PB'S- Does the Holy Spirit use "means"

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Southern, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. Southern

    Southern
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    This question is to the Primitive Baptist on this forum. I have a friend who is a Primitive and we have been discussing whether or not the Holy Spirit uses "means" in salvation. He believes that the Holy Spirit works apart from means but I was not sure if this was a universal belief among the majority of Primitive Brethren.

    Anyways, heres the question, "What do you believe this verse is saying and is it the "normal" means that the Spirit uses, or does He not uses means?

    1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.


    Thanks for any help you can provide
     
  2. Jeff Weaver

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    I certainly believe the Holy Spirit may work apart from means. Whether that is the case in all instances I can not say, but would tend to believe that was the case--that is to say that the Holy Spirit works apart from means.
     
  3. Primitive Baptist

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    Jeff Weaver,

    You are a Primitive Baptist claiming that the Holy Spirit "may" work apart from means? I am not going to give my answer to the question yet (as my views have changed somewhat), but I do want to know what you mean by the Holy Spirit "may" work apart from means. If you want, you may answer me via a private message. I notice you also stated that you are inclined to believe that the Holy Spirit works apart from means, but with most Primitive Baptists that is the rule, not the exception.
     
  4. npetreley

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    Just for the edification of those of us who don't know that much about PBs, can someone explain what working by "means" and "apart from means" means? ;)
     
  5. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Primitive Baptist

    I believe as you do, but I am not all knowing in all cases, so I allow for that God might use some event to accomplish his purposes. I don't know of any, can't conceive of it, but I don't exclude the possibility.

    I probably didn't word that the best way, but couldn't and can't think of anything better at the moment.
     
  6. Stratiotes

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    I could give you a "presbyterian" (Westminster Confession) answer but I'd be interested in hearing from the PBs as well since I'm not sure it would be the same.
     
  7. Primitive Baptist

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    Calvinists, for the most part, believe that God uses the preaching of the gospel in regeneration. Primitive Baptists, whether Absoluters or Conditionalists, do not believe that God uses the preaching of the gospel in regeneration. Therefore, as a Primitive Baptist, I do not believe that God uses the preaching of the gospel in regeneration because scripture does not teach it.
     
  8. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    I have a question. Does this mean that people can be saved without hearing the gospel? That God regenerates people without them ever hearing about Jesus? Or am I misunderstanding?

    Bro Tony
     
  9. pinoybaptist

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    Yes.

    You have to understand that regeneration is not conversion.

    In the former God needs no means. The finished work of Christ at the cross secured all the redemption of all the elect, past, present, future, here in time.

    In like manner, the regeneration of those for whom the blood was shed, wherever they are , is not tied to the ability of man to obey the so-called great commission, or to travel and preach the good news, or the ability of a church to 'send out' a preacher. God's elect are everywhere in every age, all within reach of the Omnipresent Holy Spirit.

    Conversion, however, is a process where God may use means.
     
  10. Brod Mon

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    Pinoybaptist,

    Then why did Jesus commanded the Great Commission? Or how could you explain to me Romans 10:13~15?
    :confused:
    Brod Mon
     
  11. Brod Mon

    Brod Mon
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    Pinoybaptist,

    Please also explain to me when is the regeneration and conversion will happen?
     
  12. Ray Berrian

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    'I notice you also stated that you are inclined to believe that the Holy Spirit works apart from means, but with most Primitive Baptists that is the rule, not the exception.'

    Ray: One of the big reasons for this theory above is because some Calvinists have this inane idea or concept that if there is a means of the Spirit of God working, then a sinner would have to respond to this stimulus, and then man would receive some credit or work in receiving and or achieving salvation.

    God can simple convict the sinner of his or her need of Christ and/or He can use means to box that person into making a volitional decision one way or the other as to personal salvation.

    That is why the Biblical position is that grace is offered to humans as a free gift; [Ephesians 2:8] while faith is the sinner's response [Romans 5:1, Hebrews 4:2; I Peter 1:7,9,21] to conviction or the providential means in bringing that sinner to confront the truth of Jesus through the Gospel.

    The first paragraph is good Calvinism but it is not founded as truth in the Bible. Calvinists are paranoid about the faith, works issue in coming to know Christ. Do not worry no glory goes to a human being; it all goes to the Lord God for His wonderful work of salvation in our lives. Calvinsts seem to think that they are protecting God's glory; He does not need their efforts in this matter.
     
