New Hampshire Confession of Faith

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Frogman, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. Frogman

    Frogman
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    "that NOTHING prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth EXCEPT his [inherent depravity and] voluntary refusal to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ, which refusal will subject him to an aggravated condemnation."

    I reject this statement found in the NHCOF for the following reasons:

    First, it is not true that nothing prevents the salvation of non-elect human beings except their own voluntary rejection of the Biblical gospel. The fact that they were not elected by the Father and redeemed by the Son prevents their salvation. The fact that they will never be regenerated or illumined by the Holy Spirit prevents their salvation. The fact that they are not given the gifts of repentance and faith prevents their salvation. The fact that they will never be justified, sanctified, and glorified prevents their salvation. I could go on and on.

    Secondly, this statement from the NHCOF is based upon the mistaken notion that Christ's atoning death removed every legal obstacle to salvation for all human beings. This means that human beings are no longer condemned for original sin or for their actual sins, but only for the sin of rejecting Christ. This implies that those human beings who never, ever hear about Christ will not be condemned by Almighty God.

    There is no more need to "universalize" the redemptive work of God the Son than there is to "universalize" the elective work of God the Father and the regenerative work of God the Holy Spirit. These salvific works done by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all particular, definite, limited, unconditional, and effectual in themselves. They are all actual, not potential or hypothetical.

    Only the sins of elect human beings were imputed to Christ upon the cross; the sins of non-elect human beings were not imputed to Christ in any way at all. Christ kept the law of God perfectly only on behalf of elect human beings, not on behalf of non-elect human beings. Salvation is based upon both the active obedience and passive obedience of Christ.

    ~

    I agree with this statement regarding the New Hampshire Confession of Faith. Note especially the second paragraph. Anyone believing the preached Gospel must be heard and believed and worked by the Spirit to effect regeneration (which I do not) cannot accept this Confession of faith. Anyone who does not hear cannot reject. According to the NHOC, this would render them secure by ignorance.

    Bro. Dallas Eaton [​IMG]

    Bold and italic emphasis are mine.
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    But you shouldn't because you are misapplying the text that you cite. "Voluntary rejection" is because there has been no election. Voluntary rejection is what prevents their inclusion in teh sacrifice of Christ. You are trying to drive a wedge to separate the inseparable. No one is forced to reject God. Their state of sinfulness means that they do it voluntarily. All that you mention here is true. And it is all voluntary rejection. And "voluntary rejection" does not mean that they have to hear the gospel. All men know that God exists. There is no one who does not know that. But all, apart from the regenerating work of the Spirit, voluntary reject God. The word "voluntary" means of their own free will; it means they are not forced to reject him.

    No it doesn't. I don't see this anywhere in what you have cited. The NHC confession indeed includes "inherent depravity."

    Article III from the NHC refutes you on this point: "We believe that man was creatd in holiness, in the image of God, under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil, and therefore under the just condemnation to eternal ruin, wihtout defense or excuse."

    So in this we see very clearly that original sin does bring a state of nature which is under just condemnation.

    Incorrect. This confession was written by people who believed the very thing that you say they can't believe. I believe the NHC and believe that exactly what you say I can't.

    You are reading way too much into this and by doing so, you are taking a typical arminian approach to study. You read into a phrase what you want it to say and then pontificate about what everyone must believe. It doesn't work that way. YOu can't just go reading into things.

    PLus, I don't think you cite it accurately. You put "own inherent depravity" in brackets when it is not in brackets.

    Had you continue to paragraph VII of the NHC, you would see it say, "We believe that, in order to bsaved, sinners must be regenerated or born again, that regeneration consists of giving a holy disposition to the mind, that it is effected, in a manner above our comprehension y the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel and that its poroper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life"

    So the NCH affirms the very thing you deny it affirms, namely that regeneration is what secures the voluntary response of acceptance. All else is voluntary rejection.
     
  3. Frogman

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    Thanks Pastor Larry,

    First, I want to say I have never been called an Arminian [​IMG]

    Next, I want to say ~ should have been followed by 'copied'. This statement is not original with me, but I do agree with it.

