Saving faith pt 2

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by Iconoclast, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Iconoclast

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Reformed
    Your "falling out with Calvinism" was also mine. I had a very difficult time reconciling God's sovereignty and individual responsibility. How could God condemn someone who did not have the capability to make a decision? For me, the turning point was when it dawned on me that I was using human logic to try and understand a divine point of view.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PreachTony
    While a very good point, we must also call to mind that every time we read the scripture we do so with a corrupted mind, fallen in sin. So God reveals scripture to a mind that, using human logic, would never be able to comprehend it, unless He provides guidance in some form, be it an elder, or a preacher, or a teacher, or through the divine influence of the Holy Spirit. Therefore I am hesitant to simply wipe away human experience from our interaction with God. I'm not saying one way is right and the other wrong. I'm saying that I don't want to write that one off just yet.

    The Holy Spirit provides understanding to a regenerate mind. The physical body is corrupt, but once a person has been born again the mind is no longer fallen (2 Cor. 5:17). Otherwise how could Paul say that we should be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Rom. 12:2)? My comment about "human logic" had to do with my opposition to Monergism based on human reasoning apart from a convincing biblical argument.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Reformed
    The first thing I accepted was that man was born completely fallen because of sin. The "completely fallen" part was very important. Is man just sick in his trespasses and sin, or dead in his trespasses and sin (Eph. 2:1)? If man is just sick, then he is not completely fallen. There remains the possibility of some latent faith, stored deep within his soul. That faith has but the dimmest light, the faintest glow. All it needs is a spark from outside in order to drive into a flame. That spark, according to the Synergist view, is the Gospel.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PreachTony
    I agree that man is born in sin. However, at what point is that sin accounted of that man? If it is from birth, then every baby who ever died was guilty and cast into Hell awaiting final judgement, quite literally, for a sin they never committed. Then again, Deuteronomy 1:39 says "Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it." In that scripture, God Himself refers to babies and children as having no knowledge of good and evil. Adam himself wasn't accounted to have fallen until he had knowledge of good and evil, so if these little ones lack that knowledge are they truly guilty? Can it be said that someone God in His own words does not account knowledge of good and evil unto is "completely fallen?"

    Man is a sinner for two reasons: 1. He is born in a state of sin. 2. He sins. Remove #2 and man is still a sinner. We are born in a state of sin because Adam, our fair and just representative, sinned on behalf of the human race. To eliminate #2 is to fall prey to the Pelagian heresy; that somehow a baby is born tabula rasa (blank slate) and only becomes culpable of sin when he actually commits sin.

    If we appeal to Scripture we must be honest and conclude that there is no convincing proof the children who die in infancy go to be with the Lord. We are left to appeal to God's mercy in that situation. In an attempt to deal with that very issue the framers of the 1689 Second London Baptist Confession of Faith wrote:


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1689 LBC, Chapter 10.3
    3. Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleases; so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
    ( John 3:3, 5, 6; John 3:8 )

    The framers of the Confession included "all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word". Their thinking was that, since God has numbered and called His elect, salvation would apply to those who are providentially hindered from hearing and responding to the Gospel. If you think about it that is a lot better than just quoting 2 Samuel 12:23 ("But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.") which absolutely nothing to do with David seeing his dead baby boy again. It speaks solely of the grave.

    As for Deuteronomy 1:39, in context it is talking about the innocence of the generation that followed those who did not accept the report of the spies. They were not guilty of the sin of giving a bad report of the land of Canaan. Both little ones and sons are mentioned. They were the ones who were under 40 years old and not killed in the wilderness. The passage has nothing to do with innocence of sin in general.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Reformed
    However, if man is completely fallen - dead in his trespasses and sins - then there is no latent faith, no faint glow. The Gospel, separated from the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit, cannot be received by the sinner because the sinner is dead. The sinner lacks the ability to respond (Rom. 8:7; 1 Cor. 2:14).

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PreachTony
    2 Timothy 1:5, Paul writes "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also." This, to me, accounts a familial bond of faith. Not a genetic passing on of faith, but a learned behavior or trait. Paul is speaking of Timothy's faith and he does not write "Your faith which God gave you at your regeneration," but he says "the faith that was in your grandmother, then your mother, and now also in you." It's a subtle difference, and one I'm sure we could debate until we both ran out of words, but it is a difference.

