The last petal fell into place

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. asterisktom

    asterisktom
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    I wrote this article in 2002, about a week after suddenly laying hold of the wonderful truth of Limited Atonement. This set in motion a number of opportunities and consequences (thankfully) unforeseen at the time.

    Limited Atonement

    ka-Chunk! That's the sound of the last petal of the TULIP falling into place in my personal beliefs. After 27 years of being a Christian, I finally understand (I'm slow, what can I say?) why Limited Atonement is necessary - demanded, even, by the other parts of the tulip.

    One of the proofs responsible for this is reading a section of John Owen's "The Death of Death in the Death of Christ", where he challenges Arminians on the threefold possibilities. Either Christ died for:

    1. All the sins of All men, or
    2. All the sins of Some men, or
    3. Some of the sins of All men.

    The Arminians - and the PTUIs, like I was earlier that very week - are hard-pressed to maintain, if Christ died for all sins of all men, why any should finally go to Hell for unbelief, seeing that He died for that unbelief of those who would not accept His Atonement. In other words, their position seems to require a special class for that unbelief apart from all the other sins. I see now that it is much more logical and scriptural to see that Christ died to pay for all of the sins of the elect.

    Another book that has been instrumental was R.K. McGregor Wright's "No Place for Sovereignty". His book especially helped me to see that election absolutely cannot be determined by (as I have heard in many Baptist churches) the fact "God looked down the corridors of time and saw who would come to Him and elected those people". I see that now as circular, unscriptural and demeaning of God's other attributes.

    Another good point that RKMW made was that Arminianism often leads to worse views about God. On reflecting on this I had to agree. I considered those in the different email groups who had heterodox views of God:

    "God cannot see all of the future, because it hasn't happened yet."

    "We can change the outcome of what God said would happen through our prayers or declarations of "faith.""

    "God has no hands but our hands, no feet but our feet".

    Most, if not all of these weak doctrines, seem to come from a less-than--God theology.

    All this has been quite liberating. I do have some reservations about that last book. He does seem to put too much emphasis on logic at -times-, where Scripture would have done the trick more convincingly. Not devaluing logic at all. I am just saying that though God expects us to use logic as far as we can, it is ultimately the entrance of God's Word that brings light. Logic is necessary,at least in part, to dislodge all the presuppositions that are masquerading as Spirit-taught doctrine. I had held free-will to be one of those Spirit taught basics, when actually I was believing in a distinct and unscriptural brand of free-will. I can see now, for instance, that there is a whole gamut of wills and choices from "I will be like the Most High" to "Dare I eat a peach". We are free to do some (eat all the peaches we want, maybe) but are absolutely dead when it comes to things of God and eternity.
     
    #1 asterisktom, Jan 17, 2010
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  2. Skandelon

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    I'm just curious, what do think the unpardonable sin is if you hold to this view?
     
  3. Allan

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    FIrst, what is PTUI?

    If the above was what you had been taught to believe then it is apparent that neither the author nor those who taught you understood this position held by either the Arminian or the Non-cal.

    Was Christ the propitiation for the sins of the whole world? Yes.
    However, let us for a moment assume it was only made on behalf for certain ones. Now here is a question for you.
    Are they born saved?
    If not, why not, since it is apparent from the above statement that faith has nothing to do with savlation nor the application of said atonement upon the person.

    IOW - the atonement does absolutely nothing to or for anyone for whom it was made until it is received by faith. It never has (OT) and never will (NT).

    Thus those all mankind for whom the atonement is biblically stated to have been made for, do not go to hell unbelief but all their other sins are forgiven. They go to hell because through unbelief, no sins have been remitted because the propitiation of Christ is only received by faith. (Rom 3:25).
    Unbelief is the rejection of this provision for all who will receive it.


    This is a false conclusion based upon a false premise. It is easy to make one view look valid when you misrepresent the other, whether it is an intentional attempt to misrepresent or not..


    While I agree there are some who do believe this view, it is actaully not the majority view. But I do agree that this misunderstanding of theirs is incorrect at best.

    You mean just like the sovereign grace doctrines do?
    The various unbiblical degrees of Hyper-Calvinism, Fatalism, Antinomianism, etc..

    I agree, even for Calvinism/Reformed views.
     
  4. Winman

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    I agree with this. And Hebrews 4 confirms this.

    Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
    2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
    3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.


    If God's grace is irresistable, it would be not be necessary to warn people that they might come short of the promise as shown in vs. 1. Verse 2 tells us why Jesus's death and resurrection does not profit some hearer's because of unbelief on their part. And verse 3 shows that while Christ's works were in a sense completed before the foundation of the world, that only those who believe enter into God's rest.

    Furthermore, we are told in scripture that those who do not believe today can turn from unbelief tomorrow.

    Rom 11:23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.

    Well, I believe election is according to God's foreknowledge. You may argue about what this foreknowledge of God is, but I think there is scripture to support God elected those he knew would believe.