    Next, in regards to section III, I believe this is section VI, is that right? I believe this section contradicts the rest of the Confession.

    And lastly, for now, why do the non-elect have a 'free-will' that permits their rejection of the Gospel? If there is this free-will present in the non-elect sinner, why not the elect sinner? Wouldn't this mean they are justified from eternity? Regardless of beleif of the Gospel as it is used by gospel regeneration arguements?

    T.P. Simmons' work A Systematic Study of Bible Doctrine discusses an indirect and a direct operation of the Holy Spirit in ch. 9. He states much of what you have that the indirect operation of the Holy Spirit operated upon the non-elect, though a degree of intensity is present in the conviction they experience, they reject and ultimately ignore this operation. In another place he states this is because the hearer does not mix the hearing of the Gospel with faith. He also says the hearer (elect) must experience the direct operation of the Holy Spirit. But he contradicts this by giving this order to be the hearing of the word, the opening of the heart by direct operation of the Spirit and enabling of the elect to hear.

    I understand this as being the order of regeneration he describes. I may be in error in my understanding of his words, if so, correct me.

    On the other hand, if this is correct, it is inline with the NHOC and I believe Simmons may use this document some. Then I believe the language is contradictory and never really establishes a sure position.

    While the election is affirmed in each, both documents have the appearance of at the same time affirming free-will.

    For this reason, I disagree with the NHOC.

    I appreciate the attention and discussion you have given this post.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  4. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Below I have highlighted the portion of section 6 of the NHOC my original post deals. I know you know this confession, but I posted sections three through seven for reference to anyone never having read it. I have also supplied a link to the confession online:

    New Hampshire Confession of Faith of 1833

    Note the year and connection to Baptist History evident in the adoption of this confession.

    3. Of the Fall of Man
    We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker;13 but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state;14 in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners,15 not by constraint, but choice;16 being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin,17 without defense or excuse.18

    4. Of the Way of Salvation
    We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace,19 through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God;20 who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin;21 honored the divine law by his personal obedience,22 and by his death made a full atonement for our sins;23 that having risen from the death, he is now enthroned in heaven;24 and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all- sufficient Saviour.25

    5. Of Justification
    We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ26 secures to such as believe in him is Justification;27 that Justification includes the pardon of sin,28 and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness;29 that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood;30 by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God;31 that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.32

    6. Of the Freeness of Salvation
    We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel;33 that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith;34 and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel;35 which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.36

    7. Of Grace in Regeneration
    We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again;37 that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind;38 that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth,39 so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel;40 and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life.41

    This section (VI) rejects limited atonement.
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    First for everything ... but only in regards to your methods of reading this :D

    I can't see the contradiction at all.

    Everyone has a free will. The free will of man means that he can act freely in accordance with his nature. For the unbeliever including the elect prior to regeneration, his nature is sinful (as the confession states). Therefore, all of his acts are free and voluntary acts of sin, and his rejection of God is free and voluntary rejection. God is not forcing him to sin and God is not forcing him to reject. At regeneration, the elect are given a new nature and as a result freely respond to God. No one is justified from eternity. Justification is worked in time. They are elect from eternity. Don't conflate election and justification.

    I am not familiar with him. It sounds like he is saying pretty much what I believe, though I would put it in different terms probably.

    When we talk of hearing, we are talking two things ... physical (which all can do and physical hearing is necessary for salvation and works in conjunction with regeneration) and spiritual (which is essentially regeneration).

    The unbeliever does exactly this. He can hear physically, but the physical hearing is not mixed with faith.

    Which is regeneration in most people's terminology.

    I don't see this as a contradiction if by the first "hearing" he means physical and the second he means spiritual. They work hand in hand. There must be a message to be believed. That comes through physical preaching/communicating the gospel and through physical reception (reading, hearing). There must also be a spiritual hearing which only the Holy Spirit can enable.

    Again, I am not familiar with him so I am merely commenting on what you have said and filtering it through my own understanding.

