Reformed-no test for salvation

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by billwald, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. billwald

    billwald
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    Calvinist theology has no theological test for election. Reformed people assume that they are elect. Why??
     
  2. Kiffen

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    Reformed people believe all who have Faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are the Elect regardless of whether they are Calvinist or Arminian etc... [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Billwald;
    Good question; One that I would like to know the answer of my self.
    I don't consider myself Calvinist or Arminian but I do know I'm elected because of this verse;

    Rom 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

    Before Christ, Salvation was of the Jews making them elect and now this verse says that Salvation is of the Gentiles as well. Which means that when Christ died he did die for the entire world. The misunderstanding of election being individual IMHO has cause man to think that maybe he's only fooling himself. Election is not ever ment to mean that you will be saved. It only means that you can be. We have to make our election and calling sure. As Peter said;
    2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
    There has been many Jews in the past who were elect yet were not saved, because of rejection.
    Which proves that election doesn't mean you will be saved.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  4. nwells

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    I will deal with your statement about Calvin.


    Here, I quote Calvin from his commantary on 2 Peter 1:10 (NASB95)
    "Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble"

    Here's Calvin:
    "He draws this conclusion, that it is one proof that we have been really elected, and not in vain called by the Lord, if a good conscience and integrity of life correspond with our profession of faith. And he infers, that there ought to be more labor and diligence, because he had said before, that faith ought not to be barren....Now a question arises, Whether the stability of our calling and election depends on good works, for if it be so, it follows that it depends on us. But the whole Scripture teaches us, first, that God's election is founded on his eternal purpose; and secondly, that calling begins and is completed through his gratuitous goodness. The Sophists, in order to transfer what is peculiar to God's grace, to ourselves usually pervert this evidence. But their evasions may be easily refuted. For if any one thinks that calling is rendered sure by men, there is nothing absurd in that; we may however, go still farther, that every one confirms his calling by leading a holy and pious life. But it is very foolish to infer from this what the Sophists contend for; for this is a proof not taken from the cause, but on the contrary from the sign or the effect. Moreover, this does not prevent election from being gratuitous, nor does it shew that it is in our own hand or power to confirm election. For the matter stands thus, -- God effectually calls whom he has preordained to life in his secret counsel before the foundation of the world; and he also carries on the perpetual course of calling through grace alone. But as he has chosen us, and calls us for this end, that we may be pure and spotless in his presence; purity of life is not improperly called the evidence and proof of election, by which the faithful may not only testify to others that they are the children of God, but also confirm themselves in this confidence, in such n manner, however that they fix their solid foundation on something else.

    At the same time, this certainty, mentioned by Peter, ought, I think, to be referred to the conscience, as though the faithful acknowledged themselves before God to be chosen and called. But I take it simply of the fact itself, that calling appears as confirmed by this very holiness of life. It may, indeed, be rendered, Labor that your calling may become certain; for the verb poiei~sqai is transitive or intransitive. Still, however you may render it, the meaning is nearly the same.

    The import of what is said is, that the children of God are distinguished from the reprobate by this mark, that they live a godly and a holy life, because this is the design and end of election. Hence it is evident how wickedly some vile unprincipled men prattle, when they seek to make gratuitous election an excuse for all licentiousness; as though, forsooth! we may sin with impunity, because we have been predestinated to righteousness and holiness!"

    I think that takes care of what Calvin thought about a sign of those who are elect

    Because He lives,
    Nathan

    P.S.

    Mike:
    Be careful with how you define election -

    Romans 8:31-35 (NASB95)
    31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
    32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
    33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;
    34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
    35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    I would say the word "God's elect" does not mean all people but specifically Christians - those who are going to heaven having been saved by Christ and covered by His blood.
     
  5. billwald

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    I raise the question because some things in my denomination (Christian Reformed Church) irritate me such as subtil references that only "we" are elect and properly worship God. In the new Psalter the old hymns are subtilly altered. For example, in "To God Be The Glory," the phrase "that all may go in" has been changed to "that we may go in."
     