    John 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

    This verse specifically says Jesus knew from the beginning who would not believe. Therefore he also knows who will believe. So, say what you will, God knew from the beginning who would believe the gospel and it is shown in scripture. And I believe the account of Nathaniel shows the same.

    John 1:44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
    45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
    46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
    47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
    48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
    49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.


    Even before Philip went to Nathaniel to introduce him to Christ, Jesus said he saw Nathaniel. And notice Nathantiel's question "Whence knowest thou me?" Nathaniel was astonished that Jesus knew him when they had never met.

    So, I believe the scriptures clearly indicate that God knows beforehand who will believe.

    And even in our elections we know beforehand who will be chosen. Did we know Obama would win the Presidency? Yes and No. We did not know Obama specifically would win, but we knew whoever won the Electoral College would win. So, in that respect we always know who will win beforehand because election is conditional.

    And if election is according to foreknowledge as the scriptures clearly say, then it is conditional. It is based on something God knew beforehand.
     
    #4 Winman, Jan 17, 2010
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  5. asterisktom

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    PTUI is T,U,I, and P of the TULIP. My pastor had asked me just a week before what, if any, of the TULIP I believed. I told him that I was a 4-pointer, minus the L. I joked, "I guess that makes me a PTUI".

    I'm not going into this part other than to sat it is not what I was taught to believe, It was what I did believe.

    See, this is why I don't take some of you guys seriously. Who said faith has nothing to do with salvation? It is the God-appointed means of salvation. "For by grace are you saved through faith." Though grace is first yet that doesn't do away with what follows.

    1. There are several verses that belie your first point. Do you really believe what you wrote? Has your antipathy to these doctrines of grace moved you into that corner?
    2. Your middle sentences are illogical and hard to figure out. Why do you separate unbelief from other sins?
    3. Where do you get this notion of provision. The word - in the salvation sense - does not even exist in the New Testament. There is a reason for this.
     
  6. grahame

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    Now that is an interesting question. Was John the Baptist born saved, or was he chosen to be saved?
    Or Paul the apostle. Was he saved before he believed, or chosen to be saved?
     
    #6 grahame, Jan 17, 2010
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  7. Jerome

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    Oxford English Dictionary:
     
  8. Winman

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    That is plain wrong. Grace is "through faith", not the other way around.

    Rom 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

    Here Paul contrasts works and grace and says that salvation must be through faith to be accounted grace. If it were works, then our salvation would be of debt.

    Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

    We only have access to God's grace through faith.

    Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
    2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


    The scriptures show:

    Faith ---> Grace

    You say:

    Grace ---> Faith

    This is error and the opposite of what the scriptures say.
     
    #8 Winman, Jan 17, 2010
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  9. asterisktom

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    Yes, thank you. That was the very term I used on myself - in jest.
     
  10. canadyjd

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    "For by grace are you saved through faith." The salvation is through faith, not the grace.
    Paul is speaking of righteousness in Rom. 4.

    You have misread Romans 5. Paul is not speaking of salvific grace, but of enabling grace. Enabling grace is that provision of God that allows believers to endure persecution and tribulation and yet stand firm. We access that enabling grace by faith in what God has promised.

    If you had read the next verse, you would have seen the context.

    v. 3"And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverence..."

    peace to you:praying:
     
  11. asterisktom

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    I'm not going to go to your other verses until you give a satisfactory account of the first one: Eph. 2:8. For greater clarity lets look at the wider context::

    "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

    You say your faith came first. I say grace came first. Well, what does Scripture say?

    1. The words themselves tell us grace was previous: "by" as in "by means of", "through" as in "source, origin". Several of your Greek commentaries bear this out. The first one I picked up from my shelf did, The Expositor's Greek Testament (Ephesians section by Salmond). But this is actually the weakest proof; since prepositions can be such weaselly things, it is not good to put too much weight on this alone.

    2. But the immediate context is a better proof. Verses 9 - 10 show clearly that God is the intitiator in salvation. For that reason many just quote Eph. 2:8, but don't go on to the following clarifying verses.

    3. The preceding context also helps. Look at verse 5 - "by grace you have been saved". If there was any doubt, that should be the clincher. By grace we are saved. Yes, that same grace gives us the faith - and it will always be that way - but the previous grace is what saved us, ultimately considered.

    This is all I have time for now.
     
  12. Jerome

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    Fine, but using a term of disgust/contempt for those who believe as you did (pre-epiphany) might tend to dissuade them from considering your amazing discovery.
     
  13. grahame

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    Even our faith is by the Grace of God. We must be careful we don't make our faith into a kind of works.
    here grace is contrasted with the Law`of Moses. That Law condemns us. It is grace that saves us. The means to that salvation is through faith.

    Here we see it more clearly
    Here we have it again. Paul is contrasting our position in Adam with our position in Christ,
    We must of course remember that salvation only comes into effect when we believe. But it is still only God who can open the eyes of those who are blinded by the god of this world. This is the work of the Holy Spirit alone. However we look at it, we would never come into conviction of sin without the grace of God.
     
