Is the will free after regeneration?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by John Gilmore, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. John Gilmore

    John Gilmore
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    Four possibilities:

    1. Man is free to do both good and evil.
    2. Man is free to do neither good nor evil.
    3. Man is free to do good but not evil.
    4. Man is free to do evil but not good.
     
  2. BobRyan

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    Without the Gospel - without the "Drawing of ALL MANKIND to God" John 12:32 -- mankind is totally depraved. His nature is enslaved to evil (Eph 2:1-5, Romans 6, Romans 3:7-12)

    But SINCE God sovereignly chooses to convict the WORLD of sin and righteousness and jugment and DRAWS ALL until Himself - that DRAWING ENABLES the choice in man to choose life - that TD disables.

    And "yes" mankind remains enabled to CHOOSE life or death after regeneration. So the saints must "persevere" in choosing Christ, in dying daily and in not falling away from the heavenly gift. Else they will have fallen from Grace (Gal 5:1-4)

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  3. pinoybaptist

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    Here are some thoughts on the matter from Benjamin Cox's "Some Mistaken Scriptures":

    here is the link for those want to read more
     
  4. Ray Berrian

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    The freewill of human beings is active from birth until the second of death.
     
  5. John Gilmore

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    Does Mr. Cox thereby indicate that the effectually called have freedom of will to do both good and evil?
     
  6. pinoybaptist

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    Sorry, John. No disrespect intended, but, I do not wear prescription glasses and so my eyes get tired easy, which is why I posted the link.

    This is the first time I came across Mr. Cox's writings and I can't say I agree with all of what he says, but, I've skimmed the page and he seems to say, yes, the effectually called, the regenerate, has within himself that ability to choose good or evil, obedience or disobedience, since he has been given power thru the Holy Spirit to resist evil.

    However, like I said, it was a skim I did, and so I may be wrong.
     
  7. John Gilmore

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    When is choosing to do evil an exercise in free will? Why would anyone who has been liberated from the law of sin willingly return to the slavery of sin? As Paul says, "the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do."

    Is choosing to do good an exercise in free will? Can we do any good without the help of the Holy Spirit?
     
  8. BobRyan

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    Why would a SINLESS perfect being IN harmony with his creator choose sin? Lucifer, 1/3 of the Angels, Adam, Eve...

    If God's SINLESS, perfect children created from the very start to be IN HARMONY with God AND enjoying the FULL glory and benefit of eternal life "can CHOOSE such a poor choice as rebellion" -- then how about sinFUL children who are in a state of war WITHIN themselves who in fact DO sin even when primarily choosing obedience and fellowship with God?

    It is odd that you would ask the question about how anyone "could make a poor choice".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. Ray Berrian

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    'Jesus call is to all sinners. [Rev. 22:17] He said, 'If I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all men {sinners} unto Me.' You either believe what Christ has said or you dilute it.

    The Effectual Call to only certain sinners is unfounded in Scripture and is a misnomer. That's for sure!'
     
  10. BobRyan

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    But Ray --

    God so loved the WORLD that HE GAVE His son...

    God convicts the WORLD of sin and righteousness and judgement

    God sent His son to be the savior of the WORLD..

    And apparently NOW we find that some Calvinists here have the SAME meaning for WORLD as do Arminians.

    I think Arminians need to re-think our complaints about Calvinists given these recent developments.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. Ian Major

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    Bpb Ryan said
    Without the Gospel - without the "Drawing of ALL MANKIND to God" John 12:32 -- mankind is totally depraved. His nature is enslaved to evil (Eph 2:1-5, Romans 6, Romans 3:7-12)

    So that means all the unevangelised - those 'without the gospel' - are totally depraved, enslaved to evil. I'm not sure how you square these comments with others you posted elsewhere that claimed the heathen were able to, and some did, please God by their works and so were saved. Whatever, HERE you rightly say the heathen are unsaved and unsaveable without the gospel.

    But SINCE God sovereignly chooses to convict the WORLD of sin and righteousness and jugment and DRAWS ALL until Himself - that DRAWING ENABLES the choice in man to choose life - that TD disables.

