Paul's Relentless "Calvinism" Drove His Evangelical Effort

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by preacher4truth, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. preacher4truth

    preacher4truth
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    * "Evangelistic" Effort rather

    Each of us have heard some arguments against Calvinism, in that, in fact, being Calvinistic in doctrine, we are labelled non and/or anti evangelistic. This is typically given to those who hold a "hyper-calvinistic" theology, yet, this label of "hyper" is generally applied to anyone who accepts this Biblical position by those who oppose it.

    First off, I believe our Lord Jesus Christ Himself knew of His Sheep, that He specifically came to save as expressed in John 10, some in John 11, especially 52, and in His mission to His people specifically in Matthew 1:21. Certainly there are only a number who will be saved, these are also referred to as "the elect" or "chosen" depending on which Bible version you use. Thus, the driving factor for Jesus was dying to save the elect, His people, those chosen before the foundation of the kosmos.

    Paul also was driven by this to "save" the elect, and a matter of fact, it is this specifically that he argues as to the reason why he preached even doing so through great persecutions and other abuses, as he describes in 2 Timothy 2:8-10:

    "Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, sothat they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory."

    Evidentally, in this passage, Paul knowing Gods elect were "out there" drove him to preach, knowing that these would be saved. So he sought to preach and save God's chosen people, and was driven by this knowledge. All those that would respond to the message and be saved by Grace would only be, and will only ever be, those chosen by God. None that are saved are non- elect, none that are elect will be missed or lost. All will come to Him who are His.

    Note also, in verse 19, that God knows those that are His, implicating those who are not elect as not His. A factor that gives us a clue as to who are truly His and those who are not is shown in the holiness exemplified in their lives, although this is not an absolute proving ground. Those who will willingly not turn from iniquity who name Him are perhaps cast as doubtfully His to some extent here.

    So, let's not say calvinism is purely non-evangelistic, nor generally, as we can see in Scripture that the knowledge that there are elect remaining to hear and be saved, drove the effort and zeal to preach.

    Does knowing that there are elect around you, awaiting a Spirit led evangelistic preordained meeting of the evangelist (you) and the elect, drive you and give you greater confidence that your efforts will result in seeing some saved?
     
    #1 preacher4truth, Jun 24, 2011
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  2. John Toppass

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    Those who are chosen are those who chose, because God is so sovereign that He gave man choice.
     
  3. TomVols

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    This thread was closed for administrative review. It will be reopened but monitored closely. Let me state: the statement that Paul is either Calvinist or Arminian is offensive to some. Please consider this. Please closely adhere to Baptist Board rules. Any violations will be subject to disciplinary action from the Baptist Board administrative council.
     
  4. Alive in Christ

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    Neither Calvinism nor Arminionism factor into my witnessing in any way whatsoever. Never enters my mind.

    I walk around each day with the understanding that I am a vessel through which God sometimes pleases to touch and bless the lives of others. Thats really all I am concerned with.
     
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

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    We shouldn't be talking about Calvinism; Its Paul's teaching
     
  6. mandym

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    If we are going to follow after the doctrines of men it should at least be called Paulism. But knowing Paul by reading Corinthians he would not be happy about that.
     
  7. jbh28

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    Excellent point. We know that the gospel will not return void. People will come to him. We know this because we know that there are still elect out there and we seek to share the gospel with them. It should be an encouragement to us as we share the gospel to realize that we are just spreading the gospel, God does the saving.

    It's kinda like going Easter egg hunting. If you go out looking for Easter eggs, but can't find any, you may give up. You would begin to think that there are not eggs to find. But if I tell you that there are eggs out there and you find some, you know that your searching will not return void.
    - ok, maybe not the best story, but maybe it will help :)
     
  8. Robert Snow

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    Preacher4truth, I disagree. I don't see Calvinism anywhere in the bible, especially not in any of Paul's writings. I understand how it is that you do; you believe Calvinism to be true, while I view it as error.

    Overall in reading the Epistles, I see Paul over and over plead for mankind to come to Christ and be saved! I even hear Peter say that God doesn't want any to perish but He desires all men to come to the truth. I see that this agrees with what Jesus said when He said for all who are burdened to "come to Him!"

    I do understand that in your opinion this is not the case. You believe God is behind every decision and every action. I disagree. To interpret the scripture the way you do makes us nothing but robots and makes God guilty of sin, which is impossible. Therefore, Calvinism is not a correct view of salvation or of how God works with mankind.
     
  9. Alive in Christ

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    Robert Snow...

    You posted...

    I dont either.

    I view it as error as well.

    Yep. Its so very clear that the scriptures support "free will" regarding salvation.
     
  10. BobinKy

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    Robert...

    I agree and support your post.

