Soteriologyish

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by JonC δοῦλος, Apr 3, 2016.

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  1. JonC

    JonC
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    There have been a couple of people who have questioned, passively, exactly where I stand on some Calvinistic issues and it seems some have taken upon themselves to imagine a position for me. Many here have put their understanding out front and allowed others to comment, critique, and debate various components. Now it is my turn.

    I believe that we, as Christians, should stand firm in one spirit and mind. We should strive together for the faith of the gospel. Iron sharpens iron, but in a Christian context we are to offer correction with patience and love, not quibbling over minor issues. And in that spirit, realizing that a couple of people here have severely misunderstand where I stand on several issues, I am offering my view for clarification (generally following "TULIP" for ease).

    I believe that sin came into the world through Adam, and death spread to all because all men have sinned. So by Adam’s disobedience we were all made sinners. None, therefore, are righteous. No one understands, no one seeks after God. We all have turned aside and have become worthless. Man is enslaved to sin. I believe that this applied to us before we were saved. We all once lived in the passions of our flesh and carried out our own desires. We once were by nature children of wrath, just like the rest of mankind. Not only that, but we were dead in trespasses and sins which once consumed our lives. This is where we were when God saved us – dead in sin.

    Regarding the elect, I believe that all that the Father gives to Jesus will come to him, and whoever does come to Him will not be cast out. No one can come to the Father but through Christ, and no one can come to Christ unless it is granted by the Father. I believe that God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself. Those He foreknew He predestined to become conformed to the image of Jesus Christ so that Christ would be the firstborn among many brethren.

    I believe that Jesus is the Good Shepherd that gives His life for the sheep. His sheep hear His voice and He will bring them into the flock. I think that Scripture bears out that husbands are to love their wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Jesus was sent to redeem a people, the Church, the Bride.

    When we were dead in our trespasses and sins, God made us alive. All the Fathers gives will come to Christ, and whoever comes will never be cast out. It is the will of the Father that Christ lose nothing of all that He has given. God is the potter, and it is through His will that He creates us as vessels unto wrath and vessels of mercy. Everyone who looks on Christ and believes in Him will have eternal live and will be raised to life on the last day. God’s will is going to be accomplished.
     
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  2. Browner

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    This is a very well-written paraphrase
    of many of the critical truths of the faith.

    But, what do you think of the various NT verses
    which say that believers will lose their salvation
    if they fail to do such and so?

    E.G. About 10 NT verses teach that believers
    must endure in their belief-faith until the end
    of their lives in order to receive eternal life.
     
  3. JonC

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    Thank you. I believe that the closer our beliefs remain to Scripture the better. I love philosophy and could easily be inclined to lean on my own understanding if I don't remain in submission to Scripture as prescriptive of my belief.

    I believe that the one who endures to the end will be saved. So if we endure then we will reign with Christ, but if we deny Christ then He will deny us. Therefore I believe that we need endurance so that we may receive what was promised. I do not see this as conflicting with my belief that we have been born again to a living hope, but that that hope is reserved for those who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation to be revealed in the last days.

    So if I am in Christ then no one is able to snatch me out of God’s hand. I have life and will never perish, for Christ will lose nothing, but will raise me up on the last day.

    Those who depart from the faith prove themselves not to have been truly one of the elect. The assurance of a believer is that God is able to keep them. The assurance that one is a believer, however, is through examining one’s self to see that they are in the faith.
     
  4. SovereignGrace

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    This appears a solid posting. However, did not you aver that the atonement was not unlimited in its scope, only in its application? In other words, that "Christmas Calvinism...No L"..get it 'No L...Noel?" Ah...skip it.".

    Also, this is not solely a Calvinist doctrine, but your stance on Christ's imputation of our sin is also were we disagree.

    But, on the surface, that seems to be a pretty solid OP.
     
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  5. Browner

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    But, c
    Yes, this is, of course, entirely possible.
    Problem is ... no one knows for sure who is part of God's elect.
    Which means ... exactly who did the Father give to Jesus?
    Are they the ones who receive the indwelling Holy Spirit?
    Because there are many cases where one has indeed
    received the Spirit, and then decided to chuck it, and live in sin.
    But, cannot these repent, e.g. on their deathbeds, and live?
    Perhaps only God knows.

    The safest path is the narrow one ... the one Jesus talks about.
    But, not the one today's Loadicean churches talk about.
    No matter how one looks at it ... OSAS is a dangerous doctrine.
     
  6. revmwc

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    There are no verses that say a believer can lose their salvation. In fact to me that is not even a baptist belief and should not be a Christian belief. Why, because believing that one could lose their salvation is to Crucify our Savior afresh .
     
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  7. TCassidy

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    There are none.
     
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  8. JonC

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    That is funny (the NOEL part) Laugh

    Do I believe that the Atonement is “limited” in it’s scope. That depends on the context. The reason, brother SG, that we labor and strive in this life is because we have fixed our hope on Christ, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

    So if you are asking me if there is an effect of Christ’s work to all men and all of creation then I answer “yes,” the Atonement is not limited in scope on that ground. If you are asking if such universal effects were unintended “side effects”, then my answer is “no, God does not deal in unintended consequences.”

