MacArthur's 8th & 9th distinctive of LS

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by canadyjd, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    The 8th and 9th distinctives are closely related, so I thought we might finish out this study by considering both. You can find them at:
    http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/2439

    I think MacArthur is right on target with this. Often, our churches don't teach a "high expectation" of behavior to our members.

    In addition, we want to declare people to be saved or unsaved, based on our opinion of them or whether they "prayed the prayer" at some time in their lives.

    Notice MacArthur doesn't declare people to be "unsaved". He states simply they are not "evidencing true faith". He takes due notice that all believers stumble and sin.

    Even though we all stumble at times, that doesn't cause us to loose our salvation. We shouldn't have assurance of our salvation, however, if we are consistently living our lives in a manner contrary to the teachings of Christ.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  2. skypair

    skypair
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    cjd,

    Reading scripture recently (will be in the RC Sproul thread in case you want participate :praying: ), I noted that "faith without works is dead."

    I think what JM says about LS is true to this extent --- belief without response (repentance toward God) is also "DEAD!"

    In fact, Sproul is getting very near to what free willers believe lately. He recognizes in Getting the Gospel Right and Willing to Believe that belief unto salvation requires (a "condition" IMO BTW) knowledge, assent, and action unto JUSTIFICATION. This ALL corresponds well with free will. The only difference now IS the free will of man to do so.

    As to "high expectations" that JM has -- that is merely judging another man's servant. JM has no idea what God is doing with that person and he ought not to meddle. It should suffice that the person believes the gospel that he does.

    skypair
     
  3. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    James (The Lord's brother and author of scripture) disagrees with you that "belief is enough, don't meddle". James was very concerned with behavior (as was everyone else who wrote scripture as Holy Spirit so moved them).

    I used the words "high expectations", not John MacArthur. Direct your comments to me, not JMac.

    Thanks for the comment and its good to see you are finally forming your opinions from reading scripture. I still have high hopes of converting you to a bold 5 pointer one day. :smilewinkgrin:

    peace to you:praying:
     
    #3 canadyjd, Jan 29, 2008
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  4. webdog

    webdog
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    So...if faith is this supposed given gift...how can one display anything but what JM classifies as a willing obedience? What choice is there to be made if faith is given?
    So, if JM ever happens to come down with alzheimers, that would show that he was never truly born again?
    #9 is nothing more than a works based viewpoint...we are responsible for maintaining this faith. God justifies and sanctifies us.
     
  5. skypair

    skypair
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    This I know -- which is why I used James "faith without works is dead."

    Now apply that to belief as well. Belief is all you have when you convert. Your belief at that point is "unsubstantiated" and without personal proof/"evidence," Heb 11:1. And yet, in order to be saved, one must exercise one's belief in God and Christ via repentance. You exercise your belief and what? You receive the indwelling Holy Spirit of "confirmation."

    I will do so the very instant it becomes useful to the kingdom. But right now it appears to be as those in the age of reason perceived of the "death" of God (and in Europe, He is pretty much "dead.") --- it was "death by a thousand qualifications." That is, the Rreformers qualified or "boxed in" the words of scripture so much that God is dead and the Reformers spiritually rule.

    skypair
     
    #5 skypair, Jan 30, 2008
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  6. Andy T.

    Andy T.
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    Since faith is not a work, how is maintaining faith a work?
     
  7. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    Good question, webdog.

    Neither John MacArthur, nor the overwhelming number of Calvinists I have seen comment here, deny that men make "a choice" in salvation. The engagement of human will is not denied by those of the Reformed position.

    There is a continuing process of maturing envolved, and that includes falling on our faces on occasion.
    No, that is not what he is saying.
    And so, we continue to disagree.


    I appreciate your post.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  8. webdog

    webdog
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    If God allows for a maturation process...why? That doesn't make sense if everything has been given. It's almost like He either failed, or added a twisted plan to the equation.

    Also, since you believe God allows a maturation process once we are given faith...why not allow for the same maturation process in coming to Christ with our faith?
     
  9. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    Scripture tells us that God matures us according to His word by disciplining us when we fall short. This allows us to teach others from our experiences, empathize with others in their struggles, and comfort others in the same manner that we have been comforted by God during our periods of trials. This builds a mutual dependence within the family of faith and grows our love for God and for each other.

    The short answer to your "why" is perhaps Paul's answer to why he suffered so much. It was to keep him humble.
    I do not believe everyone comes to Christ instantaneously, though some apparently do. Some people spend many months, or years, under conviction before coming to Christ. Others can not remember a specific "moment of conversion" as a part of their "salvation experience".

    The Holy Spirit deals with people according to His will and His timing.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  10. skypair

    skypair
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    canadayjd,

    I have questions about this whole process --- don't WE choose what we will or won't believe? You know, in economics, they have what is called the "invisible hand" of supply and demand. But it seems to me that when we make a decision, we may consider and reconsider but we never choose to believe anything blindly ( besides telemarketers :laugh:) and then change our entire behavior, do we?

    And isn't what we choose based on something we know or "feel?" Do we get our knowledge or "feelings" about salvation out of "thin air?" Or from hearing the preaching of the gospel?

    Your theology seems tied up in this "heart of stone"-"heart of flesh" thing wherein God said He would change it. Well, God never changed the OT saints "hearts to flesh." That is, the "heart of stone" is so because it believes in the law. That was a PROPHECY that God will fulfill in the resurrection of OT BELIEVERS, and brings them back into the land. Ezek 36-37 makes this abundantly clear. Unfortunately, Calvin gave not much thought to eschatology and dispensations.

    The "heart of flesh" is so called because 1) it believes in grace/Christ and 2) because it is then indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This certainly applies to the MK that the OT saints are resurrected into -- and it applies to us before them right now.

    This "heart of stone"-"heart of flesh" is by no means an unseen, unaccounted for miracle. It happens to believers. There's NEVER a "heart of flesh" in an unbeliever nor a "heart of stone" in a NT believer. And the latter get that way because WE choose what we believe and commit to and then God changes our hearts.

    skypair
     

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