    You identified the 'drawing' with the gospel. Since all the world, every man without exception as you seem to imply, has not heard the gospel and indeed most have perished without ever hearing it, you must accept that God never enabled them to be saved?

    The only difference between Calvinism and you here is that we hold the drawing is of the elect, and that does remove the TD from them. You say the mere hearing of the gospel enables all who hear it. That is an issue for another time. But I want you to clarify before all here what you actually believe - are men able, without the gospel, to repent ansd believe?

    In Him

    Ian
     
  12. Ian Major

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    Ray Berrian said
    'Jesus call is to all sinners. [Rev. 22:17] He said, 'If I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all men {sinners} unto Me.' You either believe what Christ has said or you dilute it.

    I believe what Christ has said. Do you? I believe Christ will draw all to Himself. Who are the 'all'? The verse does not say. The context helps - the 'all' is often referred to throughout these chapters of John. Look them up. You won't find it mean 'every person without exception'.

    If it did mean that, then when will it happen? It has not happened to date - most of the world has persihed without ever hearing of Him. Do you believe in a second chance after death? Or in Universalism?

    No, I believe Christ spoke of His sovereign call to all His people, every one of His sheep. They all will hear and follow Him. Just as these chapters of John assert.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  13. BobRyan

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    Ian - I did not tie the hands of God in John 16 or John 12:32 so that "HE can NOT draw all mankind UNTIL mankind hears the right level of the right story".

    I never said that "God does NOT convict the World of Sin and Righteousness and Judgment through the Holy Spirit -- rather the Evangelist does that if he has the right level of accuracy in telling the Gospel story".

    Those are not messages I have posted.

    I claim that Romans 2:11-16 shows God fully capable of witnessing to those who HAVE no Bible at all.

    In Romans 10 we find that "Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God" -- but then BOTH Romans 10 and Romans 1 argue that this hearing -- this message takes place via the Ps 19:1-5 message that goes out to all the earth.

    That's God's story - and I'm sticking to it.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. Ian Major

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    Bob Ryan said
    Ian - I did not tie the hands of God in John 16 or John 12:32 so that "HE can NOT draw all mankind UNTIL mankind hears the right level of the right story".

    Let's see what these texts say:

    John 16: 8And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

    Note: This convicting would only come after Pentecost - 'When He has come'. So this was not true from the Fall until Pentecost. The heathen who lived and died in those thousands of years were not objects of this work of the Spirit.

    John 12: 32And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."

    'All' is without the qualifier in the original. The NKJV has 'peoples', others have 'men'. 'All peoples' makes sense in the immediate context, where Greeks have just previously asked to see Jesus, v.20. It also fits the wider context of John's gospel, where Christ speaks of the other sheep who are 'not of this fold' - the Gentiles who would believe.

    What does not fit is 'all men', all mankind without exception. Why? - because it is evident every man is not drawn to Him. Most have not even heard of Him, at least not of the real Jesus.

    This drawing cannot refer to nature's witness (Rom.1), for the drawing is only to happen after His crucifixion., and the Rom. 1 witness has been there from the beginning of the world.

    What then does Jesus mean by this drawing? Exactly what He spoke of in John 6: 44No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. And John 10: 16And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. And John 6: 37All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. The drawing is the irresistible work of the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father to implement Christ's desire for His people.

    In Romans 10 we find that "Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God" -- but then BOTH Romans 10 and Romans 1 argue that this hearing -- this message takes place via the Ps 19:1-5 message that goes out to all the earth.