    But if you mean by “unlimited Atonement” that Christ’s death was intended to only save the elect, then certainly. I think that the point of Christ laying down His life for His sheep bares that out. Not only that, but those who are “conformed to the image of Christ” are the elect, not those who will not be saved. That is why my preference of term is “particular redemption” (it is more specific and allows conversation towards universal elements of Christ's work). Christ’s death was indeed universal in scope (it had universal intended consequences), but His death was in particular to redeem the Church.

    That said, I think that the more important focus on the Atonement is in the centrality of Christ to the Church and the redemption of those who are saved.
     
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  9. JonC

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    I agree that the "safest path is the narrow one, the one Jesus talks about."

    How many of those the Father gives to Christ do you think are in danger of being lost?

    A problem, in my opinion, arises when people teach the reality of everlasting life as if it were an assurance that one indeed has it. (I am not dismissing your concerns off hand as I also see how a misunderstanding of OSAS can be a dangerous teaching. I think that the teacher needs to take care not only to teach the "whole counsel of God" but to teach it correctly.)
     
  10. JonC

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    I owe you an apology here, SG, and you sincerely have it. I am grateful that you have chosen to walk with me through my views and to offer your insights. Much too often it seems people are quick to disagree but slow to explain, so I appreciate the time you have afforded my views. But in my haste (I'm working a project) I overlooked a substantial part of your contribution here and neglected to respond.

    I completely agree that this is not solely a Calvinistic doctrine (it is, in fact, a biblical one). I used TULIP to order my thoughts and hopefully address these doctrines in a familiar and easy format. Even those who do not hold to a Calvinistic soteriology are often accustomed to examining doctrine within that general format (and regardless, it is a logical flow).

    Insofar as "imputation", I take it we are speaking of Christ bearing our sins. I believe that on the cross Jesus bore our sins in His body. His suffering was the agony of being nailed to the tree and dying there. His suffering for us was bearing our sins. Jesus bore our sins in death instead of us having to bear our sins in death. God caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

    Insofar as “imputation” in regards to our fallen state, when Adam sinned sin entered the world. His sin brought death, so death spread to everyone for everyone sinned. Humanity itself was in need of redemption (it was not just that we occasioned a sinful act every now and then, it was that our sins were manifestations of our fallen nature – we needed a transformation, a “rebirth”).

    So if you are asking if my stealing a cookie when I was ten years old was "imputed" to Christ, then yes. But I do not think that Jesus was punished more for the theft of that cookie. I believe that the imputed sin went much deeper than the sinful action itself in that the sin that was imputed to Christ was our sinfulness, our "sin nature", which is the price of our souls. To my understanding this makes since because Jesus, bearing our sins in His flesh, purchased us (not our sins).

    I hope that I have sufficiently addressed your comment. If not let me know, and I’ll try again (we get at least three strikes before we're "out"...right? :)).
     
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  11. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Curious...who would you define as being the chosen people?
     
  12. JonC

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    Those chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled by His blood, those purchased not with silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ (the Church).
     
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  13. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Splendid! Thumbsup
     
  14. Browner

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    One of the many passages warning about losing salvation
    is discussed in the recent thread about
    drawing back to perdition.
    Have thou partaken of it yet?
     
  15. Browner

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    The drawing back to perdition passage ends with
    a typical Pauline tongue-in-cheek one-liner:
    "butski, you incredibly-wonderful guys 'n gals
    wouldn't be guilty of such things, wouldest thou!"

    However, he HAS presented his warning to
    believers, no matter how tactfully it was done.

    This method was taught to him by Jesus Himself
    during his 17-year period in the desert regions.
     
  16. JonC

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    For my part, I have been referring to those who are saved as those who "believe to the saving of the soul", not those who "draw back to perdition" (hence my typical use of the term "saved").
     
  17. JonC

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    I will say this, in terms of losing your salvation, it does seem to me that Scripture falls short of offering an individual assurance of belonging to the people of God based on having at one time been saved.

    Norman Geisler criticized Perseverance of the Saints while affirming OSAS by using this emphasis (Chosen by God, 160-170). He does not prefer "POS" because, while it offers security, it offers no assurance to us that we will actually persevere (we have no assurance that we are not one who will "fall away" as never having "believed to the saving of the soul"). My understanding is exactly the opposite. The doctrine of assurance, that we have been saved, is in the testing and not a previous decision or experience. The doctrine of eternal security belongs squarely to Christ and those who are truly "in Christ."
     
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  18. Browner

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    IMO, a person can at one point "believe to the saving of the soul"
    ... and then later fall away from the faith.
    This is what is warned about in many dozens of NT passages.
    Ergo, there is no such thing as OSAS for everyone.
    Butski, there is OSAS for a special group called "the elect of God".
    Some endure in their faithfulness until the end of their lives,
    and thus will be saved.
    Care to see the 10 NT passages teaching the endurance requirement?
     
  19. Browner

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    R.C.Sproul wrote a book entitled, "Chosen by God".
    Are you referring to this book?
     
  20. Browner

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    Notice our Greek super stars are not commenting on this!
    Not even a "Huh!".
     
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