Some Things Cleared Up

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Rippon, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    I am not witty enough to come up with a concise title for this thread . I am mainly responding to Ron Arndt on doctrines called Calvinism -- but having their clear-cut basis in the Scripture .

    Some questions to begin with . How can a person dead in sin come to spiritual life him or herself to accept Christ ? How does one believe ? Isn't the Lord the One who chooses who will be saved and who will perish in their sins ?

    Nobody has the strength , power , insight , ability or will to turn to the Lord under their own wormly power . Only the ones who have been ordained ( appointed ) to receive eternal life will in-fact receive it ( see Acts 13:48 for instance ) . The Lord lays down the ground rules . That why He is LORD of all .

    Did you ever look at Matthew 25:31-46 ? It speaks of the Lord God dividing the sheep from the goats . Everyone is not a member of the sheepfold . Divine distinctions . Crist did not die for the sheep AND the goats -- only His sheep are His bride , the elect , His Church etc.

    Some are objects of His wrath -- prepared for destruction ( Romans 9:22 ). Certain individuals were marked out for condemnation . Outer darkness has been reserved for them . ( see Jude 4 and 13 ) . Who are the children God gave Christ in Hebrews 2:13 ? Everyone ? Are there indeed reprobates ? Isn't predestination double ? Some are destined for eternal life and others for eternal death ( the 2nd death as it puts it in the book of Revelation several times ).

    The Lord has mercy on whom He chooses to have mercy upon . In Matthew 26:28 Christ said : " This is my blood of the covenant , which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins . " In Hebrews 2:10 it says of Christ : " In bringing many sons and daughters to glory . " In the same book it states in 9:28 : " So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many ... " .
     
  2. Helen

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    Rippon, forty or fifty times in the Bible we are told to seek God. In Isaiah 1, He summons, "Come, let us reason together" to the unsaved.

    Death is NOT unconsciousness, but rather separation. Spiritual death is separation from God (who is Life), not the inability to function spiritually. Romans 1 tells of God's wrath being poured out on those who suppress the truth -- which means they saw it and chose how they wanted to respond to it.

    Spiritually dead people can very much respond to God with a 'yes' or 'no.' They can very much decide to follow or reject what truth God has put in their lives. Those who want the truth, whether or not they realize it has anything to do with God, will be led by God to the Son. Those who reject the truth they are confronted with, and consistently reject it, will finally get what they also have been pursuing -- the Lie.

    Yes, God has mercy on those for whom He chooses, but that is simply a reminder that we humans dare not judge one another's hearts -- for God and God alone judges the heart of a man.

    This Calvinism debate has been going on forever, I think, here on BB. In response to some folk here on a now defunct section of the BB, I wrote the following, which my husband put up on his website. I hope the two things will help you think things through a little from a biblical perspective:

    Calvinism and Me: http://host380.ipowerweb.com/~setterfi/calvinism.htm -- this was written not in response to this board, but as a conclusion of two years' worth of studies regarding Calvinism as a doctrinal position.

    Esau I Have Hated: http://host380.ipowerweb.com/~setterfi/Esau.html -- this one was in response to a former thread on Esau.
     
  3. Benjamin

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    Wow Helen, you've been on this for a long time!1994 sheesh! [​IMG]

    Like the link, will have to read it again when I have more time. [​IMG]
     
  4. Humblesmith

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    It always amazes me how someone can take the idea of "receiving a free gift" and make it equal "working to earn it."

    Such is theology gone to seed.
     
  5. Plain Old Bill

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    Thanks for the site and the article.
     
  6. genesis12

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    Clearly, Rippon, the interpretation of the scriptures you quote in your OP is faulty. I can take the same scriptures or your observations about them and present conclusions that are 180 degrees in opposition. Since the Bible clearly teaches that all scripture is spiritually discerned, that we have the "mind" (the knowledge, the understanding, the comprehension) of Christ, then it follows that every born-again Believer who has had imparted to h/her the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus must come to the same conclusion about scripture. If we don't, then our mind, our fleshly, worldly interpretation is getting in the way. The solution is found on our knees, acknowledging that God is the source of ALL understanding, in the Name of Jesus, in the POW!er of the Holy Spirit, then yielding totally, completely, unreservedly to Him. Even the ability to do that comes from Him, yet we are still free moral agents who can accept or reject His Truth. Since it is not His will that ANY should perish, then we know that the Holy Spirit communicates constantly with us, convincing us to say YES! to eternal salvation. I cannot recall a single time in my life, before or after salvation, crying out to God "What does (a particular scripture) mean?" I've never pulled my hair in anguish while demanding that God or anyone else explain a scripture. I do, I must, I cannot but, go to Him in sweet surrender. Amen. ;)
     
  7. Rippon

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    Hi Genesis 12 . You have an interesting way in fashioning your statements . You said that every believer must come to the same conclusion regarding Scripture . Do you mean that all believers need to believe that the Bible is God-breathed -- or do you mean that every believer should have the very same ideas as all other saints concerning the meaning of a given passage ?