    I am not sure what point you are making here. I do not believe that personal, saving faith is passed down through families. I would not use 2 Timothy 1:5 as a proof text either way in that regard. Now, I do believe that a heritage of faith can be handed down; a legacy, if you will. But just because five generations of my family may have been Christians did not guarantee the same for me. I call as evidence Ephesians 2:4, “But God…” God moved on Timothy first. The Holy Spirit illumined Timothy to the truth of the Gospel and then Timothy believed.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PreachTony
    If a sinner is born lacking the ability to respond to the call of God, then you are left with several verses in the scripture that, under that notion, make God appear to be bipolar. Now, I think we both agree that He is not. So how do we discern the truth? You find it in a monergistic system. I see it in a synergistic system. We can both point to scripture to back our claims. To that, I say consider the blue line of my quote. (Not to toot my own horn or anything )

    I urge you to spend time with texts such as Romans 8:7; 1 Corinthians 2:14; and Ephesians 2:1. Compare them to John 3:16; Acts 16:30, and Romans 10:9-10. Is there a disconnect in the Monergist understanding of scripture? I do not think so. In the first three passage we read of the totally fallen nature of the sinner; of his inability to believe. In the last three we see the sinner calling out to God in faith. How so if the sinner is truly fallen? Simple, really. Justification if by faith. It always has been and always will be. Monergists believe that divine election, working through regeneration, makes faith possible on the part of the person who is calling on the Lord to save them.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Reformed
    This realization was difficult for me. I had created a neat little caricature of what Monergism was. To me it was evil because it made mankind pawns of a Omnipotent God. How benevolent could a God like that be? But as I wrestled with the issue it became apparent to me that my objection was not biblically based but perception based. Try as I might I could not quench the pull to learn more about the thing I despised so much.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PreachTony
    I understand that feeling. At one point or another each and every believer had a caricature version of God the Father and Jesus in mind. I don't consider Monergism to be evil, though I do see a robotic version of man contained within Monergism. It renders man with no will of his own, which goes back to my comment about those verses that make God appear bipolar. If man has no will to come to God unless God places that will within man, then why does Jesus lament Jerusalem's failure to turn to Him, saying "ye would not?" (Matt 23:37)

    more on next page-
     
  2. Iconoclast

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    Luther wrote “On the Bondage of the Will” to address this very issue. Sinners freely sin because their nature (will) is in bondage to sin. They are slaves to sin (Rom. 6:20). Even the good they do lacks merit because it is done while in bondage to sin. When the sinner is liberated and declared righteous he is now able to choose between sin and righteousness (posse pecare posse non pecare); a choice that Adam had pre-fall. We choose to sin willfully and we choose to obey willfully. I suppose the real question is how does man have the freedom to choose if God is completely sovereign and rules over the choices of men? It is a powerful, and ultimately, a question whose answer does not satisfy the finite mind. If you ask me how I know it, I can only do what I have done already – turn to scripture. If you ask me how God allows both to co-exist and demand a technical answer, I have none to give. The reason I am not troubled by this is because the positive commands that God is sovereign (according to the Monergistic understanding of “sovereign”) are many and without ambiguity.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Reformed
    So, if man is completely fallen, and completely unable to believe, how can anyone be saved? Two words played havoc in my mind - "But God". I already agreed with Eph. 2:1 that sinful man is dead in trespasses and sin and that death is a state of spiritual death. I agreed that man was incapable of believing because his state of death made spiritual belief an impossibility. As I read further down in Ephesians 2, I read these words:
    Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
    Epiphany! While we were dead in our transgressions (sin), "But God". Not, "But me". But God. It was God who took unilateral action to make me alive together with Christ. That was done through regeneration; which resulted in faith; which resulted in salvation. At that point I realized that I accomplished absolutely nothing to my salvation. Even the faith I exercised was a gift of God (Eph. 2:8).

