the possibility that God saves infants and severally handicapped people, why do we limit God in other fashions- such as saying a person must understand and assent to salvation in order to be saved.

    I see the only unforgivable sin of the Bible rejecting Christ to the end.

    All in all this is what I am trying to get at: I believe we are saved before we accept salvation or say "the sinner's prayer" or whatnot. Salvation is a work entirely of God. A work which we can reject, but not that we can bring about to ourselves through any means of our own- works, want, understanding, or acceptance.

    UNP
    Adam
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Adam, I just don't see wanting something as a 'work'. People can want all kinds of things. I see "think peace" on bumper stickers. Now THINKING peace won't do much for the world situation, but wanting it is something everyone does, at least in their own lives. We really do have the freedom to want. Ask any six year old! But wants don't do anything in and of themselves.

    And if someone offers me a new car, I can say yes or no, and that is not a work, either. Someone else built the car. Someone else paid for it. I had nothing to do with it. But I am free to accept or reject it.

    Nor do I have to understand how the car works, where it was made, or anything else about it to say yes or no. And this is what I think of when I think of the difference between acceptance and intellectual understanding.

    In other words, assent and intellect both use the consciousness, and in that way they are connected. But assent does not require the intellect. A child can say yes or no to just about anything and not understand a thing about it. Intellect involves logic and sequential thinking. Do you see how I am using the words?

    For the record, I am neither Calvinist/reformed, nor Arminian. I simply try to be a biblical Christian. I have friends who call me a 'one point Calvinist' because I know salvation cannot be lost. But I also know that although God KNEW who would be saved and who would not, He nevertheless has given us the choice.

    There are several reasons I think this. First of all, the Bible is essentially, in God's relationship to man, a series of 'if...then' propositions. If you choose this, then....., but if you should choose that, then.....

    "Choose this day whom you will serve..."

    "Seek, and you will find...."

    I find it everywhere in the Bible. The way I see it is that there are two primary choices a man (generic) must make in his life.

    1. What do I do with myself?
    At some time in his life -- and most likely a number of times -- a man will be presented by God with a moment of truth about how God sees that man's heart and life. Most men will make excuses (Well, I'm better than...., or I do more good than bad..... or I have had such a hard life that no wonder.....). In other words, most men will turn away from the truth, suppressing it with excuses. They are preferring the lie of "all men are really good at heart" and similar.

    But some people sort of spiritually throw up. They take a good look at what they really are and KNOW they have to change! This is along the lines of John's baptism. This is preparing the way for the Lord. This is the sorrow that can either lead to true repentance or death (2 Corinthians 7:8-10).

    God confronts each man this way because He is not willing that ONE should perish (2 Peter 3:9).

    And each of these people is now in a position to hear God's call to true repentance and true life. Thus, the second decision must be made.

    2. What are you going to do with Jesus?

    "Many are called." All who want to change are summoned by God. His call goes out to all and these people are in a position to hear Him.

    Most of those who do not like what they see in themselves try to change themselves. Education, money, New Year's Resolutions, beauty, politics, inner guides, meditation, you name it. Religion is a biggie here. Get religion and you will be fine. These are drowning people trying to teach themselves to swim. And if they do not respond to the Lord there is no choice but to drown, to die.

    But there are a few who respond. A few for whom the truth is more important than pride, and God more important than self. And so they say yes to God, in humility and hope and also fear.

    "Few are chosen."

    That's them. And He draws them to Christ. From wherever they are, He takes full responsibility (Philippians 1:6) for bringing them home and transforming them, bit by bit, into the image of Jesus Christ Himself (Romans 8:28-30)

    We truly have the choice of saying no to ourselves and yes to Christ. And we are absolutely powerless to do anything beyond that which is of any value. Yes, all salvation is by the grace of God. Yes, all who are called are called by God's grace. Yes, God knew ahead of time EVERYTHING.

    But yes, we are also allowed the choice of accepting or rejecting. That is not a work. That is simply saying yes to God. And, like jumping out of an airplane, once you have truly done it, there is no way back into that plane -- no way to be 'un born again.' Once you jump, you are saved by Christ. That's it. He does the rest, in and through you. But you don't have to jump. You are free to stay in that plane until it crashes, killing all aboard (for it is a hijacked plane, you know!)

    This is the only way I can see that the Bible does not contradict itself. For there are passages that contradict Reformed theology, or have to be bent out of shape. There are definitely passages that have to be twisted clear out of recognition by Arminians. But if one understands that we are given freedom of assent, and that the passages referring to predestination are referring to the predestination of the believer to become conformed to the image of Christ, and not to the predestination of a man to become a believer, then I think we can start seeing a little of the way through this 'holy paradox' of God knowing it all and yet allowing us freedom to choose. He truly is big enough and majestic and omnipotent enough to allow us that. The choices He has allowed us never threaten or impinge upon His sovereignty!

    Lastly, if the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and Christ repeated that several times, then the sin against the Holy Spirit is repeatedly suppressing, or walking away from, the truth that is presented to one. If one rejects the truth, then all that is left is the lie. And if a person prefers deceit, then he cannot possibly repent or be in a position to receive God's forgiveness. Romans 1 does a pretty good job with this!
     
  19. preacher

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    For daGina...Ro 10:13
    For whosoever shall call upon the name of the
    Lord shall be saved.
    Simply put, too simple for most to believe.
     
  20. Brother Adam

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