    You said that it is not his will that any should perish . And then you quickly strung along that the Holy Spirit constantly communicates with us -- convincing us to say yes to salvation . I do not think the last idea connects with the former . Do you agree that the letters of the New Testament were addressed to believers ? Do you also acknowledge that anything God " wills " will , in-fact , take place ? There are no ifs , and or buts to it . Did not God will the eternal damnation of the King of Egypt, Essau , Judas , the residents of Sodom and surrounding communities ? If He wants someone saved their name has already been written in the Lamb's Book of Life . He has already chosen them before the foundation of the world . The others are predestinated to everlasting condemnation . It is our responsibility as disciples to tell others biblical truths . We need to proclaim the law and the gospel , jointly . We need to have a burden for souls . We present , we give a platform to tell-forth the news of the Scripture -- the bad news and the good news . But God the Holy Spirit spiritually arrests those he has determined beforehand .

    I am glad that you have never pulled your hair out in anguish over not understanding a portion of Scripture . And we certainly have no right to demand anything of God . Perhaps you can ( without the hairpulling ) ask others about the meaning of Scripture , or an elaboration of a text . I hope you consult commentaries and other Bible study helps . 2 Peter 3:9 has been abused about as much as John 3:16 .
     
  8. Helen

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    Do you mean the Bible doesn't mean what it says -- without man's 'help'?
     
  9. Watchman

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    Helen, looking at the websights you listed you seem to have went through a similar stuggle that I went through, and came to the same result. Yet, many big names in the history of the Church, as well as many that I respect here, are Calvinist's.
    I guess my biggest problem with Calvinism is taking the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross and using the term "Limited".
     
  10. John of Japan

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    Great articles on your website, Helen. [​IMG]
     
  11. TomMann

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    I think that the choice of the word "limited" was unfortunate. Perhaps selective atonement, or destinated atonement would have been better... but then we would have TUSIP OR TUDIP instead of TULIP.

    By no means is the atonement limited. Like God's Word, it does not return void but accomplishes exactally what it is sent to do. All whom Christ died for will be with him in Glory.

    In that light, the same Word that was sent to save, was also sent to destroy. God's Word is a powerful two edged sword.... It kills and makes alive, forms light and creates darkness, makes peace and creates evil. And it divides the sheep from the goats. The same Word that was sent to you for salvation was sent to another for condemnation.

    As hard as it is for you to imagine a god who would not give each of us the same opportunity to be saved, (and I think it is very obvious that he does not), that hard it is for me to imagine a father watch his child go to the pit having the ability and desire to rescue but not doing it. And that leads me to understand that we are not all His children. Rather there are children of God, and children of wrath. And while the children of God once had the nature of the children of wrath, having predetermine to do so, he quickened them and gave them a new nature.

    I believe that God not only has the power and will to save "all" his children, but that he actually does so..... "not willing that any should perish".

    Our differences are in how we account for our salvatin. Whether it is our choice or God's eternal design. And our differences would be better labeled "Free Will" and "Soverign or Free Grace". The terms Calvinist and Armenian cloud the issue with the flawed lives of flawed men.
     
  12. Helen

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    I am not saved because I have free will. And even if I were, free will is a gift from the Savior.

    But that is not how I am saved. I am saved by Christ, who provided for all humans the same salvation. All I can do is accept or reject it.

    He is totally sovereign and His grace freely given. Nevertheless, each man has the God-given ability and REAL choice as to how he will respond.
     
  13. whatever

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    So what makes the difference between you and a lost lady? Is it something God does or is it something you do?
     
  14. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Is this the doctrine of prevenient grace?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  15. Helen

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    So what makes the difference between you and a lost lady? Is it something God does or is it something you do? </font>[/QUOTE]God did it all. But the difference is in whether it was accepted or not. To accept a gift is not a 'works'.

    Joseph, could you please explain to me what the doctrine of prevenient grace is? Thank you.
     
  16. whatever

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    I didn't say anything about works. I only asked what made the difference between you and a lost lady. You seem to want it both ways by saying that God did it all but that it still had to be accepted.

    Why is your destiny different that that of the lost? Is it something that God did for you that He did not do for them? Or is it something that you did that they did not do? Or is it something else?

    See this website for more on "prevenient grace"
     
  17. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Prevenient Grace

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  18. Helen

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    Whatever, well, I chose, one day, whom I would serve, and your other lady chose, one day, whom she would serve. But God's gift was equally there for both of us. The ability to choose was also a gift from God.

    As far as prevenient grace goes, I can only go by what the Bible says -- the rain falls on all the land. God's grace is for each of us. How each responds to it makes all the difference.
     
  19. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Ok. So, you believe in prevenient grace which enables all mankind to choose to believe in Christ. Correct? If this is what you believe, then I will respond to this idea later after Church. Please, just simply tell me yes or no as to whether you believe this, or perhaps clarify your position a bit.

    Thanks,

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  20. whatever

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    See, this is what it ultimately comes down to. You are willing to say that the ultimate deciding factor in whether you make Heaven or not is you. I find that unthinkable.

    Yes, the rain falls on all the land, and God's grace is there for all who will receive it. But what if no one will receive it? What then?
     

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