Search the Scriptures

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by w_fortenberry, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. w_fortenberry

    w_fortenberry
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    In the process of studying the Scriptures dealing with salvation, I came to the fifth chapter of Romans. Here I found that the usual Calvinistic interpretation of the word "all" (that according to context it refers to individuals out of all people groups) does not fit the usage of that word in verses 12-21. In particular verse 18 states,
    This passage led me to consider and write down the following points regarding salvation. I am presenting them here in hopes that the discussion will reveal the errors which I am sure they must contain, and that I will then be able to further refine these points to adequately portray the teachings of Scripture. I would appreciate any help you can provide.

    I. Man’s sin makes him wholly unable to attain unto the righteousness of God on his own. Rom. 3:23; thus there is some validity to the claim that man is “totally depraved.” Rom 5:12
    II. However, though man can not attain unto God, man’s sin does not prevent God from working in the world of men. Col 1:17, Prov 21:1, Isa 45:1
    III. Each individual is created by the specific design of God. Psalm 127:3, and 139:13-16. Thus each individual being was created for the purpose of glorifying God just as all creation is for His glory. Psalm 19:1, Ecc 12:13.
    IV. The ultimate glorification of God among men is the salvation of lost souls.
    V. Man cannot glorify God in salvation apart from God. Rom 3:23
    VI. God must interact in the world of men if any man is to be saved. No one can be saved unless God brings him to the point of salvation. John 6:44.
    VII. God has provided a means of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ John 3:16.
    VIII. Salvation comes only by faith in Christ’s sacrifice. Eph 2:8-9, II Cor 5:7, Rom. 5:1.
    IX. God, who personally creates the physical life of each and every individual and who personally interacts with each individual in spite of that individual’ sins (Acts 17:27-29), also draws each individual to the place of repentance. John 12:32
    X. Each individual is given the free gift of the ability to receive Christ. Rom 5:18
    XI. Every individual is given the ability to accomplish that purpose for which he was fearfully and wonderfully made. Phil 4:13
    XII. God brings every individual to a place at which he can choose to accept by faith Christ’s payment for his sins.
    XIII. God is humble. Christ washed the feet of His disciples knowing that humility and even servitude do not negate sovereignty. He took on Himself the form of a servant and humbled Himself unto death. Phil 2:5-11
    XIV. God is so sovereign that He is able to submit Himself to the will of man if He so chooses.
    XV. Therefore, every individual sees the Light which has appeared unto all men (John 1:9), hears the report of God which is gone unto all the world (Rom 10:17-18 and Psalm 19:1-6), and is drawn by the Spirit (John 12:32) to a place where he can believe that report, receive the Light, and be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. But, though God brings every man to the point of salvation, He loves each individual so much that He allows him to make his own conscious choice regarding his destiny: whether to accept Christ’s payment and live forever, or to reject it and continue in the condemnation and death of his sin. The choice to accept is the choice to ask God to complete the work of repentance in that individual thus enabling him to fulfill his purpose of glorifying God for all eternity. The choice to reject is the sin unto death, for all that do not glorify God voluntarily will someday be cast out of His presence forever to glorify Him arbitrarily in eternal death.
     
  2. KenH

    KenH
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Messages:
    32,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    What you have listed is a form of Arminianism. Some Arminians will agree with all of it, some Arminians will agree with a lot of it, as will Calvinists, espeicially the early part.

    So, since you know the Calvinist position on what you have written, what are you looking for? :confused: We will not agree with your soteriology and you will not agree with ours.

    Fortunately, God saves His people regardless of whether we agree on how God saves them. [​IMG]
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't see this in Scripture necessarily. God's ultimate glorification comes when his will is carried out. To limit that to the salvation of men is not scriptural, as I see it. It seems you tacitly agree as evidenced by the lack of a reference here.

    The first part of these may be true. The second part is clearly not. JOhn 12:32 is not all men without exception as some erroneously teach. It is all men without distinction, as evidenced by the context of Jews vs. Greeks. The Greeks who want to see Jesus are put off until such time as he is lifted up when he will draw all to himself. NOTice that the word "men" is not in the text itself. That has been added.

    Scripture does teach that all who are drawn for salvation do believe (John 6:37; 44). There is clearly a drawing or call that is effectual and one that is general. If this distinction is overlooked, it makes nonsense out of some passages.

