Making a Decision

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by John Gilmore, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. John Gilmore

    John Gilmore
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    Not only does Calvinism teach that, so does Scripture. </font>[/QUOTE]But Pastor Larry had previously opined:

    So unregenerate man must make a decision to believe on Christ but he is incapable of making a decision to follow Christ?
     
  2. russell55

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    Yes. Every person must make a decision to follow Christ in order to be saved. Anyone who does not make that decision will not be saved.

    Every unregenerate person, however, is unwilling to follow Christ and prefers to keep on following the master he's already following. This intransigent defiant unwillingness on the part of the unregenerate is otherwise known as spiritual death, blindness, bondage to sin, inability, hardened heart, etc.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    Not only does Calvinism teach that, so does Scripture. </font>[/QUOTE]But Pastor Larry had previously opined:

    So unregenerate man must make a decision to believe on Christ but he is incapable of making a decision to follow Christ?
    </font>[/QUOTE]There is no contradiction between these two statements. A man can make a decision to follow Christ only after his mind has been opened by God and he has been effectually called, or regenerated as some prefer. But that call or regeneration does not mean that he doesn't choose to follow God. Not only must he choose to follow God, he most certainly will choose to follow God. No mind, having seen the true beauty of salvation in Christ, will choose but to follow him. No mind, unopened to the beauty of Christ, will choose to follow him.
     
  4. John Gilmore

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    Do you consider justification to be a process whereby we are effectually called (or regenerated) but must then make a decision before we are actually saved? If so, how is that not a work which is excluded under justification by faith alone?
     
  5. Pastor Larry

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    No, justification comes by faith (Rom 5:1). Faith is the gift of God. Justification is not a process; it is a declaration of forensic righteousness. It appears that your ordo salutis is misconstrued. Prior to repentance and faith, there is a unilateral, effectual call of the Holy Spirit by which a person comes to God in faith seeing his need. Apart from that call, man remains in sinful blindness and willing rebellion and rejection of God. After that call (which some name regeneration), man responds in repentance and faith (i.e., conversion), after which he is justified. "Salvation" is a broad name for the whole process.

    Becuase it is of faith, which is contrasted with works.
     
  6. BrianT

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    Then man does NOT have a choice, for there is only one option. The choice has been made for him, and he has "no choice" in the matter.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    ARGHHH!!! Here we go again ... As we have said before, he can do anything he wants to do. He is limited only by his own sin. No one is making him reject God. He is doing what he wants to do. He has the option that at anytime he so desires, he can change his mind. His inability is a moral inability, brought on by his own sinfulness. Every unbeliever I talk to has the choice; they simply choose not to make it.
     
  8. BrianT

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    Oh, you thought your post was going to put centuries of debate to rest? :D

    Only because he has no choice to want anything else. [​IMG]

    No, earlier you said he can only change his mind (actually, he MUST change his mind) after God has "opened his mind".

    Because, according to total depravity, they can't. It's not a choice if there is no other possibility.
     
  9. John Gilmore

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    Pastor Larry,

    Thank you for clarifying the Calvinist position on justification. I see that, in Calvinism, the order of salvation dictates that the Call must precede the Decision.

    From your description, the difference between Calvinism and Lutheranism is profound; Lutherans reject the Decision altogether. Lutherans believe that man in no way cooperates in his own justification either before, during, or after the call.

     
  10. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Y'all;
    I'm a little confused about this decision that is not a decision at all. This below was stated by Pastor Larry;
    I thought that the total depravity makes a man deaf so that he can't hear. If he can't hear Gods word then he has no choice. He doesn't even realize that there is something better. That he can have eternal life.

    By your own admission unsaved men can know about Jesus Christ and still reject Him. How can they know if they Can't hear? Please explain?
    May God Bless You.
    ILUVLIGHT
     
  11. Me2

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    total depravity only disallows our carnal spirit to understand and accept the precepts of the spirit of God.

    But what if...God replaced that carnal spirit with a new righteous spirit. not asking us first. not discussing with us about the ramifications and changes that must occur first.
    but simply we wake up one morning and we have a new spirit. Free, no charge.

    and total depravity would no longer exist.

    but what would exist is a yearning to personally know God.
     
  12. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Me 2; [​IMG]
    Exactly my point. How is it a carnal man can have a choice if he doesn't truly understand the message. Are you saying that physically he can understand but can't spiritually. So what happens if he understands physically and makes the right choice?. Is he just saved physically or does salvation require spiritual understanding.

    The "if" is what bothers me here. Scripture is most important when explanning doctrine. Not just for my bennifit but for others to. Please Me 2 place those scriptures on the board backing up your theory.Even if they have been previously posted. Scripture is the most important part of explanning doctrine. God's word has a way of doing this better than any one.
    May God Bless You.
    Mike
     
  13. Me2

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    There only exists two types of spirits. The spirit of the flesh and the spirit of Christ. Being a child of Adam, We are born into this world and receive the spirit of the flesh. This spirit is at enmity with God and his Christs spirit. The spirit of the flesh cannot because of the curse, seek after God, nor the things of God. This spirit is blind and ignorant and uncapable to understand. Thus man is imprisoned within the parameters that are set by God for this spirit to operate within. And it must be eventually destroyed. (isa 29:10-16)

    Rom 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
    Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.
    Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
    Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
    Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.