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PreachTony
    Exactly. This particular synergist does not deny that God does the work. I did not die on the cross; Christ did. I did not rise from the grave; Christ did. But I did have to open the door when He knocked (Rev 3:20). If we are fully Monergistic, then why does Christ say "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Why not just say "I stand at the door, and I open it, and come in unto a man?" That, to me, is true Monergism. The version Christ says in Revelation 3 implies, at least to my interpretation, some form of synergism.

    Tony, our Sovereign God is pleased to work through the means He has ordained to call His elect. That means is the preaching of the Gospel. The Synergist is right when he concludes God did not create robots. But guess what? The Monergist does not believe that either. God often works through a process. He is under no compulsion to get the calling of a particular sinner over and done with in short order. Everything God does is in perfect harmony with everything else He does. That includes saving sinners. When I preach and extend a Gospel invitation to believe in Christ, why do I do so if I am a Monergist? I do so because (at the risk of being redundant) preaching is the means God has established to call sinners. So, calling on sinners to take action is both biblical and Monergistic.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PreachTony
    Just curious, but how did you come to accept God hardening some to the point of damnation as "mercy?" I don't mean that facetiously, I'm genuinely curious how the monergist comes to that conclusion.

    I may have worded that poorly. Those that God chooses to save are the recipients of His mercy. The damnation of the lost is not due to mercy.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  3. Iconoclast

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    Originally Posted by Iconoclast View Post
    DHK

    A person can be saved and not be able to explain the mechanics of it.

    Many questioned your recent explanations of the Supernaturally given salvation which you called a fairy tale

    [/QUOTE]


    oh ok....put the quotes around it....then we can see if it was a false allegation or a true one......

    posted by DHK


    Jesus explained to Nicodemus that the Spirit works in the unseen realm.....effectually.

    [

    Saving faith is a gift from God. regeneration takes place , a new heart is given , spiritual surgery is done by God.
    God grants repentance and faith to the unsaved person,enabling saving faith to be expressed by that newly converted person.

    Error that he previously held disappears faster than a new thread that reveals who is speaking the truth....and who is not quite up to it!
     
    #3 Iconoclast, Feb 24, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2015
  4. DHK

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    This is a false accusation and you shouldn't be allowed to be posting it again.
    Why are you posting lies and libel.

    Again, you said:
    A person can be saved and not be able to explain the mechanics of it.

    --Every quote I made above that you posted was about regeneration, not specifically salvation. The threads that you took those from were discussions about regeneration being separate from salvation. I wasn't giving my belief, of course. I was giving my tongue-in-cheek description of the Calvinist view of regeneration which requires no faith, no gospel, no Christ, no message, no nothing...but a new heart from God. That is what I find absurd.
    It wasn't about salvation as a whole, but one part--regeneration.
    So your quotes are out of context and quite libelous.
    You are quite adept at defaming a person's character.
    And no one argues that point to the contrary. No one is forced to take your interpretation of John 3 either.

    You are entitled to your opinion. Do not expect it to be the gospel truth just because you say it and you hold to it. Others may disagree with you. If they do that doesn't mean they are heretics, or that they don't understand salvation. Perhaps it is you that doesn't understand a thing or too. This thread should be shut down. It is shameful that you would even attack a person in such a way.
    If you wanted to say such things you could have sent a pm.
     
  5. Rippon

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    You are speaking nonsense. See below.
    Tongue-in-cheek? Then you give a series of five denials of cardinal Christian doctrines you claim of Calvinists. That is despicable of you DHK.
     
  6. convicted1

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    DHK, you stated this....


    And this...
    And this....

    Then ole steaver comes along with this line of mularkey in the "6 non-cal misconceptions thread"......
    I know you're not a mod there, but you said nary a word to confront this mystical statement by steaver. Why's that? :confused:


    The reason I ask this is beacuse everything you blasted us for, ole steaver stated as fact; a mystical salvation, yet you didn't confront him with that idea. Again, why's that? :confused: Oh I know, he's one of your fellow free will believers....
     