    Your interpretation of this verse is impossible. If it meant that nature and the gospel both carried the saving message, what need then of the gospel? A moment's reflection will show that Paul is using the OT reference to nature's light to illustrate the same extensive reach of the gospel to Israel. I've checked the great Lutheran scholar Lenski, the Calvinist scholar Hendriksen, and to show the spectrum of opinion that agrees with me on this, here is the noted Arminian scholar Adam Clarke, Verse 18. But I say, have they not heard? But to return to the objection: You say they have not all BELIEVED; I ask: Have they not all HEARD? Have not the means of salvation been placed within the reach of every Jew in Palestine, and within the reach of all those who sojourn in the different Gentile countries where we have preached the Gospel, as well to the Jews as to the Gentiles themselves? Yes: for we may say of the preaching of the Gospel what the psalmist has said 19:4) of the heavenly bodies: Their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. As the celestial luminaries have given testimony of the eternal power and Godhead of the Deity to the habitable world, the Gospel of Christ has borne testimony to his eternal goodness and mercy to all the land of Palestine, and to the whole Roman empire. There is not a part of the promised land in which these glad tidings have not been preached; and there is scarcely a place in the Roman empire in which the doctrine of Christ crucified has not been heard: if, therefore, the Jews have not believed, the fault is entirely their own; as God has amply furnished them with the means of faith and of salvation.

    Nature's light reveals God's 'eternal power and Godhead'. But the gospel reveals His 'eternal goodness and mercy'.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  15. BobRyan

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    Bob Ryan said
    Ian - I did not tie the hands of God in John 16 or John 12:32 so that "HE can NOT draw all mankind UNTIL mankind hears the right level of the right story".


    The problem for Calvinism is that "ALL" is "unqualified" rather than "highly qualified and limited".

    Their problem remains.

    As for God NOT "So loving the World" until Pentecost...

    Or the Holy Spirit "NOT moving on the hearts of all men as the wind moves" John 3 until after the cross...

    OR the Heb 11 list of saints being "the unsaved, unregenerate TD heart of the wicked"...

    All that is seen to be false. The Holy Spirit was and is the ONLY means of new birth in the ONE Gospel (Gal 1:6-11) that has been in effect since Adam.

    As Romans 1 and Romans 10 points out - God has been speaking to ALL mankind "His attributes being CLEARLY SEEN" as Paul states "BY that which He has MADE". In Romans 10 the case is made even stronger.



    Christ is simply predicting the addition of the historic events of the Cross and the defeat of Satan at the cross - to the witnessing "message" of the Holy Spirit.


    John 12: 32And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."


    And hence the problem for Calvinism. Calvinism needs qualifiers inserted so that instead of convicting all humans - the H.S ONLY convicts SOME from among mankind.

    The fact that you would highlight this flaw in Calvinism surprises me.

    "men" as in mankind. "People" as in humans. No doubt.

    But you need it to be "SOME of mankind" and "SOME humans" rather than "ALL". In fact you need it be the "FEW" of Matt 7 among mankind.

    Others have tried to qualify this as "ALL TYPES of cultures" -- but no such bending of the text is possible given the context of John 1 to John 12.

    NOR is Christ saying "ALL GREEKS" nor is he saying (as Calvinism needs) (ALL of SOME Greeks and ALL of SOME Jews" etc.

    Certainly that IS the most common translation and certainly that does NOT fit Calvinism.

    But it does fit the text - as the unlimited and unqualified form IS the text - rather than the highly limited and highly qualified "ALL of SOME of mankind" and "ALL of the types but not ALL IN the types of cultures among mankind" that Calvinism needs to "insert".


    Again - this is where you "insert" your own Calvinist ideas INTO the text rather than letting the text speak in its UNqualified UNlimited terms.

    All mankind IS DRAWN to God - but "drawing does not force". In Calvinism mankind can only respond to force "Someone MADE me do it!" is the mantra of Calvinism. It then concludes that if ALL do not become Christians than someone failed to "MAKE THEM do it".

    Such circular forms of logic are not found in Arminianism. It is pure Calvinism.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  16. BobRyan

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    Bob said
    In Romans 10 we find that "Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God" -- but then BOTH Romans 10 and Romans 1 argue that this hearing -- this message takes place via the Ps 19:1-5 message that goes out to all the earth.


    I did not write Romans 10. The TEXT is opposed to your views as we see clearly. Paul is the one making the case that Ps 19:1-5 IS the very message of faith and in fact is the very message of the Gospel.

    PAUL is the one in Romans 10 that gives the quote from the Gospel prophet ISAIAH as PROOF that the message was given but people are refusing it.