    Again, not taught in Scripture. Romans 5:18 says nothing of the sort. IT says nothing about an "ability" being given, but rather about righteousness being given. The word that Arminians need desparetly to be there is not there. The point of Rom 5 is the modus operandi of justification. Paul's point is that we become saved, the same way that we became sinners--by the imputation of someone else's acts. Romans 5:18 taken any other way leads to universalism. IT is most definitely not about ability to do something but rather about the actuality. AGain, we must be limited by the words of the text. The "All" is the "All in Adam" who are sinners and the "All" in Christ who are righteous.

    PHil 4:13 does not address this topic at all.

    Did he bring Pharoah to such a place? Clearly not. HE raised PHaroah up for an entirely different reason. MAny people never hear of Christ's payment for sins. That means God never brought them to that place.

    This is a faulty understanding of sovereignty. Sovereignty is not about ability to do something but about control. When God submits himself to the will of man in the sense that you have used it, he ceases to be sovereign until such time as he takes it back.

    A whole passal of errors that have been addressed many times, some of them already in this post. I Will simply say that "arbitrary" is not a good word to use in this discussion. Nothing is arbitrary about it.

    As Ken has said, you are an arminian, or at least have presented an arminian view here. As I have shown briefly, there are some errors in the use of Scripture and in the thought process. MAny more could be pointed out but I will leave it at this.
     
  4. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very interesting post. I would drop off point four. While you may or may not have a valid point, it needs some Scriptural basis.

    There is a tension between John 6 and 12, as Larry points out, but the Calvinists do not believe that Christ was talking to a specific group of people - they believe that it was a universal doctrine. We know that Paul speaks several times of Christ dying for all, and that John says that Christ is the propitiation of the entire world. We also see in John 3:16 that He died for the world, and in the first chapter of John that he was the light who gives light to all men.

    His comment about Romans 5:18 does not take into account the previous next verse. Although Christ's death brought life to all men, not all men will be made righteous. Only those who "receive God's abundant provision of grace" receive that gift that is brought to them. In other words, the offer of life is brought to all men. Those who say yes become saved.


    For number 11, are you sure you have the right verse there?

    For number 12, ignore the ramblings of Larry. Pharoah had no chance to receive Christ since he livesd before Him. And let us not forget that Pharoah hardened himself! He was like clay, and God was the sun. In a sense, he was hardened by God and he hardened himself simultaneous. Regardless, he came before Christ, so Larry's argument is null and void.


    I wholeheartedly agree with 14. God set into motion a system whereby man could choose to love or reject Him. Calvinists think this makes God somehow less. I cannot understand that reasoning, nor is it something found in the Scriptures.


    Continue wrestling with the Scriptures. Romans is filled of great doctrinal nuggets. We must make sure that we do not take verses from their contexts, but understand them in the context of the entire letter.
     
  5. KenH

    KenH
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Messages:
    32,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just curious, Scott, do you think that only Arminians base their beliefs on Scripture and that Calvinists make their up out of whole cloth? Can someone disagree with you while being honest with the Scriptures at the same time?
     
  6. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just curious, Scott, do you think that only Arminians base their beliefs on Scripture and that Calvinists make their up out of whole cloth? Can someone disagree with you while being honest with the Scriptures at the same time? </font>[/QUOTE]I think that all people - from Pelagians to hyper-Calvinists are taking their doctrine from Scripture. Many emphasize certain parts. Many also add a few things here and there to fill in the gaps. I think that the statement that was made is one of those "fill-in-the-gap" doctrinal ideas, not pure Scripture.
     
  7. William C

    William C
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this, but I wouldn't take these two concepts to mean the same thing.

    God's hardening man is different than man's hardening of himself.

    Pharoah hardened himself in the sense that he made up his mind that he was going to keep the slaves in Egypt.

    God hardened Pharoah by giving him a spirit of stupor or a delusion in which he would not see God through the very powerful and convincing revelations and believe Moses before God had accomplished His entire purpose.

    So, Pharoah had made up his mind, but the plagues could have changed his mind had God not sent him a delusion so that he could not see, hear, and understand the apparent truth that Moses was speaking.

    Why would God do this? To reveal his glory through power of the plagues and teach the world some valuable lessons throughout history.