  6. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Nwells;
    Maybe you should have posted the rest of the scripture;
    Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
    Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
    Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
    Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    You will notice that Paul didn't included unbelief.
    An unbeliever has undone his faith he has lost it or turned away. You claim this isn't so but you can't explain Heb 6:4-6 or the fact that the Jews lost there faith and was broken out of the tree of Israel. What would you do with these scriptures? Just throw them out because they don't meat your criteria?.
    Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
    Rom 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
    Rom 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
    Rom 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
    Rom 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
    Rom 11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
    Rom 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
    Rom 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
    Rom 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  7. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Bill Wald
    Sometimes there seems to be no easy answer. My Sugestion is to seek wisom and discernment about the changes in your Church. We can always take it directly to Christ and His answers are always right. Of course you can always look for a good Bible Baptist Church and see if that might be an answer.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  8. nwells

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    Hi Mike:

    Actually I think the whole debate about Hebrews six is easily understood:

    Hebrews 6:4-6 (NASB95)
    4 "For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
    5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
    6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame."

    The important thing is to understand who Paul is talking about when he says, "and then have fallen away" - and Paul makes it very clear in verse 9:

    Hebrews 6:9 (NASB95)
    "But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way."

    The things that the people experienced who fell away were not things that accompanied salvation but never were saved.

    Those who fell away never had the better things and things that accompany salvation - meaning they were not saved.

    As far as Israel being broken off - the Bible is clear:

    Hebrews 3:14-19 (NASB95)
    14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,
    15 while it is said, “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”
    16 For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?
    17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
    18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?
    19 So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.


    They did not enter the promise land because of unbelief (yes I know this is not talking about them being cut off as it was in Romans, it was just the verse that came to mind - there are others that address why Israel was cut off and most likely they are about the same as this one). They did not believe and so God cut them off.

    I don't have a problem with that - Men make real choices - but I believe God is more free then men - men's choices do not in any way limit God's choice.

    To add to my thoughts:
    The author of Hebrews says: "have become partakers" and then adds and IF

    Let me ask - if the nessisary condition is not fulfilled (meaning if we do not hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end) what does that mean?

    It does not mean we are no longer partakers - it means we never were - for how can we be something if the nessissary condition is not fulfilled (for example: we have become doctors IF we have completed our PHD - if we haven't completed our PHD we didn't stop being doctors, we NEVER were doctors).

    I do my best not to throw out Scripture, since it is the Word of God and not the word of men or of me.

    You said I couldn't explain what I believed about Hebrews or about Israel being cut off - well...I did my best - and I am still listening to what you have to say [​IMG]

    Because He lives,
    Nathan
     
  9. Ray Berrian

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    billwald,

     
  10. johnp.

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    Hello nwells.

    Tell a man that he is able, without restraint or fear of consequences, that he can do as he pleases, then watch what he does. Since Jesus Christ died for men's sins there is no more punishment left for those who believe Him.
    If he behaves as a Christian then he is to be taken as a Christian. This in itself does not make him a Christian. If he behaves in a way that is not seen to be Christian then appropriate measures must be taken by the Church, but this does not mean he is not a Christian.

    ...distinguished from the reprobate by this mark, that they live a godly and a holy life...

    Calvin was such a clever man but here I think he fails. Is he saying that a man that lives like this is saved, more likely to be saved or what? 1 Cor 5:5 hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
    There was a saint who live like a reprobate. I know of some sinners that live lives of moral rectitude, not many, but some non Christians have a morality that is hard to fault. We should remember that.

    I don't think we can tell, apart from ourselves, who is and who isn't saved. Benefit of the doubt.

    forsooth: in truth: now often used to imply contempt or doubt:
    impunity: exemption or freedom from punishment, harm, or loss:

    Now if a man wants to live his life as the chap in 1 Cor 5:5 did then, as a Christian, he will not suffer loss, he will not be harmed or punished because God is our Father and He will not let harm come to us. That is His promise. We may die a horrible death but that must be for our good. He may chastise us but then again it is for our good. Jesus Christ died for my sins. I am a child of God. A Royal Priest. I take my directions from my God and my conscience and my conscience is not like other Christians I know. So what?

    Hello billwald

    Is it an assumption to believe in God? Whoever believes is saved.
    It is personal. One to One. Whosoever believes, and Calvinists believe this, is in. Whosoever does not believe that Christ died for their sins, and Calvinists believe this, is not saved.
    What test can there be for this but for Him who knows the minds and hearts of men?

    A test. A man says that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. He is part of the world therefore he is included.
    Answer. Jesus does not ask the question, did I die for the whole world, He asks the question, did I die for you?