    PAUL is the one in HEB 4:1-2 saying "The Gospel was preached to US just as it was TO THEM ALSO".

    PAUL is the one that says of Abraham "FOR This reason the Gospel was PREACHED BEFOREHAND to Abraham".

    Your "no-gospel" view of the OT and in fact of Ps 19 makes Romans 10 impossible.

    Lets check the great author - Paul and SEE what the text says.

    saved - salvation to those who believe. The fact that one who believes and is saved will continue to read and study and obey - does not abolish the fact of salvation
    just as stated above - at the time we believe.
    (Ps 19 is quoted here)

    “their voice has gone out into all the earth,
    and their words to the ends of the world.”


    The full text is as follows
    Clearly Paul is appealing (again) to nature's voice in declaring the
    truth of God - so that "they (the people - Jew and gentile) did hear" - fulfilling the
    condition –

    And using that Ps 19 context – Paul then continues…

    and this - is in perfect agreement with the opening context of the book of Romans - chapter 1.
    Clearly - they are without excuse because God did manifest himself as described in the text and still they refused the God that "draws all men unto him".
    So although Paul points to the witness of God's creation in Ps 19 as proving that
    Israel is "without excuse" and did have the opportunity to "believe" - he also points to the motive of jealousy as God's witness to non-Hebrew people results in salvation.


    Again – Paul emphasis the Gospel message of Isaiah (the Gospel prophet) confirming Paul’s statement that the Gospel message was given and that men rejected it then as they do today.

    Indeed - God's chosen race, royal priesthood, holy nation - seemed to be rebelling against the God that called them, that chose them - in spite of the witness we see proclaimed in the OT and in Psalms 19 regarding creation itself.

    </font>[/QUOTE]
    Indeed as ISaiah said "WHO has believed our MESSAGE".

    As Paul said "The GOSPEL was preached to us JUST AS IT WAS TO THEM also".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  17. Ian Major

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    Bob Ryan said
    The problem for Calvinism is that "ALL" is "unqualified" rather than "highly qualified and limited".

    No, your problem is that an unqualified word is qualified by its context. You want it to mean 'every person'. But if you insist 'all' must mean all without exception, then why stop at humans? All creation, all monkeys, mountains, moles, etc. The context qualifies the word - so look there, Bob.

    Now to the problem your 'all' generates:
    All mankind IS DRAWN to God - but "drawing does not force". In Calvinism mankind can only respond to force "Someone MADE me do it!" is the mantra of Calvinism. It then concludes that if ALL do not become Christians than someone failed to "MAKE THEM do it".

    Where is the evidence of this drawing of every person? The heathen who live and die without ever hearing of Christ, how are they drawn?

    You seem to be saying that this drawing has been from the Fall:
    Christ is simply predicting the addition of the historic events of the Cross and the defeat of Satan at the cross - to the witnessing "message" of the Holy Spirit.

    But Christ made it plain that the drawing He spoke of would only happen AFTER He was crucified. What was the difference between the drawing of the Spirit before the cross and the drawing after? Answer: after the cross ALL NATIONS would experience this, not just Israel. The 'all' refers to all peoples, not all people.

    As for God NOT "So loving the World" until Pentecost...

    I never said such a thing. God has always loved man in general; He has always loved His elect in particular.

    Or the Holy Spirit "NOT moving on the hearts of all men as the wind moves" John 3 until after the cross...

    Again, you must be misunderstanding me. The Holy Spirit moved on man in the OT times, striving with those who heard the Word, and saving those whom the Father had given to Christ. It is the extension of that to all nations rather than just Israel that is the point of Christ's comment.


    OR the Heb 11 list of saints being "the unsaved, unregenerate TD heart of the wicked"...

    Again, I never said such a thing. I don't know where you are getting your quotes from, but it is not me. The Heb.11 saints are exactly that, saints. Not unsaved, etc.

    The Holy Spirit was and is the ONLY means of new birth in the ONE Gospel (Gal 1:6-11) that has been in effect since Adam.

    I totally agree.

    As Romans 1 and Romans 10 points out - God has been speaking to ALL mankind "His attributes being CLEARLY SEEN" as Paul states "BY that which He has MADE". In Romans 10 the case is made even stronger.

