John 9: The work of God in salvation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by canadyjd, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    I believe that John 9 gives us a model of how a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ. I'd like to get some feedback from you all.

    Jesus states in v. 3 that the man was born blind so that the "works of God might be displayed in him." Jesus had already defined the "work of God" in John 6:29, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."

    We can see, then, a process of intervention, revelation and response.

    Intervention: Jesus intervenes in the man's life by healing his blindness. The man has no faith at this point, and does not ask for healing. Jesus takes it upon Himself to intervene. The healing is physical, but also symbolic of spiritual blindness as is shown in the narrative with the pharisees.

    Revelation: The man who had been blind goes through a process of revelation concerning who Jesus is when confronted by the spiritual blind pharisees (v.40-41). He first attributes his healing to "the man who is called Jesus" (v.11), and then says of Jesus "He is a prophet", and finally proclaims that Jesus must be from God (v.33). The man will finally recieve the full revelation of who Jesus is when confronted by Jesus, Himself.

    Response: After the encounter with the pharisees, Jesus confronts the man who had been blind and ask him, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" Remember, the work of God has been defined as believing "in Him who He has sent." The man ask who the "Son of Man" is so that he may believe in Him. Jesus reveals Himself to be the "Son of Man"-- No doubt a reference to His diety since the man responds by declaring, "Lord, I believe." and the man "worshipped Him."

    Here, then, is the "work of God", displayed forever in scripture, in bringing someone to salvation. God intervenes in their lives (healing their spiritual blindness without being asked), the person goes through a process of revelation concerning who Jesus is, and the person responds with faith and worship.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  2. freeatlast

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    I would say that your exegete is accurate with one correction. At the end I would say our response is repentance/faith (repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ) which brings worship.
     
  3. kyredneck

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    Excellent. I see it much the same way! (I believe when he recieved his sight would be when he was made spiritually alive)
     
    #3 kyredneck, Jan 18, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2011
  4. Winman

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    No, you cannot have spiritual life until you first believe. This man did not believe when his sight was healed, he believed later.

    John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

    A person who has not believed shall not see life, the wrath of God abides on them. This proves you must believe to have life.

    You will never find scripture that says a person can have life before faith, you can find MANY scriptures that say you must believe to have life, John 3:36 being an example.
     
  5. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow
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    What about the blind man that did ask Jesus for healing?
     
  6. kyredneck

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    He believed when it was Christ's good pleasure to reveal Himself to Him. Period. And you're right, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life". He is already alive when he believes. He believed BECAUSE he was alive. He did not become alive because he believed.
     
  7. kyredneck

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    I don't know. What about him?
     
  8. Robert Snow

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    I guess we are back in kindergarten so I will spell it out for you.

    One point of OP was, "The man has no faith at this point, and does not ask for healing. Jesus takes it upon Himself to intervene."

    If you cal's are saying that this represents the fact that the lost cannot come to God, what about the blind man who did ask for healing. Logically, he would represent that the lost can call out to God.

     
  9. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    I don't disagree that repentance is a part of the process.

    I just didn't see "repentance" in the text of John 9.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  10. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    Thanks. Imho, when he recieved his sight, you have the beginning of a process of regeneration that culminates in faith and worship of Jesus.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  11. canadyjd

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    I don't know of anyone saying the lost can't come to God.

    I do believe the lost cannot come to God unless God first intervenes in their lives.

    I believe John 9 represents that process, and intentionally so.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  12. Winman

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    What??? That is exactly what Calvinism teaches. It teaches you must be made spiritually alive to come to Christ. Can you be spiritually alive and lost?
     
  13. Rippon

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    Canadyjd said that the lost cannot come to God unless God first intervenes in their lives.
     
  14. Winman

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    No, he said he didn't know of anyone who says the lost cannot come to God.

    That is ridiculous, Calvinism teaches that a person MUST be regenerated to come to God.

    Are you saying a regenerated person can be lost? I have never heard such a ridiculous thing.

    Jesus said,

    John 6:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

    You have to come to Jesus to have life. Calvinism teaches the exact opposite of what Jesus said, Calvinism teaches you must have life (regeneration) to come to Jesus.

    If you have life you are not lost.
     
  15. canadyjd

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    Whether Calvinism teaches that, I don't know. That wasn't what I said.

    John 9, imho, represents a healing of spiritual blindness which opens the person's eyes to the truth of who Jesus is. It results in the person coming to faith and worshipping Jesus.
    Salvation, imho, is a process that begins with God intervening in a person's life. Without that intervention, a lost person will not come to Christ.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  16. canadyjd

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    No, I said (if you read the whole post) that the lost cannot come to God unless God first intervenes in their lives.
    Regeneration would be God intervening in someone's life.
    Well, certainly there is a time in the life of every person who is saved when they are lost. They must move, if you will, from a state of being lost to a state of being saved.

    You appear to equate "regeneration" with being "saved". I don't believe they are the same thing.

    "Being saved" is a state of right relationship with God, with the focus on faith in the person of Jesus Christ.

    "Regeneration" is the process by which a person is brought to saving faith in Jesus Christ, and results ultimately in sanctification and finally glorification with Christ in heaven.

    Do you see the difference? One is a state of being, the other is a process.

    If you look at the case of the man born blind of John 9, you can discern the process of coming to faith in Jesus Christ.

    The man's (spiritual) blindness is healed. He goes through of process of recognizing who Jesus is, first calling Him a "man", then a "prophet", then "from God" and finally recognizing Jesus as the "Son of Man", proclaiming his faith and bowing in worship.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  17. Winman

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    What I see is that you are redefining the definition of the word regeneration. It is difficult if not impossible to hold a discussion with folks who redefine words to make their doctrine work.

    Look, you are either dead or alive, there is nothing in-between.

    In John 6:40 Jesus said people would not come to him to have life. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to deduce from this that a person MUST be dead when they come, and only after coming to Jesus receive life.

    But folks would rather abandon their God-given common sense and believe the unscriptural teachings of men.
     
  18. David Lamb

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    The bible informs me that before I became Christian, I was dead in trespasses and sins. I don't need to abandon my "God-given common sense" to believe that someone who is dead cannot have faith. Could Lazarus ("dead for four days - there will be a stench") get up out of his grave and "come forth" in response to Jesus' command, if he were still dead? Could he even believe that Jesus could raise him from the dead? No. Jesus had to give him life first.

    Your point about John 6.40 seems fine, until you look ahead a few verses to John 6.44, where Jesus says:
    "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day."

    One other point: You talk about Calvinists believing "the unscriptural teachings of men." I am just wondering why. (Not the "unscriptural" part - if I thought something was unscriptural, I wouldn't believe it :) ). I mean, why is it wrong to believe something just because there are other men who have taught it? Other men have taught the non-Calvinist position, too. Both "sides" believe that scripture supports their view. I don't believe what I believe because Calvin or C. H. Spurgeon taught it, but because that is what I see the bible as teaching. Now, for all I know, there may be people who actually worship Calvin, and elevate his writings above scripture. I have never come across a person who does that. I can assure you that I don't. I am equally sure that you don't elevate the writings of Arminius (or any other non-Cal author) above scripture.
     
  19. canadyjd

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    I was defining what I believe. If you don't believe regeneration refers to a "process", then simply state what you believe and we'll have a discussion.

    peace to you:praying:
     

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