    #13 grahame, Jan 17, 2010
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  14. Allan

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    OH. I thought it might be something like that.

    And it is for 'this' reason I get so frustrated with many pastors today.
    They don't teach people what is to be believed, as well as not teaching how to examine the scriptures to validate or invalidate what is being taught.

    I think you misunderstood my statement. I wasn't 'accusing' you or your view of anything but was postulating a question about atonement.

    Thus, if a person is not born saved (which I don't believe you hold), why not.. this is directly proportional to your question of why should anyone go to hell for unbelief if Christ died for all their sins. It is this statement which brought up my question to you about the how and when the atonement is applied= born saved and if not why not?.

    You begin with a false premise with your statements regarding if Christ died for all sin then unbelief is some special class of sin the Christ's propitiation didn't cover. IF this were the correct representation of said view then those bound for hell would stand before God having all their sins atoned for but one - that of unbelief. However this statement stresses the fact that faith has nothing to do atonement and thus has nothing to do with salvation. This is established in nature of your argument making it apparent those other sins are already taken care of without faith, but yet unbelief still needed to be dealt with. In light of this it appears your statement alludes to this as being more accurate position.


    Therefore the logic of which you state helped you come to your conclusion is based upon a flawed premise due to a misunderstanding about the view itself.


    On this I agree.



    :) - This has nothing to do with the issus of soveriegn grace doctrines.
    My contention here is that is 'does' have to do with your understanding of the atonement and when it is applied to the elect.

    I hold 100% to that statement.
    The atonement does absolutely nothing to or for anyone for whom it was made until it is received by faith. It never has (OT) and never will (NT).
    What does scripture state about when the propitiation of Christ is applied to men and when it effects said man?
    Though vs 24 states we are justified freely by his grace (not a reward for our works) Paul establishes the fact that our justification originates in Gods grace but he goes on to establish how and when this transpires.

    My statement isn't that the atonement is meaningless, but that it's effects or that which is does have no effect until it is received by faith, NEVER prior to it.

    I never said it was seperate.
    Let me break it down, and maybe clarify it better.
    1. Atonement is made on behalf of all mankind.
    2. Some will still go to hell.
    3. This does NOT mean all sins are forgiven except for unbelief.
    4. It does means they go to hell becuase through their unbelief no sins are yet remitted.
    5. This is because the atonement/propitiation is received by faith (Rom 3:25).
    6. Thus no one has the atonement applied to them prior to faith and therefore it has and does nothing till them.


    Hmm. I disagree. And your right, there is a reason for this.
     
  15. Skandelon

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    If I may interject, I think most of us would concede that some measure of grace preceded our faith. Wasn't is by grace that God sent us the apostles, the scripture, the gospel and the church? Maybe that would be "common grace," but nevertheless it is grace. Shouldn't the discussion be whether or not this grace is effectual (irresistible) or not?
     
  16. Allan

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    WHOA!!! Hold on there Haus.
    Sorry but you will not find this formula ANYWHERE in scripture.
    It is and always has been 'by grace through faith'.
    The grace of God comes first otherwise there will never be any faith.

    Please look at this again. It is NOT saying faith must come first in order that God might give us grace. It is saying that for us to be saved it had to be by faith so that it might be by grace, otherwise it would be by works that it might be through the Law. It is simply a declaration of why God did what He did for our sakes and His glory.
     
    #16 Allan, Jan 17, 2010
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  17. asterisktom

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    Good grief. Are you serious? I used that term on myself. Was I in contempt of myself? No, I just used it for the humorous sound of the word.

    But on second thought never mind. Considering your sarcasm, I don't really care what you think.
     
  18. Allan

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    Chosen, not saved. Though God might not reveal at all times those whom He will eventually save as He did with some, however that does not mean those whom He revealed as His chosen vessels were saved from birth.

    All men who will be saved are chosen by God to be saved. It is not this fact that is disputed, but the nature of how God presumably chose whom He did.
     
  19. Winman

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    Not so. What does "through faith" mean? Yes, we are saved by grace, but only by believing can salvation be of grace. Otherwise it is works, and that is exactly what Paul says.

    Rom 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

    Paul is saying we are saved through faith that it might be reckoned to grace. There are only two options, grace or works. If we are saved by works then the reward is reckoned to debt. But if we are saved through faith, then the reward is reckoned to grace.

    Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
    4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
    5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.


    Notice the words "counted" and "reckoned" in the above verses. Paul is saying that Abraham believed, therefore his reward (righteousness) was reckoned or counted of grace as opposed to works.

    Grace is God's favor. But you cannot please God unless you first have faith.

    Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    God will not show favor or grace to any man that does not have faith, it is impossible.

    The scriptures absolutely show grace follows faith.
     
    #19 Winman, Jan 17, 2010
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  20. OldRegular

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    If faith were a requirement for Grace then Grace would not be unmerited favor!
     

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