  13. pinoybaptist

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    First, what you call the Great Commission was not given to the church. It was given to the Apostles.
    Consider Matt.28 16-20. Who were there ? The 120 who constituted the church in the Upper Room, or the eleven disciples ?
    Mark 16:14-15 mentions only eleven disciples receiving the same command.
    Acts 1:2 likewise clearly says that only the Apostles were there to whom He gave the commandment to go and preach the gospel.
    I think the problem arises on how you and I and some people here view the gospel.
    To me, the gospel is the good news of a finished and provided salvation. The Bible says Jesus came to 'save His people' from their sins, not all mankind.
    The Bible says He declared 'it is finished'.
    Therefore, God, who cannot lie, had indeed obtained and imparted eternal life to those for whom this eternal life was intended, not because they deserved it, but because God in His good pleasure and in His mercy, chose them to be recipients of this gift.
    Here is what Paul says:

    Titus 1:1-3 -

    Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
    In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
    But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

    Now, as we will see later when I reply to your other post, God regenerates His people when He will, apart from means, and He does this to both
    Jew or Gentile.

    When we go and preach the gospel, those who believe and obey the gospel call to repentance and a life of faith believe and obey because (1) they have been quickened already previously and (2) they have been converted to the Living God thru the preaching of the word.

    The task is to teach , not to save souls in an eternal sense. Jesus already did the eternal saving. If the gospel saves, it is in a timely sense, in the same vein in which Peter declared "Save yourselves from this untoward generation" (Acts 2:40).

    Recall Paul's words in the first verse of this chapter you cited where he declares 'For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge' and then recall in Acts that despite all warnings from the Holy Spirit, Paul decided to still go to Jerusalem. Why ?

    Obviously, from what he states in this letter to the Romans, to direct their zeal to knowledge, and so the logical questions were voiced in verses 14 and 15.

    His purpose was to teach those whom the Lord God will call, and the Lord God calls only those whom He draws to Christ. He knows who His people are, and does not do a random call, like, I wonder if that one over there will come ? Neither does He call because of a foreseen response to the preaching of the crucified and risen savior, because then that would imply that in some people, some good thing dwells in their flesh.

    Basically, it is the same way you and I look at the Catholics in our country since we are from the same country. We look at them as people with a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
     
  14. pinoybaptist

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    1. Regeneration is the immediate act of God, in imparting the principle of life, while conversion is the act of man by the power of the Holy Spirit, in repenting and believing. Consider:

    2. Regeneration is a single act of God and is never repeated; conversion is the beginning of a holy life , but there are many conversion experiences throughout one's earthly pilgrimage.

    3.Regeneration causes one to turn to the Lord, conversion is the quickened soul actually turning to the Lord.

    4. Regeneration is the Lord opening the heart, conersion is the opened heart turning to Jesus Christ in faith.

    5. In regeneration, we have God's power, the power of the indwelling Spirit; in conversion the power is not of us but in us by God's sovereign choice. Consider:

    1 Cor. 2:5 -
    That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

    Ephesians 1:19 -
    And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

    Ephesians 3:20 -

    Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, ;

    John 1:12-13

    But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    Consider. Verse 12 does not say 'even to them that will believe on his name' but, 'even to them that believe on his name.

    These people, received him and were given power to become sons of God because they believe on his name, and v. 13 gives the reason why they believe. Because they were born by the will of God. Regenerated by God's will and purpose.

    Then they walked with the Savior and the Savior taught them, and they had stages of conversion experiences all throughout their earthly lives.

    When God calls one of his own into the ministry, and sends him out into the field, the same process is repeated. We meet men who already believe, and we teach them about the Savior, about sin and its penalties, about Christ's substitution and His finished work, and we watch these people as they go through the different processes of conversion.

    They follow the Lord into the waters of baptism, they learn to lean on Him, to trust Him, they learn to pray and call on Him, they forsake things like vices and habits and name-calling and learn new things like patience, generosity, compassion, love, humility, things which are foreign to the fallen human nature dead in sins and trespasses.

    Incidentally, the above post on regeneration and conversion , numbered, up to John 1:12-13, were taken from a book on the subject by W.E. Best, who, again, incidentally, is not even a Primitive Baptist but belongs to the South Belt Assembly of Christ in Houston, Texas.

