Introduction to Calvinism

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by IfbReformer, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    Hi all,

    This is the first article I have specifically written about my views of Calvinism.

    I am refuting a series by Tim Warner critizing Calvinism.

    Here is how he summarizes our beliefs:

    His full article can be found at http://www.pfrs.org/calvinism/index.html

    Here is some of my response:

    Let me first say that I believe Tim Warner to be a sincere man of God and seeking God's truth in his Word. He and I actually would agree on many things when it comes to prophecy and I have his site listed as a prophecy resource.

    But on some other issues, especially the issue of how we come to the point of salvation, we disagree.

    As I have explained in other articles, I believe it is possible for us to believe the same as to what happens at the point of salvation, but disagree as to how we came to that point, and what may or may not happen in our lives after that point. Tim Warner and I would both agree based upon the Word of God that we are saved by grace through faith alone in the sinless Son of God. We are saved when we believe Christ died for our sins, and accept his atonement for our sins.

    One other thing I would like to note about Tim Warner's series is that he takes a side in this issue. Too many Pastors today, ride the fence when it comes to the issue of election and predestination, many Pastors try and attack both Calvinism and Arminianism and somehow think there is some position in the middle. The reality is, there is not. Sure you may disagree with a point or two in each system, but ultimately you fall closer to one system than the other....


    I believe Mr. Warner is exactly right about soverign grace adovocates when he says we believe "Everything that occurs does so at His command.". That is exactly right. Does this mean God is the author of evil? Some Calvinist have gone that far. I believe that is wrong, for God cannot cause sin, neither is he tempted by it. But the question is not does God cause sin, but does God allow for sin to happen?

    Take one look at the evening news, and you will find the answer to that question. God allows sin to happen everyday, in every part of the world. So if God allows man to sin and do evil things, can he and does he sometimes restrain man from doing the evil he would otherwise do? I believe Biblical, as well as post Biblical history shows us this is the truth. So in summary,God must allow evil to take place, otherwise it would never happen, but he does not cause it, he only allows it as it will fit into his plan.

    Look at the death of Christ on the cross, that was planned by God from the foundations of world - even most Arminians would acknowledge this. Now God had to allow men to act according to their evil natures for this to happen. But he did not allow them to do this until the third year of Christ's ministry. So in essense, God restrained the evil that men would try to do to Christ for the first 33 years of his life. Then when it fit God's plan, he stopped restraining and allowed many to do the evil that was in his heart to do...

    Mr. Warner says "When this philosophy[Everything that occurs does so at His command] is applied to the question of salvation, it becomes obvious that man's apparent free will is somewhat of an illusion.". So is that the case? Do we as soverign grace advocates believe man's free will as illusion? I do not, for man clearly does have a free will and God judges him for his actions.

    Since the dawning of Christianity, this question has been asked. How can man be completely free yet God is completely soverign?

    The question can be answered this way. We are as free as our natures allow us to be. So our freedom is restricted by our nature, and who gave us our nature? That is a two fold answer. When man was first created by God, he was completely free, he could obey righteousness, or he could obey sin. He choose to obey sin, and God allowed him to do this. After Adam sinned, man no longer could obey righteousness, but only sin. So our nature, while given to us originally by God, is corrupted by the sin of Adam....

    My full article can be found at
    http://www.ifbreformation.org/WebReview_Intro_Calvin.aspx

    I look forward to your input and observations.

    Thanks
    IFBReformer
     
  2. John Gilmore

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    IFBReformer,

    You write,

    So really, as a believer, I have double the freedom an unsaved person has. I can choose to obey sin, like he is required to do, or I can choose to obey righteousness, which he cannot choose to do.

    Do believers have free will to "choose to obey sin"? Is returning to the bondage of sin an act of freedom of the will?
     
  3. Jude

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    I dispute your notion of the effects of the Fall, namely "After Adam sinned, man no longer could obey righteousness, but only sin."

    There were many, even in the OT era, who were called 'righteous' by God. I don't dispute man's fallen condition, but do believe that man is still capable of righteous acts.

    BTW, I abhor Calvinism. It makes evangelism pointless and holiness useless. (RC Sproul said as much in a videotaped lecture to college students. He essentially criticized the efforts of Billy Graham, and others, who try to reach the lost with the Gospel) It makes God out to be a monster. It minimizes the work of the Cross and the 'passion' behind it--God's love for the WHOLE world. It has been used to justify racism and oppression of racial minorities. It is NOT Biblical, and certainly has no-warrant in the writings of the early Church Fathers. Calvinism is HERESY.
     