    ...Bob
     
  11. quantumfaith

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  12. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
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    As my favorite radio commentator would say "mega dittos"
     
  13. HankD

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    I'm wondering if anyone else detects the anomaly of addressing Paul's "calvinism" almost 1500 years before Institutes of The Christian Religion was written?

    I think even to call Paul's inspired writings "cavinistic" is also a stretch for the same reason.

    If I were a calvinist, IMO the "Doctrines of Grace" would be a better shibboleth and everyone who is savvy in this controversy would understand.

    I suppose it could be something like "Paul's relentless insistence of the Doctrines of Grace" which would be more palatable for many participants here at the BB.

    HankD
     
  14. Iconoclast

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    the truth is offensive to some....we should not stop the truth
    The trinity is offensive to those who do not believe in it,yet it is truth.

    There are two systems debated here. One is error.
    Because these ideas were systematized at a certain point in history...does not mean that people throughout biblical times did not stand in one system or the other. Have you ever heard it preached that Cain had a works gospel?

    It does not bother me...when Robert Snow says calvinism is wrong...everytime he posts...then AIC,or quantum agree with him...I expect it at this point...he should be free to express what he believes without being censored.
    But when this error is posted...and he gets responses why should it be a surprise?

    Some find it offensive because it points out a clear distinction between the two systems.
    He is honest enough to post that he does not believe it is true.

    Some jump in to the deep end of the pool....cannot swim.....tread water for awhile.....get pulled out...then want the pool closed because they cannot swim!
     
    #14 Iconoclast, Jun 26, 2011
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  15. Iconoclast

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    Well.....not the way you redefine it....but to us ..it is.
     
    #15 Iconoclast, Jun 26, 2011
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  16. Iconoclast

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    RC people do not like to be told that they have a works gospel...but they do,even if the use the word grace sometimes.

    When people do not use the terms....they are then accused of being deceitful...and avoiding the label.
     
  17. Crabtownboy

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    If Paul had been a Calvinist he would not have become a missionary as he would have believed that God had already elected those he wanted to save and thus God would need no help from him, Paul.

    This was the argument Calvinist used against the first efforts of mission work.
     
  18. preacher4truth

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    God chose to use "the foolishness of preaching" 1 Corinthians 1:21, to save His people. That's the Scriptural side of what you are conjecturing. So, in essence God does need Paul because He decreed it to be this way. Why? Well, He chose Paul even in his mothers womb to preach the Gospel, Galatians 1:17, and even way before that actually.

    And, then, another thing your statement hasn't considered are the rewards we will receive in our preaching, and efforts, which is also foreordained, and/or decreed by God.

    I have to totally disagree with your premise. It's not based in Scripture.
     
    #18 preacher4truth, Jun 26, 2011
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  19. preacher4truth

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    Well, I always expect the same reactions as do you, from the same crew, the comments followed by a few posts after with several: :thumbsup: but typically thats how it ends without addressing the real objective of it. So I am looking for the latter (ansering the objective) not the former here.

    Again, the thing I am looking for is in my final words of the OP. In that, knowing that God has reserved His elect, in that, too, we know our efforts be not in vain, and that also, being led by God to preach the Gospel, do we feel then more confident in our efforts, and should these things Paul expressed to be truth in Scriptures (not conjecture, not opinion, but in The Word) do these things then motivate us with confidence and boldness? It most certainly was what motivated Paul, he did it for the elect. It is stated plainly.

    So far, jbh28 is the one who has caught this, and THAT is what the OP is about.

    I've always heard Calvinism declared non-evangelistic. I have to disagree to that, or that the belief should lead us to be such.
     
    #19 preacher4truth, Jun 26, 2011
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  20. HankD

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    I am not opposed to calvinism or arminianism when it is presented devoid of emotion (as you do) though I reject the labels.

    Basically there is no "pure" calvinism or "arminianism" IMO and I find a personal disconnect in both of the classical views.

    Folks balk at the label "Bible believer" so generally, to avoid the inevitable contention, I refrain from any labels (except "mugwump" which someone tagged me with, It's OK) and generally refrain from putting on the gloves and entering the ring.

    I don't feel comfortable stigmatizing my theological view with the name of a mortal man. Others don't have a problem and I can accept that without judging them.

    But here is a general discernment (not mentioning names except perhaps my own having been guilty in the past) concerning this and other ongoing contentions:

    1 Corinthians 1

    11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
    12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
    13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?​

    1 Corinthians 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?​

    Even Paul the apostle, an inspired writer of the Scripture rejected the idea of folks using his name as an identifier.​

    So, bringing into the 21st century; was Calvin or Arminius crucified for us, were we baptised in the name of Calvin or Arminius?

    Wouldn't it be better to debate the biblical tenents of the gifts of grace and the absolute sovereignty of the living God without attaching to them the names of dead men especially in a public forum with "seekers" coming and going?

    HankD​
     
    #20 HankD, Jun 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011

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