    As well they should, given how I have defined free will above. But that is the key ... Free will must be properly defined. It is freedom to act in accordance with the nature of man. The unbeliever is free to do anything he desires, because his nature desires only sinfulness. The regenerated man with a new nature will desire holiness and will desire to follow God. Both desires are free and voluntary.
     
  6. Frogman

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    Pastor Larry,
    let me clarify my understanding of Simmons statement on direct operation is that this is apart from physical hearing. Then later the Spirit must use the preached word, open the heart, apply this to the hearer (who is elect only).

    The contradiction I see in this and the NHCOF is the attempt (IMHO) to state this direct operation in one place while refuting it in another. The refutation, I see, is in stating the Spirit must operate only through the instrumentality of the Word, must open the heart of the elect, and must apply the gospel.

    This, IMHO, contradicts the 'direct operation' of the Spirit on the elect. How? Because this direct operation is seen in the latter description, it is absent in the definition provided of direct operation. This is assumed to be apart from any other instrumentality.

    I think this is found in section VII of the NHOC.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  7. Frogman

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    So, in your definition of free-will, man's natural disposition is in bondage to sin, but able to operate freely within the limits of that bondage?

    This perhaps is the difficulty. I view this bondage as an absence of freedom of the will. See the differences these views present?

    Bro. Dallas
     
  8. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Could be ... but even at that, I don't disagree except with what appears to be the confusing way he put it.

    The direct instrumentality of hte Spirit is necessary and the word of God is necessary. The fact that the Holy Spirit directly works is in section VII and it says that he works in connection with divine truth.

    I think the stickler here between you and I is that necessity of divine truth for the "direct work of the Holy Spirit." As I have understood you before, you believe that the elect are saved without necessity of divine truth being presented. I cannot buy that assertion for reasons we have stated many times here. There must be something to be believed for there to be saving faith.

    So I don't find the contradiction you do there. Perhaps I am not clearly explaining myself or clearly understanding your objections. Forgive me if I am not ...
     
  9. Frogman

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    I don't have any problem with the way you are discussing what I have said.

    But does bringing to light the truth (the result of operation of the Spirit) make the truth more true?

    Why, if there is an indirect/direct operation the truth is not changed, is there rejection? Isn't it because the quickening is before the preached word and the operation of the Spirit is in the preached word such that truth is revealed to the elect who is already quickened?

    I know that is a confusing paragraph. If you wish I will try to clarify it, but I have to go now.

    Sorry.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  10. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    But isn't this because you view "free will" as the ability to do anything at all, without regard for nature?? By that definition, not even God has free will. I can't accept that. "Free will" has to be limited by nature or else God is not free. God is free, but he cannot sin. Unsaved man is free, but he cannot do righteousness pleasing to God.;
     
  11. Yelsew

    Yelsew
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    What is the source of this quoted material? Is the bracketed text in the original or did you add "inherent depravity and".

    If you have an URL please post it!

    is this what you are quoting:
    I disagree with your convoluted version too! But I trust this version which is true to the original!

    [ December 19, 2003, 03:04 PM: Message edited by: Yelsew ]
     
  12. Yelsew

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    You refuse to accept any truth except your own convoluted "truth" that God must choose the man! Show me the scripture that says that! Jesus himself says "Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest" Jesus was speaking to the general populous of Israel, and he was inviting 'whosoever will' to come to him. He was not saying that if you are an elect you can come to me. The invitation is open to all from the most vile of sinners all the way to the most Pius of Priests.
    </font>
    • Repentance is not a gift, it is a COMMAND! It is first issued early in the OLD TESTAMENT and continues to be a command throughout Scriptures! It is never a gift!</font>
    • FAITH is not a gift it is the belief CONDITION or man's spirit! God does not give FAITH, He gives the reasons for man to have FAITH! Then Demands it of man!</font>
    • Jesus justified all mankind by atoning for the sins of the world which covers ALL MANKIND! The atonement removed sin from the SALVATION EQUATION!Man is Sanctified to God by believing in God, in Jesus, even on his Name.</font>
    • It is belief that Sanctifies, that is separates the sheep from the goats!</font>
    • Man who believes in Jesus receives Glorification only after passing from death into life with Jesus, we who believe in HIM share in His Glory.</font>