  4. Doubting Thomas

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    Jude, I agree 100%. I abhor Calvinism as well.
     
  5. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi IfbReformer;
    I read your post and was wondering why if sin only happens when God allows it. Then doesn't God loose his sovereginty allowing man to seek evil rather than Him alone?. You see there are those who come here to this message board who have explained that if man could choose Salvation or had any choice of his own would be degrading God's Sovereginty.
    Just seems to me that if man can sin and it have no effect on God's Sovereginty because he allows it, then why couldn't God have given man a choice in whether or not he wanted to be saved.
    I believe man does have a choice and I don't believe it effects God's sovereginty at all because it was God's plan all along. The reason I believe it was God's plan is because choice is so obvious in His word.
    We are invited to come to Him;
    Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    How can man ever place limits on the atonement of Christ when God is limitless.
    May God bless you;
    Mike
     
  6. IfbReformer

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    Mike,

    I am glad to see the tone of your questions is much better than most who are opposed to soverign grace doctrines.

    There are many times I do not agree with my fellow soverign grace advocates on their logical conclusions or explanations of God's soverignty.

    I will just say from my understanding of the Scriptures, God can allow whatever he wants and that does not impede his soverignty one bit.

    God could have not allowed the corruption of Adam to be passed down to his seed, but he did. God did not cause the corruption, but allowed it to continue.

    But because God allowed that corruption to be passed down, man will not choose him unless he miraclously intervenes by regenerating that person.

    I believe that based upon the N.T. man is spiritually dead and does not seek after the true God.

    And Mike, I agree 100% that man has a choice, accept God or reject God. But he will not choose to accept God unless God intervenes in his corrupt nature. So yes man has a choice, but he will always choose the wrong choice without God's intervening.

    Mike, yes there are many invitations like Mat 11:28 in the N.T. for unbelievers to come to Christ. I have taught them from the pulpit and class countless times.

    Do these confict with election and soverign grace doctrines?

    Not at all, for who will answer the call but the elect? Only those regenerated by God will accept that call.


    IFBReformer
     
  7. Kiffin

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    I am sorry but I do not believe Sproul ever said any such thing. I have heard Sproul compliment Dr. Graham though he may differ with his evangelistic methods. Sproul and the PCA are known to be evangelistic. It was D. James Kennedy (A 5 point Calvinist) who invented EVANGELISM EXPLOSION. Your attack on Calvinism is a slander and not a valid criticism in that Calvinism historically has been Evangelistic from Whitefield, Edwards, Spurgeon etc...

    Ridiculous! :rolleyes: [​IMG] :rolleyes: :eek: :confused: and not even worthy of replying.

    I think you can find Church Fathers who were both Arminian and Calvinistic. I find 1 Clement to have a Calvinistic ring to it and Ambrose and Augustine also. Interesting you call Calvinism HERESY in that early Anglicans such as Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, William Gurnall, Charles Simeon, J.C. Ryle and certaintly Whitefield were either Calvinistic or 5 point Calvinists. Was the early Anglican Church heretical? What does that mean for modern Anglicans if that is so? I do not regard Arminians as heretics and think such terminology should be reserved for those who deny the Trinity, Incarnation, Deity of Christ, Open Theism, or teach blatant Work salvation. To use Heretic is to imply someone is not a Christian and to use it in regard to Calvinists or even Arminians is irresponsible and UnChristian.

    The 39 articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer certaintly are "Calvinistic" and many might argue in perfect agreement with the Canons of Dort which expresses what the 5 points of Calvinism means. I do not think you would regard those documents as HERESY
     
  8. pinoybaptist

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    Jude said:
    My sister once said she hates all Baptists because of the Distinctives, and yet could not give me one explanation of at least one distinctive she says she knows about: Eternal Security. Nope, she could not say why Baptists believe in eternal security, only that she thinks eternal security is an encouragement to sin.

    My Calvinist friends here, I sincerely believe, do not think evangelism is pointless, unless evangelism is for the purpose of saving souls because all the saving that has to be done has been done at the cross.

    Evangelism is the purpose of preaching the gospel to all creatures to proclaim to those who feel a burden for their sins, thanks to the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came for sinners, and already took upon himself the punishment that sinners should have received.

    Evangelism has as its purpose the declaration of the glory of God, the mercy of God, the sovereignty of God, apart and distinct from any created creature, including man.

    Paul did not issue an invitation to come forward and receive Jesus Christ as personal savior after his discourse in Athens, he declared the Unknown God to be the only one true God, the creator of the universe, one to whom man is to stand to give account to. Not all believed, but many did.