  7. DHK

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    Examine your own quotes. They all speak of "regeneration" or the new birth, which the Calvinist himself separates from salvation. IMO, they happen simultaneously. In a recent thread there were many that said Cornelius was regenerated at least four days previous to when he heard the gospel from Peter. It is this view that leads me to say the things that you just quoted.
    Someone who has never heard the gospel, never heard of Christ, does not know anything of Christianity suddenly becomes regenerated. This is the view that is being propagated here.
    And I have described it just a bit more vividly that some of you like. Nothing wrong with that, IMO. It doesn't describe salvation, but "regeneration," that belief that many of you believe that God can regenerate a person that has never heard the gospel or anything about Christ. I find it absurd and have made that known. Now some are upset.
    Yes, I am not a moderator there, so I tend to leave things alone.
    I think what Steaver gave was anecdotal evidence (which I also have read), that is very similar in nature to the way that Cornelius got saved. Some Muslims had dreams or visions about Christ, and then the Lord sent to them someone to give more clarity and truth to the gospel message.
    It is purely anecdotal and I don't have much to say about it except that it is the gospel that saves, meaning one's belief must be in Christ as presented in the Christ of the Bible.
     
  8. convicted1

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    Well, God spoke directly to Abram, Moses, David, et al in the OT and to Simeon(via the Spirit), Peter, James and John on the mountain, knocked Saul of Tarsus off his horse. But, I think these were special incidences that were special people God spoke to prior to the closing of the canons of scriptures.

    As far as for Cornelius, I think he had already heard the gospel in some way, whether by one of the twelve or the 70 Jesus sent out two-by-two. He knew who Jesus was, imo...Also during this time, none of the gifts had ceased yet, either. They were raising people from the dead, healing the sick, speaking in tongues(not the blurb, blabble, bauble, blurrr you see today), so maybe Cornelius was regenerated. Maybe not. One thing's for certain, he knew about Jesus before Peter came there that day.


    I don't agree with that view either. There is no conversion, no regeneration where there is no gospel.

    Well, you called it a "fairy tale", people being in "yogic positions", wasn't anything but disrespectful to our position, so don't get your feelings hurt when we retort. Good for the goose is good for the gander....

    Nope. Not anecdotal in the least. He stated it as a fact, not an ancedote....
     
  9. The American Dream

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    Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. This in itself is a sovereign act of God. I am not saying it has to be a sermon or revival to accomplish. It could be someone going door to door. I would tend to dismiss the supernatural things in this thread, as I believe supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased. I am not 100% sure of that, but that is what I think. The Lord is sovereign in the whole salvation process. Lets say the Lord stopped after faith by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Man is still in his fallen state and can not respond until conviction, touch of, whatever you want to call it, of the Holy Spirit.

    I am not going to argue the point if faith, regeneration, and repentance come in a certain order or happen all at once. Sufficient to say the Lord guides each one of His to come to salvation, justification, sanctification and finally glorification. The bottom line is that is all of God and nothing of man.
     
  10. The American Dream

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    Also I wanted to clarify the point about ceased supernatural gifts as a mode to bring the Gospel. When we say gifts have ceased in this category, it is not given to an individual human anymore. Some mimic it to make money like Bennie Hinn. God can do anything He chooses. He can heal those we are praying for. If He so chose, He could send the Gospel in unusual ways besides preaching and going door to door. What the Lord will not do is a new revelation, as Hebrews says Christ is the complete revelation of God. While those during the OT times and apostolic age saw many miracles and new revelations, we have received ours in His Son and Scripture. There is no such thing as a Word of Knowledge. There is no such thing as tongues today. For those watching TBN for their spiritual maturity, I strongly suggest you turn off the TV and seek out local church.
     
  11. Reformed

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    DHK,

    I would like to address this one assertion. I am not speaking for any other poster on this board, only me.

    Reformed theology views regeneration as part of the order of salvation (ordo salutis). One Reformed scholar defines it as, "A term found particularly in Calvinistic theology to indicate the temporal order of the process of salvation of the sinner according to the work of God. Elements include calling, regeneration, adoption, conversion, faith, justification, etc.". The key is the order of salvation. In Reformed theology when we speak of the ordo salutis we are speaking of salvation. So, when we speak of (saving) faith, adoption, or conversion independently we are speaking about salvation. Notice that "salvation" is not even a component part of the ordo salutis because salvation is what each component of the ordo salutis is part of.