    So, man can harden himself by his own will, and separate from that, God can harden man by his will in order to gaurentee that his purpose is fulfilled through them. (The Israelites are a perfect example of this which I believe God was foreshadowing through the hardening of Pharoah. We can see the parallel clearly in Romans 9)
     
  8. w_fortenberry

    w_fortenberry
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Let me present the following verses in support of point IV.

    A. Everything that God created was created for His glory. (Col 1:16, Rev 4:11, Psalm 19:1-6, Psalm 148:5, Rom 1:20, Isa 43:7, and etc…)
    B. However, man’s sin prevents him from glorifying God on his own. (Rom 3:23, John 15:5, Rom 14:23, Isa 64:6, Job 14:4, Rom 7:18, and etc…)
    C. Knowledge of the glory of God comes through Jesus Christ. (II Cor 4:6)
    D. God is to be glorified in all things through Christ. (I Pet 4:11)
    E. God calls man unto eternal glory by Jesus Christ. (I Pet 5:10)
    F. Salvation comes with eternal glory. (II Tim 2:11)
    G. Man is able to obtain the glory of Jesus Christ through salvation. (II Thess 2:13-14)
    H. Christ gives the believer the same glory that He had before creation. (John 17:22)
    I. Believers are called out of darkness to show forth the praise of God as a peculiar people. (I Pet 2:9)
    J. Christ died to purify unto Himself a peculiar people. (Tit 2:14)
    K. The Holy Spirit produces in the believer the glory of Christ. ( II Cor 3:18)
    L. Christ was sanctified that believers might be sanctified. (John 17:9)
    M. Christ received us to the glory of God. (Rom 15:7)
    N. As a direct result of His payment for our sins, Christ has received a name above every name and the confession of His Lordship which brings glory to God. (Php 2:8-11)
    O. Christ was glorified among men when He was lifted up. (John 12:32)
    P. The glory which Christ receives as Savior is the same as that which He had before creation. (John 17:1 and 5)
    Q. Jesus is not glorified as Savior without His sacrifice. (John 13:31-32)
    R. Christ is proclaimed worthy of honor, not because of His sovereignty, but because of His humility as the Lamb that was slain. (Rev 5:12)

    Thus the ultimate glorification of God among men is the salvation of lost souls.
     
  9. w_fortenberry

    w_fortenberry
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    These verses can be interpreted as saying such only if one presupposes irresistible grace. Verse 37 states that none of those who come to Christ will be cast out. Verse 44 states that no one can believe on Christ independent of the drawing of God and that those who believe on Him will be raised up at the last day. Neither verse states that all who are drawn to Christ will believe.

    Paul’s point in this passage is that just as each man dies because of his own choice to sin (Ezek 18:20, Deut 24:16), even so each man can live through his own choice to believe on Christ. The choice to believe is made available because God has given to each man the gift which is unto justification. This is not to say that every man is justified but that God has given to every man that gift which is unto justification. Thus all man must do is accept the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

    Your “contextual” definition of the words “all” appears to be derived from an incorrect understanding of the grammatical structure of this passage. Please notice that verses thirteen through seventeen are paranthetical to the passage. (para=along side, thesis=main point or theme) Therefore, the grammatical structure of the passage indicates a direct flow of thought from verse twelve to verse eighteen. The words, “wherefore" and "therefore," are used to direct the reader's attention to this structure. Try reading these verses without the parantheticals and see if it changes your possibilities of interpretation.

    "As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."

    Just as we can do nothing without Christ (John 15:5), so we can do anything through Christ. Thus, through Jesus Christ, one can accomplish that purpose for which he was fearfully and wonderfully made.

    God raised Pharaoh up to his position that God might glorify Himself; God granted Pharaoh life that Pharaoh might glorify God. (Rom 1:18-32, Rom 10:17-18, Psalm 19:1-6) God gives every man the opportunity to accept Christ. Some reject that opportunity in the midst of many human witnesses; others reject the direct witness of God, but no one can claim that he was not given that opportunity.

    The word “sovereign” simply means, “that which is above” or “that which is supreme.” Thus, to speak of God’s sovereignty is to speak of His supremacy. Yet Christ, "in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily," "made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant, and…humbled himself, and became obedient unto death.” He that was equal with God humbled Himself before men. He was both sovereign and servant at the same time.
     

Share This Page

Loading...