    I might add to the list of those men whom Kiffin had pointed out the names of Adoniram Judson and Dr. David Livingstone, true preachers of true evangelism.
     
  9. IfbReformer

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    Certainly there were men that were called righteous in the Old Testament - did'nt we have the Holy Spirit as well in the Old Testament or was in he in hiding?

    Certainly there was not the permanent indwelling of the Spirit as we have in the N.T. era, but the Holy Spirit came upon men and influenced them.

    So even those who God called righteous, were not righteous of their own accord, but because the Holy Spirit empowered them to overcome their corrupted natures.

    IFBReformer
     
  10. IfbReformer

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    Yes believers still have the free will to obey their old nature, for this is the now our state, two natures at war with one another.

    As a believer, I still have the choice and ability to sin in this mortal sin-cursed body. Paul asked who would rescue him from his wretched sin-cursed body and answered his question with Christ.

    But while we may win some battles through the power of Christ in this sin-cursed body, we will not win the war until we take on immortality as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15, he tells us when sins power will be no more in our lives "54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then" on "then" will sin's power in our lives be completely destroyed.

    IFBReformer
     
  11. Michael52

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    IFBReformer
    I was going through your response(s) to ILUVLIGHT (Mike), writing comments/rebuttals to your points. Then, I noticed that I was basically agreeing with everything (almost) you wrote. Its amazing to me how when I start trying to formulate a response it helps me to clarify my muddled thinking. Anyway, it seems your arguments “hinge” on this:
    If I understand correctly, you’re saying that once God “intervenes” then man still has a choice whether to accept or reject. I believe this is true. This seems to me that God’s intervention is resistible (not irresistible). This doesn’t seem to fit with Calvinistic doctrine unless you say that the one who rejects is non-elect.

    Is it only the elect that have this choice? What’s the difference between an elect person who rejects and a non-elect person who is never called?

    Does God intervene with all people at least at some point? Now if one says that God doesn’t even bother to intervene with the non-elect, because He knows they won’t accept, this sounds a lot like Aminianism.

    Arminianism: Many are called, few are chosen.
    Calvinism: Few are called, few are chosen.


    If God is truly in control of everything, then what is the difference?

    Well, as you can see, I have more questions than answers. I’ll stop for now (my brain hurts) and let God sort this out.

    In Christ
    Michael
     
  12. John Gilmore

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    Yes believers still have the free will to obey their old nature, for this is the now our state, two natures at war with one another.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Believers do not have the free will that you ascribe to them. It is true that believers cooperate with the Holy Spirit to do good works but only in great weakness due to the old nature that wars within them. If they have a wicked purpose to remain and persevere in sin, they are no longer free in Christ but have returned to the slavery of sin, have fallen from grace, and have forfeited their faith. Unless the Holy Spirit calls them to repentance and faith, they will be eternally lost.
     
  13. IfbReformer

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    Yes believers still have the free will to obey their old nature, for this is the now our state, two natures at war with one another.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Believers do not have the free will that you ascribe to them. It is true that believers cooperate with the Holy Spirit to do good works but only in great weakness due to the old nature that wars within them. If they have a wicked purpose to remain and persevere in sin, they are no longer free in Christ but have returned to the slavery of sin, have fallen from grace, and have forfeited their faith. Unless the Holy Spirit calls them to repentance and faith, they will be eternally lost.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Matthew 7
    "22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"

    Notice Christ did not say(as I have heard many radio preachers who arminian say) "I don't know you" or "I did know you and you left me", no he said "I NEVER knew you".

    John 6:39
    "And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day."

    So apparently Christ will loose some of those the father has given him?

    Ephesians 1:13-14(NIV)
    "13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory."

    Does God take back his deposit? Can I be unincluded in Christ? I guess God's seal is not a very permanent thing than ah?


    1 Corinthians 1:30(NIV)
    "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption."

    Is it Christ's righteousness and holiness that is required for me to enter heaven, or must I add something to his to enter heaven?

    Just some things to think about.


    IFBReformer

    IFBReformer

    IFBReformer
     
  14. John Gilmore

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    IFBReformer,

    Satan desires to have believers (e.g., Peter) that he may sift them as wheat.Luke 22:31. Believers are instructed to give diligence to make their election and calling sure. II Peter 1:10. If Christ is become of no effect, believers have fallen from grace. Gal. 5:4

    Matthew 7
    "22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"

    Notice Christ did not say(as I have heard many radio preachers who arminian say) "I don't know you" or "I did know you and you left me", no he said "I NEVER knew you".


    Jesus says, "Many" will claim a connection to Him based on their so-called works. What has that to do with believers who fall from grace?

    John 6:39
    "And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day."