    You might want to look for that book at the Christian Bookstore in front of Farmer's Market in Quezon City next time you go there, or maybe that big Christian bookstore right on Boni Avenue as you go past the Jollibee.

    Catch you later.
     
  15. npetreley

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    I may be out of line here, since I still don't understand what you folks are talking about wrt the Holy Spirit using "means" and "not means".

    But as to the great commission, it is the assumption of many that God limits His saving power to those to whom the word is spread via the great commission. I think that's terribly arrogant and presumptuous, and contradicts other scriptures.

    As for Romans 10:13-15, this cannot be referring to the fact that you must hear the post-resurrection Gospel to have "heard the Gospel". See version 18:

    18 But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: "Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world."

    This is a quote from Psalm 19, and refers to people who heard, yet lived long before Jesus was born.
     
  16. pinoybaptist

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    npetreley said:

    Basically, it is about whether the Holy Spirit uses preaching, the written word, the spoken word, a preacher, or incidents to cause the regeneration of His people. That is why Brod Mon asked about the Great Commission because he seems to be among the many who are, as you pointed out and to which I agree, of the 'assumption that God limits His saving power to those to whom the word is spread via the great commission.' Yes, that is terribly arrogant, presumptuous and contradictory to many other scriptures.

    Primitive Baptists do not believe that. We believe the Holy Spirit is able to regenerate apart from the means mentioned above, and any other means save His own power.

    Conversion, as Brod Mon and I have been discussing is different. Here the Holy Spirit may use means.
     
  17. Ray Berrian

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    Was the Apostle Paul writing to only the apostles in II Corinthians 5:18? Paul was writing to the Corinthian church. Every Christian has a responsibility to be a soul winner, if you will. ' . . . and (He) hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.' We are the means and key players in getting the truth of the Word out to a lost world.

    Did Paul say in chapter 5:19 'To wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the elect to Himself . . . ? His sacrificial and atoning death was for every sinner. [I John 2:2] And each Christian is an 'ambassador for Christ . . . ' [vs. 20]

    If you and I are not witnessing to our faith, we are walking in disobedience. In other words, we are not walking in His perfect will as His people.
     
  18. pinoybaptist

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    duh ?
    Are you talkin' to me ? Are you talkin' to me ? Are you talkin' to me ?
    Are you talkin' to me ?

    :confused: :confused:
     
  19. Ray Berrian

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    My post was not sent to any particular person.

    'He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the church.'

    Brother Ray
     
  20. BrotherJoe

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    Brother Ray Berian:


    RAY SAID: Every Christian has a responsibility to be a soul winner, if you will. ' . . . and (He) hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.'


    ME (BROTHER JOE): Brother Ray, I think it is important for you to recognize that we arent GETTING people reconciled when we preach the gospel, rather we are only telling God's children that Christ HAS ALREADY RECONCILED THEM!! Is my statement biblical ? Notice WHEN God's children were reconciled according to St. Paul,"10 For if, WHEN WE WERE ENEMIES, WE WERE RECONCILED to God by the death of his Son" (Romans 5:10). This verse declares RECONCILIATION OCCURED WHEN WE WERE STIL GOD's ENEMIES AT THE CROSS. We now proclaim to God's children that Christ HAS reconciled them. This is what 2 Cor 5:19 means when it states, "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."

    An analogy is Abraham Lincoln's Immancipation Proclumation to free the slaves. The slaves were in fact LEGALLY free when Lincoln declared it, however it was of no PRACTICAL BENEFIT to them on earth until they were told by someone of their freedom. And so it is with the gospel-the news of the gospel provides a temporal salvation for God's children here on earth that will benefit them and give them joy and victory over sin, but it doesn not provide eternal salvation, only Christ's sacrifice did that.

    According to the scriptures the gospel doesnt PRODUCE eternal salvation in God's children, rather it makes known to God's children how they got eternal salvation. It is like a light that shines in a dark room making known to the person something in the room that was ALREADY there, but they didnt see it or know about it. "But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality TO LIGHT THROUGH THE GOSPEL" (2 Timothy 1:10). Here Paul clearly states the gospel simply brough immortality to LIGHT NOT PRODUCES IT.

    Your brother in Christ,

    Brother Joe

    [ July 27, 2004, 07:42 PM: Message edited by: BrotherJoe ]
     

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