    If Jesus atonement for sins does not remove sin from the salvation equation, then YOUR salvation is a WORKS BASED salvation for sins are deeds and all deeds shall be judged as if by fire. Those that are good come through the fire in the manner that Gold, Silver, and precious stones pass through fire. Those that are bad (sins) are consumed in the fire leaving only worthless ash. But, you will note that the one doing the deeds is not tested by fire, but as if by fire, meaning that everything the person did that is not good, is destroyed while the person is left devastated, all his belongings destroyed in the fire.

    As for not hearing, Scripture says that every human sees the works of God. Not in those words, but the idea is clearly conveyed in scripture. Every man is "visited upon" by the spirit of God. You can accept or reject! God gives man the choice.

    That is true, but just as true it the fact that man can and does reject what God has already done for man's salvation. That is a universal truth that is not refuted in any way by believing that God extended his Salvation of man to every man regardless of God's election of certain of his creation. If you were capable of creation, you certainly would not discard your crowning achievement in creation. You would not pick and choose which you save and which you throw away especially since you made them with the inherent ability to make choices. You would place the choices before them, and at the appointed time you would retain those who made the right choice of accepting you and believing in you and obeying you, but then you would discard those who refused you, and who did not believe and did not obey. All of God's creation is like that, that which does not conform is rejected out of existence.

    Well ain't you the snooty one to think that only the elect had their sins atoned for, when Jesus clearly declares that He died for the sins of the world...ALL of them!

    Salvation is based on FAITH ALONE! The penalty for sins, death, has been PAID IN FULL 2000 years ago by the death of God's only begotten Son Jesus. HE died ONCE, for ALL. YOU CANNOT REMOVE THAT FROM SCRIPTURE!

    There is no man whose works justify his salvation. Scriptures tell us that our Works are as filthy rags. What merit is there in filthy rags, the trash heaps of the world are full of them.

    Therefore, with the penalty for sins paid, and Works not acceptable, the only thing left is human FAITH in God! Because ALL MANKIND is capable of FAITH, FAITH is not restricted. NOWHERE in scripture will you find that ONLY THE ELECT can have FAITH!

    So, Frogman, you are believing, and adhering to, a FALSE DOCTRINE! Do I believe there is an elect? Yes, I believe that God's chosen race the Jews are God's elect! I believe that ALL Gentiles who Accept Jesus to be the Son of God, the Messiah and have FAITH in him are included in the ELECT because they became the children of God by their FAITH in GOD! Scriptures tell us that NONE who seek Him are turned away, ALL who believe in and hear the voice of the Great Shepherd are ACCEPTED into the Sheepfold.

    If I were you, I would repent from the doctrine of the Elect. It is your choice!
     
  13. Frogman

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    If you will read my post instead of just looking for what you already disagree with you would notice the following link:

    New Hampshire Confession of Faith

    You would also note my second post explaining the first post is not original to myself, but copied. I merely stated that I agree with the statement derived from that post.

    Now, go back and re-read the post to look for the link where you can read the NHCOF for yourself.

    Then note that in your last post you are disagreeing with article six of this confession regardless of the fact it states the same thing you have always stated.

    Salvation is freely offered to all. Does this statement not find agreement with your belief?

    Bro. Dallas
     
  14. Yelsew

    Yelsew
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    My response is to your OPENING post, not your third post!
     
  15. Frogman

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    Then your questions are answered and explained already.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  16. Yelsew

    Yelsew
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    I wonder. Have you considered the definitions of words that you posted?
     
  17. Frogman

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    which words?

    Bro. Dallas
     
  18. Yelsew

    Yelsew
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    Repentance and FAITH. You call them gifts from God. Please explain how they are gifts from God. Explain how we "receive" and use them.
     

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