MacArthur's 2nd distinctive of LS

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by canadyjd, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    Hi all. We are discussing John MacArthur's intro to LS in another thread. I suggested we take each distinctive and evaluate separately as we walk through them. In the other thread, we have discussed MacArthur's foundational principles and disctinctive #1.

    In order to avoid confusion, let's debate distinctive #2 on this thread. You can find the distinctives at:
    http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/2439

    Distinctive #2 says:
    First, MacArthur clearly embraces the doctrine that salvation is by grace and is a work of God. We are saved "utterly apart from any effort of their own". He even sees faith as a gift of God and not a work of man.


    It is clear that MacArthur does not believe or teach a "works -based" salvation that frustrates grace. He embraces the doctrines of Grace.

    A second point is interesting. MacArthur sees faith as a gift from God, He also believes God would not give us the gift of faith that was defective in any way.

    It seems MacArthur is saying that since faith that does not result in Lordship would be defective, God would not give us such a faith as a gift.

    Thoughts anyone?

    peace to you:praying:
     
  2. J.D.

    J.D.
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    MacArthur is dead on on this point. I would counter that easy believism teaches a "faithless" salvation that frustrates God's purpose in regeneration and conversion.
     
  3. canadyjd

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    Amen! Our churches are suffering, I think, the effects of a "faithless" salvation.

    As I often say, we Baptists believe we are saved without doing a single good work, and most of us are trying to prove it.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  4. blackbird

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    Anything short of total surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is rebellion against Jesus Christ

    Thats why Scripture gives us 1John 1:9----disobeying what Scripture says of Lordship is seen as unrighteousness in the eyes of God----confession of that particular sin brings the cleansing that Scripture speaks of
     
  5. reformedbeliever

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    The biggest thing is a matter of semantics. In a way we make Jesus Lord of our lives.... in a responsible way.... through works AFTER faith. But we really can't make Jesus anything. What is involved is total surrender. We have to die to self, and trust our Lord and Savior to do in us what we can not do. This gives all glory to God. We are certainly responsible, but without His direct involvement in our lives through Holy Spirit, and His providence, we would be lost.
     
  6. skypair

    skypair
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    And he calls his opponents "easy believers." That is, he declares belief to be a "work" whereby man attempts to be saved by God in Christ. Let's see what scripture says:

    "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Rom 4:5 Here we see that believing is NOT working AND that belief justifies the ungodly -- ungodly in that they are not already regenerated or "born again" with the Holy Spirit living in them. So apparently God justifies the ungodly upon their right belief.

    Here's what he says is the gospel call to faith. See if you see works or grace. "the gospel call to faith presupposes that sinners must repent of their sin and yield to Christ's authority." Do those sound like grace or works?

    Perhaps we need a better "handle" on what he teaches. "Scripture teaches that the gospel calls sinners to faith joined in oneness with repentance (Acts 2:38; 17:30; 20:21; 2 Pet. 3:9). Repentance is a turning from sin (Acts 3:19; Luke 24:47) that consists not of a human work but of a divinely bestowed grace (Acts 11:18; 2 Tim. 2:25)."

    >>The gospel whereby we are justified with God calls for man to believe, repent of self (death to self), and enter into the kingdom. (Acts 2:38, 3:19, 17:10, 20:21, 2Pet 3:9, Luke 24:47)

    >>Sanctification (continuing, living salvation) which JM derides "easy believism" for not having, calls for repentance from sins continually and IS often ("there is a sin unto death; I don't say you should pray for it") given by God because one is His child (2Tim 2:25).

    This is most certainly true! Belief is evidenced and made substantial (turned into "faith," Heb 11:1) by the gift of the Holy Spirit! And He is not given in a defective way -- it is us to blame for grieving, quenching, and rejecting the Spirit's leadership that causes the appearance of the lack of Lordship.

    However, JM has "misdiagnosed" the problem with those who seem to fall away. First, we cannot know the heart of any man. Only God knows. And second, JM would, through his LS impose certain secular behavior on God's children as if they were all one member of the body -- all arms or all legs -- such as pleaseth JM! But just as under Jesus Millennial rule, doing so merely makes it harder to see the hypocrites

    JM is merely expanding on the basic teachings of Calvinism but he highlights in dramatic fashion their focus on sanctifying the lives of their flock rather than on how to get them into Jesus flock (salvation).

    skypair
     
  7. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    [FONT=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica]Matthew 7:15-20[/FONT][FONT=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica] 15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.


    [/FONT] [FONT=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica]1Jo 2:19 - [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica]They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.[/FONT]
     
  8. EdSutton

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    Uh - context on the two passages? And does this say anything about 'judging' "the heart of man", anywhere in it??

    Ed
     
  9. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    Why all roads lead to Calvinism in the Lordship debate, I truly find interesting.
     
  10. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    Sure, it is obvious but I will be glad to explain it. In both cases there are those who have made a claim to be of God but were not and the reason was made manifest by their actions.

    In the Matthew Passage Christ warns to be careful, to be watchful, to be ready to judge those who come into the church who are making a false claim of being of God and are not but are only there to destroy. That is most certainly a warning from Christ that we must make a judgment of the intent and hearts of others.