    If a human being were to attempt to read the bible, they would only get a carnal and literal interpretation of what the bible is speaking of. The spirit of the flesh contains the wrong “Faith” and listens to and is guided by the wrong teacher…satan. Therefore if there are spiritual messages for Gods children written within the pages of the bible... The carnal man will not understand. And will not be capable of receiving the “messages” and their interpretation correctly.

    Do you actually think that some guy who calls himself God died and was risen from the grave..based on a book or people who say they have seen this activity 2000 years in our past…give me a break.!
    If Im to stake my life on this story..Ive got to have proof. Ive got to hold it in my hand. Ive got to see it with my own eyes
    …get my point..
    God gives us the opportunity to see and hold the evidence in our hands by faith. But only if we have faith within us and the ability to see and hear of the evidence..we cant see with the wrong faith…the faith of the spirit of the flesh…only when we receive our new spirit can we see..with Christs faith. With Christs eyes.

    Heb 11:6 But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


    It takes a miracle of God to exchange the spirit of the flesh with the spirit of Christ. There are no prior communications of God and man, for man would incorrectly interpret any message or knowledge. No decisions can be made for they would be made in ignorance, or by chance, everytime

    God must FIRST exchange the “old” spirit for the human being to “hear” God.
    To understand God correctly…it is not a problem of receiving a spirit. its really impossible to refuse it.

    The problems lie when the new believer discovers the following choices that are requested by God thereafter. Because immediately God gives the law to the new believer..just like the jews of the OT. We attempt to please God by following the laws..and eventually we fail everytime.. what happens next..guilt drives us back to God and he begins to teach us that we require a propitiator..a christ, a mediator because we were clean once and now we’ve become a “sinner”…

    whats happening….I have a new spirit…Im saved..right? justified.,.glorified,….but your not sanctified

    yes, you have Gods spirit within you, and its impossible to give it back . yet your choices will, or will not advance the believer through a “process” of being set apart to become a priest before God. The process of sanctification…


    The choice we have before us is not to accept a spirit that is already within us.

    But its to follow God’s lead and repent before a HIS christ…that’s the choice…will we follow and learn to forgive ourselves and others. Or will we in our imaginations develop an “image” of another christ that doesn’t require us to forgive and offer mercy to others and even to ourselves. If we turn from the truth and believe the lie. We turn our back on Gods methods which now God must again put on his child..the spirit of Slumber.(isa 29:10-16) (And the new believer follows satans suggestions once again.)

    And a thought about scriptures.. we receive Gods message from God
    spirit..spirit to spirit..faith to faith.

    If our carnal mind got in the middle of that conversation..we would screw it up everytime..

    The bible is written to soothe our mind of what our spirit has been taught and what we have experienced within our spirit ALREADY.
    We’re just searching for a way to describe what our spirit already accepts as truth. What the Holy spirit has told it and What the Holy spirit has allowed it to experience THROUGH FAITH. And as we find the answers in the testimony of others who have experienced these truths already and can explain themselves in a way in which our mind can comprehend..

    unless we do not have the assistance of the Holy spirit to interpret the messages within its pages.

    which in the latter case..the carnal mind will never be able to understand the things of God…
    a little reminder of a curse that is still working.
     
  14. DCK

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    I think that Scripture is pretty clear about what happens in the process of salvation (although we can continue to debate the details). A fallen human being lacks the ability to believe, but once he is regenerated by the Holy Spirit he then has the ability. Once he believes in Jesus, he is justified. I would assume that the justifying (having Christ's righteousness imputed to us) usually follows quickly after the regeneration (being made spiritually alive), giving the impression that both happen at the same time. So, the sequence is (if I understand it correctly) election, calling, regeneration, justification, the last requiring an exercise of faith (or "decision") on the part of the believer, enabled by God.

    Also, hello to Me2. I lived in Baton Rouge until recently. I still have family and friends there.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Me2

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    DCK,

    doesnt our bodies have death within it and doesnt it return to the dust?
    and isnt our spirit also cursed and destined for death?

    why should Jesus Christ have to NOT be a part of this world. both spirit and body?
    why such an emphasis on his virgin birth?


    because both our original body and original spirit are cursed with death. and have to be replaced..
    ..not regenerated..


    Ill trade ya and Ill move to Colorado and you can move back to LA..(been here too long)... :D

    Me2
     
  16. Kiffin

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    Hey I use to live outside of Baton Rouge until about a year ago! :eek: Now I am in the Northern part of the state.

    It is not man cooperating with God. A person responds to Christ because he has been regenerated. No regeneration. No Faith.
     
  17. John Gilmore

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    It is not man cooperating with God. A person responds to Christ because he has been regenerated. No regeneration. No Faith. </font>[/QUOTE]If we make our response to the call the cause of our justification then we are saved by works not faith alone.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    Problem is several fold.

    1. Scripture declares the justification is "caused by" our faith (Rom 5:1). Where Scripture sets forth such an explicit statement, it no longer is within our purview to disagree with that. We are immediately and without delay to submit our theology to God's revelation.

    2. Paul has already answered your question in numerous places where he contrasts "works" with "faith." Therefore, when Paul under the inspiration of hte Spirit, says that "faith" is not "works," it is not up to you to disagree with him and say that "faith" really is "works."
     
  19. John Gilmore

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    "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost." 1 Cor. 12:3. Any testimony I give is the fruit of faith (i.e., works) not faith itself.
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    That may be true ... but it is irrelevant since it is a not a testimony of faith that saves us but rather faith itself. The Scripture declares that we are justified by faith. Why is that such a problem for you?
     

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