    The definition of the order of salvation given in the last paragraph states, "to indicate the temporal order or the process of salvation". That word temporal is important. In God's view salvation has occurred, is occurring, and yet to occur all at the same time. God is not bound by linear time (because He created linear time). We, as finite creatures, see a temporal order of things. Personally I am (and along with many other Reformed theologians) unable to distinguish the temporal order of things. I view all the component parts of salvation has happening nearly instantaneously. But from a theological point of view, a temporal point of view, understanding the component parts is helpful because it is biblical.

    You may not agree with what I just wrote, but it is the proper way of understanding your opponents view.
     
  12. robustheologian

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    Sir...you're the real MVP. :applause:
     
  13. convicted1

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    Mugwump Viceroy Potentate? :smilewinkgrin:
     
  14. Reformed

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    That is MR. Mugwump to you!
     
  15. DHK

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    I have no problem the way this is stated. Your view is that they happen nearly instantaneously which would rule out such scenarios (and then the possibilities of many others) of the regeneration of Cornelius happening four days before his salvation.
     
  16. Iconoclast

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    Acts is a transitional book.Many described as devout persons were proselytized ot saints....who were yet to be brought into NT worship.
     
  17. Reformed

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    You know, I am split on whether Cornelius was saved prior to Peter's message. The text does say in Acts 11:13-14, "And he reported to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying, 'Send to Joppa and have Simon, who is called Peter, brought here: and he will speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household'". On other hand it is possible Cornelius believed in God based on the light he had, like other Old Testament saints, but was provided a fuller account of Jesus Christ by Peter. I lean more towards the view that he was not saved prior to hearing Peter's message, but it really is not one of those issues I am going to fall on my sword over.
     
  18. Reformed

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    That is true. That is why I stated to DHK I am not willing to fall on my sword over Cornelius being saved prior to hearing from Peter. Only God knows for sure. In any event Cornelius is a brother we will see in glory.
     
  19. DHK

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    So how does that prove any thing? All of the above were entirely different situations. The only one who wasn't saved was Saul. But Saul was probably the most educated person alive at that time and his knowledge of the OT was immense. Apples and oranges.
    1. The ones that Jesus sent out were sent out the "the house of Israel."
    2. Jesus ministry was only to Israel.
    3. Those present at Pentecost were all Jews.
    4. The early church up to Acts 8 only preached to Jews, and then in Acts 8 they reached out to Samaritans. They were carrying out the gospel according to the instructions given to them per Acts 1:8
    5. In Acts 10 finally the gospel was going to the Gentiles. This is the first time that Peter had been in a Gentile house and he practically had to be dragged in there (remember the visions). This was no where near Jerusalem, where Pentecost was. It was in Caesarea.
    --We don't know the age of the Roman Centurion, in what places he had been, etc. One cannot say dogmatically that he had heard the gospel. All indications are that he had not. In fact the scripture itself indicates that he had not heard the gospel, as Peter was sent for that very purpose.
    What has that got to do with anything?
    He was going to a Jewish synagogue. There are no spiritual gifts there, no miracles there, no gospel there, nothing. Why read into scripture that which is not there. Remember that Saul had just been saved the chapter before. He was the missionary to the Gentiles. His work had not even started yet. There is absolutely no evidence that the gospel had penetrated into the house of the centurion or that he had heard it before the coming of Peter, none. That is the reason that Peter was sent. That is what the account says.
    I am glad you agree. There are some here that believe no gospel is necessary for regeneration to happen.
    I call it a fairy tale to those people who believe that the Word of God is not necessary (that is what I said), no mention of Christ, no mention of the work of Christ, no mention of the gospel. They might as well be alone in a wooded area and....(you fill in the rest of the description I provided).
    It is imperative that the gospel be heard first. That was my point in all of that.
    I am not accountable for Steaver. I am not the Moderator here.
     
  20. The American Dream

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    DHK,

    At what point on Pauls trip to Damascus was he saved?
     

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