    In the Peter passage rather than give a future warning it gives an actual example of a real occurrence. These men that left the church were revealed by their actions. "[FONT=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica] for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us;" [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica]again their hearts were judged by their actions. For they made claims to be of God and yet were not.


    [/FONT]
     
  11. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    skypair, that is just nonsense. No where does MacArthur declare "belief" to be a "work". Why can't you debate what the man actually says? Why do you, and others, have this inability to engage this debate with intellectual honesty? You make a nonsensical statement, like above, and then spend all this ink to refute it. You are debating yourself, since what you are debating is a misrepresentation of your own making.
    The "pre" is attatched to "supposes", not to "salvation". When you understand that MacArthur views repentance and faith as gifts of God's grace, not works of man, then of course it sounds like grace, because that is exactly what MacArthur calls it.
    Exactly, and you quoted him accurately. I take back my "intellectual honesty" comment above.:applause:
    I know of no place where JM claims to be able to "know the heart of any man". He would certainly agree with you on that. I know of no place where JM imposes "certain secular behavior" on God's children. If you know where he does this, please post the location and I will have a look-see.
    I think he has a very balanced view of both. Thank you for engaging what John MacArthur actually says (in the second part of your post, not the first). If I can get you to keep reading MacArthur closely, I am certain the Holy Spirit will convict you of the truth of the matter and you will be on this board defending MacArthur and the doctrines of Grace just as passionately as you do the free-will side. :smilewinkgrin: I look forward to that day.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  12. skypair

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    OK, sorry -- I was generalizing based on Calvinist teacings.

    Here's the thing, jd -- repentance of sin is "given" to BELIEVERS, 2Tim 2:25. He is using the concept "unlawfully" in speaking of unbelievers that way. Repentance must come from within the unbeliever unto salvation.

    That is the assumption of "Lordship," jd. That we can see if you are "elect" or not. The whole thrust of "Lordship"is the outward appearance.

    I willingly acknowledge that we all have some truth. We are all parts of the body and it does not appear yet how it all fits together. :laugh: I actually like JM's theology insofar as SANCTIFICATION is concerned. Christ ought to be our Lord. But that is the "next level" of understanding for the "babe in Christ" who needs "milk" still.

    skypair
     
  13. canadyjd

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    Fair enough. I appreciate your acknowledgment of that.
    I believe you misread 2 Tim. 2:25: (v.24)"And the Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, (25) with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, (26) and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will."

    Paul is speaking of "those in opposition" who do not "have the knowledge of the truth" and are being "held captive by him (the devil) to do his will." While I might accept the possibility of "those in opposition" being Christians (babes as you say), I don't believe Paul would refer to true believers as being held captive by the devil and doing the will of the devil.
    Again, I haven't seen that from MacArthur. I have not seen him ever say that we can "see who are the elect" or not. The whole thrust of Lordship is not the outward appearance but the inward transformation.
    That would be a sight. I'm the right foot, skypair the left foot. We would pull the body apart before we got anywhere?:laugh: I guess that is Paul's point of being unified, huh?
    I say this cautiously. I don't think you are as far removed from what John MacArthur believes and teaches on sanctification as you might think. J.Mac acknowledges maturing in the faith.

    BTW, reading the 2 Tim. passage has put me under conviction. I don't think I have been as patient with you as I should have been when I perceived you to have wronged me. I apologize for any unkind words I have spoken to you in these threads.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  14. skypair

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    2Tim is a pastoral letter instructing Timothy regarding his congregation in this case. There are believers and unbelievers, but all are there on account of some belief (saving or not) in Christ, right? As such, perhaps it is less conclusive whether God gives repentance as believers from sins (i.e. 2Cor 7:9-11) or whether they needed to repent as unbelievers unto conversion from self (Acts 2:38).

    A clearer passage would be 2Pet 3:9 which you offered before. God... "is not willing that any perish but that all should come to repentance." This is a salvation instance of repentance, for sure. God is willing that all should come but all do not come (and apparently can't be 'given' repentance apart from 'coming,' right?). There is something that is outside of God's will affecting the outcome - perish or life - here. And that is repentance necessary from man.

    Yet the thrust is the continuance of works/fruit as proof of saving faith according to JM's thesis. But I can tell you that there are many people in church who do works and have good looking fruit by the worship of their own will, Col 2:23, and not through faith in Christ. In so doing, JM is like a doctor looking at symptoms and making a hasty, "unclinical" (unscriptural) diagnosis.

    Jusst as we go opposite directions here! :laugh:

    Not far at all. But JM expresses and ideal which has been around since the forever -- IDEALLY believers would go on and live "Lordship lives" and unbelievers would never try to act like they had "Lordship lives." Unfortunately, believers who are "off-trajectory" need help, not condemnation with unbelievers AND unbelievers who seem to be living "Lordship lives" need less assurance of salvation and to come to Jesus!

    Well, that's answer to prayer for me. :godisgood: I know I tried to put you in the frame of mind of the Corinthians -- I mean, when I studied that to write it up for my prayer group years ago, I said Paul has just lost his temper with these people! I'd never seen him so irate with the church before. "Fools?" I thought Jesus said never call anyone that?? Paul was emphatic, to say the least, about the resurrection unto new life as it pleases God and I let that speak for me, perhaps wrongly.

    Anyway, now you know I love you and pray for you and hope we can come to "unity in the knowledge and faith of Christ."

    skypair
     

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