    So apparently Christ will loose some of those the father has given him?


    Christ will lose none of the Elect. Only believers will be raised up at the last day. Believers who have fallen from grace are unbelievers and, therefore, not part of the Elect.

    Ephesians 1:13-14(NIV)
    "13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory."

    Does God take back his deposit? Can I be unincluded in Christ? I guess God's seal is not a very permanent thing than ah?


    The KJV has no NIV guarantee of our inheritance,"...in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." In other words, through faith alone, the Holy Spirit comes into the heart of man, becomes a seal of his faith, and gives him the divine certainty of Eternal life. It is not an absolute decree but is founded on the divine promise, " He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."

    1 Corinthians 1:30(NIV)
    "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption."

    Is it Christ's righteousness and holiness that is required for me to enter heaven, or must I add something to his to enter heaven?


    No. You add nothing. All that is needed is the grace of God, the merit of Christ, and faith given by the Holy Spirit. The problem with Calvinism is not too little free will but too much. We are kept in the true faith by the Holy Spirit not by our own free will.
     
  15. IfbReformer

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    Satan always desires what is impossible for him to have. Just like he desired to be just like God - was that possible?

    Luke 22:31-32(NIV)
    "31"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you[1] as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

    Christ knew that Peter would fail, and God does allow his elect to fail, but never to fall completely.

    II Peter 1:2-10(KJV)
    2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
    3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
    4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
    5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
    6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
    7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
    8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
    10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

    Ok so when we add the qualities of kindness, temperance and all these others we get a greater assurance of our calling and election? So whats the point? If we do these things we will never fall. But fall from what? Loose our salvation? He says nothing of the sort.

    We can fall, in sense of falling into sin and out of the will of God, but we cannot totally fall away if we are the elect of God.

    Galatians 5:4(KJV)
    "4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."

    Galatians 5:4(NIV)
    "4You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace."

    Who is in this passage that "has fallen from grace"? It is those who believe they are "justified by the law" rather than being justified by grace.

    So certainly if someone believes they are justified and saved because of the works they do then they do not understand grace.

    But what does this passage have to do with someone loosing their salvation?

    It is utterly amazing to me how John Weslely and so many other Arminians have chosen to use that passage as their foundation verse for saying believers can loose their salvation.

    I am not saying there are not passages which in and of themselves could suggest a believer could loose their salvation, when they are isolated from the whole of the New Testament, but the Galatians 5:4 is certainly not one of them.

    It says nothing about believers loosing their salvation, it is talking to those Jews who are trying to mix works in with grace.


    Someone who ceases to believe never was a part of the elect. Only those who persevere in their belief are part of the elect.

    Romans 14:4(NIV)
    "Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand."

    The Lord makes me to stand, and will continue to hold me up till the end. Praise God!

    Your right that the KJV has no "guarantee of our inheritance" but it does have "earnest of our inheritance", and an "earnest of our inheritance". An "earnest" in old english was a guarentee. It was something you gave someone as downpayment when you were coming back to take something.

    Ephesians 1:13-14(KJV)
    "13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
    14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."

    I am glad that when I believe, God gave me the Holy Spirt as a guarentee or earnest of my future inheritance - aren't you? Or do you not believe in guarentee's or earnests?

    I agree we are kept by the Spirit, I really don't know what point you are trying to make here because I pretty much agree with the statement.

    Maybe you want to elaborate on this statement a bit more.

    How do we have as soverign grace advocates have too much free will? Do we have the ability to sin? Is that too much free will?

    Paul said we did have the freedom to sin, in fact he warned us about not using our freedom to sin in
    Galatians 5:

    Galatians 5:13(NIV)
    "13You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love."

    The funny thing is, he does not say "because if
    you sin God will take away your salvation", he just warns them not to. In other passages we are told of the effects of sin in a believers life and the cost of rewards, but never that it will cost his salvation. It might even cost him his physical life, but never his eternal salvation.

    IFBReformer
     
  16. John Gilmore

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    IFBReformer,

    Christ knew that Peter would fail, and God does allow his elect to fail, but never to fall completely.

    Peter did fail completely. He denied the Lord who bought him after he had said, "Thou art the Christ." But the Holy Spirit restored him through repentance to faith in Christ.

    Galatians 5:4(NIV)
    "4You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace."

    Who is in this passage that "has fallen from grace"? It is those who believe they are "justified by the law" rather than being justified by grace.

    So certainly if someone believes they are justified and saved because of the works they do then they do not understand grace.

    But what does this passage have to do with someone loosing their salvation?...