    I agree God was/is speaking to men via creation. The issue is, is that a saving message, like the gospel? Or is it a condemning message, like the Law? The latter, for by this knowledge men are made personally guilty. THIS is the reason why the gospel must be preached if anyone is to be saved. Jew and Gentile, by the Law and light of creation , are all condemned. No salvation is possible by those means, the GOSPEL is the ONLY means God has ordained to save men.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  18. Eric B

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    Well, actually, since you once claimed that all saved under the Law "kept the New Covenent" (i.e. by faith), then that could extend to all those under "the witness of Creation" as well. In fact, it could be so, even under a premise of unconditional election (as the Primitives will all attest)! So the fate of all those before Christ still is no proof of Calvinistic preterition.
     
  19. Ian Major

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    Bob Ryan said
    I did not write Romans 10. The TEXT is opposed to your views as we see clearly. Paul is the one making the case that Ps 19:1-5 IS the very message of faith and in fact is the very message of the Gospel.

    Really? The sun, moon and stars reveal to us the message of our sin and of a God who will forgive sinners who repent and trust in Him? I never heard them speak that to me in my unsaved days. I did hear them speak of the One who created them, and hence me, the One to whom I must give account. That prepared me to hear the gospel from the mouth of a school teacher friend.

    PAUL is the one in HEB 4:1-2 saying "The Gospel was preached to US just as it was TO THEM ALSO".

    Exactly. What was the message they heard? Creation? NO, the revelation God gave them through Moses, e.g. Deut.30: 11 "For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. 12It is not in heaven, that you should say, "Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' 13Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' 14But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.

    PAUL is the one that says of Abraham "FOR This reason the Gospel was PREACHED BEFOREHAND to Abraham".

    Exactly so, again. What witness had Abraham heard? Creation? NO, God spoke to him personally.

    Your "no-gospel" view of the OT and in fact of Ps 19 makes Romans 10 impossible.

    That is NOT my view. The gospel is God's revelation of His saving purpose (hence 'good news') to man. It is NOT nature's witness to God's majesty, nor is it the 'Do this and live' of the Law.

    Whosoever Believes – is saved.

    All your quotes on Rom.10 can be summed up in this. It is your failure to distinguish between saving belief and a general belief in God that has produced your error.

    You are claiming that anyone who believes that God exists and should be worshipped, is saved. I say that such a one is opened to hear the gospel, but is not saved until they both hear it and believe. THAT is why the gospel must be sent to them.

    You are allowing for men to be saved without ever hearing of God's salvation in Christ. ALL the OT saints waited expectantly for that event, knowing that God had promised a Saviour. They did not hear that from Creation's witness, but from the preachers of righteousness such as Noah, or from God directly.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  20. npetreley

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    I agree. What Paul is saying here is that what is clearly seen shows the total depravity of man. Notice these parts that passage (emphasis mine):

    20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

    First, what are God's invisible attributes which can be seen and understood by the things that are made? IMO, Paul is not talking about how you can know God is love because He makes beautiful trees.

    I think it's more along the lines of what C.S. Lewis said in Mere Christianity. He pointed out that if you listen to people argue, you can tell that they both are aware of certain truths of righteousness, even if they deny such things when you ask them outright. "That's not fair! I gave you a bit of my orange yesterday, you should give me some of yours today." Even atheists unknowingly measure things like "fairness" by a yardstick that exists outside themselves -- that is, God's righteousness. If righteousness did not exist outside their own personal views of righteousness, then arguments like these wouldn't even make sense.

    What you can also tell from conversations like these is that it's mans nature to violate these truths of righteousness. They can obviously "see" what's right, otherwise they'd have no basis for arguing about who did right and who did wrong. But they regularly violate these rules out of selfishness, etc.

    Again, the way C.S. Lewis put it, if a Martian came down to earth and tried to learn what we "know" about righteousness only by observing what we actually do, the Martian would get it all wrong, because our behavior constantly contradicts what we know to be right.

    That is one sense in which ... because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened
     

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