    Jesus Christ died for my sins. It's personal. I am saved because I believe He died for my sins. Simple. Nothing to do with other peoples opinions of yourself. It's personal, between you and God. What do I care what others think of me. I am loved with an everlasting love and screw the opinions of man!
    If I were to be judged by Calvin then I would be rubbing shoulders with him on the way to Hell. He was a right miserable sod! Hardly the man to show the true face of God even though he did.

    The Protestant work ethic stems from the Reformation. That's what made the West so powerful. The Protestant work ethic can be the downfall of Christians in my lazy opinion. Relying on what you do is Martha's point of view. I'm all for doing a Mary and sitting down listening. But then I have always been unorthodox thank God.
    The don't do's and the do do's don't have much sway in my way of believing. But then I do take my freedom as a licence. He says it ain't what you do that saves you. Fair enough Guv, I take your word for it, this is part of the faith I have. Just keep a clear conscience without letting the others inpinge on it. Good Christians are always telling us what we should or should not be doing forgetting their own sins.
    The assumption: Just believe that Christ died for your sins and you are one of the elect. That's the test. It's personal.

    Hello ILUVLIGHT.

    Where did you get your theology from. Did you come by it yourself in your study or have you a theologian that you are attached to? I'd like to know. I am not being facetious.

    Ray

    Are you a Mormon? Sniping comes easy to me pal. Retract? Of course you are. No Christian would ever say such a thing. Who says you can call out the Church of God and get away with it? Who are you anyway? Are you a Mormon?
    I find that remark extremely offensive.

    johnp.
     
  11. Hardsheller

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  12. johnp.

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    i keep forgetting the e-mail notification so i am always writing;
    i keep forgetting the e-mail notification so i am always writing;
    i keep forgetting the e-mail notification so i am always writing;
    i keep forgetting the e-mail notification so i am always writing; :cool:

    johnp.
     
  13. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi John P;
    I'm not sure what you are talking about Here. Is this for me or someone else?

     
  14. johnp.

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    Hello ILUVLIGHT.

    Where did you get your theology from. Did you come by it yourself in your study or have you a theologian that you are attached to? I'd like to know. I am not being facetious.

    johnp.
     
  15. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi John P;
    The Holy Spirit, I spend a lot of time in prayer. My Bible, I love His word. My Parents are great Christians, who raised me in the study of God's word, My Church was filled with young theologians from the Dallas theological seminary, and my brothers, and sisters in Christ with whom I grew up, and studied with them. How ever The Word takes precedence over all men.

    I'm glad you asked this again because I wasn't sure if you were posting what someone else said or not.
    Were you also asking if I'm a Mormon? The answer to that is a definite NO!. I don't believe Ray is either.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  16. billwald

    billwald
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    I worshipped for 30 years with Baptists. Gave up on dispensational theology in 1988.
     
  17. Ray Berrian

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    Yeh, I have to decide which of my Mormon wives types for me on various days; its confusing but I manage it.

    I have gone to a Calvinistic seminary and an evangelical seminary and see the Bible teaching four points of Arminianism and I believe in the security of the true believer, plus dispensationalism. I was saved by the grace of Jesus at age eleven years old.

    Oh, the first sentence is a fabrication just to make you [​IMG]

    Berrian, Th.D.
     
  18. johnp.

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    Sorry Ray but that did not make me smile. 'I guess deception is no longer a sin in Christian churches.' That rankles. We are to build the Church up and that statement is hardly edifying.

    Thanks for your background info. It is useful to know.

    johnp.
     
  19. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi John P;
    IMHO; Nothing on God's green earth hurts the testimony of a Christian more than accusing a brother in Christ. I've been reading Ray's post for a long time now, and when I read what he said about deception, I have to agree it is rampant in most churches. Both in theology and plainly how each organization is run.

    Never fool yourself in to thinking that deception isn't sitting right in the same pew next to you.

    I some times wonder when this prophetic warning will come in to effect. After all I do believe we are in the last days before tribulation;

    Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

    This warning is about a Church or religious organization. This is not the body of Christ as a church but the organization.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  20. Ray Berrian

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    johnp,

    Brother John you missed the punch line. I was trying to get you (everyone) to smile about my Mormon wives. Do Christians frown on [​IMG] in England?

    'Buck up' my friend.
     

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