    It is utterly amazing to me how John Weslely and so many other Arminians have chosen to use that passage as their foundation verse for saying believers can loose their salvation.

    I am not saying there are not passages which in and of themselves could suggest a believer could loose their salvation, when they are isolated from the whole of the New Testament, but the Galatians 5:4 is certainly not one of them.

    It says nothing about believers loosing their salvation, it is talking to those Jews who are trying to mix works in with grace.


    Paul was speaking to believers. Gal. 5:1

    Someone who ceases to believe never was a part of the elect. Only those who persevere in their belief are part of the elect.

    Agreed. Are you sure you are Calvinist?

    I am glad that when I believe, God gave me the Holy Spirt as a guarentee or earnest of my future inheritance - aren't you? Or do you not believe in guarentee's or earnests?

    There is a difference between a guarantee and an earnest.

    How do we have as soverign grace advocates have too much free will? Do we have the ability to sin? Is that too much free will?

    Believers sin, not because they have free will to sin, but because they stubbornly resist the Holy Spirit who calls them through the Gospel, enlightens them with His gifts, santifies them, and keeps them in the true faith.

    The funny thing is, he does not say "because if
    you sin God will take away your salvation", he just warns them not to. In other passages we are told of the effects of sin in a believers life and the cost of rewards, but never that it will cost his salvation. It might even cost him his physical life, but never his eternal salvation.


    Eternal salvation does not depend on refraining from sin. The Lamb of God has redeemed us from all sin with His precious blood. If we refrain from sin for fear of punishment or hope for reward, we are still a slave to the law of sin and death and have not been liberated from the curse of the Law by Christ.

    [ June 19, 2004, 07:09 AM: Message edited by: John Gilmore ]
     
  17. IfbReformer

    IfbReformer
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    John,

    Where does it say the Lord gave him back his salvation? I missed that verse. I agree the Lord restored his confidence, but it never says his salvation was ever in doubt. We don't get resaved my friend. God is the author, and finisher of our faith. God does not start something, and then let it fall away, he always finishes what he starts.


    So "Paul was speaking to believers. Gal. 5:1"? I agree, thats not the question, the question is does "fallen from Grace" me they have lost their salvation? Or does it mean they error on the teaching of grace and have mixed works in with grace as is the context? You have taken one phrase "fallen from Grace" and built a whole theolgical system around through which you interpret all the rest of scripture.


    This is a point where I disgree with both most Calvinists and still Arminians.

    I believe belief, is just that, "belief". It is not a loaded term that actually means "believe and live a righteous, holy life following after God with only moments of failure" as many Calvinists AND Arminians would interpret it.

    I believe when we are regenerated by the Holy Spirt and God gives us the faith and understanding to trust in him, thus believing we are saved, that the belief he gives us is branded on our hearts, and cannot be removed.

    So a true believer, in his heart, will never cease to believe. Oh, he may falter in times of fear, he may even deny Christ verbally, but in his heart he will never loose that belief.

    So in that sense, I stand between a Calvinist and Arminian.

    Please explain to us the difference between a guarantee and an earnest? An earnest is something you give as a promise, or deposit on something you are coming back to get? Does God take back his deposit? I look forward to you distinction here.

    IFBReformer
     
  18. John Gilmore

    John Gilmore
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    Please explain to us the difference between a guarantee and an earnest? An earnest is something you give as a promise, or deposit on something you are coming back to get? Does God take back his deposit? I look forward to you distinction here.

    IFBReformer
    </font>[/QUOTE]Ephesians 1:14 is a verse where using the correct translation does make a difference. The NIV makes the Holy Spirit a guarantor rather than an earnest. In the KJV, we are given "the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession" but, according to the NIV, we are given "a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession."

    Webster's says that "earnest gives assurance, or establishes a strong probability, of something more to come, usually of the same kind; a pledge (the stronger term) affords security, frequently for something which is quite different." This meaning is completely different from the "deposit guaranteeing our inheritance" rendered in the NIV.
     
  19. Stratiotes

    Stratiotes
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    Calvinism makes evangelism pointless???? Quite the contrary. The Calvinist view in fact guarantees success since it is not *my* feeble efforts but God alone that does the work in those who hear. And no-one's salvation depends on me...it has nothing to do with my work and everything to do with His.

    RC Sproul, in fact, says we should need no further reason than the fact that God commands us to evangelise. We do not need any guilt manipulation or any trusting in our own efforts. We evangelise because that's what God told us to do.

    That is the very core of Calvinism - its not my glory or my works that save anybody but God alone.
     
  20. npetreley

    npetreley
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    And a hearty Amen to all of that, Stratiotes.
     

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